1. The site of the Bitter End Yacht Club (BVI) began life as an organised haven for visiting yachtsmen when the reportedly eccentric Basil Symonette built a pub and five cottages. The son of a colonial governor of the Bahamas, Basil would insist the boats wanting to come ashore sound their air horn and if he was feeling sociable he would beckon them to come ashore with a megaphone to buy a meal.
2. For all the concern that the Caribbean is being over developed, only 2% of its islands are inhabited, making it an important reserve for plant, bird and sea life. Let’s make sure we keep it that way.
3. The island Jost Van Dyke (BVI) and several others in the now British Virgin Islands took their name from Dutch, settler and privateer Joost Van Dyke. In a time before the British came along Van Dyke was considered a sort of de facto patron by the Dutch West India Company. Was he a pirate or a 17th Century Richard Branson? You decide.
4. St Martin is the world’s smallest inhabited land island split between nations after France and The Netherlands split it 60/40 in 1648.
5. The ‘Horseshoe Reef’ around Anegada (BVI) is 18 miles long, making it the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean and the fourth largest in the world. The reef makes sailing to Anegada a challenge and is responsible for many shipwrecks that at one time made this now protected area a popular dive spot.
6. St Lucia is known to have the world’s “only drive-in volcano” with sulphur springs that erupted through a weak spot in a collapsed crater over 400,000 years ago. Downstream, where the water cools but stays warm, tourists and locals alike take mud baths that are rumoured to have beneficial qualities.
7. Moliniere Bay in Western Grenada is home to an underwater sculpture gallery. Doubling as a marine protection zone the life size figures inspired by Amerindian Petroglyphs can be explored on diving and snorkelling trips.
8. Salt Island lives up to its name by paying a tax of a one pound bag of salt to the British Crown annually.
9. There are 365 beaches on Antigua one for every day of the year – making it an ideal year round destination….you’ve heard this last fact before, right?