Saving Sandy Spit & Green Cay

Caribbean sailors and locals alike—led by Jost Van Dyke musician and entrepreneur Foxy—have have spent 2003 raising funds to purchase and preserve the romantic islets of Sandy Spit and Green Cay, favored stopovers in the British Virgin Islands and easily the source of more Madison Avenue-fueled daydreams than any other outcropping of tropical sand and palm trees anywhere on the Blue
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Caribbean sailors and locals alike—led by Jost Van Dyke musician and entrepreneur Foxy—have have spent 2003 raising funds to purchase and preserve the romantic islets of Sandy Spit and Green Cay, favored stopovers in the British Virgin Islands and easily the source of more Madison Avenue-fueled daydreams than any other outcropping of tropical sand and palm trees anywhere on the Blue Planet. When Sandy Spit and Green Cay went up for sale this year, alarms went off all over. But the pressure is off, apparently. Our correspondent in the BVI, Peter Muilenberg, reports that the government of BVI has announced plans to buy the islands and join them with the country's national park system. That's exactly the goal shared by Foxy and friends, so this is excellent news. The islands remain pristine, and they are important rookeries as well as a nesting ground for endangered sea turtles. According to a report in the BVI Beacon, the BVI parks expect to also acquire Sandy Cay, 4 miles off Tortola. That is expected to come as a gift from the Laurence Rockefeller Foundation.

The sale of Green Cay and Sandy Spit is being handled by the Hamburg, Germany firm of Vladi Private Islands which, yes, specializes in island properties. We spent some time drooling over the sumptuous offerings at Vladi Private Islands, but we'd love to see the good people of the BVI succeed in keeping these 16 acres pristine. Vladi's listing carries this description: "Green Cay and Sandy Spit form part of the outer island group of Jost Van Dyke about four miles to the north-east of Tortola, the principal island of the British Virgin Islands. Green Cay and Sandy Spit lie at the eastern end of Little Jost Van Dyke. Sandy Cay, owned by Laurence Rockefeller, is a near neighbour of Green Cay and is renowned for its gorgeous beach. It is designated as a National Park. Green Cay and Sandy Spit offer most interesting opportunities for development. Green Cay, the larger, rises to about 100 feet above sea level and has an area of ca. 15 acres. On its north and east shore it has a rocky coastline while to the south west it slopes gently towards Sandy Spit and is covered partly by heavy vegetation and mature trees. Sandy Spit is the very image of a perfect tropical island with an area of less than an acre. It lies about 200 yards to the south of Green Cay to which it is connected by a bar of coral reef. It is rimmed on all sides by pure white sand beach. A number of coconut palms complete the picture. Almost enclosing both Green Cay and Sandy Spit are superb coral reefs set in clear turquoise waters and offering marvellous conditions for snorkeling and diving." More on Sandy Spit below . . .

Peter Muilenberg filed this report for the August, 2003 issue of SAIL. It speaks to the sense of alarm felt by many people when the threat to the islets was announced—

Saving the daydream

Longevity is good. Les Anderson's 35-foot schooner Penelope, a participant 29 years ago in the first-ever Foxy's Wooden Boat Race, came up a winner in the 2003 version, which was dedicated to an even-greater exercise in longevity—preserving the exquisite, famed, loved and much-photographed Green Cay and Sandy Spit, hard by the British Virgin Islands stopovers of Jost Van Dyke.

Green Cay and Sandy Spit have appeared in countless commercials, in the memories of virtually everyone who has sailed the BVI, and in the dreams of millions. But now both are for sale and at risk of being developed.

If that strikes you as a shame, you're not alone. A rescue effort is being led by Feliciano Callwood, aka Foxy, the local musician who perfected the island beach bar (and who is probably the most famous West Indian after Bob Marley and Fidel Castro). He and his friends are raising funds for the Jost Van Dyke Preservation Society, with hopes to merge picture-perfect Green Cay and Sandy Spit into a public marine park to benefit islanders, visiting sailors, and generations to come. They're even willing to face cold water to do it, thus the first annual Foxy's Wooden Boat Regatta-North, a fund-raiser coming to Corinthian YC in Marblehead, Massachusetts, August 30-31.

The terms are simple: "Wooden yachts of any size or shape, singlehanded or fully-crewed, mono or multi-hulled." No ratings. Instead, boats will be grouped by size. You can reach the Corinthian YC at 781-631-0005.

Related

e60aa842-1c3c-41da-b0ba-dfd7678479e4

The New York Yacht Club Submits a Protocol Alteration with its America’s Cup Challenge

The New York Yacht Club (NYYC) has submitted a challenge for the 37th America’s Cup to the current Defender, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) in Auckland, New Zealand. The challenge was accompanied by a draft protocol for the regatta, which would see the Cup take ...read more

01-LEAD-CCA-Antarctica2-01

Cruising: Honoring Remarkable Ocean Voyages and Seamanship

The Cruising Club of America, an organization of about 1,300 offshore sailors, has been honoring remarkable ocean voyages and seamanship with an array of prestigious awards for nearly 100 years. The club’s highest honor, the Blue Water Medal, has recognized renowned and ...read more

2.4mR's racing at the 2018 Clagett Regatta-US Para Sailing Championships credit Clagett Regatta-Andes Visual

Host for 2021 U.S. Para Sailing Championships Announced

The 2021 U.S. Para Sailing Championships will be hosted by The Clagett Regatta at Sail Newport, in Newport, R.I. on August, 24-29, 2021, according to a joint announcement from the host and US Sailing. "We have had a very long working relationship with US Sailing and look forward ...read more

Reflections-photo-CMerwarth

Cruising: Reflections of an Old Salt

I am 90 years old, dwindling in mind and body and fear living too long. Twenty years have passed since I last weighed anchor. Still, when a Carolina blue sky is polka-dotted with billowing cumulus clouds and the wind blows fair, I sorely miss raising sail and setting forth. I ...read more

DSC_0145

Waterlines: Solo Sailing

In spite of the fact I came to the sport of sailing alone and untutored, in a boat I acquired on my own, I never really aspired to become a solo sailor. It just sort of happened. All these years later, I still never explicitly plan to sail anywhere alone. I’m always happy to ...read more

01a-DJI_0398

Racing The M32 Class

This year the M32 celebrates its 10th birthday. Swedish Olympic bronze medalist Göran Marström and Kåre Ljung designed the M32 in 2011 as the latest addition to an already impressive portfolio that includes the Tornado, M5 A-Class, M20 catamaran and the Extreme 40. Two years ...read more

01-LEAD-23274-Coastal-Oilskins-GSP

Know how: Cleats, Clutches and Jammers

Since the invention of rope, there has also been a need to belay or secure it. Every sailboat has rope on board so, unless you own a superyacht with captive reels or winches, you’re going to have to find a way to make it fast. (As a side note—and before you reach for your ...read more

9e4d8714-2a8e-4e79-b8f6-c9786aaec4d0

Antigua Sailing Week Announces Women’s Mentorship Program

In partnership with the Antigua and Barbuda Marine Association, Antigua Sailing Week is launching a mentorship program to encourage women and girls to join the sport of sailing. President of Antigua Sailing Week, Alison Sly-Adams says, “When we devised the program, we looked at ...read more