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Old 18-05-2010, 05:46   #1
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BVI Itinerary

For Memorial Day week, we are planning on sailing over to St John from St Croix (where we live) and picking up some friends. From there we planned to go on over to Jost Van Dyke to check in with customs hang out for a day and then over to Cane Garden Bay on Tortola for a day.

From there is where I have questions. Would you recommend going on around the west side of Tortola to Virgin Gorda and then working our way back down the channel to Peter island, Norman and back to St John? Or go back around Sopers Hole and around the east side of Tortola to Virgin Gorda (island hopping along the way) and then back track back to St John?

Has anyone done this?? It's a week long trip. Thanks
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Old 18-05-2010, 06:39   #2
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I've sailed both ways around Tortola. There are many options of places to stop and things to do. It all depends on what you enjoy. My common stops are:

Anchor Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke.

Anchor Sandy Spit area, just east of Jost Van Dyke. Snorkel off Green and behind little Jost Van Dyke

Anchor Cane Garden for the night.

Anchor off Trunk bay for the day to enjoy a secluded beach

Anchor Great Camanoe. Snorkel the sea caves at the points.

Day Moorings at one of the dogs to snorkel.

Night Anchor at Savannah bay or off Spanish Town Snorkel in Savannah Bay

Day Mooring at the Baths. Pick it up early before the crowds. Snorkel

maybe pick up a mooring at Cooper

Maybe Snorkel the Rhone

Maybe anchor off Peter.

Probably snorkel the Indians, maybe the caves.

Maybe pick up a mooring at The Bight on Norman's or

Anchor Bunres bay or pick up a mooring in Soldier Bay, Norman's

Other popular options, I often skip include Anegada and northern, Virgin Gorda.


I think early summer is more conducive to the CW circle than winter. If you are already in Cane Garden, I'd just keep going that way.
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Old 18-05-2010, 08:08   #3
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You'll get cleaner air going W and N past Tortola but somewhat less pleasant conditions. Either way, it'll be on the nose. You can tack offshore and then head into Virgin Gorda Sound on a fast beam reach (always fun running the slot).

The N side of Tortola's quite nice and unspoiled but anchorages can be rolly and dangerous. You'll see few boats so be aware of the conditions. It can get lumpy and wet. Going along the S side of Tortola will be smoother but with lighter winds, and longer. There are also a lot more distractions.

My suggestion:
(1) A brisk sail from JVD to either Anegada or Virgin Gorda Sound. If the weather's fine, drop the hook off Necker Island for a quick look or maybe lunch at Benner's Bay. In VGS, check out the resorts, head to Spanish Town for dinner, or hang out in the bay. The volleyball nets are always inviting. So's the pool.

Anegada is well worth the sail. The anchorage is small, the water thin, but the view, taxi rides to the beaches exciting, the snorkeling incredible, and the seafood stellar. It's one of the few places where you get a great view of the BVIs. And the screaming beam reach to VGS will bring smiles to even the hard core racer. 12 miles of hull speed, through a narrow slot between 2 very visible reefs, and into the calm and welcoming bay!

(2) Next day head to the Bath's early for a few hours of exploring, then scoot for Fallen Jerusalem. If the Bath's are "so done" then head for the Dog's or Cockroach Island. Very small anchorage and some great snorkeling. Fallen Jerusalem's got a couple moorings and is a big change from the intensity of the Baths. If you've got lots of energy you could make a dash to Cooper for the night but moorings go fast there. I've always liked spending the night at Fallen Jerusalem.

(3) The next day I'd do some sailing, stop by Cooper for lunch and the conch fritters, and spend some time at Salt Island. Go ashore and say hi to the folks that give the island its name. There's the Rhone for snorkeling or the cut between Cooper and Salt. If the weather's calm and you want to meet other boaters, then the anchorage off Peter Island can be fun.

(4) From there I'd head out to the Indians/Pelican for some snorkeling and lunch, then to the Caves @ Norman for some quality snorkeling/sunbathing time. Drop the hook close (but not too close) to the Willy T, put your party clothes on and "do" the Willy T. I've not been impressed with their food but they do know how to party.

(5) Time for shopping so I'd head to Road Town for the day. Lots to see, good eats, and fine shopping. If Road Town gets old then you could head down the Channel and either turn to port and into the anchorages on the N side of St. John or around the corner to West End/Sopers Hole.

(6) Decisions, decisions. You could head back to JVD, head to the anchorages and great snorkeling on St. John, or go for a nice long sail. Lunch at one of those small islands off JVD can really bring things together. And the view isn't bad either.

(7) Back to the real world

So, you need crew? Hint. Hint.
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Old 20-05-2010, 13:40   #4
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Good info. Thanks guys. Any of these areas a major concern with a 6' draft? How about going between Great Camanoe and Beef island or Guana and Tortola?
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Old 20-05-2010, 14:06   #5
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No, neither of those places should pose a problem with 6'. The BVIs are fairly forgiving when it comes to draft.
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Old 20-05-2010, 15:49   #6
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all good info. can add that we enjoy the Friday night BBQ at Leverick Bay and the Moko Jumbies. we have had great sails going east on either side of Tortola. If on the north (west) side keep well offshore to avoid the hills blanketing the wind. Be careful with 6' draft in the mooring field at Anegada. Some thin water rounding the last green buoy going in. We have taken 7 1/2' into there so its doable. Sounds like a fun trip!
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Old 23-05-2010, 10:04   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgaggie96 View Post
Good info. Thanks guys. Any of these areas a major concern with a 6' draft? How about going between Great Camanoe and Beef island or Guana and Tortola?
Draft isn't the real problem in that area...... BUT the area does have several very narrow "safe" routs that you really will need to keep your eyes open and possibly someone on the bow looking out. Coral heads and Rocks that are only just below the surface or may often be seen between waves will not care if your draft is 2 feet or 6 feet.... they will ruin your day.

Best take these your first few times in good light and calmer seas. Once you have developed Local Knowledge and can "calibrate" the accuracy of your GPS, you can pass with minimal concerns.

BTW the idea of sailing from Yost to Anegada is a good one if the seas and winds are right. I prefer this when possible as it is a clean sail with generally stable winds. After you dispose of a few Lobster dinners the trip to North Sound is very easy... but again you have to watch the coral heads near the approach to Anegada. These also should be made in good light as the channel markers are often missing or difficult to locate.
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