BVI Charter Yacht Show
By Traci O'Dea
“Welcome aboard,” were the first words I heard as I stepped onto Dreaming On, a Leopard 47 catamaran based in the BVI and owned and operated by Geoff and Iza Prower. I heard those words repeatedly as I traversed the docks of Village Cay for the Charter Yacht Society’s 2010 BVI Charter Yacht Show, and I felt genuinely welcomed by the captains and crew who are passionate about pleasing and pampering guests aboard their yachts.
While Iza prepared cocktails and fig hors d’oeuvres for the Travel the Nations yacht hop, Geoff showed me around the boat, and I instantly regretted the fact that I haven’t experienced the pleasure of being rocked to sleep in the cocoon-like comfort of a yacht’s cabin in over a year. As a writer for BVI Property & Yacht, it’s absurd that I don’t spend more time on chartered sailboats other than daysails. After my afternoon visiting yachts at the boat show, I have a feeling that’s going to change very soon.
The beauty of the crewed yachts at the BVI Charter Yacht Show is that each one has its own personality. Iza told me that other crews advised them to provide board games aboard Dreaming On, for rainy days or lazy nights, but they took it a step further by creating their own board games including Virgin Islands-opoly, where players can purchase different islands and beaches and build hotels on them. “You can buy Necker Island,” Geoff told me. They also created a game called the Virgin Islands Trivia Trail, similar to Trivial Pursuit, but guests learn about the VI instead of random facts.
Max and Whitey White are happy to serve the guests of True North.
As much as I wanted to stay and play a game or two, I had to visit other boats, so I bid farewell to Geoff and Iza and made my way down the dock. As I snapped shots of the various yachts, crewmembers warmly greeted me and welcomed me aboard, each boasting they had the best yacht at the show. I was about to turn around at the end of the dock when Peter Hill, first mate of True North, insisted that I step onto the Privilege 65 catamaran. Once on board, Chef Maxine White and Captain John “Whitey” White made me feel like I had stepped into a favourite aunt and uncle’s living room. Max proudly gave me a tour of the gleaming interior, and I commented on the elegantly decorated cabins. “Our owners have great taste,” she said, and I naively remembered that not all crew are owners of the boats they work on, yet they exhibit such fierce pride for the vessels that you wouldn’t know otherwise.
Other than visiting the beautiful yachts, I learned about the Charter Yacht Society’s commitment to championing green sailing, spent a slightly rowdy evening under the gazebo at Village Cay during the welcome party and enjoyed an night mingling with the crews and BVI notable personalities at the Governor’s reception. I plan on returning to the event every year, but in the meantime, I think it’s about time I spent a week or two aboard one of the yachts. The only problem now is deciding which one to choose.