Don't go for your morning swim (between 7:00 and 8:00 AM) if there are 60 charters in the bay (60 times 4 people per boat = 240 heads). Wait till the turbidity of the water subsides. I know the last time I was there I was very inhibited in my swimming activities. Huge ick factor in some of the anchorages.
Yeah - I always try to plan my swims carefully in the bvi and anchor/moor on the windward outside of the field. The charter boats I've been on have specifically instructed me not to route to the holding tank and did have zip ties to prevent this happening. The way they 'handle' it is to tell you to always moor/anchor near a place with shoreside facilities - because obviously people will take a dinghy trip to use a public restroom and there's clearly an abundance of those in anchorages. Never pleasant to drink a cup of coffee in the early morning and see the blooms spreading out from other boats in the anchorage as the toilet paper fish swim by!
Not sure how other companies handle it, but Moorings, Sunsail and Footloose have holding tanks on all their boats and encourage their use. Keep the tanks closed when in anchorages and empty when traveling between stops as far from shore as possible.
In all our trips, haven't seen any sewage from other boats. I know some of the other companies encourage holding tank use as well, but there are some that do zip tie the holding tanks in the open position.
Personally, I never gave this a single thought booking our first trip, but you can be sure if we were to book with a new company I'd ask if the holding tank can be used - no would mean we'd look elsewhere.
We are heading to BVI in a couple weeks for an 8-day sailing trip. The plan is to sail, dive, party and relax. We are leaving from Tortola and would appreciate any suggestions for routes and must-see anchorages. Some party spots and some secluded postcard spots would be great. We are experienced and have sailed several times in the Leeward Islands so we are up for anything. Thanks for the help!
We try to eat at Happy Hour and more appetizers than entrees. Otherwise, away from the harbors there at some roadside places and local eateries that are much cheaper. Of course buying at the markets and cooking on the boat are even cheaper still. We like Harbour Market at Soper's Hole, good selection, reasonable prices and right on the dock.
Not that talking about poop isn't worth a few pages of discussion...but can I change the subject off that?
I was there about 2 years ago. Wife just there right now.
Every restaurant near the water (Tortolla, Saba etc) is extremely expensive. Like 40.00 a plate. How does a family live there more than a day on a reasonable amount?
Any list of places to provision, to eat that's a more affordable amount or do the budget cruisers have to just skip BVI?
I don't know what a budget cruiser is. The people I know that cruise and wish to spend time in the BVI typically provision on St Thomas and cook aboard in the BVI.
Eating on the waterfront in a tourist destination with numerous charter boats dangling off moorings won't be cheap in the BVI. Hit the happy hours, order some appetizers and ask your server where they eat and you can save some money.
Should those suggestions not appeal to you then I'd suggest you head west for a leisurely downwind sail to Culebra to eat well on the water for much less.