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First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions #255558
05/13/2021 08:46 AM
05/13/2021 08:46 AM
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 11
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Atomsails Offline OP
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Hey folks,

I've been reading, researching, and googling everything I can for our trip June 3rd-14th. We are chartering a Cat with TMM and very much looking forward to it!

I was wondering if you experienced BVI regulars could share some must see/dos. Our crew includes a 3yr old and a 4yr old. Me and one other on the boat are certified divers and have rental gear already. If anyone has suggestions for anchorages, moorings, beaches, dive spots, snorkeling spots, places to eat, etc. Please post I would be very appreciative.

Also number 1 provisioning company smile

Last edited by Atomsails; 05/13/2021 08:47 AM.
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Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: Atomsails] #255560
05/13/2021 08:53 AM
05/13/2021 08:53 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,148
Memphis, BVI, CT
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The beach at Marina Cay is great for children.

Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: RatmansWife] #255562
05/13/2021 09:09 AM
05/13/2021 09:09 AM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 351
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Hey AtomSails - TMM is great. What boat are you on? We are divers - if you have not yet been diving in the BVI I highly recommend rendezvous dives with one of the great companies down there to get a lay of the land. Lots of variables. Lots of great places to explore - I suggest picking up a cruising guide if you haven’t already. Any rough ideas for your itinerary? Perhaps we can help more if we know what areas you intend to target. For provisioning we use Riteway, with Caribbean Cellars for alcohol and Good Moon farm for fresh local produce and fruit (even some baked goods).

Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: Atomsails] #255566
05/13/2021 09:48 AM
05/13/2021 09:48 AM
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Posts: 65
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Rush Offline
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Atomsails,

You will have an amazing time! Be sure you are clear on testing protocals, especially with unvaccinated children. There are threads here that discuss. There are so many great spots to hit, but here are the many usual highlights, and a typical path. I am not a diver (need to be), so will not address the dive sites.

From the base, head to Norman Island - snorkel the Indians and Caves. Lunch or Happy Hour at Willy T. Grab dinner or drinks at Pirate's Bight. We love to hike Norman go up the hill behind the restaurant and find your way to the ridge. Great views.

Sail to Cooper the next day. Balls typically fill up early here. Of course not an issue over the past year, but it will be interesting to see what happens with the relaxed entry requirements/testing. Grab lunch, dinner, drinks, at the restaurant or Rum Bar. Easy beach for small kids to play on, I think it currently only open weekends? But maybe that will change soon. Snorkel Cistern Point. Enjoy drinks aboard or at bar for great sunset. This is also a good jumping off point for diving the Wreck of the Rhone.

Next day sail to the Baths on Virgin Gorda. You can grab a ball right off and dinghy to the swim line, tie up an swim or paddle in. Alternatively, with young kids, it may be better to go to Leverick Bay and take a cab to the Baths. Hike through the caves to Devil's Bay and back. Hike up to Top of the Bath's for a drink or lunch. Stay at Leverick Bay for the evening. Pool for the kids, beach bar and restaurant, and great spot for reprovisioning. Optionally, consider going straight there, rent a car/safari truck for the day and explore the whole island. Go to Hog Heaven for a spectacular view and BBQ. Or Coco Maya for some of the best food and a great setting.

Check out the rest of the North Sound that next day or head straight to Anegada. Bitter End and Saba Rock will not be open, but are making good progress. Sandbox on Prickly Pear was open pre-covid. Not sure about now. Good spot to anchor right off a nice beach. Alternatively, if you want something "high-end", motor over to Oil Nut Bay and get a spot on their dock. You can stay there or pay a resort fee per person to gain access to their beachside facilities. They are incredible and you will have it to yourselves feeling like the rich and famous, but you will pay for it! Beautiful pool and beach setting, beach toys, good snorkeling for turtles, and more.

Next day head to Anegada. Be sure to get good instructions on the approach. Cow Wreck Beach is our favorite place, truly "The Bar at the End of the World". Also, consider renting a car for the day and hit the other side of the Island (Loblolly). Good snorkeling if the weather is good. Dinner at Wonkey Dog or Potters (or others) with Grilled Lobster right off the beach.

Consider a stop off the next day at Scrub Island Resort at the marina. Great pool and beach area for kids. Alternatively, go straight to Jost. Stop at Diamond Cay/Little Jost. Dinghy to Sandy Spit, hike the bubbly pool. I assume Beeline and Foxy's Taboo will be open for lunch dinner, but not sure. Also, consider a stop off at Cane Garden Bay.

Definitely hit Great Harbor on Jost to see Foxy's. We like the pizza at Corsairs. Or if conditions are calm, stay the night at White Bay out front of the famous Soggy Dollar Bar. It will be interesting to see on their webcam if things pick up at all by then.

You can complete your counterclockwise circle by heading back to the base the next day. Add or remove items to this itinerary or stay an extra day at places you are really enjoying. These are some of the highlights, and are just meant to give you an idea, minus the dives.

Please give us a trip report and we would all love to hear how things are, and they try to get back to more normal. Have a great time!

Rush

Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: MIDiver] #255567
05/13/2021 09:52 AM
05/13/2021 09:52 AM
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 11
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Atomsails Offline OP
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Thank you for the information! We will be on Painted Falcon. I will upload a map of my drafted itinerary when I get home this evening.

Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: Rush] #255568
05/13/2021 09:58 AM
05/13/2021 09:58 AM
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 11
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Atomsails Offline OP
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Atomsails  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Rush
Atomsails,

You will have an amazing time! Be sure you are clear on testing protocals, especially with unvaccinated children. There are threads here that discuss. There are so many great spots to hit, but here are the many usual highlights, and a typical path. I am not a diver (need to be), so will not address the dive sites.

From the base, head to Norman Island - snorkel the Indians and Caves. Lunch or Happy Hour at Willy T. Grab dinner or drinks at Pirate's Bight. We love to hike Norman go up the hill behind the restaurant and find your way to the ridge. Great views.

Sail to Cooper the next day. Balls typically fill up early here. Of course not an issue over the past year, but it will be interesting to see what happens with the relaxed entry requirements/testing. Grab lunch, dinner, drinks, at the restaurant or Rum Bar. Easy beach for small kids to play on, I think it currently only open weekends? But maybe that will change soon. Snorkel Cistern Point. Enjoy drinks aboard or at bar for great sunset. This is also a good jumping off point for diving the Wreck of the Rhone.

Next day sail to the Baths on Virgin Gorda. You can grab a ball right off and dinghy to the swim line, tie up an swim or paddle in. Alternatively, with young kids, it may be better to go to Leverick Bay and take a cab to the Baths. Hike through the caves to Devil's Bay and back. Hike up to Top of the Bath's for a drink or lunch. Stay at Leverick Bay for the evening. Pool for the kids, beach bar and restaurant, and great spot for reprovisioning. Optionally, consider going straight there, rent a car/safari truck for the day and explore the whole island. Go to Hog Heaven for a spectacular view and BBQ. Or Coco Maya for some of the best food and a great setting.

Check out the rest of the North Sound that next day or head straight to Anegada. Bitter End and Saba Rock will not be open, but are making good progress. Sandbox on Prickly Pear was open pre-covid. Not sure about now. Good spot to anchor right off a nice beach. Alternatively, if you want something "high-end", motor over to Oil Nut Bay and get a spot on their dock. You can stay there or pay a resort fee per person to gain access to their beachside facilities. They are incredible and you will have it to yourselves feeling like the rich and famous, but you will pay for it! Beautiful pool and beach setting, beach toys, good snorkeling for turtles, and more.

Next day head to Anegada. Be sure to get good instructions on the approach. Cow Wreck Beach is our favorite place, truly "The Bar at the End of the World". Also, consider renting a car for the day and hit the other side of the Island (Loblolly). Good snorkeling if the weather is good. Dinner at Wonkey Dog or Potters (or others) with Grilled Lobster right off the beach.

Consider a stop off the next day at Scrub Island Resort at the marina. Great pool and beach area for kids. Alternatively, go straight to Jost. Stop at Diamond Cay/Little Jost. Dinghy to Sandy Spit, hike the bubbly pool. I assume Beeline and Foxy's Taboo will be open for lunch dinner, but not sure. Also, consider a stop off at Cane Garden Bay.

Definitely hit Great Harbor on Jost to see Foxy's. We like the pizza at Corsairs. Or if conditions are calm, stay the night at White Bay out front of the famous Soggy Dollar Bar. It will be interesting to see on their webcam if things pick up at all by then.

You can complete your counterclockwise circle by heading back to the base the next day. Add or remove items to this itinerary or stay an extra day at places you are really enjoying. These are some of the highlights, and are just meant to give you an idea, minus the dives.

Please give us a trip report and we would all love to hear how things are, and they try to get back to more normal. Have a great time!

Rush



That you so much for this! I will definitely share out trip with everyone and my experiences. I also have an incredible amount of notes compiled that I will organize, index, and upload a PDF for others to benefit them. Again I'm blown away by the great advice and help your post will be to us!

Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: Atomsails] #255570
05/13/2021 10:08 AM
05/13/2021 10:08 AM
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Posts: 65
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Rush Offline
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Great to hear. Also, Jason Helmbrecht, who posts here frequently can give you real time information as to the current status of things in the BVI. It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming weeks as restrictions are lessened and more tourists come back. Our late May/June Charter got pushed to the USVI, but we have 2 BVI trips planned for later in the year and can't wait to get back.

Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: Atomsails] #255572
05/13/2021 10:10 AM
05/13/2021 10:10 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,939
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
JasonHelmbrecht Offline
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JasonHelmbrecht  Offline
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Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
Good news for the children. No testing for those under 5 years old so the only testing/quarantine requirements will be specific to the adults and their vaccination status.


JasonHelmbrecht
Coconut Breeze Villas
Cane Garden Bay
reservations@coconutbreezevillas.com
www.coconutbreezevillas.com
Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: JasonHelmbrecht] #255583
05/13/2021 11:39 AM
05/13/2021 11:39 AM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 351
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Painted Falcon is a lovely boat - you will be very pleased (our boat is in the TMM fleet as well).

Anegada is lovely - make sure you have approval from TMM to transit there. The beach is wonderful for kids at Cow Wreck. I recommend arranging a Moke rental with Anegada Beach club before you arrive - there were the only rental place open when we were there in March and had very limited availability. Sid’s is fantastic for lunch and sunset. We really enjoyed dinner at Anegada Beach Club and Wonky Dog. Anegada Reef hotel has garbage disposal (fee per bag) and ice.

I agree that the kids will love the Baths and grabbing a ball at Leverick and taking a cab there might be the best bet with 3 and 4 year olds. Unless they are already fish. smile It would also afford a beverage or meal stop at Hog’s Heaven. What a view! North Sound is delightful - pay close attention in the marked channel if you head to Oil Nut Bay.

Dive the Rhône smile

If you head to White Bay (JVD) the east side has a peculiar current situation. It can make the morning field experience “interesting”. Exit testing on JVD is seamless and easy. Make an appointment directly with the clinic. Christina’s Bakery has great baked goods. Tipsy Shark wasn’t open yet when we were there but looks great. The team at Jost Van Dyke Scuba is super friendly and they have a great little shop in case you need things. Rudy’s was pretty well stocked when we were there (except for meats). BLine on Little Jost is super fun and quiet, lots of nearby balls and so close to Sandy Spit and Cay.

Reach out vi PM if you have specific questions - we will miss you by 2 days. We are headed back to our boat June 16.

Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: Atomsails] #255585
05/13/2021 12:06 PM
05/13/2021 12:06 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 872
Northern Virginia
ecm56 Offline
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Northern Virginia
Sid's at Pomato Point, one of our favorite Anegada restaurants, was only open Thursday through Sunday when we were there (got back a week ago).

Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: Atomsails] #255638
05/14/2021 10:48 AM
05/14/2021 10:48 AM
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 9
Road Town Tortola British Virg...
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BVI COMPLETE PROVISIONING Offline
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Road Town Tortola British Virg...
provisioning company BVI Complete Provisioning Store - one stop stop shop for all your provisioning needs visit our store at www.firstchoiceprovisioning.com

Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: Atomsails] #255669
05/14/2021 08:43 PM
05/14/2021 08:43 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 121
Folsom Lake, CA
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Latadjust Offline
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Folsom Lake, CA
We've taken kids a few times,
Be sure to roll out something for them (and any high-metabolism adults) to eat every couple-few hours - just travelling on a boat burns up a lot of energy moving about and keeping your balance. Hungry (and they may not realize it) equals grumpy.

The beach in front of Pirates in the Bight at Norman Island is perfect for kids to play in while you relax in beach chairs, shaded by palm trees with a bar/restaurant 20' away. Also, we were there yesterday and the snorkeling was better than the Indians and the Caves, which we hit on the way in.

Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: Atomsails] #255681
05/15/2021 06:10 AM
05/15/2021 06:10 AM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 1,042
Washington DC
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Keep the kids very hydrated as well...if you aren't peeing regularly you aren't hydrated...

I recommend renting a mat and noodles

Here is a great guide

https://www.landfallnavigation.com/c-g-to-the-virgin-islands.html

Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: Atomsails] #255695
05/15/2021 08:19 AM
05/15/2021 08:19 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 63
Hillsborough, NC
OceanSong Offline
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Adamsails:

A big shoutout to TMM, they will provide a great boat and take care of you and your family. I had a Lagoon 42, Ocean Song, with TMM but took her out of charter because of COVID. TMM is simply the BVI’s best!

Two suggestions to anyone chartering in the BVI, but especially with young children. We’ve been to the BVI many, many times with almost every combination of crew you can imagine:

1) Don’t overfill your itinerary.

Even with a full, 10-day charter it’s very easy to try to get too much in. Admittedly, on our charters we always knew we’d be returning soon, but trying to see it all just doesn’t make for a relaxing charter. On charters of 10 days or more we had a policy to stay in at least two anchorages/mooring fields for 2 straight nights each. The days at anchor are relaxing and there’s always something to do ashore or in the water. We stay at Norman for 2 nights every trip, then (usually) at either North Sound or Anegada for 2 nights. The lazy days at anchor always got our crew a little more jazzed for sailing the next day. I highly recommend it.

2) Get a very good boat briefing.

Even if you’re an experienced sailor, learn as much as you can about the boat before leaving Road Reef Marina. Tim or Rory do most of the charter briefings and they know what they’re talking about. They will answer all your questions. They’re good sailors and can advise you on all aspects of your charter, take advantage of their knowledge. Delays and minor problems are amplified when young children are onboard. A good briefing can save you headaches down the road. (Whoever does your briefing, even if it isn’t Tim or Rory, will have loads of good advice.)

Finally, if Joyce offers you coffee, accept it - but beware, her coffee fights back!

Have a great trip!

Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: Atomsails] #255708
05/15/2021 10:30 AM
05/15/2021 10:30 AM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 727
Georgia & South Carolina
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After leaving TMM, Norman is good location for quarantine. If you are still awaiting release from quarantine you can NOT stop at Indians... But easy to be first stop next day. Indians are great for snorkel but also a favorite spot for us to dive. Short distance from there is the Willie T Dive site on Peter and although not a good snorkel site, makes an easy and interesting Dive site from mothership.

Get update on locations for tank fills as this will shape your potential dive sites.

TMM is great and can help with many of these logistics, especially the most current situation upon your arrival. Our Lagoon 42 (Sea Tiger) just left their fleet and our new Lagoon 46 will be arriving there this fall. You will enjoy Painted Falcon.


Wes
s/v Sea Tiger (2021 Lagoon 46)
Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: Atomsails] #255728
05/15/2021 03:39 PM
05/15/2021 03:39 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 121
Folsom Lake, CA
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Latadjust Offline
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Folsom Lake, CA
A tip for the dinghy: When stepping into and out of the dinghy at the transom of the yacht and at the dinghy dock, double up the painter and pass the loop around a backstay or handle on the transom or the toe rail at the dock, then pull back on the loop, keeping tension on it while you and your passengers step in or out of the dinghy. It will give and take while the dinghy rises and falls but it will keep the dinghy snug against the yacht/dock and be much more stable for your guests. When you depart you can pull the loop back around from a seated position on the dinghy, much easier.

Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: Atomsails] #255732
05/15/2021 05:08 PM
05/15/2021 05:08 PM
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Atomsails Offline OP
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Draft of Itinerary
This is a rough draft my acutal itinerary is 8 pages long with attached spreadsheets anchorage guides and much more. But what do you guys think of the draft below and does it seem reasonable?

June 3 – Sleep aboard
June 4 – after briefing sail to Norman Island (Benures Bay)
June 5 – wait for covid test and release head to Indians to dive and snorkel end up in the bight
June 6 – Sail to Copper Island (dive Rhone, explore salt isle, eat onshore)
June 7 – Sail to Leverate Bay (Free Time)
June 8 – Head to baths early via taxi to avoid crowds if any, (free time)
June 9 – Head to Anegada (looking for recommendations on anchorage/mooring)
June 10 – Free Time on Anegada
June 11 – Sail to Jost Van Dyke eat at Foxy’s
June 12 – Freed day on Jost Van Dyke - Get return home covid test (will I get results in time before traveling to STT?)
June 13 – Sail to Peter Island
June 14 – Early morning sail to Tortola pump out holding tanks, fill up, and arrive at TMM around 9:30-10am Dolphin Water Taxi to STT and fly home at 5:10pm

Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: Atomsails] #255733
05/15/2021 05:44 PM
05/15/2021 05:44 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,197
GA/NC
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You may or may not get your test results in time to be released and get to the Indians. Both groups of friends I had go down recently did not. I would leave Cooper and stop at the baths and explore them via the water. Hike to the top of the baths and have lunch! Then go to Leverick. I would stay 1 night at Leverick and head to Oil Nut Bay for the 2nd night. Instead of two days at Jost I would go to Cane Garden Bay the second day. There are no pump out stations in the BVI so you won’t have to deal with that. Keep in mind that weather and or boat issues might require big changes to the plan.
G

Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: GeorgeC1] #255735
05/15/2021 07:19 PM
05/15/2021 07:19 PM
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Atomsails Offline OP
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Originally Posted by GeorgeC1
You may or may not get your test results in time to be released and get to the Indians. Both groups of friends I had go down recently did not. I would leave Cooper and stop at the baths and explore them via the water. Hike to the top of the baths and have lunch! Then go to Leverick. I would stay 1 night at Leverick and head to Oil Nut Bay for the 2nd night. Instead of two days at Jost I would go to Cane Garden Bay the second day. There are no pump out stations in the BVI so you won’t have to deal with that. Keep in mind that weather and or boat issues might require big changes to the plan.
G


Do you think my kids would be ok with swimming in for the baths? 3 & 4 years old they have swimming life jackets and are good in the water. it was a concern for me.

Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: Atomsails] #255736
05/15/2021 07:26 PM
05/15/2021 07:26 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,197
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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In normal times I would say cab to the baths with kids that age. I would not worry about it now. Take a close in ball and dinghy the kids in close and toss them in! Take the dinghy to the dinghy tie down and swim in. If it’s a typical June weather day the baths will be like a swimming pool. There are cool little pools young kids will have a great time in!
It’s on the way to Leverick so you can always pull in and check things out. If not to your liking fall back on the cab option.

Last edited by GeorgeC1; 05/15/2021 07:28 PM.
Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: GeorgeC1] #255737
05/15/2021 07:37 PM
05/15/2021 07:37 PM
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Atomsails Offline OP
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awesome! I'm also going to add cane garden into the schedule. Would you recommend going before or after JVD

Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: Atomsails] #255747
05/16/2021 06:21 AM
05/16/2021 06:21 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,197
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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It really does not matter. They are about 30 minutes apart. I would base it on your plans ashore based on what is open. You will also want to make a few day stops in the ares. For the first trip Sandy Isle and White Bay would be my choice. Leave Anegada early and plan lunch at Sandy Isle. Kids truly love that place. Motor 10 minutes over to Great harbor for the evening. The next day head over to White Bay for the lunch stop and then later in the day sail to CDB.

Last edited by GeorgeC1; 05/16/2021 06:22 AM.
Re: First Trip to BVIs Need Suggestions [Re: Atomsails] #255749
05/16/2021 06:44 AM
05/16/2021 06:44 AM
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Washington DC
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How about taking your return test on the 11th when you are right there in Great Harbour, JVD?

One anchorage in Anegada...dinner at Wonky Dog or Potters right there. this part needs to be more of a game day decision based upon weather

If the kids are snorkeling I would have then do the caves vs Indians depending on weather/waves

If you want you can PM me and I can email my itinerary and accompanying notes for our June trip

Last edited by bailau; 05/16/2021 06:51 AM.

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