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The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is a British Overseas Territory, located in the northern Caribbean Sea east of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands. They are part of the Leeward Islands chain. The approximate coordinates are 18 ° 20 ‘N 64 ° 40’ W. The archipelago of the Virgin Islands archipelago is made up of the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

The British Virgin Islands enjoy a subtropical climate, moderated by the trade winds. Temperatures remain fairly stable throughout the year with a daily maximum of around 29 ° C in summer and 25 ° C in winter. BVIs average about 115 cm of rain per year, although this is higher in the hills and the coast is drier. The rainiest months are from September to December. The British Virgin Islands is in an area that can see hurricanes from June to October and this effectively limits the boating season from November to May.

Among the many attractions of the British Virgin Islands are; numerous white sand beaches; the baths in Virgin Gorda, snorkeling in the coral reefs near Anegada; the famous bars of Jost Van Dyke Island.

The British Virgin Islands include the main islands of Anegada, Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, and Virgin Gorda along with more than fifty smaller islands and cays. The smaller islands include; Beef Island, Cooper Island, Ginger Island, Great Camanoe, Great Thatch, Guana Island, Mosquito Island, Necker Island, Norman Island, Peter Island, Salt Island. Only about fifteen of the islands are inhabited. The British Virgin Islands are mostly volcanic in origin and have rugged and mountainous terrain. Anegada is the exception and is a flat island made up of limestone and coral. Tortola is the largest island, approximately twelve miles long and three miles wide. Road Town, in Tortola, is the capital of the islands. The British Virgin Islands have a total population of around 22,000 people.

The Virgin Islands were first colonized by the Arawak Indians of South America around 100 BC. C. and they inhabited the islands until the XV century when the Carib Indians of the Lesser Antilles Islands displaced them. The first European sighting of the Virgin Islands was in 1493 by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the Americas. He called them Saint Ursula and the Eleven Thousand Virgins (Saint Ursula and her 11,000 virgins); this was reduced to Las Vírgenes (The Virgins).

In the early 16th century, the Spanish Empire acquired the Virgin Islands and developed copper mining on Virgin Gorda. Subsequently, the English, Dutch, French, Spanish, and Danish sought control of the Virgin Islands. They became a well-known pirate haven. During the process of European colonization, the native Amerindian population was practically annihilated.

In 1648, the Dutch established a permanent settlement on the island of Tortola. The British captured Tortola from the Dutch in 1672, and the British annexation of Anegada and Virgin Gorda followed in 1680.

The Virgin Islands were primarily considered a strategic possession, but were also planted when favorable economic conditions existed. The British introduced sugar cane which became the main crop and source of foreign trade. Slaves were brought in from Africa to work on the sugar cane plantations and the islands prospered until the growth of the sugar beet crop in Europe and the United States significantly reduced sugar cane production.

In 1917, the United States bought St. John, St. Thomas, and St. Croix from Denmark for $ 25 million, renaming them the United States Virgin Islands, and the British renamed the islands they controlled as the British Virgin Islands. The British Virgin Islands were administered as part of the Colony of the Leeward Islands or with Saint Kitts and Nevis, with an administrator representing the British Government in the Islands. The British Virgin Islands obtained separate colony status in 1960 and became autonomous in 1967.

Since then, the BVIs have moved away from an agricultural economy towards tourism and financial services and have become one of the richest areas in the Caribbean. Politically, tourism is the more important of the two, as it employs a large number of the local population and many of the businesses are locally owned. However, economically, the financial services sector is by far the most important, providing almost 50% of government revenue in the form of license fees for offshore companies.

Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, also known as Beef Island Airport, has regular connections to San Juan, Puerto Rico and Saint Thomas, US Virgin Islands. There are also flights from most of the main Caribbean islands, Antigua and Saint Martin. It is located on Beef Island, just off the eastern tip of Tortola. Virgin Gorda and Anegada have smaller airports. The islands are a popular destination for Caribbean cruises and use the main port of the British Virgin Islands at Road Town on Tortola. The official currency of the British Virgin Islands is the US dollar. Major credit cards are accepted in larger establishments in the British Virgin Islands, but don’t expect to use them in small restaurants.

The traditional music of the British Virgin Islands is called mushrooms for the local cornmeal dish of the same name, often made with okra. The special sound of mushrooms is due to a unique local fusion between African and European music. Mushroom bands, also called “scratch bands and use a wide variety of instruments. Fingi is a festive dance form, but it also contains humorous social commentary and is a source for BVI oral history.

The British Virgin Islands are one of the most popular yacht charter destinations in the Caribbean and Tortola is home to the world’s largest charter fleet of yachts. Potential charters can choose between a skippered or bareboat charter. Motor or sailing boats. Monohulls or catamarans. Short distances between the islands, often just 2-3 hours, make the British Virgin Islands perfect for first-time yacht charters and families with young children. There are many flights to the BVI that facilitate access. On the downside, the British Virgin Islands can get crowded during peak periods; Christmas; Presidents’ Week and Easter. The first two weeks of July are also very busy due to the Puerto Rico vacation schedule. Charter yachts require a national park permit; ask your rental company for more details.

Moorings are becoming increasingly popular in the British Virgin Islands to prevent anchors from dragging on the bottom and damaging important coral reefs. Although cynics will tell you it’s about raising revenue too, and at $ 30 a night, it’s hard not to sympathize with this view. Night moorings are on 18 “white balls. Other mooring buoys will be found while sailing in the BVIs and are color coded as follows;

Orange: not diver, for day use only.

Yellow – Commercial dive boats only.

Large yellow: commercial vessels or vessels over 55 ‘in length

White: non-commercial boats, for day use only.

Blue: for boat use only

Also note that there is a 90 minute time limit on all moorings.

The main port of the British Virgin Islands is at Road Town on Tortola. And most letters start and end here. Village Cay Marina is one of the full service marinas available in Road Harbor offering fuel, water, ice, provisioning, laundry, showers, salon and spa. There is a freshwater swimming pool and a restaurant and bar facing the sea. Other marinas in Road Town Harbor include Fort Burt Marina and Inner Harbor Marina. There is also another full service marina on Nanny Cay that offers another starting point for yacht charters. The Nanny Cay Marine Center has amenities including showers, water, gift shop, laundry, ice and fuel, provisioning, storage lockers, and two restaurants. There is also a dive shop, mechanical repairs, refrigeration, welding, and a 24-hour boat chase service. Allow time at the beginning or end of your yacht charter to explore Tortola. Driving the steep and winding mountain roads of the island offers stunning views. Some of the best beaches in all of the British Virgin Islands are found at Cane Garden Bay and Long Bay, on the north coast of Tortolas. Tortola restaurants are highly regarded throughout the Caribbean. Shopping and nightlife tend to be low-key, but a selection of small clubs playing local music can be found in Road Town and at the beach bars around Tortola.

West End is shown on the charts as Soper’s Hole, a sheltered harbor that sits between Frenchman’s Cay and Tortola. The Soper’s Hole Wharf and Marina offers a full range of services located in charming colored houses. The Pusser’s Landing offers oceanfront dining at two restaurants and bars, an outdoor terrace and the company store.

Jost Van Dyke Island is named after a Dutch pirate. It has beautiful beaches, good food, and music. Jost Van Dyke is home to the famous “Full Moon” parties held at Foxy’s and Sidney’s Peace and Love Bar.

Anegada Island is known for its beautiful pink and sugary sand beach and for diving with ancient shipwrecks and coral reefs. Anegada’s Reef Hotel is famous for the local lobster. The dining room and bar are directly on the beach. If you disembark in Anegada, bring insect repellent. You have been warned !!!

Moorings are available and it is possible to anchor along the Virgin Gorda coast. Or you can get a mooring at the nearby Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor, a marina with berth for 110 boats, where the ferry arrives for land travelers. The shops are concentrated around the Yacht Harbor area, especially in the Courtyard. Virgin Gorda Island is famous for The Baths, a full day of exploring caves and wells within this unique rock formation. Boats are no longer allowed on the shore here and you must swim from a mooring to the beach. The Bitter End Yacht Club is located on North Sound and is a great place to pick up a mooring. You will be among some of the beautiful yachts in the BVI here. The small desert island of Prickly Pear is a great place for lunch and snorkelling and is just a boat ride from the Bitter End Yacht Club. Spanish Town, on the southwest side of Virgin Gorda, is a popular stop for shopping and stocking up.

Norman Island or “Treasure Island” as the locals know it is the home of the pirate ship “William Thornton”. Legend suggests that this is the legendary Long John Silvers treasure site. Norman Island sits near the border line that separates the BVI from the US Virgin Islands.Although uninhabited, it is alive with tourism. The caves here are one of the most popular tourist attractions in the BVI. This is a popular overnight anchorage and many charterers will dine aboard the Willy T, a 100 ‘steel schooner.

A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans

By: W. Bruce Cameron

Publisher: Forge Books

Publication date: December 2016

ISBN: 978-0765388117

Dog lovers have always known that dogs are intelligent, loving, and deeply devoted to “their humans.” Author W. Bruce Cameron has taken this knowledge and added a unique twist that builds on it: a novel that imagines a dog, who lives several dog lives, and remembers each life and the lessons learned in that life.

The purpose of a dog begins with a puppy describing his life. It soon becomes clear that the cub, along with his three brothers and his mother, are wild. Finally, the cub, along with his mother and brother, are captured by a rescue dog. They are placed in a backyard with many other dogs and while the puppy, soon to be named Toby, adjusts well, his mother cannot handle human interaction and manages to escape. Toby grows up, makes friends, and finally reunites with his sister. But problems arise when authorities close the rescue site for having too many dogs. Toby soon finds himself in a bad situation …

When Toby’s life comes to an end, he is reincarnated as a beautiful Golden Retriever. Now the puppy is part of a healthy litter, kept with a breeder. When he sees that other puppies, from other litters, are adopted and disappear into the great beyond outside the yard, he wants to leave. He remembers seeing his mother from his first life open the door handle, and works to copy it. It works and he runs away from the breeder and wanders until picked up by a kind man who takes him for a ride in his car. Unfortunately, the man stops at a bar and leaves the puppy in his hot car. Once again the puppy is rescued, this time by a woman who smashes the car window just in time before heatstroke kills the dog. You bring the puppy home to your young son, and this is where most of the story is: between “Bailey” the dog and “Boy.”

After “Boy”, Bailey returns a few more times, once as a K-9 search and rescue German Shepherd and again as a Black Lab. His final reincarnation as a laboratory puts a complete twist on him with a very satisfying conclusion to the story.

Told from a dog’s point of view, A Dog’s Purpose is a delightful story that immediately appealed to me and kept me reading until I turned the last page. The author has the true gift of capturing a dog’s thoughts and it really felt like the dog was sharing his life with me. Toby / Bailey / Ellie / Buddy was a loving dog who knew that his purpose was to do what his human wanted / needed him to do, be it saving a child from drowning or taking a car ride to make a child happy. Like all dogs, this dog learned words: “kennel”, “bed”, “sleep”, etc. and basic concepts like “Merry Christmas” which for him meant people who came to the house. He would sit at the feet of his owner and listen to a word from the humans who spoke, for example, his name, and he would get excited, not knowing what the rest of the conversation was about. The author included a minimal amount of dialogue from humans to give readers a clue as to what was going on, but even without that help, it wasn’t difficult to follow. Much of what the dog did was pick up on the emotions of the people around him, feeling joy, fear, pain, and reacting accordingly. The writing style definitely worked quite well, and I’m looking forward to diving into the sequel, A Dog’s Journey.

Quill Says: There’s a reason Hollywood came to call and made a movie based on this book! If you love dogs, do yourself a favor and read The Purpose of a Dog.

Los Angeles is one of the largest cities, if not the largest city, on the West Coast. Due to its sheer size, there are hundreds of fun things to do in Los Angeles. It can be a bit overwhelming, but don’t worry. Here are the top eleven things to do on your trip to Los Angeles. From tours to theme parks to contemplating nature, there is something everyone can do in this great city. All you need is a little imagination and movie magic.

1. Brunch on the beach

On the beaches of Los Angeles there are dozens of restaurants offering brunch on the beach. Enjoy eating brunch classics on an outdoor patio facing the ocean. Everything tastes better when you eat outdoors from the ocean.

2. Hollywood Tour
Los Angeles is perhaps best known as the city of celebrities. Because of this, there are dozens of tours that visit celebrity homes and locations. One of the most prominent tours is the TMZ Tour, which travels to restaurants, clubs, and other places where celebrities like to hang out. There are many things to do in Los Angeles, but this one should not be missed.

3. Segway through the beaches

Los Angeles is known for its beaches in Santa Monica, Long Beach, and Venice. Many of these beaches offer Segway rentals that allow you to see the sights without tiring your legs. Feel the ocean breeze as you browse the dozens of shops and restaurants on the boardwalk. Nothing can be better.

4. Horse tour

Have you ever wanted to see the Hollywood sign up close? Have you ever wanted to see the Hollywood sign up close while riding a horse? Well now you can with the Sunset Ranch to Mount Hollywood Horseback Tour. You will not only see the Hollywood sign, but also incredible views of Los Angeles, San Fernando, and the Pacific Ocean. Best of all, there will be a barbecue waiting for you at the ranch when you return.

5. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood

Opened on April 7, 2016, Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter lets you experience what it would be like to be a wizard at Hogwarts. Also included are other famous landmarks from the book, such as Diagon Alley and Gringotts Bank, where an exciting journey awaits you.

6. Skyslide

Skyspace is the tallest outdoor observation deck in California. 300 meters above the city at the US Bank Tower, you can see an incredible view of the whole of Los Angeles. Skyspace also has the world’s first aerial slide, a slide that runs from the observation deck to the bottom of the tower. This slide is made entirely of glass and takes you around town.

7. Warner Brothers Studio Tour Hollywood

There are many activities in Los Angeles to participate in, but you would be remiss to pass up the opportunity to tour a real film studio. On your luxury tour, guides will take you past sound stages, television houses, and many locations where some of your favorite movies and TV shows are made. You will also visit Stage 48: Script to Screen, where you will see the key phases of the production process.

8. Whale watching

There are dozens of whale watching tours off the shores of Los Angeles. These tours will take you far out into the Pacific Ocean, where you will have the pleasure of seeing these graceful creatures so close you could almost touch them. If you love animals and nature, then this is one of the best things to do in Los Angeles.

9. Catalina Island

Off the coast of Los Angeles there is a small island, a jewel of nature called Catalina Island. If you are a nature lover then this is a must see. With a host of activities such as hiking, fishing or surfing, this place is a must for lovers of the great outdoors.

10. Farmers Market

Just because Los Angeles is a huge city doesn’t mean it doesn’t have fresh produce. Farmers markets can be found throughout the city, but the largest takes place in the city center every week during the spring and summer. If you are looking for fresh produce or handmade items, look no further.

11. Dance cruise

Do you love to dance and explore exotic places? Then you should try the Aventura Dance Cruise, the world’s largest Latin dance cruise. This cruise departs from Long Beach, California and travels to Ensenada, Mexico. Along the way, you’ll enjoy amazing food, dance workshops and classes, and fun beach parties that last well into the night. If you want to have fun, look no further.