Re: Plan of Attack in BVI, Island Hopping
We just got back from 10 days in the BVI, chartered Horizon out of Nanny Cay. this was our third time in BVI. Most people do a general counter-clockwise approach because of the prevailing winds in winter; means that beating will usually take place in the (relatively) sheltered Francis Drake Channel. But, I never heard of a charter company telling you you HAD to do a specific route.
I agree with most of what has been said, except about Anegada... we did it this time precisely BECAUSE it is more challenging and open water and a "passage" of sorts. We loved the adventure of entering the (somewhat) tricky channel, and of seeing a place less-discovered than most in the BVI. Cow's Wreck Beach was a dream day.... we'll always remember such a beautiful, unspoiled place.
So, here's what we did this time:
Nanny Cay to Great Harbour on Peter Island (agree with a short leg the first day, after briefings and to familiarize with the boat)
Peter Island to Marina Cay (unusually high winds/waves the week we were there, we were looking for a more protected mooring)... also, helps you get upwind.
Marina Cay to Gorda Sound. Grabbed a mooring off Vixen Point, a beautiful beach with no services to speak of. stayed two nights, and ate at Saba Rock and dinghyed over to Bitter End to see how the rich and famous live. Also, were waiting for our best weather window to Anegada.
Gorda Sound to Anegada... a fun/fast passage! Stayed two nights, and felt it was a highlight of our trip
Anegada to Great Harbour on Jost Van Dyke. This was our longest sail, a great day, mostly beam to broad reach. Had never seen Foxy's, had to check that off the list, and fairly good shelter from the wind/waves we had.
JVD to Soper's Hole. Weather was deteriorating at this point, a short, rough ride to the protection of Soper's Hole. Always fun to check out the yachts in this popular destination for cruisers.
Soper's Hole to Nanny Cay... our roughest day, and it was in the channel! Winds hit 30, waves were 10 feet and very short interval. Tiring beat, so we were glad our last night was back at Nanny Cay, could relax and get ready for the check-out and trip home.
For what it is worth, trying to plan an exact itinerary before you are there and can see what your weather is like never works. Have general plans of things you'd like to see/do, and be ready for plan B or C if that's what conditions require. Have a great trip!