Black Men In America.com (www.blackmeninamerica.com), a popular online magazine founded by management consultant Gary A. Johnson, will launch a new online magazine with a focus on boating and yachting in the Black Community. The name of the online magazine is Black Boating and Yachting.com (BB&Y).
Black Men In America.com columnist “Mr. Free Spirit,” will be the Managing Editor, responsible for all content, writers and deadlines. Gary Johnson will assume the role of Editor-in-Chief/Executive Editor responsible for business, marketing and the overall direction of the site. In addition, “Mr. Free Spirit” will help Johnson set the editorial direction of the magazine and create an audience attractive to advertisers and sponsors. Black Boating and Yachting.com plans to have features on attracting millennials to boating, boating safety and certifications, how to buy a boat, sailing, boating and yachting clubs, places to sail, boating manufacturers and a lot more.
Well it’s almost time, just think this trip has been in the planning stages for a year. It is now time to start packing, checking the location of your passport and notifying your credit card companies you will be out of the United States.
The final list of activities is limitless and sleep will be a rare commodity. Can you visualize yachts of African/ American’s sailing the blue waters of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) together? The events will be endless and loaded with fun. Just think, beach activates, pool parties, Regatta Sailing Race, snorkeling and all the other activities.
Pebbles said: Like the Jackson’s………”I can feel it”…we are going to have the best trip ever!
Questions are coming in from the newbies? This may help you.
What to Pack?
The average temperature is 85-95 degrees daily. This vacation is very casual. Do not over pack.
Since we will be around water 98% of the time, you will need to pack
light summer wear, swimwear, cover-ups, shorts, tops, Capri’s, t-shirts, flip flops, scandals, shower shoes, sun visors, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, lotion, mosquito spray with deet, trunks, short sleeve shirts, back pack, extra beach towel, camera, games and music. Decorations for the boat.
Pack (1) White outfit for the party at the BEYC. Pack a grass skirt or Hawaiian something for our theme party at Virgin Gorda.
All medications, personal documents and valuables should not be packed in your luggage, but hand carried.
Safety & Security
Leave a copy of your passport and driver’s license number with someone at home.
Emergency phone numbers to leave with someone at home: Do not bring lots of cash. Most places in the BVI accept major credit cards.
Do not bring valuable jewelry.
Make sure your luggage is tagged right when checking in at the airport.
Make sure the boat is locked when unoccupied.
Be extra careful stepping on and off the yacht.
Wear life jacket when on the dinghy or in rough water.
Be extra careful when cooking on board.
Cell phones work in the BVI but are very expensive. Check with you cell phone company before you go to see if they have a temporary plan for you. You can also rent a minute phone while there and add minutes as needed.
Don’t forget your phone charger and/or a good camera!
Some surprise stops have been discussed on the power boat side, see below:
THIS IS THAT PLACE. PARADISE IN PARADISE.
There is no other place like it anywhere in the world. And certainly, no other place like it if you’re seeking a true British Virgin Islands vacation. A casually elegant British Virgin Island resort and spa hidden away on an 1,800-acre oasis of tranquility.
A PLACE LIKE NO OTHER.
Adventure and luxury living set within the magic and beauty of the British Virgin Islands, Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina is your own pristine secluded island retreat. You’re not looking for an average vacation. Good. This is not your average place. Divine secluded beaches. The clearest of waters. Boundless adventures on and beyond our breathtaking shores.
The only coral island in the Virgin Islands’ volcanic chain, Anegada is characterized by its nearly flat elevation, the striking coral reefs that surround it, secluded sandy beaches and clear springs bubbling from coral beds.
A variety of wildlife special to the Virgin Islands area thrive on Anegada, including loblolly, frangipani, turpentine trees, feathery sea lavender and wild orchids. On the nature trail at Bones Bight, catch a glimpse of the rare rock iguanas native to the island, or discover the exotic birds at Nutmeg Point.
Snorkelers and scuba divers will delight in the reef’s mazes, tunnels and drops, which are rich in needle fish, bonefish, stingrays, parrot fish and other marine life, while those with sea legs will enjoy water sports, sport fishing and bone fishing. Beachgoers will find no lack of calm and quiet shores, including Cow Wreck Beach, Flash of Beauty, Bones Bight and Windlass Bight.
Discover Anegada’s history through a maze of stone walls that surround the Main Town’s Settlement or the Arawak’s ancient conch mounds in the East End. Or, explore the wreckages of numerous Spanish galleons, American privateers and British Galleons.
This is the last article before the trip, Mr. Free Spirit will send pictures back during the trip for publication and the Sept article will be the trip summary. I did receive a call asking is there any room left for a late comer, the answer is, YES but it is limited. The power side only has ONE cabin available, I am not sure about the sail boat side.
Mr. Free Spirit Out!
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
2017 BVI Update (April 30, 2017)
Well time is really getting close and this reunion will be one for the history books, who ever heard of this many people of color having a boating reunion?
You can’t imagine the efforts in the planning of a reunion of this magnitude, the logistics related in the movement of this many people is a task that is bigger than big. The planning committee has really put a great deal of time and effort to make this venture a unforgettable venture.
Many new things are occurring every day. If you are trying to make your decision about going on this reunion, ACT Now!!! Some of the Yachts may still have some cabins left. After hearing from some of the groups many new features have been added and the earlier features have been enhanced.
The adventure will begin with two Welcome Parties, one at the Moorings hosted by Joe Banks, and one at Soper’s Hole hosted by “No Drama Vacations”.
Music and food will be on tap for a fun-filled evening before the voyage.
Out of the gate Mr. Free Spirit is having a pool party which will be followed by an afternoon beach Bar-B- Que organized by Capt. Ken Washington & Capt. Craig Martin at Spring Bay.
The evening will wrap up with the theme party sponsored by Ms. Bev and the e-dock crew, with a performance starring the elegant style and grace of vocalist Ms.Pamela Diggs.
Let the party start. All the yachts will meet at Anegada for dinner. Can you imagine all of the yacht’s in one place at the same time? After leaving Anegada, the yachts will sail to the Bitter End Yacht Club to attend the “No Drama Vacation” Black and White Party, or cruise to Leverick Bay for dinner & DJ, hosted by Joe Banks.
E-Dock power yachts will head to the lap of luxury in Scrub Island Resort. The main event at Scrub Island Resort will be a Poolside Concert starring the jazzy and classy Ms. Pamela Diggs.
Joe Banks and his group is having the dinner of all dinners at Nanny Cay, this is the location where everybody will say good bye to the new friends you met from other cities. The Nanny Cay event will be held at the “Peg Leg’s” restaurant. Besides an extensive buffet menu and a cash bar, they will have a DJ for entertainment and we also plan to take group pictures there at that time. The event promises to be a fun one and the last night on the Island for several of the groups in the Flotilla.
For those who want one more event Shaun Brown and crew will have a WHITE party at the Ritz Carlton hotel in St. Thomas VI.
For more information, please contact www.harrisandbrown.com which will lead you to the party info. There are more events and fun things happening, but it’s just too many to list.
Mr. Free Spirit OUT!! There is only one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing!
April 6, 2017
By Mr. Free Spirit
As you know I have been sitting in on the national planning committee conference calls for the 2017 BVI Reunion. I must say the conference calls are very detailed and packed with enthusiasm. Many thumbs up to the people around the United States for the time, research and effort they are extending to make this a trip to go into the history books. It was my intent to develop a repository of events being presented by the different organization, however the list of events is just too long and to fluid for me to list.
One of the main questions is: How many boats and people are going? I lost track at 50 boats and stopped counting. There is both a Sail Side and a Power Side and tracking the many events will be difficult to reflect. I feel blessed to be covering this event and during a conversation with a planning representative from New York I stated this reunion will be a true fishbowl. With our current political environment, a chance to portray the ability of people of color to do something positive is a real plus.
Since I will be traveling on the power boat side I am more familiar with their itinerary, and it is power packed. E-Dock is still adding events. They have people traveling from California, Maryland, Florida, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona and Hawaii to make this trip.
Since most of you won’t know me, that gives me a chance to interview you for www.blackmeninamerica.com without you knowing it’s an interview. The opportunity for people of color to meet people from other walks of life will be fantastic. My current column on what it takes to be an entrepreneur will play a big part in the reunion interviews, based on the concept of JUMP!
The black boaters have played a BIG part in our thoughts to enlarge Black Men In America.com. We are currently on the drawing board making major moves to expand. A section on black boaters will be included in the expansion.
Mr. Free Spirit Talks About the 2017 British Virgin Island (BVI) Reunion
By Mr. Free Spirit
September 8, 2016
There is a difference between EXTRA and EXTRAORDINARY.
The 2017 British Virgin Island (BVI) reunion falls into the category of EXTRAORDINARY. Based on some the plans that have been provided to me this will be a reunion that will never be forgotten. Boating clubs around the United States have been invited and the response appears to be great. Let me give you some insight. I attended a small flotilla of boats in Aug 2016. The point of departure was Tortola, British Virgin Islands. The natives greeted me by saying “Welcome to Paradise” and as the week went on I found this statement to be true. I was also told this would be a group of like-minded people and it was.
The 2017 reunion is of special interest to me for political reasons. The current political environment portrays black people in a very negative manner. I really don’t have time to watch TV, however; when I do it is depressing. The world is viewing black people as uneducated thugs without a brain and the word racist has now become a normal part of peoples’ vocabulary.
The positive things that we do as a race is never recognized. During my conversation with Ms. Bev of Metro Detroit, Michigan, my mouth flew open when she stated she has been living the boating lifestyle for over 40 years. Additionally, she talked about the number of black female Captains (they own their boats) in the Metro Detroit area that are boaters. Again, something positive. We also discussed the women in Cleveland, Ohio who are also boat owners.
A general thought pattern that has been discussed in the white community is “black people don’t go near water,” and that “black people are scared of water.” Both thought patters are false.
The 2017 reunion is shaping up to being the largest boating reunion of all times and it may never happen again. It will be the ultimate FISH Bowl, meaning people from all over will be watching and some of them will wishing they were there.
I am and will watch the list of boating club’s numbers and publish them in a general manner. However, I will be mindful of any intrusion of a club’s privacy. I will never include any boat club’s prices or itinerary in my column.
According to the confirmations that I have received so far, the Black Men In America.com boat is FULL. Keep in mind, FULL is not FULL until the money is PAID IN FULL. We have the option of acquiring a second boat. There are 8 people to a boat, double occupancy.
During my 2016 experience with boating in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), some extremely positive things occurred. All of the partying was awesome. The food and the process of catering to who eats what was enjoyable also.
One aspect of the trip that I found stimulating was the round-table discussions lead by Doug. I won’t provide the subject matter because I will save that for next year. The impromptu “Soul Train” line in the pool at the Baths is something that I will never forget. We had people from so many cities and everyone got along. This was a drama free experience. We lived together on a boat for days without incident.
The pricing structure for 2017 will be completed at the boat show. The Black Men In America.com price and itinerary will be sent via email only. If you are interested email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Upon the receipt of your deposit all of the information you need will be sent to you as each club operates differently.
Mr. Free Spirit says: “If you want a different outcome, you need to do something different. If you want the same old thing keep doing what you’ve always done.”
Part 2: Mr. Free Spirit Talks About the 2017 British Virgin Island (BVI) Reunion
October 8, 2016
By Mr. Free Spirit
I started the first British Virgin Island (BVI) reunion article by stating: “There is a difference between EXTRA and EXTRAORDINARY.”
The 2017 British Virgin Island (BVI) reunion is moving further into the category of EXTRAORDINARY. Based on some of the plans that have been provided to me thus far, this will be a reunion that will never be forgotten.
Boating clubs around the United States have been invited and the response appears to be great. Here is a list of just some of the boat/yacht clubs invited:
- Seafarers Yacht -Club Annapolis MD
- Seafarers Yacht -Washington D.C.
- Universal Sailing Club
- Neptune’s Yacht Club-Baltimore
- Nauti by Nature
- Sankofa Odyssey
- Downriggers Fishing
- Sailfete-New York
- Black Boaters Summit
- Chesapeake Flotillas
- Black Men In America.com
- Edock-Ms. Bev—Metro Detroit-Power
- Chesapeake Flotillas
I know you have a question: Do I know how many boats are required so far? — YES
Am I going to provide the number? Not yet
Based on the information I’ve received; this will be an unforgettable experience. If you miss this BVI reunion written words will never be able to describe it. As I watch the people doing the planning of this reunion I can only say that they are doing a fantastic job.
To list the events that will occur during this reunion would take too much time and I know I would omit something. As I coordinate the events for our boat I realize this is mind blowing, so I can imagine what others are doing. I can only hope that each group decides to have breakfast late each morning due to the extensive list of activities available. The method of itinerary distribution is at the discretion of each group organizer. For Black Men In America.com we will provide the itinerary via email to those going in our group. Every detail is being reviewed to have this trip smooth.
I rarely get mesmerized, however some of the boat/yacht clubs for the BVI reunion have people coming from all over the United States. I went online to research the room rate per night at a yacht club in BVI that we will visit and it was $ 1,000.00 USD per night.
I attended a party this year held by E-Dock/Ms. Bev/Metro Detroit and I was always told “stepping” in Chicago was a way of life and nobody could touch them. Well, Detroit was really in the house.
You know being the new kid on the block, observing this effort is a sight to behold. I must commend all of the individuals’ doing the planning. The job you are doing is fantastic! It is almost impossible to write about all of the things going on. I will say if you attend this reunion you will need a vacation upon your return home.
From what I see every detail is covered, they plan non-stop entertainment and activities throughout the day and night, there’s more than you can possibly do on a single week! Whether you’re traveling solo, with a friend, family member, or significant other, the 2017 BVI has fun activities for everyone.
I have received some interesting questions about this trip. Let me help you!
You know that fancy luggage you have? Leave it home. There are some wonderful duffle bags on the market and it will be easier to store.
Where do you apply for a US Passport?
You can apply for your US passport at many post offices, selected regional federal buildings and at some circuit court offices. The easiest way to find your closest passport application acceptance facility is to go to the State Department’s website and search by ZIP code. The search form allows you to select handicap access sites and find nearby locations where you can have passport photographs taken.
This BVI reunion has inspired the Gary A. Johnson Company to publish a new online magazine that caters to black boaters. A preview of the content can be found at this link: http://blackmeninamerica.com/black-boating-and-yachting/. The online mag is tentatively scheduled for publication in November 2016. All boaters are invited to submit articles for publication. More information and submission guidelines will be available next month.
Mr. Free Spirit says:
When looking back doesn’t interest you anymore you must be doing something RIGHT!