Cruising the British Virgin Islands
With a luxury motor yacht
The motor yacht Sovereign
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. 
bvi map

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. 

Guana Island dock
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 long white sand beach near the 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. 
Huge boulders at the Baths
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. 
Peter Island beach, 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. 
The Caves at Norman Island
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.
 Pirates restaurant at Norman Island
Liz & Stephan Carney
beachside dining
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! 

Wille-T floating bar and restaurant
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! 
Dink full of yachters
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. 
The Indians
Parrot Fish seen at the Indians
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. 
Seaside church on Jost Van Dyke

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 Bay. 

Sovereign motor yacht
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. 
The Baths
Rent a Luxury Sea Ray Motor Yacht
Norman Island and Map
Pirates Bar & Restaurant
The Baths and Map
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copyright Lynn McKamey (ScubaMom)