CARAVAN OF DREAMS
- November 30th, 2007
- in Yachting
With Captain Jamie Roberts – As winter draws in, the Channel fills with the new season's charter yachts. Many are out for a week or more, and their aim, to circumnavigate Tortola and its sister islands. Yet the pace is slower, more observant, indeed you find yourself on island time. Each anchorage and mooring has boats already there, each island inhabited with visitors revelling in the sun, tropical waters holding up caravans of dreams.
So, the question is which way round and how much time? There is no real reason why one location favours the other. Why not spend a complete week in Anegada or Jost Van Dyke. You could also just be hanging out between Norman and Peter exploring the dive sites. Or enjoy the white beaches and tranquil pace of Virgin Gorda. Well, if we ever try to convey anything it is that diversity suits the lifestyle in the islands. No doubt seasoned charter skippers would have their favourite routes.
Jamie Roberts is the skipper of Endless Summer II, conducting charters in the BVI for over 20 years Endless Summer II provides the facilities of any major resort at sea. The backdrop of the islands providing paradise in movement as Jamie captains the vessel on their favourite way round. Traditionally trekking south side to Anegada and back west via the north side of Tortola. As Captain Jamie says, “We never tire of the route or the charter, each one is as colourful as the next and the BVIS marine life provides us with never ending tales and wonderment. The combination of different weather, individual guests and different people to meet on charter the same route is never the same. ”
In tune with the boat and the hospitality experience owner Barry, his wife (and chef) Roslyn alongside Captain Jamie kindly describe their itinerary, certainly what goes without saying are a thousand smiles and thanks from their guests.
1: SUNDAY Boarding is between 11.00 am and noon at our private slip on dock F in Nanny Cay Marina. Welcome aboard drinks will be served in the cockpit. After introductions, and a brief orientation, we'll leave you to your unpacking. Once everyone is settled in, we fit you up with your personal mask and flippers for the week and then head out for Peter Island. Here is your first of many lunches and swimming in perfect coves. Then maybe a short sail to another anchorage but most of all, a lazy, relaxing day.
2: MONDAY This is a day for sailing. Tacking up under full sail in the protected waters of the Sir Francis Drake channel, we pass Salt Island, Cooper Island, Ginger Island and then on to the North Sound in Virgin Gorda. Once in the Sound, there's an opportunity for various water sports, hikes ashore, volley ball or snorkeling Eustastia reef. After dinner, we will be on a trip ashore, to the Bitter End Hotel. Dance the night away to the sounds of a steel band rounding off the day.
3: TUESDAY Weather agreeable, this is the day to sail to Anegada, a remote coral island boasting mile after mile of white sandy beach. We leave immediately after breakfast and it's usually a fast two-hour sail, skirting the coral reef and anchoring off the Anegada Reef Hotel. A popular excursion is to take a 20 minute safari bus ride across this flat island to Loblolly Bay for a lobster lunch at the Big Bamboo beach bar, followed by a swim and spectacular snorkeling. An alternative is lunch aboard, after which we'll take you by dinghy to a remote beach to walk and swim at your leisure. In the evening, the sunset from the aft deck of "Endless Summer II" is often quite magnificent.
4: WEDNESDAY A downwind sail today back to Virgin Gorda and the renowned site of the Baths. This is an area of huge rocks and grottoes. We'll take you exploring, climbing rocks, and looking for that perfect photo for this year's Christmas card. The National Park Trust has built a trail through the boulders to the picturesque Devils Bay where we can swim and snorkel. We'll anchor for the night in Trellis Bay and, for those who want a "Vineyard" type song and comedy act, the Last Resort is the place to go after dinner.
5: THURSDAY Monkey Point at Guana Island is our first stop of the day. The snorkeling here is truly wonderful. Before lunch, enjoy a relaxed downwind sail to Green Cay, the epitome of a small coral atoll. Foxy's Bar in Jost Van Dyke, is the place to be around 5pm. Foxy gets his guitar out and entertains with his homegrown wisdom and humor. It is also a place to return to after dinner when the music invites you to dance in the sand, beneath a clear starlit sky.
6: FRIDAY One of the most beautiful beaches in the BVI is White Bay, Jost Van Dyke. Whether we take "Endless Summer II" behind the coral reef or walk over the hill from Great Harbor, it promises to be a morning of sun, sea and sand. Swim ashore to the aptly named Soggy Dollar, because so many people swim ashore from yachts with dollars in their pockets, claims to have invented the Painkiller drink – Try it! After a short sail to the West End of Tortola, we will dock at Soper’s Hole Marina. Lunch followed by an opportunity for the shoppers amongst you to visit the many interesting shops in a Caribbean style waterside village. Then up the Sir Francis Drake channel for a last snorkel at the Indians or the Caves on Norman Island. After dinner, a visit to the William Thornton floating bar (known locally as the Willy T) provides the atmosphere for a final fling or two, or six.
7: SATURDAY An early morning sail back to Nanny Cay and breakfast, with the sad reality that the cruise is almost over. I've spent so many wonderful weeks on "Endless Summer II" with truly great people – weeks we all wished would never end. For those of us living here, the fun seldom seems to end. To those readers visiting be aware that we would love to be taking the week off and enjoying a charter too! Have some fun for us!!