Soggy dollars

Uploaded on February 5, 2006 by drobnikm
Uploaded on February 5, 2006 by drobnikm

What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen in another country?

This is a Plinky inspired post. My short answer is the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands.

The longer answer is that it got me thinking about navigation and charting a route through choppy water/difficult times.

The backstory is that my sister was working out in the Virgin Islands when she decided to get married. Sam and I were a bit stuck for a gift, since she was already working in what many would consider to be paradise a holiday seemed a bit pointless. They were also living in temporary rented accommodation so house-type stuff was equally pointless. However, they hadn’t really explored the islands since arriving there.

So we chartered a yacht to take them around the islands for few days and to provide a different setting for the actual marriage ceremony. The backstory to the backstory is that my parents met running a yacht charter business in the Virgin Islands so there was a nice symmetry to the whole thing.

Being the height of hurricane season (late Sept) charter prices were cheap, if you could find a yacht still in the water. Fortunately we did, a very tidy Hylas 49. We provided the food & booze, the boat came with diesel & water. I was also expecting navigational charts of the islands. What I got was a 3-fold A4 drawing, pirate style, of the islands. Including several areas that were coloured in red – danger, don’t go near there!

Call me old fashioned but I wasn’t keen on taking a $500k yacht anywhere with what amounted to a novelty drawing of the area.

So I went to the nearest chandlers and bought a set of navigational charts, that now make very attractive wall art. One of the areas that was coloured in red on the novelty chart was the bay where the Soggy Dollar Bar is located. I did the simple calculations, checked our draft, planned an entrance pilotage, knew where the safe water was, and safely navigated in for a wonderful afternoon (and some excellent rum cocktails). Without having good information we’d have never found the place, and if we had, we could have easily run aground since the entrance was a bit tricky and there wasn’t a lot of room.

Are you navigating your business by high quality information or a novelty napkin?