Marina Cay, British Virgin Islands
Photo by Melissa Alvarado Sierra
Discover Marina Cay in the BVI'sThis lesser-known Caribbean island served as the backdrop for the 1959 movie Virgin Island, starring John Cassavetes and Sidney Poitier. The film recounted writer Robb White's adventure with his wife Rosalie "Rodie" Mason after buying the island for $60 in 1937. The couple built a humble abode on the summit of the previously uninhabited Marina Cay against the wishes of their family members, some BVI locals, and most of all, against the expectations of society in that era.
If you want to step into the past and discover this tropical speckle in the British Virgin Islands, charter a boat and anchor in the placid lagoon that surrounds the isle or take a ferry from Tortola. Once on the island's main entrance, look for a lovely path going uphill. It's flanked by bougainvilleas and banyan trees, and will take you to the house built by Robb and Rosalie.
You'll recognize the dwelling when you see it. Charming blue moldings frame an otherwise flawed ledge and concrete blocks peek through the poorly executed plasterwork. The construction isn’t stellar, and yet, when the sun casts its glow over the house its simplicity truly enamors. The couple's lofty ambitions of building a home without experience are still palpable -- they can be seen on the uneven walls and crooked window panes, remnants of a great love and adventure.
Marina Cay has a small hotel, a Pusser's restaurant and store, facilities for boaters, and even a British red telephone booth.