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Old 22-09-2011, 21:07   #1
jsk
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Recommended BVI Route in Early November ?

There are a ton of quality posts about BVI stops and itinerary - much thanks to everyone who has posted them!

Looking for seasoned sailor advice on the best route for an 8-day BVI sail in early November, considering the avg wind direction and swells this time of year. We like it rough, but will have some newer crew members onboard.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 23-09-2011, 05:54   #2
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Re: Recommended BVI route in early November?

The BVI is really a fairly small group of islands. The farthest sailing distance is probably from Anegada to The Bight on Norman Island; and, if memory serves, that is only about 38 NM. Best to wait until you are there and decide each morning where you want to go that day based on the weather and the forecast for the next 3 days.

Do stay away from the southern tip of Virgin Gorda and Fallen Jersalem unless you are very familiar with those waters. Underwater boulders abound there. Also, please do not be tempted to take the shortcut south of Mosquito Island into Gorda Sound. Far too many boats have been lost there.

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Old 23-09-2011, 06:05   #3
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Re: Recommended BVI route in early November?

What sort of a boat and where are you starting/ending the journey? Also, do you prefer to eat and party ashore or on board? Many going to the BVI want to moor each night, but if you anchor and like a more secluded spot then the itinerary will be different.
Most often you will be doing a counterclockwise trip around Tortola, this makes the segments where you are going against the 12-20 knot winds inside along the Sir Francis Drake Channel instead of outside pounding against the Atlantic swell. Jost van Dyke and Anegada are great spots, but if you include them your itinerary will look quite different.

I'll be there mid November on the new Zanshin
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Old 23-09-2011, 06:24   #4
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Re: Recommended BVI route in early November?

Jsk,

It really depends on what you want to do along the way. The best route is based on if you want to walk and lay on the best beaches, party at the best beach bars, snorkel and/or dive the best sites, join the crowd, stay in secluded anchorages, enjoy the longest/shortest/easiest sailing, or eat in the best restraunts. It's all available. That's why so many people go back so many times.

We've been there several times and we have taken a different route each time.

If you want a well rounded mix of all of the above the normal route seams to depart from SE Tortola to Norman Island, then on to Peter or Cooper Island the next day, then a stop at The Baths and on in to the Bitter End Yacht Club at Virgin Gorda. From Virgin Gorda a sail to Anegoda where you'll want lobster on the beach. Then on to Jost Van Dyke before going to West End, Tortola, and back to your start point.

If the swell is more than you want to deal with you can skip Anegoda, sail back down the Francis Drake Channel then around to Jost Van Dyke.

With eight days you can stay an extra day at whichever place suits you. And don't try to see it all in one trip. It can't be done.


Lucky Larry
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Old 24-09-2011, 00:40   #5
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Re: Recommended BVI Route in Early November ?

As the other stated, it all depends on what you enjoy doing. We sailed the BVI 2 to 4 times each year for 16 years before buying a boat and putting into the Moorings charter fleet in Feb 2000. Sailed 6-8 weeks per year in BVI on our own boat until July 2005 when she was phased out of Moorings fleet and sold to a Scottish guy who put her in BVI Yacht Charters fleet for several years.

My route of choice would likely be very different from yours, definitely not the typical charter route of Norman for 1st night, then counter-clockwise around Tortola.

If weather was acceptable, I would sail directly from Road Harbor or wherever your starting point to Virgin Gorda. Anchor off Prickly Pear near the channel for night #1. Approx 22 NM

Next day to Anegada, night #2. Approx 13 NM

Very early start the next day to The Baths. It really isn't all that far; only moor there if calm weather; spend about 2 hours exploring the boulders; then hurry over to Marina Cay or Trellis Bay, night #3. This is an ambitious day and requires fast sailing or motoring, with much later than normal arrival at destination for the night; but we have always found a place to anchor at Marina Cay when all moorings are full. Approx 28 - 28 NM

Then just around the corner to Lee Bay if weather permits, for lunch and quick snorkel. Then past Monkey Point over to Green Cay, night #4. Approx 15 NM

Visit Sandy Cay, then over to Jost Van Dyck to either Little Harbour and visit Sydney's Peace & Love or to Great Harbour and visit Foxy's, night #5. Approx 3 - 5 NM

Next to Cane Garden Bay, night #6. Approx 6 NM

Soper's Hole stop just to see it, then to The Bight at Norman Island, night #7. Maybe stop and snorkel The Indians on the way to Norman. Approx 12 NM

Sail from Norman to turn in the boat on the 8th day. Approx 8 NM to Road Harbour

YMMV. There is no way to see it all in 8 days.

Judy
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Old 24-09-2011, 15:20   #6
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Re: Recommended BVI Route in Early November ?

We have been sailing in the BVI's for 18 years but have not been for the last four, so things might have changed at Fallen Jerusalem. There were several moorings maintained by the National Park Service there and we have found it much nicer than braving the crowds at the Baths.

We also love Savannah Bay if your charter company will let you go there.

As stated earlier, we find a counter clockwise trip coming out of Tortola works best.

Have fun!
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Old 27-09-2011, 01:19   #7
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Re: Recommended BVI Route in Early November ?

I've seen the park moorings at Fallen Jerusalem. Also saw a 50-ft charter boat go onto the rocks there when leaving one of those moorings in early Jan 2007. Just a word of caution to be extra careful around that area.

Another word of advice --DO NOT STAY ON A PARK MOORING OVERNIGHT. I have seen some charter boats do this. Have also seen these moorings snap during the night swells that are not uncommon in the BVI. The park moorings are not built as sturdily at the real commercial moorings. The park moorings are not safe to be used overnight.

Judy
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Old 27-09-2011, 09:15   #8
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Re: Recommended BVI Route in Early November ?

Judy, good advice on the NP moorings. They were labled Not for Overnight Use but that might have changed.

Regarding visiting the Baths, when we have crew who are first time BVI visitors, we recommend that they take a taxi when we spend a couple of nights Leverick Bay.

Phil
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