Visitors to St. Thomas can rent a car, pop in a CD and enjoy a guided tour thanks to Sarah Hancock. Sarah has been living on island for over 20 years and during that time she has given numerous tours to friends and family paying her a visit. She came up with a great idea of making the tour available to all visitors. Sarah is a public school teacher; in her free-time she created and produced a CD called Drive the Virgins CD Tour. She has an extensive background in Caribbean and VI History and these are an integral part of the tour, as are topics on culture, plants, animals and geography. We caught up with Sarah and asked her to tell us a little about the CD Tour.
What is Drive the Virgins CD Tour?
Drive the Virgins CD Tour is an audio tour formatted into a CD. People who have their own car can freely listen to precise directions and narrative with no visual distractions. As one takes in the beauty of our islands, they can learn about our rich history and culture which make us unique.
What locations does the tour cover?
Drive the Virgins Tour starts on the East End of St Thomas, at the National Park Dock Road. Once the narrator familiarizes the driver with our basic requirements and rules of the road, the chime signals him to take off and head toward Red Hook. Our tour takes you to 22 popular and secretive spots on St Thomas. The chime indicates 10 suggested stops to tour and stretch one’s legs, including Magens Bay, St. Peter Botanical Gardens, Hull Bay and downtown.
How did you come up with the idea?
I conducted numerous tours for my own guests over a course of 20 years. As an educator for the Deaf in the public school system, I was able to take Caribbean History at the University of the Virgin Islands as well as interpret Caribbean History and Virgin Islands History as many as 8 times over 25 years. We have a gold mine of history, diverse culture and an explosion of visual beauty.
How long did it take to put it all together?
With an antiquated hand-recorder, and my manual shift Jetta, I set off on the roadways day after day, stopping suddenly and teetering near rocky ledges, when I’d see something remarkable to mark down. Then I spent months researching and writing the narrative. It was back out on the road a year later to arrange the relevant information to the markers on the route and get it all in order. Before heading to the recording studio, months were spent back out on the road, steering with my knee, recorder in one hand and clipboard and pen in the other. I timed each word, each line and each topic, to the stretch of road it would fit into. I recorded my voice “ding”-ing into the recorder out on the road, so that later, the studio could see the seconds and minutes needed for timing their high tech chimes.
Who is it intended for?
Drive the Virgins is intended for the visitor who has one day to see a lot, or many days to do segments of the CD tour. It is for people on a budget and for people who not only want privacy, but who want the opportunity to see a lot of what St Thomas has to offer. This CD features 22 attractions with an 80% discount over public taxi tours that make only 3 to 5 popular stops.
Do you ever hear from people that have used it, what do they have to say?
People call our office saying they’d heard their friends got the CD or they’d seen it advertised on the airline magazine. The guests comment that it gave them an enlightenment of our islands, but they also got to keep the CD as a memento to listen to when they got back home.
Buy Drive the Virgins CD Tour
You can learn more about Drive the Virgins and purchase your own copy at: VItraders.com.
ST. JOHN OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
Includes 200 full color photos
St. John off the Beaten Track is your guide to the beaches, trails and hidden attractions of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Find quiet beaches, the best snorkeling spots and abandoned sugar estates. Learn about the islands history, geology, culture, people, ecology, plants and animals. National Park trails include detailed maps, information on historic ruins, and description on natural environment along the trails. Off trail adventures are also explored including secluded shorelines, pristine seasonal streams in the mountains (also known on island as guts), fresh water pools, seasonal waterfalls and more.
This is a must have book for every visitor going to St. John, and also for every resident. The information is excellent; you will learn, laugh and be intrigued by the wealth of details shared on the treasures and secrets of exploring St. John.