PLANNING YOUR ROUTE….
This itinerary is intended as a guide to help you plan your trip around the British Virgin Islands. It is good to have an outline of where you would like to go and things you would like to see but we do advise you to remain flexible and allow for the unforeseen.
When you arrive at our base you will receive a full chart briefing, tailor-made to your trip. We will talk you through all the ‘must-see sites’, things not to miss, obstacles to avoid and we will fill you in on all our personal favourites. We will give you a good idea of which route to take based on your group, the weather and any events taking place, whether you want to join in the action or stay away from the crowds.
We will provide you with a ‘Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands’ and a chart of the local area for use during your trip. If you would like to purchase your own copy of the cruising guide you can do so from CruisingGuides.com. You can also visit OnlineCruisingGuide.com for a free digital version.
SAMPLE ITINERARY FOR THE BVI: DAY 1
The Bight at Norman Island makes the perfect anchorage to head for on your first night. After a short reach across the Sir Francis Drake Channel you will sail past The Indians and Pelican Island, straight into the protected anchorage to grab your first overnight mooring.
The Bight makes such a good first night stop as it is well protected, has loads of moorings, offers good snorkeling and has a choice of two restaurants. Once you are secure on your overnight mooring, jump in the dinghy and make your way over to the Caves.
A splendid national park site with natural caves to explore and teeming with sea life to enjoy your first snorkel. Head back to the boat, scrub up and head ashore for dinner.
Pirates is a lively, family-oriented beach bar and restaurant, tucked away in the south east corner. A great place for a casual sit-down dinner and sundowners. The Willy-T is the famous floating bar and restaurant and made a name for itself many years ago when they offered a free T-Shirt to anyone who jumped off the top deck naked. Health and Safety stepped in to prevent this ritual but it still has a reputation for being a fun and noisy. It’s not for everybody but if you are looking to party and have a good time, this a must do.
Wake up and motor straight over to the Indians. It’s not far enough to worry about putting the sails up. Pick up a National Park mooring buoy and enjoy your breakfast on board.
After breakfast, relax a little, enjoy the spectacular rock formations before snorkeling the lavish corals and sponges which contrast with the rocky ledges and steep walls that rise to the surface. Afterwards, sail to the wreck of THE RHONE, sunk in 1867, just off of Salt Island for a stunning morning dive or snorkel. Tack up to COOPER ISLAND in the early afternoon and grab your overnight mooring in Manchioneel Bay. Swim over to Cistern Point for more snorkeling or simply relax on the beach or by the bar at the Cooper Island Beach Club. There is a strict ‘no anchoring’ policy in effect at Cooper island, due to the plentiful turtle grass on the bottom. Dine ashore at the restaurant or barbeque on your boat.
Get an early start and tack up the Sir Francis Drake Channel to THE BATHS on the southern end of VIRGIN GORDA. Pick up a National Parks mooring and snorkel or dinghy into the beach. Do pay attention to the flag system on the beach if there is a north swell.
You can spend the whole day exploring the tunnels, caves and crystal-clear pools through the maze of massive boulders which have been resting here for literally millions of years. Some people call these the eighth wonder of the world! Have a little lunch on board before heading back across the channel towards Trellis Bay. Trellis has plenty of moorings and a choice of a few restaurants, including ‘The Last Resort’ which nearly always has some form of live entertainment. You will also find a supermarket and cyber cafe on the shore. For a quiet evening grab a mooring or drop your anchor behind Marina Cay. You can head ashore for sundowners and a relaxing dinner.
DAY 4 & 5
Off to NORTH SOUND, Virgin Gorda where you will find a little something for everyone. Break up your sail with a stop at the Dogs, a cluster of three small islets, all national parks, with excellent snorkeling and diving.
After lunch, head on up into the North Sound, being sure to use the well-marked north entrance and not the shortcut next to Mosquito Island. You will find a choice of marinas and restaurants to pick from including the well known Bitter End Yacht Club, Leverick Bay and Saba Rock.
Saba Rock is a great setting with a lovely restaurant overlooking the sound. The buffet menu is affordable and delicious with music most evenings. Free ice and water are available at both Saba Rock and Leverick Bay if you use their moorings. Visit The Bitter End to rent a Hobie Cat, learn to windsurf, kayak or kite surf – you will be spoilt for choice!
LEVERICK BAY has a beauty and massage parlor and also a great store to pick up any provisions. BIRAS CREEK is a wonderful place for a cocktail and long walks, and look out for the iguanas! You can dinghy through past Saba Rock for some turtle spotting at the reef. Take a break and spend a couple of days here – it is well worth it!
Continue west, downwind, towards Jost Van Dyke. This will probably be your longest sail and it might be a good idea to stop for a morning snorkel at MONKEY POINT, GUANA ISLAND.
Yet another national park, Monkey Point is home to many friendly yellowtail snappers, grunts and jacks, along with turtles and some large tarpon. After lunch, continue to Great Harbor on Jost Van Dyke, home to Foxy’s. Pick up your overnight mooring, then jump in the dinghy and head around the point into White Bay. Enjoy a ‘Painkiller’ at the Soggy Dollar Bar for sunset before heading back round to Great Harbor for dinner. Foxy is well known for his live music and barbeques on the weekends which makes for a great stop for all the family.
Sail south through the cut at SOPER’S HOLE, stopping in the boutique shops for gifts and souvenirs. Continue up to DEADMAN’S BAY, PETER ISLAND. Lounge on the white sand for a while before climbing the trail up to view the islands from above. Don’t be tempted to stay the night as the holding is not great and the swells can sometimes make it uncomfortable.
Motor round to GREAT HARBOR for a night under the stars. Great Harbor is perfect for your last night as it is quiet, picturesque and only a one hour sail back to base in the morning. There is small bar and restaurant on the shore called Oceans Seven offering delicious and simple local food.
After breakfast you have time to squeeze in one more snorkel (no diving before flying). Great Harbor has beautiful reefs and colorful tropical fish. Sail across the channel to BVI Yacht Charters at Joma Marina, Road Town by noon. Give us a call before you arrive to check your docking details and we will have a taxi waiting after you have refueled at our fuel dock and checked the boat out with someone on the dock.
ADVANCE YOUR KNOWLEDGE…
When you arrive you will receive a full boat briefing on your boat and a full chart briefing in the office. Our chart briefings take place at 10.30am. For those interested in additional study, NauticEd offer an online chart briefing you can do in advance of your trip. The cost is $13 and it can be done by as many of your crew as you wish. The online chart briefing is NOT a substitute for the full chart briefing on arrival.
Download the British Virgin Islands Chart Briefing.