Monday, February 8, 2010


This place is a bit special. After the production line tourism of the cruise ship ports this is bespoke and very very laidback. The rich and famous come here to get away from it all. Apparently I was rubbing shoulders with some last night, shame that we were all watching the Superbowl. How about them Saints then.

Although one nearby group was loudly critiqing the adverts and seemed to ignore tha actual game. My hero Brett Favre appeared in a ,real tongue in cheek, ad.

I was exploring ashore today and loved the layout and the landscaping, flowers everywhere without that regimented look.

Here is a bit about the history of the club and it includes a reference to another of my heroes Robin Lee Graham.

In the summer of 1964, the Hokin family visited Little Dix Bay and brought their 24' sportfisherman, REM, to explore the British Virgin Island's angling opportunities. They spent many days in North Sound, Virgin Gorda. The Sound was remote and quiet, much as it had been three centuries before, when the English pirates and freebooters, Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins, anchored in its shelter, planning daring raids.

The natural beauty of the Sound captivated the Hokins and during the sixties, they returned in the chartered ketch Tontine, and later in their own ketch, Alianora.

One year they found that a shorefront pub and five cottages, called Bitter End, clung to the unlandscaped hillside. Basil Symonette, a pioneer Virgin Island yachtsman, had built the place for charter captains and adventurous sailors. During construction, teenage circumnavigator and author of Dove, Robin Lee Graham, sailed into the Sound. He wrote, "Some people here at a place called The Bitter End are building a resort. They have found a really lovely spot and they've hauled in all the material they need." His stay turned from days to months as he lent a hand in the construction. The walls, windows and tiles he installed still stand in the resort's five original cottages.

Accommodations were rustic. Beds were made with paper sheets, and only cold water ran in the bathrooms. Evening lights were provided by an old diesel generator and water was collected on the roofs and stored in cisterns that doubled as cottage foundations. If visiting yachtsmen came for dinner, they were required to approach a long wooden pier and sound their boat's air horn. If Basil, the eccentric son of the last colonial governor of the Bahamas, felt sociable, he would respond by megaphone and the visitor would be allowed to come ashore and buy a meal. The evening would last until Basil would abruptly decide it was time for lights out and shut down the generator


Saba Rock used to be just a shack called Pirates bar now is a World famous tiny resort with award winning food. I will have to try their all you can eat buffet before I leave.


  1. Saba Rock used to be owned by Bert Kilbride, a much loved and well known diver in those parts. He is often called 'The Last Pirate of the Caribbean'. You can read all about him here:

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  3. Got to tlaking to some guys at the Kilbride dive shop and from Sunchaser Scuba. What an amazing life Burt Kilbride had.

    It is a shame that so many of the links on his web site are broken.

    I love the story about him refusing to tell the local government officials where all the wrecks are.

  4. Hi, Thank You Elephant's Child for mentioning the Rock. Love the photo! I lived there for 14 years with Bert. He bought Saba Rock in 1970 and sold it to the current owners in 1996. The 1,600 square foot "Shack" that became the Pirates Pub & Grill was first Bert's home. He built it himself with the help of only a few local men. The Pirates Pub became one of the the most popular pubs in the BVI. Right up there with Foxy's. We were well known for our Complimentary Thanks Giving Dinners.

    John, I just checked every link on Bert's website. They all worked for me.

    Gayla Kilbride