Transamerica 2021 STOP 2
September 28, 2021
Saint Pierre, Saint Pierre and Miquelon – Scrub Island, BVI
Flight distance: 2577 nm (Fuel stop in Bermuda)
Hours in the air: 3:06 / 2:30
First dive into the Virgin Islands
Another hectic morning awaited us. We needed fresh Covid tests which we had done last night literally during dinner and to be on the safe side wanted the result before take-off. So we sent the pilots to the airport to prepare the plane while staff in charge of land arrangement (i.e. Marc-Philippe and myself) had to organize lunch and the test results from the hospital just behind the hotel, where “strangely” everybody greeted like they knew us. With a half hour delay of original plan we took off with nice views over Miquelon.
We had a short fuel stop in the Bahamas where we had the “pleasure” with a grumpy airport worker for whom we just seemed to be a nuisance, which cost us at least another half an hour.
Luckily our handler at BVI airport on Tortola was the complete opposite and got us swiftly through all the formalities and our fresh tests of course helped as well.
Our hotel, just across the bay was only accessible by boat so we had our first cold beverage of the day waiting for the transfer.
A short boat ride brought us to lavish Scrub Island Resort. On the way there traces of hurricane Irma are still omni-present with countless destroyed houses to be seen along the shoreline and in the hills. On the plus side, we had the pleasure to have a first sun-downer at the beach.
Today was a beautiful morning and I went for a run around the island to see the North Shore, which, according to staff, is far and about 30 minutes away. My 5! minute run there was dotted with beautiful landscape including special looking cacti which Rainer really liked and as a result the photo went straight to his whatsapp profile. 😳🤩
Rainer, Tom and myself are flying onwards to St. Thomas, US VI. We have to leave Marc-Philippe here since they don’t let him into the US without a visa. We will pick him up again tomorrow on the way to Anguila.
Facts & figures
The British Virgin Islands (BVI), officially the Virgin Islands, are a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean, to the east of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and north-west of Anguilla. The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles and part of the West Indies.
The British Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke, along with more than 50 other smaller islands and cays. About 16 of the islands are inhabited. The capital, Road Town, is on Tortola, the largest island, which is about 20 km long and 5 km wide, current estimates put the population at 35’802 (July 2018).
The economy of BVI is closely tied to the larger and more populous US Virgin Islands to the west; the US dollar is the legal currency.
The islands were struck by Hurricane Irma on 6 September 2017, causing extensive damage, as well as four deaths. The most significant damage was on Tortola.
The islands were named “Santa Úrsula y las Once Mil Vírgenes” by Christopher Columbus in 1493 after the legend of Saint Ursula and the 11,000 virgins. The name was later shortened to “the Virgin Islands”.
It is generally thought that the Virgin Islands were first settled by the Arawak from South America around 100 BC to AD 200, though there is some evidence of Amerindian presence on the islands as far back as 1500 BC. The Arawaks inhabited the islands until the 15th century when they were displaced by the more aggressive Caribs, a tribe from the Lesser Antilles islands.
The first European sighting of the Virgin Islands was by the Spanish expedition of Christopher Columbus in 1493 on his second voyage to the Americas, who gave the islands their modern name.
The Spanish Empire claimed the islands by discovery in the early 16th century, but never settled them, and subsequent years saw the English, Dutch, French, Spanish, and Danish all jostling for control of the region, which became a notorious haunt for pirates. There is no record of any native Amerindian population in the British Virgin Islands during this period; it is thought that they either fled to safer islands or were killed.
The Dutch established a permanent settlement on the island of Tortola by 1648, frequently clashing with the Spanish who were based on nearby Puerto Rico. In 1672, the English captured Tortola from the Dutch and Virgin Gorda followed in 1680. Meanwhile, over the period 1672–1733, the Danish gained control of the nearby islands of Saint Thomas, Saint John and Saint Croix (i.e. the modern US Virgin Islands). During the 17th century, the archipelago was divided into two territorial units, one English and the other Danish. Sugarcane, produced by slave labor, drove the islands’ economy during the 18th and early 19th centuries. In 1917, the US purchased the Danish portion, which had been in economic decline since the abolition of slavery in 1848.
Source: wikipedia.org / nationsonline.org