|Please support the BVI National Parks Trust, dedicated to the preservation of the natural and marine heritage of the islands.||Cruising Guides,
Culture, Dining, Diving and Snorkeling, Families,
History, Literature, National Parks Trust Memrobilia, Maps, Nature, Travel Guides
Sunfon Calypso (1999 Paperback, 350 pp.) by local author Julian Putley, a yacht charter captain, will "put a smile on your face" with its island characters, "moods and dramas" and authentic description of "all the sun, beauty and laughter" of the Caribbean.
Don't Stop the Carnival by Herman Wouk, 1992, Paperback from Little Brown & Co. Click here to order. Said to be a favorite of Caribbean innkeepers, this fabulous novel will draw you in and knock you out--warning, a work of great literature! I like to imagine the setting is Marina Cay.
Music CD: Don't
Stop the Carnival by Jimmy Buffet. This is the
soundtrack for the musical, Carnival 98 Tour --a collaboration
of Herman Wouk and Jimmy Buffet (see
story here). Also, the classic Jimmy Buffet CD, Songs
You Know By Heart.
Two on the Isle, by Robb White, a classic about life with his bride on Marina Cay in the 1940s (out-of-print edition is currently at Amazon Books with collectible prices). Ron, on Travel Talk, informs us: "Mrs. Annie White, Rob's wife, has a new printing ordered but also has only a few copies of the original printing that are signed by Rob White. For those of you who have tried over and over to buy the book while in the BVI's, you are in luck. You can email Mrs. White at firstname.lastname@example.org or write her at 1780 Glen Oaks Dr., Santa Barbara, California 93108-2112. Her telephone number is 805-969-1862. She is an absolute joy to talk to."
Treaure Island is believed to have been inspired by the BVI's own Norman Island.
|Treasure Island by Robert Lewis Stevenson (his life), 1883. "Synopsis: Perhaps the greatest of all adventure stories for boys and girls, Treasure Island began, a brave boy who finds himself among pirates, and of the sinister pirate-cook Long John Silver holds children as entranced today as it did a century ago. For plain and pure imaginative delight, Treasure Island is unsurpassed in its evocation of unforgetable scenes and characters that have heartened readers young and old since its original publication in 1883." Click here to order: Illustrated Junior Library 1994 edition, Bullseye Step Into Classics 1993 edition, 1996 Audio cassette, with narrator Michael York and School & Library Binding 1981 edition illustrated by N.C.Wyeth. Here is an online version with a map. Also see Pirates & Privateers.|
Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands by Nancy & Simon Scott, from Cruising Guide Publications, is a most excellent book, with detailed chart-like drawings and a wealth of information, including GPS waypoints. A work of art! Always get the latest edition.
Virgin Anchorages, by Simon & Nancy Scott, June 2000, Cruising Guide Publications, a companion book to the Cruising Guide above, is a collection of magnificent aerial views of the most popular anchorages of the Virgin Islands, with a duplicate page of chart-like sketched overlays to decipher the anchorage for navigating sailors. This is a worthy coffee table conversation starter for any BVI traveler. The 2000 release has five new anchorages added as well as new photography and updated graphics.
Map Server has free nautical chart online.
Waterproof Navigation Chart - British Virgin Islands, by Waterproof Charts Inc., 37x25, Cruising Guide Publications (email, 800-330-9542). NOAA/DMA color chart, waterproof and foldable with GPS waypoints. See excerpt of chart.
|Diving & Snorkeling||Diving & Snorkeling.
Diving British Virgin Islands by Jim and Ooile Scheiner, 1997, from AcquaQuest Books is a fabulous book--very comprehensive with brilliant photos, and even site diagrams. Jim Scheiner is a photojournalist whose pictures capture the best of the BVIs. Click here to order.
Diving And Snorkeling Guide to the Virgin Islands by Linda Sorensen, 1992, from Pisces Books, is a fine book, engulfing the reader in its underwater world with informative material about BVI sites. Click here to order.
Snorkeling Guide to Marine Life : Florida Caribbean Bahamas by Paul Humann, 1995 80 page Paperback. A great little book covering so much--fish, coral, creatures, plants--with exquisite small photos of each!
Reef Fish Identification: Florida Caribbean Bahamas by Paul Humann, 1994 Spiral Paperback 2nd Edition. Dive Training Magazine, July 1995: If you are a diver, fish hobbyist or reef enthusiast, the second edition of REEF FISH ID belongs on your bookshelf. Rodale's Scuba Diving, December 1994: The most complete photographic guide to warm water Atlantic and Caribbean species ever published. Skin Diver Magazine, May 1996: The Bible of Fishwatching. Also by the same author: Reef Coral Identification, Reef Creature Identification, and Reef Set (boxed set of all three).
The Sugar Mill Caribbean Cookbook: Casual and Elegant Recipes Inspired by the Islands by Jinx and Jefferson Morgan, 1996, from Harvard Common Press. Click here to order 272 page paperback or hardcover. A truly remarkable book! Some years ago, Bon Appetit food and wine writers, Jinx and Jefferson Morgan bought a small resort in an historic sugar mill which now houses the Sugar Mill Restaurant--considered by many to be the finest in the Caribbean. Although on the surface a collection of recipes, this is truly Caribbean cuisine "illustrated" with the rare combination of a food writer's' breadth of knowledge and restaurant owner's practical experience. This cooking odyssey ranges through all the Caribbean from basic Jerked Ribs to exquisite tropical fruit salsas on seafood, such as Pan-Seared Scallops with Tomato-Mango Salsa. These island fruits, roots, and a wide range of ingredients from around the world may provide the basis for a new "classical" cuisine, as the heavy, undecipherable, fattening sauces of old are replaced by light, flavorful, healthy combinations that only an international cultural crossroads like the Caribbean may engender. Warning: despite some discipline, readers may find themselves drooling--take a taste of the Caribbean home today!
Sky Juice and Flying Fish by Jessica B. Harris, culinary historian, 1991, paperback from Fireside. Click here to order. A fabulous book of island cooking, especially recipes inspired by Africa: "This truly authentic guide to Caribbean cooking explores the down-home, flavorful food served in the homes of locals and at roadside stands. A Caribbean expert, Jessica Harris gives an island-by-island culinary history, providing a colorful context for each of the 150 regional specialties which range from tasty appetizers to soups to salads to tropical vegetables to hearty main dishes [Amazon Books synopsis]."
Maverick Sea Fare: A Caribbean Cookbook by Dee Carstarphen, 6 x 9, 64 pp. Charter boat routines and meals fit for "early mornings anchored out in the islands," give way to Maverick favorites as they blossom more generally into salads, breads and desserts. Soon the focus shifts to tropical ingredients such as coconut and fruits, vegetables and chutney, conch and fish the way it is caught off the boat. Born in a "space the size of an ordinary broom closet," the many recipes are easy and well-honed as well as exotic and delightful enough to serve paying guests.
But this book, published in 1977 and reprinted, is more. The hand-lettered text and many drawings were all done by the author herself. It is, Dee says, a record of the "very good years" she spent as the chef, and wife, on a small charter windjammar, the Maverick, sailing the Caribbean. Indeed, it is a work of art with the calligraphy all intertwined with wonderful drawings. A classic little book offering valuable insight into food and life in the islands.
See also by Jessica Harris, Iron Pots and
Wooden Spoons : Africa's Gift to New World Cooking, 1999 208 page
paperback, $12.00 before discount. More than 175 recipes for Cajun, Creole, and Caribbean
dishes that find their roots and ingredients in the cooking of West and Central Africa.
The Virgin Islands Restaurant Guide & Recipe Book, part of series, $14.95, Cruising Guide Publications (email, 800-330-9542). "These unique guides feature fine Caribbean restaurants and favorite recipes with photos."
CDN's ProAccurate Quick-Read Thermometer, recommended by Cook's Illustrated, is an excellent, but low-cost, digital thermometer.
Sunshine Style : A Sunny Caribbee Cookbook for Sunny Climes and Limin Times, by Susan Gunter, 1994 Hardcover. "A tropical celebration that will acquaint you with the many Sunny Caribbee flavours used in Susan's collection of contemporary cuisine. These simple, but delicious and creative recipes, menus, suggestions, and hints are enjoyable wherever you may be--on a boat, a mountain top, or in your own backyard. Created in the spirit of endless summer, Sunshine Style is a culinary inspiration for the novice and/or master chef. Printed in colour and spiral bound with a hard cover to lay perfectly flat."
Search Amazon Books. Enter subject, title or author or other keyword and get discounts on books and music CDs.
|Travel Guides||Travel Guides.
The Best of the British Virgin Islands (The Best of Series), 3nd Edition, by Pamela Acheson, May 2003. This is the latest version of Pamela's guide--a great book for a fun vacation! Text and drawings only, with a lot of down-to-earth advice. Especially excellent on DRIVING (yes, like in motor vehicle) to all the special places on the islands.
The Best of St Thomas : An Insider's Guide to the Most Popular U.S. Virgin Island by Pamela Acheson, April 1996. Click here to order. "As a resident, Acheson provides an insider's view of St. Thomas, describing shopping opportunities, cafes and unusual restaurants, and attractions which might otherwise be missed." You can count on Pamela to have the real scoop if you're have layover time or are considering a ferry trip to St. Thomas.
Visiting the Virgin Islands With Kids : A Complete Guide to Enjoyable Travel With Children in the British and U.S. Virgin Islands by Richard B. Myers, 1996, from Two Thousand Three Assocs. Click here to order. This book, with text and drawings only, covers the same material as is available elsewhere but provides a much needed focus on families so it is a worthwhile purchase from that perspective.
Danger, Dolphins, and Ginger Beer, by John Vigor, 1993 (school & library binding) (reading level: ages 9-12), card catalog description: "while camping on Crab Island in the British Virgin Islands, twelve-year-old Sally and her two younger brothers rescue an injured dolphin and become involved in a dangerous adventure with mysterious strangers." Click here to order.
Also, see Treasure Island by Robert Lewis Stevenson under Literature above.
Early History of the British Virgin Islands by Vernon M. Pickering, BVI native son and editor of The Island Sun newpaper, from Falcon Publications International. This unique scholarly work includes "new details on Columbus's discovery, life at Mt. Healthy Sugar Mill, Peter Island and the Brandenburgers, St. Philip's Church, slave rebellions, place names, Emancipation Proclamation, Arthur Hodge, William Thornton, coins and stamps." A special 248 page hard-bound, deluxe revised edition is available for the BVI market at major outlets in the islands and by mail order (click here for information).
Coals of Fire, by Penn Moll (order by email)(94 pg., illustrated by local painter Joseph Hodge), author of numberous books on the BVI, examines the history of the fireplace and cooking facilities, "from Bedouin Earth Ovens, African Ant-hill Ovens, to the more familiar Coal-pot Stove and Modern Cookers," including chapters on "baking cassava bread, cooking utensils, calabash, cooking apparatus, mortar and pestle, charcoal, lime burning, grinding stones, and shells used to serve or cook food," as reviewed in Island Sun's "COALS OF FIRE": New Book Focuses on Development of the Fireplace in the Virgin Islands.
The Nature of the Islands: Plants & Animals of the Eastern Caribbean, Virginia Barlow and Chris Doyle, 6 x 9, 148 pp. (September 1997), color illustrations by Katie Shears. "A visually pleasing and knowledgeable description of island flora and fauna."
Conch Book; All You Ever Wanted to Know about the Queen Conch from Gestation to Gastronomy by Dee Carstarphen, 6 x 9, 76 pp. Filled with illustrations and facts about conch.
by Herbert A. Raffaele, Cindy J. House, John Wiessinger, 254 page paperback, 1990 rev. ed. This revision of the "widely praised" original has "detailed accounts of all 284 well-documented species known to occur in the region, 273 being illustrated," including the 47% that are winter visitors. Lists "places to bird" as well.
Understanding the Eastern Caribbean and the Antilles, by Nelson Marshall, 368 page paperback (March 1992). A discussion of the natural world of the Eastern Caribbean by a biological oceanographer in lay terms, such as reefs, mangroves, weather and the islands' future.
Soap Operas of the Sky, by Jeannie Kuich, paperback (January 1995). A guide to stargazing with stories and charts, especially the awesome view from the tropical latitudes near the equator.
Foxy and Jost Van Dyke by Peter Farrell, 6 x 8, 120 pp., $10.00, Cruising Guide Publications (email, 800-330-9542). A book on Foxy Callwood and the island of Jost Van Dyke "explores the entertaining and humorous side to one of the Virgin Island's most colorful and infamous characters."
Pirates of the Virgin Islands/Mavericks in Paradise by Fritz Seyfarth, 6 x 9, 80 pp., $9.95, Cruising Guide Publications (email, 800-330-9542).Two books in one unique back-to-back binding. Pirates explores the golden age of piracy; Mavericks is a collection of 16 intriguing short stories.
Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage, Amazon review: Caribbean English is an exceptionally rich dialect, evocative and vivid. Take "bagabu," for instance, a fine word American and British English lack, referring to dried nose mucus. "Day-clean" is a lovely word for dawn. To be in "goat-heaven" is to be in a state of bliss, but to have "goat-mouth" is a nasty business, similar to giving the evil eye. A "pissintail" is a disrespectful young thing, while "piss-a-bed" merely refers to wild coffee.
Road Map by AT&T/American Express can be ordered online here. The map is free except for shipping and handling. This is double sided 20x16 map that conveniently folds down to 3.5 x 5 for stuffing in your pocket. The map covers all the islands and Tortola on one side and Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, Anegada and a detail map of Road Town on the other. See Tortola map online here. Unlike its online counterpart, which requires switching screens to find the "code" for the hotel numbers, etc., on the map, the paper map is easy to use, and we recommend you order one for yourself.
|BVI National Parks Trust||BVI National Parks Trust.
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