Dear friends of Aristocat Charters,
As many of you know, Hurricane Irma ripped through our beloved British Virgin Islands as a Category 5 hurricane on September 6th, 2017. To say she was catastrophic would be an understatement. She showed no mercy to our beautiful paradise and her wrath was felt island-wide. Homes were demolished and businesses destroyed.
We at Aristocat Charters were not spared. While we are very happy to report that every single one of our wonderful employees are safe and accounted for, our boats took a serious beating. Despite being properly secured in a ‘hurricane hole’, both of our Privilege 48 catamarans, Aristocat and Lionheart, while still visible and semi-floating in photos, were severely crippled by the storm. We have included some pictures below. As you can see, they fared much better than many others. Catapult, our World Cat 32, which was hauled out of the water and stored on a trailer, has suffered the least damage, and appears to be fully functional which is wonderful news. We the owners, Brittany & Scott Meyers, happened to be off-island with our family on our annual visit stateside when the storm hit and have yet been able to get back down island to further assess the damage, but it is significant.
What Does This Mean?
That said… while Irma was strong, we are stronger. The people of the BVI have rallied together and the message is loud and clear: We will rebuild! We at Aristocat Charters have joined in that battle call and have no intention to back away or close our doors. We have every intention and hope to be up and running and fully functional as soon as it is possible.
Our employees are also committed to this cause and we hope to be able to give them the work they need and love. There is a long road ahead, but we are not alone – and together with our community, the British Virgin Islands will be back, bigger and stronger than before. While the aftermath looks awful in pictures, progress is being made every single day. While we are not quite sure on an exact timeline yet as to when we can be back up and running, we will keep you posted. We hope to have at least one boat running in the next few months while we, along with our employees, help to rebuild our treasured island community.
How Can You Help?
The good news is, there are several ways to help us…
Our personal fundraiser
Scott and I have set up a relief fund for the British Virgin Islands and every penny is going toward relief and rebuilding. We have already purchased medical supplies and scrubs for the hospital, $30K worth of tarps, 50 chainsaws, and we are working with others to send down supplies to rebuild and we are currently sourcing a supplier to send down a bulk supply of portable generators and construction materials. We would love to keep a steady stream of these priority items shipping to the BVI, so if you could find it in your heart to donate, feel free to do so at the following link… https://www.youcaring.com/bviimmediaterelief-943806. And if you have already donated, we thank you very much and ask that you keep spreading the word via Facebook, email, etc.
Current bookings, cancellations, and deposit refunds
Several of you have already written that you would like us to keep your deposits as a ‘donation’ and we greatly appreciate it. Thank you kindly to those who have already offered this and if you feel moved to help in this way, we would be so very grateful.
If you would like a refund, we absolutely plan to reimburse all deposits for bookings that we will not be able to honor. If your visit to the BVI is a little ways out and still “up in the air,” we ask that you consider holding off on canceling your booking with us until you’re sure you need to cancel.
Reviews on TripAdvisor and Facebook
If you have not yet written a review of your trip with us, now is a great time! It might be a few months before we can start running trips again, but keeping us in the #1 spot on TripAdvisor is not only helpful for our little company, but helpful for tourism in the British Virgin Islands as well. Please consider writing a TripAdvisor review by clicking on this link… this seemingly small gesture would mean the world to us. And a few words on our Facebook page would be helpful as well!
Tourism is the linchpin of our economy and every single one of us in the BVI have a vested interest to give you all a beautiful place to come and visit. We will keep you posted on our progress, as well as the rest of the island, and we thank you for your care and concern. We will have a link on our websites homepage and will try to send regular email blasts as well. It has truly been an honor providing “the best day of your BVI vacation” and we cannot wait to get back to doing it again and welcoming you on board for a day sail in the always beautiful British Virgin Islands.
With heart and strength,
Aristocat Charters Owners