7 day charter in the BVI
So you are still a bit nervous about chartering in the BVI and are worried about the horror stories of devastation, well don't be, because the fact is 90 % of your time will be spent cruising the wonderful bays and Islands in the British Virgin Islands that have mainly escaped unharmed, the greenery is growing back, the beaches are still golden, the diving is still world-class, and the sea is still a beautiful blue-green color that can only be found in the BVI, the mainland is starting to recover so that being said here is my recommendations for a sample 7 day Itinerary in the BVI on-board a bareboat mono or Catamaran.
Day 1. Most charters start at Midday in the various charter bases on the main Island Tortola, to save some time you can always use Ritway Food stores https://www.rtwbvi.com/howto to get your provisions delivered straight to your boat (They deliver to all BVI charter boat locations). Once off the dock head straight over to Great Harbour, Peter Island for one of the many mooring balls in the anchorage, first night will be the famous Willie T floating bar and restaurant for an evening of mayhem, the new boat boasts a huge upper deck with lots of tables, the new bathrooms are clean and organized all great improvements from the original and you can still jump off the top deck, a right of passage for any BVI charter vacation.
Day 2. Head East from Great Harbor towards the South West tip of Salt Island for the wreck of the Rhone, you can pick up one of the many mooring balls there, and snorkell right over the wreck (Good visibility in 25' of water around the stern section) , once done you can continue along the reef where there are lots of fish and creatures to see, watch out for the surge along the southern end, from there head east again to Cooper Island early in the afternoon to pick up a mooring for the night (Cooper always gets full up quick so get there as soon as possible), great spot for paddle boarding and snorkeling the various reefs there, the rocks off Cistern point is a great place to Snorkel, always a great place to hang out for the day and cocktails at sunset at the Rum bar is a must.
Day 3. Head over to the Baths early in the day to avoid the crowds, lunch on the anchorage or at the restaurant " The Top of the Baths" a short hike up the trail from the beach, if there are North swells in the winter this coastline can be a bit rolly and sometimes untenable so I recommend heading up to North Sound, Virgin Gorda in the afternoon and anchor in fine sand off Prickly Pear Island or take a mooring or slip at Leverick Bay resort, always very reasonable and welcoming in this great little resort and the perfect place to re-provision mid-week, the grocery store is well stocked there and you will find lots of items there not available anywhere else on your trip.
Day 4. Leave early and head North to Anegada for a day of adventure on the Sandy Isle, for the adventurous we always rent some scooters and explore the Island, Cow Wreck to the West and Big Banana to the east, 3 hours is plenty to see all the sights and even spot thew famous Pink Flamingoes on the way back, a beach BBQ at one of the many fine restaurants is a must on Anegada and of course hardwood smoked Lobster is the main event for the evening, dance the night away at Potters for those with some energy left!
Day 5. Another early start and straight to White Bay, Jost Van Dyke for a beach day in THE place to be seen in the BVI, the famous Soggy Dollar bar, which has been rebuilt and is just as much fun as ever and, depart around 4pm to Great Harbor for an evening at the famous Foxy's Tamarind bar, still a place not to be missed on any BVI itinerary, if you are lucky enough to be there on a Friday or Saturday the all you can eat BBQ is the best in the Islands.
Day 6. Continue Anti-Clockwise around Tortola and head on over towards Norman Island, moor off the Indians if there is room for a snorkel and then head into the Bight for the evening, Snorkel the Caves before sunset and then drinks at "Pirates" restaurant.
Day 7. Your charter is nearly over just time for a quick dip before you head back to your charter base and return your home for the week at Midday, start planning the next one!
Steve Varrow has been sailing, teaching and chartering full time in the Caribbean since 2005