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Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps #310806
12/25/2023 06:12 PM
12/25/2023 06:12 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 315
Massachusetts USA
tmsxmsails Offline OP
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Hi all,

I'm chartering from the Moorings in Tortola in June - two couples, no kids. It's been 20+ years since I've chartered in the BVI (more recently from St. Martin) so looking for a sanity check/comments on my proposed itinerary and maybe some suggested stops.

8 Day charter - Sleep aboard Saturday night, charter runs Sunday to Sunday. Here's the tentative plan.

Day 1: Head over to Norman Island and have lunch at the Willy T then to Cooper Island for the night. I would reserve a ball at Cooper through Boaty Ball but not sure what to do at Norman. Can I just anchor or do I have to get a ball? I'm not going to stay the night there so I don't want to pay for a ball if I don't have to.

Day 2: Baths early before the crowds then around to Gorda Sound and go to ... Leverick Bay? I've only ever been to The Bitter End YC so open for other overnight suggestions there. I was thinking we might taxi back to Coco Maya for dinner but it sounds like Leverick is good for dinner too. Thoughts?
The Baths sounds much more formal than when we were there before in terms of the direction you have to walk through them (I think). I plan on getting a ball and taking the dink to the mooring line and swimming in. Should I go to the "main" beach or (is it?) Devil's Bay? It sounded like it was more in the flow to start from Devil's Bay, go through the rocks then climb up to the bar at the top of the hill and then back down the path to Devil's Bay. Is that correct or does it not matter?

Day 3: Anegada. We did Loblolly last time but it sounds like Cow Wreck might be a good spot too. For dinner I'm thinking Anegada Beach Hotel but this is heavily influenced by a memory from that trip in '99. For dinner on that trip we put our requests in early, they went and caught it, and then we had this magical family style dinner on the beach with tiki torches and tables all pushed together. They brought your entree and then bowls of random assorted sides and everyone just passed things around and it was kind of a party/shared meal kind of thing. Do they still do that? Open to other suggestions of course.

I don't know whether we might want to stay two days at Anegada or not so the day count from here out is somewhat fuzzy.

Day 4: Somewhere on the north side of Tortola but I'm not sure where. I'm much less familiar with Trellis Bay, Marina Cay, Scrub and that area around there so I'm looking for suggestions. I THINK we anchored off Marina Cay last time but I'm fuzzy. Need help with this part. I don't want to get a slip. I want to be on a ball or anchored.

Day 5: Cane Garden Bay?? Might skip this if we decide to spend more time at another stop. Might be fun to go to the rum distillery? and then just chill on the beach somewhere? Open for suggestions here.

Day 6: JVD. I want to stop at Sandy Cay, Sandy Spit for a bit before heading to Great Harbor. A little confused about getting to the Bubbly Pool (and if it's worth it). Should I get a taxi or should I anchor somewhere around the East side so we can walk there?

Figured we would take the dink around to White Bay (or taxi if its rough) and do Soggy Dollar et all for lunch and then back to Foxy's for dinner, drinks, and debauchery that night. Now that I write all that out, it might be too much for one day?

Day 7: Peter Island. Sounds like there isn't a whole lot here so would be a good day to wind down before heading home the next day. Suggested anchorages there?

Day 8: Back to base

Thanks for any insight, comments, suggestions, etc.

Oh also, one of our crew is not much of a snorkeler but interested in a SUP. I'm conflicted about whether to add one to the charter (to manage for the duration) or just try and get one in a few places along the way. I read another thread where people said they didn't use the one they rented and it got in the way while on deck/sailing. Help sway me

Thanks!

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Re: Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps [Re: tmsxmsails] #310814
12/26/2023 04:28 AM
12/26/2023 04:28 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,564
Grenada
Zanshin Online content
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The weather in June is settled with lighter winds and waves.

Day 1 - I usually anchor in the bight, but the water is 50-50 feet deep and most likely your charter boat will not have sufficient chain for that depth. While there are shallower spots, they are hard to find and don't have great holding. I'd plan on a mooring ball in the Bight.
Day 2 - I'd go to Leverick Bay. You can anchor in good holding in 15-20 feet just outside of the mooring field. Or if you prefer to stay aboard, anchor off Prickly Pear close the the Sand Box.
Day 3 - Enjoy Anegada!
Day 4 - Rather than the north side of Tortola or Guana Island, sail to Jost and spend a night off Little Jost. The anchorage is quite protected. Ashore you've got my favorite beach bar (the B' Line) and for dinner there's the option of Foxy's Taboo. If you are early enough, you can walk to the bubbly Pool.
Day 5 - Sail across to Cane Garden Bay and stop at Sandy Cay / Sandy Spit on the way for a beach day.
Day 6 - Great Harbour on Jost and enjoy those painkillers!
Day 7 - That last night is always a tough choice - you could do Peter Island as planned, or repeat the Bight or even spend a night at Cooper Island. All are within easy reach of Road Town for a morning return.

Last edited by Zanshin; 12/26/2023 08:57 AM.

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Re: Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps [Re: tmsxmsails] #310815
12/26/2023 08:09 AM
12/26/2023 08:09 AM
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Some thoughts IMHO...Do you have the Scotts guide to cruising the BVI? I just ordered the 2024 one from Amazon but the 2023 is far cheaper and probably just as accurate

I might try to go to Cooper first and spend the first day there as it gives time to get settled and shorter run to Leverick. If you do go to Bight Norman Island first stop by the Indians and the caves for your snorkelers and then go in. There are plenty of FCFS Balls there

I concur with Zanshin about Leverick for Day 2 and then we usually take the land taxi down to Baths in the afternoon and then Coco Maya for dinner that same night.

Anegada is the best and 2 days is better...i have never really gone "wrong" with dinner there recognizing I am not a foodie.

I dont typically go out with sails (beyond my pay grade) but the sail from Anegada to JVD one time is far and away my favorite experience. I agree with Zanshin. You can see Sandy Cay and Sandy Spit on way in or even do a flyby to Monkey Point, Guana Island to check the snorkeling on way to JVD or as he suggests come out of Little Jost and see them on the way to Cane Garden Bay. I like that zigzag of Little Jost/CGB/Great Harbour he recommends

Bubbly pool is hit or miss depending on wind direction or swell.

If you havent done the Bight I like to do that at the end and if you have maybe you do Key Cay, Peter Island then

If my choice is a day of Peter or one more in Anegada I do the latter. If you go to Peter we really like Key Cay

All with full recognition if you follow your own agenda you will have a great time as well especially as it has been 20 years

Merry Christmas

Re: Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps [Re: tmsxmsails] #310821
12/26/2023 09:15 AM
12/26/2023 09:15 AM
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To add to the above comments your day 1 is a bit ambitious. You probably have less than a 50-50 shot at winning the boatyball lottery for Cooper in June on a Saturday. If you do win I would head over to Peter at Deadman’s bay for a lunch stop then up to Cooper if off the dock by 11. If you get off the dock late I would just go straight to Cooper. If you don’t get a reserved ball at Cooper I would consider just going to the Bight. You can hit the Indians as you approach if a ball is available. From there grab a ball and dinghy to the caves. Try the Boatyball lottery again and if you win head up at your leisure. If you lose head up early to get a FCFS ball. It’s a great place to hang out for an entire day.
As far as the paddle board they take up no space and are no issue to have onboard. They are not rented locally at most places so if you want one just have the Moorings put it on.

Re: Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps [Re: Zanshin] #310826
12/26/2023 10:23 AM
12/26/2023 10:23 AM
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Massachusetts USA
tmsxmsails Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Zanshin

Day 4 - Rather than the north side of Tortola or Guana Island, sail to Jost and spend a night off Little Jost. The anchorage is quite protected. Ashore you've got my favorite beach bar (the B' Line) and for dinner there's the option of Foxy's Taboo. If you are early enough, you can walk to the bubbly Pool.
Day 5 - Sail across to Cane Garden Bay and stop at Sandy Cay / Sandy Spit on the way for a beach day.


Thanks! Good info here and helps validate my thoughts of the north side of Tortola area - just doesn't seem to have the same kind of buzz as other areas so was having trouble justifying a stop.

Re: Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps [Re: bailau] #310827
12/26/2023 10:36 AM
12/26/2023 10:36 AM
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Massachusetts USA
tmsxmsails Offline OP
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Originally Posted by bailau
Some thoughts IMHO...Do you have the Scotts guide to cruising the BVI? I just ordered the 2024 one from Amazon but the 2023 is far cheaper and probably just as accurate

I have it in my cart and I thought about waiting until I'd gone through it before asking questions here but I also value the one-to-one interactions in the forum - and I'm excited to plan the trip so I couldn't wait!

Quote
I might try to go to Cooper first and spend the first day there as it gives time to get settled and shorter run to Leverick. If you do go to Bight Norman Island first stop by the Indians and the caves for your snorkelers and then go in. There are plenty of FCFS Balls there

I concur with Zanshin about Leverick for Day 2 and then we usually take the land taxi down to Baths in the afternoon and then Coco Maya for dinner that same night.

Yep, that was my plan. I was just going to stop at Norman for lunch and do Cooper for the first night. Sounds like that might be too ambitions depending on when we can leave the dock in Road Town. Hmm.

I def want to go to The Baths from the water. I really like the "adventure" of swimming in from the boat (via the dink).

Quote
...the sail from Anegada to JVD one time is far and away my favorite experience.

Interesting. I recall that long downwind sail as being the least interesting part. cool

Quote
I agree with Zanshin. You can see Sandy Cay and Sandy Spit on way in or even do a flyby to Monkey Point, Guana Island to check the snorkeling on way to JVD or as he suggests come out of Little Jost and see them on the way to Cane Garden Bay. I like that zigzag of Little Jost/CGB/Great Harbour he recommends

Agree, that sounds good


Last edited by tmsxmsails; 12/26/2023 10:56 AM.
Re: Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps [Re: GeorgeC1] #310828
12/26/2023 10:54 AM
12/26/2023 10:54 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
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Massachusetts USA
tmsxmsails Offline OP
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Originally Posted by GeorgeC1
To add to the above comments your day 1 is a bit ambitious. You probably have less than a 50-50 shot at winning the boatyball lottery for Cooper in June on a Saturday.

It would be a Sunday but really? Even if I get up early and try for the ball at 7:00 am? I was thinking that in June it would be easier - wow.

Quote
If you do win I would head over to Peter at Deadman’s bay for a lunch stop then up to Cooper if off the dock by 11. If you get off the dock late I would just go straight to Cooper. If you don’t get a reserved ball at Cooper I would consider just going to the Bight. You can hit the Indians as you approach if a ball is available. From there grab a ball and dinghy to the caves. Try the Boatyball lottery again and if you win head up at your leisure. If you lose head up early to get a FCFS ball. It’s a great place to hang out for an entire day.

This is all helpful. You are probably right that it might be too much to try and do Norman/Willy T AND Cooper - depending on when we can get away from the dock - and I DON'T want this to be a regimented, "got to leave now to stay on schedule" kind of trip. Hmm, I definitely want to do Willy T and I don't think I want to do it on the last night so I think it has to be the first day.

I could skip Cooper but it sounds like it's a great place. Okay, something to ponder.

Question: Can I get a ball and pay something like a day rate or is it like if I pick up a ball - whether FCFS or whatever - am I paying the nightly fee? What if I just want to stop at Cooper for lunch and then continue on - am I still paying the full price for a ball? Do I just anchor outside the mooring field in that case?

Quote
As far as the paddle board they take up no space and are no issue to have onboard. They are not rented locally at most places so if you want one just have the Moorings put it on.

Thanks, this helps.

Re: Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps [Re: tmsxmsails] #310830
12/26/2023 11:46 AM
12/26/2023 11:46 AM
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Unlike boatyball FCFS balls are available for free day use if you don’t overnight. Cooper tends to be busy on the weekends with the boats heading out on charter starts. June has a bit of a mini hi season with kids getting out of school. A tip for getting a BB at Cooper is to walk up to the Moorings reception area and use the wifi there. It’s faster than the boat wifi. Have everything filled out and be logged in. Don’t go for the obvious very best ball. If you don’t get a ball log back in at 7:04 and see if anything pops up. Some have multiple crew members attempt to get a ball. If they get two one will show back up as available at 7:04 or 05 if not paid for.

Last edited by GeorgeC1; 12/26/2023 11:47 AM.
Re: Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps [Re: tmsxmsails] #310848
12/26/2023 03:21 PM
12/26/2023 03:21 PM
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Georgia & South Carolina
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Great advice above. I would try to get briefing night before departure assuming you are sleep aboard(If not, be persistent to get briefing as soon as possible in the morning.). If not sleeping aboard, unlikely you will get off the dock until late morning.

I would go first night to Cooper as otherwise, you will be beating upwind from Norman.


Wes
s/v Sea Tiger (2022 Lagoon 46)
www.BareBoatBVI.com

Re: Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps [Re: tmsxmsails] #310913
12/28/2023 07:47 AM
12/28/2023 07:47 AM
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North Shore, MA
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One quick addition- Ann has opened a very fun and clean bar called Tipsy on Anegada. Right down the beach from Cow Wreck. I say “clean” because when we were there last winter , Anegada’s north shore was covered with sargassum. Cow wreck. Loblolley. It was disappointing since we only had one day. We found Tipsy and the beach had been beautifully cleaned and her fun games and offerings are a fabulous addition. My favorite now. 😎. We also always have a fabulous breakfast at Anegada Beach Club


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Re: Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps [Re: tmsxmsails] #310918
12/28/2023 09:06 AM
12/28/2023 09:06 AM
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The reason i recommended Scotts was more for your crew. We hand out Scotts to the crew and then i draw on the chart our trip plan for them to keep. TTOL is always my best source for info

IMHO Cooper is overrated due to BB hassle and bad service but we go frequently so easy to skip for us.

another recommendation is to get swim noodles at base camp for snorkeling as much for visibility as buoyancy.


Attached Files Trip Map Front.JPGTrip Map Back - Copy.JPG
Re: Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps [Re: GettinBye] #310934
12/28/2023 02:09 PM
12/28/2023 02:09 PM
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Ann and her crew have done a great job keeping that area clean. There was a big load of sargassum that hit those beaches near the end of January (28th?) 2023. Much earlier than "normal".

Re: Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps [Re: tmsxmsails] #310935
12/28/2023 02:13 PM
12/28/2023 02:13 PM
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All the beaches were fine in Dec. will be heading back down on 17 Jan and will update.

Re: Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps [Re: tmsxmsails] #310937
12/28/2023 02:25 PM
12/28/2023 02:25 PM
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To get to the bubbly pool just follow the signs. Its a hike to get there, but the views from the top and the water churning in the pool is worth the trip. We also like Sandy Spit, its a great remote spot and anchoring or a ball close by in Diamond Cay is easy. I'm headed down there end of January, leading a group of three sailboats. Looking forward to being in the BVI again.

Re: Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps [Re: tmsxmsails] #311070
01/01/2024 04:11 PM
01/01/2024 04:11 PM
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Orlando, FL
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I agree with Zanshin-- JvD + CGB. Too often I've had to miss CGB because my crew had heard of SD or Foxy's; personally, I'd rather visit CGB. But I guess I'm not enough of a bar person-- I just saw a post of someone spending four days on Jost!

I wouldn't write off Guana, a nice stop between Anegada and JvD if you leave early enough. I haven't been in a few years, but Monkey Point used to be spectacular before hurricane damage (full of elkhorn) and I'm hopeful it's coming back.

Taking another crew next week aboard "Aegnor", a Sun Loft 470 from DYC.

Last edited by edsml; 01/01/2024 04:14 PM. Reason: addition

Mr. Ed
Re: Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps [Re: tmsxmsails] #311083
01/01/2024 06:41 PM
01/01/2024 06:41 PM
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Sadly, something bad has befallen the elkhorn coral... on our last visit we saw many, many bleached colonies.


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Re: Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps [Re: edsml] #311088
01/01/2024 08:13 PM
01/01/2024 08:13 PM
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edsml, curious as to your experience on the Sun Loft. We were going to charter one with our family and opted for the CAT. We are sailors and would love to find a mono that fits us. Ill be down with a few friends Feb 6th for a week.

Re: Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps [Re: tmsxmsails] #314273
02/26/2024 01:45 PM
02/26/2024 01:45 PM
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tmsxmsails Offline OP
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Given the potential logistics issues around getting a ball at Cooper for my first night (Sunday (in June)) I'm thinking about maybe making my first night Gorda Sound, with a stop at the Baths.

Is that realistic? I'm doing a sleep aboard so presumably I'll be able to get away from the dock relatively early. How long will it take me to get to the Baths (46' mono)? Can I get there, explore and maybe lunch at the top, and then get to Leverick or somewhere in the sound by mid/late afternoon?

Re: Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps [Re: tmsxmsails] #314285
02/26/2024 02:44 PM
02/26/2024 02:44 PM
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I wouldn't necessarily recommend trying to do all that on the first day. If you get going early, you can definitely get to NS, but I wouldn't suggest doing a stop at the Baths on the way. Rather, consider sailing to NS Leverick Bay and pick up a ball there, rent a car, and do the Baths in the late afternoon. The Baths is best experienced early in the morning or later in the day. It gets and stays crowded mid-day.

Re: Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps [Re: tmsxmsails] #314322
02/26/2024 09:47 PM
02/26/2024 09:47 PM
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Massachusetts USA
tmsxmsails Offline OP
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Thanks. I'm trying to give my crew the experience of swimming to the Baths. I don't want to take a taxi or drive a car there.

So, maybe I try for BB at Cooper or failing that, FCFS (or anchor) at Marina Cay. Either of those two should make for an early visit to the Baths and then to Gorda Sound.

Re: Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps [Re: tmsxmsails] #314323
02/26/2024 09:56 PM
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Keep in mind that if it is a red flag day there is no mooring or swimming in at the Baths. More unlikely in June but with the crazy weather the BVI has had so far this season you never know……

Re: Sailing Charter: Critique my itinerary and fill some gaps [Re: tmsxmsails] #314379
02/27/2024 01:43 PM
02/27/2024 01:43 PM
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Massachusetts USA
tmsxmsails Offline OP
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Yep, understood. Thanks.


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