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BVI Bulletin – Jun 07

2007 VIRGIN GORDA FISHING FESTIVAL HUGE SUCCESS

The Virgin Gorda Festival 2007 recently climaxed with a great line up of events. The entertainment at the food fair, included a local DJ and fungi bands Unity Vibes (Virgin Gorda) and Four Strong Plus International (Tortola) who kept spectators entertained. There was food, crafts, drinks and a play area with Beach Splash and a Calypso Show, along with Jouvert and parades – all of which brought a festival aura to the main event which was fishing.  The entire community saluted the winners.

1st PRIZE – HEAVIEST WAHOO 41LBS – the prize was $5,000 awarded by the BVI Tourist Board
BASIC LADY, Anegada, BVI
ANGLER: Giles Cadman
CAPTAIN: Kirby Hodge

2nd PRIZE – HEAVIEST “OVERALL” CATCH 367 LBS – won $1,500 from Road Town Wholesale Trading Ltd.
PRODUCER, St. Thomas, USVI
CAPTAIN: Rob Olive

3rd PRIZE – HEAVIEST OTHER FISH (excluding billfish) 39LBS – won $1,000 in cash
LIMITED EDITION, Martinique, FWI

BEST ANGLER- Giles Cadman
BASIC LADY, Anegada, BVI
WAHOO 41 LBS
YOUNGEST ANGLER – Brianna Olive (10)
PRODUCER, St. Thomas, USVI
BEST FEMALE ANGLER – Lenise Phillip,
WATER PROOF, Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, BVI
BEST CAPTAIN – Willis “BOZO” Wheatley
PRINCESS, Anegada, BVI

HISTORICAL PHOTO EXHIBITION

An exhibition of historical pictures of the BVI, including a pictorial history of fishing and sailing, was mounted at the Central Administration Building recently.  The exhibition, warmly received on Tortola, was organized by the Friends of the National Archives and the Archives and Records Management Unit of the Deputy Governor’s Office.  The theme: “Save our History.”

Chief Records Management Officer Mrs. Verna Penn Moll thanked all citizens who provided photographs. “Old pictures provide information about our culture, our history, our customs, the way of life at given periods, and much more. They are a part of our heritage; we must preserve them to learn from them now and for future generations.”  Prizes were awarded to the oldest picture, the oldest series of pictures, and the most prolific collection. Special care is being taken to protect the old pictures and preserve them for the future.

I visited this exhibition and totally enjoyed the pictures of the old fishing boats, transport boats and fishermen with their catch.  Thank you, Mrs. Moll, for giving us a glimpse of BVI history. 

FERRY GROUNDING UNDER INVESTIGATION

The St. Thomas Department of Planning and Natural Resources and Environmental, Fish and Wildlife Divisions are still surveying the damages to Triangle Reef, a reef located across from Christmas Cove, by the BVI ferry boat, American Pride. Sea Tow St. Thomas and Commercial Dive Services from Tortola used air and hydraulic tools to cut the 96-foot ferry in two pieces so that it could be removed in a third attempt to salvage the vessel.  It was then transported to the BVI by barge.

The U. S. Coast Guard reported that the portside fuel tank of the American Pride had ruptured and approximately 350 gallons of diesel fuel were released into the water.  The starboard tank of the vessel remained intact holding approximately another 350 gallons of diesel fuel.  Passengers were removed from the ferry. 

I have ridden this ferry, along with others going from the BVI to St. Thomas, and many of the drivers take this short cut, over Triangle Reef, in order to save two minutes from their time, knowing that the reef is there.  This short cut is not only unnecessary and dangerous; it is a flagrant disregard for Coast Guard regulations and the protection of waters and reefs.  Should a captain’s indifference to stated routes be allowed to cause such financial, environmental and personal havoc?  I think that all captains taking unregulated shortcuts, anywhere in USVI/BVI territorial waters should be heavily fined and placed on probation.  Waiting for an accident is just too late.

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