Six months into our journey finds us in the British Virgin Islands (BVIs). We have so enjoyed cruising around the BVIs that we applied for, and received, an extension from immigration to lengthen our stay here.
The BVIs are a veritable paradise for cruising yachtsmen. Since most of the islands are within eyesight of each other, one can easily motor (or sail) from one island, or adventure, to another, with each island serving up a different flavor of local culture and quaintness. Below are a few highlights from our adventures in these beautiful islands thus far:
Randy and I have visited Anegada on two prior occasions in bareboat chartered vessels and on both occasions were in awe of its clear blue waters and pristine white sandy beaches. On our last trip chartering in the BVIs, Randy purchased the Anegada Approach chart, which we then had framed and hung in the Pilot’s Discretion galley. We have looked upon that framed chart for the past several years dreaming of returning in the Pilot’s Discretion. We experienced yet another surreal moment in our journey when we arrived at the Anegada Approach in our own boat!
In terms of seamanship, Anegada is the furthest island away from all of the others and requires more time on open waters to reach. The island is completely surrounded by reefs (home to the 3rd largest barrier reef in the world), however, with careful navigation, and GPS, the approach is easily manageable. The beachside dining at the Anegada Reef Hotel and the snorkeling at Cow Wreck Beach and Loblolly Bay make it well worth the trip.
Cow Wreck Beach
JOST VAN DYKE:
Jost Van Dyke has several harbors on the south side, all offering good anchorage, mooring fields, protection, restaurants and amenities. While moored in Little Harbor, we hiked the trail behind Sidneys’ Peace & Love to the top of the island and were rewarded with spectacular vista views.
During our stay in Manchioneel Bay, we hiked the trail behind Fox’s Taboo to the infamous “Bubbly Pool.” At The Bubbly Pool, the Atlantic Ocean presses through a crevice in the rocks creating a natural bubbly whirl pool.
After a long day’s hike, we availed ourselves of the various restaurants on the island. While on Jost Van Dyke, the boys declared the pizza at Corsairs beachfront pizzeria in Great Harbor, the best in the world. Although I thought the pizza was excellent, I found it improbable to note the pizza and ignore the fresh lobsters that they serve that are the size of a small pony.
In Virgin Gorda, we picked up a mooring ball at Biras Creek in North Gorda Sound (aka Gorda Sound). Biras Creek has fewer mooring balls than other parts of Gorda Sound. As such it tends to be lower key, all the while providing easy access to all that the Sound has to offer.
Our top three favorites in Gorda Sound:
Hiking the Biras Creek Resort trails
The Rotti (a Caribbean curry dish) at the fat Virgin Café
The Bushwackers at Saba Rock
Tortola is is where most people begin their visit to the BVIs since the main airport is located here and the largest town, Road Harbor is also on the island. One of our favorite places on Tortola is Cane Garden Bay, a beautiful harbor with lots of dog friendly beach front restaurants and shops. It is very family friendly location, and as this past week was spring break for many schools, the mooring balls filled up quickly.
We are currently staying at the Nanny Cay marina both because it is a very well kept marina with several very good restaurants, a pool and beach as well as easy access to good provisioning. In addition, Nanny Cay has a full service boat yard, and marine vendors of every description. It is here that we are attending to our open maintenance issues before departing for St. Martin, the next leg of our journey.