Boys and Girls Club of the Virgin Islands Receives a Floating Donation: “The Flyer”

St. Croix’s John “Big Beard” Macy recently donated Big Beard’s Adventure Tours’ original 40-foot catamaran, The Flyer, to the Boys & Girls Club of the Virgin Islands. Children of all ages will learn team spirit, while learning how to navigate and care for a seafaring vessel:

“This is an opportunity for our kids to take ownership of something, and ownership of the labor, the maintenance and repair,” Boys & Girls Club Executive Director O’Neil Canton said on the Christiansted boardwalk Friday. “They will be learning character while maintaining our new clubhouse on the water,” Canton said. Canton sees the vessel as a valuable cooperation and team-building tool. “It takes a team to sail a boat like this,” he said. “We have kids from different neighborhoods and schools and they need to learn to work together,” he said.

[. . .] The Boys & Girls Club summer camp starts in two weeks, and they hope to have the boat ready to sail before then and incorporate it into the summer curriculum, said Anne Wachtmeister, vice president of the Boys & Girls Club. “This is a great opportunity for us, but it doesn’t come free,” Wachtmeister said, ticking off a long list of repairs and changes needed to the vessel to get it ready to carry groups of kids of all ages onto the seas. “We are really looking for boating enthusiasts, companies and individuals to volunteer,” she said.

[. . .] The Flyer was built in France and launched in the Mediterranean in September 1984, Macy said. It was sailed by its owner to St. Martin, who moved back to France. Macy, who began leading snorkeling trips to Buck Island in 1979, bought Flyer in 1985 and has been using it ever since. But since the company bought two more catamarans, it has mostly sat idle, so he decided to give it to a deserving charity or nonprofit, he said. Meanwhile, Big Beard’s Adventure Tours just renewed their contract with the National Park Service to bring tours to Buck Island through 2022, Macy said. [. . .]

Those who would like to help can contact the Boys and Girls Club at (340) 778-8990

For more information on Big Beard’s Adventure Tours and to visit Buck Island’s coral canyons, you may call Big Beard at (340) 773-4482

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