Welcome! Tally ho!

Our B.V.I. Adventure is designed to give our family, friends and any other interested followers a look into the life of two expatriates making their way on the island of Tortola. Tortola is the largest island in the British Virgin Islands.

So, why did we move 2,000 miles away from our home in Knoxville, Tennessee? Michael accepted a position as the director of retail and international sales for a Caribbean clothing brand.

Cheers!

Adventurers

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Kaley and Shane Arrive!

Our friends from Knoxville, Kaley and Shane flew into St. Thomas on Saturday.  They planned to take the ferry to Road Town, but when they caught a cab from the St. Thomas airport, it headed for the Red Hook ferry dock instead of the Charlotte Amalie ferry dock. 

Fortunately Kaley was able to text me and let me know that they wouldn't be arriving in Road Town at 5pm, but rather at Tortola's West End at 2:30pm.  That was fine with us, because we had planned to be on that end of the island during the day anyway. 

Instead of picking them up and taking them to the house, we suggest a quick change and a trip to nearby Smuggler's Cove!  They were game.  Here's Kaley searching her luggage for her swimsuit and cover up in the parking lot!

Getting in the wrong cab turned out to be a great move.  They got to Tortola much faster and enjoyed their first BVI beverage on the beach. 

Now that's the way to start a vacation!
Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Caribbean Design Inspiration

We are slowly but surely decorating our new house, Gecko Manor II.  Last week, new draperies went up in the bedrooms and living room. I knew packing my sewing machine and shipping it to the BVI would be a good thing...eventually!  Despite collecting dust for a year, it worked just fine.  {I'm still trying to find the right time of day to photograph them; with the bright sunshine beaming into the room, it's difficult!}

We moved into the new house in November; the holidays soon followed which meant my decorating focus was the 9 foot fraser fir.  But I'm happy to report, we're back at it!  Just like this blog, the accents in the living room are a little bright! 


And when I am in need of a little design inspiration, I check out the blog of fellow Caribbean dweller, India Hicks. {That's about where our similarities end...I was not a model for Ralph Lauren, nor was I a flower girl in Princess Di's wedding...Ha!}
If you recognize the name, maybe it's because her father was David Hicks, who's described as the most influential interior designer of his generation.  What I wouldn't give to get my hands on some of his bright geometric pattern fabric!!!
India and her husband live in the Bahamas. They have four properties for rent there, each one as unique as the next. She's not only a model, a mom and Sugar Mill shop owner, she's the author of Island Life, a book about inspiration interiors of island homes.  I think that book would look pretty good on my coffee table.  Hmmm...

Soon, I'll have to take you inside the two home stores we have here on Tortola: House and Arawak Interiors.  Maybe they have a copy of Island Life.  Without these two stores, I'm not sure what I'd do!  They not only source furniture and fabrics, they have the best hostess gifts! 
Friday, February 18, 2011

Exit Survey: Ashley & Gordon

Ashley and Gordon enjoyed a nice long weekend in the British Virgin Islands.  We were so happy to have them as our first visitors of 2011!  (My family was technically here in 2011, but we consider them our last visitors of 2010.  Ha!)

Well, here's their exit survey! 

Of the five Pusser's locations, which ones did you visit during your BVI adventure? (Road Town, Soper's Hole, Pusser's East, Marina Cay, Leverick Bay)
Answer(s):  Road Town & Marina Cay
Approximately how many cruise ships did you see pass by Gecko Manor II?

Answer:  Well, we should ask how many times did Milly bark???  A cruise ship wouldn't pass without her letting us know about it!
{Here are Ashley and Gordon on the porch...where we would let Milly bark away at the ships as they passed by!}

How would you best describe the bubbly pool on Jost van Dyke?
A) Boring...
B) Fun!
C) A must see.
D) A little dangerous!
E) None of the above
Answer:  Definitely C) a must see. But watch out for the machineel trees!
What was your most memorable meal in the BVI?

Answer:  The Anegada Lobster (whether grilled, on a pizza, or on top of pasta)
In the battle of the island drinks on White Bay, who wins the match-up: Soggy Dollar Bar Painkiller vs. Jewel's Party Punch?

Answer:  Jewel's Party Punch
Of all the islands you visited, which one was your favorite? (Sandy Cay, Jost van Dyke, Virgin Gorda, Great Camanoe, Marina Cay, Norman Island, Cooper Island, or Tortola)

Answer:  Sandy Cay
True or False. The girls dominated the board games the entire weekend.

Answer:  Gordon says "We'll let them think they did..."
What advice would you give to any travelers who fly into St. Thomas and take the ferry over to Tortola?

Answer:  Make sure you move toward the exit of the boat as the boat docks.  This way you will be at the front of the line when departing the ferry. Otherwise, grab a few drinks for the 1+ hour wait at Customs.
Great survey Glovers!  Michael and I loved having y'all here!  One of my favorite days of their trip was the excursion to Virgin Gorda. 
 We enjoyed a decadent lunch at Little Dix Bay, then explored the Baths...


We couldn't have asked for better weather!  They're surely taking some nice sun tans home with them!  Love y'all!!! 

Whale of a Tale!

We have yet to see one with our own eyes, but we've heard the tales of whales (yes, whales as in Free Willy) splashing about in our Caribbean waters. 

On Tuesday, one such whale was spotted and better yet, photographed by the first mate on a local charter boat.  The photographer's name is Joe Zachary. 

Check it out!

That's Jost van Dyke in the background, where we spent our Saturday.  Unfortunately, we didn't see any whales...  But when that day comes, you can bet I'll have my camera ready!

The only similar spotting we've had is a few dolphins off of White Bay on Jost van Dyke.  This photo was taken about a year ago...


Thanks to IslandGirl over on StThomasblog.com for sharing this whale of a tale! 

Morning Rainbow

We had hard rain on Tortola overnight.

And with our metal roof, the loud sound of the downpour was enough to wake us from our slumber.  Combined with the bright light from the nearly full moon, it was hard to go back to sleep! 

But getting out of bed this morning was easy, because this is what we saw right outside our window:


Here's another shot:

The water in the channel is extremely still, which is very different from the last several weeks.  

Another benefit from the rain?  Our cistern is likely about to overflow!  Stored beneath our house, it holds 10,000 gallons of water which we use for everything around here (well, except drinking water!) 

For a home this size, the cistern is pretty large, holding more water than the two of us would ever need in a month.  The estimated use for one person is 2,000 gallons per month.  Oh, that reminds me...I should go start the dishwasher!
Thursday, February 17, 2011

B.V. Eye Candy

Some of the most beautiful photographs taken of the BVI are by none other than "Island Jim" - the producer of OnlineBVI.tv that I've blogged about in the past.

He regularly posts still photographs on his Facebook page, like this one from Cane Garden Bay at sunset:


If you're a faithful reader of Our BVI Adventure and want a little more BVI in your life, definitely become a fan of his Facebook page.  This next photo is my absolute favorite:

Just gorgeous!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Banner Night!

A new shiny banner provided the perfect backdrop for Da Tree Men's gig at The Elm on Wednesday night.

They played one of their newer cover songs or "an orignal by somebody else," as Pier likes to say into the mic.  It's called Kingston Town and it was written and recorded by UB40.  I really like the melody and Pier's voice fits it perfectly.



Kingston Town

The night seems to fade,
But the moonlight lingers on
There are wonders for everyone...woo ho
The stars shine so bright,
But they're fading after dawn
There is magic in Kingston Town

(chorus)
Oh Kingston Town,
The place I long to be
If I had the whole world
I would give it away
Just to see the girls at play

When I am king,
Surely I would need a queen
And a palace and everything, yeah yeah
And now, I am king,
And my queen will come at dawn
She'll be waiting in Kingston Town

(repeat chorus)
Oh Kingston Town,
The place I long to be
If I had the whole world
I would give it away
Just to see the girls at play, yeahhhh

When I am king,
Surely I would need a queen
And a palace and everything, yeah yeah
And now I am king,
And my queen will come at dawn
She'll be waiting in Kingston Town

She'll be waiting in Kingston Town, by now
She'll be waiting in Kingston Town, oh ya
She'll be waiting in Kingston Town, oh ya
Sunday, February 13, 2011

Snorkeling Sunday!

We headed back out on the water Sunday, this time just across the Sir Francis Drake Channel to the Indians.

 This is one of our favorite snorkeling spots and it did not disappoint!
There were so many Parrot Fish, but they were a little camera shy...
We also scored a mooring just off of Norman Island and explored the caves there.  Very very cool.

After stopping off at Cooper Island for a lunch that consisted of mahi mahi sandwiches and chicken rotis, we headed for Marina Cay and Great Camanoe to visit with the Shands.  Here's our group at the iconic red phone booth:
We had the best day, and even saw a flying eagle ray on our way back to Nanny Cay! 
Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Bubbly Pool

Saturday was a day full of firsts for us!  We rented a boat from King Charters, instead of our usual Contender from Island Time.  We got the keys, fired up the engines and headed for Jost Van Dyke.

We stopped off at Sandy Cay for a swim and walk on the nearly deserted beach.


For lunch, we headed to Foxy's Taboo. We had never tried it before, so it was great taking Ashley and Gordon somewhere new! Our grouper sandwiches were delicious and Michael had the signature Taboo salad which was very refreshing.

After lunch we took our cocktail menu which had a map to the bubbly pool on Jost van Dyke and set out on a 15 minute hike.

The bubbly pool was amazing!  We took turns swimming up to the opening of the pool, slipping our fingers into the grooves of the rocks and holding on for dear life, as a huge wave came crashing over the rocks and into the pool.



We highly recommend this little excursion to anyone looking for some adventure!  Just ask the bartender at Foxy's Taboo for the map (and make sure to return it when you get back!)

Oh, and one last word of caution - watch out for the poisonous trees on your hike to the bubbly pool.  There are warnings of these trees painted on rocks throughout the hike.  These machineel trees can cause serious harm to your eyes and skin, especially if standing under one during the rain.  Yikes!

Fortunately, we avoided the trees and had a safe trip there and back!  Now if only we'd brought a bottle of bubbly to enjoy at the bubbly pool...maybe next time!
Friday, February 11, 2011

Ashley and Gordon Arrive!

Our dear friends Ashley and Gordon arrived in the BVI on Friday afternoon!  You may notice that the background in this photo taken upon arrival, doesn't look like the others...

That's because Ashley and Gordon flew into St. Thomas and took the ferry over!  So, instead of picking them up at the airport, we retrieved them in Road Town! 

Some advice if you'll be traveling this way...  Make sure to find out from the boat captain on which side of the boat you'll be exiting once you arrive.  Ashley and Gordon weren't the last ones to get off of the boat, but they weren't the first either.  SO, they had to wait in a very long line as the one Customs agent on duty looked at everyone's paperwork. 

Ashley said when she got up there she couldn't believe there was only one agent and that he was flipping through the paper's classified ads as he was doing his job.  Welcome to the BVI Ash!  {We weren't that suprised when she shared that little tidbit!}  Remember to pack not only the sunscreen, but patience when traveling here!  Ha!

We have a lot of fun things to fit into their long weekend!  More posts coming soon!

Are you "bless" too?

Who knew MacGyver a) lives in the BVI and b) drives a converted Mistubishi truck?  Well, Adam found him driving in Road Town just yesterday! 

Oh, and just so you know, MacGyver is "not lucky, he's bless." 
Thursday, February 10, 2011

Super Stealth Yacht

Did you spot the mega yacht "A" in the KIA commercial that debuted during the Super Bowl on Sunday night?



It doesn't look like the commercial was shot in the British Virgin Islands, but the yacht is most definitely the same one that we spotted in the BVI just a few weeks ago!
Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Off the Rock

Michael and I got off the rock this past weekend.  While it was hard to leave THIS:


It was completely worth it!  The purpose of the trip was to surprise my grandmother for her 90th birthday! She was surprised, and not just by my appearance...  Her three children, six of her seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild all surprised her with a birthday party!  What fun! 

It was a cold weekend in Memphis, especially for me!  I think my blood has thinned after a year in the BVI  We even got some of the white stuff! 
{Can you tell I was excited?  Ha!  And yes, I realize that I look a little ridiculous with a tan in the snow!}


Huge thanks to my sister for keeping my travel plans a secret, my Aunt Karen and Uncle Max for their hospitality, Brian and Beth for allowing me to stay at their home even while they were out of town, and lastly my in-laws for mailing some winter clothes to Memphis for me!  I had nothing - no coat, no sweater, no scarf!  Ha!
Wednesday, February 2, 2011

On Shaky Ground

"Did you feel it?"  That question is being asked by people all around Tortola and its sister islands today. 

Apparently, an earthquake hit around 8:40 a.m. The earthquake measured a magnitude of 5.4 on the Richter Scale, but it was far enough away that no damage was reported.  I didn't even feel it!  Michael was already at his office in Road Town; he said he didn't feel it either.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pusser's in the WSJ TODAY!

Did you see it?  The Wall Street Journal did a story about the "ulitimate webcation" and featured Pusser's many webcams scattered throughout the BVI! 

Michael made contact with the reporter, Ralph Gardner, back in December when he pitched him a story about Pusser's rum cake.  The reporter was responsive to the pitch, but wanted to first focus on the webcams and the mini-escapes they provide Caribbean enthusiasts who find themselves snowed in up north somewhere! 

Michael set up an interview for him with Charles Tobias (founder of Pusser's).  The two got along splendidly; both share a sense of humor.  At one point in the article, the writer compares Charles to John Wayne and recounts a particular coversation he overheard during one of his follow-up interviews...that conversation was between Charles and Pusser's "tech guy" which happens to be none other than Pier, Da Tree Men's basist!  Ha!  I imagine the last place he thought he'd end up today was in a Wall Street Journal article. 

I have to give major props to Michael for making this happen!  Gardner says a story on the rum cake will eventually follow.  Two-for-one possibly!  Now, who wants rum cake?  I suddenly have a craving!