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Virgin Islands



Seaside Dining: From Jost Van Dyke to Virgin Gorda, VI dining is done best by boat.

Jet Skis in Paradise Skiing on the Ocean Artists’ Corner Quito Rymer Battling With Waters Sailing for a Cause Balance is Blind Hurricane Season Starts




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Bit of Heaven [hillside home] Tortola US$825,000

Blue Tortu [hillside home] Belmont US$2,400,000

South Watch [hillside home] Tortola US$2,000,000

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A home in the Caribbean offers a blend of sophisticated design and casual barefoot living; of romance and privacy in an unforgettable setting, and wonderful memories of the time spent on a shady verandah admiring the expansive views. Live the life you have imagined. The British Virgin Islands comprise over 52 Islands, Rocky Pinnacles and Cays, appropriately named “Nature's Little Secrets.”

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS our qualities are numerous our benefits endless Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated.

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JUN V i r g i n I s l a n d s




F e at u r e S


Skipper’s Tips By David Blacklock

Flashing may be encouraged at the Willy T , but don’t get caught with your blinders on when at sea.


Wood Weathering By Robert Creel and Sjoerd Bos

Tips for ensuring that the wrath of nature doesn’t destroy a boat’s shine or a deck’s finish.


Learning to Drive By Traci O’Dea

Just when you thought the seas were safe, Traci takes the wheel on a wet ride to Jost Van Dyke.

15 S avo u r i ng the Sai l By Stephen L. France and Dan O’Connor

From Foxy’s to Myett’s to Pirates and Saba Rock, we take a trip to some of the finest seaside restaurants in the territory.


Jet Skis in Paradise By Dan O’Connor

The fast and furious watercrafts have some BVI residents and sailors questioning their presence on the water.


Artists’ Corner By Dan O’Connor

Most know Quito Rymer for his music, but the famed Cane Garden Bay singer is also a talented visual artist.

34 Balance is Blind By Stephen L France

An advisory for the surprises of nature.

38 Tips to Tame the Temptest By Fran Morrel and Kate Henderson

40 Provisioning with Taste By Stephen L France and Susie Younkle

43 Keeping a Weather eye


on Wildlife

By Clive Petrovic

A Man with a Mission By Stephen L. France

Andrew Waters attempts a singlehanded circumnavigation of Tortola to raise awareness for a rare skin condition.



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Edi t o r ' s L e t t e r , J u n e 2 0 1 3

This isn’t the end; this is just the beginning Five years ago, I embarked on a life-changing journey to Tortola. At the time I struggled to find the tiny island on a map, let alone wrap my brain around the idea of island living. Since that time, I’ve learned to live with the constant Chief Editor Dan O’Connor

cackle of roosters, share wild roadways with feral goats and use a machete to crack a coconut without losing a finger or two along the way. I’m sure I’ve learned a few more things, but what will stick with me most are the timeless friendships and memories I’ve made along the way. This month, I’ll say good-bye—for now—to the Virgin

Contributors David Blacklock Sjoerd Bos Robert Creel Stephen L. France Kate Henderson Fran Morrell Traci O’Dea Clive Petrovic Susie Younkle

Islands, and embark on my next adventure. I’ve decided—probably against better judgment—to plot my next dot on the map. I’ve gone out with a bang in my final issue as the editor of VIPY, and used my awesome job to take me from Pirates Bight on Norman Island to Saba Rock in Virgin Gorda’s North Sound, where I was wined and dined all so I could report back to you—the reader—about my experience. My colleague, Stephen France, also checked in from Myett’s in Cane Garden Bay and Foxy’s in Jost Van Dyke to indulge in some of the finest fare of any seaside restaurant in the Caribbean. I also went a bit rogue for this issue and played hooky in the North Sound, where I somehow acquired a jet ski, allowing me to tear through the North Sound neighbourhood. I’m not sure that my sailing buddies in the area were

Publisher Colin Rathbun Creative Director Nick Cunha

impressed with my antics, but it sure made for a fun day out of the office. It’s days like this one that I’ll miss most. What other job could facilitate such an endeavor? These pages also touch on the impending hurricane season, which officially starts this month and lingers into autumn. Stephen did a good job researching the topic, and I think he’ll do just fine as a contriburor while I’m gone, offering his unique perspective of these islands. I’m sure by this point you’ve heard enough about my gallivanting

Graphic Design Scott Taylor

and jet setting. It’s time to pass the torch. But while I’m gone, I wish the very best for these beloved islands and its

Web Developer Maros Pristas

made along the way.

Advertising Sales Owen Waters Stephen L. France

Until next time...

unconventionally awesome people. Keep a bow spot warm for me and make a toast to the good memories we’ve

Virgin Islands Property & Yacht is published eleven times a year (February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December/January) by aLookingGlass Ltd., Road Reef Plaza 6 and 7, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands VG1110. Copyright 2012 by aLookingGlass Ltd. All pieces reproduced in this issue are under prior copyright by the creators or by the contractual arrangments with their clients. Nothing shown may be reproduced in any form without obtaining the permission of the creators and any other person or company who may have copyright ownership. The publisher of VI Property & Yacht, assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the content placed in its publications. For the avoidance of doubt, aLookingGlass gives no warranty or guarantee in regards to any information placed in its publications.

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Editorial and Business Office: aLookingGlass Ltd., Road Reef Plaza 6 and 7 Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Web: Email: Phone: 284-494-7788 Fax: 284-494-8777 Mail to: aLookingGlass PO Box 3895 Sea Cows Bay Tortola, British Virgin Islands VG1110

Aerial view of Saba Rock and the North Sound. Courtesy of Saba Rock.

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June 2013

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Skipper’s Tips

Stop FLASHING ME! by David Blacklock

Who wants to take issue with boat safety initiatives? Not I. Nor—I suspect—any sailor who doesn’t wish to be laughed out of the marina bar. Sailors and boating authorities have argued long and hard over PFDs (personal flotation devices), tethers, MOB (man overboard) poles and the like, to their mutual benefit. Any piece of equipment that enhances the safety of a mariner at sea and increases their chance of survival is a decided asset, and the proper maintenance and deployment of that equipment is a main priority aboard ship. However, recently, two items of ostensible safety equipment have been raising my hackles. Both items are deployed when vessels are at anchor, and while both can be construed as adding to the net safety equation, they both have their decidedly negative aspects.

Flash, flash, flash goes this device, and as aimed by its design, it draws the attention of anyone within a couple miles. First on my list is the increasingly popular flashing white strobe light. This appears to be favoured by European sailors of the Hallberg-Rassy and Alubat persuasion. The white strobe is deployed as either a primary anchor light or as an ancillary one. Whichever, the incessant flashing of such a light in an anchorage is sufficient to drive a nearby observer, well Alu-batty if you like. Or Highly Resistant, at the very least. Flash Flash Flash goes this device, and as aimed by its design, it draws the attention of anyone within a couple miles. Close up, it certainly ruins any thought of gazing raptly at the twinkling night sky. As for safety, the chance of a wayward super-tanker breaching the confines of, say, Cooper Island or the Anegada anchorage on any given evening is highly improbable. The worst that might happen is some poorly anchored vessel might drag down on the frequent flasher.



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And then there’s the question of legality. Flashing strobes are most often associated with distress—and while they might cause some distress, they are rarely its signifier. Of a less disturbing, but still discomfiting nature, you might consider the increasingly popular anchor marker. This is a floating device attached to the deployed anchor and floating just above it, to indicate its presence. In theory, this is a marvellous idea but does not translate well in the confines of the Virgin Islands. When first entering a crowded anchorage, it is often necessary to squeeze by other anchored vessels en route to one’s chosen position. If such a vessel has deployed the anchor marker, any boat trying to come

through is obliged to skirt the anchored one by not 10 feet as is sometimes appropriate, but 30 or 40 feet. In some areas, this means there is no through-passage at all.

In a popular destination such as the BVI, there is a lot of competition for available space. Similarly, when the incoming vessel chooses to drop its own anchor, the swing available is now compromised by the floating marker. Sometimes, in a swirly anchorage—Cooper, Benures Bay—boats might swing about a bit. The danger is that in swinging, the boat ahead can get entangled in the anchor marker and thus be drawn into all sorts of late night manoeuvrings that the prudent sailor would rather avoid. Obviously, the marker’s function is to warn incoming vessels not to position their vessel directly over the first arrival’s deployed anchor. Fair enough. But how often does a sailor really need to leave an anchorage in such a hurry that he can’t wait five minutes to rouse a sleeping captain, or push the offending, unattended, vessel aside with a dinghy? In a popular destination such as the BVI, there is a lot of competition for available space. Boats will anchor closely together, but there’s no need to further compromise the available space by deploying an anchor marker. The opinion of the sailors cited above is a self-interested one. The necessity of keeping one’s vessel safe and sound is unquestioned, but it is also necessary to consider the situation of the next boat in the anchorage. Oh, did I mention those whistling, howling, wind generators? Perhaps next time..

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June 2013


Wood Weathering on

By Robert Creel, Operating Manager, Caribbean Colors; and Sjoerd Bos, Vice President, Sansin

Land & Sea Wood is a beautiful, sustainable material utilised by many in the Virgin Islands for their properties and yachts. As we near hurricane season as well as summer’s intense UV rays, it’s important to prepare and protect wood.

Teak Life treatment protects Moonstone Villa’s patio and porch from natural hazards and wear. Photo provided by Sansin.

Wood, by its very nature, is a breathable material; however, when used in construction and exposed to wind, rain and sun, it needs a level of protection to remain durable, resilient and beautiful. The first step is to select a wood species resistant to decay and insects, and one that can withstand UV degradation from the sun. In our marine subtropical environment, western red cedar, mahogany, cypress, exotic hardwoods and pressure-treated woods are the best choice. If possible, wood should remain dry and experience minimal exposure to prolonged wetting cycles to avoid decay. For most of us, this is inescapable, and that’s why wood protection is crucial to the long-term beauty of your home or deck.



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Wood Protection Options One approach for wood protection is to apply film forming, semi- or nonpenetrating solvent and water-based formulas, which provide barrier-style protection. Many believe the thicker the film, the better the protection and longer lasting maintenance cycles. But, this comes at a cost. The challenge is that when you use a non-penetrating, water-based product or a high solids solvent-based product, you build a film on wood that darkens it, degrades clarity, and then becomes thicker with maintenance. This, in turn, traps moisture, reducing breathability and can eventually result in peeling and blistering. Often, these types of coatings can even cause wood decay due to increased moisture content, which gets trapped during the wet seasons under the very product meant to protect the wood.

Today, you can opt for low-VOC water-borne, alkyd stains that penetrate wood rather than just sit on the surface. While superficial products will often peel and be difficult to maintain down the road, water-borne penetrating finishes wear more gracefully because they soak into the wood. The goal is to keep the wood breathable. As you apply maintenance coats over the years to sustain beauty, clarity and protection, you don’t want to excessively increase the thickness of the finish and trap moisture. If you are in the midst of planning or building with wood, when possible the design may consider overhangs to protect the wood from moisture. Wood will endure any exposure but the treatment, species and dimension of wood should be carefully selected to provide a stable and sound surface that lasts for generations.

Marine Decks Teak is often used for furniture and in marine environments because of its stability in wet conditions and resistance to decay and traffic. Yet, teak decks on boats or yachts must withstand lots of moisture, traffic, dirt and are susceptible to algae and mould. Some owners resort to bleach in order to keep teak looking clean and mould free; however, this type of treatment erodes the wood and will shorten the life of the deck. For marine decks, we recommend using Teak Life treatment, which keeps teak cleaner, requires less washing and ultimately extends the deck’s life. Teak Life is an inorganic, water-diffusible treatment that uses boric acid—a natural decay inhibitor—to fight fungi and insect infestations. With Teak Life, the natural moisture of the wood itself carries the boric acid into the wood fibres to saturate and protect any wet areas. Teak Life loads the wood with decay-fighting ingredients, migrating deep into wood. For marine decks, you could use this alone, or use a surface coating that seals active borate ingredients into the wood.

a satiny, glossier top coat to protect against harmful UV rays, scraping and abrasion that can happen on decks and other horizontal surfaces. Selecting a color is important when considering exterior maintenance as the pigment loading will affect the performance of the coating. The more pigment, the longer it will last, as good quality pigments provide excellent UV protection. However, wood has a very attractive and distinctive character that most homeowners wish to retain and not hide. You can find clear or nearly clear coatings to maintain clarity and enhance UV protection, even in a clearer coating. Once you have your finish ordered and ready, don’t forget to stir the product well. If you are working on a large surface, only apply finish a few feet at a time so you can work with a manageable area of wet stain. Finally, apply a good, heavy, wet coat, especially for the first coat. There are coverage calculators online to help you determine how much stain to buy or refer to the product can, which should recommend the optimal thickness. The good news is that today, consumers can find greener choices in wood stains, while gaining in the ease of application, durability and beauty. The low-VOC, water-borne alkyd stains are far easier to maintain, as these coatings will tend to wear or erode gradually rather than peel. Wood is an amazing material that we should utilize more often. Wood is strong, ecologically responsible and creates unparalleled atmosphere. With planning, preparation and reasonable maintenance, your wood deck, home or furniture should remain a sustainable surface for years of enjoyment.

Steps to Long-Lasting Wood Protection When finishing wood, remember that preparation is the key to success. Clean the wood surface by pressure washing, being careful not to damage the surface by getting too close. Sand decks thoroughly with 60-80 grit sandpaper. It’s always good to test your wood finish on a piece of similar wood before starting your project. And, wait for a day that is dry and overcast, if possible. When looking for your desired finish, we recommend an initial coat of a deep penetrating water-borne stain for protection from within, and then

June 2013


Story and photos by Dan O’Connor

I heard the steady hum of Travis Walters’ 110-horsepower jet ski before I saw him approach the dock at Leverick Bay. I tapped my dad on the shoulder and pointed as the jet ski’s rooster tail dropped and the engine purred to and idled into the beach. I was admittedly excited. My father and I have jet skied at various places we’ve vacationed about a dozen times before. We’ve ripped around the waters of Lake Michigan that line Traverse City, the crystal seas of Key West and most recently on a tour around the non-protected waters of the US Virgin Islands. But never in Virgin Gorda’s pristine North Sound.

Dad and Travis take off from Leverick Bay for a cruise through North Sound.



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All others attempting to use jet skis in BVI waters—including those carried in on megayachts and cruise ships—are subject to a $5,000 fine. Travis greeted us with a smile and a handshake as we waded in shallow waters off the beachfront and awaited his friend to bring another identical jet ski. He explained that we had two options: We could either each take a jet ski and rip around the waters within Travis’ line of vision, or we could follow Travis—one at a time—on a tour through the North Sound and to the back side of Virgin Gorda, all the way to Oil Nut Bay and Biras Creek. We gladly chose the latter. I was anxious to see how the mostly wind-based boaters of the North Sound would react by the sight of the jet skis. Travis was quick to establish guidelines and school us on the strict safety measures needed to navigate the often busy North Sound waterways: He would lead the way, and I needed to stay 200 feet behind him at all times; when we got into any mooring field, we would slow the jet skis to a 10-mph crawl; life jackets were a must. Travis later explained to me that he completed CPR training and lifeguard training before starting his business, which he received a license for with his partner, Joshua Wheatley, in 2011. The two obtained a license for Blue Rush Watersports and Jet Skis, and have been allowed to bring otherwise outlawed personal watercrafts (jet skis) to the territory under Joshua’s uncle’s previously acquired license. The family had essentially been grandfathered into the approval since Joshua’s uncle began Vixen Point Watersports—also known as the former Sandbox— before personal watercrafts were outlawed in 1989, according to Deputy BVI Customs Commissioner Dean Fahie. At the time of the banning, government officials deemed the watercrafts “dangerous, due to a number of accidents,” Fahie said. However, only the Wheatleys and Al Henley, who runs Cane Garden Bay Watersports, are allowed up to ten jet skis for rental purposes in the BVI. All others attempting to use jet skis in BVI waters—including those carried in on megayachts and cruise ships—are subject to a $5,000 fine. But on a perfect day in April, my father and I would do what some seafarers view as taboo in BVI waters and jet ski through the North Sound. After idling through North Sound, we passed Saba Rock and crept safely over the shallow reef off Eustatia. We opened up the throttle and bounded over the choppy swells on the backside of VG at a top speed of 50mph. Within a minute or two, we were at the prestigious and secluded Oil Nut Bay. We trolled around and chatted a bit about the construction happening at Oil Nut Bay. “That’s David Johnson,” Travis said, pointing to the developer of Oil

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June 2013


Long term, we feel that jet skis will have a negative tourism impact on the area.

Safety first: Dad gets a lesson in jet ski safety on Leverick Bay Beach.

Nut Bay, who was walking to the gazebo at the end of the beachfront. Johnson, he said, had no problem with his business venture. I later found out that some in the prestigious North Sound neighbourhood felt differently. John Glynn, general manager of the Bitter End Yacht Club, voiced concerns about the high-speed business venture. “I know from years of personal experience at boat shows and travel trade shows that people, in general, like the fact that the BVI has a moratorium on jet skis—to the point of not allowing yachts or cruise ships to operate them, as well,” he said in a recent interview. “Transient cruisers and charter sailors tend to strongly dislike jet skis, and that why the BVI is so popular among this very important tourism sector.” BEYC has made a name for itself in the BVI as one of the premier sailing resorts in the Caribbean and have a strong preference for “windand human-powered vehicles and watersport activities. “[Jet skis] are not in keeping with the ‘feel’ of the BVI,” he concluded. “Long term, we feel that jet skis will have a negative tourism impact on the area.” At least one other North Sound proprietor—who requested to remain anonymous—agreed with the BEYC general manager’s concerns. However, others who enjoy the high-octane thrill associated with the tiny watercrafts are already voicing their pleasure with Blue Rush’s business venture. The company has garnered three five-star ratings on TripAdvisor, including glowing words from commenter “AnkinBas,” who wrote, “Super fast, super exciting, super intense, super fun. Definitely something that should be on your bucket list, but once you do [it], you just want to do it again and again.” My tour took us around Eustatia, past Necker Island to the backside of Prickly Pear and back to Moskito Island and finally Leverick Bay. The 30-minute excursion allowed me to see what sailors who traverse hundreds or thousands of miles to the BVI at speeds of a dozen or so



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—John Glynn, BEYC general manager

knots could only hope to see in a full day. But, in the same breath, that’s what they probably set out for: quiet, relaxation and a wind-powered celebration of the sea. Travis said with the help of a loan he hopes to secure from Sir Richard Branson—who is no stranger to helping local small businesses having trouble with the banks—he hopes to bring two more high-powered jet skis to the territory. With those, he said, he would like to also bring flyboards—or waterpowered jetpacks—to North Sound. He and his partner’s ambitious plans might also include a floating base in the sound, he said. Young businessmen like Travis and Joshua, and longtime ones like Al Henley in Cane Garden Bay, are able to operate their controversial rental companies well within legal standings. That doesn’t, however, mean that those they share the waters with are obligated to smile and wave them through as they pass by. While the territory develops and grows, the mantra among public leaders has always been to preserve nature’s little secrets. Overall, those asked in the North Sound said that as long as Blue Rush and CGB Watersports are in operation, they respect the responsibility and bestowed upon every resident to protecting and preserve the special nature of the BVI that separates us from other islands.

foxy’s taboo

Diamond Cay. Jost Van Dyke . BVI. VHF Channel 16 Tel: 1 (284) 340 9258

Serving Lighthearted Mediterranean fare with flair.

By Stephen L. France and Dan O’Connor Photos by Dan O’Connor and provided by respective restaurants

June 2013


he steady Virgin Islands trade winds and warm waters provide ideal conditions for sailors and charter guests from around the world. Visitors and residents populate our waters and beachfronts in search of quiet coves or popular beachside locales—both widely available on our ample seaside playgrounds. And whether the occasion is a peaceful moonlit dinner for two, a party of twelve or a wedding for two hundred, the VI affords abundant options for sun, fun and fare, footsteps from the boat. From Jost Van Dyke to the North Sound of Virgin Gorda, the Sir Francis Drake Channel provides a highway of options for guests—many who return to the islands with a preference for old favourites. On Jost Van Dyke, Foxy’s Bar and Restaurant provides new and return guests with a welcoming taste of the eclectic island. Foxy is usually on hand to welcome guests with a joke and a drink; they often stay for the mouthwatering ribs and burning Great Harbour sunset. Across the watery divide, Myett’s Garden Grille has a strong presence within Cane Garden Bay, with a 20-year stake in the BVI’s most popular beachfront. After a few decades of success and continued growth, proprietors Val and Kareem Rhymer like to say, “The beat goes on,” with the help of fine dining, affordable refreshments and overall good vibes. At the first stop along the Sir Francis Drake Channel, Pirates Bight is too tempting to pass up. It’s recent renovations invite sailors to the BVI’s most secure yet historically infamous anchorage and mooring field. Pirates celebrates its treacherous past with chic barefoot ambiance and fine Caribbean cuisine. Past Spanish Town, into Virgin Gorda’s North Sound, pristine waters welcome sailors into perhaps the most elite aquatic neighbourhood in the VI. Saba Rock, the one-acre island in the middle of it all, attracts all kinds for unconventional dockside dining and fun. “The living room of the North Sound,” as its regarded by regulars and return guests, offers a little something for everyone. Foxy’s, Myett’s, Pirates and Saba Rock, all with their unique, compelling qualities, provide for a delectable dining experience. These establishments have often convinced yacht owners to disembark from their boats permanently and purchase property in the BVI, and vice versa with Virgin Island property holders seeking to explore the VI with a new catamaran. Peruse the next few pages and revel in the possibilities.

Foxy's, Myett's, Pirates and Saba Rock, all with their unique, compelling qualities, provide for a delectable dining experience.



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Foxy's: Jost Van Dyke

More fantastic than the famed fox

Like the famous book, Fantastic Mr Fox, there is everything fantastic about sailing into Foxy’s at Great Harbour. Across the water, opposite Cane Garden Bay, Foxy’s Bar and Restaurant acts as an ecclectic home for tourists from all over the planet. Renowned for its Old Year’s Night party, the quirky architectural design of Foxy’s adds an unconventional feel to fine beachside dining. Foxy’s first opened in 1968 in eccentric fashion, with skydivers filling the air and a party that lasted through the wee hours of the morning. Over the years, Foxy’s has become one of the most renowned, authentic beach bar and restaurant in the world. Owners Foxy and Tessa Callwood, who have run the restaurant from inception, are still as enthusiastic about their successful establishment as they were when it opened. “Good food, good drinks, good service, good company,” said Tessa, defining what her restaurant delivers. Sailing into the Great Harbour, a safe anchorage and 30 mooring balls allow flexibility for seafarers, who may wish to relax on their boat and embrace the ambiance that Foxy’s atmosphere radiates. Over the years, the establishment has expanded, tailoring its services and appearance to the multitude of repeat guests and new visitors that travel through its notable harbour.

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June 2013


“In the nineties when business was booming, pieces were added,” said Tessa, describing the expansion. “A dining room to complement the feetin-the-sand section; a beachfront gazebo and outside bar for additional dining space closer to the beach, a Grillzebo where we serve barbecue on Friday and Saturday nights and for large and small groups comprised of 40 people or more; a small shop to sell Foxy T-shirts and paraphernalia that blossomed into a full-fledged boutique.” Delicious “fare with flair,” as Tessa regards the flamboyant servings, is available with varitions of old Caribbean favourites. The a-la-carte menu Sunday through Thursday at both lunch and dinner is a great option for undecided patrons looking to try a little bit of everything. For the Millennium celebration, an upstairs room aptly named The Upper Crust was added for guests desiring VIP exclusivity; this room can tend to 150 fun-loving guests.

Myett's: Cane Garden Bay The beat goes on

Calmly cruising into Cane Garden Bay, the alluring beach is the welcoming host of a family of restaurants that line its soft white sand. Whether driving in by car or breezing into shore on a dinghy, visitors are invited onto a bay that instantly invokes a sense of calm. The globally renowned Myett’s Enterprises’ conspicuously inviting visage is highlighted as a Virgin Islands beachfront establishment. Comfortably set in lush green flora, Myett’s unassuming appearance blends so casually with its green surroundings as though it was conceived out of the Earth alongside the soaring trees that encompass the restaurant. Founded in 1992 by Kareem Rhymer, his wife Valerie and brother Sandman, the family-run complex was developed from a simple shack bar and restaurant to the multipurpose complex that repeat visitors adore with passion and a fierce loyalty. Guests will feel like they have been introduced to their second home, though many proudly deem Myett’s their sole home. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, appetizers, main courses and desserts 365 days a year, the diverse menu ranges from dishes red snapper, lobster and tuna steak to bar-eats like ribs, wings and nachos. Myett’s even bakes fresh bread and makes sandwiches to go.



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The panoramic view of the bay as well as over the outdoor venue titled the Outback area preserves patrons’ pleasure, hosting major acts like Shaggy and Tarrus Riley on a 40-foot stage, with space for 1,500 people. It is no wonder that Foxy’s, located within nature’s little secret, is not so secret and to the contrary, internationally known and overwhelmingly popular.

Contact info: (284) 495-9258

Their range of services seems limitless, from selling bags of ice to offering local weather reports from their communication centre to accommodating weddings on their beach. If a few days off the boat arouses interest, excursions around the island are available, with a historical, photo and rum tour as selections. The natural ambiance of the vivid surroundings, abundant wildlife, fresh

open air atmosphere, and charmingly warm service fuse to create a dining experience that has become internationally acclaimed. If it’s been a rough sail across the Virgin Island waters, Myett’s Sea Spa offers all amenities to pamper your palette, whether you’re seeking a soothing massage, a rejuvenating facial or indulgence in a manicure or pedicure. Green Globe certified, the restaurant employs all measures to protect the surrounding environment, involving themselves in community initiatives like their annual Underwater Beach Clean-Up, protecting and preserving the famed waters that sailors from all over the world relish. With a host of hotel rooms and cottages, seafarers may find they want to return to land for a few days; the charismatic hotel exceeds wishes even providing a unique bottle of complimentary Myett’s rum in each room. Olivia’s Corner Store offers many great souvenirs and gifts to take a little piece of the family-owned restaurant back to your boat. If it’s the music that entertained the family or local art design that impressed upon you, an assortment of items are available. In the evenings, live entertainment from a variety of local and international artists will stimulate dancing shoes and even if aboard your boat, the beats and melodies that effervesce onto the ocean. When it’s time to depart and head to the next destination, it will be difficult to leave after seeing the hypnotic and serene Myett’s sunset, that lulls the senses into the perfect relaxation.

Contact info: (284) 495-9649

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June 2013


Pirates Bight: Norman Island The island's real treasure

Norman Island’s location along the Sir Francis Drake Channel has made it a primary stop for travellers over the years. During the time of plundering and piracy, the island acted as a hideaway for rebellious swashbucklers and privateers. Today, snorkeling and diving enthusiasts venture to Norman Island to explore its famous caves and rocky outposts, where it is rumored buried treasure still exists. The real treasure of Norman Island, however, is Pirates Bight—a chic beachside bar and restaurant that stands on the ruins of Blackbeard’s domain. The newly refurbished restaurant celebrates the island’s storied past, only with less violence and treachery and a bit more barefoot elegance. Pirates Bight has accommodated sundrenched sailors since 2002, earning a reputation as a family-friendly destination offering relaxed afternoons and legendary late-night parties. Today, the famous retreat has a new, modern look after undergoing renovations led by Lane Pettigrew, the renowned architect responsible for St Barths’ Nikki Beach and other chic beachside retreats around the Caribbean. Together with a team of designers, crews from Meridian Construction and hospitality experts, Pirates Bight has reimagined the dining and lounging experience. “Our goal was to take the very best of the trendy beach destinations of South Beach or Rio de Janeiro and combine it with the unique charm of the Caribbean,” Pettigrew said of the locale’s barefoot refinement. “The result is a modern beach-lounge experience with all the comforts and amenities of a first class resort, but with that hint of mystery.” Along with the aesthetic renovations, Pirates has also refined its culinary palette, offering new takes on old favourites. Jamaican Chef Patrick Williams



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brings experience and expertise to Caribbean fare, infusing local seafood, chicken and beef dishes with mouthwatering homemade flavors. At the teak bar, patrons line up for the famed Pirates’ Bushwacker, a frozen cocktail that will surely shiver your timbers. Norman Islands’ storied past and celebrated present make it one of the most visited attractions in the Caribbean. Pirates Bight—where beachside fare meets modern elegance—offers travellers the opportunity to soak in the sun, enjoy fresh cuisine and daydream of tall tales.

Contact info: (284) 443-1305








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3/8/2012 12:58:41 PM June 2013

Saba Rock:

The living room of North Sound

The North Sound, Virgin Gorda neighbourhood has long been a sailor’s paradise. The pristine waters, flourishing reefs and elite superyachts are a draw for aquatic enthusiasts from around the world. And centred within the nautical neighbourhood, Saba Rock exists as the perfect perch for travellers from all walks of life to unwind and indulge in everything that the North Sound has to offer. Fondly regarded as the living room of the North Sound, Saba attracts an eclectic mix of cruising families, world-class yachtsmen and the occasional sun-seeking celebrity. The one-acre island has a rich history, originally developed by the BVI’s most famous treasure hunter, Bert Kilbride, who for many years served as Her Majesty’s Receiver of Wrecks. Although since refined and modernized, Saba still celebrates its treasure-hunting roots, displaying the Wreck of the Rhone’s original anchor and cannon in an aquarium at the restaurant’s entrance. Today, the resort and restaurant boasts a barefoot, off-the-dock elegance. It’s current proprietor, Jonathan McManus, has blossomed the tiny establishment into the preferred North Sound hangout it is today. The McManus family has a long list of hotel and restaurant success in the Hawaiian islands, including luxury Hotel Wailea in Maui, and take a special pride in Saba. For years, the McManus family has made the BVI a second home, circumnavigating its bountiful seas and befriending the long-time residents and visitors who occupy its shores. Their love of the sea and the islands is personified at Saba Rock, with a mix of island chic and authentic charm.

“Our goal here was not to reinvent what [Kilbride] established, but to expand the reputation that Saba has built over the years, essentially as the living room of North Sound, where people can unwind after a long sail, meet and gather and enjoy the view,” said Jonathan McManus, adding that Saba also acts as a reprieve for yachtsmen looking for a hot shower, warm meal and a frosty cold beverage. At happy hour, the nautically-themed bar and comatose-inducing lounge area come alive with a mix of yacht owners, wanderlust travellers, and the famous and infamous alike, who congregate to enjoy one another’s unconventional company. The menu is extensive and varied and a bar menu is available for those in search of more casual fare. Others with a hearty appetite choose to dock up on Sundays to enjoy Saba’s all-you-caneat buffet and salad bar with a lamb or beef roast. The wrap-around restaurant and resort capitalize on North Sound’s otherworldly environs. Situated in the epicentre of paradise, Saba embodies all the postcard perfections that are seldom found but often sought-after for those searching for a piece of paradise.

Contact info: (284) 495-7711



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The BVI proudly carries the reputation as one of the most sought-after sailing hubs in the world. Aside from the azure waters and ample tradewinds, the attractive establishments on each of the islands support the

British Virgin Islands

Virgin Gorda

Jost Van Dyke



Myett's Pirates Bight Norman Island

Saba Rock

brilliance of why there are regular cruising expeditions thrusting through the territory’s grand seas. WIth succulent cuisine, friendly company and horizons that will astonish even the most worldly of travellers and create timeless memories, the BVI is worth the adventure.

June 2013


Learning to


By Traci O’Dea

Aside from taking the wheel a few times, I hadn’t driven a boat in a year and a half since I’d completed a power boating course with Alison Knights Bramble at the BVI Watersports Centre. Since I never practiced, I had no captaining confidence whatsoever. I was convinced my crewmates from Alison’s class were all island hopping on RIBs and Boston Whalers while I could barely remember how to tie on a fender. One evening at Nanny Cay beach bar, my friend Stephan Carney from King Charters assured me that driving a boat was like riding a bike. He asked if I’d like to ‘get in’ time on the water, suggesting several reallife boating situations. I planned a trip to Soggy Dollar with a lively group of friends who I knew wouldn’t judge my driving. The Sunday of our excursion, I woke up to rough seas and phone calls from nervous pals asking if it was safe to venture out (especially with me as captain). I was slightly concerned, but Stephan’s relaxed demeanor assuaged my fears. We arrived at A Dock at Nanny Cay to start our day. We loaded the boat with drinks, ice, snacks, and Stephan’s new puppy. Stephan relayed some basic procedures with me about leaving the dock. Driving a boat can be confusing. In a car, I instinctively know which way to turn the wheel, but when I’m in a boat, I tend to turn it the wrong way. Translated, I headed towards the dock as I was reversing instead of away from it and we had our first ‘ding.’ My friends twittered nervously, wondering what they’d signed up for. Several reached for their drinks – perhaps to avoid spillage, or possibly to get sufficiently inebriated to endure my driving. I refrained from having a beverage and jovially shunned my mistake. By the time we’d left the fuel dock, I was a bit ruffled but determined. I drove out to the center of the Channel, avoiding a fairly large turtle, and Stephan refreshed me on the rules of ‘right of way.’ I watched as a large catamaran seemed to be on a crash course with us, coming across the Channel at a perpendicular angle on my port side.



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Opposite: Traci sports a confident smile behind the wheel; photo by Chrystall Kanyuck. Above: the group poses for a picture in front of Steele Point; photo by Dan O’Connor.

Stephan insisted I keep course. A few of my crew looked concerned, but the sailors in the bunch seemed relaxed. I wanted to alter course and aim for its stern, but Stephan encouraged me to stay true. He wanted to demonstrate that the cat would pass many boat lengths in front of us as long as it stayed its course—but it didn’t. The catamaran tacked directly in front of us and was basically aiming right at us. Sure, I was on a little power boat, and I was able to manoeuver around it, but it did freak me out. The big, thundering sail rippled then regained its tautness, and the sailboat passed to our port side instead of crossing in front of us. The puppy slept behind me through the whole thing. Stephan later advised me that if I had stuck close to shore instead of the middle of the Channel, I would’ve had fewer encounters with sailboats. Finding calmer seas is something I would’ve liked to have done once we passed Tortola and headed to Jost Van Dyke, but there were no shorelines to protect us on our way to the other island. Some of my crewmembers had lost complete faith, while others were confident in my abilities, admitting that they couldn’t drive any better in such messy wind and waves. Scary as it was, this was where my education about reading the water commenced. From my limited sailing experience, I had learned to read patches of wind on the surface, but now I had to predict the waves. I started doing a bit of surfing on the crests and gained a feel for the timing of the waves. A few rogue waves still smacked into the boat, but I had just begun almost enjoying the choppy seas by the time we reached the unbelievably blue shallows at White Bay. I let the boys anchor, assuring them that I’d retained all my anchoring skills from my power boating course. As they laid the bow and stern

anchors, the rest of us packed up our dry bags and donned our sunhats for an afternoon on the beach. As we all waded to shore, a few of the guys complained that my driving was “too damn slow” while the others applauded my surfing skills. I celebrated with a few painkillers and took the rest of the day off. The next week, Stephan contacted me about getting in some more practice—this time to another popular power boating destination—The Willy-T. I asked one of my journalist gal pals to tag along, letting her know that she’d also have to take some photos and possibly tolerate a few docking exercises before we went to the infamous floating restaurant and bar. We used the same boat, SeaKing, and Stephan had me pull out of the spot where the boat was parked on A Dock and pick him up on the fuel dock. This time, I felt a bit more natural as I reversed, despite some canoeing kids nearby, hamming it up for the camera. After a few driving and docking drills around the Nanny Cay docks, we headed over to the Bight. The sea was calmer than it had been on the previous Sunday, and as Stephan instructed me to get the boat on the plane, I understood what he meant. I could feel the big difference in the smoothness of the ride which I remembered from Alison’s lessons. I was also more confident with fewer people on the boat, and weight distribution was less of an issue. As I steered the Boston Whaler towards The Willy-T: I experienced a Zen moment where my actions became instinct. I just hope that I practice my power boating more than I’ve practiced other watersports. The nice thing about King boats is that I can hire one with a captain, so I have can have the option of driving without the pressure.

As we all waded to shore, a few of the guys complained that my driving was “too damn slow” while the others applauded my surfing skills.

June 2013


Artists’ Corner

Quito posts up in front of a mural outside of his restaurant.

Story and photos by Dan O’Connor

Most people know Quito Rymer for his music. Three evenings a week his rhythmic folk and reggae songs resonate from his beachside restaurant and bar in Cane Garden Bay and echo through the hillsides. 26


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But if you ask the internationally acclaimed musician how he would describe himself, he would simply answer: “I’m an artist.” Quito’s work is immortalized on concrete canvases around the BVI, lining the walls from Cane Garden Bay to Ridge Road and East End. His experience drawing on walls dates back to his childhood, he explained. “Back then, I sketched—doodled—all over the walls in the house or wherever there was a blank spot,” he said of primary school days, growing up in Cane Garden Bay. “But as I grew older, I started to want to do more, so I paid attention to perspective and details. I met a great painter from Massachusetts, and she taught me about art and shadows that make the painting more real.” Without formal training, Quito was able to hone his skills; his work today reveals remarkable maturity. As Quito grew his passion for art,

Back then, I sketched— doodled—all over the walls in the house or wherever there was a blank spot,

Quito often paints familiar scenes of the sea.

June 2013


he also developed an interest in music. By 14, he was given his first guitar and quickly learned to jam, playing at local churches and around the community during Christmas. By 18, together with his brother and a couple of friends, he started a “soul band,” playing gigs at weddings and parties. He traveled to the USVI and his workload expanded, consuming much of his creative outflow; his painting took a backseat. “But then a member of our band died in an accident—it chilled us, really—and we came back and did a lot less [music],” he said of the unfortunate event. “I went to the US, and that’s when I started sketching and painting more.” Eventually, he moved back to Cane Garden Bay, where he developed land into what is now famously known as Quito’s Gazebo and Ole Works Inn. His artistic flame was reignited. “I would sit here during the daytime and it was quiet—just like this,” he said as we chatted on his gazebo patio. The lapping waves provided a rhythm through nature. “I would have an art show almost every two weeks, painting mostly with watercolours at that time.” As a means of income, painting and a start-up business didn’t pay the bills, so his soulful music resurfaced. Eventually, Quito and the Edge was formed and his musical acclaim traveled beyond the BVI’s watery boundaries. “I wanted to make sure both of my talents were able to work together,” he said. “When I’m working on a piece of art, and it’s not really where I want it to be, I’ll back off and play my guitar; it causes me to come back and vice versa. They both work in unison.”

I just need enough time. If I had it, boy, all of these walls around here would be full of murals.

The marriage between canvased art and musical art also has worked as a stress reliever in his life, he said. Today, Quito plays three nights a week at his Gazebo-restaurant, and he also manages his business. He hopes to hire someone to take over management responsibilities to help free up more time for painting, he said. By the end of this month, he said he hopes to have a finished gallery on display on the second floor of the restaurant. “I just need enough time,” the inherent artist said, continuing with a hearty chuckle. “If I had it, boy, all of these walls around here would be full of murals.”

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By Stephen L France

The charity was decided and the mission set: Sail an IC24 boat single-handed around the entire British Virgin Islands. It would be the first recorded sail, should he accept his mission. Conch Charters General Manager Andrew Waters told me about his plans when I spoke with him in mid-May, a few days shy of our deadline. Overall, he hopes to promote awareness and raise funds for a charity seeking a cure for Vitiligo, a skin pigmentation disorder. The funds would reach non-profit organization Vitiligo Support International, which endeavours to provide treatments for patients of Vitiligo. He also intends to donate part of the funds amounted to the music programme at Tortola’s Cedar International School. Waters, who anticipated a completion of the course between 36 and 48 hours, said that he immediately wanted to take action after his 11-year-old daughter, Chaya, was diagnosed with the sporadic, unpredictable and incurable condition eight months ago. Due to the random nature of the affliction as well as its rarity, many people are oblivious of the disease and the distress it causes. Although there are treatments available, the condition is still under thorough examination by scientists. This compelled Waters to make his contribution to the charity with the skill he is most adept with— namely, sailing.

Above left: Andrew on an IC24; posing with a confident grin, ready to take on the world. Photos by Jaeda Wooldridge.

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June 2013


Above: Waters during a round of solo navigation. Opposite: Dad enjoying some fatherly time in the pool.

Waters plans to circumnavigate the BVI in an IC24, a 24-foot-vessel designed to hold a 4-5-person crew. “I will have literally a cooler on board for drinks, mainly water, but also energy-type drinks,” said the enthusiastic sailor, discussing the conditions of the excursion. “In terms of food, pasta type food for the carbs and thermos flasks with hot soup will be with me too. Jaeda, my girlfriend, is in charge of the provisions; maybe there will be a surprise or two in the box too.” Sailing on Conch-Querer, and similar in fashion to all IC24s, it holds no cabin, sleeping or bathroom amenities. “Sleep, or lack of it and the sun I expected to be the enemy really, but in terms of rest I will get short little 10- to 20-minute cat naps when I can. I can’t really say when they will be, but they won’t be scheduled. It will be as and when I can give my location and the weather at the time,” the bold voyager admitted. “Given the total lack of comforts, it will be wherever I am sitting at the time. Most likely though in the cockpit of the boat so that I can be up and see what’s happening quickly. There really isn’t any room below to get comfortable.” The avid sailor will be outside for the duration of the course which he estimated at 200 nautical miles, starting and commencing at Nanny Cay. Of the unconventional course, he said, “It seems silly, perhaps even more so, as I will ‘go to come back’ by leaving all of the Islands of the British Virgin Islands on my port side.” Relaying further details about the circumnavigation, the experienced seafarer of 10 years said, “I will exit into the Caribbean Sea and sail in an anti-clockwise direction leaving Virgin Gorda to port being the furthest east point, Anegada being the furthest North and then the Tobago cays furthest east.”



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Discussing the milestones of the course, Waters informed me that there are milestones that will instil optimism. “There are areas that I would say are highlights that I look forward to getting past, but the toughest part will be the fatigue and the weather. I like my sleep.” He continued explaining that clearance of Virgin Gorda and successful navigation around the Northern side of Anegada will be momentous on the journey. Response at his grand challenge varies, but “Some people would answer that I have to be a bit mental to do this in the first place, so perhaps I am already prepared in that regard!” Waters said. “Most of the prep has gone into making sure the boat is well prepared and safe, which has come largely down to three guys that I would like to mention, Gerard “Big G” Kraakman, Huw “Taff” Pritchard-Jones, and Dave “Scooby” Allen, they have all been great support.” Concluding, Andrew expressed that he keeps himself in reasonable bodily fitness, mainly from being on the water, but confessed that: “From a physical aspect, I actually promised myself to do more, but I think I should be just fine! It’s only a little boat after all.” Andrew made certain to stock up on all emergency gear for what should materialise as a great voyage and a huge accomplishment.

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By Stephen L France Photos provided by DDM

I have heard the theory that when nature strikes—whether personified by an earthquake, torrential rainfall or a hurricane—it is an uncompromising force with the sole mission of restoring balance. In an attempt to reacquire the environment’s stability, it works without prejudice as an automatic retort to naturally reinstate equilibrium and to combat decades of unnatural burdens it has incurred.

Some disagree with this argument, but what is fact is once again, the Atlantic Caribbean hurricane season is upon the BVI; as many environmental specialists and hurricane survivalists will advise, preparation by home and yacht owners is the word that cannot be stressed enough. Understanding the Adversary Department of Disaster Management Director Sharleen Dabreo explained that our hurricane season is produced as a result of low pressure systems affecting Atlantic waters or the Caribbean sea. “This is based on the trends over the years,” she said. “It eventually develops into a storm and when it gets to about 74 mph, then you classify it as a hurricane and it’s at that point where it’s actually named.” Hurricanes have only become complicated due to man’s development,



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our impact on the ozone and climate change. “There are a lot of factors that are playing into the whole climate process that’s causing these hurricanes to become more intense,” the director said. “These are natural processes that have to take place…but when [they] are impacted by conditions that are imposed by man, then you have these detrimental effects.” The DDM director continued, expressing that the best retort to a hurricane or more wisely, reaction to the early forecast is for property

and yacht owners to be proactive in protection of their living situation and vessels. “In people’s minds, a hurricane comes and it’s disaster. It only becomes a disaster when you cannot respond.”

2013 Season Forecast The Atlantic Caribbean Hurricane Season runs from June 1 till November 30 with the peak being August to the early part of October; however, storms are changing from their previous patterns. “We’re seeing different trends. We’re seeing tropical storms that are occurring outside of that season,” said Dabreo. “You’re seeing changes in patterns.” Scientific models incorporating data on El Niño and La Niña patterns have been run by a multitude of institutions across the world, showing little disparity between their results. The DDM director relayed that these organisations include Professors William M. Gray and Philip J. Klotzbach of Colorado State University, who are lead scientists on hurricane predictions in the BVI’s part of the world, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and institutions in Australia and the UK. “This year they are saying that 2013 will be more active than the median years, so the median years run from 1981 to 2010,” she said. “For this year, they’re estimating 9 hurricanes, 18 storms, 95 storm days where storms can develop. They’re estimating 40 hurricane days, 4 major hurricanes and 9 major hurricane days. What is even more significant, is the probability for a major hurricane—Cat 3 -5 –tracking into the Caribbean is at 61%. The average over 1981 to 2010 was 42%,” the director continued.

Still, it is very hard to predict hurricanes and the erratic ‘wobbling effect’ as described by the director. The change can be so rapid. With Hurricane Earl in August 2010—the last serious year for storms—the system curved it away from the BVI despite predictions that had the island on a state of alert. Many would have witnessed Earl’s provision of a natural pruning of the island, which was arguably a benefit to some who beheld a new clear view for sunsets at their properties.

June 2013


Devistation from Hurricane Earl is still evident in Baughers Bay.

HURRICANE HOLES Paraquita Bay, Tortola

Hans Creek, Beef Island

Sea Cows Bay, Tortola

The Bight, Norman Island

Nanny cay, Tortola (private)

South Sound, Salt Island

Hodges Creek, Tortola

Gorda Sound, Virgin Gorda

Inner Harbour, Tortola

Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke

Trellis Bay, Beef Island

Preparation is Everything It’s the easiest thing in theory: there’s an impending hurricane; therefore, all a home or yacht owner can do is prepare. This can be organised months ahead to make the process as smooth as possible. “Too many people wait until we issue a warning and then they’re rushing to the supermarket,” the DDM director said. “From June you need to start getting into the practice. When I go to the supermarket, I may buy a few more cans of dry goods that can last me for 6 months so you’re not in the supermarket rushing to get things at that point.” Virgin Island property and yacht owners are always advised to walk with awareness about the weather reports. Due to the increase in probability of a hurricane in the Caribbean this year, it is highly recommended that people prepare early.

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Guidance against the Gale Force from the DDM • If you’re a homeowner, you want to review all the areas of your property that may be destabilised by heavy rain. Also, the fact that we are going through a drought period may have caused loosening of soil at areas on your property. Look to strengthen those places

• Review water outlets from your home – is it going to create a significant problem for you? Is it going to destabilise a bank or hillside and create issues? Look at where you have large boulders – do you think they need to be moved before they impact your home?

• One of the key things is to trim your trees that are close to the home, because they become ‘missiles’ in a storm; they will break windows and so forth. Trees also increase chances of rodents and other animals getting into your cisterns and property

• Clean and clear your cisterns early, make sure that their openings is clear. You don’t want a cistern overflowing and creating instability in that portion of the land

• Consider harvesting crops? Especially if this is your income (farmers) •

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June 2013


• Business owners need to look at their signs that they may need to secure • Offices need to make certain they remove all important documentation from the floor; a common practice, especially in the trust companies and legal firms

• For boat owners, the plan of marinas like Soper’s Hole is to give owners advance warning to either haul their vessels out of the yard or any other BVI boat yard. Hurricane holes like Paraquita Bay and Coral Bay are well advised hurricane shelters. The Voyage Charters fleet based in Soper’s Hole has the privilege of having a customized haul-out facility at Soper’s Hole Boat Yard. This amenity is capable of hauling the entire Voyage fleet within a 24-hour period. The larger vessels of the fleet have customized hurricane moorings in Soper’s Hole Following the predictions report that was released by Colorado State in April 2013, this month will see the publication of an updated version and then another report will be published in August. Hurricane Season is the annual event that invokes apprehension, but it need not be if you are prepared. Also, the Virgin Islands are renowned for hurricane parties when groups get together and enjoy each other’s company during the obligatory impacts of nature. Concluding, if you are prepared, don’t worry, it will blow over. Stay up-to-date with weather conditions and advisories at

By Kate Henderson and Fran Morrell, House BVI



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It’s that time of year again when we have to start thinking about hurricanes.

Most of us that have lived here for a while have experienced at least one storm. In retrospect, we have learned the routine preparations for this turn of weather and the inevitable power outages; however, here are a few creative top tips that will hopefully make your hurricane experience a bit more manageable!

Get ahead: Before the storm hits and electricity is lost, try and get ahead of yourself. Make lots of easy food that just needs reheating (with a propane oven or gas ring). Do all the laundry, change all the sheets and wash and dry all towels etc. You will need lots of dry, clean clothes and blankets. There will be a clean-up and many chores to do after the storm passes, so try and start with a fresh slate.

The big freeze: As soon as you know a hurricane is likely to be coming our way, set your fridge and freezer to the coldest setting. Fill up as many empty 2 litre bottles and gallon-sized freezer bags with water and freeze to create ice packs. Keep coolers and cool bags to hand for extra cold storage.

Beat the boredom: One of the biggest problems with riding out a storm is the long tedious hours with no power and nothing to do. This is especially essential with young children. Little kids love torches, especially head lamps that can keep them occupied for hours - just make sure you have plenty of batteries! Stock up on board games, puzzles, arts and crafts and make sure those Ipads are charged!

Peaceful pets: Keep in mind that storms can be very distressing for animals, particularly if they are largely outdoor dwellers. Create a warm dry bed for them and have lots of their favourite treats on hand. As a safety precaution, make sure your pet has upto-date information on their collar in case they get lost or disoriented during the storm.

Box it up: Collect plastic totes, old towels and blankets, and large garbage bags to protect any valuables and breakables. Second-hand towels and blankets can be picked up cheaply at your local charity shop. Be aware of any outdoor clay/terracotta plant pots that could get smashed by flying debris. If they are too large to bring inside, move them into a protected corner and wrap in bubble-wrap. If you anticipate flooding, keep personal items like photo-albums, passports and important documents in an airtight box.

Hopefully, it will be a quiet and peaceful hurricane season this year. Being prepared is crucial to riding out this period safely and sanely.

Provisioning for Summer Sailing By Stephen L France Adopted from Susie Younkle’s original recipe in TASTE

Interior Design and Project Management New York



Beverly Hills

Published by aLookingGlass Ltd. Caribbean

Like ice cream? Who doesn’t. Unfortunately, ice cream is usually an orphan, rarely making a boat provisioning shopping list – primarily, because freezers on yachts often lack the cooling function of a home freezer. Life on a boat requires a bit of practical thinking and perhaps a few sacrifices in provisioning, like the luxury of ice cream; however, the innovative practicalities that can be employed allow sailors to enjoy the delights that they would otherwise forego. Susie Younkle’s solution to this frozen dessert enigma is the Italian dessert known as Granita, a refreshing, icy ‘sweet’ made from fruit juice, water and sugar. The name emerges from the granular texture produced in the stir and freeze process. Although resembling a beverage “the Granita is actually a dessert…This Granita combines some of my favourite island flavours,” Susie said, referring to the dessert’s unique appearance and taste. “ It’s also wonderfully light and just sweet enough to satisfy my craving for dessert.” In its final form, the dessert is a slushy, light way of quenching your thirst on a hot summer evening – perfect for this season which promises to be a scorcher.

¼ C sugar ¼ C boiling water 1 C freshly squeezed grapefruit juice ¼ C lime juice 1 Tbl grenadine ¾ C finely diced ripe mango 2 tsp finely chopped mint

In a medium bowl, combine boiling water and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add fruit juices and grenadine to sugar mixture. Pour all liquid into a shallow baking dish (e.g. an 11” x 7” dish). Place in freezer and freeze for about 4 hours or longer, scraping mixture with a fork every hour or two. Combine mango and mint in a small bowl. Divide granita among four bowls and top with mango-mint salad. Garnish with mint sprigs if desired. Serves four.


experience a Caribbean watersports vacation like no other

Come ashore! Visit our lively resort community and enjoy unsurpassed watersports, sailing, and activities for every member of your family in the spectacular BVI. wATeRSPoRTS and aCTIVITIES



Special pricing is available for bulk orders. A tasty gift for charter guests and villa guests.


June 2013




Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

A pelican perched on Saba Rock’s roof ponders what the future will hold. Photo by Dan O’Connor.



WILDLIFE By Clive Petrovic

We appreciate the Virgin Islands for its epic sailing culture, its grand, panoramic views, the comfortable climate, and the unique wildlife surrounding—all of which contribute to the tropical allure we value so highly.

Everything you need to make your house a home... Located next to Tico and HIHO, Wickhams Cay 2, Tortola, BVI

June 2013


A s we work on our preparations for the coming

hurricane season, remember that we are not alone in dealing with the awesome forces of nature.

storm can easily become the final nail in the coffin. What about our own wildlife here in the Virgin Islands? What do you suppose happens to the Flamingos on the pancake flat salt ponds of Anegada? If you have large populations numbering in the tens of thousands, you can afford to lose a big part and still recover. But, the population today is only a little over 200. A big storm could undo two decades of conservation efforts. Think about our tiny hummingbirds and Bananaquits, or sugar birds as they are locally called. These birds rely on nectar from flowers. Flowers are delicate and most do not survive strong winds, therefore, if the little birds are able to find shelter and survive the storm, they will find almost nothing to eat. In the time it takes for the flowers to regrow, many little will starve.

While there is not much we can do to protect wildlife from the ravages of a storm, there is a lot we can do to lessen the blow and help nature recover more quickly. We can be better stewards of the environment, reduce pollution, plan our developments— particularly near the coast—so that the negative impacts are reduced. Our wild creatures already have to adapt and survive hurricanes; humanity should provide that extra support via environmentally friendly initiatives. During this season, while we pay attention to weather reports and double check the annual preparations—focusing on our properties and yachts—we usually don’t think about the impacts of these tropical storms on the natural environment. Beaches may disappear and trees become uprooted, but our empathy sometimes falls short of the other aspects that occur during a storm. The environment has been here for millions of years and has adapted to the natural forces of weather, but wildlife suffers a lot during this period. This damage has increased proportionally with humanity’s ‘intervention’ on the environment. From a humanitarian point of view, it is discomforting that so many animals do not survive the fierce conditions associated with storms. With these natural pressures now compounded by human induced pollution and habitat degradation, the reality is that large numbers of plants and animals are killed. When a tropical forest is leveled by a major hurricane, new habitat is created and the trees will grow again. But, what about the lizards, frogs, and furry little mammals hiding among the branches, or the baby birds huddled in the nest? It has been well documented that hurricanes can drastically reduce populations of many birds, especially the big ones. Numbers of pelicans, gulls and terns often drop off after a storm. It may take years to rebuild the populations. Many years ago, a major hurricane passed through the everglades of south Florida. Afterwards, park personnel found thousands of dead egrets and herons. Today, scientists try to document the impact of storms on wildlife. This is especially significant where rare and endangered species are concerned. When a species is teetering on the brink of extinction, a major



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Flamingos are among birds that face concerns during hurricane season.

It has been well documented that hurricanes can drastically reduce populations of many birds, especially the big ones. Numbers of pelicans, gulls and terns often drop off after a storm. It may take years to rebuild the populations. Survival is not much easier in the ocean that sailors and divers relish greatly, especially the shallow coastal areas. Fish, lobster, snails, and most reef creatures will do their best to hide and find safe shelter. Unfortunately, the turbulence and energy associated with storm waves can dislodge entire coral heads and cast them on a beach.

Following a hurricane in 1995, visitors to Cooper Island found hundreds of juvenile Queen Conch dead and washed ashore. Many more, still alive, were wedged into rock crevices just below the water line. Volunteers worked for hours trying to dig out the surviving conch and release them in deeper water. Beaches in the path of any hurricane will be littered with marine life that could not escape. While hurricanes can be damaging to wildlife, it is also an important part of the tropical ecosystem. For example, we know that hurricanes act as a gigantic engine that moves energy from the overheated tropics to the higher latitudes, maintaining the heat budget of our planet. In the process, hurricanes redistribute flora and fauna over a wide area sustaining the pristine beauty of the BVI. Both plants and animals expand

their ranges as a result of hurricanes. Proof of this can be seen along the US east coast, or even the UK, where bird watchers flock to the shore after a storm passes for the chance to see rare tropical seabirds swept from their normal island homes. There is little doubt that hurricanes are one of the forces that helped shape the flora and fauna of the Caribbean islands, but an important part of this attractive environment is the wildlife. If we want to continue enjoying our Virgin Islands environment for all the wonders it offers the boat cruises on clean turquoise waters, our beautiful landscape views, our fantastic climate when considering our hurricane preparations this season, think of the critters as well.

Help make Newbie a better resource for those planing to move to or visit the BVI For 2014 we are asking for readers suggestions like: New content and sections Useful info Not useful info Sections to expand Things that should be on the map Fill out our short questionnaire – Those who submit the best stuff will get they’re photo and credit placed in Newbie 2014 print edition. Everyone else who submits comments will be credited for their support online. Deadline is July 1st

For Pools...

It’s crystal clear who offers the best selec�on of pool maintenance products! At CaribSupply you’ll find chlorine, pumps, filters, ligh�ng and more for residen�al and commercial pools.

Purcell Estate, Road Town, Tortola. Tel: 494-2885.

June 2013



Est. 1984.

The ACE Hardware store at Drakes Traders is the ultimate one-stop shop for all your home improvement and maintenance needs. Not in the store? No problem. We can bring in any ACE product. Lawn and Garden Outdoor Living Electrical & Lighting Tools Power Tools Hardware Paints & Sealers

And many more!

Pool Visit our showroom located at Fish Bay, Tortola


We guarantee the quality and reliability of our products and customer service.

Home improvement

(284) 494 3282 | |



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

June 2013


Luxury Villa Rentals


ocal Expertise. Global Exposure.



From: $3,000 to $6,000 per week

From: $2,030 to $5,600 per week

This luxurious residence is situated in popular Belmont Estate with spectacular views to Jost Van Dyke and the Caribbean Sea. Three bedrooms (two master suites and one in a separate building), dining room & dining pavilion. Spacious living area opens onto a large, covered and colonnaded, wraparound terrace & pool terrace.

Located in Long Bay Resort, Villa Valentina has three levels. Each level is a self-contained guest suite. Can be rented whole or as separate accommodations. Adaptable and ideal for families, groups or couples. Use of all resort amenities; swimming pool, tennis, fitness centre, spa and beach - all within a short walking distance.

Exquisite Properties For Sale

















Beachfront splendour in Tortola. Exquisitely appointed villa on Long Bay’s sandy beach. Three floors, over 9000 sq.ft., 6 ensuite bedrooms, gourmet kitchen, infinity pool and castle tower.

Situated above Little Bay, Tortola. 2 air-cond. bedroom suites, large living, dining, kitchen and a separate unit w/1-bedroom suite each by the pool. Ocean & beach views and a short walk to the white sand beach.

Only 42 ft. above the beach in Virgin Gorda with stunning views. Two structures: one with living room, ½ bath, kitchen & dining; the other has 3-bed, 3-bath & 3 private terraces and swimming pool patio.

4-bed, 4.5 bath private house with a spectacular view overlooking Hodge’s Creek and the Sir Francis Drake Channel with the verdant peaks of the numerous islands in the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.

Carol Olympitis & Wanda Manning T: 284.494.5700 E: VI PROPERTY & YACHT

Boasting a pinnacle outlook over Long Bay Beach, the house has large covered porches by the pool that offer cool shade & breezes all day long. 2-bed, 2-bath traditional home with beautiful gardens.

Maritha Keil M: 284.340.5500

Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated.


Sitting atop a scenic promontory, with commanding views of the islands, bays and sailing yachts. 6 air-cond bedrooms w/ensuite baths – and generous community areas. Swimming pool and large patio.

Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Secluded property, on over six acres, offering an elevated position on almost flat land. Exceptional views spanning from Virgin Gorda to St. John, USVI. 5-bed, 3.5 bath. Professional kitchen & dining for10.

Sea Sight is a 2 bed, 2 bath private home on 2.1 acres with a dramatic position overlooking the passage between Big Camano and Little Camano with views from Lee Bay, Guana Island, Tortola and Beef Island.

Enquiries Mill Mall, PO Box 188 Road Town, Tortola, VG1110 |

“We understand the true value of a home in the Islands”

AQUAMARE M A N G O B AY $16,000,000 Three 8,000sqft beachfront Villas. Setting a new standard for luxury in the BVI

D ’A R C Y ’ S R U N AWAY S P R I N G B AY $2,500,000

RAKU C R O O K B AY $5,500,000

LAVIDA N A I L B AY $5,500,000

19 room custom beachfront New build contemporary 5 home. No other BVI home bedroom home on the beach finished to this standard. with large infinity pool.




S AT O R I V I L L A S M A H O E B AY $2,950,000

5.5 acre historic, waterfront Estate located at Smuggler’s Cove beach. 5 bed home.

4 bed main home, 2 bed guest home. Glorious views. Short stroll from fantastic beach

A N ATO L A L I T T L E B AY $1,600,000


T H E R E E F S AT B A L L A S T B AY $1,950,000

2 acres 3 bedrooms. Walk to Walk to the beach from this fabulous Brand new architect’s home Spring Bay Beach. Beautiful 4 bedroom home with pool. Simply marries contemporary luxury stonework, boulders and views. stunning views of North Sound! with Caribbean comfort.

Delightful 4 bed home, short stroll from Tortola’s beach.

in private, gated estate. Views simply breathtaking!

THE RICE HOUSE $695,000 Delightful island cottage on Spyglass Hill. 3 beds, pool, great neighbourhood.

S E A WAT C H , V G $650,000 Lovely 3 bedroom villa with wonderful ocean views, breezes & awesome boulders!

THE HANDSOME BEACH HOUSE $525,000 A delightful 2 bed cottage right on the beach at Handsome Bay. Calling out to be expanded!

Under $1m

BREEZEHAVEN $895,000 Two 3 bed homes with pool for the price of one! Outstanding views at Havers. N A N N Y C AY M A R I N A







FROM $850,000

Nanny Cay is Tortola’s flagship marina with berths for 180 yachts, full service boatyard, pool, restaurants, shops, beach etc. Nanny Cay Village - 32 waterfront townhouses with docks - is nestled within this thriving marina. Finished to the highest standards, these 2 & 3 bedroom homes are for sale turn key, fully furnished if required. Guaranteed marina berths available for larger boats. Competitive, entirely optional rental program available.

R E A L E S TAT E B V I (284) 495 3000 Visit our offices at Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola, or Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda

June 2013


For all of your real estate needs, Smiths Gore is one of the pre-eminent real estate advisors in the British Virgin Islands and the Caribbean. With offices on Tortola and Virgin Gorda Smiths Gore provides in depth residential services covering all the islands.



Golden Pavillion US$7,750,000





Palm Ridge US$5,900,000

Samsara US$2,975,000




Asolare US$4,900,000




Tingalayo US$3,200,000



Doveland US$2,150,000

The Landing US$795,000

Aquamare US$4,500,000

For more information on these listings or additional offerings, call 284 494 2446.







Palm Grove Villa US$450,000







Little DIx Bay US$4,200,000




The Beach House US$795,000









Pond Bay US$6,700,000

British Virgin Islands Britannic Hall, P.O. Box 135, , Tortola Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, Virgin Gorda RT (284) 494 2446 VG (284) 495 5944 E

United Kingdom 17-18 Old Bond Street, London W1S 4PT T +44 (0) 207 290 1616 E

2010 Winner, “Best Vacation Experience.” –Fodor’s Gold Choice Award

SOL Y SOMBRA Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

US$8 Million This spectacular beachfront villa boasts four beautifully decorated air-conditioned suites, each furnished with custom-made teak furniture. Outside amenities include an ocean-front infinity pool and lit tennis court, bound within lush tropical gardens. Inside, take advantage of a European-style kitchen, private movie theater, daily maid service and state-of-the-art gym. An in-villa cook is available upon request.

Smiths Gore Limited : : British Virgin Islands

T 1(284) 494 2446 F 1(284) 494 2141 E


Distinctly Refined. Exceptionally Rare. Consciously Preserved. On the secluded eastern tip of Virgin Gorda lies a place where life is spent in perfect harmony with the ocean tides. Here, spread across 300 pristine acres, Oil Nut Bay offers freehold legacy ownership opportunities and unparalleled resort experiences in a setting where attention to detail and casual elegance abound. Contact us to schedule a personalized visit or to arrange resort reservations.



Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

1 284 393 1000


1 248 364 2400

Virgin Islands Property & Yacht - June 2013  

The first magazine I constructed and edited - Stephen L France

Virgin Islands Property & Yacht - June 2013  

The first magazine I constructed and edited - Stephen L France