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Old 12-22-2010
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BVI Charter with Family

I have scheduled a 1 week charter for the end of June 2011 in the BVIs with my family. I have chartered a 40 foot Beneteau with BVIYC.

This has been a dream of mine for a long time but my family are less than enthusiastic sailors. My kids like it when the boat heels and my wife likes the tropics.

Looking for any recommendations as far as places to go, things to do that will help make this a positive and memorable vacation for us. Passages will be kept short which is supposed to be easy to do in the BVI. I at least want to see the Baths and visit Bitter End, some of the standard places. Are there any places off the beaten path that are recommended? Any especially good restaurants or bars? Is Anegada a worthwhile day trip? Any really cool little islands with private beaches I can't miss? Great snorkeling spots?

Thanks for your help.
You will regret the things you did not do, more than the things you did.

Get out there!

Saco Bay, Maine
2001 Beneteau Oceanis 361
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Old 12-22-2010
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Search the archives - there have been many posts on just this question/
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Old 12-22-2010
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We go every year, usually bareboat a Cat in St. Thomas and then work our way up through the islands. Took our 1 year old last year

* The Baths are spectacular, your kids will love it there.
* Plan a full day at Norman Island. Your kids will love snorkling around the caves. The Indians (great snorkle spot) lay 1/2 mile from the bight. Willy T and Pirates Bight = great food and drinks
* Scrub Island opened last fall. A bit expensive but worth it. Fantastic swimming pool, very good food and an excellent marina.

Feel free to contact me if you need more info!
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Old 12-22-2010
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A word of caution about the Baths. When the cruise ships are in Roadtown the Baths can be very crowded. There are some spots on the paths that only allow for one-way traffic. Tempers can flare very quickly. Get there as early as possible.
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Old 12-26-2010
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My favorite is Anegada. Its pretty far off the beaten track.
Watch the reefs, they are everywhere.

The kids would like Sandy Spit off JostVan Dyke.
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Old 12-26-2010
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People have already mentioned the Caves at Norman island and the Baths, which are both great. One of my favorite spots is Soggy Dollar Bar at White Bay on Josh Van Dyke. A spectacular clear white beach and clear water where you can see the rodes down to the anchor while standing on the beach! There's also a reef snorkeling distance from the beach, and several really laid back real "beach bars".

It gets a little crowded on weekends with locals coming in, even from USVI, but worth the trip any time. You can take a $5 cab ride from Great Harbor, which is a better anchorage and famous as the home of Foxy's.


PS. I hope this is helpful. PM me if you want to to discuss more.
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Old 12-27-2010
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the "Jost Van Dyke" "bubbly pool" (which is no longer a big secret it used to be) is a fun place, though getting popular.

frankly, nothing in BVI is "off the beaten path" anymore - anywhere you go, you will most certainly see other boats and lots of people.
that said, it's still beautiful and good to visit.

The Bight is getting a bit overcrowded with sports fishermen from Puerto Rico who made it their favorite hangout, ditto for the Caves. If you want to see the caves - go real real early in the morning or later in the day when most of the tourist crowd and cattle boats are gone.

The Dogs are not quite as crowded for a nice pretty snorkel. Otherwise USVI has a few places with less people and good scenery, including some where you are pretty much guaranteed to be alone (but then you need to waste time checking out/in etc)
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Old 01-09-2011
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We have gone to BVI 4 times with kids ranging in age from 6 to 14, usually in July. The kids always love it. Their favorite places are the Baths (get there before 8:00), Sandy Cay, White Bay in Jost van Dyke. I like Marina Cay and Virgin Gorda sound. If you take a relaxed agenda, then I don't think the selected places will matter much. I suggest you plan shorter sails (2 - 4 hrs) and plenty of time to explore on shore. It takes a lot longer to go east than west because you are fighting currents and winds when going east. You do get occasional rain showers, sometime with winds gusting up, but they blow through in about 1/2 hr and then it is back to the sunshine.

Capt Bones
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Old 01-10-2011
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Personally, I love Anegada, but if your wife and kids aren't enthusiastic sailors - and especially if you're the only old hand on deck - I'd advise you think twice. The sail up from Virgin Gorda can be very rolly in the usual NE trades and the place hasn't really got a lot to recommend it for kids unless they're heavily into snorkeling and then you have taxi to the north shore for the good snorkeling sites. You might be better advised to spend a day and night at the Bitter End on Virgin Gorda.
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Old 01-10-2011
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Big hits for us: Snorkeling at the Indians, the Baths and Devil's Bay, hiking to the top of Jost Van Dyke (may want to skip this in June!), the bubbly pool at Jost Van Dyke. Quiet anchorages in Biras Creek, watching the sunset from Key Bay on Peter Island. Making burgers on the boat the last night.
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