Destination Highlights – Virgin Islands
THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
The balmy climate, unspoiled beaches and vibrant coral reefs of the Virgin Islands have long attracted sophisticated seafarers. Boasting alabaster white sands and perfectly clear waters, the more than 50 islands in this archipelago are ideal for a picturesque and peaceful vacation. The Crew from catamaran FOXY LADY has recently sent us one of their suggested itineraries. Those guys are real experts on the Virgin Islands.
Kate and Jason, FOXY LADY:
‘… Peaceful and uncrowded bays, empty white sand beaches and adventure or enjoying private parties on board your crewed charter yacht. It is chartering a Caribbean of years gone by… with a thatched beach bar, a man with a guitar, lobster on the BBQ and a handful of relaxed smiling people sitting on the sand at sunset. This is still paradise.’
We suggest flying into St Thomas Airport (STT) as we can take advantage of an overnight stop in St John, which is renowned for some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and is not be missed. We usually only spend one night in the USVI, either at one of the many beaches, such as Caneel Bay, Hawks Nest or Maho Bay on your first night or at Christmas Cove on your last night, where the sunsets never disappoint. From the Airport you will be transported to Yacht Haven Grande, an IGY Marina in Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas. It is a 1 hour trip to from Yacht Haven Grande to Christmas Cove, and an additional 45 min to St John, with Bob Marley setting the mood and a cocktail in hand.
NORMAN ISLAND, THE BIGHT
In the morning, the catamaran will make the 30 minute trip over into the BVI and clear Customs and Immigration at Soper’s Hole, West End. Next is over to Privateers Bay on Norman Island in time for lunch. This island was made famous in R.L Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’ and looking at the caves today, one cannot help but be swept back in time to the days of pirates and privateers. After Lunch and a snorkel in the caves we move around into the Bight, a bay about 5 minutes away. Here we choose a secluded corner and guests can sun tan away the rest of the afternoon, or engage in any of our water sport option. Later, the Captain takes guests on a sunset cruise in a tender, with a cooler of beers or a cocktail in hand. The sunsets there are beautiful and a fast becoming ‘classic’ photograph in front of the famous Willy T’s ship, beached on the sand, is a must.
Sailing to stunning Indians, a snorkelling and dive spot, a short hop from the Bight. This spot has barely changed and still offers a host of marine life. Our last dive saw plentiful fish and even a hawksbill turtle. Next, we head around to Little Harbor on Peter Island, a pristine nook where we stern anchor the yacht to rocks ashore, so that the catamaran remains in the same spot and offers a private ‘swimming pool’ off the back. Here the water is crystal clear and further snorkelling along the bay after lunch, often shows it to be a nursery for an abundance of tropical fish. There are a number of hikes on Peter Island for those feeling more energetic, however the effects of the hurricane are more noticeable on land but the view out to sea is still inspiring. .
After breakfast, we sail to Virgin Gorda (1h30min) and the famous ‘Baths’, a series of gigantic granite boulders that form caves that are filled with clear water. Guests swim ashore to the beach and work their way through with the crew as their guides. This is ended off by a swim on Devil’s Beach before heading back to the catamaran. Right next to the Baths, anchored at Trunk Bay with its beautiful waters and white sand, it’s a place worth taking a moment to reflect and really enjoy paradise. Here we set up a gazebo for shade, with beach towels and chairs, games and music, and we serve a picnic lunch on the beach. This evening is typically more relaxed and after dinner, we try take the opportunity to turn off all the lights onboard and set up ‘nests’ on the flybridge…
This is the only morning we don’t recommend a leisurely start and suggest a slightly earlier breakfast, in order to get you to the beach by the latest 10:30. Ashore the yacht rents a small car to transport all of the beach games, snorkelling equipment, chairs and gazebo, cooler of drinks etc… Then guests are encouraged to rent out a scooter. It’s a fantastic sense of freedom to zoom around on your own wheels as we drive around 25 minute to the beach. Lunch is served picnic style and guests can enjoy what must be one of the most stunning spots on the planet. Big Bamboo Bar and Restaurant are also operational and locals always appreciate the support. 2:30pm is the cut off time, unless guests would prefer to spend another night in Anegada and as always, we are completely flexible and try our best to match the itinerary to the mood. Otherwise pack up time and the scooter trip back to the yacht. From here we sail down to Guana Island and spend the night in White Bay or Lee Bay Great Camanoe, depending on the weather.
JOST VAN DYKE
Breakfast onboard, followed by a 45min downwind sail to Sandy Spit. It’s a great place to Stand up Paddle board or to kayak. Then the Infamous Foxy’s is up and running. Great Harbor on Jost Van Dyke is one of the places hit hardest by Hurricane Irma and it is truly humbling to see the power of mother nature. However Foxy himself is often around and more than happy to share his stories and songs about the hurricanes and his life with any travelers over a cold beer. A true local experience and one we always highly recommend. Guests then have the option of anchoring overnight in Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke. Anchored out allows plenty of privacy at night and tucked up in the corner, the sunset and Sage Mountain captivates your attention. Alternatively, we can head down to Christmas Cove in the USVI, late in the afternoon. This allows for a slower morning on your last day and is your best chance to see the green turtles that frequent the bay and enjoy a last swim in the morning.
Early start if we are still in Jost Van Dyke, leaving at 8:30am and heading back around to Yacht Haven Grande with breakfast served under way. Waking up in Christmas Cove, we will breakfast on anchor and enjoy last swims in the tropical waters, leaving the bay at 10:00am and making our way to the marina.
‘This is when we say our good byes. We endeavor to find the perfect balance on your charter, between becoming solid friends and still allowing you the space and privacy to enjoy the group you are with. As always, Jason and I try to remain as flexible and accommodating as possible. If you have a logistical issue or are trying to make the impossible happen, know that we are always willing to go above and beyond to make your vacation aboard Foxy Lady, in Virgin Islands, a truly memorable and special time.’