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sailor45 03-05-2001 05:46 AM

BVI, First Time
 
I am going to be in Tortola for the first time at the end of may for 2 weeks. I have a bareboat with the Moorings. Any advise?

VIEXILE 03-06-2001 06:57 AM

BVI, First Time
 
I can see Tortola from my porch. Set yourself a reasonable itinerary, do some snorkeling or diving and have a laid-back vacation. The wind blows roughly from Virgin Gorda toward Jost, E to NE. Do an itinerary that allows both weatherly and downwind sailing in the same day. You''ll just scratch the surface of the BVI in 2 weeks. Go to Jost - Soggy Dollar, Foxy''s, etc. - Cane Garden Bay - Quito''s and tell Quito I said hi. If there''s a full moon around the time you''re going to be there, hit the full moon party at the Bomba Shack, anchoring in either Cane Garden or West End at Soper''s Hole and cab it to Bomba''s. An event and location not to be missed. Skip the mushroom tea. Willie T at Norman Island, the wreck of the Rhone, which can be snorkeled and viewed from above, if you don''t dive, Gorda Sound is nice, the baths, etc. etc. Just sailed through there on the round trip to St. Martin. Racing in Drake''s Passage in a couple of weeks. Enjoy. Then ask yourself why YOU couldn''t figure out a way to live here comfortably. That''s what we did.......

Mad_Dog 03-10-2001 04:51 AM

BVI, First Time
 
The BVIs are an excellent place to cruise. I have chartered with the Moorings several times out of Tortola.

If you got two weeks, you might want to go down to St. Croix. It is a reach usually and but can be a fairly rollie ride. The only area of causion is the reef entering the harbor. It can be tricky. Use your crusing guide to direct you in. Plan on staying two or three days.

I usually sail at around 0830 hours with one or two snorkeling stops. I strive to be at anchor or on a mooring ball by 1500 to 1600 hours. Alays have a Plan B in case the wind and crowed ancorages are a problem. I would follow a Moorings itintery for a two week trip as a first timer. Please send me your intinery and I will give you my insights.

Your choices depend on your crew: couples, all guys, all women, divers, non-dinvers, sight seeres, and shoppers. You need to have something different everyday and sometheing for everyone. I do a couples trip every other year to the BVIs and the follwowing are night stops I recommend: Bite off Norman Island, Little Harbor off Peter Island great sunset, Copper Island, Soper Hole great last night stop, Marina Cay great on a full moon, Bitter End just can not be beat. The Moorings will lead a group of boats over to Angonda. This is very much different than the other BVIs. You will have a great time there.

Good luck and contact me if you need any more information.

Mad Dog

halyardz 03-11-2001 12:28 AM

BVI, First Time
 
Many good bits of advice. My only addition
is that if the charter base tells you to
go route X...then reverse it or do your own...its not like you''ll make a huge mistake
since the destinations are only hours apart.

segerson 03-18-2001 06:56 AM

BVI, First Time
 
Thank for all the tips BVI veterans! I''m headed down for a honeymoon in June, with a 5 day charter on the itinerary. Have any tips as to which BVI cruising destinations would be particularly well suited for honeymooners? Also, where''s the diving the best?

Thanks.
ns

kimberlite 03-18-2001 08:37 AM

BVI, First Time
 
the best thing to get is the virgin island cruising guide. it shows all anchorages every island what to do on each island and where to dive including a good review of the rhone.
happy sailing
eric

gwilli 03-21-2001 09:18 AM

BVI, First Time
 
Just got back from BVI. Most beautiful area I''ve ever seen (rivals Hawaii) is Virgin Gorda North Sound/Gorda Sound and especially area ashore around Bitter End Yacht Club Resort and Biras Creek Resort. If you have the bucks it''s only $750 to $1200 US currency PER DAY but if you have a boat it''s $20. for a mooring ball and access to most of the facilities. I''d plan to spend at least 2 days here. There are many exclusive coves you can find to have to yourself (try anchor in Key Bay on south shore of Peter Is. as opposed to Little or Great Harbor which are more crowded. To grab a mooring ball in most harbors you need to be there before 1300 hours. Standard cost for mooring ball is $20. but in National Parks you need a $10. mooring permit which is good for whole week for day mooring only (can''t moor overnight in any N. Park). Anchoring can some times be dicey re bottom in a lot of areas so recommend ball. Best dive (80'')was on wreck of Rhone at Salt Is. SW point but can snorkel shallower part of wreck (20-30''). Best snorkeling at Baths, Indians, Caves. For a super lunch try the Biras Creek Fat Virgin Restaurnt a short walk from Biras Creek resort as the actual resort will only serve dinner (very expensive menu) and not lunch to other than house guests. We had the chicken pasta - excellent. At Spanish Town in V.G. recommend Fischer''s Cove for dinner a short walk from marina. Need reservation to dock overnight in marina but we got lucky without one. Marina Key near Beef Is. is good overnight too. Snorkeling poor on south west side of M.K. reef but North and East pretty good.
Sailing is real easy - steady winds, low waves, line of sight navigation, short distances so great choice for first charter. For a 5 day itinerary suggest Day 1:Caves and Indians nearby for snorkeling with overnight in The Bight on Norman Is. with Billy Bones restaurant/bar(entertainment) ashore (or anchor in Key Bay on Peter Is.overnight), then Day 2: Salt Is. for the Rhone and overnight at Manchioneel Bay on Cooper Is. (or dock/anchor at Spanish Town on V.G.) Day 3: Head up to V. Gorda and do snorkeling at Baths and then in to North Sound for night at m. ball at Vixen Point, Bitter End, or Biras and spend Day 4 (and night)there too (great walking/hiking trails between B. End and Biras). Day 5: Sail back to Road Town, Tortola or consider calling in sick and staying longer (or forever)! If you don''t want to stay the extra day in N.Sound go down to Marina Key off Beef Is. for last night.
Good Luck!

bvicaptn 03-25-2001 01:33 PM

BVI, First Time
 
Nice trip report. For a first trip you got alot done. Obviously you didn''t have any trouble, but we found Key Bay to be a tough place to anchor. The bottom is grassy and the holding is not as good as it should be. We put out both anchors but due to the stiff breeze I was up often during the night...just didn''t trust the holding. Other than that concern, it is truly a beautiful, cool, quiet anchorage.

gwilli 03-26-2001 07:41 AM

BVI, First Time
 
No, not a problem holding anchor in Key Bay. Perhaps we found a sandy patch. Our 35 lb. CQR and all chain rode (5:1 scope)held well although because of the steady strong offshore wind we checked regularly throughout the night (our first night at anchor). I normally anchor overnight with 2 anchors but the crew was not motivated to haul the 35 lb. Bruce with its 50 ft of chain out of the cockpit locker and deploy it. Because we would drift away from shore and were not in a crowded anchorage I succumbed to their grovelling. However, in Manchioneel Bay when we anchored because all the balls were gone (except mine) I prevailed on them and we set the second anchor. The Bay was extremely crowded and I did not want to play dodgem cars all night if we slipped anchor in this grassy bay. As it was, the wind shifted many times overnight and we awoke to find a nice knot of chain below the boat that we couldn''t simply haul up with the windlass. We had to snorkel down to unravel much to the amusement (no doubt) of a 6 ft. baracuda that came by to supervise. We none the less got untwisted and were soon on our way again. After that it was early into harbour and grab a ball even at the standard rate of $20.00US per night.

gwilli 03-26-2001 07:41 AM

BVI, First Time
 
No, not a problem holding anchor in Key Bay. Perhaps we found a sandy patch. Our 35 lb. CQR and all chain rode (5:1 scope)held well although because of the steady strong offshore wind we checked regularly throughout the night (our first night at anchor). I normally anchor overnight with 2 anchors but the crew was not motivated to haul the 35 lb. Bruce with its 50 ft of chain out of the cockpit locker and deploy it. Because we would drift away from shore and were not in a crowded anchorage I succumbed to their grovelling. However, in Manchioneel Bay when we anchored because all the balls were gone (except mine) I prevailed on them and we set the second anchor. The Bay was extremely crowded and I did not want to play dodgem cars all night if we slipped anchor in this grassy bay. As it was, the wind shifted many times overnight and we awoke to find a nice knot of chain below the boat that we couldn''t simply haul up with the windlass. We had to snorkel down to unravel much to the amusement (no doubt) of a 6 ft. baracuda that came by to supervise. We none the less got untwisted and were soon on our way again. After that it was early into harbour and grab a ball even at the standard rate of $20.00US per night.


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