British Virgin Islands (BVI's)
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The British Virgin Isles are a collection of more than 25 islands in the central Caribbean Sea that afford sailing adventures over tranquil waters with relatively short passages and dependable winds. The brilliant turquoise waters provide access to more than a few islands that have become favorites of cruisers. The most visited islands in the chain are Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda and Anegada but some of the other, smaller islands offer more intimate tropical pleasures. The British Virgin Isles are typically comprised of the remains of long extinct volcanoes with rugged terrain, lush vegetation, white sand beaches typically surrounded by coral reefs. Some of the favorite land based activity occurs at Gorda Sound on the island of Virgin Gorda where ample anchorage, marinas, upscale restaurants and luxury resorts provide a diversion from sailing. Another frequent stop for sailors is on Tortola at Cane Garden Bay where the palm studded shoreline presents a white sand background for kayaking, windsurfing and swimming before cruisers head off to one of the beachfront restaurants for stylized drinks and local entertainment to accompany their evening meal. Norman Island presents one of the most beautiful anchorages in the British Virgin Isles at The Bight with the nearby Treasure Point, displaying impressive sea caves explorable by kayak. Some of the best snorkeling and diving in the islands, at another nearby rock outcropping known as The Indians, is found on adjacent Pelican Island. Other favorite destinations for sailors include Salt Island where an old steamer wreck may be dived, Monkey Point on Guana Island to observe the birdlife, iguanas, tortoise and vegetation and the yachtie scene on Jost Van Dyke.
Bareboat charters may be arranged on Tortola at Road Town Harbour, as may sailing excursions that are all-inclusive, providing professional crews. You can choose between multihull catamarans with generous deck space or the traditional monohulls which are thought to offer a more authentic sailing adventure. Tortola may reached by ferry from St. Thomas or by air from Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Kitts or St. Martin into Tortola’s Terrence B. Lettsome Airport.
The mooring bouys are color coded based on use:
ORANGE BUOYS: Non-diving, day use only
YELLOW BUOYS: Commercial dive vessels only
LARGE YELLOW BUOYS: Commercial vessels or vessels over 55 ft.
WHITE BUOYS: Non-commercial vessels, for daytime dive use only
BLUE BUOYS: For dinghy use only
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