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Tales from Tortola … renos

Marc and Donovan repair the roof

OK. I confess. I’ve been delinquent. Funny how work gets in the way.  But I shouldn’t complain as freelancers are always looking for assignments. I just didn’t plan on writing six stories in 11 days! OIE!

Now that I’m over the hump, it’s time I got back to my tales from Tortola! My plan is to post one every Wednesday. So be on the lookout next Wednesday morning. My problem right now is that I have so many things to write about (local foods, sailing expeditions, small town politics (reminds me of home),  over-the-top hair styles,  getting stopped by the police, being “saved at the beach”—ad infinitum—that it will be a toss up what to start with. May have to flip a coin. Matters not.

Barrie scraping paint off of cement walls in downstairs bedroom

Meanwhile, I want to take a minute to yak about the changes at Sunfish House. You may recall my mentioning early on that Barrie is now Mr-Fix It, in charge of some major renos on Kate Mallin’s home  (our niece.)

Roof’s been repaired and painted; outside walls power blasted with water, scraped and painted; inside of home has been scrubbed to within an inch of its life; most of the walls were scraped down to the cement and painted; fixtures remove/replaced; one of the toilets removed/replaced  … you get the picture. I’ve helped a little with the cleaning but Barrie’s done 95 percent of the inside stuff.

We contracted with Solomon Mckie to oversee the project and to hire the trades people needed to get the outside work done. He prefers to be called by his last name, pronounced Mack΄-ee with the emphasis on the first syllable. Mckies been a God-send. When welders were needed, they showed up. When an electrician was needed, he showed up.

Kate Mallin Pink roof gets second coat

The rest of the work’s been done by Marc Mckie (Solomons’ brother) and Donovan. What great guys. They’ve been around for a month now and seem like part of the family.

Right now they are working on the deck which is being replaced. We thought we could stretch the life of the deck a couple more years by scraping it and painting it. No such luck. When Donovan started to power wash a section, the water dug holes into the wood. That’s now rotten it was. So. New deck is in the making.

I’ve uploaded a few photos of the clean up/painting. Notice the Kate Malin Pink roof.

New/improved downstairs bedroom

Now notice the downstairs bedroom all decked out. What do you think?

I’m sorry we don’t have photos of Lorna and Alan Pasolli. While they were here on their visit, they offered to help. Barrie wasn’t long handing them a list to choose from. Lucky for me, they decided to paint the iron posts and railings around the deck as that was one of my to-do jobs.

Although  Barrie’s been taking photos every stage of the reno’s, when the Pasolli’s were doing their thing, the setting on the camera was wrong. So Barrie ended up with a rather long video. Just discovered the goof.

If I knew how to edit it and upload videos, I’d pop it up here. Alas, it’s a skill I don’t have—yet. Hope to learn that in Ottawa in a couple of weeks.

That’s another story.


  1. February 24, 2011    

    We have chores to do no matter where we’re living, Sandra. How lucky you are to be doing them on an island paradise!

  2. February 25, 2011    

    No question about that! And time seems to be at a premium regardless of where we live. Just need to figure out how to function without sleep.

  3. Nancy Ballek Nancy Ballek
    October 8, 2013    

    Whatever did we do before the Internet?? Actually first stumbled on your website after reading Kate’s father’s obit. We are the lucky ones to be staying at sunfish house most of Màrch and are just thrilled. Can’t wait to see your renovation work. We’ve been staying around Belmont for about ten years. First at Heather’s and most recently at Coconuts. I guess just up the road and around the bend. We loved it there, perfect for the two of us but sold last year and only available for the last 9 days of Màrch. Gail Sperry (Pegasus) suggested Sunfish House and that’s where we’re at. I’m sorry we probably won’t meet you as we have lots in common. We love our canoe also. Connecticut is dishing out a wonderful autumn..still swimming in the sound and enjoying our hideaway in the woods of Lyme. To all of you..rest assured that we will take wonderful care of Sunfish House!! Would love to hear from you or Kate….best regards…Nancy. So glad my curiosity stumbled on your website!

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