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BVI vs Antigua #160232
05/04/2018 11:36 AM
05/04/2018 11:36 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 64
Manhattan Beach, CA
ScubaDrew Offline OP
Traveler
ScubaDrew  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 64
Manhattan Beach, CA
Hey everyone!

So, I am a long time, frequent, BVI sailor. Was there in Dec, shortly after the storm - crew even volunteer some days to helping people rebuild on Anagada.

For this year's December trip, I'm considering switching things up and heading down to Antigua.

Wondering if anyone here has experience in the last few years with both locations? What do you think, stick with the BVI or give Antigua a shot?!

Thanks,
Drew

BVI Sponsors
Re: BVI vs Antigua [Re: ScubaDrew] #160236
05/04/2018 11:43 AM
05/04/2018 11:43 AM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 16,198
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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Manpot  Offline
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Joined: May 2002
Posts: 16,198
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
I am not a big Antigua fan but if you go make at least a daytrip to Montserrat and experience a live volcano close up..amazing..

Re: BVI vs Antigua [Re: ScubaDrew] #160239
05/04/2018 11:49 AM
05/04/2018 11:49 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,218
Colorado and Sailing the World
Maria_and_Steve Offline
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Maria_and_Steve  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,218
Colorado and Sailing the World
Antigua offers a lot of great sailing, good anchorages, culture and decent restaurants. The island is safe to visit and has a definite x-British atmosphere (hence the decent restaurant comment). You can easily spend a week to a month or more sailing around the island, anchoring in different places every day. English Harbour is a spectacular place to visit as well as the jump up at Shirley Heights to party. North Sound on Antigua offers a true get-away from it all place to hang out if you like doing that.

Antigua has essentially zero damage from the hurricanes last season. Poor Barbuda, Antigua's sister island, suffered almost total destruction so you might want to wait to visit there until a later visit.

I highly recommend Antigua to sailors looking for a change of sailing destinations. We have sailed in Antigua annually for 7 seasons and have yet to run out of places to visit. Chris Doyle's sailing guide to the Leeward Islands covers this excellent sailing area.

The BVI's are obviously a great sailing destination and will recover in a few years from the destruction. If you want to experience a new place to sail, Antigua would be well worth looking at. Good luck!

Re: BVI vs Antigua [Re: Maria_and_Steve] #160242
05/04/2018 12:00 PM
05/04/2018 12:00 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 64
Manhattan Beach, CA
ScubaDrew Offline OP
Traveler
ScubaDrew  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 64
Manhattan Beach, CA
Thanks so much. Very helpful info - especially the tip on Barbuda -- I think that might be the deal breaker. We'll wait for that to recover so visiting Barbuda will be an awesome experience.

Originally Posted by Maria_and_Steve
Antigua offers a lot of great sailing, good anchorages, culture and decent restaurants. The island is safe to visit and has a definite x-British atmosphere (hence the decent restaurant comment). You can easily spend a week to a month or more sailing around the island, anchoring in different places every day. English Harbour is a spectacular place to visit as well as the jump up at Shirley Heights to party. North Sound on Antigua offers a true get-away from it all place to hang out if you like doing that.

Antigua has essentially zero damage from the hurricanes last season. Poor Barbuda, Antigua's sister island, suffered almost total destruction so you might want to wait to visit there until a later visit.

I highly recommend Antigua to sailors looking for a change of sailing destinations. We have sailed in Antigua annually for 7 seasons and have yet to run out of places to visit. Chris Doyle's sailing guide to the Leeward Islands covers this excellent sailing area.

The BVI's are obviously a great sailing destination and will recover in a few years from the destruction. If you want to experience a new place to sail, Antigua would be well worth looking at. Good luck!

Re: BVI vs Antigua [Re: ScubaDrew] #160249
05/04/2018 04:02 PM
05/04/2018 04:02 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,288
Bucks County, Pa.
toast Offline
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toast  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,288
Bucks County, Pa.
They are different, Antigua well worth a trip. Stopped twice on a cruise and then went for a week. Very nice and more solid infrastructure than BVI, but I think what I like about the BVI is the castaway type feel it has. Antigua much more polished, better resorts and more resorts. Easy to get around and not that big. My heart will always be in the BVI but I do recommend Antigua.
Devlis Bridge and arch, one accessible by land and one only by boat, both a must .


Toast.......to Life; White Bay...heaven on earth.
Diane
Re: BVI vs Antigua [Re: ScubaDrew] #160337
05/06/2018 06:32 PM
05/06/2018 06:32 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,206
Somewhere out there
kneafseym Offline
Traveler
kneafseym  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,206
Somewhere out there
We love Antigua, a lot of quiet anchorages. Even with the damage at Barbuda, the beaches will still be amazing. Charter companies used to lot let you go to Monserat. they will let you go to Nevis/St Kitts and Guadaloupe/Ile de saints. Horizon runs a great operation in Jolly Harbor, which has great restaurants and provisioning.


Mike
Re: BVI vs Antigua [Re: kneafseym] #160367
05/07/2018 08:57 AM
05/07/2018 08:57 AM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 718
C
Cleobeach Offline
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Cleobeach  Offline
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C
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 718
We spent 10 days on Antigua (3) and Barbuda (7) February 2017.

While in Antigua, we stayed in English Harbor at the Copper and Lumber Store Inn. The English Harbor area is wonderful. The Inn has a Friday night fish event that reminds me of the Leverick Bay Jumbie night.

Originally Posted by kneafseym
We love Antigua, a lot of quiet anchorages. Even with the damage at Barbuda, the beaches will still be amazing. Charter companies used to lot let you go to Monserat. they will let you go to Nevis/St Kitts and Guadaloupe/Ile de saints. Horizon runs a great operation in Jolly Harbor, which has great restaurants and provisioning.


I agree on the Barbuda beaches. There was very little on Barbuda pre-storms so you won't be missing anything (provisioning, water etc), so to speak, due to the storm damage. If you stick to the beaches, you won't be in anyone's way. That was the best vacation we have taken as a family, by far, and it makes me so sad to see the damage.

Re: BVI vs Antigua [Re: ScubaDrew] #160384
05/07/2018 12:55 PM
05/07/2018 12:55 PM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 106
Denver & Breckenridge, CO
B
BreckSailor Offline
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BreckSailor  Offline
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B
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 106
Denver & Breckenridge, CO
I can tell you that I think Antigua (and neighboring islands/countries) are a great alternative to BVIs. I have been sailing in the US/BVIs for over 20 yrs and while I think its great for many, I've become less enchanted with the BVIs over the years. Last year in May and June my family and I sailed through the Leeward Islands from BVIs to Guadeloupe and back.

Antigua and Barbuda (as well as Martinique and Guadeloupe) were some of our favorites. Barbuda was awesome and while the country has been devastated since our visit, we spent nearly all of our time there on the beaches that were absolutely incredible - I expect that nothing would have changed that since Irma, other than losing some trees possibly. So, personally, I'd go back to Antigua and sail there long before I would return to the BVIs. But, everyone has there interests/preferences and so mine may be different than yours. (FWIW, our favorite part of the BVIs is Anegada - that's a place that I'll always be interested in returning to - and if you like Anegada, you'll love Barbuda.)

If you want to see our experiences you can check out our Youtube video of our 2 month trip and scroll through to the parts (countries) of interest to you. (See here: https://youtu.be/171WKy10NE4)

Re: BVI vs Antigua [Re: BreckSailor] #210285
12/01/2019 08:22 PM
12/01/2019 08:22 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 64
Manhattan Beach, CA
ScubaDrew Offline OP
Traveler
ScubaDrew  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 64
Manhattan Beach, CA
Hey @BreckSailor - your youtube video got blocked. Any chance you can unblock it?

Thanks!

Drew

Originally Posted by BreckSailor
I can tell you that I think Antigua (and neighboring islands/countries) are a great alternative to BVIs. I have been sailing in the US/BVIs for over 20 yrs and while I think its great for many, I've become less enchanted with the BVIs over the years. Last year in May and June my family and I sailed through the Leeward Islands from BVIs to Guadeloupe and back.

Antigua and Barbuda (as well as Martinique and Guadeloupe) were some of our favorites. Barbuda was awesome and while the country has been devastated since our visit, we spent nearly all of our time there on the beaches that were absolutely incredible - I expect that nothing would have changed that since Irma, other than losing some trees possibly. So, personally, I'd go back to Antigua and sail there long before I would return to the BVIs. But, everyone has there interests/preferences and so mine may be different than yours. (FWIW, our favorite part of the BVIs is Anegada - that's a place that I'll always be interested in returning to - and if you like Anegada, you'll love Barbuda.)

If you want to see our experiences you can check out our Youtube video of our 2 month trip and scroll through to the parts (countries) of interest to you. (See here: https://youtu.be/171WKy10NE4)

Re: BVI vs Antigua [Re: ScubaDrew] #210308
12/02/2019 08:53 AM
12/02/2019 08:53 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 11,545
Eric_Hill Offline

Traveler
Eric_Hill  Offline

Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 11,545
Quote
Any chance you can unblock it?


It was blocked for copyright violations, so doubt he can unblock it.


Eric Hill
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Re: BVI vs Antigua [Re: ScubaDrew] #210342
12/02/2019 12:52 PM
12/02/2019 12:52 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,741
BVI
Zanshin Online content
Traveler
Zanshin  Online Content
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,741
BVI
I spend a lot of time on the boat in both the BVI and Antigua and, over the years, have come to enjoy Antigua more and more while developments in the BVI have me spending less time there each year. This is from a sailing and cruising point of view, things when land-based are a bit different. Since I don't know if you plan on being land-based or boat-based I'll pretend that you will be boat-based and answer accordingly.

In the BVI moorings balls are to be found everywhere and most anchorages have facilities for food and drink ashore with easy access to boaters. Antigua has only one anchorage with free mooring balls that I can think of (which is off Green Island) and you will be anchoring most of time. Many anchorages have nothing ashore. Others have more selection ashore than you can find in the BVI (English Harbour, Falmouth Harbour, Jolly Harbour for example). Sailing conditions are a bit more spirited and challenging than in the BVI. The island is bigger around than the BVI and with 365 beaches there's a lot of sand to see smile

I've found that the attitude (towards tourists) from the people you meet in Antigua has improved significantly and they are much more open and friendly to foreigners/visitors/tourists than 10 years ago. I cannot state that for the BVI.


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