The White Cedar is the national tree of the BVI. It is considered the best wood for boat building as it is resistant to rot and termites.
So it was great for building traditional BVI sloops, which came to be known as “Tortola Boats”. These boats were perfect for inter-island trade and became a cornerstone of the BVI economy.
Pictured above is the Fiddler of Anegada on the docks at Road Town, circa 1906. Sadly, the sloop, about two tons register, was lost during a voyage from St. Thomas to Tortola in a heavy squall.
Efforts to restore, preserve and sail the historic Tortola Boats have started again. This in time will be developed into a permanent visitors center and maritime museum.
Top Tip: To see these stunning trees in real life take a trek up the tropical Sage Mountain in Tortola, just a short drive from your mooring at Cane Garden Bay.