We have been around several spots in the British Virgin Islands over the past few days with our guests, Karen’s friends Bill and Cindy. Bill is an avid diver and has helped me get the mechanics of using our surface supplied air system worked out. It does take a bit of time to get it all assembled for a morning’s dive, but once together and running, it works great.
Tonight we are in the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor. It was interesting, they seem to be a constant source of radio chatter from boats looking for a slip for the night, but when we get here, they are mostly empty…
An interesting marina with a boatyard attached to it. They are in the process of commissioning a 350ton travel lift. Interesting because they have the travel lift mostly assembled, but the yard to put the big boats in is nowhere near ready. It seems project management is not the local strong suit!
We are headed to Ginger Island tomorrow for more diving. Then back to Nanny Cay to drop out guests off, and get ready to head north.
Right now our plans are to head directly from here to New Jersey. We might stop by Bermuda since it is more or less on the way, but that remains to be seen. In the next day or so I will start tracking the weather to see when it makes sense to head north.
Good morning Bill:
We met aboard your boat last Fall in Annapolis.
Based on your recent BVI cruising, could you suggest a week’s itinerary in that area starting at Nanny Cay?
Jeff LAST TANGO
Sent from my iPad
How are things in Annapolis?
My week around the BIV might be a bit different than the normal itinerary presented by a charter company. We tend to avoid the places where the biggest crowds of boats and people gather. Also, it varies a lot depending on what you want to do. Are you looking for snorkeling/diving sites? Or maybe nature trails on land? or the best sailor bars?
So here are a couple of spots that we liked:
Key Bay on Peter Island. No moorings, anchoring only. Holding is good, flat water with a nice breeze, a little rolly, but not bad. The night we spent there we were the only boat. Day use moorings for snorkeling and diving are nearby.
Manchineel Bay on Cooper Island. A more crowded mooring field. Anchoring is available, but quite deep (>50feet) It is well protected from the wind, so it can get a bit stuffy if its hot. Pick up moorings as far south as you can for the best breeze. Good snorkeling at Cistern Point right at the south end of the mooring field. There is a resort and restaurant here, but we did not go ashore. Also a ferry to Road Town from the resort dock
Fallen Jerusalem. If you want to go to the Baths, go here instead. Like the Baths it is a day use mooring only, but there are only two moorings here, not the HUGE crowds the Baths attract. Exactly the same geography, and you will have the small island to yourself and the seabirds. Only a mile from the Baths, but what a difference!
Drake’s Anchorage (sometimes called Deadmans Bay) on the east side of Mosquito Island is about the only place you can go in Gorda Sound to avoid the crowds going to Saba Rock and the Bitter End Yacht Club. There used to be moorings here, but no more since Sir Richard Branson bought the island. Malone Bay is another spot a bit more on the track, but still peaceful compared to North Gorda Sound jammed with people on this week’s cruising route.
If you are on a charter boat you probably will not be allowed to take the boat to South Sound on the windward side of Virgin Gorda. But it is a great place. The entrance is a bit tricky, and unmarked. It would likely be trouble if there was a strong swell running, but you will have the place to yourself
Anagada. We felt this was worth the 20 mile trip. Follow the channel carefully, no shortcuts, but it is well marked. While there be sure to visit Potter’s for a lobster dinner. You have to make reservations and place your order by 6PM and they serve at 7:30. In the mooring field in Anagada, use the yellow moorings. They are $5 cheaper than the white ones!
Those would be my additions to what I suspect the normal charter company list of places would be.