The following is a collaborative guest post written by Jessica and Taylor, Moorings Vacation Planners and BVI newbies. Come along for the journey as the duo highlights their incredible week of sun, fun and sailing in the one-of-a-kind British Virgin Islands. Plus, score some helpful hints on how to plan your BVI charter vacation itinerary.
Norman Island was the first stop of our trip and was only about an hour sail from The Moorings base in Road Town. We moored at The Caves to snorkel. This is a must-see spot! The water is Caribbean blue with beautiful coral reefs and lots of fish. There are two caves you can snorkel into and if the lighting is right the colors are amazing inside.
To kick off our island adventure we dined ashore at Pirates Bight. Be sure to arrive just before sunset. We had an amazing dinner and got some great pictures. After dinner, we made our way over to the famous Willy T’s! Make no mistake, this is not a place for children, but adults are always welcome aboard! This is a floating party barge in The Bight where people go to drink and dance the night away, and if you’re brave enough, jump off the top into the clear-blue water below!
Wreck of the Rhone
Snorkeling in the British Virgin Islands is impressive on so many levels and in so many locations, but hands down our favorite spot was at the famous Wreck of the Rhone. The Rhone was a 310-foot long sail-steamer commissioned in June of 1863 that sank just off shore of Black Rock Point. The ship’s bow section resides in about 80 feet of water, making it perfect for scuba divers to explore. The ship’s stern section is located closer to shore, up against the rocks in about 30 feet of water ideal for snorkeling.
The anchor can still be seen wrapped around the same coral head in which she tried to free herself from initially until the captain gave the orders to cut the anchor line. Also, local legend says that Captain Wooley was thrown overboard in the initial crash and was never seen again, but his teaspoon survived the wreckage and can still be spotted today. Whether or not it is the Captain’s teaspoon or not, you can still see it wedged in the wreck, which is pretty neat!
Just East of Tortola is where you’ll discover the wonderful isle of Virgin Gorda. Here you will find the home of the famous boulders known as The Baths. This was our favorite destination out of the entire trip. We got into Spring Bay around 10:30 and took the dinghy to the dinghy line. From there you swim into shore amongst crystal-blue waters.
This is a lengthy swim though, so make sure you are a strong swimmer. We brought a waterproof box and bag with us to hold our cellphones and cameras while we swam to shore. Also, water shoes are a must when coming to The Baths because the sand is extremely hot and you will be doing lots of walking through the mysterious caves. It took us about 30 minutes to complete the trek, with plenty of photo-opps along the way!
Once you get through the caves, you end up in Devil’s Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches either of us have ever been to. The water is crystal clear, the sand is white and it’s surrounded by giant boulders. After we hung out at Devil’s Bay, we made it through the caves again to go and see the restaurant at the “top of The Baths”, which also happens to be the name of the restaurant. There is a freshwater pool, indoor and outdoor seating, live music, great food and great drinks. The views from the restaurant are nothing short of amazing so sit back, sip on a daiquiri, and enjoy the breathtaking scenery!
This small quaint island just off of Virgin Gorda is not one to miss. Not to mention, Saba Rock is home to one of the best happy hours in the British Virgin Islands. Come in the evening and watch them feed the tarpon or try feeding them yourself. This Caribbean hot-spot is kid-friendly and features an outdoor aquarium. If you show up at just the right time, you may witness the eel feeding time or get to hold a giant lobster.
Cane Garden Bay
Pulling into Cane Garden Bay you may spot a few sea turtles. This location has a great beach with lots of seaside establishments and live music. Take a short walk to the rum distillery where you can pay $1 for four shots of locally-made rum! After you leave the rum distillery, take a stroll down the beach and stop at one of the laid-back bars for a delicious rum punch. Listen to the music and relax in the water until 5pm then head on over to Quito’s for their fun-tastic happy hour! Enjoy delicious snacks and drinks at delightful prices. Before leaving, make sure to stop and take your picture at the “I heart BVI” sign to capture a vacation memory you can cherish forever.
White Bay at Jost Van Dyke
While on a yacht charter in the British Virgin Islands, a visit to White Bay on Jost Van Dyke is a definite must. This incredibly popular destination attracts guests from all walks of life. It is not hard to see why – with the white powder sand, crystal-clear Caribbean water, and a line of good vibes beach bars hiding between the palm trees along the shore.
Without a doubt, world-famous Soggy Dollar is the most popular beach bar, well-known as the original creator of the iconic “painkiller” drink. Soggy Dollar also comes with great music and a cute little souvenir shop that showcases different patches from all over the world. Hendo’s Hideout is right next door to Soggy Dollar and offers a quieter more relaxed atmosphere combined with an island-inspired menu of specialty cocktails and tasty food items. While there, be sure to keep your eyes peeled because this is also a popular place for sea turtle sightings!
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