The B V I s are Back Around
After intense planning with close attention to every detail surrounding food and logistics, Capt Chris and Chef Kostas arrived Friday afternoon at Road Town, BVI to scope out the scene and prepare for the guests to arrive Saturday.
With the boat almost ready for us all to board, Chris went to the local airport to welcome the guests — two sisters and their partners. This trip was to celebrate a notable birthday for one of the guests. Once they cleared Customs, we were whisked away by a shuttle service through the windy roads of the aptly named Road Town. To our left and right, we could still see some remnants of Hurricane Irma, but the vegetation was lush and many businesses were open and thriving.
Since this was a big birthday, the girls decided to splurge and go big! We chartered Cassiopeia, a 58’ catamaran with SIX staterooms, multiple fridges and a very large upper deck. Because of the size and complexity of systems on board, it took some serious doing to get the boat ready and provisioned as well as work out some unexpected maintenance quirks. Fortunately, with years of Moment’s restoration and upkeep under our belt, we are accustomed to these things!
By the time we cast off the lines, we only had enough time to zip across the bay to Little Harbor at Peter Island. As darkness fell, the drinks were happily poured and our second deck space immediately became alive. While the ladies were lounging and food was being prepared, we noted a few additional issues with the generator / air conditioner as well as with some of the cabin doors. We began speaking to the charter company base trying to tackle some of the issues. While we resolved the AC and generator, we decided that it was best to return to base in the morning to fix the doors and get some additional provisions that were not delivered—most notably olive oil—a necessity for Chef Kostas!
Sunday morning began with a bountiful breakfast of spiced scrambled eggs with bacon and toast, then anchors up and back to base for a few hours to take care of our new-found punch list.
Next stop: Cooper Island! This is a personal favorite and an easy sail from Tortola. We did a few tacks and then nestled in for the evening. The paddle board, kayak, and snorkel gear were deployed for some shoreside exploration. Lunch was a lovely pesto chicken pasta and dinner was succulent lemon crusted cod.
Day 3 we had a deliciously pleasing French Toast breakfast then were off to the Baths, which was a quick motor sail upwind. We dinghied as far as allowed and then swam ashore through the radiant turquoise waters. Once ashore, we climbed under and over prehistoric looking boulders and through bountiful tide pools inside the rocks. After a mid way photo-op, the ladies continued to the end of the path and we went back for the dinghy to pick them up at the end.
Just as we were getting ready to go, a squall came through leaving us to navigate through the very misty, tropical rain for most of our journey to the Bitter End, Virgin Gorda. Into the night, the rain continued, heavy at times, but the next morning was beautiful sunshine and gorgeous winds to take us across the sea to Anegada—a sweet, low laying archipelago that is the northernmost island of the BVIs. We screamed along at 9kts and arrived feeling like we wanted to sail more. This was the first time we decided to turn off the AC and generator as the air was pleasant and breezy. We opened the windows, heard the heavenly sound of water rushing underneath the hulls, and gave the ladies the true taste of BVI smooth sailing!
Our time in Anegada was very low keyed. While we could have tried fresh caught lobster or open air taxied across to Cow Wreck Beach to snorkel, we chose instead to relax and enjoy a quiet harbor side beach walk and a refreshing drink ashore. That night, the usual party at Potter’s was hopping with a DJ, so a couple of the dancers decided to do a little Y-M-C-A-ing that night!
The next morning, we headed over to Guana Island – an unbelievably beautiful spot and a great place to pull out the water toys and explore. Some notable wildlife that we saw was a sand shark, a sea turtle, and 3 lion fish.
It was then already Wednesday and we woke up to rain – heavy tropical rain – that lasted until about 1pm. It was a great time to pause, recharge and take naps until the skies brightened and we made our way over to the famous Soggy Dollar at Jost Van Dyke, which is the easternmost island of the BVIs. We loved seeing this bar bounce back to life after Hurricane Irma and the Painkillers were flowing strong! The Soggy Dollar is the original place that the Painkiller cocktail was invented. Once the shoreside fun wound down, we had another lovely dinner aboard prepared by our Chef Kostas.
Friday we woke up with the sun shining and chocolate pastries fresh out of the oven to compliment our already deliciously bountiful breakfast. Once ready to depart, the breeze filled in for us to sail close hauled all the way over to our snorkel and lunch stop at the Indians. We decided to let two snorkelers off the boat while we jockied to get a mooring ball. Once secured, we had a lovely late lunch / snack with shrimp as the delectable centerpiece.
The sun was falling and our destination place for the night was still to be determined. We wanted somewhere nearby but also private. After some scouring of the charts, we decided to motor over to the sea side of Norman Island to Money Bay to check out if it would be worthy – and boy did we find the money! We were very skeptical at first because the seas were very rolly on our way, but the bay was just protected enough to make our anchorage very calm. We were surrounded by lush vegetation, turquoise waters and large fish to view. One new friend we made was a massive barracuda who liked to hover underneath Cassiopeia! The water temp was so perfect that a couple of us remained floating and basking in the warmth long after the sun had set.
Our late lunch left us so satisfied that all we needed were small savory bites and skewered grilled shrimp prepared on our upper deck grill. It was a perfect evening as we watched the stars come out and talked about the week’s adventures.
The final day of the journey was a “steak and eggs” morning to give the future travelers one last taste of a hearty meal by Kostas. Before it was ready, snorkeling and paddle boarding was in order to get one last breath of Caribbean aquatic joy. After all the toys were secured and we ate our last meal of the trip, we pulled up the anchor. With the sun shining and light breeze to carry us between Norman and Peter Islands, we gentle made our way back in the direction of Tortola, where we had begun.
We had one extra hour before turning in, so we sailed into the cove at Peter Island where we spent our first night, which really brought things full circle. The bay was illuminated with sun and showing off gorgeous turquoise reefs along its edges and we were only under sail this time—so different than the powered-up way that we began. It was then that we realized that the week was quite transformative—all of us in a different state of mind than when first there. Seeing that the magic of the pre-Hurricane Irma BVIs had returned was quite heartwarming. We were feeling satisfied with excellent food, magnificent sailing, many laughs, fantastic snorkeling, and Caribbean air and weather that will remain in our memories forever!
Interested in taking a customized sailing trip in the British Virgin Islands or somewhere else in the world? Please get in touch!