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Newlyweds Vicky and Adam

Honeymooning in the British Virgin Islands

When planning the dream winter wedding, our honeymoon was the last thing on my mind. Although, with our winter theme effectively limiting the choice of hot honeymoon destinations, we decided to plan an intimate long-haul sailing holiday to soak up the Caribbean rays in style.

Admittedly, when my then fiancé first floated the idea of a sailing holiday for our honeymoon, I was slightly apprehensive. Of course I was sold on the British Virgin Islands as a destination, but I had massive reservations about the two of us sailing a “huge” yacht all by ourselves. I was asking myself, was this safe? Did Adam really know what he was doing? Would this really be a relaxing break for both of us?

While Adam had grown up sailing in Maine’s Penobscot Bay, I had never seen him sail a large charter, and he certainly didn’t have any recognised qualifications to speak of. But after chats with Adam’s dad, an experienced sailor himself, the pros definitely outweighed the cons — especially after Adam offered to take full control over planning the getaway!

Bon Voyage!

After the most magical day surrounded by glistening January snow, we couldn’t wait to unwind on palm-studded beaches in the Caribbean. Arriving to a complimentary bottle of local rum and an upgrade to a “La Vida” Moorings 42.3 Beneteau Oceanis Monohull, we woke up the following day eager for the Moorings onboard briefing.

Calming any nerves I had about the upgrade to a larger yacht, our friendly Moorings staff ensured we were well prepared with optional sailing itineraries, chart briefing and a thorough safety briefing, making it a lot easier to learn our way around her.

Our home for the next 10 days had three airy cabins and two bathrooms — so spacious in fact, we ended up using the extra two cabins as our own personal dressing rooms! With no Wi-Fi onboard, we could really disconnect for the first time in weeks leading up to the wedding. It was pure bliss to unplug from the world and finally enjoy our own company. The yacht also came with a great sound system, which we were able to sync with our phones and blast out our ultimate Reggae playlists!

The final job before we left was stocking up on all the supplies we’d need for the next 10 days, including our secret stash of Mount Gay rum and ice, and off we went. It didn’t take long before Adam had the boat under full sail, showing me the ropes while on a broad reach of 20 knots —what an amazing feeling!

Drinking and kayaking in BVI

Create Your Own Romantic Itinerary

One of the best things about our honeymoon yacht charter, was the fact that we could sail at our own pace, on our own schedule. Wanting to see as much as possible, we managed to visit a total of 12 islands in 10 days. Planning a rough itinerary before we left the marina allowed us more than enough time to embrace the unique charm of each island. Using The Moorings sailing itinerary as a starting point, we were able to cherry pick and prioritise the most idyllic, sun-kissed locations to sail to. On our island-hopping tour, we stopped at Tortola, Norman Island, Jost Van Dyke, Little Jost Van Dyke, Sandy Cay, Guana Island, Virgin Gorda, Mosquito Island, Anegada, Prickly Pear and Cooper Island.

Honeymooning in the British Virgin Islands

Unwind on Island Time

As a general rule of thumb we aimed to complete most of the days sailing in the morning. Reaching our final destination by early to mid-afternoon meant that we would get a better choice of moorings and secluded anchorage spots for that extra bit of privacy. We then had more time to go out on day trips in the afternoon, once it had cooled down a bit.

Understandably, snorkeling quickly become our favourite daytime activity. From the shimmering star coral formations on the Ginger Steps to the spectacular red hues along the Painted Walls, it’s so easy to dive and come across damsels, squirrelfishes or if you’re really lucky a pod of dolphins!

Rum punch on the waterWith regards to food, what we needed after our supply-run, we just picked up locally along the way. The local produce’s wide selection of fresh fruit, veg and seafood was fantastic! When we weren’t dining in chic villages dotted along the BVI, we would usually have a BBQ and watch the sun set on balmy evenings.

It wouldn’t have been a proper holiday in the Caribbean without some of the world’s best distilled rum. With rum cheaper than mixers, we saw no harm diving right in! With only one rum distillery operating in Tortola, it also holds the title of being the oldest distillery in the Caribbean. We’d definitely recommend Painkiller and Pusser’s Rum. This iconic blend of West Indian rum created from an old Royal Navy’s recipe is the BVI’s signature cocktail. It has all the sweetness of a Pina Colada, with an added twist and a hint of spice – an absolutely perfect way to unwind after a day’s sailing!

Honeymooning in the British Virgin Islands

Must Sees

Rather than give you a step-by-step guide to our romantic getaway, I want to highlight what our best bits of the trip were, and leave you to plan your own adventure.

So how would I describe a sailing Honeymoon in the British Virgin Islands? An adventure in the most relaxing place on earth, waking up every morning to an ever-changing tapestry of stunning beaches and turquoise seas. Unwinding with cocktails and amazing fresh seafood in impossibly romantic locations. Very welcoming and friendly locals, who are only too willing to help and share a smile. If you don’t believe me, just go there and see for yourself, you won’t regret it!

 

Contributor

Leslie Montenegro

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