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Gang of Rummies

A week of rum and beach bar research in the Virgin Islands takes a lot of planning, preparation and the right crew of traveling buddies.  Meet mine.


When planning my recent research trip to the islands, I developed a list of priorities – things that I wanted to do and see to make the most of my time in the little latitudes.  I don’t usually experience a particular destination by navigating the local shopping scene, gambling in faceless casinos or dining at Señor Frog’s.  Instead, I set out to discover what makes that place unique and unlike any other on the planet.  It’s probably not a surprise that bars and beaches play a big role in this type of discovery.  I find that the best way to learn about a place and its people is by getting to know their drinking culture.

Not everyone would agree, so when plotting this trip I had to choose a team of traveling buddies that had the same priorities.  I looked far and wide, took applications, did interviews and checked references.  In the end, I was pleased to find three very worthy traveling companions with the same goals as my own.  Priorities for week one – get to know the sites, sounds and people of the US Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands through a week long pub crawl……by boat.

Here’s the crew:

Bahama Bob – legendary Key West mixologist, barstool philosopher and rum drinker.  Bob is a former NASCAR engineer that packed up his tools when he felt the islands calling.  He also has a marine Master Captains license and agreed to be our designated sober boat captain for our week of rum and beach bar research.  What a guy!


Carl Grooms – owner of Conch Republic Bikini Co., Caribbean lifestyle blogger and Rum XP.  Carl knows the islands like the back of his hand and walking into a beach bar with him is like walking into Cheers with Norm.  Everybody knows his name.  He also knows a bunch of fancy nautical knots from his days in the Merchant Marines which takes the focus off my lack of real boating skills.


Marta Leonard – a California native and former race car driver turned Florida restaurant manager and boat bum.  Marta is known to be friendly, organized and very silly, especially after a few rum drinks.  She would also bail me out of jail if need be. (hopefully need won’t be)  


Stay tuned for a recap of all the action from the Virgin Islands pub crawl. Aarrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!