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Old 17-04-2015, 11:17   #1
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BVI Itinerary Recommendations

I'm taking a small group sailing in the BVI in just a few weeks. We've got the gist of the itinerary, but I'm wondering if I'll be trying to fit too much in on Day 2. It's been many years since I was there and don't have a good feeling on sail times between the islands.

Day 2: We plan to depart Peter Island (play the anchorage/mooring by ear given the weather/swells) and make a short stop at the Rhone on our way to The Baths. I was planning on anchoring/mooring outside of Spanish Town.

Will that be spreading the time too thin to enjoy The Baths? I'm assuming we'd like an hour or two at the Rhone in the morning followed by a few hours at The Baths. If it's not too thin, would it even be possible to make our way up to BEYC in the North Sound? If it's too thin then we'll probably skip the Rhone and just make our way straight up to The Baths.

Thanks all!
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Old 17-04-2015, 11:29   #2
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Re: BVI Itinerary Recommendations

I found the Baths to be way way over rated. The Rhone was fun for less than an hour. What do you mean "anchoring mooring outside Spanish Town?" IIRC, it's a harbor. I'd go all the way to Gorda Soound or stop over in Trellis or Marina Cay and then go up to Gorda Sound the next day.

You're on vacation. I'd skip ANY "scheduling."
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Old 17-04-2015, 11:46   #3
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Re: BVI Itinerary Recommendations

Sailing times in the BVI depend upon the type of boat you have and your willingness to motor or motorsail in order to speed up passage times.

The Rhone makes a good 2-tank dive or, if snorkeling and with settled conditions, a nice 1/2 - 1 hour snorkel. If you want to snorkel, the best spot is Cistern Point at Cooper Island.

The Baths might be difficult, they are quite popular and the mooring balls fill up quite early and people stay longer than their allotted time, sometimes all day. If you stop at the Rhone or Cooper then odds are that the mooring field will be filled up by the time you get there (and anchoring is prohibited there).

The mooring balls/anchorage outside of Spanish Town can be somewhat rolly and there is a lot of traffic with the boats moving in and out of the marina plus the ferries and delivery boats to the docks. Unless you have a really compelling reason to visit Spanish Town overnight or the conditions are very settled and you can anchor a bit further out I'd recommend skipping that for an overnight stay and continuing up to the North Sound where you have a plethora of options - Leverick, Saba, BEYC for mooring fields and Leverick, Prickly Pear, Saba as anchorages in anything from 15 to 40 feet.

The North Sound is usually a beat upwind from the Baths, but motorsailing that distance will only take about 2 hours (or faster, depending on the boat).
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Old 17-04-2015, 11:46   #4
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Re: BVI Itinerary Recommendations

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What do you mean "anchoring mooring outside Spanish Town?"
From what I understand, there's now moorings outside of the harbor as opposed to the slips/moorings in the harbor, I believe on the North side of the channel. Also, it sounds like people anchor there as well.
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Old 17-04-2015, 11:52   #5
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Re: BVI Itinerary Recommendations

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The Baths might be difficult, they are quite popular and the mooring balls fill up quite early and people stay longer than their allotted time, sometimes all day. If you stop at the Rhone or Cooper then odds are that the mooring field is filled up (and anchoring is prohibited there).

The North Sound is usually a beat upwind from the Baths, but motorsailing that distance will only take about 2 hours (or faster, depending on the boat).
Zanshin, this is exactly the info I was looking for, thanks! I think that I might skip taking people to the Rhone and just head straight up to The Baths that morning. We'd only be snorkeling, but with going in/out of the mooring field I'm sure we'll consume a couple hours. I think I'd also like to head up to North Sound and have an extra night there.
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Old 18-04-2015, 14:49   #6
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Re: BVI Itinerary Recommendations

That sounds like a very easy, doable day, but I second what Zanshin stated, about getting a mooring at the Baths later in the day. I typically anchor off Spanish Town or in Savannah Bay my first or second night and hit the Baths early the next day. The Rhone is a good snorkel if you are comfortable snorkeling to 20 feet, but not too entertaining for surface snorkelers.
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Old 18-04-2015, 15:24   #7
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Re: BVI Itinerary Recommendations

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From what I understand, there's now moorings outside of the harbor as opposed to the slips/moorings in the harbor, I believe on the North side of the channel. Also, it sounds like people anchor there as well.
New-to-me, too. Guess it's been answered.

No consideration of snorkeling The Inidans or just outside of the Bight on Norman? I found those a lot more fun than the Rhone.

Have a great trip.
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Old 18-04-2015, 15:28   #8
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Re: BVI Itinerary Recommendations

Here's another thought, just sail up to Bitter End and take the free ferry to Gun Creek. Take a cab to Top of the Baths and hike down to the Baths. Get back to Gun Creek before the last ferry back.
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Old 20-04-2015, 10:44   #9
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Re: BVI Itinerary Recommendations

I second every word that Zanshin stated. Pete
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Old 20-04-2015, 11:26   #10
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Re: BVI Itinerary Recommendations

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No consideration of snorkeling The Inidans or just outside of the Bight on Norman? I found those a lot more fun than the Rhone.
Have a great trip.
Stu, thanks for the concern, but this is only a question for day 2. We're doing a CCW trip around the islands and Norman will be the final night.
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Old 20-04-2015, 11:32   #11
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Re: BVI Itinerary Recommendations

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I second every word that Zanshin stated. Pete
Pete, thanks for the confirmation. I think we'll stick with the recommendation from Zanshin and get to The Baths early and then make our way up to North Sound. I think that will avoid any rushed feeling people could have with additional stops.
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Old 20-04-2015, 11:38   #12
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Re: BVI Itinerary Recommendations

For anyone that's interested, here's where I found information regarding the moorings outside of the harbor near Spanish Town:

Virgin Gorda Anchorages


I believe this site is referring to the same mooring field, but am not 100% certain:

Spanish Town - BVIcruisingguide.com
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Old 21-04-2015, 10:15   #13
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Re: BVI Itinerary Recommendations

We've been over a dozen times. First few trips we used to always visit the baths by boat. We'd swim in, hike the trail, maybe have breakfast at the top and head back to the boat.

It was suggested to us one time to try a night at Leverick bay, rent a car and visit the Baths via car instead. My first though was "Why do we want to drive around when we have a boat?" - But we did it anyway. I think being on a boat tends to lead many to think that's how they have to do everything. Now every time we have newbies, we always do two nights at Leverick Bay and rent a car and tour virgin gorda. There's so many things to see in addition to the Baths, that I can't believe we waited as long as we did to do this.

We typically try to arrive at Leverick on a Thursday end of day. Get the rental (which is 24 hours) and go to dinner on the island - typically Coca Maya which my wife loves! Then Friday we tour the island - Baths, Copper Mine point, Savannah bay, Hog Heaven..whatever we feel like! Friday night Leverick has their BBQ and Jumbies and we do that and then are ready to head out Saturday morning.

We've done this now with 5 or so groups and they've all loved it and would do it again in an instant. It was the highlight for many. Hog Heaven is also now a favorite of ours as the views of North Sound from there are amazing! I'd highly recommend this over swimming in - which under certain conditions can be quite dangerous anyway.
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Old 21-04-2015, 10:55   #14
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Re: BVI Itinerary Recommendations

We were there a month ago. The yellow track is a 3.5 hr sail upwind/upcurrent so theres no excuse to motor anywhere! (unless maybe theres no wind) That track will take you from Tortola to (almost) little harbour, Peter island, which is one of the nicest anchorages we found. Up past the rhone, cooper island, spanish town etc. The Baths were pretty lame, especially if its crowded. We actually rented a scooter at spanishtown and rode around the island a bit and walked around the baths en route. You can anchor or pick up a mooring at spanishtown, but id skip it and head up to long bay on the NW tip of virgin gorda, or continue into gorda sound or Eustatia. We dove the Rhone but snorkelling the shallow section is OK. The Indians are great to snorkel.
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Old 15-06-2015, 09:00   #15
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Re: BVI Itinerary Recommendations

Peter to The Baths, motor most of the way if not all. Visit for a couple of hours. Go up to the restaurant on top. Then head out to Gorda Sound. Leverick Bay or Saba Rock are great. I would forego Spanish Town. You are going to have a great time no matter how you decide to do it.

Have a safe trip!
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