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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Chartering > Best BVI Cruising Guide
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Thread: Best BVI Cruising Guide Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-04-2012 01:44 PM
kootenay
Quote:
Originally Posted by MylesK View Post
Having sailed with Julian Putley, author of the Drinking Man's Guide to the BVI's, I'd like to think it contains everything you need to know and then some.

My wife and I have done a good bit of sailing in the BVI's (and we're heading back down for a week in March). Also, we have relatives who live on Tortola.

Let us know if you need any info.
Been using that for the past week, running low on rum and keep getting lost
01-27-2012 08:52 AM
SVAuspicious
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoxedUp View Post
You won't want to miss the Baths on Virgin Gorda and since it's one of the most popular stops, make sure you get there early enough to secure a mooring ball since anchoring is not allowed in the National Park areas, unless you want to pull into Spanish Town and take a cab.
Check with your charter company. NPT mooring maintenance can be spotty and some companies have required that someone stay aboard while on a NPT ball. That's awkward for a couple.

I'd cab down from North Sound (probably Leverick Bay) rather than Spanish Town/The Valley, just for the scenery and convenience. Spanish Town can be warm and stuffy if you overnight there.
01-27-2012 12:32 AM
fallard kleinlax: Your sailing venue out of Oyster Bay in St. Martin includes St. Barts and Anguilla. All of these places are more "civilized" than the BVI when it comes to night life, so you aren't going to find a Foxy's or Bomba's Shack or loud beach bars like in Cane Garden Bay in the BVI. Rather, you are going to find higher end development and higher end shops and restaurants. Your dress will still be casual, but dressier than Foxy's typical clientele (e.g., collared shirt instead of tee shirt) for dinners ashore. During the day, just about anything (in some cases, nothing) goes, particularly on the beaches in the French Islands. You do want to be covered up elsewhere--particularly on Anguilla--as you should in the BVI.

We've chartered out of Oyster Bay twice--the last time was probably about 5 years ago. Here's what you might do on a 7-day charter. Day 1: sail to Anse de Columbier (St. Barts) and anchor for the night. Go ashore and hike over the hill to Anse des Flamands and have dinner on your boat. Day 2: short hop to the anchorage at Gustavia. Check in with the Port Captain and explore Gustavia on foot and maybe get a taxi tour of the island. Get an original "cheeseburger in paradise" for lunch. Have dinner at a nice harborside restaurant. Day 3: Now that you've decompressed, sail about 35 nm to the Road Bay, Anguilla, anchorage. It's an easy reach to the western tip of Anguilla. Check in with customs and immigration. Get a rental car on Day 4 and explore the island and check out the beaches,using your cruising guide for reference. Dinner ashore at the restaurant by the commercial pier or go more upscale at one of the pricey resorts. Day 5: Depart Road Bay at your leisure for the anchorage at Baie Grande Case. Check out the French restaurants and make a reservation for the best food of the trip. The street barbecue scene would be appealing if it weren't for the great French restaurants (I already said that, didn't I?) Day 6: sail to Baie Orientale and spend your last 2 nights at anchor. While there, you can anchor by Ile Pinel for some interesting snorkeling, but you would probably eat aboard if you stay the night there. Plan on a beach day, by anchoring at the southern end of the Bay and bringing your dinghy in at the southern end of the naturist resort. Walk past the resort to the public area with all the beachfront restaurants and rent a chaise and just chill out at a fabulous beach.

It's a short sail to turn you boat in the final morning of your charter.

Note: You will need to pay attention to the instructions for getting in and out of Oyster Bay and also at Baie Orientale. The charter base will likely clue you in on the approach to Baie Orientale and may advise you to skip it if the conditions are too rough. If that's the case, you might explore Marigot instead.
01-26-2012 11:02 PM
kleinlax Any suggestions for a 7 day charter in St. Martin, routes on sunsail cover a 14 day charter. Things to see etc... any places such as Foxy's in Tortola?
01-26-2012 09:26 PM
fallard Another thing: Check out the Active Captain website at "https://activecaptain.com/X.php" and find your way to the BVI for comments and reviews on anchorages, restaurants, and more. The satellite views are better than the charts for sensing the relationships of anchorages to beaches, shoreside facilities, etc.

P.S. Yes, based on our experience of more than a dozen years in the March timeframe in the Virgins, there can be bugs, but nothing like New England in the summer. We've never had to use bug spray, but it's a good idea to have some aboard.
01-26-2012 07:55 PM
-OvO- What else... Take bug repellent, and don't anchor too close to shore -- you can't seeum, but they bite.
01-26-2012 06:59 PM
fallard Cane Garden Bay is to be avoided when a northerly swell is running. Other anchorages are sensitive to swells, too. Your charter base should offer advice on which anchorages to avoid.

Make sure you ask. The penalty for ignorance is a rolly, sleepless night and a real adventure if you try to take your dinghy to the beach.

Another thought for first timers in the Caribbean is to be prepared to be backwinded when you are close to shore. When this happens, your boat and the seas will not line up like you are used to in the Northeast and you may have a rolly night. If you see other boats using a second anchor off the stern, like in the eastern end of Little Harbour on Peter Island, you'll know why. In close quarters you may have to use a stern anchor to keep from swinging into other boats in what otherwise looks like a cozy anchorage.
01-26-2012 05:18 PM
BoxedUp
Quote:
Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
Sailnet is a great source of information and inspiration; however, when we go on our first BVI charter in April, it will be handy to have a paper resource to take with us. I have made copious amounts of notes from forum information and I'll append them to the BVI guide that was recommended to us.
Wherever you decide to go, you'll have a great time. Look at any pics or videos from BVI trips and you'll see plenty of ear to ear grins

Although this is your first BVI charter, I assure you it won't be your last. With that in mind, don't think that you have to see everything on this trip. You won't want to miss the Baths on Virgin Gorda and since it's one of the most popular stops, make sure you get there early enough to secure a mooring ball since anchoring is not allowed in the National Park areas, unless you want to pull into Spanish Town and take a cab.

We'll be there in late May and I already have that grin on my face just knowing that we're going back.
01-26-2012 05:00 PM
DRFerron
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoxedUp View Post
Why not just peruse sailnet? There are plenty of good threads with info on anchorages/mooring fields, dive spots, beach bars, etc. There are also suggested itineraries for your cruise around the islands. Depending on when you go, will also affect where you go. If the Winter, the swells may keep you out of Cane Garden Bay and make things uncomfortable @ Cooper Island. We've only gone in the late Spring and when I saw this video of Cane Garden Bay, I couldn't believe it was the same anchorage.
Cane Garden Bay - YouTube
Sailnet is a great source of information and inspiration; however, when we go on our first BVI charter in April, it will be handy to have a paper resource to take with us. I have made copious amounts of notes from forum information and I'll append them to the BVI guide that was recommended to us.
01-26-2012 03:15 PM
BoxedUp Why not just peruse sailnet? There are plenty of good threads with info on anchorages/mooring fields, dive spots, beach bars, etc. There are also suggested itineraries for your cruise around the islands. Depending on when you go, will also affect where you go. If the Winter, the swells may keep you out of Cane Garden Bay and make things uncomfortable @ Cooper Island. We've only gone in the late Spring and when I saw this video of Cane Garden Bay, I couldn't believe it was the same anchorage.
Cane Garden Bay - YouTube
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