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Old 29-04-2008, 08:24   #1
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Short Hikes / Excursions in the BVI

I'm taking a relatively inexperienced crew for a week of cruising the BVI in November (please, no warnings about hurricanes; I live in FL!).
I thought I'd try to vary the itinerary a bit by including a half/three-quarter day land based adventure, perhaps a hike or something similar. I've read some sketchy details about a climb to the top of Norman, but not enough to figure out if it's worth doing, and that's really about it. Planned overnight stops are North Sound, The Bight, Cruz Bay, Cane Garden, Trellis, but we have some flexibility.

Any ideas or insights would be much appreciated! Thanks, Pete

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Old 29-04-2008, 12:55   #2
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Is there a Cruz Bay in the BVI? Cruz Bay in St John is not a very easy or nice place to stop other than to go through US customs. There are no available mooring balls, anchoring is very tight and the wake from all the ferry boats can make it noisy and rolly. Not aware of any hiking in the BVIs. Enjoy your trip.

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Old 29-04-2008, 13:24   #3
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You might want to spend a night in Spanish Town and check out the baths. Nice marina there.
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Old 29-04-2008, 14:01   #4
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In North Sound, go to Gun Creek and ask how to find the trail up to Gorda Peak. Great views.

Walk through the huge boulders at the Baths on Virgin Gorda, then hike up the trail to the Top of the Baths restaurant for lunch or a cold drink. They have a pool that you can use, too.

Guide to virgin gorda
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Old 01-05-2008, 12:23   #5
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There is a great hour hike that takes off from Bitter End Yacht Club and ends at Biras Creek. Great views! It's called the "Guys Trail" You can get info at Bitter End Yacht Club.
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Old 04-05-2008, 09:01   #6
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The Bight at Norman does have a dirt road around it that starts at the dock and restaurant. North sound has a hike from Bitter End YC over to Biras Creek. Cane Garden has nothing but local kids tearing around in their stolen dinghies and a lot of other problems.
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:21   #7
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You may realllllLLLLy want to consider the swell condition in November if you are considering going into Cane Garden Bay. If it is up the mooring could be very rough and getting a dink to the dock a hazard. If you do go in to the dock at Quinto's put put a stern anchor. I've seen several RIB's pinned under the dock and swamped and flipped and people hurt attempting to get out of the dinks onto the docks. You do not want to run ashore as it isn't permitted and you would have a really hard time getting out if the swells were causing breaking surf... I've seen one boat flipped attempting that.

Cane Garden Bay is a great looking anchorage but not always a good one and never when Northern Swells are rolling in. It may be better to go into Trellis and take a taxi for a day trip. Once in Cane Garden Bay several walks are interesting... I enjoy going up to the old Callewood Rum Distillary... its about 200 years old and still going and the spiced rum is quite good.

The Bight if often one everyones schedule but it is really just an anchorage with lots of other boats. The Pirates is a great place to eat and the floating Willy T isn't a bad experience but I personally prefer Pirates. If I go to the Bight it is only to go for dinner at Pirates.

If its your first time, you probably need to hit the Baths... really unbelievable place... try to avoid it if you see a cruise ship hanging off the Marina at Spanish Town. The place can comfortably accommodate 200 or so people but when you put in 500 it is terrible.

I like Trellis and have stayed several weeks with a few pops over to Marina Cay and short sail trips just for fun. Da Loose Mongoose is very cruiser friendly and the food is good and not very expensive. I had a killer Christmas Dinner in 2007 that I'll never forget or the group of cruisers attending, it was a great Christmas while I was single handing.

Cruze bay is on St. John... not in the BVI and the problem is you would have to check out of BVI and into USVI then check back into BVI. May be a bit much for a short vacation but if your going to spend a week or so in the USVI it would be well worth the effort. Walking through Cruze Bay is nice and the restaurant on the bay next to the ferry dock is really great... they also have several large iguana that will assist you in eating your veggies. St. John has MANY hiking trails of all types. One anchorage with hiking and snorkeling I like is only about half a mile from West End Tortola BVI and is called Water Lemon. You can snorkel off the boat to see sea turtles and all types of fish and invertebrates, hike to the old sugar mill and plantation which is semi restored and marked or up semi improved trails to old fortifications and homes that were occupied about 100 years ago. (You would still have check out of BVI then go into Cruze Bay to check in and then check back into BVI after your Water Lemon visit... a hassle but required by law)

It all depends on how much time you have and what the weather is. Problem with short bare-boat charters is you have to be back at a set time and most simply end up doing a circle of Tortola with a stop at Jost Van Dyke which is interesting and usually a must see on most cruisers schedule, Cane Garden Bay if no swells, Trellis or Marina Cay, the Baths, Cooper or Peter Island and back into the marina you picked up your boat. The trip can be done clock wise or counter clock wise best to let that depend on the wind and seas at the time.

One Extreme Danger you should be aware of. This place is very addictive and you will have a hard time leaving and you will probably start making return trip plans before you get off the island.

NOTE: Most people fly into and out of St. Thomas in USVI and not Beef Island Airport in BVI. While St. Thomas has many more and generally far cheaper flights, you will probably loose 2 days of your vacation, one on each end or the better part of the day... After you see St. Thomas once in a rush that is about all you want and I prefer to use Beef Island even if it is more expensive, but you don't have the potential of additional cost of hotel, taxi and ferry fairs and the pleasure of dragging bags all over the Caribbean. BTY DO NOT over pack... hold a gun on your wife and stop her.

I prefer a sailboat to a motorboat, and it is my belief that boat sailing is a finer, more difficult, and sturdier art than running a motor.
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