JVD safari

A Beaconite went on assignment looking for plant life on Jost Van Dyke this week, but wound up having some encounters with animals as well. First, the reporter didn’t duck quite low enough under a tree branch with a termite burrow on it. She had to brush a few of the critters out of her hair. Later, as she used her hand to steady herself on a boulder, the reporter disturbed a tennis-ball sized shell. The shell’s resident, a land crab, was kind enough to let the reporter snap a picture before scurrying away. Later still, as the reporter stood admiring the view, she was alarmed to hear galloping footsteps coming her way. A goat had been speeding down the ghut and stopped about 10 feet away. The Beaconite planned how she might escape if the goat charged, while the goat seemed to ponder its course for a minute or two. Evidently concluding the Beaconite was no threat, the goat turned and took a different path down and away. The reporter was happy to get to experience so much of the island’s wildlife, but on her next trip to JVD, she’ll be content to stay on the beach and relax.


World famous marmalade


This Reporter’s Notebook section recently mentioned award-winning marmalade made by Virgin Islands resident William Tacon. Beaconites reported that Mr. Tacon took first place in the international category in The World’s Original Marmalade Awards at Dalemain Mansion and Gardens in Cumbria, United Kingdom in February. But they didn’t fully appreciate the import of this news until Mr. Tacon dropped by a jar for them to sample. The marmalade, which was made from local limes, was delicious. So Beaconites would like to give it another award: The Official Beaconite Seal of Approval.


Sir Richard’s adventures


Recently, Beaconites were fortunate enough to interview Sir Richard Branson, who told them that he was keeping busy between his Mosquito Island development plans, his non-profit initiatives and other projects. The billionaire entrepreneur and adventurer said that his project to put tourists in space, through the company Virgin Galactic, is proceeding well. The maiden voyage is planned for next year. Sir Richard also said that he soon will announce something “big” related to ocean exploration. “We’d love to explore the oceans more in the same way that we can explore space,” he said. The Beaconites are looking forward to more details in the future.


Green card scam hits home


Recently, a reporter got an e-mail stating that she had been selected as one of several winners of a United States green card lottery. The Beaconite, who never entered any lottery, was sceptical. The reporter even got telephone calls from several numbers from Ohio that she suspected were connected with the e-mail. She was right to be wary: Recently, the US Embassy in Barbados sent out a warning about this fraud. But apparently not everyone got the news. This week, the Beaconite heard an acquaintance rejoicing that he had been selected as a winner of a green card. Unfortunately, he had already given his credit card information to the scammers, and ended up losing some money. The Beaconite wants to warn others to be careful in dealing with strange offers that seem too good to be true.


PIO missed


A Beaconite has dearly missed the police information officer, who is travelling out of the territory this week. While the officer is not always at liberty to share every detail the reporter might want to know, it’s nice to have a friendly person to contact who is not being torn between answering to the press and policing the territory. The Beaconite looks forward to her return.


Five dollars’ worth


A Beaconite and his son found themselves in a rush to catch a ferry to St. Thomas last week. After paying $10 in departure tax, they cleared security and provided a BVI Ports Authority official with their departure tax receipt. The official asked how old the son was, and, after learning that he is 3, she told the Beaconite to go get a refund, because his son was exempt from the tax. However, they were in such a hurry, he decided against getting the refund in an effort not to be late. Once they were seated on the ferry, a Ports Authority official opened the door and asked, “Are with the Beacon?” The Beaconite replied in the affirmative, and the official handed him $5 and a voided departure tax receipt.