Of course, I haven’t actually taken my summer vacation yet – I’ll be taking it in mid-July. BUT, as they say, more than half the fun is thinking about it and preparing for it. SO, I thought I’d share my anticipation and tell you all about the things I want to do this time around.
This is not my first trip to the Tortola, I have been visiting the Caribbean regularly for over 30 years but the BVI remains one of my “bestest” places to sail and have a nice, some say undeserved, chill-out time. This time I’ll be chartering a Lagoon 40′ catamaran, with a genset and a/c and it will be my wife and I plus a couple of very good friends on board. I’ll be doing the skipper thing, and my good friend Alfredo will be doing mate’s duties and will also be the “dinghy captain”. Alfredo and Pili are from Venezuela and Pili happens to be the best “Arepas-from-scratch” person aboard a boat anywhere. And, yes, buttered Arepas with slices of avocado are sheer bliss on a plate.
Why do I keep coming back? This familiarity with these islands is comforting: it allows me to relax and take my time, limiting my itinerary to the places I enjoy the most and, hopefully, not having to worry too much about hitting a reef somewhere or finding a restaurant with soggy conch fritters. I know them. It’s comforting.
Best of all, even if it’s pouring cats and dogs and the wind’s blowing 30 plus, I can always find a little place to hunker down and play dominoes and knock back a few Caribs.
I have the itinerary all worked out in my head at this stage, hoping of course that the weather will permit everything to happen as planned. We’ll start from the base in Maya Cove on the S. coast of Tortola around 4PM and motor around Beef Island and overnight in Marina Cay. Probably have dinner there too.
The following morning, we’ll leave early (slip the moorings at dawn, ahrrrr..!!) and head North to Anegada, hopefully arriving about midday. Have lunch and make a reservation for a lobster dinner ashore. Spend the rest of the day, hanging out in Anegada, take a cab across to the Atlantic side of the island and see if we can stir up a few turtles, gawk at the Flamingos and generally do nothing.
We may actually spend a couple of nights there, depending on the weather. Isn’t that the great thing about charter boats? You can choose when to go, when to leave and how long to stay..! I’ll surely have book that needs to be finished, anyway, who cares?
Next day we’ll gird our loins and set the sails for a nice long leisurely downwind joy-ride to Jost van Dyke, no, I’m not going to try and pick up a mooring in narrow crowded bumpy White Bay, and no, I’m not going to try and anchor in Great Bay with the anchor scraping along the bottom all night, I think we’ll just pick up a mooring in Long Bay opposite Foxy’s Taboo. Maybe walk over to the Bubbly Pool the next morning.
From there it’s a short hop, skip and jump to Cane Garden Bay which I really love. Especially Myetts hotel and the great beach with (usually) calm water where you can swim all day long until your skin gets wrinkly like a turtle on a bad day. Myetts always has cheesy Caribbean live music in the evenings but somehow it always sounds great because that’s exactly where you are: in the Caribbean – and it’s all irie, mon…!
After a day or two in Cane Garden, I visualize running around the corner to Soper’s hole to re-fuel, take on water and re-provision. The water is almost more expensive than the rum, so get your priorities RIGHT. Soper’s hole has some great little shops including Latitude 18 and the legendary and inevitable Pussers store and restaurant that has more-than-reasonable cheeseburgers AND conch fritters that are not soggy and you can actually taste the conch.
Out of Sopers and around the corner again with a SE heading for the Bight on Norman Island. Maybe stop off for a snorkel at the Indians and check out a mooring close to Pirates Bight. Actually Pirates Bight burned down last year but was promptly re-built and has a nice bar. Willie-T’s is more suitable for a younger crowd – certainly not the crowd on OUR boat.
The Bight is very protected if there’s any kind of weather and of course there are the famous Caves at Norman Island which are a delight to snorkel.
Up past Peter Island (the Resort’s a little snooty and expensive though), past Salt Island and overnight on a mooring at Manchioneel Bay on Cooper Island for our last rounds of Bushwhackers and Pan Killers.
To bed early, then an early rise for the 30 minute sail across the Francis Drake Channel and back to the base with our beloved Lagoon.
At least that’s the PLAN and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for good weather. Talk to you again when we get back. If you’re in the mood for something similar of if you’d like to talk to me about YOUR itinerary, feel free to call me at 877-759-8263 or we have a really short contact request form too. Cheers.