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A Prodigal Returns - What's Changed? #288811
09/19/2022 07:58 AM
09/19/2022 07:58 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,908
Annapolis
Eva Offline OP
Traveler
Eva  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,908
Annapolis
My last BVI sail was (gulp) 18 years ago. We're looking to sail with TMM in early 2023. Aside from higher prices, wide availability of chart plotters, and more crowds, what's new in the BVI? What's changed?

Is Bobby's still a good bet for provisioning? Where can I go to get away from people? Where can I anchor (instead of mooring)? What are the good restaurants and beach bars? Is there still an honor bar at Smuggler's Cove? How is cell service and WiFi?

I look forward to your revelations!


I've got a Caribbean Soul I can barely control... (JB)
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Re: A Prodigal Returns - What's Changed? [Re: Eva] #288812
09/19/2022 08:38 AM
09/19/2022 08:38 AM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 702
M
MIDiver Offline
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MIDiver  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 702
Welcome back! Did you sail often in the BVI before your hiatus?

We provision with Riteway and have the order delivered to the boat. They have a robust on line ordering system now. Alcohol through Caribbean Cellars. Great new butcher in Tortola as well - Steakation.

Things have changed a lot even in the last few years and number of boats out has increased dramatically. Mooring fields are BUSY and you should get to your destination early before FCFS balls fill. We like Long Bay for anchoring - some here like Lee Bay. TMM will provide a chart with red lined areas - Smugglers is one of them as is Savannah Bay for
charterers.

TMM will provide a thorough boat briefing.

Re: A Prodigal Returns - What's Changed? [Re: Eva] #288830
09/19/2022 01:51 PM
09/19/2022 01:51 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,908
Annapolis
Eva Offline OP
Traveler
Eva  Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,908
Annapolis
Thanks MIDiver. Yes, we'd done a half dozen BVI charters before our hiatus, and lots of sailing elsewhere since. My last sailing charter was in the Exumas, where we'd managed not to dock, dine out, drink out, shop or otherwise encounter humans until we returned the boat. I know I can't get that in the BVI, but I am interested in getting off the beaten path if at all possible, for at least part of our charter. I'm not completely anti-social, and love a good beach bar, so any suggestions are appreciated.

Love Long Bay. Where is Lee Bay -- is that Peter Island?

Is Anegada busy? Last time I was there, it wasn't especially so, but there were lots of antics in the mooring field with people trying (unsuccessfully) to anchor).


I've got a Caribbean Soul I can barely control... (JB)
Re: A Prodigal Returns - What's Changed? [Re: Eva] #288831
09/19/2022 02:04 PM
09/19/2022 02:04 PM
Joined: Dec 2019
Posts: 63
18.5N 64.5W
D
duckfat Offline
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duckfat  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2019
Posts: 63
18.5N 64.5W
One thing thing that you will quickly notice is that the charter boats are all much larger now, and mostly catamarans. Air conditioning is common on charter boats now.

Smuggler's is still the best place to hang out on Tortola, but is off limits to bareboats. Sadly, the honor bar at Smuggler's has been gone for quite a while. There are a couple of good beach vendors there, though, that provide good food and drinks from beneath the trees. Nigel's is the larger of the two, Patricia's the smaller. Both have beach chairs free for customers.

Mooring fields are much busier.

The new bar & grill on Anegada is Ann's, at Cow Wreck Beach - just to the east of Bell's old Cow Wreck. It is quite nice with a much better atmosphere, and has a lot of activities.

Bobby's still does provisioning. RiteWay also does online provisioning now, and is a little bit easier to work with.

Re: A Prodigal Returns - What's Changed? [Re: Eva] #288833
09/19/2022 03:02 PM
09/19/2022 03:02 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 16,679
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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Manpot  Offline
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Posts: 16,679
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
I second all of the above..I would add going to "Patricia's" on Smuggler's Cove"..unfortunately the other bar is not always so "welcoming". Great food with "Patricia"..$5 hot dogs and $4 beers..best deal on Tortola. I think you'll still enjoy Anegada.If you go to White Bay JVD check out "Hendo's" next to "The Soggy Dollar". Sadly we have lost some places courtesy of Irma..Stanley's (Which became Tony's) Bomba's but on CGB we have added the lovely "Indigo House". You notice big changes too at "Quito's"...for better or worse depending on your feelings. Sadly IMHO some places that have rebuilt have gone upmarket..always with prices but not always with food and service. But, all that said, its still home to me and you'll have a great time.

Re: A Prodigal Returns - What's Changed? [Re: Eva] #288837
09/19/2022 05:15 PM
09/19/2022 05:15 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 829
Manhattan Beach, CA
calsail Offline
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calsail  Offline
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Posts: 829
Manhattan Beach, CA
Still should be an honor bar at Sydney’s Peace and Love.

Re: A Prodigal Returns - What's Changed? [Re: Eva] #288838
09/19/2022 05:45 PM
09/19/2022 05:45 PM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 702
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MIDiver Offline
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Posts: 702
The Anegada mooring field is very busy - less so if you can avoid T and W. Anchoring is still an option there in the back of the field. We grab a Moke and explore and typically choose to eat at Sid’s. In CGB the Indigo Beach House is outstanding. On Jost we like Tipsy Shark and Ivan’s - Ivan’s daughter Darlene is doing a nice job with the place and they have regular Wednesday Caribbean BBQs. Island flair.

Re: A Prodigal Returns - What's Changed? [Re: Eva] #288856
09/20/2022 10:43 AM
09/20/2022 10:43 AM
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 87
Houston, TX
Matt W Offline
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Matt W  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 87
Houston, TX
Getting harder and harder to find solitude and anchor unless you visit in the off season. Places we used to enjoy such as Benures and Muskmelon I've heard now have mooring balls.

Other places you can consider for anchoring, someone familiar with TMM can chime in if redlined.

- Peter Island is still a good spot to stretch out, try Key Bay or Deadman's
- White Bay at Guana Island. Believe there are balls here now too, but you should be able to find some space. Not as popular since there are no services ashore
- Eustatia Sound. Love this spot but probably redlined. Can still access by dinghy from North Sound. Good beaches you'll probably have to yourself.
- Pomato Point at Anegada, probably redlined?

From what I can tell, you might like the Spanish Virgin Islands someday. Nothing beats the Exumas though! We are returning again next May for a 40th birthday celebration.

Re: A Prodigal Returns - What's Changed? [Re: Eva] #288863
09/20/2022 11:58 AM
09/20/2022 11:58 AM
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 381
Bay Area
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Husker Offline
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Husker  Offline
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Bay Area
Picking up on Matt's comments:
- yes, there are now mooring balls in Benures and Muskmelon (I think they may have been put in during the pandemic bc those were quarantine locations). However, I've never seen many boats in Benures....no shore services....much quieter than The Bight.
- Agree on Key Bay (Peter Is.). There is enough space for several boats to anchor at the east end.
- Eustatia Sound and Pomato are two of our faves. Pomato can be a little rolly in certain conditions. I don't about any charter co restrictions.
- Little Harbor (Peter) is a nice anchorage. No balls. My crew likes the snorkeling there (easy, esp for beginners, and pretty good along the rocks). The wind can be swirly there. We usually run a stern line to shore to keep from swinging.

I've never been to the Exumas. Sounds like one for the bucket list. We are planning a two week BVI-Spanish VIs-St. Croix - BVI loop trip at some point. We tried a couple years ago but the weather was not great so we punted.

Re: A Prodigal Returns - What's Changed? [Re: Eva] #288875
09/20/2022 01:55 PM
09/20/2022 01:55 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,908
Annapolis
Eva Offline OP
Traveler
Eva  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,908
Annapolis
Thanks for those great suggestions! Yes -- we've chartered the SVI 3 times, and have loved them (we even named our Harbor 20 race boat Mofongo -- love cheering for that boat!)


I've got a Caribbean Soul I can barely control... (JB)
Re: A Prodigal Returns - What's Changed? [Re: Husker] #288876
09/20/2022 01:55 PM
09/20/2022 01:55 PM
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 87
Houston, TX
Matt W Offline
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Matt W  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 87
Houston, TX
Sounds like a great trip. I can only take week-long trips right now. We're attempting to USVI - St Croix - SVI loop in about a month. Couldn't get into BVI right now if we wanted since we'll be on a USVI- flagged cat. Although, it does sound like Waypoints is working hard on the paperwork.

Wrote about our recent Exumas trip at the link below if you want to get a feel for it. We like how easy the travel is, direct flight from Houston. Fishing, secluded anchorages, and that turquoise water are other reasons we love it. There are a handful of bars and restaurants, but nothing like BVI.

https://yachtwarriors.com/exumas-bahamas-sailing-trip-in-december/

Re: A Prodigal Returns - What's Changed? [Re: Eva] #288878
09/20/2022 03:16 PM
09/20/2022 03:16 PM
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 381
Bay Area
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Husker Offline
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I'll check out the link. Thanks Matt.

Re: A Prodigal Returns - What's Changed? [Re: Eva] #289029
09/25/2022 03:12 PM
09/25/2022 03:12 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 900
Northern Virginia
ecm56 Offline
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ecm56  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 900
Northern Virginia
Good leads. I would add that on Anegada, Sidney Wheatley rebuilt the old museum building at Pomato Point (which was blown out by Irma/Maria) and turned it into a very nice restaurant - definitely give it a try. If you have a multi-hull, Pomato Point makes a good anchorage too. Hopefully we will see you!


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