William Thornton, a.k.a. “Willy T”: The Man vs. the Myth

Dr. William Thornton (May 20, 1759 – March 28, 1828) was an British_American physician, inventor, painter and architect who designed the United States Capitol building. He also served as the first Architect of the Capitol and first Superintendent of the United States Patent Office. Born into a Quaker community on Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands where he was heir to large sugar plantations, he was sent to England at age five to be educated. Once in England, there was never any question of his pursuing the fine arts professionally—he was to be trained for a useful life, according to the Quaker ways.
By the time he returned to the British Virgin Islands in 1786, Thornton was a gifted Practical Physician, accomplished Writer and very talented Architect. Once there, he came face to face with the source of his income—half interest in a sugar plantation and ownership of some 70 slaves, the possession of which had begun to trouble him. Late that same year he immigrated to the United States, in large part to pursue the cause of anti-slavery. During a visit to Tortola between 1790 and 1792, Thornton submitted plans to the design competitions for the U.S. Capitol Building. By April of 1793, his design was named winner. Thornton went on to design many now famous buildings in the Young Capitol.
Thornton was buried in Congressional Cemetary on Capitol Hill.

In life, William Thornton’s accomplishments were many. While he is probably most famous for being the designer of the U.S. Capitol building, among the local boaters of the British Virgin Islands he is known for something else altogether. Of course, just about anyone who has been to the British Virgin Islands has heard of the floating pirate bar called “The Willy T”. Many even know who the bar was named after… Few however, have heard the myth that ties the two together.
Many believe that the The Willy T is in fact haunted by the rebellious spirit of Dr. William Thornton himself.
For some, the irony of this might be too much to swallow— Why would William Thornton; a man of so many great accomplishment’s in his life, a man with a strict Quaker upbringing, a valuable member of society throughout his life, haunt (arguably) the most infamous watering hole in all of the Virgin Islands?
Believers will tell you that this is precisely why he has taken up residence. They will say that it is because of William Thornton’s staunch Quaker beliefs and strict adherence to a proper and honorable life, and that after his death in 1828, his rebellious soul returned to his native land of the Virgin Islands to let loose and leave the rules and regulations of his life behind.
Believers will tell you that to board the The Willy T, is to momentarily hand yourself over to Thornton and leave inhibition behind. They will tell you that even the most reserved are no match for the ghost of Willy T.
Some may argue that the Soul of William Thornton does not haunt the Willy T. They might argue that it is not Willy T’s spirit that holds some inexplicable power over the inhibitions of it’s guests but rather some other “unknown” spirit (no pun intended).
Some might say what they will. You will have to decide for yourself. Myself, I believe in the rebellious spirit. I believe in William Thornton.

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New Yorkers Head Back into Their Kitchens: Tips for Home Entertaining in Any Space

Tough times, pricey restaurants and the harsh temperatures of the coming winter are forcing many city dwellers back into the tiny kitchen of their already tiny apartments. For example, a Zagat survey reports that since the recession, 61% of New Yorkers are cooking more at home, while 56% have increased home entertaining. Keeping this in mind, an unlikely source has provided some unique and welcome advice on small-space entertaining.
Meet Rosemary Lindberg. Rosemary is the first mate and chef aboard The Pentesilea II. The 48-foot catamaran boasts four cabins, crew’s quarters and the world’s smallest kitchen. In running a profitable charter boat operation, Rosemary is constantly cooking and entertaining for as many as ten guests every night. Consistently operating in a 5 ½’ by 6 ½’ kitchen, with only 2’ of walking space, Rosemary has become an expert on limited space entertaining.
Here are some helpful and practical tips from Rosemary for planning your next dinner party:
Plan out your meal accordingly

Carefully plan out serving sizes for each guest: Try to gauge exactly how many guests you will have and how much they plan on eating. This will help keep you organized, and keep leftovers to a minimum.
Know what exactly you need to buy: Writing a list of every possible thing you could forget helps you stay organized and gets you ready for the prepping process.
Prepping kitchen & necessary foods ahead of time
Prep your kitchen first: When cooking in small kitchens it is best to keep your counter space clear. Keep knives & coffee maker off the surface or stowed away.
What are you preparing: Foods that have a longer sitting life (i.e. salad without dressing, cold dessert) should be made ahead of time and then stowed away.
If using anything frozen: All thawing should be done far in advance.
Starting your main courses: Do all chopping/cutting beforehand, and set aside ingredients in small bowls. Getting all the chopping out of the way ahead of time gives you more space for actual cooking.
If making a dessert: Make it before you start doing anything for the main meal. If it needs to be served hot, prep dessert then put it in oven while others are eating – ready to serve when the main course is finished.
Keep dishes and dish use to a minimum
Stick to one cutting board: When doing all of your chopping ahead of time, at the same time, sticking to one cutting board can greatly reduce kitchen clutter.
Reuse pots and pans when possible: Try to rinse out and reuse a pan after initial use. It will keep for a cleaner kitchen and give you more space with less clean up.
Keep silverware/plating to a minimum: You do not want to overcrowd your space with lots of plates and silverware. If making an appetizer/main course put things out on one big plate and offer napkins as small plates.
Make serving beverages a breeze
Make sure the bar is stocked: When entertaining guests, running out of alcohol is a no-no. Make sure to offer plenty of wine and beer, and if you can offer a special mixed drink.
Offering mixed drinks: If providing a cocktail, making a large or multiple pitchers before hand can ease stress level, keep guests happy & keep bar space clear.

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Necker Island on Fire! – British Virgin Islands

Charter yachts in North Sound will have an interesting topic of conversation in the coming season.  It seems that Richard Branson’s beautiful island oasis was struck by lightening during the passing Tropical Storm Irene.  Check out this article by Mail Online.

The most expensive Yacht Charter in the World.

By Robert Frank

Associated Press
The 2010 launch of the Eclipse.

Looking for a quick summer break on the Mediterranean?

Consider a week aboard Eclipse, the largest yacht in the world. It can be yours (at least in theory) for $2 million a week, according to JamesList. That works out to $285,714 a day, or $11,900 an hour.

Granted, food and beverages aren’t usually included.  The fuel also is on you. But just think about what you do get for the money: 24 guest cabins, two swimming pools, several hot tubs, a disco hall and a crew of 70 to fill your glass, change the sheets and keep the disco ball spinning. You also get a minisubmarine that can descend to 150 feet.

Even if you had the money, however, you might not be able to secure the boat. Eclipse is owned by the famously private Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. As if to highlight the point, Eclipse is equipped with an antipaparazzi photo blocker. Yacht brokers say the charter listing on SuperyachtMonaco.com is more likely a requirement for Eclipse to be commercially registered. The charter company has told inquirers that the boat isn’t available this summer.

A spokesman for Mr. Abramovich said he doesn’t comment on personal matters.

Brokers say that when a boat is a registered commercially, it can be exempt from value-added taxes on fuel, supplies and other boat costs. Owners also may receive tax breaks on the boat’s purchase. For a boat that cost more than $500 million to build, and millions of dollars a year to maintain, the taxes can add up.

To qualify, yachts have to make themselves available for charter, which Mr. Abramovich has clearly done. “It’s a convenient way to manage a yacht,” said one broker. “You make it available for charter for registration purposes, but you may not actually end up chartering it because of the price.”

It isn’t as though Mr. Abramovich needs the extra $2 million a week. To him, privacy (and not letting strangers on his board) is likely far more valuable.

What would you expect from a $2 million-a-week yacht?

Ranger – Yacht Charters by Sojourn Sailing

Ranger at speed

On deck, the quality of craftsmanship of RANGER is evident from the moment you step aboard at the transom and see straight teak planks with no joins all the way up to the traveler.

A cozy cockpit for up to eight with a teak table is just behind the teak clad carbon fiber deck house; which features glove leather seating on either side of the companionway leading below, accented by a beautiful teak hand rail culminating at a teak and holley sole.

RANGER has accommodations for eight in the aft guest quarters; ten if the Pullman berths are used, in four cabins with three full heads.

The Master Stateroom: Walkaround king bed, ensuite with head, sink and shower.

Guest Stateroom 1: Starboard: Double bed with a hidden Pullman overhead, ensuite with head, sink and shower.

Guest Stateroom 2: Port: Double bed with a hidden Pullman overhead. Shares head with Stateroom #3.

Guest Stateroom 3: Port: Over/Under twin sized bunk berths. Shares head with Stateroom #2.

The Salon features a formal dining table to starboard and leather seating to port.

Forward through a water-tight bulkhead is the galley to port and the crew dinette to starboard.

The underlying material for the interior is Nida-Core to keep RANGER�s interior light. Over this state of the art foundation, is the finest of old world craftsmanship featuring flawless gloss finish over raised mahogany panels with crotch cut flamed mahogany centers making for a high quality and impressive interior. RANGER�s interior was built in Sardinia and then shipped to Skagen, Denmark for her installation.

RANGER represents the same hull and construction as the original RANGER from 1937 with the obvious exception that this RANGER has an engine and all the amenities of a modern day 50m motor yacht.

Now, after several years of trials and refinements, RANGER offers exciting racing and top performance plus and interior and amenities comparable to the finest, bigger sailing yachts and motor yachts. She truly is the best of both worlds with top performance and the ultimate in amenities and the finest of interiors.

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Sojourn Specials – Silver Moon

SILVER MOON – Sojourn Summer Specials – Captain Only – Up to 6 guests
St. Vincent, The Grenadines, Grenada,

$4,620 for 7 nights in the Grenadines, aboard this 44 ft. Catamaran. This could be the deal of the summer.

Give us a call, or email us for the unbelievable details.



Sojourn Specials – GAZELLE

GAZELLE – 66 ft. South African Gunboat

From Now until April 1st, 2011 take 10% off the listed charter prices. That’s more than $2,000 in savings!

New England for the Summer.
Central America For the Winter.
Sleeps 6 on one of the fastest luxury Catamarans in Charter.

GAZELLE  @ Sojourn Sailing