|Cruising the BVI is usually accomplished by chartering a sailboat and
spending 7 to 10 days slowly voyaging from one island to the next.
Since my husband and I are mostly "landlubbers" and prefer to stay in resorts,
we've never had the chance to see the entire set of British Virgin Islands
- until now! By chartering a fast motor yacht, we managed to
visit all but Anegada in one day and make 10 stops along the way at many
of the famous beaches and snorkeling spots. Power yacht cruising
is definitely the way to tour if you don't have time to spend an entire
week drifting around at sea.
During a stay in the British Virgin Islands, we arranged a day trip
on a sleek power yacht which whisked us in a clockwise excursion around
the BVI with a lunch stop at Pirates Restaurant on Norman Island.
The yacht and crew of two picked us up at the dock around 9 am and we were first off to the North Sound of Virgin Gorda, then leisurely cruised south along the coast to the famous Baths.
The Baths is a cluster of huge rock formations scattered along the southeast coast of Virgin Gorda and creates a haven for sunbathers, swimmers, snorkelers, and hikers. Long stretches of white sand beach are edged and dotted by these boulders which create land caves and sea grottos to explore.
Cooper Island was our next stop which has a small hotel, restaurant, and colorful snorkeling reefs. Leaving there, we next visited Deadman's Bay off Peter Island which has a gorgeous beach and waterside bar and grill.
Norman Island's famous snorkeling Caves was our next destination - an interesting place to swim into three caves set in the side of sheer cliffs. We used a dive light to view some fish and the cave walls.
By that time, we were ready for lunch at Pirates Restaurant located in The Bight of Norman Island. It sits next to a pretty white sand beach with lounge chairs and umbrella shaded tables for those who'd prefer to dine outside rather than inside.
|The yacht's crew of two, Stephen and Liz, (above) ordered drinks while
we wandered down the beach. We all enjoyed an excellent lunch of
onion rings, fresh lobster salad, and some of the best Bar-B-Q ribs in
the BVI. I bought a few t-shirts in the gift shop which has a gold
coin and pirate theme (naturally!).
Leaving Pirates, we cruised past the "Willie-T" known for it's floating
bar, grill, and wild party atmosphere when the sun goes down. More
than a few "walk the plank" after more than a few!
The only way to get there is by boat as you can see. A tiny dinghy full of yachters was puttering to the Willie, no doubt hoping they'd reach it before it sunk!
We were more than glad to be on the nice big yacht instead of the dink, but couldn't resist taking this classic shot of a "boat load".
We didn't stop at the Indians since we've been there many times, but it is a "must do" for anyone who has not yet experienced its fantastic snorkeling and gorgeous reefs full of fish which surround this series of rocks rising from the seabed. This is a photo of a gorgeous iridescent Parrot Fish we saw there while diving one year.
Jost Van Dyke in the northwest corner of the BVI was our next destination on this facinating tour. Ringed with white sand beaches, it can only be reached by boat and is a favorite yachtsmens' stop. The main settlement is in Great Harbour which holds Customs and Immigration, an inn, a few shops, and Foxy's. Around the corner and down another beach is White Bay with the Soggy Dollar Bar, another favorite watering hole for those visiting Jost. This 4 mile long island only has 150 residents, so is very laid back and quaint as this photo of a lovely seaside church shows.
On our return to the dock, we cruised along Tortola's north shore passing
Long Bay, Little Apple Bay (with Bomba's Shack), Cane Garden Bay, and Brewers
We arrived in late afternoon after a terrific day of seeing the BVI. The motor yacht would easily hold up to eight people in its covered lounge area and the spacious sun decks. It can cruise up to 30 mph making it easy to zip around the BVI in one day.
|Kenny and I highly recommend power cruising to those who are land-based yet would like to see more of these gorgeous islands. The yacht captain can tailor your cruise to visit any special places you'd like to see or snorkel, or do what we did - let them give you the grand tour and stop anywhere that looks interesting along the way.|