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How the B-Line Beach Bar Came to Be

LJVD_B_Line_Beach_Bar_1 How the B-Line Beach Bar Came to Be
Disclaimer: The following is a cobbled together (recent) history of the comings and goings on Little Jost Van Dyke. This information is born of a series of conversations with several people (presumably) in the know, and information gleaned from various internet sources. Ergo, it is subject to inaccuracies.

Back in the mid to late 60's, a group of Canadian doctors purchased approximately 80 acres of Little Jost Van Dyke. They had hoped to build a luxury resort here. Sometime around 1970, they set about looking for a caretaker to look after the island in their absence.

In 1969, a young English couple named Tony and Jackie Snell (who were offering day charters in Spain) had been invited to Tortola to manage a small charter company owned by Ian Brakenbury and Dr. Robin Tattersall. The company was named Virgin Voyages.

Unfortunately, the charter company was not as successful as the owners had hoped. Competition from Charlie and Ginny Carey's company (eventually to be named The Moorings), with their 5 boats and CYOA on St. Thomas, with their 7 boats, had proven too much for the fledgling company. They opted to sell their three boats and close the doors.

But what of the Snell's? Dr. Tattersall thought they would be the perfect choice to become the "on island" caretakers of the resort development on Little Jost Van Dyke. He recommended them to his doctor friends. The Snell's accepted the challenge and moved over to Little Jost Van Dyke.

Shortly thereafter, the doctors ran into financial difficulties and had to abandon their dream of building a luxury resort. They abandoned the land as well, which then reverted back to the crown.

In the meantime however, the Snell's had built a restaurant on the far west side of the beach and dubbed it, "The Last Resort". For one year, they enjoyed moderate success, but then disaster struck, and the restaurant burned to the ground.

All that remains is the foundation wall of the restaurant seen in the photo below. The stone wall is only about 10 to 12 feet away from where the B-Line Bar stands today.

Both Tony and Jackie really enjoyed running the restaurant and knew they had found their calling. Undaunted by their recent tragedy, they left the BVI briefly to sell their day charter boat in Ibiza, Spain and returned to establish The Last Resort on Bellamy Cay, improving upon an existing ramshackle building.

Sometime after Tony and Jackie departed, a German businessman decided that Little Jost Van Dyke would be the ideal location for a fuel depot. Why, I have no idea! I have not been able to find out anything more ... at least not thus far.

As part of the fuel depot development, large fuel tanks were installed and a relatively long cement pier was built, running along the eastern side of the bay. This enterprise did not work out and once again, the development and the land were abandoned. The owners of both endeavours left visible evidence of their presence for posterity.

Original_Last_Resort_Ruins Ruins of the original Last Resort Restaurant
LJVD_B_Line_Bar_Bulldozer Bulldozer

Over the ensuing years, the ruins of the restaurant were left virtually untouched. A rusted out bulldozer (above) has become a rather large and unsightly planter as it slowly becomes one with the landscape. Kind of them to leave something for future archeologists to ponder. Perhaps it could be made into a future geocache site for 3015.

LJVD_B_Line_Bar_Cement_Dock Cement Pier at the B-Line Bar
A large section of the cement pier built by the German fellow has crumbled, and what remains is in need of work. Some of it is still relatively sound and is being put to good use by visiting bareboat charter guests.

At some point in time, some bright spark thought that a brothel would be a good enterprise to establish on Little Jost. I have not yet found out any more regarding this story, but will make every attempt to do so. Given that the island was first settled by Quakers, such an affront would likely have John C. Lettsom and his wife who are buried on the island, spinning in their graves.

In 1971, Beverly Martin (previously Washburn) moved to Jost Van Dyke to work at Foxy's Bar. Ten years later, she and her husband bought property on Little Jost Van Dyke and proceeded to build their home here.

The Martin's built a charming little house around a single stone wall that was still standing. I am assuming the wall was likely part of the German fuel depot development and may have been part of a home, an office or perhaps a storage shed. Nobody seems to know exactly. I believe the Snell's lived on a boat while they were here, so it seems unlikely it was their home or part of the restaurant, but I could be wrong.

Thirty three years passed while the Martin's enjoyed the solitude of their little slice of paradise. But as we all know, time and tide wait for no man. Beverly's daughter (Christina) and her better half, Bonkey have followed in the footsteps of Tony and Jackie Snell and once again, Little Jost Van Dyke is alive with, great music and visiting sailors at their lovely little Beach Bar!

Had the Canadian doctors or the German Fuel Depot been successful, the B-Line Beach Bar very likely wouldn't exist. So when you visit, be sure to raise a glass to their failure ... because this place is "Paradise" at its best! :)

Last updated: Jan 5th 2015
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