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Thread: Land and sea trip to the Virgin Islands

  1. #1
    JoshA is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2005 Annapolis Posts: 4,106

    Land and sea trip to the Virgin Islands

    We haven't been to St. Barts in a while but that will change next year. Here's the first part of what we did on this year's Caribbean trip.

    We vacationed in the USVI and BVI in late January and early February. We flew into STT and spent two days at Caneel Bay, St. John. Here is a nighttime view of St. Thomas taken at dinner from the sugar mill restaurant. Part of the historic mill is in the foreground.
    IMG_0265.jpg
    We then joined a flotilla from Horizon in Nanny Cay, Tortola. We were on a very nice Bavaria 45. The first morning we sailed to Norman Island. After snorkeling the Caves, we watched the Super Bowl at the fancy new Pirates pictured here.
    IMG_0344.jpg
    We also snorkeled the Indians the next morning.
    IMG_0363.jpg

  2. #2
    JoshA is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2005 Annapolis Posts: 4,106
    We sailed on to Cooper Island which is much more upscale now than I remember and we had a great dinner there. The next morning we saw this sail by.
    IMG_0430.jpg
    After two snorkel stops at the Dogs, we sailed into North Sound and picked up a mooring for another great dinner at Bitter End.

    After the race to Anegada the next morning, we found there were no mooring balls to be had so the fleet anchored.

  3. #3
    JoshA is offline
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    A lazy afternoon at Loblolly Bay prepared us for a great dinner at Potters By The Sea.

    Here's our main dinner ingredient, fresh from the sea.

    We saw a great sunset at the anchorage - one of many during the trip.


    IMG_0027.jpg
    After dinner, there was time to keep the party going.

  4. #4
    JoshA is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2005 Annapolis Posts: 4,106
    We got started early for a long sail to Marina Cay where we had trouble picking up a mooring with the very short hook on the boat. We ended up putting the swim platform down to make it easy to moor from the stern. I had bruises all over my chest from hanging over the side to pick up moorings on previous days with the short boathook they provided. An advantage of a stern mooring was that we were easily able to spot our boat after we snorkeled Diamond Reef since it was the only one pointed the wrong way! Another advantage was that we were pointed the right way to sail off our mooring and through the cut between Big and Little Camanoe with just our genoa deployed. A long, lazy, downwind sail brought us to Cane Garden Bay. We were greeted by another boat in our flotilla that had spent the previous day at Jost. You can see why we dubbed them "Shameless."

    We partied at Quito's after dinner.

    The next morning we stopped at Sandy Spit for a stroll around the beach.

    A long beat around the West End of Tortola and up the Drake Channel led to a rolly anchorage at Deadman's Bay on Peter Island.

  5. #5
    MIke R is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2003 Stinson Lake - New Hampshire & Provincetown - Cape Cod Posts: 51,935
    very very nice Josh....my kind of trip...long time no hear....hope you are well
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

  6. #6
    JoshA is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2005 Annapolis Posts: 4,106
    Never better, Mike. Thanks. We're planning on St. Barts next year so I'll be checking in more frequently.

    The last part of our trip was on land at Virgin Gorda.

  7. #7
    MIke R is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2003 Stinson Lake - New Hampshire & Provincetown - Cape Cod Posts: 51,935
    good to hear....you 'll see when you read a few posts it will be like you never left....same s**t..different day
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

  8. #8
    MIke R is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2003 Stinson Lake - New Hampshire & Provincetown - Cape Cod Posts: 51,935
    Quote Originally Posted by JoshA View Post
    The last part of our trip was at on land at Virgin Gorda.

    was the Baths a mob scene?
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

  9. #9
    JoshA is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2005 Annapolis Posts: 4,106
    We got up early for the short sail back to base where we got a taxi for the last phase of our trip at Biras Creek. We really liked the luxury of long showers and great food but we continued with waterborne adventures on smaller boats like this Folkboat.

    It's hard to beat the view from the dining room at Biras.

    It was pretty nice from our cottage as well.

    We were able to look at the construction at Necker after the fire.

    After our last sunrise

    we flew out of Virgin Gorda to STT and home.

  10. #10
    JoshA is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike R View Post
    was the Baths a mob scene?
    We didn't go to the Baths this time because we saw there were cruise ships in Roadtown from the Cooper anchorage. We'd been there many times anyway. The Dogs were a good choice for snorkeling because we got to the lee of Great Dog before the squall hit. I was free diving with a group of scuba divers and saw some rays, etc. We also stopped at a little known reef on George Dog which had some of the best coral. We were alone because there were no mooring balls there and so there was less reef damage.

  11. #11
    LindaP is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Mar 2003 Denver, Co Posts: 2,817
    Nice photos ,Josh.....love the BVI also.....we stayed at both Biras and Peter Island.....great beaches and sunsets for sure. Glad you had a great trip, will maybe see you on St Barths sometime!
    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance !

  12. #12
    JoshA is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2005 Annapolis Posts: 4,106
    Thanks, Linda. Love Biras - maybe my favorite in the Caribbean. Glad to have seen Peter Island again in the sunshine. Last time it rained 17 inches :-(

    Maybe see you on St Barts if you'll be there next February.

  13. #13
    Peter NJ is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2002 Highlands NJ Posts: 6,807
    Its hard to beat the beauty of the BVI's. How did old Rhymers Beach Hotel look in CGB?
    The last of the famous international playboys

  14. #14
    JoshA is offline
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    Not sure I saw it, Peter. CGB has changed quite a bit since I first started going. Maybe you can tell from this picture. Quito's is the building above the bow of the boat. That's about 3 times the size it used to be. Myett's is out of the frame to the right. I'll see if I have another photo.

  15. #15
    Peter NJ is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2002 Highlands NJ Posts: 6,807
    Beauty! Ryhmers is the pink hotel all the way on the right of this pic.I have stayed there at least 5 times...Yes Quitos looks like a Mall now compared to when I was a reg.
    The last of the famous international playboys

  16. #16
    Peter NJ is offline
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    Josh I would love to see any CGB pics you have.
    The last of the famous international playboys

  17. #17
    JoshA is offline
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    Peter: This is a shot of the ketch but plenty of the beach from Rhymers to Myetts is visible as well. I probably have some more.
    IMG_0116.jpg

  18. #18
    JoshA is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2005 Annapolis Posts: 4,106
    A few more shots of CGB:








  19. #19
    ccg is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2009 Durham, NC Posts: 687
    Josh - Enjoyed your pictures of the BVI. We were there a year ago, boy time does fly. The sunsets were some of the prettiest I have ever seen, this is from Easter Sunday. Thanks for sharing.

    Charlotte

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    "There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign" Robert Louis Stevenson
    House Divided - Roll Tide War Eagle

  20. #20
    Peter NJ is offline
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    Josh thanks for all the CGB pics..Love that bay! When I first started going,Quito's was the size of a shoe box with a tree growing in the middle of the bar...and Stanley still tended bar at Stanleys...local steel pan band played most nights...Staying at Ryhmers on the beach was about $50 a night in season! Magic times
    The last of the famous international playboys

  21. #21
    JoshA is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2005 Annapolis Posts: 4,106
    Charlotte: Beautiful shot of the sunset. I found your trip report from earlier. Sounds like you had a challenging trip as it often is with family - especially with 9 people on a boat. I am still laughing at the picture in my head where your father-in-law forgot his wife. LOL.

    Peter: I remember when Quito's Gazebo actually was a kind of gazebo. Stanley's is reputed to be the place Cheeseburger in Paradise was written about. Yes, I know about Le Select as well. I did hear a local steel pan band in CGB this trip at "Captain Ron's" which is the blue building in the last picture I posted.


  22. #22
    patchdad is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Apr 2004 Philadelphia Posts: 275
    Loved your report Josh, it was great fun reminiscing about past trips to the BVI, both on land and by boat. Loved the Cane Garden Bay shots, we were there one Easter when the Armada arrived from Puerto Rico, boat upon boat arriving and then tying up together and partying the weekend away, it was quite a sight. Thanks for the memories.

  23. #23
    JoshA is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2005 Annapolis Posts: 4,106
    Quote Originally Posted by patchdad View Post
    Loved your report Josh, it was great fun reminiscing about past trips to the BVI, both on land and by boat. Loved the Cane Garden Bay shots, we were there one Easter when the Armada arrived from Puerto Rico, boat upon boat arriving and then tying up together and partying the weekend away, it was quite a sight. Thanks for the memories.
    Thanks, patchdad, for reminding me about the Puerto Rican Navy. Some weekends they would take over an entire bay. Here's CGB from an earlier trip.


  24. #24
    sbhlvr is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Sep 2009 Dunes of Cape Cod Posts: 1,762
    Just read your great report. Now I'm jones'in for a trip. As the others have said, reminds me of our trip, back in '97 (yikes that was a long time ago). Chartered a boat from Freedom which we loved, except for the crack in the water tank! Too bad that they aren't in business anymore. We kinda went the other way that you did. After going around to Marina Cay we hauled it to VG and hung out there for a bit. Also dined at Biras. After that we went over to Jost with the wind at our stern, man that was a hot one! Went to many of the stops you did. I didn't care for CGB then when it wasn't as populated as it looks now.
    Thanks for posting that pic of Caneel. We spent part of our honeymoon there in'89. Two days prior to when Hugo hit (we were at Little Dix Day). Next year we'll be on STJ so we'll have to go and see how it is doing.
    Have you bareboated with that outfit before? How did you like them?
    There's no dumb a$$ vaccine

  25. #25
    JoshA is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2005 Annapolis Posts: 4,106
    Thanks, sbhlvr. BVI is Disneyland for sailors, isn't it? Line of sight navigation, beautiful and diverse land and seascapes, great infrastructure, moorings and anchorages, lots of special places, wreck diving, beaches, beach bars, music, restaurants, friendly people, constant trade winds, snorkeling, spiny lobster, great weather, and nice resorts to pamper you. Hadn't used Horizon before but they and the boat we were on were great.

  26. #26
    JoshA is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2005 Annapolis Posts: 4,106
    Quote Originally Posted by JoshA View Post
    BVI is Disneyland for sailors, isn't it?
    See below.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL...&v=L2HXlcgfwKc

  27. #27
    Eve is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2008 Boston Posts: 8,518
    Beautiful. I was just thinking last night, after this last 15 day trip to St Barts, that it may be time to switch it up to the BVI's. Thinking Guana Island.
    Thanks for the report!

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