Like any good company we try and make a point to build long relationships with our suppliers. To that end we travel to Peru at least a couple times a year to meet with our suppliers. We’ve been working with Neyer Solis for some time. Sensing opportunity Neyer left the large knitwear company where he worked and set up a small sewing line dedicated to our production. His line has grown to 10 men & women working sewing our T-shirts.
The screen printing and embroidery is subcontracted out to another company. We’ve visited the printer before and our recent trip we were happy to see a new facility and plenty of jobs on-hand. Small lines like Neyer’s and the printing facility he uses also get work from the larger factories that work production for brands like American Eagle. The quality that Peru production offers is a great advantage for HIHO. We also like working with small producers and it is a source of pride seeing them excel at what they do.
Here’s a peek at a color chart we are working on for our men’s linen shirts. Color plays an important part in the HIHO line. We spend hours selecting colors and testing variations trying to get them exactly right before assigning them to the various clothes in the line.
We send color swatches to our suppliers and they return us “lab dips” for us to approve. These approved colors are included in orders we send to our factories. Naturally, we focus on colors that surround us in the Caribbean.
We are inspired by the turquoise and green of the sea, the golden sand beaches, riotous flower colors and, of course, the stunning palate available at every sunset. Once we get the colors right we then agonize over a name: Is it coral rose or dark peach; dark blue or deep sea; and so forth.
A little known secret is that Tortola offers some of the best surfing in the Caribbean. The island offers a good dozen wave riding spots, and there are as many others on the outer islands including Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Sandy Cay.
It’s generally acknowledged that Cane Garden Bay is Tortola’s best surf spot. Offering a point break, Cane Garden can serve up a wonderfully large & long wave to ride. Tortola’s most popular break is Apple Bay or “Bombas” where surfers can choose from two right breaking waves, and a left break. Music from the eponymous island bar wafts across the water to surfers in the lineup. Other popular breaks include Josiah’s Bay which, when the swell is small, offers excellent beginner waves along with Lava Flow, Cooten Bay, Josh’s, Schoolhouse and Smugglers Cove.
Sure, each break doesn’t work every time the surf is up, but when there is a convergence of a good size swell, offshore wind and favorable tide you can catch waves up and down the islands North Shore.
There are just a few of the original island-built boats still in service. This boat, seen fishing off the Eastern tip of Little Thatch, is kept tied up to the mangroves in Sopers Hole. When I was a boy growing up in Tortola boats were still built by hand by shipwrights who practiced their craft in almost the same way as their fathers and grandfathers. They used some power tools but they still went into the bush to find cedar trees that were correctly shaped for the boats ribs. Caulking was done by hand and the boats launched by a team of people. In East End they would still build the odd island sloop while in Towers near the West End of the island I remember the yard where they turned out 18 or so foot open boats that were used by fisherman and by the North Shore residents who gunned off to work at Caneel Bay Resort on St John. By the 1980’s the Tortola boat building tradition had succumbed the ubiquity of the fiberglass boat.
The Caribbean offers a wide range of cuisine which is as diverse as the island chain is long with islands all offering their take on meat, fish, stews, soups and so forth. Several food dishes have “legs” by which we mean you will find them almost everywhere. One of favorite dishes or meals are rotis. Brought to the Caribbean by indentured workers from India the roti is a stew wrapped in an Indian flat bread. It looks a little like a large burrito. A roti comprises potatoes, garbanzo beans, vegetables and usually chicken or mutton. Veggie rotis are common. Rotis can be spicey or not. They are usually accompanied with chutney. Compliment with a cold Red Stripe or Ting.
The BVI’s are a gorgeous collection of Caribbean islands and cays. Beaches large & small are etched into the coasts. One favorite beach is Valley Trunk Bay, which is located between The Baths and Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda’s South West end. About the length of two football fields, Valley Trunk is anchored on either end by giant boulders. The perfectly white sand is thick like unrefined sugar and the water is as clear as glass. Towering coconut trees line the top of the beach. There are no moorings off Valley Trunk so it’s easy to anchor. Swim ashore or jump on a SUP for a leisurely paddle down to The Baths.
Everyone has to unwind and a trip to the spa at Scrub Island is about as relaxing as it gets. Chill out on the deck next to the infinity pool and take in the view of Great Caminoe. Just below the pool is a tiny point break that offers a great longboard or stand-up paddle wave to ride if the swell is good. Come to chill out and get a great massage from Emily or Angie then flop down in a comfy chair in the cool enclosed lounge, nibble on some coconut chips and rehydrate with a cold glass of water. The Scrub Island Spa is a 5-minute walk from the resorts awesome waterslide enhanced pools, cool bars and restaurants. Contact the spa at email@example.com.
Gusty & shifty wind conditions greeted racers at the inaugural 2011 HIHO Antigua Fun Cup regatta in Falmouth, Antigua. Raced in new PICO dinghies, the event saw two-man teams comprising adult & junior racers battle it out over 6-races on the 2-day regatta schedule. Junior racers then raced singlehandedly in two divisions: 12 and under and 13-18 years old. Antiguan’s Rocco & Paolo Falcone aced the doublehanded division with Karen Porch and Tanner Esty in 2nd. BVI racers Sam & Andy Morrell took 3rd. Sam Morrell was equal first in the under-12 singlehanded fleet but took 2nd to Rocco Falcone when the tie was broken. Antiguan Hosea Williams took the older singlehanded division. The inaugural event saw competitors from Antigua, the BVI’s, Guadeloupe, France and New York. Superb racing was complimented by meals hosted by the Antigua Yacht Club and a great dinner at Cloggy’s restaurant. “We had two days of great racing,” said HIHO head honcho Andy Morrell. “We loved the grownup/kid format, plus Antigua is a favorite island to visit.”