Written by Missy Johnston
Board your charter yacht in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas and cruise to Maho Bay, St. Johns (2 hours) to anchor overnight and enjoy a refreshing swim, snorkel and water sports, including jet ski fun. Jet skis are only legal for use in the US Virgin Islands, not in the British Virgin Islands, so this is a great place to enjoy some family time on them if jet skis are included in the water toys on board your charter yacht.
Jost Van Dyke
Depart Maho Bay, leaving the U.S. Virgin Islands, to cruise to Jost Van Dyke (2.5 hours) to clear customs into the British Virgin Islands. Anchor in Great harbor to have lunch. Great Harbour is sheltered by small mountains and offers moorings. Visitors look forward to meeting the famous Foxy while enjoying a rum punch.
After Lunch, cruise around to anchor near Little Jost Van Dyke (25 minutes) and enjoy all of the onboard water toys and perhaps do a little fishing. For those interested in hiking, Jost Van Dyke is crisscrossed with hiking trails, including a fun hike to the Bubbling Pot. Perhaps head ashore late afternoon for a hike.
Jost Van Dyke is a four-mile-long barefoot paradise known for its casual lifestyle, fine beaches and beachfront restaurants and bars. There are several world-famous bars located on this island including The Soggy Dollar named for a patron who swam ashore, with money to pay in his pocket.
Soggy Dollar Bar
Although Jost measures just four by three miles, the island is rich in history. It’s been home to Arawak Indians, Caribs, Dutch, Africans and English. William Thornton, architect of the US Capitol, was born on Jost while John Coakley Lettsome, founder of the London Medical Society, was born on nearby Little Jost.
Overnight on anchor.
Cane Garden Bay
Day 3: Cruise to Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, stopping for lunch, on anchor, at White Island (1 hour and 15 minutes). With a beautiful secluded beach, White Island is an excellent location for snorkeling, swimming, and enjoying all of the water toys.
Later in the afternoon, cruise to a quiet area of Cane Garden Bay (45 minutes).
Arriving by sea to Cane Garden Bay on the northern side of Tortola delights mariners with the colorful buildings and a long, palm tree lined beach. In front of the dinghy dock, located beside Quito’s Gazebo on the eastern part of the beach, are two intimate inns owned by Quito and Malcia Rymer. Quito is a well-known BVI reggae recording artist who sings for the after-dinner crowd at his inn as well as his restaurant, bar and nightclub, Quito’s Gazebo. As you walk the full length of the beach and peer through the dense brush, you’ll find the real Cane Garden Bay.
For sundown, head ashore for some family fun and enjoy some reggae music and a little dancing in the sand. Also, before sunset, perhaps walk across the street, behind Pusser’s Rum Restaurant, to visit the tiny Callwood Rum Distillery, one of the longest running rum distilleries in the Caribbean or enjoy some shopping at Olivia’s Corner Gift Boutique for native crafts.
Return to the yacht for dinner. Overnight on anchor.
Sunset in Virgin Gorda, Bitter En
Cruise to Virgin Gorda North Sound, the Bitter End (2 hours) next to Necker Island for water sports and to overnight.
North Sound, once home to the pirates Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins, was a remote quiet anchorage, rarely visited for centuries. Today there are resorts marching up the hillsides, however, the anchorage is lovely, calm, and a great location for water sports. Close by is great snorkeling especially on Eustacia Reef, where many ships were wrecked. Go exploring on the ships tender to find various snorkeling locations in the area.
Overnight on anchor.
Snorkeling at The Baths, Virgin Gorda
In the morning, cruise to the Baths for snorkeling and exploring (1 hour). The Baths is one of the most well-known and popular landmarks to visit in the BVI. Gigantic granite boulders and half submerged rocks line the southern seashore of Virgin Gorda, creating grottos, tunnels, and arches. Sandy beaches are lined with coconut palms and the area offers a dramatic and lovely place to swim, snorkel and explore.
Many yachts anchor right off of The Baths, depending on the waves and swell, and from there, guests are taken to The Baths by tender to swim and wander through these huge boulders strewn along the beach. A second beach, called Devil’s Bay, is reached through a maze-like passage through the boulders and shallower grottos. The path is lined with ladders and ropes to ease the hike along steeper rocks. Enjoy a beach picnic around The Baths.
After lunch, in the late afternoon, head over to Cooper Island to anchor overnight (15 minutes).
In the morning, cruise to the Wreck of the Rhone (15 minutes) for snorkeling or diving.
The British Royal Mail Steamer, “Rhone” was wrecked off of the shores of Salt Island, in between Salt Island and Norman Island on October 29, 1867, during a hurricane. The Rhone, built in 1865, was considered by the Royal British Navy to be one of two unsinkable ships, the other being The Titanic, with both ships, unfortunately proving the Royal British Navy wrong. As the waters are shallow, the mast of the Rhone was still to be seen sticking up from the water, until the 1950’s when the Royal British Navy deemed the mast and wreck to be a maritime hazard and sunk the ship further into the waters. In 1967, the area was named a National Park and now is one of the best snorkel and dive sites in which to explore a wreck in the Caribbean. As the wreck is still in relatively shallow waters from depths of 20 to 80 feet, much is seen by snorkelers, and the diving is considered relatively easy.
From here, cruise to Deadman’s Bay on Peter Island (15 minutes) to overnight.
Peter Island Deadman’s Bay
Deadman’s Bay is a mile-long, crescent-shaped beach with towering coconut palms that overlook Dead Chest and Salt Island. Peter Island’s largest and most spectacular beach boasts protected waters for excellent windsurfing, sailing, snorkeling, and other water sports. Little Deadman’s Bay and Beach is an extension of its senior and is a great location for windsurfing.
In the morning, head back to Cruz Bay in St. Johns (1.5 hours) to clear customs into the USVI’s. Enjoy a short walk around the little village on St. Johns and then cruise to Caneel Bay (15 minutes) to anchor for lunch and enjoy some watersports. This is a great place to use the jet-skis.
Anchor overnight in a secluded Harbor.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas,
In the morning, cruise to St. Thomas (2.5 hours) to disembark. If time allows, enjoy some duty-free shopping in downtown Charlotte Amalie on the way to the airport.