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June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years #45857
03/16/2015 10:20 AM
03/16/2015 10:20 AM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 30
IowaSailor Offline OP
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IowaSailor  Offline OP
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Question for the long term sailors out there. I haven't sailed BVI in 14 years.
1) Can someone describe the differences between then and now? (am assuming more boats, busier, harder to get mooring balls)
2) A/C wasn't as available then, will need it in June, how is A/C working for everyone? Is the A/C on boats reliable?
Thanks in advance!

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Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: IowaSailor] #45858
03/16/2015 10:55 AM
03/16/2015 10:55 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 270
trueblue Offline
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Differences. Many more boats, many more mooring balls. More restaurants. Still wonderful! Biggest difference for us has been the addition of cruise ship passengers at the more popular spots. Not sure if they are still stopping at BVI in June.

I do know that they are welcoming a 4000 passenger Norwegian Cruise Line ship on April 29 to inaugurate the brand new cruise ship pier, the same day we set out from Moorings!

Without knowing what type of boat you are sailing, it is hard to rate the AC. Some boats require you to be hooked up to electricity at the dock, some don't. From all I have heard, it is a wonderful addition to summertime sailing.

Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: trueblue] #45859
03/16/2015 10:57 AM
03/16/2015 10:57 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,597
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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Regarding A/C, we've been on boats that are shore power only and boats with Generators. They've all worked great.


Matt
Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: IowaSailor] #45860
03/16/2015 11:08 AM
03/16/2015 11:08 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 414
Memphis, TN
beerMe Offline
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It's been about 14 years since we started sailing the BVI. You'll notice a lot more catamarans than there were then and a lot more mooring balls in some locations. You probably won't find it too crowded in June.


Life involves risks, take some prudent ones (NOT with the BVI ferries)!
Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: maytrix] #45861
03/16/2015 11:09 AM
03/16/2015 11:09 AM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 30
IowaSailor Offline OP
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Thanks. We'll have a big group. Am planning for a 4 cabin cat, so definitely will have A/C with a generator on board. Sorry, I needed to be more specific. Was curious how the A/C - generators were working for everyone.

Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: IowaSailor] #45862
03/16/2015 11:50 AM
03/16/2015 11:50 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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A/C units are always reliable, it's the generators that require maintenance.

Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: sail2wind] #45863
03/16/2015 12:39 PM
03/16/2015 12:39 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 32
Houston, TX
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HtownHondo Offline
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Suggestion: Ask your boat briefer to show you how to bleed the AC raw water cooling line. I've only needed it once, but knowing ahead of time would have prevented a service call.

Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: HtownHondo] #45864
03/16/2015 01:16 PM
03/16/2015 01:16 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,198
Cape Coral Florida (Texas tran...
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Quote
HtownHondo said:
Suggestion: Ask your boat briefer to show you how to bleed the AC raw water cooling line. I've only needed it once, but knowing ahead of time would have prevented a service call.
GREAT SUGGESTION!! As for other changes....others may disagree but....I made my first trip 6/2003 and not a lot has changed in my eyes...still the best place in world for me. American Eagle pulled out, Willie T remodeled, new place to eat in the Bight called Pirates (replaces the old place that was there), Foxy is still Foxy (a great guy in my book), Cynthia and Sydney's still making great Lobster in Little Harbor, few other new places (Scrub Resort, B-Line, etc), I think Anegada was red-lined when I first went and is no longer red-lined, ...best thing to do is contact Frank on TTOL and buy a cruising guide and get to know paradise all over again.


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Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: stoneyusaf] #45865
03/16/2015 01:52 PM
03/16/2015 01:52 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,068
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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Many more wide body multi-hulls than 14 years ago - including more without a mast or sails - considerably more non boating folks aboard boats - mega Yachts of immense size [but they will mostly be off to the Med or elsewhere by June] - many more restaurants and wider selection of menus - Much better provisioning choices - a lot more inflatable dinghies - way more 22'-35'rental powerboats plying the waters and at the daytime destinations - some big packs of boats in a fleet sail cruising en masse descending on an anchorage - more and better mooring balls at a higher price - speaking of prices, the drink prices will likely be double what you remember, common for beers to be $4/$5 now - still sunny, warm clear water and a consistent breeze!!

Last edited by LocalSailor; 03/16/2015 01:56 PM.
Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: LocalSailor] #45866
03/16/2015 02:12 PM
03/16/2015 02:12 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 50
Illinois USA
Blueprint Offline
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IowaSailor check your PM. If we don't know each other, we certainly run in the same circles on the MC circuit in years past.


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~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
A man with a plan is a better man than a better man without a plan.
Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: LocalSailor] #45867
03/16/2015 02:47 PM
03/16/2015 02:47 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,198
Cape Coral Florida (Texas tran...
stoneyusaf Offline
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Quote
LocalSailor said:
Many more wide body multi-hulls than 14 years ago - including more without a mast or sails - considerably more non boating folks aboard boats - mega Yachts of immense size [but they will mostly be off to the Med or elsewhere by June] - many more restaurants and wider selection of menus - Much better provisioning choices - a lot more inflatable dinghies - way more 22'-35'rental powerboats plying the waters and at the daytime destinations - some big packs of boats in a fleet sail cruising en masse descending on an anchorage - more and better mooring balls at a higher price - speaking of prices, the drink prices will likely be double what you remember, common for beers to be $4/$5 now - still sunny, warm clear water and a consistent breeze!!
<img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Yikes.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Yikes.gif" alt="" /> When you put it like that.....there have been a lot of changes.....I saw very few cats back in 2003 (if any) along with the other things you pointed out! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/dine.gif" alt="" />


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Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: stoneyusaf] #45868
03/16/2015 04:18 PM
03/16/2015 04:18 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 270
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One more thing, sort of sad.

Petty thievery is something you will have to watch out for. Not everywhere, but definitely does happen. Keep all valuables and electronics out of sight when you leave your boat, lock your boat if possible, and consider locking your dinghy up in Trellis. I am sure others will chime in.

Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: IowaSailor] #45869
03/16/2015 04:42 PM
03/16/2015 04:42 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 355
East Lansing, MI, USA
2forBVI Offline
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My first BVI sail of 14 was in 1983 where we anchored only. Now, anchoring is very rare. I agree with all of the other posters above. In June, you will not be operating the dinghy in much darkness, but we always bring the type of lights that wrap around your head, not as much to see but to be seen. I can't remember if June is jellyfish season, so maybe I can get some help on that issue from others. If so, there are some products to bring with you in case of minor stings. Coral reefs are just not as vibrant as I remember in the 80s. Holding tanks on all boats now. But I loved it in May 2014 as much as I did in January 1983 - thanks largely to the advice and comments of so many wonderful people on this site and its predecessors!


"If we weren't all crazy we would go insane!"
Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: stoneyusaf] #45870
03/16/2015 11:31 PM
03/16/2015 11:31 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 414
Memphis, TN
beerMe Offline
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Wasn't it Billy Bones before it was Pirates?


Life involves risks, take some prudent ones (NOT with the BVI ferries)!
Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: beerMe] #45871
03/17/2015 05:53 AM
03/17/2015 05:53 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 66
Massachusetts
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Rhumbline Offline
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We were in a similar situation, we just finished our fourth charter, last charter being in 2000. We loved it as much in 2015 as we did back in the 90s.

Above all, the people of the BVI are still as warm and welcoming as ever – that much as not changed!

Punch list that I noted along the way....
• More moorings at more anchorages
• Many red-lined areas are no longer red-lined by Sunsail (e.g. Anagada)
• Credit cards are accepted broadly – only a few cash-only places still exist
• Mooring fees still predominantly cash-only, unless paid onshore
• White Bay was biggest surprise – very busy – especially with day trippers coming over on chartered center consoles. Last time we were down (January, 2000), Soggy was still a self-serve bar when the tender stepped away for a couple hours. Beach now is lined with a number of bars and beach chairs, etc.
• Willy-T – Appears to be same paint job as back in 2000! Not too much has changed.
• Greater provisioning options – much better than the Ample Hamper in the West End back in 2000. Also, you can provision at a multitude of islands. JVD has a great market.
• Power mega-yachts are plentiful at many of the anchorages, especially North Sound, JVD and Norman Island. Does not add too many people, but changes the visual landscape.
• Cats are the predominant vessel. AC is the norm on virtually all vessels.
• Fiberglass dinghies replaced by inflatables (big plus for our crew)
• Boat side garbage pick-up and ice purchase (big plus)
• ‘Island time’ is hard to find. Majority of operations now run very efficiently. There are a few hold-outs of island time, but majority have upscaled their service.
• Dining options plentiful and upscaled (prices, however, seem similar). Credit cards accepted everywhere.
• Dining reservations needed to get a table – whereas in 2000 – reservations required to guarantee the restaurant would buy enough food for the night.
• Better navigational markers – especially north south, heading through north cut between BYEC and Saba

Clear water, great snorkeling, awesome painkillers, cold carib and good local vibe – all unchanged.

Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: Rhumbline] #45872
03/17/2015 10:14 AM
03/17/2015 10:14 AM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 30
IowaSailor Offline OP
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Thanks Rhumbline. What is the cost on the garbage and Ice pickup? That is a huge improvement. Which anchorages have the garbage pickup? Also, curious about the holding tanks, have seen some statements in the cruising company websites that they still discharge. Maybe those are old statements. Did the BVI government mandate holding tanks? Great move, by the way!

Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: beerMe] #45873
03/17/2015 10:30 AM
03/17/2015 10:30 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,198
Cape Coral Florida (Texas tran...
stoneyusaf Offline
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Quote
beerMe said:
Wasn't it Billy Bones before it was Pirates?
Yes.....couldn't remember the name but that was it.


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Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: stoneyusaf] #45874
03/17/2015 12:30 PM
03/17/2015 12:30 PM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 164
SouthEastern Pennsylvania
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WayneC Offline
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As far as I know most people still dump when away form coves and moorings most boats only have a small holding tank and there are only a couple of places that have the facilities to pump off

Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: HtownHondo] #45875
03/17/2015 01:01 PM
03/17/2015 01:01 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 735
Middleburg, VA
cwoody Offline
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Quote
HtownHondo said:
Suggestion: Ask your boat briefer to show you how to bleed the AC raw water cooling line. I've only needed it once, but knowing ahead of time would have prevented a service call.



Ditto on this as well.
First charter with AC and genset was a couple of years ago. Grabbed a mooring in Trellis Bay on the first night. No breeze and rain showers all night. Looking forward to a cool night w/AC but nothing doing. No AC.

We had a 47 mono and she picked up air in the cooling water system on the sail up from RT. Found out about bleeding the next morning after a hot night and a call to Moorings.

Think this might not be so much of an issue with cats as they do not heel very much.

Have fun!


Chuck W.
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Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: cwoody] #45876
03/18/2015 08:02 PM
03/18/2015 08:02 PM
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Posts: 66
Massachusetts
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Rhumbline Offline
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Garbage pickup costs the same as dropping ashore - typically $2.50 per bag. Sometimes $3. Less than we pay in Vermont! Majority of the larger anchorages have garbage pickup.

Holding tanks a big improvement from last visit. Close up as you enter anchorage, re-open once you are a couple miles out. On our cat, we filled it to capacity once (full light came on) after two days not emptying it. 8 of our party of 10 new to staying aboard - may have pumped extra water when flushing.

I do not believe holding tanks mandated.

Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: Rhumbline] #45877
03/20/2015 09:05 AM
03/20/2015 09:05 AM
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Posts: 97
rstevens Offline
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How do you bleed the AC?

Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: Rhumbline] #45878
03/20/2015 09:07 AM
03/20/2015 09:07 AM
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We ran out of fuel for the AC on the last day. Best to monitor that.

Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: rstevens] #45879
03/20/2015 10:22 AM
03/20/2015 10:22 AM
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Kansas
Chriskal Offline
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Quote
rstevens said:
How do you bleed the AC?


It's probably going to vary a bit depending on the boat, but not complicated. It is a lot easier though if you have a flathead screwdriver handy to loosen the hose clamps. I didn't check the onboard toolbag carefully enough and had to make due with a butter knife. Not ideal.

Before anyone says I should have brought a multi tool as backup, know that I tried. In yet another stunning demonstration of my stupidity, in the wee hours of the morning I managed to put it in my carry-on bag and some lucky TSA agent is now the proud owner.

Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: Chriskal] #45880
03/20/2015 12:25 PM
03/20/2015 12:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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ran out of fuel for the A/C? What fuel do you need to run the A/C?

Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: sail2wind] #45881
03/20/2015 12:34 PM
03/20/2015 12:34 PM
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GA/NC
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Some boats have the generator fuel pickup set above the engine pickup. The generator will stop operating usually somewhere between 25% to 33% fuel remaining leaving you fuel to run the main engine. I suspect perhaps that is what he means.
On the subject of crowds in June it actually is about the 2 nd busiest time of year now from about 10 June to 1 Jul. The reason is family vacations when the kids get out of school. The first week of June can be deserted!
G

Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: rstevens] #45882
03/20/2015 12:46 PM
03/20/2015 12:46 PM
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Middleburg, VA
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Quote
rstevens said:
How do you bleed the AC?


Our Moorings 47 mono was all set up for bleeding the AC. [color:"red"]No tools required[/color]. Just pull up a floor board and open the AC bleeder valve for a second. If your boat has one, I am sure they can give you a full rundown at your boat checkout.

As far as fuel, good question. Thought it was a diesel generator supplied from boats fuel fuel tank, but might be propane powered. Never had one run out.


Chuck W.
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Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: IowaSailor] #45883
03/22/2015 01:36 AM
03/22/2015 01:36 AM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 576
Lutz, FL
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i would suggest the first 2 weeks in december after the fall/summer crowd before the winter crowd and things are open and ready and the weather is perfect would be a perfect time to go if you haven't been there for over that long a time and not too crowded. and less expensive


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Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: IowaSailor] #45884
03/22/2015 07:08 AM
03/22/2015 07:08 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 440
Charlotte, NC
DEL Offline
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As one who has been sailing the BVI for 40+ years and is currently moored at Saba Rock, I would make a few observations. The boats are bigger, the mooring balls are gone more quickly, and the boaters are less qualified and less courteous. The old unwritten rule about no noise after 10pm means nothing to many of these folks including beach bar entertainment. I will be much more selective about when I charter in the future.

Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: DEL] #45885
06/20/2016 09:02 PM
06/20/2016 09:02 PM
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Posts: 30
IowaSailor Offline OP
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Got back from the BVI. Lots of what was said about what is new in past 14 years is true. Lots of power cats all around, and not always properly driven. Few monohulls. Mooring balls taken in most places by 3ish. Earlier for JVD and Anegada. Lots more cars and traffic on Tortola. Still great friendly locals. Great scenery. Much more bleached coral on Anegada. The cell phone service for the wireless router on board is amazing. Used the sunsail provided cell phone to diagnose numerous AC problems.
Great trip, it had been too long.

Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: IowaSailor] #45886
06/21/2016 10:24 AM
06/21/2016 10:24 AM
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Posts: 826
Tortola, BVI
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My contribution regarding what's new in the past 14 years:

1. A very large cruise ship dock and shoreside facility now exists in Road Town, (beside the administration building) ... allowing cruise ships with upwards of 6000 people aboard to dock.

2. Road Town is a lot busier with several new buildings sprinkled throughout and a lot more traffic. There is also a newish shopping area for tourists called Craft's Alive, near Pussers.

3. There are a couple of street lights in Road Town now.

4. There are several new restaurants in Road Town.

5. Nanny Cay has expanded and is in the process of expanding again. Several new condos were built there. Peg Leg's restaurant is still there but is now operated by Nanny Cay.

6. Soper's Hole remains pretty much the same, but The Jolly Roger is no longer owned by Lou and Kay Schwartz. It is now called Fish N' Lime and is owned by Ewan and Heather Anderson of Willie T fame. Lou is now semi-retired.

7. A new coffee shop (breakfast place) opened in Soper's Hole named D' Best Cup and is one of my favourite haunts. Pusser's is still there too.

8. A new Italian restaurant named Scaramouche opened in Soper's Hole about three years ago. Great spot!

9. Brandywine Bay Restaurant is no longer run by Cele and Davide, it has been taken over by a French Chef and his wife. It's wonderful.

10. The government has been building a beach at Brandywine ... forever it seems. Plans are to take cruise ship passengers there to alleviate some of the pressure on Cane Garden Bay and other beaches that get thousands dropped off at a time.

11. Fat Hog Bob's closed down in East End. It was taken over by Pussers, but that too closed.

12. Trellis Bay remains relatively unchanged ... for the time being. Jeremy Wright (owner of the Trellis Bay CyberCafe) passed away in early 2014. There is a new restaurant there called Jeremy's Kitchen run by a young lady who used to work at TMM.

13. Cane Garden Bay has seen many changes. Stanley's is now Tony's (very popular) and has a bar directly situated on the beach. Quito's has expanded a couple of times and is unrecognizable from the old place, but Quito and his band still play. Pouie Callwood (De Wedding Bar & Restaurant) passed away and his sons are now running the place. Other restaurants have opened and closed. The Big Banana is now the Paradise Club Sports Bar & Grill.

The roads on Tortola are in pretty bad shape ... so nothing new there.

14. There are a lot of new restaurants in White Bay on Jost Van Dyke not the least of which is Hendo's Hideout, right beside the Soggy Dollar. It is a very impressive, higher-end restaurant and bar. The Soggy Dollar has become more of a pit stop for day trippers from the USVI and is often very, very busy. Ivan's had to be torn down and rebuilt. It is much bigger now.

15. Great Harbour has changed too with several more restaurants having opened. Rudy has retired (sort of) and his son Randy is now running the business. He has updated both the store and the restaurant. It is definitely worth a stop there.

16. I don't think Foxy's Taboo was built 14 years ago ... but if it was, it would have been brand new. It is located at Diamond Cay near the Bubbly Pool. and of course the B-Line Bar on Little Jost Van Dyke would be new to you as well.

17. Norman Island has changed substantially and there are now two restaurants there. The Bight and The Club. Food is excellent. Drinks are very pricey. The Willy T keeps ticking along.

18. The Cooper Island Beach Club has changed hands and has been updated a couple of times in recent years. It is a lovely spot and they even have a micro-brewery there now!

19. The Baths are almost always busy nowadays ... and there is now a restaurant on the beach. The government has done a lot of work at Spring Bay beach and I actually prefer it there to the Baths. Great spot to Bar-B-Q and swim.

20. Little Dix Bay Resort is now closed for a multi-million dollar renovation and will remain closed until late 2017.

19. Richard Branson's Necker Island burned down and has been rebuilt. He also bought Moskito Island and has built a family compound there, so the old Drake's Anchorage is no more. Other high-end folks have bought land on Moskito Island and it is slowly being developed too.

20. The North Sound and areas nearby have seen a lot of changes. A great new restaurant overlooking the North Sound was built a few years back called Hog Heaven. Definitely worth the effort to get there. The views are spectacular and their ribs and chicken are both terrific. Service is a little hit and miss.

21. Saba Rock has improved tremendously and is also a great spot to stop ... particularly around happy hour.

22. Biras Creek Resort has closed down. YCCS (Yacht Club Costa Smeralda) owned by his Royal Highness the Aga Khan (aka Prince Shah Karim Al Husseini) was opened in 2012. It is located beside Biras Creek and was designed to accommodate mega yachts.

23. A high-end resort development was opened in 2013 (I think) at the North East tip of Virgin Gorda called Oil Nut Bay.

24. Mooring ball costs are now anywhere from $30.00 to $60.00 per night, depending on where you stay.

25. Riteway built a new store at Pasea Estate (in Road Town) right beside the old store. It is much larger and the selection has been broadened.

26. Anegada has a couple of new restaurants too!

There's more, but I have to get some work done!

Re: June, 2016 - returning to BVI after 14 years [Re: LianeLeTendre] #45887
06/21/2016 08:54 PM
06/21/2016 08:54 PM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,317
New Jersey, USA
DanS Offline
Traveler
DanS  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,317
New Jersey, USA
Nice summary Liane! Should be made a "sticky".

Dan <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Cheers.gif" alt="" />


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