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Old 15-12-2013, 18:47   #1
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The Baths

someone told me all the day mooring are removed at the Baths in BVI? Can anyone confirm or deny? thank you.
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Old 15-12-2013, 19:48   #2
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Re: The Baths

The Baths | Virgin Gorda | BVI | Online Cruising Guide

On line says don't stay & don't anchor if you can't find a ball.

BVI Welcome Magazine - British Virgin Islands Anchorages read on the left side about the National Parks Trust Bouy System. It indicates mooring balls will be there.

Based on the traffic and frequently rolling swells, I can't imagine dropping a hook.
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Old 16-12-2013, 03:33   #3
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Re: The Baths

The moorings at the Baths are NPT ones, and considering it is one of the most popular, if not THE most popular, sailing destination in the BVI and that the bottom there is coral, which one is not allowed to anchor in in the BVI, these will not have been removed. The Traveltalkonline BVI is a very busy place and there's been no mention of this - it would be the top thread if it were. I'll be in the BVI next week to check this out myself.

P.S. I've seen some boat drop anchor in the coral there when all the balls are taken and really wish that they'd be fined! I've sailed past there many times in the late to mid-morning when all the balls were taken and just kept on going. During season it is best to get there very early or after lunchtime in the midafternoon to ensure a ball, otherwise you need to motor back-and-forth and try to be the first in line when a ball does open up.
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Old 16-12-2013, 04:09   #4
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Last time we were there you could use the moorings due to sea conditions. We just got a slip in Yacht Haven in Spanish Town for the night and took a shuttle over. There is a decent grocery store there for provisioning. And water was free with an overnight stay.
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Old 16-12-2013, 04:31   #5
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Re: The Baths

They were all there a week ago.
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Old 16-12-2013, 07:02   #6
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Re: The Baths

I should add that NPT (National Parks Trust) moorings are not overnight moorings so one cannot stay at the Baths overnight. There are normal moorings just a nautical mile from the Baths outside of Spanish Town that can be used (I don't like anchoring there as it can get rolly sometimes) or one can enter the marina as JKnSmitty did. The marina is nice - I once spent a month there while waiting for a replacement rudder and was next to a nice Shannon called "Afrodesia" with a friendly gentleman owner.
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Old 16-12-2013, 07:03   #7
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Re: The Baths

As Zanshin said, there is just no way they are going to remove those moorings. Whoever told you this had to be confused in some way. Maybe they were closed due to rough water (which happens sometimes), or they were replacing some of them. But removing them altogether? No way.
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Old 16-12-2013, 07:55   #8
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hi. thx. let me know as we will be there over new years.
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Old 16-12-2013, 13:47   #9
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Re: The Baths

You can also anchor at Spanish Town on the other side of the ferry terminal and run around by dinghy. Note the moorings at the Baths can sometimes get a little crowded so best not head out too late in the day.
Alternatively take a taxi from Spanish Town ($2). That way you don't have to worry about the dinghy and can have lunch at the top.
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Old 18-12-2013, 17:42   #10
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Re: The Baths

About 45 years ago we used to sail the BVI yearly and the baths were fairly empty as was Norman island. When the charter business changed all that we were appalled by the crowds noise and rubbish and never returned. Definitely a paradise lost. Did anyone read that SiFi about an overpopulated world where there was no room to lie down just a lot of miserable people standing shoulder to shoulder and wailing..
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Old 19-12-2013, 02:22   #11
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Re: The Baths

Quote:
Originally Posted by eyschulman View Post
About 45 years ago we used to sail the BVI yearly and the baths were fairly empty as was Norman island. When the charter business changed all that we were appalled by the crowds noise and rubbish and never returned. Definitely a paradise lost. Did anyone read that SiFi about an overpopulated world where there was no room to lie down just a lot of miserable people standing shoulder to shoulder and wailing..
I have to agree. An ecosystem cannot sustain itself with that sort of traffic trampling through it. I free dived there every day for a week and only saw a few small fish. It is sad to see and there does not seem to be any sort of Eco plan being implemented.

In Australia the dive operators on the great barrier are allocated an area in which to operate and become the custodians of that part of the reef. Some sort of management is required when there are a large amount of visitors to a natural site.
It can be turned around though. In Cape Town I've seen an artificial reef created by sinking a old fishing vessel. Initially it needs "feeding" to kick start it, but after only a few years it has blossomed into an self sustaining Eco system .
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Old 19-12-2013, 06:18   #12
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Re: The Baths

Despite the potential of crowding, the Baths are still worth seeing. The earlier you get there, the better.

If the moorings are all taken, try Spring Bay which is just to the north. It's been a few years since we were there, and I don't remember if there were moorings or we just anchored, but it's very close to the Baths.

BTW, take the time to climb up the hill above the Baths to the "Top of the Baths" restaurant. It looks like a snack bar, but I had some terrific stew goat there.
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Old 19-12-2013, 08:53   #13
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Re: The Baths

I snorkeled the Baths a few weeks ago. I don't find them any more degraded than the much less used locations in the BVIs. There is no anchoring allowed at the Baths, so this helps to stop the anchors from chewing up the bottom. The sea life is the typical small stuff you see all over the BVIs. While I wasn't there 45 years ago, I did snorkel the Baths 25 years ago. Anchoring was common and the sea life was no better.

We showed up early in the morn and were out of there before any crowd showed up.
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Old 19-12-2013, 09:21   #14
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Re: The Baths

Beware of turquoise-blue waters! They are great for seascapes photography, but you will not find any live corals in there. Turquoise color is a reflection of the skies above water covered with white sands; sands that bleach and kill the corals. Many communities, to "protect" their eroded sandy beaches, bring in more sands to shore up their waterfront. These sands get swept away by high surf and currents covering and killing the corals; the cycles are repeated. As more sands are "withdrawn" from the beaches, water levels are lowered resulting in warmer temperature at shallow depth; another factor in bleaching and killing the corals.

According to physics principles, shallow depths at beaches acquire fierce levels of waves due to abrupt stopping of incoming wave momentum; causing beach erosion. Adding more sands exacerbate the situation; ditto effect for erecting walls, as is New Orleans and throughout the length of the Mississippi river.

The best snorkeling/diving sites are located in deep waters with cooler temperature (below 65F) and with a noticeable current (1-2 knots, that brings plankton); deep navy blue waters are best for diving.

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