Monday, May 8, 2017

British Virgin Islands Wrap Up 2017

...a BVI's sunset as seen from Peter Island...
We sailed into the British Virgin Islands on April 12, 2017 from St. Thomas to Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke, where we picked up a mooring ball at Foxy's and checked into the country from our own boats for the first time. Even though we have been here 9 times before on charter boats and land based vacations, this time it all was so different and new yet so familiar. Now it is May 8th and we are cleared out to leave to the USVI, St. John, where we will explore the USVI for a few days before making out way back to Puerto Rico to haul out on May 22. While here in the BVI's for the past 3 weeks we toured all the popular locations: Sandy Key, Sandy Spit, The Dogs, North Sound, The Bitter End Yacht Club, The Baths, Trellis Bay, The Last Resort, Road Town, Salt Island, Cooper Island, Peter Island, Norma Island, The Indians, White Bay on Jost van Dyke and then to West End/Soper's Hole to clear out.

42' Grand Banks SEA STAR, buddy boat
The changes we have seen is that every single harbor has 30+ mooring balls which are designed to prevent anchoring and to help the charter fleet. There are 10 million catamarans running around as charter boats, some bareboats and some with professional captains. All the harbors turn over every day with the mooring balls being vacated by 9am as the charter boats push onto the next destination in the one week they are here. So getting a ball is easy between 0900 and 1200. After that, it is a free for all battle with boats blasting through the harbors racing to secure the last available mooring ball. When all are taken the only thing left to do is to drop an anchor in 40 to 50 feet of water and let out 200+ feet of anchor chain, if you have it. Most charter boats have about 100-150 feet....ooops!

380 Lagoon Catamaran FEZYWIG, buddy boat

The famous Soggy Dollar Bar and beach
The BVI islands and many destinations are still fantastic to visit, many unchanged but a few, like Cooper Island Beach Club, were really improved and a very nice surprise. The Bitter End Yacht Club is still one of our favorites and it has not changed, and we like that. Of course Saba Rock is now 10 times the size of the original rock with a fantastic bar and a fun tarpin feeding show at 1700. Trellis Bay and the Last Resort along with De Loose Mongoose are very fun places to hang out. Snorkeling has been wonderful and the beaches and walks have been a dream as well.

We are really enjoying our boat buddies, Lauren and Bill on 42' Grand Banks SEA STAR and Meloney and Don on 380 Lagoon FEZYWIG. We are an unusual bunch and we think there is a funny story to tell that would start out....A Motor Yacht, a Catamaran and a Monohull pull into a harbor and ... but that is as far as we have gotten. We are all very lucky to have buddies to run around with and to share the discoverr and the adventures together. We will all store our boats in Puerto Rico and actually be on the same flight out of SJU to PHL. Sea Star is heading to Canada via Buffalo NY and Fezywig is heading to Toronto for the summer. We are heading to PHL. Here is a fun gathering on Island Spirit off Norman's Island.

Team Six Knots party on Island  Spirit(L-R)
Hayden, Meloney, Bill, Don, Radeen & Lauren

It has been a very very enjoyable British Virgin Islands tour for the first time on OUR OWN boat. For now, it is onto the USVI and back westward....downwind....yahoooo....to Fajardo, Puerto Rico where we will haul out on May 22 and store our boats until Nov. Here is our InReach tracking map of our travels around the Virgin Islands.
Our interactive maps are here:
http://islandspirit35.blogspot.com/p/google-maps-where-we-are.html
The trip around the British Virgin Islands


Here are some photos of our BVI wrap-up and the many beautiful sailing scenes and fun times we have enjoyed. There is no better life than cruising....none!



Moored in Road Town to get supplies at Bobby's Market

Oh No, trouble will happen at the Willy T!

Beautiful Privateer Bay, anchored at the south end of Norman Island and snorkeling from the boat


Willy T (again!) and Team Six Knots. We need to come back here in November and December.

Radeen and Lauren on the Willy-T

Someone did a varnish service to the cockpit area

Sailing Cooper Island to Peter Island

Heading back to Jost van Dyke to The Soggy Dollar Bar, home of The Original Painkiller

Beautiful blue waters of the Sir Francis Drake Channel

Passing through Sopers Hole
White Bay of Jost van Dyke, anchored off Ivan's


Stern to Bow photo of White Bay on Jost van Dyke

The homes on Soper's Hole, West End of Tortola

The homes on Soper's Hole West End of Tortola


Shopping Soper's Hole

Radeen and her latte, spoiled girl.

The sun sets on Soper's Hole's colorful buildings

Laundry drop off day, now off for another Latte....
The J-Class and world famous sv Ranger
http://www.sy-ranger.com/
The J-Class and world famous sv Ranger
http://www.sy-ranger.com/




For all you MAP people, this is where the British Virgin Islands are located and where Puerto Rico's east end is located where we will store our boat May 22-Nov 1

The USVI vs the BVIs map

Where are the BVIs?
Where is Fajardo, Puerto Rico? We will store in PR, May 22
Now time for St. Johns, St. Thomas, Calebra and Culebrita enroute to Puerto Rico.

5 comments:

Cynthia Palmer said...

Heyyyyyyyy .... Beautiful photos as always Hayden. And beautiful varnish job too :-) !!! I just read your last several posts and it brings back wonderful memories of sailing in the BVIs with Jim. We are in Fernandina Beach. headed to Brunswick Landing Marina tomorrow - Neverland's home until next Thanksgiving while we do some land cruising and spend some time at home. Hope to see you as a landlubber soon!!!

ussv Angel Louise said...

Hayden, we really appreciate your taking time while cruising to share the adventure. Love all the photos. We intended to get there this year to share a few of those anchorages, but settled in at Hopetown instead. The great photos make me pine for the West Indies! (Sue and I plan to head out May 25 for a year circling USA on a Great Loop thru Hudson, Eire Canal, Canadian canals, Great Lakes, Chicago and the Mississippi & rivers South to Gulf). Glad you and Radeen have had a great year, but thought maybe you'd haul at marina just north of Rocks at Virgin Gorda?

Gary McCoy said...

Kathy here: It has been so enjoyable to read the blogs of NEVERLAND and of ISLAND SPIRIT and to re-live cruising adventures in the Bahamas and the BVIs through all you guys. Thanks for all the fab photographs and all the commentary!😍😘

T Knox said...

That brightwork looks FANTASTIC."boat work in exotic places"

Greg K said...

I see Radeen has found a new Barista!
I can't compete with the designs on those Lattes. 😔
Oh well... I had a good run and it was nice while it lasted.

We are in Butte, Mt Tomorrow we head 250 mi north and will be 35 miles from the border, and into Canada on Sunday.

Enjoy your last couple of weeks of the 2016-17 Season. Another one for the record book for sure.

Team 6 knots. Thats pretty funny. I don't understand why that 42' Trawler can't blow your doors off however.

Smooth Sailing Kemosabe