Around the Island of Tortola

View of Brewer's Bay from porch

Chris and Megan took this trip with Chris's brother Ted at the invitation of their dad and stepmother, Ted & Vicki. Ted & Vicki have been to the British Virgin Islands a few times in the past and rented a beautiful house on Tortola, the biggest island in the British Virgin Islands.

The B.V.I. consist of around forty volcanic islands of various shapes and sizes. They are the eastern-most extension of the Greater Antilles chain.

The seemingly endless number of island peaks so impressed their first European visitor — Christopher Columbus in 1493 — that he named them after the 11,000 virgin followers of Saint Ursula. Tortola means "Turtle Dove."

The pictures above and below were taken from the house Ted and Vicki rented. It overlooked spectacular Brewer's Bay, on the north side of the island.

Here's Ted and Vicki.

Ted and Vicki on porch
Ted and Vicki

These sunset photos were taken at "Sky World," a mountaintop restaurant with an unbelievable view of the surrounding islands.

Ted, Chris, Megan, Vicki, Ted

The highest point in the B.V.I. is Mount Sage on Tortola, which is 1,710 feet high. Most islands only reach a few hundred feet above sea level. You can see some of the other islands from our porch at Fort Recovery Villas (photos below), where we spent our last night in Tortola (the rest of the family left on Saturday, we left on Sunday).

Click here for more information on the Fort Recovery Villas. Although we only stayed there one night, we thought it was a great place. The accomodations are modern apartments located on a quiet beachfront plot with breathtaking views of the surrounding islands. And, it is easy to find, being on one of the few modern, paved roads.

View from Fort Recovery villa on West End
Chris on the porch at the Fort Recovery villaBritish Virgin Islands
Smooch at Cane Garden BayChris: coffee in paradise

The biggest problem for Chris when we travel is getting his daily cups of coffee. On our last day we drove around Roadtown, the capital, for a half hour looking for a place that would serve coffee. We were finally directed to the ferry boat dock. Here, above right, you can see Chris enjoying the fruit of our labor. What the picture doesn't show is that he's sipping hot coffee in 85 degree weather; no wonder it is not a popular drink.

Expectant pigPig getting a danish
Thirsty pig, watered by ChrisThankful pig

While the B.V.I. does have many modern luxuries for tourists, it is still a poor island. Locals live a rural lifestyle. There are chickens underfoot, goats all around, an occasional skinny horse wandering the streets, and penned farm animals in local yards. One day, driving to town, we saw just-slaughtered headless chickens hanging upside-down and flapping on a clothesline in front of a local home.

The friendly pig above was living in a makeshift pen under some trees on the mountainside next to the driveway to the house in Brewer's Bay. His owner dumps garbage into the pen, and the creature roots through it.

We shared our leftovers and several gallons of fresh water with the pig. He loved the danishes, bananas, and key lime pie. The pig appeared grateful for all of our gifts, except the ice cubes in a drink Chris tried to donate. Everytime his snout touched the ice, he would be very surprised by the cold, squeal, and run away. Then he'd slowly approach and do it all over again.

(While we're on the topic, Chris and Megan are vegetarians, and didn't have much trouble finding good vegetarian options at B.V.I. restaurants.)

Chicken runPussers Outpost: BVI tourist trap

While admittedly "touristy," Chris and Megan enjoyed a post-dive meal at Pusser's Pub. Pusser's was the official royal supplier of rum to the British Royal Navy for over 300 years, and the food and historic memorabilia make their Roadtown pub worth a visit. (In case it comes as a surprise, yes, navies actually did ration rum to sailors.)

On the porch at Pussers a few of the ubiquitous chickens approached for a handout. They were cute, until Chris's toes started looking like food.

Lizard on Chris's face
Lizard on Chris's face

Megan thought it would be cute to put a lizard she found in the kitchen on Chris's face and take a picture. These are the pictures. This is about one minute before the lizard ran into Chris's smiling mouth and ended up being spit into the pool. He was subsequently rescued and granted his freedom.

Megan at Brewer's Bay

While in B.V.I., Megan studied for her Series 7 and 63 exams, regulatory requirements for her job as a trader. Megan passed her exams soon after returning to New York. She credits beachside studying and the occasional snorkel break for her success.

Leaf bug
Leaf bug
Leaf bug

Chris's father, Ted, is a photographer and has a very cool hi-res digital camera. He took these stunning photos of a leaf bug found outside our Brewer's Bay house.

Tortola Home Page

Pix from Ted

Snorkeling Tortola

Scuba Diving the B.V.I.'s