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Timing for exploring the Baths? #182849
02/03/2019 09:50 AM
02/03/2019 09:50 AM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 673
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Cleobeach Offline OP
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Cleobeach  Offline OP
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When renting on VG, we will revisit the Baths as our first time BVI visiting friend would like to see it.

I am keeping an eye on the cruise ships schedules in the BVIs and STT.

My question relates to getting in ahead of the local excursion boats - what would be a god time in the morning to beat the day trippers?

Our plan is for a morning visit, lunch at the Top of the Baths and the afternoon at Spring Bay.

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Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: Cleobeach] #182854
02/03/2019 10:06 AM
02/03/2019 10:06 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 354
Ohio
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Ohio
We have always grabbed a mooring ball by 8:30/9 am and have had the Baths pretty much to ourselves. We've encountered the excursion boats around 10/10:30 am

Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: Cleobeach] #182855
02/03/2019 10:09 AM
02/03/2019 10:09 AM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 200
Dana Point
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Good plan to avoid the cruise shippers. Actually, very necessary, since we witnessed hoards of cruise ship passengers at the baths . We also check out the cruise ship skeds, and when they will be a Canegarden Bay....we avoid that time also

Day trippers : Maybe you can check out the skeds when the day trippers boats leave their ports, and figure when they will arrive at the Baths. They have pretty well inundated the SOGGY DOLLAR , at Whie Bay on Jost van dyke. Our plan this next trip is to moor at great harbor and walk over to White Bay. Check out hendos, and then catch the soggy after about 3:30 pm.

Our last trip to the Baths, we could not even get into the baths, due to the hundreds of cruise shippers. We had our snorkel gear, and had planned on going thru the baths boulders to Devil Bay, relax there a bit, and snorkel outside the baths back to the baths beach. We could not get in to the baths, so we just snorkeled over to devils bay, got some sun, and snorkeled back.

Early might work at the baths, not sure. Non cruise ship days would be best.

We really liked the Top of the Baths, and you can have lunch, swim in the pool, have a pain killer, and enjoy a fabulous view of the islands .

Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: Cleobeach] #182858
02/03/2019 10:53 AM
02/03/2019 10:53 AM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 359
Washington DC
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bailau Online content
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we stay in Spanish Town the night before, on a ball at the baths by 8 am and then out of baths by 1130 latest. Maybe one day we will take a crew that has already seen it and we will skip it...:)

where can you find the cruise schedules besides the link above?

Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: Cleobeach] #182860
02/03/2019 10:58 AM
02/03/2019 10:58 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,365
An island state of mind
tradewinds Offline
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You spend 3 1/2 hours on a NPR mooring ball?

Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: Cleobeach] #182861
02/03/2019 11:06 AM
02/03/2019 11:06 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 1
North of Gosnold
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90 minute max, correct?


Flat water and calm winds
Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: captdennyj] #182874
02/03/2019 11:39 AM
02/03/2019 11:39 AM
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Cleobeach Offline OP
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[quote=captdennyj]Good plan to avoid the cruise shippers. Actually, very necessary, since we witnessed hoards of cruise ship passengers at the baths . We also check out the cruise ship skeds, and when they will be a Canegarden Bay....we avoid that time
[quote=captdennyj]

The last time we were there, it was a sh!t show, there is no other way to say it. Boards of people, most of which were not physically able to navigate the terrain and heat. VISAR fished a large, elderly man out of the water, appeared to be a near drowning, a larger but younger man seemed to be having a heart attack or heat stroke in the Baths and the guide was freaking out and a few ladies were cut and bloody from falling on the way down. The lady at the gift shop said it’s becoming a real problem.

Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: Cleobeach] #182884
02/03/2019 12:53 PM
02/03/2019 12:53 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 67
North Shore, MA
GettinBye Offline
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We are on VG for a week. Would late afternoon make more sense for us? After say- 4? It’s still sunny and pretty I would think. Anyone have experience with late afternoon?



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Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: Cleobeach] #182895
02/03/2019 01:49 PM
02/03/2019 01:49 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,365
An island state of mind
tradewinds Offline
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Later in the afternoon is a perfect time to go.

Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: Cleobeach] #182910
02/03/2019 03:09 PM
02/03/2019 03:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 533
Michigan
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Cleobeach,
If I read you correctly, you are land based on Virgin Gorda.
If you avoid the time between 9:30 and 3:30 you should be
able to avoid any crowds and show you're newbie friends
the kind of special experience you're looking for.

A suggestion assuming typically calm water conditions

Park at the Spring Bay National Park and walk about 200 yards
to the beach area (the Crawl)
Walk to the left (south) along Spring Bay to the end.
Put on your snorkel gear ( there isn't a foot path) and swim about
15-20 minutes to the Bath's entrance.
If memory serves me, there are two large boulders to go between
At any rate, you'll see the flag displaying wave conditions at the entrance
If you go in the am, you can have a snack on your return to the Crawl
but you'll need to pack your own as there are no facilities other than
a picnic bench or two and a bbq grill
If you go in the pm, a bottle of wine and sunset at the Crawl can be a
very nice way to end the day
The snorkeling between Spring Bay and the Baths is pretty nice,
certainly nicer than the walk down and up to the Bath's entrance at the top
Have fun

Mike

Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: Cleobeach] #182929
02/03/2019 04:12 PM
02/03/2019 04:12 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 68
Tampa Bay, Florida
SonOfTheSea Offline
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Originally Posted by Cleobeach
[quote=captdennyj]Good plan to avoid the cruise shippers. Actually, very necessary, since we witnessed hoards of cruise ship passengers at the baths . We also check out the cruise ship skeds, and when they will be a Canegarden Bay....we avoid that time
[quote=captdennyj]

The last time we were there, it was a sh!t show, there is no other way to say it. Boards of people, most of which were not physically able to navigate the terrain and heat. VISAR fished a large, elderly man out of the water, appeared to be a near drowning, a larger but younger man seemed to be having a heart attack or heat stroke in the Baths and the guide was freaking out and a few ladies were cut and bloody from falling on the way down. The lady at the gift shop said it’s becoming a real problem.


Cleobeach, very curious when you were there? My group experienced the exact same scenario you describe a couple years ago

Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: Cleobeach] #182956
02/03/2019 07:59 PM
02/03/2019 07:59 PM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 187
Va Beach
Kmon Offline
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Va Beach
Originally Posted by Cleobeach
When renting on VG, we will revisit the Baths as our first time BVI visiting friend would like to see it.

I am keeping an eye on the cruise ships schedules in the BVIs and STT.

My question relates to getting in ahead of the local excursion boats - what would be a god time in the morning to beat the day trippers?

Our plan is for a morning visit, lunch at the Top of the Baths and the afternoon at Spring Bay.


If you're going during high season (Dec-Apr), go as early as possible (7:30 - 8:00) or after 4PM. This should avoid the large cruise ship crowds.

Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: Cleobeach] #182961
02/03/2019 08:39 PM
02/03/2019 08:39 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 171
Alexandria, VA and Lusby, MD
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Depending on when it opens, lunch might be quieter at Mad Dogs if there is a cruise ship dropping off people. I’m hoping for a BLT and a red stripe there while watching the hawks hunt for lizards in the field.

Also, you cannot walk from Spring Bay to the Baths along the beach. You can snorkel over, and there is some nice snorkeling, but I can’t tell you how many dinghies have beached there to avoid tying up at the rope at the Baths only to turn around because there is no path.



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Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: Cleobeach] #183011
02/04/2019 09:50 AM
02/04/2019 09:50 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,373
Adagio Villa, Mahoe Bay,Virgin...
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I would be very careful about snorkeling to the baths from Spring Bay unless you are good to excellent swimmers. Best advice is just check the cruise ship schedule and avoid the area if they are at the Baths - There isn't enough "local" traffic to worry about on non cruise days.

Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: Commodore Dewey] #183033
02/04/2019 10:45 AM
02/04/2019 10:45 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,365
An island state of mind
tradewinds Offline
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Originally Posted by Commodore Dewey
90 minute max, correct?

Yes, but apparently some don't think it applies to them.

Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: tradewinds] #183036
02/04/2019 10:51 AM
02/04/2019 10:51 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 455
Apex, NC
agrimsrud Offline
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Apex, NC
Originally Posted by tradewinds
Originally Posted by Commodore Dewey
90 minute max, correct?

Yes, but apparently some don't think it applies to them.

I would replace "some" with "most".


Life's short - sail more!
Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: Cleobeach] #183068
02/04/2019 02:20 PM
02/04/2019 02:20 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 673
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Cleobeach Offline OP
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Son of the Sea - that would have been February 2016

We arrived today around 10:15am and it was fine. One excursions body that was hustling people along and a few sailing groups. It was pleasant enough.

Speaking of swimming. We ran into a group in rough shape later in the day. They were snorkeling and needed to get back to their boat. I think they were in for a rough time - they were really tired and dismayed by how far they had to swim back.

Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: Cleobeach] #183072
02/04/2019 02:53 PM
02/04/2019 02:53 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 108
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We were there the first week of January. Due to Speedy's being almost two hours late for our rental cars, we didn't make it to the baths till just after 3:00pm. It was perfect! I can't remember the two bays names but we were the only ones there and swam and explored before heading through trail. We only saw 2 other people the entire time. Loved exploring the different areas and off the trail. We will only go late afternoon from now on.

Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: Cleobeach] #183073
02/04/2019 02:58 PM
02/04/2019 02:58 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 200
Dana Point
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actually, the last couple of trips, pre irma, we did not use the N.P. mooring balls. They were all filled.

1. One year we got a slip at virgin gorda yacht harbor, and took a short taxi ride to the baths. R.O.N. at VG Yacht harbor.

2. The next year, we sailed past the baths, all mooring were taken.

3. There is only Erica and I, no boat load of 8 to 12 other people on board. No one to stand anchor watch on board when we swam ashore.

4. We sailed on up to Leverick Bay, picked up a mooring for a couple of days, or so, and took a very neat taxi ride to the baths....turned out to be more of an island tour, stopping for photos, That was when, we snorkeled outside to devils bay and back, and could not even get into the baths due to the cruise shippers. We had plenty of time, and after snorkeling we went up to the Top o the Baths, had a great time, and met the taxi driver at the appointed time for the return to Leverick.

5. As others mentioned, many of us have experienced the baths over many years, and now we are going to pass since we have no passengers on board.


Last edited by captdennyj; 02/04/2019 03:00 PM.
Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: Cleobeach] #183083
02/04/2019 04:54 PM
02/04/2019 04:54 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 6,086
Maryland
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We usually slip our mooring at Marina Cay at first light and motor over to the Baths, about 45-min.
We have breakfast on the way and get there around 7am (this is a summer-time event, usually).
Usually we put the first footprints on the beach.
We try to be outta there by 9:30, and on our way to Leverick.

Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: Cleobeach] #183102
02/04/2019 07:30 PM
02/04/2019 07:30 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 67
North Shore, MA
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I mapped out the cruise ship traffic of our week on Virgin Gorda. We don’t catch a break any day but some are worse than others. If a large cruise ship is docked in Tortola 8-5, what time would that group likely have to leave the Baths? I have no idea how long it takes to get back to Tortola ?



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Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: Cleobeach] #183103
02/04/2019 07:49 PM
02/04/2019 07:49 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 15,947
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
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They probably wont get there til 10 and leave by 2..

Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: GettinBye] #183105
02/04/2019 08:11 PM
02/04/2019 08:11 PM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 187
Va Beach
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Originally Posted by GettinBye
I mapped out the cruise ship traffic of our week on Virgin Gorda. We don’t catch a break any day but some are worse than others. If a large cruise ship is docked in Tortola 8-5, what time would that group likely have to leave the Baths? I have no idea how long it takes to get back to Tortola ?


Where did you get your schedule? If it was from the link on the top of this page, it was for 2018. We often stay near the Baths and the cruise ship people start arriving at 9 AM or earlier and leave around 2 or 3 PM. Good luck!

Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: Cleobeach] #183106
02/04/2019 08:31 PM
02/04/2019 08:31 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 67
North Shore, MA
GettinBye Offline
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Cruisemapper. I could map out both Tortola and Virgin Gorda and if you click on the ships , you can see how big they are. That way I can red flag the days when there are multiple ships or huge ships. For people who have too much time on their hands. 🤣🤣



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Re: Timing for exploring the Baths? [Re: Kmon] #183109
02/04/2019 09:38 PM
02/04/2019 09:38 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 1,660
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
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Here is the official schedule from the BVI Port Authority.


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