Books galore

After stopping by the BVI Red Cross headquarters last week for an interview, a Beaconite seized on an opportunity to do something he has been meaning to since moving to the Virgin Islands: start a new book. With a scarcity of nearby libraries or bookstores and an aversion to supporting Amazon (and paying for shipping), the Beaconite for weeks has put off the search for a new book, content with reading the news and online magazine articles. After wrapping up his interview, he remembered being told that the Red Cross thrift store has a large collection of pre-owned books, and was pleased to find this to be true. He browsed the shelves and quickly settled on a much hyped novel he thinks is worth the acclaim, paying a grand total of 50 cents. Because the books are so cheap and they don’t require him to keep track of due dates, the Beaconite prefers shopping at this store to borrowing from a library, but he wonders if others agree. At a book launch last month, a guest speaker called for the creation of a new library in the territory, which garnered applause from the audience. A new public library is certainly needed — the Road Town branch has been closed since May 2016 — but in the meantime the Beaconite wonders how many readers take advantage of the Red Cross’ plentiful offerings.



Slow seasons

A Beaconite has experienced two “slow seasons” in the Virgin Islands since Hurricane Irma, and not since Irma has she experienced one quieter than this. A Sunday boat trip with friends through the millpond-still waters of the northwestern end of the territory took her through a very quiet VI. The boat passed Little Jost Van Dyke and Little Harbour and Great Harbour on JVD, with barely a soul — or an open beach bar — to be found. In White Bay, there were only about a dozen boats total — mostly small and local, with no big charter yachts — and Soggy Dollar was the only bar open. She also has noticed that the waters of Cane Garden Bay have been mostly empty of yachts and cruise ship passengers for weeks. Meanwhile, Foxy’s Tamarind Bar, the Willy T, Quito’s and many other establishments are quiet for the month of September and/or beyond. The Beaconite isn’t sure whether it has to do with the active hurricane season or simply the fact that business owners don’t see any profit to be made during this time of year. But despite the severely reduced number of places to go, those who chose to venture out and enjoy the lovely, calm day still reaped the benefits.


Snorkelling newbie

Style and functionality. Those are the two things a Beaconite looked for when purchasing snorkeling gear on Amazon. She took reviews into account as well as her own personal taste. Teal, purple and blue gear all appealed to her, but finding the right package in the right price range was time-consuming. The reporter knew she’d find what she wanted in time. And she did: a Cressi Palau snorkel set for three Jacksons. With a bit more in her budget, she opted for a phone case and an underwater pouch for her water adventures. When her friend, who graciously offered to transport the products, handed her the goods, it was only a matter of time before she dipped into the ocean, exploring. She wasted none: The drive was like electricity that needed an outlet, needed grounding. So the first stop? Long Bay, Beef Island. For about an hour and a half, she snorkelled in the waters near shore. It’s amazing how much life there is so close to the beach, where many remain on the surface. She noticed patterns on the seafloor and saw some breathtakingly beautiful fish. As the sun set, she pulled out of the water, knowing she’d return soon.