Lost in the hurricane, iconic phone booth found in the BVI

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The old Red Box will be repositioned on a rebuilt dock.
The old Red Box will be repositioned on a rebuilt dock.

One mystery from last September's hurricanes has been solved.

The iconic British Victorian telephone booth, which stood at the end of the dock at Pusser's Marina Cay, a one-mile boat ride from Trellis Bay, Tortola, disappeared in the 200-plus mph winds and tornadoes.

The old Red Box, as locals call it, was nowhere to be found after the storms. The new dock on which it had stood also was gone, although the pilings were spared.

During the weeks of massive cleanups that followed, barge after barge removed flotsam and jetsam that was strewn everywhere from Pusser's marina, restaurant, hotel and store.

The whereabouts of the Red Box remained a mystery until it was recently located lying buried on the seabed quite a distance from the dock.

The old-time British phone booth, which has appeared in hundreds of tourist photos over the years, is solid cast iron and weighs at least 1,500 pounds.

It will be raised from the sea and repositioned on the rebuilt dock by the end of April, according to a Pusser's spokesperson.

Pusser's Marina Cay is rebuilding and plans to open a small restaurant, a new store and a redone eight-room hotel in the near future.

Pusser's also has a similar phone booth at its location on Leverick Bay, North Sound on Virgin Gorda. The phone booth survived as did its store, which is open for business. 

Despite being heavily damaged, the company's pub and store in Roadtown, Tortola, managed to reopen with an operational kitchen within two weeks of the hurricanes and supplied more than 25,000 meals to those in shelters.

A small store has reopened and the larger second floor of the store will reopen in the next five months.

Pusser's Landing at Soper's Hole, West End on Tortola also was heavily damaged, including the marina, most of the docks and the store. A small food and beverage operation did reopen under a part of the roof that did not blow out and the entire facility hopes to reopen within the next six months.

Pusser's website is being designed and will relaunch soon with a full product line, hours of operations at BVI locations and reopening dates.

Elsewhere in the BVI, the 10-room eco-resort Cooper Island Beach Club on Manchineel Bay, accessible only by private boat, reopened April 1 as did the new facility of Sail Caribbean Divers at the resort.

Foxy's Wooden Boat Regatta at Jost Van Dyke, a short ferry ride from West End, Tortola, is set for April 21 and 22. Foxy's Tamarind Bar is open for business, including the floating dock, which makes "drunken dinghy rides home a bit of a challenge," according to a Foxy spokesperson.

The Royal BVI Yacht Club will host the Lowell Wheatley Anegada Pursuit Race on April 28 at the Andegada Reef Hotel and the BVI Dinghy Championships May 19-21 at Nanny Cay Hotel and Marina on Tortola.

The Leverick Bay Poker Run nautical event on Virgin Gorda will feature more than 300 boats from Puerto Rico, Miami and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Guana Island plans to reopen later this spring as will Scrub Island Resort & Spa with a full operation in place by July.

Peter Island Resort & Spa will have a partial reopening in October as will Necker Island Resort. 

On Virgin Gorda, Biras Creek plans to reopen 12 rooms in November and Rosewood Little Dix Bay and Bitter End Yacht Club are planning late 2019 reopenings.

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