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The Baths #159256
04/20/2018 08:31 AM
04/20/2018 08:31 AM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 107
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jpfitzy7 Offline OP
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I'm sure this has been posted before, but does anyone know how many mooring balls are at the Baths?


Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - beer in hand - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO HOO, What a Ride!"
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Re: The Baths [Re: jpfitzy7] #159319
04/20/2018 05:30 PM
04/20/2018 05:30 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 761
Kansas
captmoby Offline
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Kansas
Don't know what the specific answer is but you are either gonna get one or not. Depends on so many factors. I think you could find the answer on the BVI parks website.


Jim
Sailmoby II
Re: The Baths [Re: jpfitzy7] #159380
04/21/2018 08:36 PM
04/21/2018 08:36 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 562
BaardJ Offline
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I've got an NPS document with charts showing the locations of their park moorings throughout the BVIs. It must be 10 years old, but it shows 25 mooring balls at the Baths (including the commercial balls). Sounds about right.

Re: The Baths [Re: jpfitzy7] #159399
04/22/2018 08:28 AM
04/22/2018 08:28 AM
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Posts: 911
Virginia
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charlie Offline
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Just to give you a heads up in case you didn't know this, but dinghys are not allowed on the beach at the Baths. You have to tie your dink up to a line about 30 feet offshore and swim/snorkel into the beach area. I think the park service did this because of some near misses with swimmers in the water. If you don't want to swim in you might consider docking at Leverick and renting a jeep and driving over to the Baths. Very scenic drive. If you opt for this don't forget your park service papers or you will have to buy admission tickets to go down the hill to the Baths from the top. Oh, and I'm just guessing how far offshore the dinghy tie off is. It might be 50 feet or even more. Anyway, have fun and don't forget the sunscreen...lol

Re: The Baths [Re: jpfitzy7] #159401
04/22/2018 08:49 AM
04/22/2018 08:49 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 205
East Tennessee
Annoddddd Offline
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I agree with Charlie. Rent a car from Leverick and drive to the Baths. That gives you the opportunity to see Hog Heaven and other beautiful beaches. You can also eat at some wonderful restaurants.

I've never seen 25 balls at the Baths. Only about 4-5 day balls.

Either way, you can't go wrong with The Baths!

Re: The Baths [Re: jpfitzy7] #159420
04/22/2018 11:19 AM
04/22/2018 11:19 AM
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ReelTrouble Offline
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There are also 8 or 10 mooring balls just out of the harbor at Spanish Town. We hooked up to one, took the dinghy into the marina and Taxi'd to the baths. Also, don't miss Coco Maya restaurant in Spanish Town. Beautiful beach front bar and restaurant and their food was superb!

Re: The Baths [Re: jpfitzy7] #159421
04/22/2018 11:47 AM
04/22/2018 11:47 AM
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Posts: 151
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steve74 Offline
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How roly is it on the balls near Spanish Town?

Re: The Baths [Re: jpfitzy7] #159426
04/22/2018 12:25 PM
04/22/2018 12:25 PM
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Posts: 107
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jpfitzy7 Offline OP
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Thanks for the advice. We are actually going a clockwise course this time and will have spent the prior night at Leverick. We plan on leaving Leverick early, hitting the Baths and then heading over to Cooper for the night. We're hoping to leave Leverick around 7 am to get to the Baths first thing. Spanish Town will be our back up.


Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - beer in hand - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO HOO, What a Ride!"
Re: The Baths [Re: charlie] #159443
04/22/2018 06:52 PM
04/22/2018 06:52 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 541
Apex, NC
agrimsrud Offline
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Originally Posted by charlie
You have to tie your dink up to a line about 30 feet offshore and swim/snorkel into the beach area.

I'm thinking more like 30 yards. It's far enough that you should be a moderately good swimmer or use the safety line which runs from from the dingy line onto the beach, i.e., you grab it and pull yourself in. But.... that line has enough marine growth that you might well get cut up using it. It would sure be nice if on the end of Devils bay they would have a dingy lane to drop people off. But wishful thinking.

Baard mentions 25 balls - that sounds right to me.


Life's short - sail more!
Re: The Baths [Re: jpfitzy7] #159474
04/23/2018 10:19 AM
04/23/2018 10:19 AM
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Rhindley Offline
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Last year was the first time out of 10 trips that I rented a car at Leverick and drove to the Baths. It was wonderful!! Beautiful views along the way, made some stops and didn't have to worry about the dinghy and swimming etc. There were 10 of us, so I rented the safari truck and everybody loved it!

Re: The Baths [Re: steve74] #159477
04/23/2018 10:43 AM
04/23/2018 10:43 AM
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Steve74,

It was a little bumpy in there, but mostly because of the ferry and other larger boat traffic in and out of the harbor. We were on the third ball from the harbor side. I would suggest getting to one of the furthest balls. Night time wasn't bad though with wind from the SE.

Re: The Baths [Re: jpfitzy7] #178290
12/18/2018 05:47 AM
12/18/2018 05:47 AM
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NYC10069 Offline
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Were you able to get a mooring ball? What time did you arrive at the baths?

We are planing to spend the previous night in Cooper and head to the Baths early. We plan to paddle board from the dinghy.

In order to get a mooring, any suggestions at what time we should leave cooper?

Last edited by NYC10069; 12/18/2018 09:09 AM.
Re: The Baths [Re: jpfitzy7] #178393
12/19/2018 03:02 PM
12/19/2018 03:02 PM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 34
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Donald Offline
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On our last 3 flotillas, we would spend the night before our visit to the Baths at Scrub (and last year in Trellis as Scrub was closed) and be heading out at 6am to cross over to get a Mooring Ball. On one visit, all the MBs were taken before 7am and for the other visit we snagged one of the last balls around the same time. On the third visit, we decided to skip the Baths altogether (we had all visited BVIs multiple times).

If the MB are all gone by 7am, it will be at least a 2-3 hours before one opens up. On our last trip we went into Spanish Town, docked and took a taxi ($10 per person each way -- typical BVI fare). The Top of the Baths is a nice place to grab a bit of food (breakfast or lunch depending on when you get there). FYI we docked our 45 ft Cat in ST for about 4 hours -- the docking fee was around $50.

Note: If you do not enter the Baths from the sea, you will need to bring the National Park Permit that you get when you charter from the yacht charter company. The permit covers your park entrance fees. I believe most charter companies include the permit as part of your charter cost but you will need to have it physically with you if you enter the Park at the upper entrance. Without it you will have to pay to go in -- after all it is a National Park.

If you decide to go in by dinghy, as mentioned above, there is a line you can pull yourself in to shore with from the outer dinghy line but with choppy water, you'll be getting mouthfuls of salt water and kicked around by the surf. Even when the line ends, you're still in 10 feet of water so you'll want your group to be comfortable enough to do the final 6 or 8 feet push to shallow water. There is also the added hassle of carrying a dry bag so you can bring cameras and maybe a dry t-shirt or wrap for when you are on shore. You'll want sandals or sneakers for crawling around the rocks and paths, too. All in all, the advice to go to Spanish Town or Leverick and commute by car to the Baths is sound!

BTW the outer dinghy line extends to beyond the park to the beaches in front of the private residences. All in all, the plan to prevent dinghys from getting ashore would do Rommel proud!

IMHO, the Baths is the BVI premier tourist spot and worth visiting. If you have newbies onboard, try to find a way to get there.

D

Re: The Baths [Re: jpfitzy7] #178414
12/19/2018 06:55 PM
12/19/2018 06:55 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 83
Tampa Bay, Florida
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Looking at the map of the Baths area, it would appear that Valley Trunk Bay to the north is within a short dinghy ride to the Baths. Any reason to not consider anchoring there as an option? I imagine there aren’t any mooring balls there but it looks like a good spot from what I can tell.

Re: The Baths [Re: SonOfTheSea] #178418
12/19/2018 07:23 PM
12/19/2018 07:23 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 22
Sacramento, California
Halcyon Offline
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Sacramento, California
Last June we left for The Baths from Cooper at 6:15 am. We motored the 4.7 nm, had coffee and light breakfast en-route. On the beach around 7:30 after quick dingy ride and swim, had the place to ourselves. Next boat didn't show up until 9am. Pretty spectacular.


Randy
Re: The Baths [Re: jpfitzy7] #178438
12/20/2018 04:33 AM
12/20/2018 04:33 AM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 215
Dana Point
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captdennyj Offline
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Actually , we have used three different procedures to tour the baths.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. :Picked up an NP mooring, and dinked to the outside the swim area dinghy string line, tied up the dink, , back rolled into the water , and snorkeled or swam in. Time limit on the national park mooring was 1.5 hrs for the bare boat vessel.

2....At Leverick, we took a taxi to the baths....pretty cool. Had a nice narrative tour by the taxi driver, and stopped a couple times along the way to take photos of the view, and other bays. Grand and fun taxi ride. Made an appointed time for pick up, and we added on to the usual tour time so we could have a swim , lunch and libations up at the TOP O THE BATHS. Very cool, with killer views of the other islands. The taxi ride ( more like a tour ) from Leverick was outstanding and fun . Well worth it. Highly recommend as others have.

3. Another possible plan : VIRGIN GORDA YACHT HARBOR : .....Motored the bare boat into Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor, a short distance from the Baths, paid for a slip, and tied up. Then we took a taxi to the Baths, and had the driver return at an appointed time. We used this procedure when all of the national park moorings were taken.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Everything worked out easy, and all three were fun, so the whole day and the Baths experience worked out super.

The baths may have a different planned route , but what we did with the Taxi from Leverick, we brought our snorkel gear with us, and entered the baths from down at the beach, did our walk thru, and ended up at Devils Bay. Very beautiful, and then after
going thru the Baths Boulders and Grottos, , we snorkeled Devils Bay, and back then snorkeled outside of the Baths Boulders back to the beach.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Be aware, if you wish to avoid the mobs of cruise shippers, visit the Baths on a non cruise ship day. The last time ( one of our Taxi trips ), we were at the baths, It was so mobbed with hundreds of cruise ship tourists that we could not even get thru them to enter the baths at the beach end, Well, that was BVI trip # 16, and for us, we have done the Baths tour many, many times prior. We keep a positive attitude, and that time, we passed on the non moving masses. Plan B. We tossed our T shirts up onto
a tree limb and just made a snorkel day out of it, We snorkeled outside the boulders to Devils Bay, relaxed a bit on the beautiful sandy beach, and then snorkeled back to the Baths Beach...

There we had a Red Stripe, relaxed and talked with one of the cruise ship's directors. She was telling us, that they put wrist bands of certain colors on their ships Baths Tour peoples wrists , so they can identify, and get them all back together at the end of the day, and return them to their proper cruise ship . We visited with the cruise ship director, we still had about a half an hour till our taxi pick up time. So, more fun, After retrieving out t shirts, we took our snorkel gear and made the climb back up to the
parking lot, and to the TOP O THE BATHS, for a pain killer and a swim in the view pool. It was a good day.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If we had guests on board that had never toured the Baths, we would go on a day that was a non cruise ship day. The mobbing of the cruise ship people , plus the catamarans with many, people, and the other sail and motor vessesl, and the land based hotel guests, it was a mess at the Baths.

Just FYI during cruise ship season.....we would avoid cruise ship days. You all are totally free to give er go anytime you wish.

Re: The Baths [Re: SonOfTheSea] #178442
12/20/2018 06:11 AM
12/20/2018 06:11 AM
Joined: Dec 2018
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NYC10069 Offline
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Thank you all for the ideas. We are all first timers to the Baths, so really looking forward to it. We will be in the BVIs December 30 to Jan 4 (i know, too short), but hoping my wife and kids get the BVI bug and it becomes a family tradition.

I looked at the VG cruise ship schedule and it seems that at that time it is mostly boutique cruise ships. So we might be ok, unless tours come from Tortola which will have some very large cruise ships.


Originally Posted by SonOfTheSea
Looking at the map of the Baths area, it would appear that Valley Trunk Bay to the north is within a short dinghy ride to the Baths. Any reason to not consider anchoring there as an option? I imagine there aren’t any mooring balls there but it looks like a good spot from what I can tell.


Any idea if this might work?

Re: The Baths [Re: NYC10069] #178446
12/20/2018 06:45 AM
12/20/2018 06:45 AM
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Charlotte, NC
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NCSailor Offline
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Originally Posted by NYC10069
Thank you all for the ideas. We are all first timers to the Baths, so really looking forward to it. We will be in the BVIs December 30 to Jan 4 (i know, too short), but hoping my wife and kids get the BVI bug and it becomes a family tradition.

I looked at the VG cruise ship schedule and it seems that at that time it is mostly boutique cruise ships. So we might be ok, unless tours come from Tortola which will have some very large cruise ships.


Originally Posted by SonOfTheSea
Looking at the map of the Baths area, it would appear that Valley Trunk Bay to the north is within a short dinghy ride to the Baths. Any reason to not consider anchoring there as an option? I imagine there aren’t any mooring balls there but it looks like a good spot from what I can tell.


Any idea if this might work?


The big cruise ships that dock in Road Town are the ones that send hundreds of passengers to the Baths.

Re: The Baths [Re: NCSailor] #178448
12/20/2018 07:32 AM
12/20/2018 07:32 AM
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NYC10069 Offline
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Thanks NCSailor. Checked there will no way to avoid the cruises. Guess we will go very early before the tours arrive and aim to leave by 10am

Re: The Baths [Re: jpfitzy7] #178457
12/20/2018 10:18 AM
12/20/2018 10:18 AM
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NYC10069 Offline
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Another idea... but etiquette regarding skipper.

We will have a skipper with us. If no MB available, would it be considered ok, for us to dinghy out and have him/her stay in the boat and come pick us up later?

Re: The Baths [Re: NYC10069] #178464
12/20/2018 11:06 AM
12/20/2018 11:06 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 541
Apex, NC
agrimsrud Offline
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Originally Posted by NYC10069
Another idea... but etiquette regarding skipper.

We will have a skipper with us. If no MB available, would it be considered ok, for us to dinghy out and have him/her stay in the boat and come pick us up later?


Absolutely. The skipper will be happy to take the boat out a short distance and wait for you.


Life's short - sail more!
Re: The Baths [Re: SonOfTheSea] #178465
12/20/2018 11:28 AM
12/20/2018 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by SonOfTheSea
Looking at the map of the Baths area, it would appear that Valley Trunk Bay to the north is within a short dinghy ride to the Baths. Any reason to not consider anchoring there as an option? I imagine there aren’t any mooring balls there but it looks like a good spot from what I can tell.

I've anchored there several times when the mooring field was fully occupied. No problems.

Re: The Baths [Re: NYC10069] #178500
12/20/2018 06:11 PM
12/20/2018 06:11 PM
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Georgia & South Carolina
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Deepcut Offline
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Georgia & South Carolina
Originally Posted by NYC10069
Another idea... but etiquette regarding skipper.

We will have a skipper with us. If no MB available, would it be considered ok, for us to dinghy out and have him/her stay in the boat and come pick us up later?



Because I have been to Bathes so many times, I will sometimes take guests to entrance, return to boat and do chores, and either at agreed upon time or radio call/phone call/text, I then will dingy to Devil's Bay or other pickup point.


Wes
s/v Sea Tiger (Lagoon 42)
Re: The Baths [Re: jpfitzy7] #178520
12/21/2018 08:39 AM
12/21/2018 08:39 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 67
North Shore, MA
GettinBye Offline
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There’s no dodging cruise ships during the week we are on VG. (End of March- Staying in savannah bay). If we shoot for 3 pm, have the majority of day trippers from Cruise ships departed?



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