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Old 04-10-2013, 13:10   #1
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A Different BVI Itinerary

Hi, I'm chartering over Thanksgiving out of St. Thomas and heading to the BVIs. I've been there a couple of times and I'm pretty sure I've done most of the typical stuff, including Anegada and Thanksgiving at Foxy's. While I'm happy to go back to do some repeats (wouldn't be going back if I were), I am looking for some suggestions for some off-the-beaten-path or unusual things to do in order to mix it up. We aren't looking for the floating pub crawl (at least not every night!) and so secluded anchorages would be good. We are scuba divers and so suggestions that could include nice dive spots would be particularly welcome.

Thanks in advance for the help.

Challo
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:37   #2
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Re: A Different BVI Itinerary

If the conditions are settled while you are there, I'd recommend seeing if you can get a spot from one of the dive operations for a trip out to the Chikuzen. They don't go often, imagine sailing halfway from the North Sound to Anegada and the doing a sharp left and sailing half that distance again into the middle of nowhere. Since it is the only item in square miles of sand, it attracts a lot of fish.


Winter 2011-2012 Blog and Diary 2012-01-12

If, on the other hand, conditions are unsettled then you can tuck in to Little Jost at Foxy's Taboo for the day after a visit to Sandy Spit or Sandy Cay and check out the bubbly pool. The video below was taken during a very strong northerly swell when the pool wasn't bubbliing, it was frothing and it was borderline dangerous there:

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Old 05-10-2013, 06:53   #3
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Re: A Different BVI Itinerary

We chartered out of ST our last trip and spent the first half of the trip exploring St. John anchorages (though you don't anchor). We loved it and will do it again. If you want specific suggestions, let me know!
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:21   #4
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Re: A Different BVI Itinerary

I assume from your post that you haven't done the STT thing before? Which company are you chartering with?

Regardless St John is not to be missed. The best island in the chain US and British combined, in my opinion. Largely in part due to the fact that 3/4 of the island is national park. Both the north and south have their charms.

The north shore beaches are picture perfect.
This is Trunk Bay





Maho Bay



Francis Bay



Coral Bay



As for diving. The Cow and The Calf on the south side of St Thomas is nice. Also Caravelle Rock off of St John. The Ledges at Great St James. Lind Point, St John. Over on Jost there is a nice wreck dive the Jost Van Dyke Scuba does called the pirates purchase.

Jay
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:24   #5
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Re: A Different BVI Itinerary

somehow my youtube link above got hijacked and I cannot edit the post, the correct link to the video at the Bubbly Pool on JVD is
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Old 05-10-2013, 13:29   #6
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Re: A Different BVI Itinerary

One option is to go to the Spanish Virgins. Some of the charter companies allow it, but just don't advertise it as an option.

Some spots or ways I enjoy the BVIs being less a part of the crowds:

Back side of Peter - such as Key Bay.

Anchor behind everyone else in Savannah bay - Great snorkeling north part of the bay - easy to hit The Baths early the next morning before the crowds.

Great Camnoe, - Lee Bay, but even better is the bay north of that (unnamed on many charts). Big fish, pelicans diving, lots of minnows, sheep on the steep hill sides. I often stay two nights and usually have it to myself. There's a sea cave on the point between the two bays that blows away anything at "the caves"

The Sandy Spit Island. - Popular during the day, but less so at night, though more and more people are finally figuring out it's not a bad spot for the night. I sometimes snorkel around Green and the sandy spit for variety and less people. I've snorkeled around Little JVD as well, but the cut between it and JVD is very shallow.

Cain Garden Bay - Obviously many boats there, but anchoring behind them means no mooring fee, farther from any noise and you can look out and watch the sun set with no other boats moored in your field of view.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:32   #7
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Re: A Different BVI Itinerary

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I should have clarified. I have done a lot of sailing (and diving) in the area. I've been all around the SVIs (love them), STT, STJ and even down to STX. Also done the BVIs a few times, but never originating from STT and haven't done a lot of diving there - hope to do a bit more this time.

I will be going with Island Yachts (chartered with them a few times and been very happy), coming out of Red Hook, so we probably will hit STJ on the way out or back, but it won't be the focus this time. (I can say I've had some of my best reef dives on STJ because as you go east very few if any dive ops go there!)

The Chickuzen is definitely on my list, though I guess if I make it out there it probably means the sailing isn't great! Defintely would go with a dive op to that because I've heard even if conditions are settled sometimes the mooring is missing or hard to find.

One way I've never gone is on the outside to the south of Norman, etc. It looks like there are some sheltered bays. I'm kind of curious anyway and if there are north swells I'd be even more inclined to go around that way. Any thoughts there? It looks like I could do some of the dive spots (Indians, Rhone, etc.) and then hop out of the Sir Francis Drake to some (quieter?) spots? Any advice on anchorages on that side?

Thanks again,

Challo
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:46   #8
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Re: A Different BVI Itinerary

I'd suggest two nights at Leverick bay - rent a car for the day and explore the island. We often head to top of the baths for breakfast, stop at the coppermine, Savannah bay and Hog Heaven. Great change of pace.

Get yourself the Guide to diving and snorkeling.

Sales Page BVI books

Read through it and determine which sites are of interest and it should be easy to plan stops that put you in close enough proximity to the sites. Just need to figure a stop for filling the tanks.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:51   #9
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Re: A Different BVI Itinerary

Great link, maytrix! That's the only place I've seen the "good" cruising guides for sale at a discount.
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:17   #10
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Re: A Different BVI Itinerary

Yeah, Frank is a great resource for that stuff - gets it to you fast too.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:50   #11
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Re: A Different BVI Itinerary

Thanks, maytrix, for the site and the tips. We have the dive guide and the cruisers guide, but other good stuff there too. Yes, strategically planning for tank fills is always an issue. Good thing is that a lot of the shops do rendevous, so we will intersperse some of that with diving on our own. Can't wait!
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:07   #12
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Re: A Different BVI Itinerary

Filling up tanks isn't a big deal. You can fill at Soper's, Scrub, Leverick Bay, Spanish Town, cooper and maybe a couple other spots. You used to be able to fill at Norman, but with the fire, I'm not sure when that might be available again. We've never found it a pain to fill, just plan our dives around that - easy to do. We also try to do one rendezvous dive a trip.

We've been over 10 times now, so what we do is look at places we still haven't seen or fully explored and add those to our list. We hit many of our favorites as well.

Take a visit to Traveltalkonline - lots of discussion there about sailing the BVI's and some decent discounts at a few locations.
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Old 08-10-2013, 06:40   #13
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Re: A Different BVI Itinerary

Thanks again, maytrix. Good info and good link.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:19   #14
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Re: A Different BVI Itinerary

This is getting close and I'm starting to think about logistics and I have some questions. I will be coming from USVI. Do I need to check out or can I just check in when I get to the BVIs? (I understand you have to check back out of the BVIs when leaving and this is the corollary question.) If I arrive in the BVIs on Sunday, when customs is closed, I presume I am welcome to stay on my boat under quarantine, but what if I wanted to don my scuba unit and go for a dive? I would think that would be okay because I think I'm only precluded from going ashore, but I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts or experience. Thanks!
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:12   #15
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Re: A Different BVI Itinerary

No need to check out of the USVI. Just into the BVI and out as well. You may be able to do all that at the same time though - I'm not sure what the restrictions are on it. I think it depends on how long you'll be there.

As far as diving - I'm not sure technically what is allowed or not, but there's really no one out there enforcing it. If you want to play it safe though, why not just enjoy St. John and enter the BVI Monday morning, or come over end of day Sunday?
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