UK TO HELP WITH HMS NYMPH
Plans are now underway to salvage the remains of the HMS Nymph, which sunk in Road Harbour in the early 1780s. The Nymph, commanded by Richard Hill, was on patrol in the Virgin Islands when it sank on June 28, 1783. The ship, built in 1778, weighed 302 tons and carried a crew of 75 men, 14 six-pound cannons and a 14-gun sloop. The wreck is the last resting place for the crewmembers, who died in the accident. Louis Potter, who is chairing the Town & Country Planning Committee aimed at rescuing the Nymph, tells us that, “There are plans to salvage the ship by summer 2005.The committee, which comprises senior government officials, is in talks with universities in the United Kingdom to salvage the ship’s remains.” The fate of the ship has been a focal public topic since March 2003. Local historians have told me that some of the ship’s wooden structure is still intact, which could yield enough information and artifacts to create a small museum. In the past, several other shipwrecks – from slave vessels to European ships – were destroyed due to land reclamation. BVI Chief Minister Orlando Smith, a real devotee to marine matters, reports that the work will cost about $1.5M and cover 2.5 acres. I would sincerely like to congratulate our new government for their foresight in this project as it will be quite an addition to our museum. Good Going!!!
MISS BVI DONATES HER CULTURAL WEAR TO HLSCC MARINE CENTER
Miss BVI, Sharlita Millington, recently presentated her cultural wear, symbolizing an island sloop named “Vigilate”, to the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College Marine Center.She believes that the BVI should remain focused and vigilant concerning the restoration of island sloops.
The “Vigilate” was accepted by Geoffrey Brooks, also a Board Member of the West End Yacht Club who focus their attention on the preservation of Tortola Boats. Sharlita is a great gal who thanked Geoff for being a resource person during the preparatory period before the Miss BVI pageant and who had given her the information needed to make a cultural costume that symbolized the maritime history and culture of the BVI. She tells AAS, “Since Mr. Brooks is in charge of developing a Maritime Museum at the College’s Marine Center, the sloop can be displayed as its main center piece. This should definitely help focus public attention on the importance of our sloops.”
Geoff told me that “We will display it with pride. The Vigilate, along with other pieces by the late boat builder Mr. Osmond Davies, can be viewed at the Marine Center and we hope that visitors to the BVI will enjoy this.”
THE MOORINGS CELEBRATES IT’S BIG 35TH!!!
The Moorings marked its 35th anniversary recently with a large celebration featuring the christening of its newest cruising catamaran, the Moorings 4000. This was really a fun event with appearances and speeches by Governor Thomas Macan, Chief Minister Dr. Orlando Smith, and Moorings founder Charlie Cary. Dr. Smith climbed aboard the new boat with several Moorings leaders to christen the new vessel with a bottle of champagne.
The new addition brings the Moorings fleet to 770 yachts in 27 locations worldwide. That growth began in Tortola in 1969 when Charlie and Ginny (now deceased) Cary founded the company. Moorings Presiden, Lex Raas, called them the “pioneers” of the charter industry. “We have come a long way since our first fleet of six 35-foot yachts in Tortola.”
The Moorings 4000 is a 40-foot catamaran built in Cape Town, South Africa, that can accommodate eight to 10 passengers. Just imagine the parties you can have on that. Congratulations to the Moorings and their BVI fleet.
RUSSELL COUTTS SPEAKS AT RBVIYC
America’s Cup sailor Russell Coutts spoke at the Royal BVI Yacht Club on Saturday, October 30th; he was in the BVI to compete in the Bitter End Yacht Club’s Annual Pro-Am Regatta In addition to his 2003 America’s Cup title, Coutts also led the successful defense of the Cup for his native country in 2000, and won the Cup in 1995. He was also the world’s match racing champion in 1992, 1994 and 1996, and won an Olympic gold medal in 1984. He has twice been named the International Yacht Racing Union’s World Sailor of the Year. Everyone seemed to enjoy hearing about his vast racing/sailing knowledge as well as enjoying the dinner and the evening.It was a fun affair.