8 Idyllic Anchorages
- August 9th, 2014
- in Yachting
From Sea Level – 8 Idyllic Anchorages
Photography by Caribbean Images Tours
No two people in this big, beautiful world are the same – and thankfully so. With diversity, we find individuality, romance, fun, passion, laughter, and lasting memories. Likewise, each island in the BVI has its own unique personality that tugs at the heartstrings of person to person. One need only define what they love: Looking for seclusion? The photographer’s smörgåsbord? The most magical sunset? That perfect souvenir? Want to be completely surrounded by nature?
There exists a perfect place for every individual coming to bask in the grandiosity that is the British Virgin Islands and how convenient that one can encounter all of them From Sea Level. With our years of experience in the charter yacht industry, we have collected our favourite anchorages for you to enjoy.
(1) Spring Bay, Virgin Gorda – The Picturesque Place
When I think of my favourite place in the BVI, the hunt begins at Virgin Gorda. There are so many extraordinary things to see and do, and Spring Bay offers the most mind-blowing opportunities for a shutterbug’s satisfaction. Anchoring at this location means close access to the world-famous Baths, and a short swim to a pristinely white sandy beach. The massive boulders that make up The Baths also live on Spring Bay Beach, offering the ultimate photogenic background for any subject – family, romantic couples, friends, or just natural splendour. A quiet, leisurely stroll down the beach invokes peace and serenity, and the shallow shelf leading up the beach paints infinite streaks of colour. After soaking up all the rich blues and jade greens, the exploding sunset down Sir Francis Drake Channel is astounding, like no other point of view in the BVI.
(2) Great Harbour, Peter Island – The Sporty Spot
Just around the corner from the famous Peter Island Resort is Great Harbour. When our guests want the perfect place for their active lifestyle, this spot is first choice for us. We anchor as far up toward the eastern corner where the hills protect from wind, finding ourselves in an ideal, calm location for paddle boarding and kayaking. For those wanting a closer encounter with the vibrant ocean creatures, there is exciting snorkelling against the southern wall, just a few kicks from the boat’s stern. For a faster pace, one can enjoy the thrill of water sports—skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing—in the wide-open middle of the bay with phenomenal stargazing prospects in the evening.
(3) Muskmelon Bay, Guana – The Natural Wonder
A little secret is that the BVI is a bustling metropolis – but not of people. The flora and fauna of the islands ignites wonder and awe for those who wish to observe the exciting hubbub. Anchoring in Muskmelon Bay gives us a window into this natural world. The longest shore of this bay runs north and south. Huge coral heads act as high-rise buildings for thousands of fish, often unceremoniously hunted by diving pelicans. Fearless birds leave cut-outs in the water as they dive head first into a swarm of Silversides, packed into a protective ball, also bombarded by Blue Runners from below. Watch intently, as the splashing frenzy is over in the blink of an eye. A lazy turtle can be found resting on the bottom as a pack of young Southern Stingrays flaps past. Bask in the powerful yet peaceful sounds of the wind, water, and chattering birds. Even the sense of smell is tantalised by zephyrs of plumeria flowers, soothing the heart and mind.
(4) Soper’s Hole, West End, Tortola – The Shopaholic’s Fix
I’ll be the first to admit, I am a T-shirt junkie. I’m always looking for ‘the one’ with the perfect fit, most eye-popping colour, and coolest design. Others look for different souvenirs, from small magnets to impressive paintings to hand-crafted pottery. Whatever you’re seeking, Soper’s Hole in West End, Tortola will have it. What better way to keep the BVI strong in your heart than to take a piece of it with you. After perusing the myriad of eclectic shops, one can enjoy a delicious, cool drink by the water at various restaurants, from Fish’N’Lime to Pusser’s, and watch the many boats come in and out of harbour. It’s a shopper’s paradise. To be honest, though, it’s hard not to mention another amazing place for unique shopping: Aragorn Studios in Trellis Bay, right on the opposite side of the island. Here you’ll find hand-crafted items from jewellery to tapestries to sculptures to dishes. It’s a must-see as well, especially during the full moon for their monthly celebration.
(5) Money Bay, Norman Island – The Secluded Setting
This one is truly off the beaten path – a stark contrast to most other anchorages in the BVI. Here you will find nothing. Perfect seclusion. With the thousands of boats in the BVI, this is uniquely rare. Guests often ask to be away from civilisation and when the winds are just right out of the north, this anchorage is enchanting. With only enough space for one boat, you are guaranteed not to be bothered. The snorkelling is pristinely preserved, and the peace and quiet goes nicely with a glass of wine. We wouldn’t recommend trying this one without an experienced crew though. Privacy can sometimes be tricky to navigate.
(6) The Dogs – The Dive Sites
While there are countless incredible dive sites in the BVI, The Dogs is a close cluster of dive wonders that can accommodate multiple levels of training and desires, and holds mooring balls to help preserve what the sites have to offer. Seal Dog has a gentle sloping wall that is perfect for advanced divers, with large snapper and spotted eagle rays. At Great Dog you’ll find giant boulders, grown over with curious and colourful soft corals, and hilariously tiny creatures living in every nook and cranny available. George Dog is an ideal spot for beginner divers with a shallower, sandy bottom, still full of life and excitement. Even if guests don’t care to dive, the snorkelling along the shore is one of our most favourites; just swimming to the beach to wiggle toes in the sand is dreamlike.
(7) White Bay, JVD – The Party Zone
Jost Van Dyke is a must-see locale for anyone coming to the BVI, whether it is the first or the tenth visit. In White Bay, where the world-famous Soggy Dollar Bar lives, the social butterfly can flourish. Grab a delicious painkiller (touted to be the original at Soggy Dollar), park on a lounge chair, and watch the party. From early in the morning to the wee hours of the night there is dancing, Frisbee-throwing, sandcastle building, sun bathing, laughter, and joy. It’s a people watcher’s paradise, full of unforgettable entertainment.
(8) Cane Garden Bay, Tortola – The Classic Beach
On the north shore of Tortola exists a quaint, mostly quiet community – Cane Garden Bay. For guests that want a local feel, this anchorage is captivating. Not only is there paddle boarding, kayaking, and snorkelling overtop thriving reefs, but when the winds are just right, Cane Garden Bay becomes a surfer’s paradise. Just a short swim or dinghy ride away is a long, white-sand beach, dotted with eclectic local restaurants and shops. You can find delicious local fare from spicy rotis, to earthy callalou soup, to creamy BBC cocktails.
Live music and dancing wafts over the anchorage and beckons its ever-changing seafaring residents. There is a feeling of environmental awareness, with natural elements making up the bones of the establishments, and sandy floors, perfect for barefoot strolls. A unique glass recycling effort can be found at Green VI Glass Studio behind Myett’s Garden and Grille. During the day they demonstrate how they take used glass products and turn them into gorgeous souvenirs. Other local artists display their distinctive and often eccentric creations, and the sense of ‘welcome’ leaves one comfortable and at ease.
Don’t think that this list is all there is – the possibilities continue to be endless. For every desire, there is an iconic place here in the BVI. You’ll just have to experience all of them to decide for yourself which best suits you.