Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The British Virgin Islands: Nature's Little Secret

The British Virgin Islands are heaven on earth. We've been sailing their crystal clear aquamarine waters every few years for the past decade and always look forward to returning. It's a sailor's paradise. Azure waters, calm anchorages, deserted coves and over sixty islands and cays, plus hundreds of fabulous dive sites to explore, and we always discover something new. Our journey always begins with an ice cold beer on the high speed open-air island ferry from Charlotte Amalie in the US Virgin Islands, where our flight lands, to the heart of Tortola, the largest island in the BVIs, and home to BVI Yacht Charters where we pick up our 46' Beneteau, the Alegria Del Mar, our seafaring home for the next two weeks.

The Alegria Del Mar

Our home away from home for two weeks — I think we'll manage!

The master stateroom

Provisioning for the trip is always an adventure, but thankfully most shops offer free delivery to charter boats, which makes lugging the bags of ice and crates of beer, wine and 'jungle juice' back to the boat, a little easier to manage. Once everything is stowed away, it's off to dinner at a local restaurant, for some fresh grilled seafood and a rum punch made with the island favourite — Pusser's Rum — the original rum of the British Royal Navy! Then off to bed for an early start the next morning, as we set our sails for Benures Bay on Norman Island.

Pusser’s Rum Punch
Serves 1

2 ounces Pusser's Rum
1/2 cup guava juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup pineapple juice 
1/2 lime, juiced
touch of grenadine 
grated nutmeg for garnish

Combine the rum, juices, lime and grenadine and pour the lot over the rocks. Finish with a dusting of nutmeg on top and a fresh fruit garnish.