The BVI is a great place to sail and my family
and I have sailed there several times and if you take into account that certain anchorages
and islands have limited space/balls (especially in the parks) then you can have a very relaxed and enjoyable time.
I have never sailed the BVI in May but have done it in June, January, and February. We are also going to be sailing the BVI for Christmas
and New Years ... now that will be crowded.
The places that you need to think about getting to early are:
- The Baths: I get up at first light and motor
over from Cooper
or Trellis Bay. There are park balls at the Baths that are for day use only so I try to move the boat and have breakfast there then go ashore and explore. We usually leave around noon and there are always boats orbiting waiting for a ball to pick up.
Island: My experience is that if you do not get to Cooper by early afternoon there is a very good chance you will not have a ball available. You can anchor
out but it is pretty deep and can be rolley.
- The Dogs
and Guana Island are all National Parks and have limited balls. They are great places to have lunch and a snorkle but be prepared that there may not be any spots. Some trips we have had no problem and others we have to pass on by
- Jost Van Dyke: We have never had a problem with Jost (on non New Year's weeks) but don't mind anchoring
(especially in White Bay ... this way you can actually swim to the Soggy Dollar) but I have heard that folks not comfortable on the hook have felt crowded or rushed trying to get form mooring
ball to mooring ball.
Places you should not have a problem:
- Trellis Bay - full moon nights are more crowded but in general you can get a ball still at mid afternoon.
- Cane Garden Bay - can be rolley but when not never had a problem.
- Norman Island - balls as far as the eye can see and good anchoring
if there aren't any. If you are going to snorkle the Indians it can fill up quickly in the mornings. This is another place that I just motor
out at first light and have breakfast on the National Park ball at the Indians.
I love sailing the BVI. Is it crowded? Yes, especially when compared to the Leewards or Windwards. Can the crowding be mitigated with some planning and early rising on certain days? Yes. Is it worth it? Most definitely, especially if you have children
or other's that are new to sailing etc. The islands are close, beaches wonderful, and the pain killers ... well they work.