Insider Tips from the BVI

After fairly busy Winter and Spring seasons in the BVI, things have slowed down a bit lately. In the wake of months like February, March, and April, when anchorages are full of families on school holidays, May and June are a time for couples to get together (often with like-minded couples) and charter a boat or go on a sailing vacation at a fraction of the peak-season cost.While May and
Author:
Publish date:
BVI.interior1

After fairly busy Winter and Spring seasons in the BVI, things have slowed down a bit lately. In the wake of months like February, March, and April, when anchorages are full of families on school holidays, May and June are a time for couples to get together (often with like-minded couples) and charter a boat or go on a sailing vacation at a fraction of the peak-season cost.

While May and June are considered a “shoulder” season, most of the BVI hotspots are still functioning at or near full strength. Anchorages like the Bight on Norman Island still see their fair share of charter yachts and transient boaters. One can still do body shots and throw back water-ski shooters aboard the Willy T, then enjoy some of the best ribs in the BVI ashore at Pirate’s Bight. Rumor has it that the Willy T had banned topless jumping from the top deck, but a number of YouTube videos say otherwise. Insider tip: the Treasure Island caves aren’t nearly as busy.

After picking up a charter boat on Tortola or St. Thomas, ambitious crews often work their way to weather first (getting the hard part out of the way early), and make initial landfall in North Sound, Virgin Gorda. The relatively new Monday Night Mash-Up at the Pub at the Bitter End Yacht Club has taken on a life of its own, with DJ Heavy B spinning Caribbean tunes and brick oven pizza coming out of the kitchen. Insider tip: the real attraction is the eye-candy! The supermodel-like staff from neighboring resorts and chiseled megayacht crews visit on their party night out!

Some sailors plan their voyages according to the stars, but many charterers plan their holidays according to the moon…the Full Moon. In the BVI, Full Moon Parties are nothing new: the Bomba Shack is legendary for its monthly bacchanalia and suspicious mushroom tea. For a slightly more PG-rated experience, check out the Full Moon Party at Trellis Bay. Great music, flaming sculptures in the harbor, and fire juggling shows ashore round out an evening that appeals to a wide range of interests. The moon itself becomes a sideshow.

BVI.interior4

For those who haven’t chartered in many years, you may remember the island of Anegada as forbidden fruit. But with the advent of shallow draft catamarans and the addition of GPS chartplotters aboard much of the charter fleet, many companies are letting their guests go to “shipwreck island.” In fact, the additional visitors have led many of the island establishments to expand (in a good way) to handle the traffic. Big Bamboo at Loblolly Bay (perhaps the most beautiful beach in the BVI) has added shower facilities, a gift shop and paved breezeways. Insider tip: their lobster lunch (much like everywhere else on Anegada) is to die for.

BVI.interior5

Given its proximity to RoadTown/Tortola, it’s not uncommon for charter visitors to spend either their first and/or last nights in the anchorage at Cooper Island. Ashore, the Cooper Island Beach Club recently celebrated one year under new ownership by unveiling a new beach bar/restaurant. It’s a great place to sit back, Pussers PainKiller in hand, and reflect on a week well-sailed. Insider tip: If you ‘re looking for a keen game of darts, this is the place to go. With its tournament-quality dartboards and darts, you can’t beat the atmosphere.

Related

shutterstock_1158262783

A Catamaran Takes on the American Great Loop

After completing the European Great Loop on our 1987 40ft Catalac catamaran, Angel Louise, my wife, Sue, and I sailed home to the States and spent two years sailing up and down East coast between Maine and Florida, like migratory waterfowl. Eventually, though, we decided to ...read more

01-LEAD_Alex_Irwin

Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Competition

The Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image competition once again captures the excitement that is sailing from around the world An impressive 109 photographers from 25 countries took part in last year’s Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image 2018 competition. And while Portuguese photographer Ricarado ...read more

judges2-1024x319-0219-600x

2019 Pittman Innovation Awards

For the past couple of decades, the digital side of sailing has become increasingly important, to the point where it’s now almost inconceivable going offshore, even aboard a daysailer, without at least a modicum of electronics onboard—a trend that has been very much in evidence ...read more

Nathan-Bates-San-Diego,-CA

SAIL 2018: Reader's Photographs

Are you out there sailing, cruising and living the sailing life? If so, we’d love to see it. Send your sailing photos to sailmail@sailmagazine.com And don’t forget to sign up for our free eNewsletter. Check back for updates! I took this shot from Cooper Island Beach Club as my ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Fall in line In the days before GPS, the best trick outside the book for finding a harbor in dense fog went like this: if it’s surrounded by rocks, forget it; if not, in you go, but never try to hit it ...read more

190115-Mark-Slats-Golden-Globe-Race2048x

Photo-Finish in the Golden Globe Race 2018

With less than 1,700 miles to go to the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, second-place Mark Slats of the Netherlands has cut another 393 miles out of the lead held by French sailor Jean-Luc Van Den Heede in the Golden Globe 2018 race.  Jean-Luc aboard the Rustler 36 Matmut ...read more

06-Heineken-1-R2018_1March_©LaurensMorel_LMA5965_p

Post-Irma Heineken Regatta

Even more than a year and half later, the scars from Hurricane Irma are still all too visible on the island of St. Maarten. But if Irma couldn’t prevent the famed Heineken from taking place in the winter of 2017-18, you can bet it’s not going to put a crimp in either the racing ...read more