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Sailing in the British virgin Islands, Caribbean
Our adventure began in Tortola at the flagship Moorings charter base, where the vessels of varying shapes and sizes are neatly lined up awaiting their captains.
In addition to the bustling harbor, The Moorings Village features luxurious hotel rooms, restaurants, shops, a pool, and provisioning services.
Chartering a boat gives you the freedom to keep whatever type of schedule you prefer – slow and lazy, or action packed – to seek out secluded bays, and linger for days, or hit as many of the famous BVI hot spots as possible.
The speed and ease of operating our power cat made it possible to zip over to a "hot spot" for our first night!
Seeing as it was Halloween, we set our course for Jost Van Dyke, and one of the BVI's most notorious watering holes – Foxy's. Jost Van Dyke actually has a lot to offer cruisers, but the reputation of this one bar sort of overshadows the rest of this laid back island.
Our next stop was Virgin Gorda and the famous "Baths", where we scrambled over rocks like kids, then wallowed in a natural Jacuzzi, before setting off to trace some island history at the scenic Cornish Copper Mines.
Gorda Sound is perfectly set up for cruisers – offering a sheltered anchorage, a few dining options, shops, kayak rental, and, my favorite, the hammocks at Saba Rock. Another classic, noteworthy, establishment for dinner or sundowners is also located here in "the sound" – The Bitter End Yacht Club.
Anegada is a 10 mile long, almost completely flat, coral sand cay, with barely a couple hundred residents. Many cruisers don't make it all the way out to Anegada, so this is where our "Power Cat" really came in handy!
Walking the rough wooden dock at the Anegada Reef Hotel, I felt as though I had crossed 1000's of miles of ocean, it is so completely different from the hilly, tropical, volcanic islands that make up the rest of the BVI chain.
After touring the island a bit, I had already fallen in love with the casual, more adventurous feel of Anegada, they really didn't need to bribe me with a toes-in-the-sand lobster feast to end the day!
The BVI really has it all – quintessential deserted beaches, resorts for every taste and budget, and yachts waiting to take you to them! Whether you chose to travel with a knowledgeable captain, or elect to skipper your own adventure, the turquoise waters of the British Virgin Islands will wash away stress, and leave you swaying like the palms in the warm breeze.
tortola: Gateway to BVI Adventure
If you are flying to Tortola to begin a cruising adventure, be sure to set aside some time to explore the island.
For some historical perspective, head to the Sugar Works Museum, a down-to-earth little collection of historic exhibits housed in a 300 year old building that once processed sugar and a cotton. Plantations prospered on Tortola until the slave trade was abolished in 1808. Prior to this, the islands were a haven for pirates – some believe there is still treasure stashed in secluded coves!
The commercial center of Tortola is "Road Town", an authentic Caribbean town, with lush vegetation tumbling down steep hillsides into a busy harbor and streets lined with brightly colored buildings.
If you are not keen to travel by boat, you could easily spend a week on Tortola, traveling around the island, or tucked away in one of it's many varied-style resorts.
See Also: BVI Accommodations page
More on Tortola
Julie's BVI Blog Post
The Online Cruising Guide to The Virgin Islands - resource for chartering and building your itinerary.
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