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Old 10-07-2015, 17:46   #1
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BVI Charter advise needed

Posted a couple of weeks ago about advise on a BVI charter.

We booked today For 10 days Starting Nov 2 on a Helia out of St Thomas. Now we need to figure out the itinerary. The charter company has their suggested itinerary but thought maybe there were some "MUST SEE" places to go that you all could help with. I am getting a cruising guide but haven't ordered yet.

Any help will be appreciated!
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Old 10-07-2015, 18:13   #2
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

I guess you still plan to sail to BVI based on your earlier post. You will need to clear customs, so first stop should be Soapers Hole at the west end of Tortola. From there maybe Norman island, snorkling at the Caves, a drink on the Wille T, dinner on shore there. Another good stop is the Baths on Virgin Gorda, Gorda sound, the Bitter end, and when you head back, stopping at Jost Van Dyke and going to Foxeys. Lots of good places to swim, snorkle, dine and sail.
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Old 10-07-2015, 20:38   #3
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

The suggestions given above are all good. With 10 days I would encourage you to spend a day or two at one of the Northside bays of St John such as Maho or Leinster. At those locations you will find really nice undeveloped natural shoreside with miles of hiking trails if that's what you're into and no blaring noise from beach bars trying to compete with each other. You will have ample time for man made shoreside activity in the BVI.


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Old 10-07-2015, 20:59   #4
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

Thanks guys and yes we do plan to spend most of our time in the BVI's but would also like to explore St John.

Probably spend a half day on scuba (2 tank) with hopefully a pick up and drop off at our boat. Any help on a good close location that won't take up a whole day? We have done most of our diving off of Cozumel which makes us pretty spoiled as far as dive site expectations. Our dives elsewhere so far have been a bit of a let down.

Also considering Anegada but... ?
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Old 10-07-2015, 22:18   #5
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

Just returned from a seven day BVI charter. Used this

The Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands Spiral-bound November 11, 2014
by Nancy Scott (Author), Simon Scott (Author), & 2 more

and found it incredibly useful. Realize up front you can't get to everything. We dove around Cooper and really liked it, but didn't get to any of the more common sites. If you want to go to the Baths get there early cause the moorings fill up fast. I was very disappointed with Cane Garden Bay and won't waste precious time there again. Last thing- Abe's on JVD for lobster. Hands down the biggest, cheapest, tastiest I found.

Have fun.
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Old 10-07-2015, 22:39   #6
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

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Originally Posted by Cdreamin View Post
Thanks guys and yes we do plan to spend most of our time in the BVI's but would also like to explore St John.

Probably spend a half day on scuba (2 tank) with hopefully a pick up and drop off at our boat. Any help on a good close location that won't take up a whole day? We have done most of our diving off of Cozumel which makes us pretty spoiled as far as dive site expectations. Our dives elsewhere so far have been a bit of a let down.

Also considering Anegada but... ?
Consider diving the Rhone. Mooring balls close by and easy to arrange a pick-up with a local dive shop.

We spent a day on Anegada and really enjoyed it.
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:58   #7
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

The Rhone is a great, non technical, wreak dive; you can always see the way out. Marina Cay is well protected, picturesque, and has a great restaurant. Nearby, Monkey Point has free day moorings, long as you have your cruising permit, great for snorkeling.

I used to skipper charters out of St. Thomas. My general approach was to beat to the east and get to North Gorda Sound as fast as possible. You can easily spend a few days up there, and make a choice about Anegada or easy sailing to Cooper, Peter, or Norman. If you want to see the baths, I would take a taxi from North Gorga, the mooring field is usually crowded and rolly; if there are cruise ships in, go early. Can't stress that enough. You can wind up standing on a rock for 45 minutes waiting for one tour to clear through.
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Old 11-07-2015, 09:02   #8
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

Go Anegada! Best "escape" and best lobster. Bon voyage!
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Old 11-07-2015, 11:11   #9
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

Just returned from a week charter in BVI. We enjoyed Cane Garden Bay, a laid-back old settlement, more native and less touristy. Re the Bight on Norman Island, Willy T's is still there, but getting no business, probably due to very nice new restaurant ashore. Good snorkeling at The Indians. Foxy'x still serves PainKillers, but their store prices are exorbitant!

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Old 11-07-2015, 15:59   #10
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

Don't forget customs/ Immigration. Checking in and out of BVIs and back to St Johns. Penalties are stiff if caught



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Old 11-07-2015, 18:24   #11
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

I've chartered in BVI many times in over the last twenty years. I agree with most of what has been said already. The Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands is the best guide. The Baths are fantastic and a must see, check the local cruise ship schedule for no go times/days and pick up a mooring ball after lunch when it's a lot less crowded, or go into Spanish town marina and take a cab down.

I agree that the Bight would work well for you. I would give the 'Willy T' a miss in favor of the new Pirates Bight bistro/restaurant. The Willy T is more of a younger (noisier) people place... not that there's anything wrong with that.

As much as I love Anegada ( most charter companies won't let you go on your own if you haven't been there before) I think the two days it will take (there and back) are going to add too much to your first trip. I take it that you want to 'relax' as well. If you're going to make it to Jost Van Dyke I would recommend a visit to the Bubbly Pools instead of Foxy's. Never been to Abe's, but it sounds interesting.

Cane Garden Bay is a beautiful setting, however, during the daytime it is full of tourists off the cruise ships from Road Town, Quitos is great for live music, if you're short for time I'd give it a miss.

Sorry, not being a scuba diver I can't help you much as to dive sites.

Do have a 'painkiller' and have fun!
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Old 12-07-2015, 00:41   #12
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

My three sons(all in their thirtys) and I chartered a 39 foot cat last feb. out of Tortola. We had all the recommendations and cruising guides. Contrary to previous posts Willie Ts in Norman Bight is not dead. Yes we had a fantastic dinner at the restaurant ashore but we joined the young and young at heart after dinner and had the most fun of our five nights in the BVI at Willy T's. Next best was Anegada. A stiff 20 knot breeze out of the east made it an easy half day sail from Virgin Gorda. The island is a huge contrast to the rest of the BVI. It is the only coral island in the BVI. All the rest are volcanic in origin. The people are nicer and the lobster is cheaper and fresher since most of the lobster Niall the VI come from Anegada. And Anegada is no longer on the off limits list withe the Moorings. I don't know about other charter companies. Careful on the approach to Anegada though as There are shallow reefs all around the Island. We dove the Rhone and the Dogs and enjoyed both but if you have to choose between them dive the Rhone. It is a beautiful wreck. This is where they filmed The Deep with Jaquiline Bisset and Nick Nolte. The huge Moray eel is still there!
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Old 19-07-2015, 11:04   #13
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

We chartered out of STT in May 2013 with CYOA on a Mahe 36, 10 day charter. Not having to take a ferry to Tortolla was a definite advantage on both ends. We did a counterclockwise circumnavigation of Tortolla including 2 nights on Anegada, first and last nights on St John. CYOA will let you go to Anageda if you can show them on a chart that you understand the approach.
1. Land at STT 3:30, at Frenchtown by 4, provision done by 6. Sleep on boat.
2. Check out, chart briefing, get away by noon. Beat into the wind to Leinster, Hawksnest or any of the bays on the North side of St John.
3. Leisurely morning, short sail to Sopers, check into BVI. Tell them the day you plan to leave the BVI and you don't need to check out. Continue on to the Bight, Normans, stop at the Indians if you want to dive/snorkel.
4. Sail to North Sound, stopping at The Dogs for lunch. Pick up mooring at Saba Rock. Painkillers on the veranda at Saba.
5. Sail to Anegada, Lobster Dinner
6. Explore Anegada, Snorkel at Cow Wreck, and Loblolly
7. Sail to Marina Cay, water taxi to Trellis, explore.
8. Sail to Manchioneel Bay, Cooper, snorkel Cistern Pt.
9. Sail past Monkey pt to Diamond Cay, Jost, dinner at Foxys Taboo, hike to bubbly pool first thing in the morning.
10. Sail to Cruz Bay, St John, check in, Pick up mooring at Hawksnest.
Departure day: Sail to Charlotte Amalie, re-fuel, check in at CYOA by 10:30 am.
Shower, lunch and at Airport by 2:00 for 4:00 flight.

Absolutely fantastic trip. Very convenient chartering from STT. We loved our two nights on St John. Less crowded and $15 mooring fees.
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Old 20-07-2015, 17:57   #14
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Re: BVI Charter advise needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cdreamin View Post
Posted a couple of weeks ago about advise on a BVI charter.

We booked today For 10 days Starting Nov 2 on a Helia out of St Thomas. Now we need to figure out the itinerary. The charter company has their suggested itinerary but thought maybe there were some "MUST SEE" places to go that you all could help with. I am getting a cruising guide but haven't ordered yet.

Any help will be appreciated!
Well, I guess we will pass in the STT airport! We are leaving out of there 11/2. Charter is with Horizon out of Nanny Cay, BVI 10/22-11/2.

I think the ideas Jerry listed and their order would work well for you. All the good haunts. If you have not been to the Baths, you should consider that instead of the lunch stop at the Dogs. There is obviously too much to do and see in a ten day trip and whatever you do, you won't be disappointed.

The Cruising Guide is a big help. You might also get their charts and the "anchorages" book. www.cruisingguides.com

Enjoy the trip.
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