Site Introduction

About Sandcastle V.I.

Welcome to the latest version of Sandcastle V.I., which originates in the sunny United States Virgin Islands and has been in existence since 1996. This Introduction will tell you a little bit about what's available on the site and about me, your friendly "web master."

From the Sandcastle V.I. splash/home page, you can access one of several major subject areas, which are also easily accessible through the menu frame at the bottom of the browswer window or the text menu at the bottom of each page, as follows:

Includes the introduction you're now reading and pages about my home islands, my job, and my family's first experiences with home computers. A detailed site map or table of contents, a description of what's new on the site, site visit statistics, and a list of site awards received are also available in this section.

Includes a short history of my favorite musical group, The Ventures -- which just happens to be universally recognized as the No. 1 Instrumental Group in the World. This section also includes a detailed discography with almost 1,000 individual entries, album reviews and ratings, a virtual photo album, a list of "Top 100" singles and albums, and a very comprehensive directory of other Ventures web sites and resources. In this section you'll also find information on the campaign to get the Ventures inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

This section has two main sub-sections. First, there's a short history of the development of the Aircraft Carrier as an integral part of the world's navies. Second, you'll find almost the entire manuscript of my yet-to-be-published book about the history of 70 of the more than 200 vessels of sea, air, and space that have proudly carried the name Enterprise. Here you'll also find a virtual tour of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise CVN-65.

This section includes pages devoted to military aerobatic teams, with special emphasis on the history of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, plus a very detailed history of aviation using the collection of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum as a backdrop.

This is a directory of every American and Russian manned spaceflight, from 1961 to the present. For each major space project (Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, etc.) there is a summary page giving an overview of the project and a list of all missions within the project. The summary page also has links to pages with individual flight details, such as the launch date and flight duration, crew members, extra-vehicular activities (EVAs), payloads, and a short mission summary.

There are two sub-sections here, one devoted to episode guides for all of the different Star Trek series and one devoted to other space-based science fiction series, such as Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, Space: 1999, and others. For want of a better place to put it, an episode guide to the military drama series J.A.G. is also included here.

Here you'll find short histories of some of my favorite auto racing teams of the past, including Carroll Shelby's legendary Cobras and GT-40s, Dan Gurney's Eagles, Jim Hall's Chaparrals, Enzo Ferrari's Sports Cars and American Motors' Javelins.

This is a collection of directories to some of my favorite movies. In addition to a very detailed history of Walt Disney's Animated Classics, there are pages devoted to the musicals of Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers and Elvis Presley, the James Bond thrillers, and classic scifi, air combat, and auto racing films.

Here are examples of some of the art produced by my daughter, Selene. She's a web/graphic designer in South Florida, and her iDesign Studios web site showcases more of her web design work.

This is another section that has two separate sub-sections. The main one contains virtual tours of America's tropical islands, such as the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Guam, the Northern Marianas, and American Samoa. The second sub-section is a virtual tour of Walt Disney World based on our past visits.

When you're ready to leave Sandcastle V.I., take this route for links to some of my favorite sites on the World Wide Web. Here you'll also find our Guestbook, where you can read comments from past visitors and add your own.

About the Web Master

If you haven't already guessed from the page footers, my name is Arnold E. van Beverhoudt, Jr. and I live on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands with my wife, Helena. We have a daughter, Selene, who (as I mentioned before) is a web/graphic designer in South Florida.

By profession, I'm a Certified Public Accountant and an auditor with the U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Inspector General. On the personal side, I've been a life-long space enthusiast and I'm a member of the National Space Society, the Planetary Society, and the Smithsonian Institution's Air and Space Society. I'm also a first-generation Star Trek fan (having been hooked since the first episode aired in 1966), and a naval history enthusiast and member of the United States Naval Institute.

Spurred on by these overlapping interests, over an 8-year period I researched the history of vessels named Enterprise and wrote a 180-page book entitled These Are the Voyages: A History of the Ships, Aircraft, and Spacecraft Named Enterprise. I haven't had much luck in getting the book published, but I haven't given up hope of seeing it in print one of these days. In the meantime, a major portion of the book is available in the SEA section of this site.

I got in on the ground floor of the personal computer revolution in 1979, when I got a Radio Shack TRS-80, with a whopping 16Kb of RAM, 128x48 B/W graphics, audio cassette data storage, 150 baud acoustical modem, and Microsoft BASIC programming language. That now seems like ancient history, but I must say that sometimes I wish I still had my "TRaSh 80" (as the Apple II folks used to ridicule the TRS-80). It was FUN being on the cutting edge!

Some Disclaimers

Although my daughter, Selene, and I have tried to give Sandcastle V.I. a visually pleasing design, you'll notice that it's also decidedly "low tech" in comparison to many other web sites. With a few exceptions (like the indulgence of a slow-loading Flash intro with animation and music), I've avoided using fancy features and graphics that, although they look nice, slow down the download of pages and often are just "eye candy" without any real substance behind them. I hope this compromise helps to make Sandcastle V.I. available to the widest possible audience. Also notice that there are NO banner, pop-up, or other ads of any kind. This site is strictly non-commercial, and it will always stay that way.

A few words of explanation might be appropriate here about my copyright notice at the bottom of each page. As you explore Sandcastle V.I., you'll quickly discovery that this web site is very "information intensive." The site has over 500 individual pages and consumes more than 50Mb of web server disk space. About half of that space is devoted to text. It is those words, the result of countless hours of research and compilation on my part, that are copyrighted. In the few cases where I have either relied heavily on or directly quoted material from other sources, I've given notice of the sources, and (of course) I have no intention of copyrighting the words of those other authors.

For your convenience, you may save to disk the textual content of any of my web pages for off-line reading and personal archival use. However, permission is not granted for the further distribution or posting of this material to other web sites. Instead, please either include a link to Sandcastle V.I. on your own page or give your friends the address for the Sandcastle V.I. hompage, which is:

The thumbnail graphics that are liberally embedded throughout the various pages (with the exception of photos/graphics created by me or borrowed from NASA and other U.S. Government public domain sources) are the property of and copyrighted by the sources from which I borrowed them. My use of small copies of those photos is meant to fall within the "reasonable use" provisions of copyright law. By including reference bibliographies and other source data as part of the information presented in my pages, I hope to encourage web surfers to seek out the original sources for more detailed information. However, if representatives of any of those sources think otherwise, please email me and I'll gladly remove the offending thumbnails from the appropriate pages.

With that explanation and legal disclaimer out of the way, I invite you to explore what I've put together here at Sandcastle V.I.. Please let me know what you think by sending email to the address shown at the bottom of every page.

| Site History |

| Home | Intro | Ventures | Sea | Air | Space | SciFi | Racing | Movies | Art | Travel | Exit |

| Site Intro | What's New | Site Map | Statistics | Awards | My Home | My Job | My Family |

Copyright © 1996-2015 Arnold E. van Beverhoudt, Jr.
Email comments or suggestions to:
Last Updated: January 1, 2003