Charters - British Virgin Islands

 

bviA Crewed or bareboat sailing vacation in the BVI is perfect for the first-time charter sailor because the islands are very close together and most of the anchorages can be reached without leaving the protected waters of the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Smooth waters and brisk trade winds are the norm, with quiet anchorages. If you only wish to sail for an hour a day, you can do so. If you wish to sail all day, you can easily do that as well.

The Multihull Catamaran Yacht Charters will provide the most desirable means of exploring the British Virgin Islands. With upwards of 50 bays and cays and anchorages to select from, it is little wonder that the British Virgin Islands are amongst the Caribbean's most popular sailing areas. The presence of almost constant trade winds, the warm temperature of the seas, the idyllic coastline with its pristine white sand beaches, fringed by swaying palm trees - all these aspects combine to produce perfect yachting waters.

The scenery from your yacht, as you cruise through the perfect blue waters of the Caribbean, will delight even the most traveled vacationer and you can give your novice sailors the security of knowing that they are very rarely out of sight of land.

There's nearly always an island close by! In fact, perhaps the only time they would be out of sight of land altogether might be if you decided to sail north to Anegada -the drowned island - a truly captivating island, of coral reef beginnings, which is 10 miles long, 2 ½ miles wide but only 28 feet high! And serves the best lobsters in the universe!

The options in the BVI are truly unlimited for designing the sailing vacation of your dreams. Let the Multihull company help find you the right Catamaran yacht for the Crew who wants to sail themselves or for those of you in need of Luxury and pampering while underway. Please contact so we may get you underway.

Itinerary 1

Day 1 - Unpack, settle in and cast off from Road Town, Tortola around noon on your Caribbean sailing charter. It's an easy reach to Deadman's Bay on Peter Island. Jump in and swim or dinghy ashore to the beautiful sandy beach before lunch. Then motor around the point to Little Harbor or isolated Great Harbor for the night.

Day 2 - On day two, set sail towards Beef Island up the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Anchor at Marina Cay and go ashore to visit the famous Pusser's restaurant and store. Relax with a drink and dinner on the island. Or anchor in Trellis Bay - protected by a reef guaranteeing fantastic snorkeling. You'll find rustic English-style dining and entertainment on tiny Bellamy Cay.

Day 3 - Sail east to Virgin Gorda and make a lunch stop at The Baths. Dive into crystal waters washing colorful reefs beside boulder-formed caves. Pick up a mooring ball for the day and dinghy, swim or snorkel ashore for a breathtaking tour as you wade through sandy pools and caves. Don't forget your camera!

A north swell prevents you from overnight anchoring here, so you'll want to motor around to Spanish Town. Anchor outside the marina entrance, or go in and tie up for the night. You'll find fuel, ice, water, groceries and West Indian entertainment at nearby bars and restaurants.

Day 4 - A balmy downwind sail takes you to Monkey Point on Guana Island where you'll find spectacular snorkeling on the southern end of the island. It's a great day anchorage.After lunch, continue west to Cane Garden Bay on northern Tortola, famous for picture-postcard beauty and full moon parties. Dinghy ashore from your for ice, supplies, mini-markets and fun beach bars with steel-drum bands. This is a secure overnight anchorage in all but a strong northerly. Sample genuine cane rum from the Callwood Distillery.

Day 5 - Day five of your Caribbean sailing charter takes you to beautiful Sandy Cay whose name speaks for itself. You can swim, snorkel, kayak, or hike around the tiny sugar-white sandy island.

Then head into Great Harbor on Jost Van Dyke for the night. Discover great little local shops, restaurants and bars including the famous Foxy's Tamarind Bar and Grill serving excellent dinners on Thursday evenings. Make reservations! Ice and some groceries are available. BVI Customs & Immigration offices are here also.

Day 6 - It's a long, leisurely sail to Norman Island. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote "Treasure Island" after visiting here. Steeped in history and legends of pirates and buried treasure, some found as recently as 1969! "The Bight" is a great overnight anchorage. Enjoy some lively entertainment aboard the Willy T (a tall ship restaurant named after William Thornton, architect of the U.S. Capital Building.)

Day 7 - Dinghy or kayak ashore to snorkel the Caves, populated with breathtaking arrays of colorful tropical fish. Snorkel or dive at the Indians, a group of sharp peaks rising from the sea about a mile offshore before returning to Tortola.

Other Cruising spots we suggest:

  • Hawksnest Bay, St. John – Pick up a National Park mooring ball and swim or dinghy ashore to a beautiful white sand beach. You can hail a taxi to Cruz Bay for some shopping or nightlife. The mooring is free for the day, but there is a charge to stay overnight.
  • Lameshur Bay, St. John – Like to hike? Guided park excursions provide opportunities to explore trails ranging from easy walks on well-maintained paths to difficult climbs along brushy tracks. Excellent for bird-watchers.
  • Leinster Bay, St. John – Towards the east end of St. John on the north coast, snorkeling around Waterlemon Cay is about the best you will find anywhere in the islands. You’ll find colorful parrotfish and schools of other reef fish. Ashore you’ll find a trail to the ruins of a centuries-old Sugar Mill. This well protected anchorage is a great spot for kayaking and an evening BBQ aboard.
  • Water Island, St. Thomas – Water, ice and restaurants found here. Cruise along the south coasts of St. John and St. Thomas, then head into protected waters of Honeymoon Bay to the west of Water Island. Swim from a beautiful white sand beach, explore ashore or dinghy to Frenchtown for duty free shopping.
  • Benner Bay, St. Thomas – Home of VIP Yacht Charters. Restock ice, fuel, water and provisioning.
  • Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay, Francis Bay, St. John – Absolutely breathtakingly beautiful anchorages, all part of the USVI National Park, and within easy reach from St. Thomas. Mooring balls are free for the day but have a charge for overnight. Hail a taxi along the road behind the beaches for a shopping excursion to Cruz Bay.
  • Little Harbor, Jost Van Dyke – Great overnight anchorage.
  • White Bay, Jost Van Dyke – A beautiful white sand beach, ideal for a lunch stop. Very small, shallow anchorage surrounded by reefs that can be tricky in a sailboat. Home of the famous Soggy Dollar Bar where the legendary rum-based “Painkillers” originated.
  • North Sound, Virgin Gorda – Take a walk around the luxury resorts of the Bitter End Yacht Club or Biras Creek Hotel. Loaded with amenities, including restaurants and shopping, plus fuel, ice, water and groceries.
  • Anegada – Start early and sail from Virgin Gorda to Anegada for the famed lobster of the Anegada Reef Hotel. A limestone island, Anegada has claimed over 300 wrecks so snorkeling is superior. Go only in perfect conditions. Fishermen can try bonefishing on the flats.
  • Salt Island– In earlier days, salt was harvested here from three evaporating ponds. On the west coast is the final resting place of the HMS Rhone, taken in 1912 by a hurricane, and now reputedly the best wreck dive in the western hemisphere. Great lunch stop.
  • Peter Island –Peter Island Resort & Yacht Harbor offers 20 slips, if you wish to tie up for a fee.
  • Caneel Bay, St. John – Beautiful Caneel Bay has a luxury resort that includes fine dining. This is a good daytime anchorage for your Caribbean sailing charter, but overnight at Hawksnest Bay, which offers better protection.
  • Cruz Bay, St. John – Head ashore to clear customs, shop and visit the village. Best to anchor at Hawksnest or Caneel Bay and dinghy in, as Cruz Bay’s anchorage is quite crowded and has a constant flow of ferry traffic.

Weather

Tortola weather does not have the sharp changes you find elsewhere.  This means that temperatures only very rarely fall below 77°F (25°C) during the winter or rise much above 90°F (32°C) in the summer months.  This tropical location also means that there is very little difference in the number of daylight hours throughout the year.  In addition, nighttime temperatures will probably only fall by about 10°F (6°C).  The rainfall in the BVI averages about 40 inches each year, with the wettest months generally from September to December.

The winter season in Tortola is classified as being between December through March, and whilst the North Americans and Europeans might be suffering from winter’s icy blasts, Tortola will be experiencing temperatures between 72 and 82°F (22 and 28°C) and wonderfully consistent trade winds of between 15 and 20 knots.  The stable weather patterns can be affected by high pressure systems in the North Atlantic, resulting in what the locals call the Christmas Winds of over 20 knots.  Generally, though, the trade winds, which once helped the clipper ships cross the Atlantic, provide perfect wind for the island’s sailing activities.

The Spring season, from April through June, brings with it a slight moderation of the trade winds and a similar rise in daily temperatures.  The island begins to take on its characteristic green lushness now and, as the wave action is reduced, it’s a perfect time for snorkeling.  You’ll have about a 20% chance of some showers during Spring but there are many people who will tell you it’s the very best time to visit – the winter tourists have gone and the summer ones not yet arrived and the days are generally just perfect.

Summer, from July through September, Tortola weather sees both the highest temperatures and also rainfall beginning to gradually increase.  Summer winds tend to go in an ESE direction, at something between 10 to 12 knots, providing gentle breezes for water enthusiasts.  September is often the warmest month and daytime highs can reach 95°F (35°C), although the nights are generally still comfortable.  If it does get too hot, then heading inland to the shady groves and higher altitudes can help take the edge off the heat somewhat by offering cooler temperatures.  

The hurricane season, of course, is from June to September but the Caribbean is a large area and the chances of a direct hit are not very high – and nowadays there is always plenty of prior notice.  They are by no means a common occurrence on Tortola.

Autumn, in October and November, will see winds between 10 and 20 knots, generally from the east, providing excellent sailing conditions and some of those short, sharp showers that leave you not quite sure whether to run for cover or just let it refresh you before the sun returns to dry you off.
Tortola, therefore, can provide you with warm sunshine, pleasant breezes and unfeasibly blue skies whatever time of the year you decide to visit.
But make sure you bring plenty of sun block.


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