Thursday, February 28, 2008

An unfortunate coincidence

Today's BVI News online has an unfortunate coincidence... the banner has an advert for the latest Suzuki 4X4 promoting its 4 wheel ABS.. unfortunately, just below the advert is one such vehicle (even the same colour) after hitting a coconut tree!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Road Party

Came across this band setting up on the roadside.... looks like a Sunday tradition but if I am not mistaken, it will be church songs more likely than reggae.


Fresh fish is a must in the BVI although some people tell me that you shouldn't eat fish caught in the these waters because of the high levels of mercury and a bacteria that can be found on some species of fish..... this guy was quite happy with his lobster and fish!

Apple and Carrot Bays

Had brunch, this is a very American practice which is part of life in the BVI, at Banana Keet Cafe which overlooks Apple Bay and Carrot Bay this morning.. great views.

For those back home

As the weather is miserable back in Gib.. just to let you know that here it is great beach weather :)  Check out the funky shorts!

Sage Mountain

After a promising start to a beach day with clear blue skies early in the morning the day soon turned to a tropical downpour.. so in comes plan B... trip to Sage Mountain. 
This is a National Park and is a rain forest.. what better place to be in the rain.  The park is completely unexpected and looks nothing like the rest of Tortola.  It is pleasant here in terms of heat and is well shaded.  The walk itself is along well marked trails although the rain does mean a lot of mud and some slippery stones!
You are rewarded with some nice views across the BVI and into the US Virgin Islands and some exercise:)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lap Dancing Club update

Good thing that I dont frequent these locales. ... see news article below from ...Crystals is the name of the club!

"The owner of Crystals Night Club in Freebottom Gabriel James has been hospitalised and is currently in stable condition after he was shot during a dispute this morning at his club. Two persons have been arrested - but not formally charged - for the shooting.

Unconfirmed reports are that James was parting a fight in the club when he was shot once in the chest.

The incident occurred at about 3 a.m."

Friday Nights

Many would think that Tortola is a sleepy little village.. others would beg to differ.
Friday night ritual is going to the Dove for drinks after work.  Here you tend to find the lawyers and financial services crowd on a Friday.. much like going to Corks back in Gibraltar I suppose.  Next door to the Dove is Castaways which passes for a pub/nightclub/pick-up joint for teenagers and yachties.  A bit further along is Le Cabanon restaurant which is really a restaurant but also known as a meeting point for people, generally the rugby crowd on Thursdays.  More up market is 15 Abbott Lane with a wonderful lounge type drinks area outside the restaurant overlooking Road Town, real classy.
Then there are the strip clubs and lap dancing locales.  I only found out that there was a lap dancing club (not the strip club I mentioned in a previous post) this week.  to get to it turn left at the end of the roundabout and then turn left again.  Entrance fee is $5 for men and $10 for women.. apparently women are discouraged from entering as "they give too much trouble".  Then today I find out that there is another lap dancing place, this one is inside a shipping container!  Whereabouts unknown... watch this space.  Apparently, an informed source who visited this locale recently, was disappointed because the day he turned up the dancer was not there as her work permit had not been renewed.. classic!
Friday nights is also good to go to Quito's in Cane Garden Bay where a DJ plays the night away.  It is interesting to see in action what I thought was a myth.  That there are two shifts to night life in Tortola.. the non-belonger shift which goes from 7-11:30/12:00am where tourists and expats go out to enjoy themselves and the belonger and down-islander shift which starts after 12:00am.  I was at Quito's at midnight and there was a sea change in who was there.  After midnight the locals go on with their grove, grinding away to the music and there was hardly a non-belonger in the locale. By the time I left, shortly after my shift, there were tons of locals making it into the place.

More diving

This most start to get boring for you, another weekend.. another dive.. another set of photos from the dive boat.  Sorry but this is the life!  It would be stupid not to... weather was superb today despite it looking very menacing this morning and a downpour when I left the house, yet the water was calm there was little wind in the Channel and the diving was great.  Barracuda, turtles, rainbow parrot fish and lobsters were notable sightings today!
I should get sent some pics of me on the dive later on in the week, so I will post them when it happens.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Cockerels and Roosters

If you follow this blog you will have noticed my disdain for roosters that decide to start calling in the early hours of the day. This usually means that they wake you up irrespective of whether or not you want to wake up. Chickens and roosters are to be found wild everywhere on the island but one group of workmen appear to have found a use for these…

..this is hearsay and the basis for this story may be unfounded, but it is credible….

They are building a new hospital in Road Town to replace the existing, somewhat in need, Peebles Hospital. The works are being conducted by mainly migrant construction workers who are put up in accommodation on the island. Well looks like the workers have also found themselves a food supply! There appears to have been a noticeable decrease in the number of chickens and roosters in the immediate vicinity of the new hospital. It is alleged that a number of workers have been asked to pay compensation for having taken the chickens and cooked them!

If only they would live near to my place… now that's a thought!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Full moon at Trellis Bay

Last night was a spectacular event, not only a full moon but also a full lunar eclipse! 
Rather than try the rather disappointing Bomba Shack again this month I went down to Trellis Bay to see what it was like.  What a great atmosphere this was.  Great live music, people dancing, stilt walkers, fire jugglers and three big fireballs lit up in the water made this a memorable night.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dive shots

Just got some photos back from my last dive.... yes that's me in the picture and some of the marine life that I came across. Photos are from Sandy who is in IT and comes from Toledo, Ohio which, surprisingly enough, I have lived at for six weeks when I was a teenager.. what a small world this is!

Eagle ray comming off the bottom

Hawksbill Turtle taking a rest on the bottom

Lobster anyone?

Yeap, this is me!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sailing Day 1.5

In what can only be considered a squall I ventured out into the big dark grey open sea and became certified on a keelboat! I am now the proud owner of a log book and have attained the American Sailboat Association's certification for keelboats... whether I would be confident to take anyone out on a sail boat is highly doubtful but at least I am qualified to do so!

The weather was absolutely atrocious... the seas were rough, it was pissing down with rain, there was a strong wind... good weather for the ducks as they say.... how we stayed there for as long as we did was a testament to our resolve to get this qualification.. we should have got extra marks on the theory exam just for turning up today.

I went out with a t-shirt and swimming trunks, ended up completely soaked as if I I had been for a swim.. not having any spare clothes with me I walked into the Quicksilver shop at the marina, soaking in my t-shirt and trunks, picked up a pair of shorts and t-shirt from the rack.. went into the changing room.. tried them on, they fit... walked out with the wet clothes in my hand (you should have seen the looks I was getting!) and told the shop keeper that I would take the clothes that I was wearing but that I needed a plastic bag for my wet clothes... she turned to me and said.. "I need the bar codes"...ummm,,, so she pointed to my neck and waist from where I pulled them off so that she could scan them and charge me accordingly (I was surprised that she didnt scan them whist still attached to the clothes-and my body)!

The photo shows me drying off just upon returning to the marina......

Tree of Shame

One of the many things to do in the BVI is to rent a powerboat, a small fishing boat or a RIB, etc.  However, there is one club that you do not want to become a member of... and that its, becoming a member of the Tree of Shame.... this tree displays recent examples of where people have taken out a boat and run the propeller into the ground.... and it costs you and extra $400 every time that you do that!  I am told that if the tree was bigger, there would be even more propeller flowers!

More cows on the road

In case you did not believe me about obstructions on the road, this is what I faced this morning on the main road into Road Town!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sailing Day 1

Had my first of two sailing lessons today.  After an hour or so in the classroom it was out to the water where I spent four hours taking the boat up and down the Sir Francis Drake Channel.  It was easier than I expected but ended up quite tiered as all the pulling of ropes, keeping steady on the deck etc takes a fair bit out of you.... now I need to study for the exam tomorrow as I was given the wrong book two weeks ago.... I need to read up on all these nautical terms that mean very little to me:)

Friday, February 15, 2008

OXO Cube

Those of you who have been following my life in the BVI from Gibraltar will understand the meaning of this post. For the rest of you this is just a photo of an OXO cube (veggie version!)

Cruise liner calls

I am always amazed by the amount of cruise liners that call into the BVI, day after day.  Almost on a daily basis there are two super liners in Road Town not including other stops at the outer islands.  Last week there were six mega liners in town... you can imagine how busy Road Town was that day... not to mention how happy the taxi drivers were!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

St Valentine's in the BVI

A bit strange to spend a St Valentine's day without someone to share it with but that's how it is. What I found very surprising is that here many ladies dress up in red and white on St Valentines. Don't know where this comes from but I think this an Americanism that has filtered through.

At work they organised a St Valentine's breakfast in which all the food was cooked by the staff. It was superb with great local food.. got so stuffed that nearly had to give lunch a break!

BTW in relation to a previous post... Johnny Cake is known like that and is not related to the person who cooks it and bush tea can literally be the nearest bush used to brew the infusion. For example today I tried lemon grass bush tea and mint bush tea. As with most natural infusions, some are known to have medicinal uses.

Limin on the laptop

Free Wi-Fi access across the BVI is easy to come by as many restaurants and bars have open Wi-Fi hotspots like this one in Village Cay Marina, have a drink, catch up on the latest news and e-mails and then head back to the yacht.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pretty Pond

Drive past this little pond which is at the top of a hill every now and again so today stopped to take a photo of it.
Today has been my 11th dive day.  Beautiful dive with tons and tons of fish all over and a few turtles fro good measure.  Someone took some photos so when I get them (if) I'll post them.

Road Obstructions

One of the many things you pick up quickly in the BVI is not to trust what you cannot see, especially when driving around the many hairpin bends on the roads.
For example, after a rainny night you can count on there have been a good number of landslides and rocks on the road so beware of them.  At night it is quite usual to have people walking on the road (there are few pavements and most streets are not lit up).
But you can also come across livestock, sheep, goats and cows are a fairly common occurrence on the roads.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


A poor attempt at catching these Pelicans in their Kamikaze dives for fish.

Main Street Road Town Tortola

Spent the morning walking around Road Town's Main Street, which I had still not seen.  Some great Caribbean colours in what is a quaint street.  Not what one would call a mjor shipping destination but still very interesting!