itinerary tips for shorthanded bareboat out of BVI - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-30-2015 Thread Starter
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itinerary tips for shorthanded bareboat out of BVI

I will be sailing out of bvi (dream yacht charter) in April with my girlfriend on a 37 Odyssey; and we are looking for some tips and maybe even a sample itinerary

some goals:
  • relaxed sailing (no overnights or long days; 4-6 hours day is goal)
  • spend most nights on a mooring ball
  • have 2-3 nights ashore for nice sight seeing, beach, dinner or dancing
  • 2 options to get fresh provisions
  • visit the baths

any and all tips are welcome; especially if they include activecaptain routes
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-30-2015
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Re: itinerary tips for shorthanded bareboat out of BVI

Here are some tips, with some personal favorites:

1. Sailing the BVI is easy line-of-sight navigation with many anchorages and alternates, almost all of which have bars and restaurants ashore. They also have mooring balls for a nightly $30 fee and almost all have places to anchor. Any overnight sail would put you past the BVI in another nation, the longest sail from Great Harbour on Jost to Anegada or the tip of the North Sound is easily done in one sailing day.
2. Diamond Cay on Jost van Dyke. Protected in a north swell, with Foxy's Taboo ashore and walk to the bubbly pool. Many mooring balls, and a great new bar called the B-Line. Just a stone's throw from Sandy Cay and Sandy Spit. Quiet at night.
3. Cane Garden Bay. Only if there's no north swell, lots of mooring balls. Great live music with BBQ meal at The Elm twice a week.
4. North Sound, anchorage/moorings off the Sand Box on Prickly Pear. This is for that one night when you want to feel alone. Usually the moorings aren't taken and the Sand Box beach bar is only open during the day. Sunsets are nice and once it is dark the stars really come out, along with the lights above Leverick on Virgin Gorda.
5. North Sound, Leverick Bay. Great dockage rates and a unique happy hour show with Michael Beans most nights in season. This is in case you or your significant other want one night at a dock.
6. Cooper Island. Best when you get a mooring ball as close to the beach as possible and when there's no north swell. New restaurant with good food, and the best snorkeling in the BVI at cistern point. Also a good jumping-off point for a dash up to the Baths, which needs to be done early in order to get a mooring ball.
7. White Bay, Jost van Dyke. Only enter in settled conditions, but the beach and atmosphere are great, and the Soggy Dollar Bar is the home of the Painkiller.
8. Anegada. This is a different BVI. But it is relatively far out and only worthwhile when you have time to explore the island.

Provisioning can be done in several places, with more or less selection and the less selection you have the higher the prices. I'd get all beef/meats at the big supermarkets in Road Town as well as any non-standard or specialty items. Easy provisioning with dinghy access is at Soper's Hole (bring a winter coat for the grocery store, they cool the whole building down!), Great Harbour on Jost van Dyke, Spanish Town, Trellis Bay. Smaller store at Leverick Bay and if you feel like really spending your extra cash you can stock up at The Bitter End.
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-30-2015
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Re: itinerary tips for shorthanded bareboat out of BVI

Just a few weeks back from our first charter there. Highly recommend renting a vehicle in Leverick Bay and driving to the Baths, the drive is half the fun. Only about $75 for 24 hours, just ask at the hotel office.

Beautiful beach about half way there that is a great bonus and nice restaurants along the water at the round-a-bout for lunch after the Baths.

Again all the sailing distances are short, generally 2-3 hours.

Have fun
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-30-2015
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Re: itinerary tips for shorthanded bareboat out of BVI

You can also pick up a mooring ball at the baths and take the dinghy to get closer. There's a dinghy mooring area. Last time there we swam to shore. Either way, not to be missed. A hike to the top gives a rewarding view and a cocktail in the pool.

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post #5 of 15 Old 03-31-2015
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Re: itinerary tips for shorthanded bareboat out of BVI

I'm interested to hear what your route ends up being -- my husband and I are looking to do the same trip in a few months
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Re: itinerary tips for shorthanded bareboat out of BVI

The BVIs are pretty easy and everything is good. So for a more relaxed cruise why don't you just look out towards the closest island... and go there? Then next day do the same. And the next. Until you go home.

It really is about that simple. Which island first? That one!


BTW can't you have a bath before you leave home?



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post #7 of 15 Old 04-04-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: itinerary tips for shorthanded bareboat out of BVI

a lot of good info. As I prefer using a mooring ball instead of ankering for the night what time do I typically be at a ball to be "guaranteed" one?

is 3pm too late?
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Re: itinerary tips for shorthanded bareboat out of BVI

I've never been there in April, so I don't know how crowded it is at this time of year.

You have about 12 to 13 hours of Daylight. I always liked to get going early make coffee and breakfast underway. Find a nice stop for lunch hang out for awile and then get underway to the evening stop. Typically got there around 2 or 3 and found moorings. But have also found them later. You'll get a feel for the numbers after a day or so.

A typical day from Roadtown might be a stop at the baths, walk to the top of the hill, have a drink sit in the pool. Return to the boat, Have lunch, head to the Bitter end for the night. There's a nice hike to the top of most of the islands. have a drink after then head back and get ready for dinner either ashore or onboard.

Heading for Norman Island, you can stop at the indians for some snorkeling, then head to the caves for more. There are balls in both places. Then enter the harbor to pick up a mooring ball. Norman Is. has a nice hike to the top too.

If you like the night life and like to sleep late in the morning, no big deal, most of the islands are only a few hours apart. Like Mark said..wake up, point to an island and go there.

Many people do a counter-clockwise rotation around Tortola. I've done that, ended up on Jost Van Dyke, then headed through the cut to Sopher's hole for water and fuel and lunch as the mid-day stop. Then crossed over to Norman Island for the last night, get up early sail back across to bring the boat back.

The point, I suppose, is that everything is close enough, that with an early start you can make two stops a day and see more.

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Last edited by Tempest; 04-04-2015 at 03:08 PM.
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Re: itinerary tips for shorthanded bareboat out of BVI

15:00 is generally not too late, although some anchorages can fill up earlier: White Bay and Great Harbour on Jost van Dyke (there aren't that many balls in Great Harbour, but one can anchor despite marginal holding). Cooper Island fills up on the nights before/after boat return/pickup and only the inner moorings are comfortable in any swell. Trellis bay fills up around the full moon party and Cane Garden Bay can do the same. If an anchorage has filled up there is always an option within 30-60 minutes at worst; and most anchorages still have places where one can anchor. The Bight has a lot of mooring balls and the only place apart from close to the concrete dock (which gets back-winded) to anchor is in 40-50 feet which is usually too deep for charter boat chains; the North sound has never run out - there's Leverick Bay, Prickly Pear, Saba Rock and the Bitter End to choose from plus a number of nice water to use the pick.
I haven't been to Anegada since I've got my deep keel, but the anchorage has some balls in quite shallow water, so the options there might be limited when arriving late. But even there one has a large area where one can anchor in 8-10 feet of water in good holding.


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Re: itinerary tips for shorthanded bareboat out of BVI

Been mostly here since November. above information is valid except for popular places such as white bay or cooper if you want a good spot wake up early and do coffee on the way. Try to avoid picking up mooring near captained big cats or motor cats. They tend to run gensets 24/7 and play loud music to the wee hours. Best to turn right and anchor in 8-10' at anagada once through approach. Mooring field a zoo.
Nices places are wee spots without mooring fields. Just use plenty of scope and drop in sand. Respect the coral. As an American think of dropping down to St. John's national park moorings. It's "kite season " now. Kind of like Christmas winds. A little more windy and a bit of rain every day. It will be a charter boat zoo during school break. Good time to go to Calubra or st. Martin and leave BVI.

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