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post #1 of 45 Old 03-06-2013 Thread Starter
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Plan of Attack in BVI, Island Hopping

Hi All-

It seems most sailors who depart Tortola head to Norman/ Peter/ Salt islands their 1st day, then proceed toward Gorda Sound.

I have 10 nights and plan passage to Anegada. Do the charter companies have rules to certain destinations, eg. depart Gorda Sound to Anegada and return to "X" or could I depart from eg.Guana Is & return to JVD? Do sailors depart JVD to Anegada, probably not first choice but conditions suitable? You may depart Gorda Sound simply for better sailing conditions, but do Charter Co's dictate?

Do Charter Co's have limits to sail off the islands? I was thinking of trolling the "South Drop", from Virgin Gorda to ~Peter Is. about 1.5- 2 miles off shore, would there be a problem with that?

Is there a preferred rotation to island hop or do Charter companies dictate this despite your plan?

I would like to set some plan, waypoints etc. to start with, if it works great, if not we alter course/plan. I don't expect I have to stay on a rigid sail plan that I submit to the company, do I?

Weather, seas, all factors in consideration, can I sail where I want in BVI waters (I have permission to Anegada)?

Hey, I'm getting pumped up- I leave April 7th, I just don't want any surprises if possible...
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post #2 of 45 Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Plan of Attack in BVI, Island Hopping

Here's a reply I did for folks doing 14 day charter. The same theory applies.


Leaving Roadtown you can go left or right. With 14 days, i'd put Anegada (with Conch's permission) on your list. This will be the at least a 2-3 day stop. Depending if you want to anchor or use moorings, be with people or get away from the crowd, will determine your stops. From Road town, i'd stop at Trellis Bay first, grab a mooring, have lunch at the loose mongoose, stroll the beach, dine at the last resort. call for reservations by 4pm, this applies to most restaurants, especially this time of year. From Trellis, I'd head to Virgin Gorda, stopping at the Dogs for a snorkel, or just a pause, to get folks off the boat, in the water. I would pull into Leverick bay, enjoy their pool, do laundry, provision up and ck out North Sound, Vixen Point, Saba, Bitter End. Take a taxi to the Baths, make a day of that. From there, Anegada. Its about 15NM heading 003. Double ck that, as i usually leave from Jost Van Dyke.
THere's a whole website dedicated to Anegada, its approach and what to do there.
Grilled lobster for dinner is offered at most of the restaurants. Take a taxi to loblolly or flash of beauty. this time of year, not sure there will be food at Flash. Take time to explore this island, and do some research. Here's a start: Navigating to Anegada
From Anegada, I'd stop at Marina Cay, across from Trellis bay. Beach fun, food, some shopping. Then, I'd go down the north side of Tortola, stopping in Cane Garden, if the weather permits, on to Jost Van Dyke, Diamond Cay to start. Hike for 10-20 minutes to the bubbler, natures jacuzzi. Work your way to White Bay. Great beach, lots of folks at the Soggy Dollar Bar. I'd leave for West End, Tortola, grab a mooring, and if you could not get into Cane Garden Bay due to weather, rent a car from Jerry's car rental, they'll pick you up, and spend time seeing the beaches, make reservations at banankeet, for best sunset dining and then Pam's delight, for great local food.
From West End, i'd head to Norman Island. Snorkel the caves then head to the beach at Pirates, stopping for lunch on the Willie T. For my last stop, i'd make my way to Cooper Island, directly across from Road town, allowing for an ez run back to Conch.
There's a bunch more/less depending on you.
Shout if i can help

joe s,
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post #3 of 45 Old 03-06-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Plan of Attack in BVI, Island Hopping

Thanks for that great itinerary Bermudahigh, appreciate it
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Re: Plan of Attack in BVI, Island Hopping

I don't recall any charter company requiring a particular itinerary, although, all have restrictions on some specific passages or anchorages.

We (I think most) find a general counter clockwise trip to work best, so that you are beating into the wind while inside SFDC and have a downwind leg when exposed to the northerly ocean swell. Fielders choice, however.

Day one is really like a shakedown cruise on a new boat and you'll likely get a late start after briefings, provisioning, etc. Plan a relatively short cruise, so you can quickly relax away from the bustle of the charter marina. Then I like to press day 2 to get a longer passage out of the way, say all the way to North Sound. No right or wrong, do it your way.

I don't get the attraction of Anegada. Its relatively far on an exposed passage and can be very tricky to navigate the approach. Some charter companies do restrict this trip, perhaps because it would be so difficult for them to come bail you out.

With 10 days on your first trip, I would personally leave it off the itinerary and spend more time seeing the rest. Just about anywhere else, you can change your mind enroute, bail into a different anchorage, snorkle along the way, etc. With Anegada, you're committed. Some love it though.


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post #5 of 45 Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Plan of Attack in BVI, Island Hopping

I agree with Minne...Anegada is very pretty, but I'm not sure it's worth the trouble unless you have a specific reason to go there. Lots more to do close to Tortola, and much of it within an easy sail.

Now, mind you, I'm pretty much a land lubber. I've been to the North Sound a whopping two times, the first of which was about 25 years ago. That's where I originally learned to sail, though, and it's a beautiful area. Went back about 8 years ago with my (just married) bride, and fell in love with it all over again. We did a day trip to Anegada by powerboat, and it was fun to go somewhere else and see the sights, but in hindsight, I could just as easily have skipped the trip. Even in a powerboat, it can be a long, and somewhat uncomfortable, ride.

- Jim
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1980 Allmand 31
1975 Albacore 15


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post #6 of 45 Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Plan of Attack in BVI, Island Hopping

Our charter company gave us some recomended destinations (that were generally the busiest, most expensive places in the islands) and, during the chart breifing, identified passages to avoid. We set out with a limited plan that generally consisted of geting up each day and deciding where we wanted to go that day. The morning we left Cooper we started setting out for the baths, but there was a huge flotilla headed that way, so we stuck around Salt Island and peter island and did the baths the next day.

I think the charter companies main issue is that you return the boat on time and in good condition! Where you go with it (within reason) is not a concern.

I am not really from Toronto


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post #7 of 45 Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Plan of Attack in BVI, Island Hopping

For your first day don't plan on getting out of the marina before 3 pm. Our charter start time was 12 pm and the boat was empty on the dock the night before. We had our briefing and went to Rite Way for provisions and sat there at the dock while they got the boat ready. After we were allowed onboard which was after 1:30 pm we waited again to get briefed on the boat systems and then waited again to get our dink and finally get someone to get us out of the marina. Can't take the boats out without a guide. It was close to 3 pm before we got out, I pitched a fit and got a bottle of rum for my troubles.
Hopefully you will have better luck? Just saying don't plan on going too far on day one!

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Re: Plan of Attack in BVI, Island Hopping

Big advantage to stay aboard the night before and get in on the first briefings of the day. They do charge more than I would have thought appropriate for that. Something like $200, which is not far off the cost of a hotel room as another option.


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Re: Plan of Attack in BVI, Island Hopping

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Big advantage to stay aboard the night before and get in on the first briefings of the day. They do charge more than I would have thought appropriate for that. Something like $200, which is not far off the cost of a hotel room as another option.
I totally agree...We tried to no avail, so we had to stay the night at Ft. Burt Hotel. Imagine our surprise when they told us our boat name and we realized that it had been sitting there empty on the dock the night before

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Re: Plan of Attack in BVI, Island Hopping

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Originally Posted by Bowedtoothdoc View Post
I totally agree...We tried to no avail, so we had to stay the night at Ft. Burt Hotel. Imagine our surprise when they told us our boat name and we realized that it had been sitting there empty on the dock the night before
Nothing surprises me in the islands. However, , there is probably more to preparing for a stay aboard than meets the eye. We've found linens arranged and welcome instructions on the salon table, not to mention the traditional bottle of rum. More important to them, I suspect, is they fully inventory and inspection of the boat before you arrive.

Horizon claimed to dive the hull of every boat before each charter and they keep a video, so you can't claim any damage already existed. Makes one wonder if they do the same in the cabin, etc. They probably should.


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