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.



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Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Do you believe that everyone has a twin?  I'm not sure I believed that theory...until we moved to the BVI, that is.

Every once in a while, Michael and I will see someone who so closely resembles a friend or family member, it's uncanny.

We've even come up with a name for these people who fall into this category.  We call it a tropelganger - a tropical doppelganger.  (Get it?)

Just the other day at Nanny Cay, Michael turned to me and said, "There's Courtney's tropelganger."  And sure enough, I watched this woman as she laid out her towel, put on sunscreen, then slid her diet coke into a koozie.  I couldn't believe how similar her mannerisms were to Court's!  And I know Courtney would have loved her troppelbanger's big sunglasses and bright coral bikini.  Even the way her ponytail was positioned on her head reminded us of Courtney!

We had to snap a pic, but I refused to get up and make it obvious...

You'll just have to trust us!  Here's the real Courtney during her BVI adventure in 2010:

Friday, April 20, 2012

Prince of Whales

While reading one of my favorite Caribbean blogs, Rum Shop Ryan, I stumbled upon this post about a couple's recent encounter with a whale in the BVI.  The video is stunning...absolutely stunning.  This has got to be one of my wildest dreams:

Taken in February of this year, the video shows the pair swimming with one of God's most beautiful creatures, a humpback whale.  I can't believe this was taken, right here, in our "backyard."  Enjoy!

'Dash for Cash' to Soggy Dollar Bar

I wonder how many painkillers $4,000 buys...

(And yes, that is a stack of Soggy Dollar Bar Painkiller cups!)

$4,000 is how much the winners of the Soggy Dollar Bar 'Dash for Cash' SUP Relay Race will receive.

As apart of the Highland Spring HIHO race, which Michael competed in last year, the 'Dash for Cash' event will take place on Friday, July 6.  Teams of three will race on stand-up paddleboards from Tortola's East End to White Bay on Jost van Dyke.  I can't think of a better place to end a 12-mile SUP race than at the Soggy Dollar Bar!  

Here's some more information if you're interested in putting a team together!  The relay race is open to everyone, not just participants in the Highland Spring HIHO.

BYOB at Smuggler's Cove

"Bar open" flags are no longer flying at Smuggler's Cove due to a recent government crack-down on unlicensed operators of the rustic beach bars.

According to this article in BVIPlatinum.com, some of the vendors stopped playing nicely.  And following a scuffle between two of them, the police got involved which then led the Trade and Consumer Affairs Department to send the cease and desist letters.  I took my parents to this beach the day after the bars were shut down and we were completely mystified with the abandoned bars and shacks.  (Little did we know what had happened the day before!)

As for any contributing factors, we've noticed an increased amount of cruise ship traffic at Smuggler's in recent months.  When we moved here in 2009, most of the taxi drivers took cruise ship tourists over the hill to Cane Garden Bay, but more and more of them were bringing tourists to Smuggler's instead.  I suppose the increased traffic led to more competition between bar operators.  For the longest time, there were only two, but in January, we counted six different bars!

You may remember for our one-year anniversary, Stephen from Smuggler's helped us pick a winner for the give-away!  It's sad to think that he may have been one of the ones involved in the beach bar brawl.

Smuggler's Cove remains our favorite beach on Tortola - bars or no bars, but there was something quite nice about just showing up with a towel and enjoying a cold beverage made by someone else.  We'll just have to improvise when it comes to making those yummy frozen drinks and substitute a beer from our own cooler instead.
Friday, April 6, 2012

Full Moon Party

The fire balls at Trellis Bay were ablaze on Friday night.  That can only mean one thing: Full Moon Party!

This was my parent's first experience with the Full Moon Party.  They'd heard some wild stories, but the actual thing was much more subdued.  With the full moon falling (or rising, I should say) on Good Friday, we weren't sure if this party would be packed with people or not.

It turned out to be a good crowd, but not nearly as crowded as some others we've attended.  We find that a lot of expats get off island for Easter weekend since both Friday and Monday are public holidays.  In fact, last year we were the ones getting off island.  We went to Puerto Rico to shop!

Side note: if you are looking for a great camera, we are loving our Canon T3i.  We are able to adjust the settings easily and take photos like this:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Putting the "I" in BVI

One of our favorite photos is this one, taken back in December 2010 in front of the Soggy Dollar Bar on White Bay, Jost van Dyke:

So, when we went back there this week, we just had to replicate the photo!  Only this time, Anna Drake makes the perfect "I" - doesn't she?

A full recap of our trip to Jost is in the works.

To Jost and Back

We had another splendid day on the Mystique.  This is such a stress-free way to visit one of our favorite islands, Jost van Dyke.  The captain and hostess aboard the boat take care of everything, including mixing the drinks!  That's the catamaran anchored in White Bay.  (Looks kind of small in this photo, but it's 45' long.)

The itinerary was the same as our trip with Whitney...  Sailed to Diamond Point, where we snorkeled and even tried out the kayak, then we headed over to Soggy Dollar Bar for the afternoon before returning to Tortola!  We loved every minute and Anna Drake was such a good little sailor!

We enjoyed meeting some folks from Wrightsville Beach, NC.  My dad wanted them to hear some music by Da Tree Men, Michael's old BVI band, so he confiscated Michael's iPhone and had them play "Jost van Dyke - Tropical Paradise" on the sound system.  It was a nice way to end our excursion.

I really miss the band...  You may remember, the lead singer moved back to the states almost a year ago.  We've worn out the CD of the band's original songs.  Michael's drums are now collecting dust on top of a closet in the nursery.  Sad.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What's in a Name?

Anna Drake has four grandparents.  Her Nana and Pawpaw have two other granddaughters, so their nicknames were well-established long before Anna Drake's arrival in October.  But on my side of the family, Anna Drake is the first grandchild, so my mom and dad aren't sure what names they'll be given.

Until Anna Drake can speak for herself, we needed to come up with something for John and Kay.  We're calling my dad, "Granddaddy" and my mom, "Nanny Kay."  Wonder where she got that idea...

Can you see the yellow post-it note that we added to the mosaic sign to turn the "c" into a "k"???  Creative aren't we?  I wonder if it will stick.  (The nickname, not the post-it note!  Ha!)

Of course, as it relates to the locales, the pronunciation of the word "cay" sounds like "key" down here.  Marina Cay, Nanny Cay, Bellamy Cay...all of them are pronounced "key." (Not sure why either!)
Sunday, April 1, 2012

Regatta Week!

We took my parents down to Nanny Cay on Sunday for the BVI Spring Regatta closing party.  It's always a fun time...good food and live music!  I love talking to the sailors and hearing about the race conditions.
We enjoyed seeing all of the boats race in the Sir Francis Drake Channel the previous day.  Nearly 100 boats participated throughout the week.  For a nice recap of the racing action, check out this story in the BVI Beacon.  They also posted this unreal photo on their Facebook page.

Fair winds!

Hop on Over to Brewer's Bay

The organizers of the playgroup I attend with Anna Drake put together a wonderful Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday.  It was held at Brewer's Bay, which is on the island's north side.  The event was very well attended, with more than 30 children, plus their parents!  The children loved hunting for eggs while the adults enjoyed some delicious food.

This is how Anna Drake spent much of the actual "hunt."
Bless her heart. We did get her to cooperate for a mini photo shoot later that morning.  (Scroll down for that!)  My friend, Caroline and I were tasked with bringing the fun to the hunt - mimosas!  I think we went through 10+ bottles of the bubbly!  That's her sweet "rosebud," Roisin, in the Baby Bjorn!
We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day.  Brewer's Bay is serene.  It's massive compared to other bays, and there's plenty of shade which is great on a hot day!
Once Anna Drake awoke from her slumber, we snapped some family photos.  These are some of my favorite shots...

Happy Easter Everyone!