We arrived at the BVIs on Øysteins birthday, 3rd of April, just as the sun came up over the horizon. Our sail from Sint Marteen took about 14-15 hours, with winds, waves and currents from behind – one of the most comfortable passages for a long time! We slowed down towards the end to make sure we arrived around dawn. At arrival, we were met by a great view. We have never seen this number of boats out sailing at the same time. We quickly learned the reason for this, as the BVIs truly is a sailor’s paradise in terms of being able to move from island to island, anchorage to anchorage, within as little as minutes if you want.
We cleared customs in Spanish Town at the island called Virgin Gorda, and then moved on to the northern part of the island, North Sound. At North Sound you have many options on where to anchor, and our choice landed outside the beach of Prickley Pear. A wonderful spot! Perfect after spending time in the lagoon at Sint Marteen. We had a look around in the area with our dinghy (“Vetle Tango”) in the afternoon, before we celebrated Øystein’s birthday with Spanish wine, cheese and ham we got a hold of in a wonderful shop in Sint Marteen. At North Sound it is also worth having a closer look at places like Saba Rock and (the perfectly named) Bitter End. Here you will find picture perfect Caribbean spots.
2,5 weeks in the BVIs gave us time to explore and enjoy many of the nice spots here. You can find everything from quiet bays with no one else around, to busy anchorages with lively beach bars and “spring break” atmosphere. Apart from North Sound we really enjoyed a few spots at Norman Island; one is called the Bight, with a couple of beach bars and a famous schooner called Willy T. 15 minutes sailing from there took us to Benures Bay, a lovely and peaceful anchorage with nothing but pelicans, turtles, corals and sharks (!) around you.
Trellis Bay at Beef Island is another great spot, especially if you time it so that you are here during a full moon. BVIs is famous for their full moon beach parties, and the one at Trellis Bay is supposed to be one of the more spectacular ones. We managed to time it to full moon, and we are really happy we did. And even more happy that we arrived a few days before the happening, as the bay got more and more crowded. We met a lovely Norwegian family here, on a boat called Duen II, and we enjoyed the full moon party together with them. There was live music, fire shows and happenings at all bars. Trellis Bay is also a great spot to be if you get visitors, are picking up crew etc., as it literally is a minute walk from the dinghy dock to the airport. And while you are here, make sure you take your dinghy to (or anchor outside) Marina Cay. This is where the newlywed White-couple found their paradise island in the 1930s, and their story later turned in to a book and a movie. The little island is now a resort, and their house is working as a bar, or a Happy Arrr Bar, as it says on the signs.
At Tortola we found a good spot at Cane Garden Bay, a well-protected bay with a nice long beach, great beach bars and a lovely atmosphere. And for the first time, we found a bar with happy hour on drinks AND, most importantly, food! Perfect for hungry sailors 😊
As we are both born in April, Anne Lise also had her birthday while we were in the BVIs. For her birthday, we set anchor between Sandy Spit, a tiiiiny island with nothing but a beach and trees, and Little Jost Van Dyke. Peaceful and beautiful, picture perfect settings!
After the birthday celebration number two we moved on to Jost Van Dyke and White Bay. Arriving in the early hours of the day, we thought for a moment we were in heaven, with a beautiful white beach protected by reefs outside the anchorage. Then in the afternoon it felt more like we were in hell – we were in the middle of something we imagine looks like the famous spring break. “Party boats” from the US Virgin Islands (USVIs) and Puerto Rico where taking over the place, competing with the beach bars to play the loudest music. Luckily, they left before sunset, and the bay was once again like heaven on earth.
A friendly piece of advice: If you want to go sailing here, the best anchorages and islands are also remote, so it is a good idea to stock up on supplies before heading here. There are smaller supermarkets some places, plus bigger ones in the capital, but almost everything in the shops is imported as there is little local production. This naturally means higher costs, but also that you can get what you need.
After a couple of weeks in the BVIs we were ready to move on, and when the weather was right, we set sail to go south again, towards Saint Kitts.