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Finally returning to the BVIs #212841
01/02/2020 10:32 PM
01/02/2020 10:32 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 5
J
JohnS211 Offline OP
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JohnS211  Offline OP
Traveler
J
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 5
Hi there - after too many years away (7), we’re locked and loaded for a 7 day charter in late March. Wanted to get some advice as to best options for a cruising itinerary post Irma and the recovery to date. We’ve typically run the main stops around Tortola, VG, Anegada, etc while there. We understand that Peter Island and Bitter End are still offline...any others? We’re using Moorings for the charter out of Road Town - thinking about Cooper, Baths, Limerick, Anegada, JVD, Caine Garden Bay. Maybe Oil Nut Bay? Any feedback? Hazards to navigation we should be aware of? If there are exiting threads that cover this, would appreciate a steer...

Thanks!

John S



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Re: Finally returning to the BVIs [Re: JohnS211] #212848
01/03/2020 02:12 AM
01/03/2020 02:12 AM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 84
Tampa Bay, Florida
SonOfTheSea Offline
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SonOfTheSea  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 84
Tampa Bay, Florida
Congrats on your trip back! I can offer a couple things I’ve learned from my two trips and following the threads here on TTOL steadily for the last year or so...and I do recommend using the search function on this site to help find a few things you’re specifically interested about.

Going in March, that’ll be a pretty busy time of year. We went in May 2019 and it felt like a rat race to get a mooring ball almost every day. Mooring fields seemed like they filled up a bit earlier in the day, as we’d arrive some days around 12-1pm and get one of the few remaining balls. If you’re not a fan of anchoring, you may be wise to plan on getting to your mooring field by early afternoon for best chances of snagging a ball. That said, definitely plan your backup location just in case you need to head elsewhere. One good idea is to try and plan your itinerary out of the normal rotation many charterers follow. Certain days of the week tend to be busier at certain places, so if you get out of sync with the rest of the crowd it may offer you a little breathing room.

I’m not positive, so others may help clarify on this one, but I know I’ve seen mention of some charter companies not permitting their boats to go to Oil Nut Bay. Double check with Moorings to be sure.

My group had a heck of a time trying to get a ball at the Baths, it took forever and I know for sure several boats were squatting well past the time limit on those national park balls. We all agreed that next time we will head to Leverick Bay earlier in the day and taxi to the Baths. Then we can spend some time on the beach at Devils Bay, hangout at Top Of the Baths, and maybe even stop off at Hog Heaven on the way back to Leverick. That move will help us get a ball more easily earlier in the day at Leverick and still allow us plenty of time to go enjoy ourselves the rest of the day without worrying about getting a ball in the afternoon.

If you haven’t ever been to Diamond Cay at Little Jost I definitely recommend. Our group thought this stop was actually the hidden gem of our trip, as none of us had been there previously and we thought it was a beautiful location. Foxy’s Taboo and the Bee Line bar are your on shore options, and the bubbly pool is about a 15 minute hike from Taboo.

Anegada is a must stop. Do a snorkel tour, we went with Kelly’s tour last May but I’ve heard good things about Sherwin’s tour also. We will try Sherwin next time.

As for hazards to navigation, none that I’m aware of. The biggest hazards we dealt with were people on other boats! Seriously, don’t give anyone the benefit of the doubt out there. Last May was my first time as skipper and I thought I was surely the most nervous and inexperienced person out there, but I was quickly amazed at how much lack of common sense exists on the water. Even as a novice I was scratching my head at some of the most basic mistakes I was witnessing.

Lastly, check the cruise ship schedules. The Baths and Cane Garden Bay can get a lot more busy when cruise ship passengers arrive.

Have a great trip!

Re: Finally returning to the BVIs [Re: JohnS211] #212856
01/03/2020 09:16 AM
01/03/2020 09:16 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,105
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GeorgeC1 Online content
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GeorgeC1  Online Content
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Posts: 6,105
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The main hazard to navigation are Red ball type markers popping up at a alarming rate in many anchorages. The form exclusion zones you may not enter. They are about 3 feet tall and during the day can be located by the lack of boats in the vicinity. Late afternoon they will fill up and can provide some interesting drama.
G

Re: Finally returning to the BVIs [Re: JohnS211] #219421
03/02/2020 01:08 PM
03/02/2020 01:08 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 5
J
JohnS211 Offline OP
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JohnS211  Offline OP
Traveler
J
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 5
‘Son of the Sea’ and George - thanks for your notes re our upcoming trip. My apologies for this delayed response - been a crazy busy few months and I lost track of this string. Your feedback is super helpful. We’re gradually pulling together our loose plan for the week - and taking your advice by cutting across the grain - hopefully will avoid the normal migration patterns! We’ve been to the BVIs a few times, but have never done Diamond Cay / the Bubbly pool. Putting that on the list this year for sure.

Thanks again for your comments...



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