My favorite place in the World. Luckily, I wasn't there.
Since 1991, only two back-to-back, record-breaking hurricanes and one global pandemic have prevented us from our annual winter holiday in the peaceful paradise named the British Virgin Islands (aka BVI). We have visited there more than 25 times without any sort of incident. The bad stuff always occurred in the U.S. Virgin Islands, specifically St. Thomas, which has a reputation for ugly things happening after dark, especially (brace yourself for this) regarding drugs.
We go through St. Thomas when we come to the BVI. Sometimes we spend a night there before we make the short trip over to the BVI by ferry the next morning. If we do that, we are very careful where we go at night. We do not party with drug dealers.
We have never worried about drugs in the BVI. When we step off the morning ferry and onto BVI turf, we know we are safe. Friendly “belongers” welcome us with smiles. It is truly a peaceful place with a well-earned good name. We drive our rental car all over the main island of Tortola both day and night - and we have NEVER run into one drug dealer.
While it is not known for drugs, BVI does occasionally get caught up in media coverage about money laundering. I don’t pay much attention to that as I am not a high roller looking for places to park large amounts of money. The only money of mine that gets laundered is an occasional coin in a pocket that falls out when my clothes are washed. We do send our clothes to a laundry when we’re in the BVI so if you want to get me in trouble on a technicality, I suppose you could say I do money laundering.
But, nobody talks about any of that down there. The relatively small cohort of Americans who have discovered the BVI are much too busy being in the water, on the water or just looking at the water to waste time conjuring up negative thoughts about something as mundane as money.
One of our favorite activities in the BVI is to do absolutely nothing. Think about a sunny afternoon on a lawn chair looking out over a water channel that is little more than a mile wide with a perfect view of the U.S. island of St. John. We have done that hundreds of times. Between the salt air and doing nothing, this is very tiring. We’ve been known to say perhaps it’s time to go back to work for a rest.
All of this leads me to something that happened this past Sunday. A small boat, pursued in the air by a large helicopter and on land by the local police, slammed into the beach at high speed in the very spot where I so enjoy sitting and doing nothing. It ran aground on the sand having cut across the well-protected water RIGHT IN FRONT of where we have stayed many times.
Media reports say there were three men on this boat. One was captured and two escaped. Something that did not escape was $27 million of cocaine, or as the media report said, “11 bales of substance believed to be cocaine.” The report goes on to say, “A search by law enforcement has uncovered a significant quantity of suspected cocaine in the nearby waters.”
Wait till the fish discover that. And, imagine eating one of those island fish for dinner tonight in a local restaurant as you listen to a wonderful steel drum band or some Bob Marley wannabe.
If only I had been on that beach yesterday - and the boat didn’t kill me when it came ashore - I might have gotten my hands on enough of that white powdery stuff to pay for my vacation. Timing is everything in this life and, unfortunately, my timing wasn’t good in this instance. To make a bad pun, my ship did not come in.
There’s a wonderful beer down in that part of the world marketed under the name Carib. It’s only 11 in the morning as I write this, but it’s never too early in the day to console myself with an ice cold beer. Carib is my drug of choice.
DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.
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