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BVI Bulletin – Apr 05


sloops, Moonbeam and Youth Instructor, were the center of
attraction recently at the 14th Annual Folk Life Celebration in St.
John, USVI. The theme for this year’s celebration was “Traditional Boat Making
and Commerce in our Beloved Community”. My friend Geoff Brooks, Supervisor of
the Center for Applied Marine Studies, told me, “To know the story of these
boats and the men who built them and sailed in them is to know who BVI islanders
are and where they have come from. The importance of these boats to the
cultural heritage of both Territories is immeasurable.” The Center for Applied
Marine Studies maintains the boats with support from the Loyal West End Yacht
Club, the Virgin Islands Power Boat Association and the management of Nanny Cay
Marina. Al Frasier, also of the college, assists Geoff whenever these sloops
are used.

As a special treat,
Mr. Watson White, the builder of the 20′ Moonbeam
was on hand to give a demonstration of boat building techniques. Youth
was built in East End, Tortola in 2000 by the late Mr. Osmond
Davies, and was typical of the type of the vessels used in trading between the
BVI and USVI. It is to the benefit of us all that these boats can be used to
show BVI history.

Organizer of the
event, USVI Park Ranger, Denise Georges, was crew on Moonbeam when she visited the BVI during the Sweethearts Regatta.
She told me she loved the ride! Great job Geoff and Al.


Recently, fishermen
voiced concerns about lobster season restraints affecting their livelihood.
However, other residents recommended areas be closed to allow both regeneration
of stocks and fishing at the same time. At a territory retreat, the BVI
government announced plans to keep the lobster season open this year and to
provide for continued monitoring of stocks with a review of the closed season
done based on an analysis of data collected.

The retreat was facilitated by the BVI
government and attended by local fishermen; the Royal Virgin Islands Police
Force, Her Majesty’s Customs, the Immigration Department and the BVI Tourist
Board; and staff of the Conservation and Fisheries Department and the Ministry
of Natural Resources and Labor. We commend the concern for the livelihood of
the fishermen but at the same time we don’t want to deplete the lobsters in our
waters. Everywhere we look environmental problems are on the increase.


I would personally like to congratulate the new 2005-2006
Royal BVI Yacht Club Board of Directors and say that it looks like a great
group of sailors and other water lovers. The Nomination Committee, with Brian
Gandey as Chairman with Graham Sedwick and George Forster as members, selected
the following slate. Good luck to each and all of you.


Vice CommodoreDick


Captain of Sailing
Emma Paull

Captain of Sailing Development
George Lane

Captain of Angling
Scott Bronstein

House Comm. Chair
Vinnie Connolly


Judy Petz

Past Commodore
Robert Phillips


The merchants of the
BVI are finally taking a stand on the amount of cruise passengers that are
unloaded in the BVI. “The BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association cannot
be any clearer in its concern about the cruise ship industry. Most days we see
hundreds, if not thousands, of passengers disembark in Road Town, and many others
on Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke. While these ships represent a crucial source
of income for some, the majority of the association’s members feel that they
hurt, instead of help, their businesses, and that government should further
restrict the number allowed to call here. The ships we are seeing call here are
larger than in the past, including the Queen Mary II. It is obvious that the
expansion of cruise ship tourism will have an impact on other facets of the
tourism industry, which is why members of the CCHA are concerned. Everyone I
know agrees with them – but then I don’t know many taxi drivers.

Have a
great month!

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