Summer Activities – BVI Charters, Diving and More…
- July 31st, 2013
- in Lifestyle
Don’t Pack up Just Yet! – BVI charters, diving, hiking, paddleboarding, scuba-diving and more…
Sitting with a group of fellow yachtsmen on a Sunday Funday at the Tamarind Club, the discussion arose about the activities for residents and visitors in the British Virgin Islands this month.
Against the universal consensus, many of us agreed that the best time of year to enjoy the BVI is the summer season.
The threat of hurricanes serves to slow tourist traffic between June and November each year. Early July sees most yachts safely stored on land and their owners’ grand migration north. Cruise ship visits cease, some restaurants close, schools are out, and the seas settle.
The island as a whole winds down, taking on a much more traditional Caribbean pace. Indeed it seems only the lawyers and bankers keep up their version of the ‘rat race.’
In VIPY’s July issue, David Blacklock took us through the safe practices for storing your boat during this season here in the BVI due to the impending hazard of hurricanes – a very important process that ensures the safety of your vessel for the following sailing season.
An alternative for avid sailors and astute charter companies, who remain undeterred by the threats of nature, is keeping your boat in service as long as possible each year. The harbours and bays of the BVI are virtually deserted during the summer. Many times I have enjoyed an entire day in blissful solitude at Virgin Gorda’s Baths or the Bubbling Pool; however, should you choose to put your boat away—as many do—what’s a yachtsman to do during the summery?
I say, disband from the flight to the north – stay and play instead.
Vacation villa rentals offer lower rates, as do resorts during the summer months. The gentle, warm seas make for the best diving of the year and snorkelling is excellent with pristine visibility and no wind chop, making surface swimming very enjoyable.
The beaches are deserted and so serene, it’s as if you have ownership of the territory.
Dive boats continue to run throughout much of the summer season and because of the weather’s tranquillity that occurs during this season, experienced divers may be permitted to explore some of the more challenging and exotic locations further off shore or in places normally susceptible to swell action.
Similar to the resorts, some dive companies will offer discounted rates during the summer – an added bonus.
Another excellent summer activity in the BVI—given the composed winds and seas—is to rent a power boat from one of the companies operating here. When the seas are relaxed, a fast motor boat can take you from Tortola to the exquisite neighbouring island Anegada—renowned as a veritable utopia for its ‘green’ aesthetics—in 30-50 minutes.
Sports such as wakeboarding and tubing can often be enjoyed right on the middle of the Francis Drake Channel – normally only fun on sailboats due to the wind and chop present most of the year.
For the identical reason, paddle-boarding is excellent this time of year. While the more experienced paddlers will enjoy windy days for downwind runs, the recreational paddler will be pleased with the weather’s serenity, providing a gentle cruising experience, which is improved with the plethora of sea life visible; calmer waters mean a vibrant marine wildlife.
For landlubbers, the BVI has some excellent shore side attractions as well – though you will need to ask around at bars, clubs, and beach resorts to find the best of them; hiking trails, caves and jumping cliffs offer great entertainment for the adventurous.
Most of the ‘valleys’ of the BVI have a low point where run off water descends after each rainfall. Locally referred to as a ‘ghut,’ these exist in many locations around the BVI and make brilliant, easily accessible walking or scrambling trails from the coast line toward the ridge line. Some provide a unique view of the BVI – one that many wouldn’t know exists here. Be sure to wear good hiking shoes, bring water and equip a first aid kit in a backpack, as many of these trails will require four-limb hiking…and of course, bring your camera too.
With excursions like this at your finger-tips—enhanced by this particular time of year—you will fall in agreement with the unconventional belief that summer is in fact the best season in the British Virgin Islands.