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Old 17-02-2015, 18:41   #1
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10 Days in the Virgin Islands

Hello all,

We're running low on time before we need to head to Panama to start our long trip back to Oz.

We only have 10-12 days in the Virgin Islands, we'd love to see the best of it so any ideas of what to see or where to go would be most welcomed!

Thanks everyone,
Simon
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Old 17-02-2015, 20:15   #2
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Re: 10 Days in the Virgin Islands

What do you like to do? Snorkel, SCUBA, sail, motor, beach, go ashore and explore, hike, dine offboard/onboard, bars, music, etc. describe what your ideal day(s) would look like and there will be many suggestions.


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Old 17-02-2015, 20:42   #3
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Re: 10 Days in the Virgin Islands

There are lots of people on this board with local knowledge. I have some BVI tourist knowledge from several charters so here are my favorite things to do.

Visit Cooper Island and while there arrange for a dive shop to take you to the wreck of the Rhone. It's worth it to have a guided tour.

Visit the Baths early in the morning and leave before the crowds hit. Pay to tie up at Spanish Town and hire a taxi to see views from the mountain overlooks.

Sail around to the Bitter End and hike to the top of Bries Hill.

Make the sail over to Anegada and eat lobster.

Have drinks at happy hour at the top of Marina Cay.

Hike the short trail on Sandy Cay and enjoy it's beach.

Pick any bar/harbor on Jost and fall asleep in a hammock.

Dive or snorkel around The Indians.

Those are my favorites. Have fun.




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Old 17-02-2015, 22:20   #4
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Re: 10 Days in the Virgin Islands

Great ideas already.
We like doing a mixture but don't dive.

Good bars/food is always high on the list though.
I think we should be there for the next full moon party. Must be a few of those around also?
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Old 18-02-2015, 06:02   #5
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Re: 10 Days in the Virgin Islands

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Have drinks at happy hour at the top of Marina Cay.
Curious when you were last there. I took a mooring at Marina Cay about 2 years ago and the hilltop location was closed and a dilapidated mess. Have they re-opened since then?

I would also mention to the OP that I prefer not to try to get a mooring at The Baths. Rather, if you stay in Spanish Town, take a cab; or rent a car from Leverick in the North Sound and take your own driving tour. That way you don't have to jockey for a mooring, you can take all the time you want, and you can go later in the afternoon when everyone else has already headed off to find a mooring for the night and the place is nearly deserted.
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Old 18-02-2015, 06:30   #6
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Re: 10 Days in the Virgin Islands

I was just there before Christmas.

They had a one man band and a bartender. I think it's only open in the high season and otherwise abandoned.

They have added lots of moorings at the Baths there seemed to be plenty even mid day. However staying in Spanish Town does make for a low stress day with no need to rush off to the next spot.


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Old 18-02-2015, 08:53   #7
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Re: 10 Days in the Virgin Islands

Forget the whole thing. Use imagination. "It ain't what it was," in 1970. Looking for the escape to paradise in the VI is a delusion, lost to the greed of the residents. Better to just say, "Been there ..." with out the "done that," and avoid disappointment.
Sail on.
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Old 18-02-2015, 09:01   #8
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Re: 10 Days in the Virgin Islands

"Forget the whole thing."

haha, great comment!
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Old 18-02-2015, 12:20   #9
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Re: 10 Days in the Virgin Islands

Go to the copper mine restaurant. It is fabulous!


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Old 18-02-2015, 12:39   #10
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Re: 10 Days in the Virgin Islands

Snorkeling around the caves on Norman Island and then getting a mooring for the night while enjoying the beach bar
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Old 18-02-2015, 12:45   #11
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Re: 10 Days in the Virgin Islands

Hi Simon - there are significant differences between the BVIs and USVIs. You will have to clear in and out from both if you plan to visit. And then there are the Spanish Virgins which are different still.......

BVIs are far more crowded with charter boats and there are very few in the USVI by comparison. BVIs have more party and beach bar opportunities if that is what you want. In contrast, the Nat'l Park portion of St. John (USVI) has no beach bars and better moorings. The moorings are required in the Park but are US$15/night vs $25 or $30 in the BVI.

There are ample anchorage ops in the BVI if you work at it. The trick is to get the same cruising guide given out by the charter companies but separately browse for potential good anchorages on your charts. Compare the spots you ID'd on the charts to the "raved about" places in the guide. If the spots you ID'd on the charts are not covered in the guide, bingo!!! The corollary to this logic is the BVI version of the "chicken and the egg": which came first, the mooring balls or the beach bars?

If you need to provision the ops in the USVI are orders of magnitude better than in the BVI. Better and cheaper. Anchor in the short term anchorage entering Cruz Bay St. John, dinghy into the Nat'l Park dinghy dock, clear in at the C&I within walking distance, then walk up the hill to the Dolphin Market. You can be back to your boat easily in the time allowed for anchoring there - two hours if I remember correctly.

More info available upon request.

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Old 18-02-2015, 13:43   #12
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Re: 10 Days in the Virgin Islands

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Anchor in the short term anchorage entering Cruz Bay St. John, dinghy into the Nat'l Park dinghy dock, clear in at the C&I within walking distance, then walk up the hill to the Dolphin Market. You can be back to your boat easily in the time allowed for anchoring there - two hours if I remember correctly.
The Rangers allow three hours but only in daytime. Do not ask me how I learn that.
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Old 18-02-2015, 13:58   #13
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Re: 10 Days in the Virgin Islands

So much good stuff here! Thanks all. We're throwing a lot of these ideas into our plan.
We just need the wind and swell to drop a little!

Hopefully these bays are protected from swell.
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Old 18-02-2015, 14:14   #14
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Re: 10 Days in the Virgin Islands

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We just need the wind and swell to drop a little!

Hopefully these bays are protected from swell.
When will you get there? As winter wanes, so do the swells.

The (north) swell events are well forecast and easily accommodated. Once you get there the US NWS VHF Wx broadcasts from PR and St. Croix are easily received and are really all the weather info you need while there. Chris Parker forecasts swell events further out and with more detail. But it's all common sense - avoid the N facing anchorages in a swell event on the N side of the N islands. There really aren't many N facing anchorages anyway up there. Cane Garden Bay on the N side of Tortola can get rolly - but the payoff is watching the surfers not far from your cockpit. The N side of the BVI islands on the S side of Drake Channel don't count. Similarly, N Gorda Sound is well shielded by Anegada and all the reefs to the N. The N side of St. John is mostly shielded. But Caneel Bay on the W end and the N side anchorages towards the W end of St. John would be affected. There's no anchorages you should waste time on on the N side of St. Thomas. There are anchorages with N exposure in the Spanish Virgins, but these are easily ID'd just by looking at your charts. Relax.

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Old 18-02-2015, 17:31   #15
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Re: 10 Days in the Virgin Islands

Hi simonpickard,
The admiral and I are anchored in Gt. Harbor, Peter Island, BVI tonight. Can't really add to the above advice...all real good.

There's a current issue going on with the local Port Authority, though. Seems that they are trying to assess some steep fees for transients, payable at the time they leave. The latest news is that the boat will be charged $1/ft...once. The original law says that the assessment would've been $1/ft for the 1st day, $.75/ft for the 2nd day and then $.50/ft per day for the remainder of the time in the BVI. The whole thing is in flux now, so not sure of what you might see if you come here.

Might be a great time to visit the Spanish Virgins or St Croix.
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