BVI on a cat in April...help with route etc

cubfan

Member
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3
It has been 10yrs since I've raced in the BVI, I did it annually about 10times, but that has to be 10-15yrs ago.

This year 3 families have chartered a cat out of Tortolla.  We will go Sat->Sat, 2:3 families have extensive sailing experience.  There will be 7kids ages 6-13 on board.  Any thoughts on routes, favored harbors, bars, restaurants etc?

Most of us will likely fly into STT and take the ferry over to Tortola.

Any thoughts/insights appreciated.

cheers

 

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
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Kent Island!
All of the BVIs would fit between Annapolis and Saint Michaels. You basically go clockwise or counter-clockwise. We generally got up, ate breakfast, and planned to be anchored again by lunch. You can easily get the whole way round doing that. The only thing that changes that is if you want to go to Anegada, which is a ways north.

 
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Bugsy

Super Anarchist
2,389
669
Canada
Get up.

Sail somewhere.  Doesn't matter where.  Just look around.  

Anchor or grab a mooring ball.  

Snorkel and swim. 

Have a drink. 

Watch the sunset. 

Have another drink and something to eat. 

Go to bed.  

Repeat.  

Best vacation ever    :)

 

Jud - s/v Sputnik

Super Anarchist
5,694
1,411
Canada
Get up.

Sail somewhere.  Doesn't matter where.  Just look around.  

Anchor or grab a mooring ball.  

Snorkel and swim. 

Have a drink. 

Watch the sunset. 

Have another drink and something to eat. 

Go to bed.  

Repeat.  

Best vacation ever    :)
Can’t plug that into a scheduling  Excel spreadsheet - or can you... :)

 

Son of a Sailor

Super Anarchist
1,168
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Huntington, NY
There is an App https://boatyball.com/ that is great for reserving moorings. Only currently available for Great Harbor Jost Van Dyke, Diamond Cay, Cane Garden Bay, Cooper Island, Leverick Bay Resort, and Anegada. Reservations open up each day at 7:00 am and can only be made for one night at a time. It is kind of convenient if you intend to pick up a mooring allowing a leisurely sail that day rather than rushing to make sure you get a mooring.

 

hrothgar

Super Anarchist
4,276
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Ada, MI
OK.  Here is what we did last year when I was there...agree that BoatyBall is the way to go!

1.  Leave Tortola (one L) and head to Cooper Island.  Beach club there is fantastic.

2.  Cooper up to North Sound Virgin Gorda.  Leverick Bay is Open.  Bitter End is not.  Get a ball or a slip there.  Slips are nice because you can plug in your AC!

3.  Head to Anegada.  Totally worth the trip. Its only 11 miles from North Sound.  the entrance is well marked.  The scenery is awesome.  Rent Mokes when you get there.  Head up to Loblolly Bay and Cow Wreck Beach.  Have drinks everywhere!

4.  Cane Garden bay from Anegada.  Never been there but I sure heard its nice

5.  Short sail to Jost Van Dyke.  This will be your longest sail of about 25 miles. Leave early from Anegada to get there by noon-1 to get a ball.  Foxy's and Soggy Dollar are the places to go.

5. Sail to Norman Island to explore the Indians and the Caves.  Willie T's is back on station there.

6.  Peter Island or perhaps Marina Cay for the last day.

7.  Return boat.

8.  Book next year's trip.

Have fun.  We are going back in 2021 for the Spring Regatta and a week of cruising!

Hrothgar

 

Not My Real Name

Not Actually Me
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4.  Cane Garden bay from Anegada.  Never been there but I sure heard its nice
Just watch the wind prediction.

We really wanted to go there too, but it can be deeply unpleasant getting in and out in some conditions isn't a very tenable spot. Those conditions were in force (Westerlies, I think) every time we sailed past it so we never made it in.

 

freewheelin

Anarchist
607
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WLIS
Part of the fun the BVIs is not needed to have an itinerary at all. Everything is so close and easy. So go without a fixed itinerary and go with the flow.

An idea is to let the kids pick the anchorages each day to keep them engaged and participating. No matter what they pick you can get there in the morning, and the adults will have fun - there is are places to eat and drink everywhere, and it is all beautiful.

 

Not My Real Name

Not Actually Me
42,831
2,705
Part of the fun the BVIs is not needed to have an itinerary at all. Everything is so close and easy. So go without a fixed itinerary and go with the flow.

An idea is to let the kids pick the anchorages each day to keep them engaged and participating. No matter what they pick you can get there in the morning, and the adults will have fun - there is are places to eat and drink everywhere, and it is all beautiful.
Yeah, no sail is more than a couple of hours anywhere and it's all pretty easy.

There seems to be a "circuit" that charters often take, I forget what it is but it's the most common order of visits starting from day one on a week charter. If you can get yourself out of sync with that mob then you'll have a better time, since some mooring fields seem to fill up differently on different days.

We rarely moored though, since we weren't there on charter we just anchored and observed.

 

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
26,253
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Kent Island!
We almost went to Saint Martins and back, but it resembled actual work and there was rum to be drunk :D

* our charter company said only way they were happy is if we sailed overnight to show up there in the morning.

 

fufkin

Super Anarchist
Cubfan,

Here are my two cents re a big group short BVI charter.

You are on a short 7 day charter with a bunch of kids and 3 families. This can become very dinghy/tender intensive for shorebased back and forth. 

1a Have a safety meeting first off with everyone there. Cover the basics especially for the non sailing family. Depending on the age of the children establish a two person adult watch independent of who is sailing the boat. Establish a protocol for moving to the bow while the boat is moving because...everyone will want to. Show the non sailing family the importance of handrails and not to confuse them with useless lifelines. If kids are really small get netting and have two people whatcha them like hawks even inside. Some cats have a long way to fall if a toddler climbs a shelf close to the stairs.

1 get a few paddle boards in addition to the tender 

2 onshore dinners every night for a big group w kids is a lot of back and forth. Consider a couple of dinners onboard(and beach bar after) It’s way easier. Some places, like Saba Rock, had water taxis (was there 10 and 12 years ago so I hesitate to recommend specifics) which can be helpful w a big group coming and going.

3 herding cats to pull anchor by 10 or 11 every morning can be a challenge. Most next island destinations are a few hours and you want to get there under daylight...some of the more crowded anchorages will run out of mooring balls by mid afternoon so you’ll anchor instead if arriving late afternoon. Staying at at least one destination for two nights can be a real bonus and allows for everyone to spread out and get into a groove. Anegada, as it’s a little further afield, would be a good spot for this.

Also, maybe order a pilot book ahead of time to help get an idea of the various anchorages and possible lunch hook spots.

Most of all, have a good one!

 
If you do decide on chartering in the BVI's make sure to stop by and check out Oil Nut Bay and our new Marina! I know the North Sound feels a little dead right now with BEYC being closed and Saba Rock still rebuilding, but there is a great new spot just around the corner and we would love to host you! We have 11 mooring balls which are first come, first serve as well as overnight dock space which can be reserved in advance. You can view everything Marina Village here: https://www.oilnutbay.com/marina-village

I have attached an Approach Map here for anyone who is interested!

 

ack

New member
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We just spent about a month in BVI's with two kids 10 and 13.  Their favorite spot was Anegada, where we rented a Moke and drove to the beaches on the north shore.  They also really liked the snorkeling at the caves on Norman Island and the Bubbly Pool at Little Jost.  We were really turned off by the scene at Great Harbor, JVD, where competition between charterers for moorings involves multiple boats racing towards the same ball in games of chicken.  We left there and went to St John and were really glad we did.

 

1sailor

Super Anarchist
Heading back for spring break, first time since IRMA.

I'd like to take my college son along, now that MSU is shut down due to COVID-- all classes on-line now.   How reliable is wifi these days ?    We are on a CYOA boat, USVI not as worrisome but how about BVI  coverage ?  Is AT&T coverage ok in this area these days post hurricane ???

 
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