Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
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Re: BVI charter
My wife and I did a BVI charter on a Sunsail 36 this past November. Nice boat and excellent for two people. The facilities at the Sunsail/Moorings dock are also very nice.
The boat did have a windlass, but we didn't use it. We picked up moorings every night, except one night at the dock in Spanish Town. There are a lot of places where you can't anchor, and must use a mooring. But if you really want to anchor in an out of the way place, you can.
Don't get too hung up on a long list of "must sees." Take your time and enjoy the sailing, and don't try to see everything in one, 8-day visit.
We were there for 7 days and we went from Road Town to Norman Island (snorkeled the caves the following morning). Then to Cooper Island (nice beach and excellent restaurant). Then to Virgin Gorda where all the moorings at The Baths were full. Because of that we continued on up to Spanish Town where, due to the wind direction at the time, we decided to take a slip rather than anchor outside the marina. Cab to The Baths (take your park permit with you, so you don't have to pay again). Dinner at the Top of The Baths.
After that we headed to North Sound where we took a mooring at Saba Rock. Dinghied around the sound, shopped at Leverick and Bitter End. Dined at Saba Rock--excellent food and very reasonable prices. From there to Marina Cay. The restaurant there is nice enough, but the DJ music was kind of loud and intrusive. And don't even THINK about using the showers nor the bathrooms at the marina--they were seriously dilapidated and DISGUSTINGLY DIRTY! Trellis Bay is nice; some really beautiful stuff at Aragorn's Studio.
We spent the last night at the Sunsail/Moorings marina in Road Town, just because we didn't want to be rushed the next morning. We like to sleep a bit late, frankly. Breakfast at Ginny's was very good.
We flew into STT and then took the ferry. Don't bother with reservations for the ferry, or paying ahead of time. Just show up at the ferry terminal and buy a ticket for the next one leaving. We figured that we saved about $300 by using the ferry, but it does add some time. On the way back our flight out of STT was early in the morning, so we spent our last night at the Best Western Emerald Bay in Charlotte Amalie (nice beach, excellent beach bar).
The sailing in the BVI is super easy. Maybe a bit challenging if you want to go to Anegada (which we plan to do on our next visit). The Drake channel is protected enough to feel safe there, but open enough that you'll know you're not in a big lake. Everything is close enough (again, if you don't go to Anegada) that I can't imagine the lady friend being too fatigued by the short hops. And if she is then pick someplace nice and stay a couple of days to give her a rest. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.