Normally when you own a business, etiquette says to never share the hardships, always be positive, show people your success and not your failure. But Hurricane Irma was anything but normal. Over a month has passed since Irma decimated the United States Virgin Islands leaving people without homes, power, and the businesses they spent their lives building. We consider ourselves blessed to be among the few boats still floating, but “floating” is a relative term. The list of damage is unimaginable and the road to recovery will be long, so we’re here to ask for your help. If you’ve snorkeled beneath the shadow of our black sails, felt Kekoa rock beneath your bare feet cruising from Tortola to White Bay, hula-hooped with views of Carvel Rock, or lounged on the nets in the afternoon sun wishing the day would never end, then you know. You know about the spirit of Kekoa–the joy she brings and the freedom you feel, the way she separates you from your day-to-day stress. She is a thread that connects so many of us around the world. Time spent beneath her black sails is like a badge that brings you together with people you don’t even know.
In one short yet excruciating month our business Black Sails VI has devoted everything it has to countless supplies needed for backbreaking work among sunken boats. Holes were temporarily patched while the boys were waist-deep in the mangrove debris, the broken mast dismantled, weeks and weeks of work just to pull her off the wreckage of Otter Creek and have her towed to a safe beach. So the mast is gone, sails are missing, the head blew out the hole in the hull, the railings are piles of twisted metal and that's only the beginning. Jamison and Ryan have a plan, hatched during many long nights after the generator is turned off and the once-boisterous island is eerily silent. Just two brothers, separated from their families in a house with no roof, putting their heads together by flashlight, knowing the strength of their Kekoa community will be an imperative piece of the puzzle. The heartbreak of seeing your life’s work in such a state is unimaginable yet these boys are resilient beyond measure and the things they’ve already accomplished for Kekoa are inspiring. Let’s show them how supportive this community can be and help her sail once more.