Why celebrate Christmas only once, if you can do it twice? We like that spirit and so do the Puerto Ricans who come to the BVI every year to celebrate this event in July.
Puerto Rico lays about 90 miles west of the BVI, easily accessible by boat. The Puerto Rican Navy, as they call themselves, arrives late July every year to celebrate. Puerto Ricans like to stick together; they party together and help each other if need be. They don’t actually celebrate Christmas, they just celebrate.
It is an almost week-long event, with a massive party on the actual day of Christmas in July, July 25th. Normally Pond Bay, Virgin Gorda, next to Savannah Bay, is the place to be on the big day. Last year was the biggest turnout so far, with hundreds of boats and even more party people filling up the bay. According to Mr. Lopez, one of the organisers, there were 800 boats last year, just for Christmas in July. Depending on the weather will depend on if the smaller boats come out or not. If they can’t, then they happily fly in and stay on one of their friends boats
It started as a small event, but now has sponsors, including banks, beer and rum companies from Puerto Rico. These sponsors provide beach permits, bands and other costs that might occur.
It is a great two-way cooperation between the Puerto Ricans and the BVI Tourist Board, a big push of tourism, very welcome during our slower months.
Here at BEYC and Sunchaser Scuba, that means, a lot of discover scuba divers and tons of pizza and Winston’s famous key lime pie! During this week (22- 25 July) BEYC and the Quarterdeck Club happily welcomes the new and repeat boaters on their docks, hotel and mooring field. The Sea and Salsa week is their answer to the high influx of Puerto Ricans. BEYC brings in bands, and hosts special dinner nights, quite often with famous guest chefs, such as “Chef Trevino,” known from Food Network.
Any excuse for a party is a good one. Any excuse for a dive is a good one!