Captain Kinto Lives Up To A Family Legacy of Hospitality at Bitter End, but In His Own Exceptional Way.
Your family has a rich history at Bitter End YC. Can you share some details about your Sprauve family legacy with BEYC?
Sure! My mom joined Bitter End in the 80s when I was just a kid. She started working at the Emporium, then moved on to the Pub and Clubhouse. Even my older brother and sister worked at Bitter End. As for me, I began working on the grounds team when I was 17 and eventually transitioned to the waterfront. Today, I'm the Launch Captain. My job involves coordinating with the Marina team and ensuring everything runs smoothly in the mooring field. I'm often one of the first faces guests see when they arrive here! I greet them warmly, ask how they're doing, introduce myself, and share a bit about Bitter End. The best part is when I pick them up at the end of the night and see that they had an amazing time—it makes my job at the launch truly worthwhile.
You've spent a significant amount of time at the Quarterdeck Marina both before and after Hurricane Irma. What's your favorite new addition to the QD Marina experience?
The Quarterdeck Mariner's Lounge Upstairs is a fantastic addition. People absolutely love it! It's a great gathering spot with a breathtaking view.
We all remember Captain Kinto leading excursions on The Corinthian and Ponce de Leon, including the Super Snorkel and trips to Anegada and the Baths. Can you share some of your favorite excursions over the years?
We had the privilege of experiencing the Best of BVI. We made multiple stops, including Cooper Island, The Indians, and The Caves. Then we'd visit Pirates, where people could go ashore and enjoy the beach. Anegada was also one of my favorites. We would take people there, and during the summer, we'd drive to the north side, where the Nurse sharks mate. On our way back to Bitter End, we'd look for flamingos on the east end of the island.
You're known among guests as the snorkel boat captain. Do you have any exciting stories to share about encounters with animals or memorable trips?
Once, during a trip to Oil Nut Bay, I encountered a massive Loggerhead Turtle. As I was heading to the reef, it came up from behind and swam alongside me. It was truly amazing! Another time, just outside of Necker, we spotted a couple of dolphins. We stopped the boat so that guests could take pictures, and to our surprise, more dolphins joined us. The guests put on their snorkel gear and swam with the dolphins—it was an incredible experience!
Is it true that you have a reef named after you? How did that come about?
Yes, it's true! I discovered this unnamed reef that I really loved. So, I decided to name it Kinto's Reef. There's something special about that spot. It's only accessible when the waters are calm and not too deep, making it perfect for beginners.
Can we expect the return of Kinto's excursions in the near future?
Absolutely! With the return of our boutique hotel on the horizon, we will be bringing back our excursions! You will see the historic guest favorites alongside some new experiences!
Do you have any insider tips for boaters cruising the BVI?
Definitely consider making a stop at Bitter End—it's a must! Apart from that, keep an eye out for other boaters and watch out for reefs. If you're unfamiliar with the area, avoid taking shortcuts. Some people might think mooring balls are expensive, but they're a much safer option than anchoring, especially with the ever-changing weather in the BVI.
A lot has changed at Bitter End over the years. Is there something that hasn't changed?
The way we make people feel remains unchanged. We've always prioritized exceptional service and hospitality. Bitter End is a place where our crew and guests feel like a family.