Sailing the British Virgin Islands

Doug’s parents were nice enough to watch our kids in April of 2013 for 10 days allowing us to getting our sailing certifications (a lifelong dream for Doug) in the British Virgin Islands.
The day before the class started, we landed in St. Thomas, USVI and had a great lunch at the pier while waiting for the ferry to Tortola, BVI.
Once on Tortola, we settled in to our hotel and enjoyed another meal overlooking the beach.
We enjoyed exploring the boats in the harbor, dreaming of days to come.
After 3 days of sailing classes aboard a J24 out of  Nanny Cay we moved aboard the catamaran “Mari’s Leonardo” for a 5 day live aboard certification, which also enable us to tour several of the British Virgin Islands. Here is Doug enjoying a Painkiller in the galley with captain Steve.
We first sailed around the island of Tortola to Cane Garden Bay, dropping anchor within swimming distance of the gorgeous beach.
Mari’s Leonardo is the gorgeous catamaran in the foreground below.
The next night we dropped anchor in Trellis Bay, literally feet off the dock from 3 very fun beach bars all with live music and great atmosphere.
We left early the next morning to reach “The Baths”.
The great rock formations on the shore of this small island were incredible to explore.
This was definitely a cruising mecca!
We spent the next night anchored at Bitter End Yaht Club and left early the following morning for Anegada. The shallow water and reefs made the approach challenging. We were happy to have such a capable boat and captain.
Here’s the view of our boat from the shore
We rented scooters for a few hours to travel around the island.
The beaches were gorgeous!
The colors incredible!
Note the VT banner at this bar.
A curious sight was this group of houses falling in to the sea (obviosly not ideal to build on the edge a sand bar).
Fortunately Captain Steve took a liking to us (and our classmate Eduardo). He agreed to a night sail from Anegada back to Tortola, something that was outside the class description! Open ocean sunset!
We even got some exciting practice on the radio, hailing cruise ships on the radio to ensure they could see us in the darkness, to ensure we would not collide. After our 6 hour sail we arrived back in Cane Garden Bay just before midnight, happily dropping anchor in our favorite bay. The next morning we experimented with big jumps and back flips off the boat.
Even 71 year old captain Steve did a back flip off the boat! With the shot of adrenaline, he agreed to allow Doug to climb up the mast in the Boson’s chair.
After some intense rescue drills in open ocean under sail, we were back underway on our last day of sailing.

After a quick stop on the isolated island of Sandy Cay we came back on board for our final exam.
With our certifications in hand (allowing us to charter a boat up to 50 ft) we struck out on the final sailing leg of our adventure, back to Soper’s Hole for the morning ferry back to St. Thomas.
It was a phenomenal trip! Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa for watching the kids. More sailing to come!














3 thoughts on “Sailing the British Virgin Islands

  1. Yikes, my post disappeared and I wasn’t finished with it yet. Hope it doesn’t stupidly show up somewhere.

  2. Good, it looks like my first post didn’t appear. It basically said that the pictures are fabulous and that it looked like you had a lot of “down” time. I’m thinking there was a lot of work but you probably didn’t get any pictures of that. Also, thanks for not posting any dreadful pictures of Grandma. (I’m serious as I take horrible pictures partly cuz the pictures make me look as old as I am rather than as old as I feel.)

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