Yacht Charter in the British Virgin Islands

Yacht Charter in the British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is a British overseas territory, located in the north of the Caribbean Sea to the east of both Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. They are part of the Leeward Island chain. The approximate co-ordinates are 18° 20′ N 64° 40′ W. The archipelago of the Virgin Islands archipelago is made up of the US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

The British Virgin Islands enjoy a sub-tropical climate, moderated by the trade winds. Temperatures remain fairly steady year round with a daily maximum of around 29°C in the summer and 25°C in the winter. The BVI averages about 115 cm of rain per year, although this is higher in the hills and coast is drier. The wettest months are September through to December. The British Virgin Islands are in an area that can see hurricanes from June to October and this effectively limits the sailing season to November – May.

Amongst the many attractions on the British Virgin Islands are the; numerous white sandy beaches; the baths on Virgin Gorda, snorkelling on the coral reefs near Anegada; the well-known bars of Jost Van Dyke Island.

The British Virgin Islands include the main islands of Anegada, Jost Van Dyke, Tortola and Virgin Gorda together with over fifty other smaller islands and cays. The smaller islands include; Beef Island, Cooper Island, Ginger Island, Great Camanoe, Great Thatch, Guana Island, Mosquito Island, Necker Island, Norman Island, Peter Island, Salt Island. Only some fifteen of the islands are inhabited. The BVI are mostly volcanic in origin and have a rugged, hilly terrain. Anegada is the exception and is a flat island composed of limestone and coral. Tortola is the largest island, approximately twelve miles long and three miles wide. Road Town, on Tortola, is the capital of the islands. The British Virgin Islands have a total population of around 22,000 people.

The Virgin Islands were first settled by Arawak Indians from South America around 100 BC and inhabited the islands until the fifteenth century when Carib Indians from the Lesser Antilles Islands displaced them. The first European sighting of the Virgin Islands was in 1493 by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the Americas. He called them Santa Ursula y las Once Mil Vírgenes (Saint Ursula and her 11,000 Virgins); this was shortened to Las Vírgenes (The Virgins).

In the early sixteenth century the Spanish Empire acquired the Virgin Islands and developed copper mining on Virgin Gorda. Subsequently the English, Dutch, French, Spanish and Danish all sought control of the Virgin Islands. They became a notorious pirate haunt. During the process of European colonisation the native Amerindian population was all but wiped out.

In 1648 the Dutch established a permanent settlement on the island of Tortola. The British captured Tortola from the Dutch in 1672, and the British annexation of Anegada and Virgin Gorda followed in 1680.

The Virgin Islands were considered principally a strategic possession, but were also planted when there were favourable economic conditions. The British introduced sugar cane that became the main crop and source of foreign trade. Slaves were brought from Africa to work on the sugar cane plantations and the islands prospered until the growth in the sugar beet crop in Europe and the United States reduced sugar cane production significantly.

In 1917, the United States purchased St. John, St. Thomas and St. Croix from Denmark for US$ 25 million, renaming them the United States Virgin Islands and the British renamed the islands they controlled as the British Virgin Islands. The British Virgin Islands were administered either as part of the Leeward Islands Colony or with St. Kitts and Nevis, with an administrator representing the British Government on the Islands. Separate colony status was gained for the British Virgin Islands in 1960 and they became autonomous in 1967.

Since this time the BVI have moved away from an agricultural economy towards tourism and financial services and have become one of the richest areas in the Caribbean. Politically tourism is the more important of the two employing large numbers of the local population and many of the businesses are locally owned. However, economically, the financial service sector is by far the more important and provides nearly 50% of the Government’s revenues in the form of licence fees for offshore companies.

The Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, also known as Beef Island Airport, has regular connections to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Saint Thomas, USVI. There are also flights from most of the major islands in the Caribbean, Antigua and Saint Martin. It is located on Beef Island, just off the eastern tip of Tortola. Virgin Gorda and Anegada have smaller airports. The islands are a popular destination for cruise ships in the Caribbean and they use the British Virgin Islands main harbour in Road Town on Tortola. The official currency of the British Virgin Islands is the US dollar. Major credit cards are honoured at the larger BVI establishments but do not expect to use them at small restaurants.

The traditional music of the British Virgin Islands is called fungi after the local cornmeal dish with the same name, often made with okra. The special sound of fungi is due to a unique local fusion between African and European music. The fungi bands, also called “scratch bands and use a great variety of instruments. Fingi is a form of festive dance but also contains humorous social commentaries and is a source of BVI oral history.

The British Virgin Islands are one of the Caribbeans most popular yacht charter destinations and Tortola is home to the world’s largest fleet of charter yachts. Prospective charters can choose between Skippered or bareboat charter. Motor or sailing vessels. Monohulls or catamarans. The short distances between the islands, often only 2 to 3 hours, make the BVI perfect for the first time yacht charterer and for families with young children. There are many flights to the BVI making access easy. On the downside the BVI can become crowded at peak periods; Christmas; Presidents Week and the Easter holidays. The first two weeks of July are also extremely busy due to Puerto Rico’s holiday schedule. Charter Yachts require a National Park Permit; ask your charter company for more details.

Moorings are increasingly popular throughout the British Virgin Islands to prevent anchors dragging on the bottom and damaging the important coral reefs. Although the cynics will tell you it’s also about revenue raising and at $ 30 per night it is hard not to sympathise with this point of view. Overnight moorings are on 18″ white balls. Other mooring buoys will be encountered while sailing in the BVI and are colour coded as follows;

Orange – Non-diving, day use only.

Yellow – Commercial dive vessels only.

Large Yellow – Commercial vessels or vessels over 55′ in length

White – Non-commercial vessels, for daytime dive use only.

Blue – For dinghy use only

Also note that there is a 90-minute time limit on all moorings.

The major harbour in the British Virgin Islands is at Road Town, on Tortola. And most charters will start and end here. Village Cay Marina is one of the full service marinas available in Road Harbour offering fuel, water, ice, provisioning, laundry, shower facilities, beauty salon and spa. There is a fresh water pool and a waterfront restaurant and bar. Other marinas in Road Town Harbour include Fort Burt Marina and Inner Harbour Marina. There is also another full service marina in Nanny Cay that offers another starting point for yacht charters. The Nanny Cay Marine Centre has amenities including showers, water, gift shop, laundry, ice and fuel, provisioning, storage lockers and two restaurants. There are also a dive shop, mechanical repairs, refrigeration, welding and a 24 hour chase boat service. Allow time at the beginning or end of your yacht charter to explore Tortola. Driving around the island’s steep and winding mountain roads offers some breathtaking views. Some of the finest beaches in all of the BVI are located at Cane Garden Bay and Long Bay, on Tortolas’s north shore. Restaurants on Tortola are held in high regard throughout the Caribbean. Shopping and nightlife tend to be low-key, but a selection of small clubs playing local music can be found in Road Town and in the beach bars around the Tortola.

West End is shown on the charts as Soper’s Hole, a protected harbour lying between Frenchman’s Cay and Tortola. The Soper’s Hole Wharf and Marina offers a full range of services located in charming colourful houses. The Pusser’s Landing features waterfront dining in two restaurants and bars, an outdoor terrace and the company store.

Jost Van Dyke Island was named after a Dutch pirate. It has beautiful beaches, great food and music. Jost Van Dyke is the home to the famous “Full Moon” parties held at Foxy’s and Sidney’s Peace and Love Bar.

Anegada Island is known for its beautiful pink, sugar sand beach and snorkelling with age-old shipwrecks and coral reefs. Anegada’s Reef Hotel is renowned for the local lobster. The dining room and bar are directly on the beach. If you go ashore on Anegada carry bug spray with you. You have been warned!!!

Moorings are available and anchoring is possible all along the coast of Virgin Gorda. Or you can get a berth at the nearby Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, a marina with docking for 110 vessels, where the ferry arrives for land travellers. Shops are concentrated around the Yacht Harbour area, especially at the Courtyard. Virgin Gorda Island is famous for The Baths, a day filled with cave exploration and water holes within this unique rock formation. Dinghies are no longer allowed on the shore here and you must swim from a dinghy mooring to the beach. The Bitter End Yacht Club is located in North Sound and is a great place pick up a mooring. You will be amongst some of the beautiful yachts in the BVI here. The small deserted island of Prickly Pear is a great lunch and snorkelling spot and is just a dinghy ride from the Bitter End Yacht Club. Spanish Town on the southwest side of Virgin Gorda is a popular stop over for shopping and provisioning.

Norman Island or “Treasure Island” as the locals know it is home to the pirate ship “William Thornton”. Legend suggests this to be the fabled site of Long John Silvers treasure trove. Norman Island lies close to the boundary line separating the BVI from the US Virgin Islands. Although uninhabited it is alive with tourism. The caves here are one of the most popular tourist attractions in the BVI. This is a popular overnight anchorage and many charterers will take dinner aboard the Willy T, a 100′ steel schooner.

Ken Jones runs a Crewed Yacht Charter Guide. Follow this link for info on Yacht Charter the BVI. And this link for Caribbean Yacht Charter.
Medicines and Special Allowance

In addition to these items, there are certain drugs that cannot be carried during the journey. Hence, it is advised that

people with medical condition go through a proper check-up before boarding flights. They can also do some research

regarding prescribed medicines, and if it is available at the destination,
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are not available in every part of the world. In such cases, passengers can seek special permission from airlines and

airport authorities to carry it. Experts are of the opinion that adhering to terms and conditions laid by airlines will

certainly help in reducing baggage expenses.

What to Pack

After knowing what not to pack, here are the tips that can help in making the bag light while packing things that can be

taken onboard. It has been observed that clothes and shoes are the heaviest items in bags, and managing them properly may

significantly affect the weight of the luggage. Experts advise on keeping lighter shoes in bags and wearing the one which

is heavier.
travel sites This way, travellers can carry both the footwear without increasing the

size of the bag. They can also pack their electronic gadgets and batteries in zip-lock bag, which will ensures that they

can find it easily. When it comes to cosmetics, travellers are suggested to keep travel packs manufactured by FMCG

producers. A 50 ml of sachet instead of 150 ml bottle of shampoo not only helps in managing weight limits, but also leaves

the room in bags to carry a few extra things.

Eating

Experts advise on sticking to healthy and light meals before boarding the flight as well as during the travel. People with

sensitive stomach are suggested to bring their own food to avoid any issues.
airline coupons Carriers prepare the menu after a thorough research and serve

food that can be digested easily during the journey, but for fliers who are not used to it, even these meals can prove to

be unhealthy. Health experts also suggest walking after eating as it becomes even important during the flight. This not

only helps in digestion, but movement every now and then keeps a check on the blood flow.

A Deep Slumber
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The best way to avoid the jet lag or any other ache is to go in the sleeping mode. Carriers provide neck pillows and eye

masks that help fliers in getting some rest. Experts suggest staying away from caffeine onboard to make it smooth and

comfortable. However, people who have to finish up assignment or make presentations can take to keep themselves awake.

These tips help in dealing with issues during the journey, but in case of new cities looking for accommodation after

reaching the journey can be troublesome. Hence, flight plus hotel bookings options are suggested by frequent fliers.

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With the holiday season shadowing December, it may not be the first place to consider for a holiday, but don’t overlook it

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ATLANTIS- BAHAMAS.

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HONOLULU.
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This capital city of Aloha State is perfect if you are looking for a short yet perfect getaway. Located on the West Coast,

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Ryanair
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Ryanair is Ireland’s own low cost airline that operates from the Dublin airport. Initially the airline faced a lot of

criticism for its poor hospitality. Disabled passengers raised concerns over the lack of special facilities in these

aircraft.
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Norwegian Air

The airline market in Europe is very competitive and every one strives to be better than the other. As the name suggest,

the Norwegian Air, is Norway’s own and is Europe’s third largest low cost carrier. It is also the most popular for domestic

in the Scandinavian countries.
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Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm. In 2013, It was announced as the “Best Low Cost Airline in Europe at the 2013 World Airline

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Flybe, based in Exeter is another English operator that dominates the low cost airline market. The operator’s largest base

is the Birmingham Airport and it is a public company listed on the London Stock Exchange. The airline is famous for its

short haul flights to Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Continental Europe.
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No Defined Age for a Solo Trip

The image of a solo backpacker usually includes young people with maps in their hands, but there is no age bar for such

travels.
How to Purchase a Ticket It is worth noticing that the commencement of journey is

alone, but later it becomes a small group with people capable of taking their own decisions. They get to meet new people of

similar mindset and interest that add fun to the whole trip. In case of trekking, it is advised that travellers take help

of experts or go through various travel portals and gather as much information as possible.
United operates from six main hubs They can also consult certain

agencies providing specialized services. However, in case of urban settings, travellers can opt for a flight plus hotel

booking, and directly head towards their accommodation facility right after getting out of the airport. It has been

observed that booking hotel after reaching the destination can be a time taking procedure.

Be Specific when it comes to Destinations
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Be it a city or country, there can be hundreds of attractions worth visiting; hence, it is advised that tourists make their

mind regarding destinations before leaving their city. It will not only make the trip chaos-free, but advance booking of

flights may save them a great deal of money also.

6. Ask all the questions. Ask any remaining questions you may have regarding the policies or the property- don’t leave

anything up to chance!
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7. Book your rental home. Congratulations! If you’ve made it this far you have successfully found a vacation rental in

which to enjoy a great trip with your family and friends. Now it is time to put down your security deposit and get ready

for a host of great memories. Make sure to confirm how you are sending your payment to the owner, as some methods of

payment are more secure than others.

8. Last and certainly not the least, enjoy your vacation rental!

About the Author:
Peter Thomas works for Aruba Villa Vacation Homes and loves to travel. He loves to write, Aruba Vacation and Accommodation

are his topic of interest and he finds immense pleasure in writing article about vacation rentals Aruba and luxury villa

rental Aruba.

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