Best BVI Anchorages
Charter companies, brokers, skippers, and anyone who spends plenty of time sailing the British Virgin Islands name their top spots.
"I’m a big fan of the North Sound over by Saba Rock. It is beefy, but flat water, there is stuff to do ashore if you like, places to windsurf and SUP, and the bone fishing isn’t too shabby either!" writes F. Scott Farquharson of Dream Yacht Charter.
Barney Crook, Managing Director of TMM Yacht Charters adds, "They are all nice – I could not single one out."
Peter King of King Yacht Charters, Inc. has more to say. "I think that one of our favorite anchorages is off Green Cay, Jost Van Dyke, mainly because we can time a visit to the bubbly pool to coincide with an incoming tide when the action works better. Also, the natural world of this island is fascinating.
"Foxy’s Taboo is a pretty good watering hole too, with nice pizza and painkillers.
"We also like the inner anchorage/pond off Neptune’s Treasure at Anegada. This restaurant has the best lobster and fresh fish. If they haven’t caught the fish, it isn’t served, even if it’s on the menu. They serve a wonderful lobster omelet for breakfast. Pam’s Bakery has terrific banana bread and buns for breakfast. The Soares family story is a really fascinating tale of fortitude. Cow Wreck Beach is our favorite – particularly if you like to beach walk."
"Key Cay, Peter Island in summer is fabulous!" notes an anonymous cruiser.
Captain Val Doan says, "My personal favorite is North Sound because it is where I first lived for four years in the 80s, and is like a big lake, with flat water, great wind for kite boarding, windsurfing and hobie cating from Bitter End to the Sand Box. You can dinghy across the sound to get to all the little hidey holes for snorkelling or drinking. Oil Nut Bay and all behind Saba Rock and Eustatia are other great places to putt around. Snorkel by the cannon off the outer reef; it’s awesome in calm conditions.
Anchoring in front of Richard Branson’s Mosquito Island is an oasis away from the crowds, and being in the shallows behind Calhoun Reef is peaceful.
"Also, realize that North Sound is such a great jumping off point for longer sailing. There’s a customs house in Gun Creek for clearing in, which makes for an easy departure with better wind angle to get to St. Martin overnight. And of course it’s a great jumping off point for a screaming reach to Anegada and its awesome lobster. At Anegada, there are many good restaurants with diverse menus and price ranges, cool shopping, beaches, bars, watersports and all without high rises and crowds of tourists.
"In the North Sound, you can be as busy or as laid back and peaceful as you like, all within a few miles. It has something for everyone."
Capt. Dave Bello of Fair Wind Sailing thinks you should start your BVI charter on St. Thomas, in the United States Virgin Islands, for these five reasons:
1. You have better flight options – There are more flights from the U.S. to St. Thomas than from the U.S. to the BVI, and they’re almost always less expensive.
2. Save time — Now that you’re landing in St. Thomas, your charter boat is only one short cab ride away. Don’t head over to the BVI where you’ll need a cab to the ferry, a ferry to the BVI and another cab to your charter base. That can take a few hours.
3. Avoid ground transportation charges – The ferry is $50 per head round trip and the second cab ride is at least $10-20 more. Extra ground transportation costs are avoided when you start your charter in St. Thomas.
4. Enjoy the north side of St. John — I think it offers the best anchorages in all of the Virgin Islands. Excellent snorkeling can be found in Leinster Bay, perfect swimming conditions await you in Cinnamon Bay, and gorgeous beaches and challenging hikes in Caneel Bay are just a few of the treats in the Virgin Islands National Park.
5. The nightlife – Red Hook, St. Thomas, and Cruz Bay, St. John, provide dozens of options for good food, live music, and dancing and all can be reached on the first day of your charter.