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Old 12-10-2013, 23:59   #1
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BVI Itinerary Help

Heading down friday for 10 Days on a Sunsail 444 catamaran. I have sailed the islands last year, but this year will be taking newbies. This is the itinerary that I have worked up. Please let me know what you think this is my first time to go down in October with the wind out of the SE.

BVI trip

Friday-October 18
Full Moon Party (Trellis Bay)

Saturday-October 19
Briefing on boat/ weather
Ginger Island (Good Snorkel Stop)
Anchor @ North Marina Cay

Sunday-October 20
Marina Cay
Travel to Virgin Gorda
Baths
Little Dix Bay (anchor if possible)

Monday-October 21
North Sound
Leverick bay

Tuesday-October 22
Saba Rock

Wednesday-October 23
Depart Virgin Gorda / Monkey Point (Guana Island)
Anchor Cane Garden Bay (Tortola)

Thursday-October 24
Leave early afternoon for Cruz Bay (St. John)
Clear Customs

Friday-October 25
Trunk Bay
Cinnamon Bay
Francis Bay (Anchor Francis Bay)
Dinner available @ Maho Bay

Saturday-October 26
Great Harbor (JVD)
Arrive Early Mooring Balls will be hard to come by
Soggy Dollar bar
Foxy's Halloween Party

Sunday-October 27
Norman Island
Willie T's

Monday-October 28
Depart Cooper Island for Road Harbour (Early)
Fly Home

Look forward to hearing from experienced BVI veterans.

Thanks
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Old 13-10-2013, 03:56   #2
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Re: BVI Itinerary Help

It sounds like a nice trip, here area a couple of concerns/questions:

- A recent thread either here or on another sailing forum regarding anchoring a cat in Little Dix came to a unanamous conclusion that this was best not done.
- Will you sail from Cane Garden bay to Soper's Hole to clear out? As there can be a north swell which makes the anchorage there very uncomfortable (see below for a picture of the anchorage entrance from my boat after a swell during the night) you might want to anchor in Great Harbour on Jost van Dyke and clear out of the BVI from there instead.
- upon return and clearing in on Jost, if the conditions are settled and the forecast good, you might want to take the cat into White Bay and take one of the mooring balls there, that's a lot closer to the Soggy Dollar than dinghying across from Great Harbour. They have put in quite a few mooring balls in Great Harbour - you don't need to arrive quite that early. Dinner at Corsair's is worthwhile, then you can head to Foxy's for music.



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Old 13-10-2013, 05:34   #3
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Re: BVI Itinerary Help

I would scale back a little on this ambitious schedule. Remove three days of activities, so that you may not want to feel rushed; remove ANY three days and spread out your schedule. You are supposed to be relaxing and enjoying your surroundings at island's pace, not rushing from one anchorage to another; you'll be exhausted. Enjoy!

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Old 13-10-2013, 05:49   #4
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Perhaps just a typo but on Friday the 25th at Francis you will need to grab a mooring, NOT anchoring. Rules of the VI National park. Also be aware that Maho is closed http://www.stjohntradewindsnews.com/...-13-95-million

Ditto Zanshins comments.
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Old 13-10-2013, 06:41   #5
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Re: BVI Itinerary Help

Rubikoop - that's sad news on the Maho compound, despite the many wooden stairs to the top it was worth the view, the dinner/breakfast (while not gourmet, it was plentiful!) and the bus into town.

p.s. Since Pirate's in the bight burned to the ground last week, your only hope for food and drink in the Bight will be at the Willie T's. Sunday is usually locals-night and has a very different feel and vibration than all the other nights of the week. The belongers flock to the Willie T all day in the big and loud go-fast boats, the music is heavy rap and the ambience makes many, if not most, of the cruisers tend to shy away. That might change now that there is no option, but you might want to take a mooring far away to avoid the noise and wakes (and danger) of powerboats in the Bight on Sundays. Luckily the anchorage is large enough to allow you to do that.
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Old 13-10-2013, 08:29   #6
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Re: BVI Itinerary Help

Thank you for the advice. I have never been to Cane Garden Bay, but have heard that it is a gorgeous spot, but sounds like it will be a rough night on anchor.
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Old 13-10-2013, 08:36   #7
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Re: BVI Itinerary Help

Thanks for the advice on Maho compound. I thought I read on their facebook that they were open.
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Old 13-10-2013, 21:02   #8
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Re: BVI Itinerary Help

In addition to the above suggestions, I'd add that rather than anchor at little dix which as mentioned is not a good place to anchor, head to Leverick and spend two nights. Rent a car and do the baths by car. You can get there early, have breakfast, hike the baths and then go to coppermine point for a hike, head back towards leverick stopping at Savannah bay and then a final stop at Hog Heaven before returing to Leverick bay. Sign up on Traveltalkonline and you can even get a discount staying in a slip. Could even stay 3 nights and take the free ferry to Saba Rock. It's a great way to just relax for a couple of days.

Also keep in mind, if there is a north swell, Trunk and Cinnamon will be uncomfortable. We've had trips where we've had to skip them completely and ended up spending more time on the south side of St. John.

And as Teknav suggested, slowing things down is a good idea. Leverick for a couple nights is one way to do that. Also not making multiple stops in a day is another. Going from North sound to Monkey point and then on to Cane Garden bay is far more than you need to do in a day. Might be good day to stop at some snorkel spots such as the Chimney at the Dogs and then spend the night at Scrub or some place in that vicinity - could do Marina Cay again too. You could easily swap Marina Cay for Cooper your first day and spend your last night at Norman Island - seems like Norman was just a day stop, so that would slow things down as well. Ginger is also right next to Cooper, so you could have a nice sail there and then just motor to cooper for the night. If you want a 2nd snorkel, you could snorkel over at Cistern point once settled at Cooper.

Our very first trip, we made multiple stops each day. Haven't really done it since. At most we make one stop for a dive/snorkel and then our next stop is it for the night. It's very relaxing that way. One trip we were there 10 days and over that time only we're at 4 different anchorages making short trips each day to dive sites and often right back to where we were. It was very relaxing
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Old 13-10-2013, 21:18   #9
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Re: BVI Itinerary Help

Ravenstein, A someone who has been sailing the BVI's for 15 years with a boat based in Tortola, may I suggest, that with newbies aboard, the you avoid overnighting at Leverick Bay, due to the swell caused by the 5+ miles of easterly fetch in Gorda / North Sound, even in a cat. It is great place to spend the day ashore and I heartily endorse the car idea for The Baths, etc. Then return to your boat, motor less than 30 minutes up to Saba Rock Resort for their $3 Rum Punches or Pain Killers between 4 - 6 PM, their free bag of ice and a free water fill with an overnight mooring ball receipt. Snuggled up behind the island's reef with good wind (no bugs)and no swell action. Be alert not to anchor too close to Prickly Pear Island, if you chose to anchor, as there is a tidal current that reverses with the tidal flow and could swing your boat despite the wind, thus causing a dragging anchor. Enjoy and have a pain killer for me! gts1544 - George

P.S. Slow down and bring 'em back next year!
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Old 13-10-2013, 21:30   #10
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Re: BVI Itinerary Help

You can get free ice and water at Leverick too FYI. After spending over a dozen nights at Leverick, we've never found the swells to be an issue. Maybe it can be an issue at times, but I wouldn't rule it out as I believe it usually is NOT. And I think in many conditions it is lessened by staying on the dock, but we've been on moorings there as well with no issues.

We were even there in July when a named storm (whose name I can't recall) came through and we didn't get any uncomfortable swells (30 knot winds at one point). Stayed 6 nights total over our July trip without issue. Also stayed 3 nights last March without issue on the moorings. I should add that the July trip was with a bunch of newbies and they loved our stay at Leverick.

On the subject of rough conditions, you really do need to evaluate every anchorage under the current conditions. Marina Cay can be very uncomfortable at times as can Cooper, Cane Garden Bay and I'm sure a number of other anchorages under certain circumstances. I'm sure even saba rock is not immune under the right conditions.

And for the record, I'm not saying Leverick is better than Saba - just that it shouldn't be avoided just because there MIGHT be swells.. evaluate while there.
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Old 14-10-2013, 04:41   #11
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Re: BVI Itinerary Help

maytrix, I am glad to hear of your experience at Leverik. I love the [place, but have been avoiding it for overnights because of several less than stellar experiences with swells. I will have to give it another chance. Ditto on evaluating each anchorage under current conditions. Thanks for the info! gts1544 - George
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Old 14-10-2013, 06:30   #12
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Re: BVI Itinerary Help

We've only done 6 BVI bareboat charters with maybe 12 nights in the Leverick-North Sound area and anchored in both spots with excellent holding. Never had a swell issue in Leverick Bay. We used the dinghy to explore the area, eliminating the chore of moving and anchoring again. Distances are short and we really enjoy buzzing around in the dinghy and visiting all the great spots. Cane Garden Bay is really nice, if the swells are not running. Check w/charter co when you arrive.
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Old 14-10-2013, 06:49   #13
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Re: BVI Itinerary Help

Ravenstein, Don't miss the FAT VIRGIN CAFE for the best cheeseburgers and cold beer in the BVI's, located up in the SE corner of the sound just across from The Bitter End Yacht Club. gts1544 - George
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Old 14-10-2013, 06:55   #14
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Re: BVI Itinerary Help

I anchor close in to Prickly Pear, either between the Sand Box and Saba or next to the Sand Box mooring field. There is a good current which helps monohulls from 'hunting' at anchor and it is one of my favorite places to stay overnight. The holding in both locations is great.
Anchoring off the mooring field at Leverick is almost always good, but if one takes a slip and the wind/waves wrap around Prickly Pear and through the channel then it gets quite uncomfortable - so if there's a strong northerly component to the wind then tuck in at Prickly Pear for absolute calm and dinghy across to Leverick if necessary.
If there's no north swell then Cane Garden Bay is a great anchorage. I wasn't paying attention to the weather forecast and in my case it was dead calm in the evening and then around 3-4am the swell moved in and I was worried about bottoming out in the entrance channel with waves breaking to port and starboard when I motored out at around 8am.
With a northerly component to any swell the number of comfortable anchorages in the BVI dwindles considerably. The North Sound will always offer protection from any wave direction, but you have to choose your location. Tucking into Little Jost / Long Bay close to Foxy's Taboo on Jost van Dyke is good in a north swell (Zanshin hardly moved while I could take pictures of big breakers from the deck at 2013 Trip Blog and Diary 2013-02-12)
Soper's Hole, Trellis and The Bight on Norman are pretty sheltered as well but I've had some very rolly nights at Cooper even when there wasn't a significant swell.
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Old 14-10-2013, 07:05   #15
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Re: BVI Itinerary Help

Quote:
Saturday-October 26
Great Harbor (JVD)
Arrive Early Mooring Balls will be hard to come by
Soggy Dollar bar
Foxy's Halloween Party

Sunday-October 27
Norman Island
Willie T's
Anyone who can party at Foxys and then the next day do Willie T's must be a better drinker than me.

At least if you get arrrsted it will be at the end of your trip
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