Hurricane Irma tore through the British Virgin Islands leaving widespread destruction and chaos behind her. We were not prepared for the power she unleashed and when we finally emerged from our hidey holes the reality of the situation finally hit.

Turn off the sound of the eyewall of Hurricane Irma if it's too much for you!

Turn on the sound of the eyewall of Hurricane Irma!

Irma’s eye passed over Tortola at about 1:00pm on September 6th. We were finally able to get to our offices at Nanny Cay the evening of September 7th having driven through the war zone conditions of Road Town and Drakes Highway - roads had been made passable by a great community effort to clear them of trees, powerlines, telegraph poles, and roofs!

We had removed everything from our office that was vital to our operations and split them between two homes. Laptops, screens, camera equipment and drones, printers, NAS drives, checkbooks, vital documents, were all removed. We left everything else in the office and where we could, items were boxed up, taped, put on top of desks.

Nanny Cay was jumble of boats, docks and debris, with wide-eyed survivors cooking by lamp-light on propane stoves, and generally sorting themselves out.

In the the light of the flashlight, the office looked OK that night but we couldn’t get in because the door had swelled so much.  

I was optimistic until I looked at the office next door.

Although our main office was OK and still had a roof, our print and meeting rooms were roofless, as the rest of the roof of the Nanny Cay admin building had been peeled like a banana.

Not only is Nanny Cay our home base, it is one of our major clients. It was apparent we needed to get news out fast, but all communication was down.

Irma had taken out most cell towers including the large one at Nanny Cay, and phone lines were down too.

Even the radio stations were down for the first time ever after a hurricane, so there was no way to get news beyond rumour-filled word-of-mouth.


Bizarrely, Horizon Yacht Charters still had an operational ADSL coming into its office. Initially, this line became the soul gateway for all internet traffic. This line was used to create “FU Irma” wifi network for the whole of Nanny Cay, including the Royal Marines that were based there. WhatsApp was rock solid, and soon many groups sprung up. With Nanny Cay full of yachties, a VHF radio on the belt became de rigeur, and a vital communication tool.

Legs and mountain bikes also became communication methods of last resort around Nanny Cay.... In fact, at this stage some us of were decanting fuel from our boats into our cars...

The communications focus for Nanny Cay was to explain the extent of the damage, and the actions being taken to secure the marina, boatyard and boats.

As a business leader in the Caribbean marine industry it was important to show that despite the davastation, the team, tenants, and residents were galvanized into action and already taking positive steps to restore Nanny Cay and its infrastructure and services..

This was at odds with the "all is lost" reporting of international media.

We camped out in the Horizon Yacht Charters office. It had power, and old sails on the roof to keep most of the rain out. Desks were covered in industrial garbage bags to cover equipment when it did rain.

We managed to get our first update out at 12:00pm on Sunday, September 10, posted on Facebook, and the Nanny Cay website.

Daily updates were posted on social media - all positively (but realistically) reporting progress, no matter how small.

Because internet connectivity was so hit and miss it was difficult to engage in conversations and responses, but getting real news out was more important at this stage.

We packaged these social posts into more detailed blog posts on the web site, and added FAQs. These posts evolved into post-Maria updates too!

Property Update; Summer Restoration and Improvements - Nanny Cay

Inner marina to be fully operational by December; major infrastructural improvements coming this year including increased water production and storage; owners committed to improving and hardening Nanny Cay to maintain its status as the Caribbean's premier resort marina and boatyard.

Marina Update - Phased Roll Out Of New Docks - Nanny Cay

The current goal is to have the inner marina fully operational by November, with phased roll out of docks and services between now and then. Sixty new docks in the outer marina are close to completion. We are finalizing the addition of water and electricity to these docks.

Boatyard Team Completes Post-Irma Recovery - Nanny Cay

At 3pm on February 23, the Nanny Cay team righted the last boat in the boatyard that had been toppled by Hurricane Irma on September 6th. Over 200 boats were moved in the process, with us having to move 80 boats to reach the 130 boats that had to be righted and re-chocked.

Post-Irma Update #5 - Nanny Cay

90 boats in the two main storage areas have been righted, re-chocked, and/or moved since Irma; we have restored our fuel docks, are serving fuel and water; we have managed to salvage additional docks to rebuild 'A' dock; the 36th annual BVI Charter Yacht Show takes place this week.

Post-Irma Update #4 - Nanny Cay

Hurricane Irma passed just over a month ago, and while we still have a long way to go, solid progress continues. Sixty docks are due to arrive in November and be installed in the undamaged outer marina, this will give us just over 100 slips here.


The eye of Hurricane Maria passed 55 miles to the south of Tortola, as a category 4 or 5 hurricane, in the early hours of Wednesday and we suffered minimal damage in comparison to Irma. However, we did suffer some additional damage to property and boats.


Their primary role is to provide security, to stabilize the BVI, protect the population, enable recovery, and support the provision of aid from the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO). 200 Royal Marines, including 20 Commando Engineers from 24 Commando Engineer Regiment, are currently in the BVI.

NANNY CAY POST-IRMA - UPDATE #2, September 13, 2017 - Nanny Cay

Well, this time last week the worst of Irma was about to hit the BVI. After cutting ourselves out of our respective shelters, it has been a very busy week throughout the BVI and Nanny Cay. Partial power has been restored. The RO Water Plant, which was more damaged than we thought, has been fixed after some mis-starts.

We converted Nanny Cay’s home page to a live feed highlighting all Irma related blog posts, key announcements, and regularly updated the Nanny Cay facebook"Post-Irma -Back To Life" photo feed.