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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for information on BVI anchorages that are mooring ball free. THat is, quiet, hook only places. Keeping in mind concerns for weather, swell, etc., how is the holding in the following places?

White Bay, Peter Island
Benures/Soldiers, Norman
Haulout Bay, VG
Long Bay, VG
Lee Bay, Great Cam
Anegada
Little Jost

Also, what other spots am I missing? We will spend a little time at more populated areas like Leverick, CGB, but we really like the quiet, less habited anchorages. Thanks.
 

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Money Bay on the east side of Norman is supposed to be lovely -- if the weather is calm and you are not too large. This is what I have heard -- I haven't yet tried it. And if it feels a bit remote after a while (cell phones will not work there), you can walk over Normal to the Bight in a half-hour.
 

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The guides you buy have it right, spend the 10 bucks and get the whole list in one place.

Me, with only 5 trips down there bareboating, I prefer the peace of mind that comes with 1000 pounds of concrete. I use the mooring balls so the anchor alarm doesn't interrupt Rum and coke time.
 

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I prefer to set my own anchor with sufficient scope and dive on it. I feel much safer than on a mooring ball where I don't know what condition the equipment is in. I'd rather spend the $25 on alcohol and food while ashore.
 

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Capt Rich
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Balls

Hey whatever makes you feel best...but when the water is 60-70 feet deep you will need 400+ feet of scope... does not make sense in a small harbour with other boats. Plus I have I have only had 1 ball fail iin the last 6 years..
 

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The only 60 foot deep anchorage in the BVI that I can think of is the bight, and there are places to anchor there closer to the shoreline and out of the way of the mooring balls. I have taken mooring balls and, after inspecting them, opted for another - and so far with no anchor failures I am statistically ahead of you ;) (not 6 years, but about 8 months of nonstop cruising and changing location almost daily). But I think what the original poster was looking for were secluded places to spend a night, and any location with mooring balls is, by definition, not going to be secluded. With my luck, I would get a boat with a 1000 watt stereo blasting and with 2 unbalanced Air-X windgens to fill in the musical voids take the mooring ball upwind of me. Oh, I forgot to mention the cigar and BBQ smoke as well...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Zanshin has it right. Looking for quiet and secluded....with good holding. I usually sleep just fine on anchor. I would not take a chance if the weather, swells, etc. are predicted to be a problem. Also, I should futher qualify my anchoring conditions to say that I am looking for no more than 20 feet under the keel. I'd be surprised if a charter boat had enough chain to anchor securely in 60 feet of water anyway. Thanks for the prickly pear suggestion. Any others?
 

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North of Marina Cay, in the passage between Scrub and Great Camenoe islands is a small, secluded bay probably big enough for only 3 or 4 boats - but you'll almost never see any. It's shallow, maybe 8-10 feet, and open to the north and NE but there's a very shallow reef just below the surface that keeps the water in the bay very calm.

To enter, you come up through the pass from the south until you spot a small house on Scrub. Line that up with a trio of decapitated palm trees on Great Camenoe as a range and proceed slowly into the bay (westward), round into the wind and look for a clear patch of sand to drop the hook. If you can go in with your dinghy first to scout it out, that would be helpful, but visibility is very good if you move slowly.
 

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... Plus I have I have only had 1 ball fail iin the last 6 years..
I'd call that WAY too much. And, totally unacceptable!

In forty years of sailing in the USVI and BVI, including eleven years with my own boat there, and anchoring wherever possible....mostly before all the mooring balls were placed, I NEVER had an anchor fail me.

That's hundreds and hundreds of overnight anchoring. And, add dozens more for the Leewards and Windwards. Again, NEVER a failure, including during one memorable 50-knot plus night in the "lee" of Saba during Christmas Winds.

There ARE places where anchors don't set well, but not the Virgin Islands. Get a good anchor well set with enough scope and you're fixed for the night....or the next two weeks if you like :)

Bill
 

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Capt Rich
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Ball Failure

I'd call that WAY too much. And, totally unacceptable!

In forty years of sailing in the USVI and BVI, including eleven years with my own boat there, and anchoring wherever possible....mostly before all the mooring balls were placed, I NEVER had an anchor fail me.

That's hundreds and hundreds of overnight anchoring. And, add dozens more for the Leewards and Windwards. Again, NEVER a failure, including during one memorable 50-knot plus night in the "lee" of Saba during Christmas Winds.

There ARE places where anchors don't set well, but not the Virgin Islands. Get a good anchor well set with enough scope and you're fixed for the night....or the next two weeks if you like :)

Bill
Hey Bill, we are a crewed charter we are on the water every day and night, I was just pointing out that for most, a ball is safer, if you are happy on an anchor thats great. Alot of the boats we see (bareboat) have trouble setting the hook...not knocking all just the few that sail once a year and are out of practice. We carry 5 anchors and plenty of line and extra chain.

We did have a mooring pull out, during 3 days of 40-50 kts gust, after it happen we found that the night before we arrived there were 3 large (46') bareboats tied side by side on that one mooring. The last time an anchor dragged it was because a Mooring 4600 was sitting on our bow.

Again I was just suggesting that if you don't know the area and need more scope than you are use to, a ball makes more sense.

Rich
 

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Rich,

I agree with you. I've seen lots of charterers and a few private boats have considerable trouble anchoring, not because the conditions are difficult but because they are either out-of-practice (the charitable explanation) or never developed the requisite anchoring skills and savvy.

Never had anyone drag down on me there, but one memorable night in The Bight at Norman Is. I was awakened when a humongous South American trimaran bumped me. It was flat calm (very unusual) and boats at anchor were just drifting about.

This guy must have been 70'....really huge. I dragged up enough high school Spanish to ask him how much anchor rode he carried. "200 meters", was the reply. Hmmmm. I asked him how much he had out at the moment. "200 meters", he said again. OK....

600' of anchor line and a 70' hull....let's see. Even at 3AM I could calculate that was enough to constitute a 1,300+ foot circle for him to drift about in. Asked him to please take in a bit of line, as we were only in 50'. He did. End of problem :))

Merry Christmas, and have fun down there!

Bill
 

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Capt Rich
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Ho Ho Ho

Rich,

I agree with you. I've seen lots of charterers and a few private boats have considerable trouble anchoring, not because the conditions are difficult but because they are either out-of-practice (the charitable explanation) or never developed the requisite anchoring skills and savvy.

Bill
200m thats a scope....Out of practice or poor skills is our second biggest reason for crewed charters. #1 is when the wives find out on a bareboat the have hours of cooking to do on VACATION, and on a crewed boat, they can lay in the sun and have a pain killer while I snokel with their kids and dinner is being prepared.

I do have the best view from my office <G>

Rich

Merry Christmas
 

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Of course, Bill forgot to mention all the people out there with ground tackle that would only be suitable for a dinghy... I've seen 35' powerboats anchor out using a 12 lb. Danforth, and then have two buddies raft up to them... if the wind ever reversed or the current did...they'd be toast...
 
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