Being capable sailors makes us privileged.
Whether you learned to sail as a kid or an adult, you worked hard to learn the nomenclature, get a handle on upwind sailing, and understand how to pilot a boat and dock with finesse. Whether your family had a fleet of boats or you learned in a community camp, you’re privileged simply to know how to sail. The payoff from time invested learning is extraordinary. It means you can spend more time outdoors, enjoy sunrises and sunsets on the water, experience the adrenaline of racing, and travel to places with only wind as fuel.
It also means you can step aboard a boat anywhere in the world, pick up some local knowledge, and navigate from your current place to a new one. It’s a practical skill in an increasingly-virtual world. It’s a form of self-mobility you can always keep in your back pocket.
And it means you can help the BVI speed up their hurricane recovery. The people of the British Virgin Islands have made incredible progress towards restoring normalcy in less than 3 months since Irma caused catastrophic damage in the sailing capital of the world (sorry Annapolis and Newport). Many of the area’s resorts may take some extended time to rebuild and re-open, as will some restaurants and other services. Things may look a little rough around the edges in town and residents will continue to have to make do as they have done so bravely with barely habitable homes, and the challenges of debris and damaged goods disposal on islands.
But here’s what you’ll find if you visit by private boat or charter a boat: warm BVI people, laughs and smiles, amazing snorkeling and diving, beach bars ready to serve a cold beer or a painkiller, conch shells, pristine sandy beaches, tradewinds, star-filled skies, fresh fish, quiet anchorages, morning swims, shooting stars, and bare feet on warm fiberglass. These are all of the pleasures those of us who are privileged to be sailors have always sought in the BVI. We didn’t go for the architecture and shopping. We went for the sea turtles.
The sea turtles are still waiting for you in the grassy cove on Cooper Island. Have you made your plans for a charter or the BVI Spring Regatta? If we can use our privilege to sail the BVI now, we can accelerate the recovery for resorts and the residents they employ and help to build an even better BVI.
Check out the inspiration gallery below to see some some of our favorite photos we’ve taken in the BVI over the years.