On the water
Given that the charter yacht industry is one of the biggest tourism industries in the Virgin Islands, a Beaconite couldn’t believe it took her so long to finally experience the territory’s waters the way so many visitors pay thousands of dollars to see it — on an overnight trip on a charter catamaran. The Beaconite has been on long boat trips before, but she has never experienced her own backyard by this means. Of course, she also has the added advantage of having a friend who works for a charter company, so her trip with eight friends aboard the 45-foot catamaran was such a steal that she could afford to pay $80 for her foie gras-and-lobster dinner and drinks at a new restaurant near Anegada’s ferry dock. The trip was everything that she ever dreamed of, with the added benefit of being able to experience the beautiful island of Anegada — which never fails to delight her — during the Lobster Festival, her favourite event hosted by the BVI Tourist Board. Another highlight was a sunset sail back along the north side of Tortola while her friends with nautical knowledge pointed out all the points of interest along the way. If she were actually a tourist, she’d definitely be back.
Last week, a Beaconite got the opportunity to accompany a crew from Commercial Dive Services as they sunk a new art reef in the waters off Virgin Gorda. Also on board were two Frenchmen filming a documentary about the Virgin Islands’ recovery since Hurricane Irma. The Beaconite has reported alongside other newspaper reporters, bloggers and television journalists, but never documentarians. It was fascinating to watch how they gathered their material, and how their process differed from the Beaconite’s. Though he asked one-off questions here and there and took notes when something unexpected or interesting occurred, he knew two or three extensive, well-timed interviews would supply everything he needed for his story. The Frenchmen, meanwhile, had to portray the emotion of the day, which required capturing extensive footage and conducting several mini-interviews. For instance, they asked a diver how she felt before assisting with the sinking of the reef, and then asked how she felt afterward. Inspired by the duo, the Beaconite decided to give it a go, turning his phone’s camera towards his face and making an impromptu vlog. He enjoyed explaining some of the minutiae and fun of reporting a story, but he later felt a knot of stress scrolling past all the footage he’d compiled. It has yet to be seen if vlogging or video journalism becomes a viable side hobby for the Beaconite.
A Beaconite has spent the past couple of weeks in Pakistan to attend a cousin’s wedding in the city of Karachi. Known as the City of Lights, Karachi rests in South Pakistan on the Arabian Sea, where a constant breeze blows over the flat terrain. Nineteen people from her family travelled from the United States to the other side of the world to support her cousin. They took up lodging in a hotel, renting four rooms and sharing beds and floor space while shopping for the wedding the first few days of the trip. Shopping in Pakistan is an experience and a half: Within a 10-mile radius were several large malls that were busy any given day of the week. Dinner usually starts around 10 p.m. and can last until 1 a.m. And breakfast starts at 11 a.m. One day, the reporter went to the beach of the Arabian Sea, where camels, horses and snake charmers entertain beachgoers. She was lucky enough to experience all three and saw a cobra loose in the sand. In the distance, the outline of mountains past the city was vague and this part of the city reminded her of the desert. Karachi’s streets are filled with traffic and people making a living. For all the development and busyness of the city, the reporter will be happy to return to peaceful living on Tortola, where time seems to slow down and natural beauty is inescapable.