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Hurricane Irma

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20 Sep

Hurricane Irma

This post is an update on how hurricane Irma affected our small restaurant/bar business and some other much loved destinations in Trellis Bay and the BVI. It is not a story about the destruction of homes and lives or the grave humanitarian crisis that is currently unfolding. Please visit bvirelief.com for updates and fundraising initiatives. Our thoughts go to all affected on many Caribbean islands and more recently in Mexico. AW

 

Before

On 6th August 2017,  Jeremy’s Kitchen looked a bit like this:

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After

On 6th September the BVI scored a direct hit from Irma, a super-powerful  Category 5 hurricane. Trellis Bay, along with other areas in the BVI, experienced the eye of the storm. At that time Jeremy’s Kitchen was closed for a summer break so we did not witness the terror reported by numerous people who were hostages in their own homes.

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Jeremy’s Kitchen today – still standing, We are so grateful…

Somehow we, along with two other buildings, avoided the worst of the winds. Our beach is littered with felled trees and yachts. “Navigated”, a bulky motor yacht which was moored 100 yards off our beach, narrowly missed damaging our building. We were lucky she didn’t crash into us otherwise both of us would be worse off.

At JK, we retained most of our roof and one palm tree (99% of palms in the BVI have been destroyed).

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Before and after – our single palm – saved by the roof built around it

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Above: Scattered remains of the classic 1932  Tortola Sloop Esperanza (below) which has been a feature of our beach for years.

Trellis Bay's Tortola Sloop

Esperanza. Now gone for good, smashed to bits by Irma

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The benefits of having no windows – only solid wood sliding openings

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The back of JK showing a very respectable roof! Even Jeremy’s truck doesn’t look very different from before the storm (it had seen better days)

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Around Trellis Bay

The Loose Mongoose, is a bar/restaurant 200 yards along our beach.

The concrete guest house is the only thing that remains, the large wooden restaurant/bar (green and purple in the photo) has totally disappeared, replaced by a stray yacht.

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Before and After: Beef Island Guest house and Loose Mongoose Bar/Restaurant (right)

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Remains of the wooden restaurant

Our immediate neighbour to the east, Aragorn’s Studio, were as lucky as we were and managed to keep their roof and a tall palm. They also have a beached yacht parked right in front of them. Note the very heavy sheet metal sculpture in the tree.

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Aragorn’s Studio ‘after’ – we don’t have a ‘before’ from this angle as there was too much vegetation…

At the far end of our beach is the local shop and BBQ hut, Trellis Bay Market which suffered damage but was largely still standing.

After just a few days they had recovered enough to serve limited lunches.

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Before and after Trellis Market

The Island Last Resort is located on a small island in the middle of Trellis Bay.

As you can see from the photos below, it was totally gutted by the storm.

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The Last Resort, before and after

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Last Resort close-ups

Yachts in the bay

The eastern part of Trellis Bay has been home to numerous yachts, some used as live-aboard homes, some left for years (cheap mooring near the airport) and some abandoned. It has been a constant source of contention for all of the restaurants in the bay.  The yachts which aren’t used regularly are detrimental to the bay as they deter visiting charter guests from visiting because the bay looks ‘full’;  some of the yachts also look rather tired; it’s the boating equivalent of a trailer park. Well, that debate has been settled by Irma – every boat is now high and dry on the beach. Those which are loved and used regularly will be repaired and re-floated and those which aren’t will stay in their new sandy home. Irma has cleared the bay. Our thoughts go to the ‘resident’ community whose floating homes may have been badly damaged.

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Photo credit: Caribbean Buzz Helicopters

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Photo  credit: Dive BVI

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Photo credit: Caribbean Buzz Helicopters

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Yachts littering the shore. Photo Tim Kozachuk

So, as you can see Trellis was a bay of 2 halves. The yachts, Loose Mongoose and Last Resort felt the full brunt of the storm while a ‘lucky’ strip of beach buildings were spared.

The airport terminal is in good shape but the flimsier hangars were destroyed as was the nearby telecoms mast

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Beef Island Airport jet and helicopter hangars

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Before and after – an empty Trellis Bay

Elsewhere in the BVI in pictures

Other much loved venues around the BVI; some of them will never be the same again.

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Cane Garden Bay

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Soper’s Hole, West End

Marina Cay.before.after

Marina Cay

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Part of The Bitter End

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Hillside Villas, The Bitter End, North Sound, VG

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Leverick Bay, VG

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Foxy’s Taboo, Jost van Dyke

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Saba Rock, North Sound

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The BVI’s most famous restaurant, Foxys

Road Town

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The original Pusser’s Company Store and Pub in Road Town

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Scotiabank, Road Town

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BVI Government Administration Complex, Road Town.

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Elmore Stoutt High School, Road Town

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Charter fleets in the safe ‘hurricane hole’ of Paraquita Bay

Military help

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Troops arriving at Beef island Airport (Jeremy’s Kitchen is directly behind the plane ramp).

There is now a big military presence – and the Royal marines have established a base at the Airport

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Landing barge at Nanny Cay

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Relief funds

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We have set up an APPEAL FUND for our staff. Several have lost their roof and some are now homeless due to the damage cause to their property.

Below:  Stacey’s house:

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For other BVI relief efforts visit the BVI RELIEF website.

 

AW. 20 September 2017

 

 

 

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