By now the Off Season is behind us. It’s a funny thing but by the end of the summer season, as August winds down, everyone in the tourism industry is ready for a break; restful weekends and holidays are anticipated as employees wave goodbye to the last tourists with a sigh of relief. But by November the shoe is on the other foot and depleted bank accounts and bulging credit card debts are signaling a need for a return of visitors, hopefully with fat wallets. In other words the On Season is awaited with great expectations. The famous entertainer, Tony Snell, of the BVI’s Last Resort, once bought a “bargain” property in New Hampshire but then described the wisdom of his purchase with some doubt, “The place has four seasons: the wet season, the mud season, the fly season and the off season.”
But how did the term “Off Season” get to be coined. Charlie was given several explanations, “It’s because it’s time to get off the rock; time to broaden your horizons and see family and friends in other parts of the world. Or since it also happens to be the hurricane season, which can mean torrential rains and tropical downpours, perfect for breeding mosquitoes, the repellant Off becomes a much sought after remedy. Yep, that’s it, the Off Season.”
Charlie visited a French Deli one day during the Off Season and bought an expensive portion of smelly cheese. When he got back to his boat he found the cheese to be inedible. Next day he took it back to the shop and complained. The manager told him, “Zees sheese ees not off. Eet ees for zee mature palate.” Charlie left the offensive comestible there and just presumed he was a victim of the Off Season.
Charlie was still not convinced that any of the explanations were really viable until one evening he was sailing into the BVI’s North Sound and two of the lights on the channel markers weren’t working. He explained the dilemma to the harbor master at Leverick Bay,
“Ah,” said the knowledgeable fellow, “yes, they’ve been off for a while. Don’t expect they’ll be on again until the season.”
Then at the local waterfront bar Charlie took a seat next to his friend, Aussie Randy, and the subject of the Off Season came up. Randy immediately came up with the answer, “It’s because we all have more time to relax and “have it off.”
Charlie thought for a moment, “In America it’s called ‘getting it on’.”
“Great,” replied Randy, “we’re covered for both seasons.”
So there you have it! Charlie wishes everyone a happy and rewarding season; a jolly Christmas and a rollicking Boxing Day!
Julian Putley is the author of The Drinking Man’s Guide to the BVI, Sunfun Calypso
and Sunfun Gospel.