11 Days Sailing the British Virgin Islands Part 1
Updated: Oct 24, 2022
Each year, the Windjammer family sets sail on a grand catamaran sailing adventure through the British Virgin Islands. Grab your sunscreen, and shades and join us on this year's journey!
We've experienced the BVIs through sunshine and rain, just after a hurricane, during the pandemic, and at its glorious best. Each visit we're affected by its splendor more than the last.
In 2018, we visited just after hurricane Irma. Although a tremendous amount of cleanup had taken place, the damage was still palpable. We saw homes reduced to rubble cascading down hillsides, coral reefs destroyed, and vessels beached including one of our favorites, the legendary Willy T. We were touched deeply by the resilience of the residents of the BVIs who were as hopeful and friendly as ever. We were welcomed as family! We helped where we could and really connected with the local residents. There is a tremendous lesson to be learned from people who retain their glory amidst so much destruction, and pull together as one!
This year we picked up our boat at Scrub Island, chartering through Dream Yacht Charters. The Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina dazzles the eyes and the senses at the same time! Whether you're staying in the spacious and elegant resort with its impressive accommodations or a weary sailor looking for a hot meal and a cold cocktail, this is the place for you! Refresh yourself in the infinity pool, enjoy your favorite ice-cold beverage, and enjoy a delicious bite made with fresh local ingredients. You're sure to find a new favorite from their unique cocktail list! The resort also offers private showers, a deli, and a small market for last-minute provisions.
If you're looking for a sit-down meal, you have options! Donovan's Reef offers the perfect combination of refreshing breezes, panoramic views, and delicious food in a casual environment. With our group, the Scrub Island Burger and the Pasta Alfredo tied for best, but the yellowfin tuna took a slim second. The Ginger Mint Paloma is the perfect pairing with any meal with a perfect refreshing mix of grapefruit, mint, ginger, and vodka.
For the more formal dining experience, Cardamom & Co is the destination. This is Scrub Island Resort Spa's signature fine dining restaurant, which offers a daily breakfast buffet from 7:00 to 11:00 and dinner Monday, Tuesday, Friday & Saturday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. (Beginning 11/16/2022, Tuesday and Thursday dining will be added). Prepare your palate for a dining experience you'll not soon forget. Truly something for everyone from fresh local seafood to succulent steaks, even vegan options. To say their wine list is impressive would barely touch the surface. Their wine list is IMPRESSIVE! Who says good wine is hard to come by in the BVIs? Sip your way around the world with wines from Italy, France, the United States, Chile, New Zealand, Spain, Argentina, Austria, South Africa, Germany, and South America!
Time to Set Sail!
We spent the night on the boat on Scrub Island and set sail the next day. Our initial inspection revealed some minor issues, which were repaired by the Dream Yacht mechanics, and we were on our way!
For this trip, we selected an FP Elba 45 named "Stargazer". Our Vessel has 4 double cabins with a private attached head and shower, and 2 V Berths (which we used as a storage hold for our luggage). She boasts the largest lounge space in her category, including a bonus lounge area up top near the cock pit. She has a well-equipped and open kitchen space with a very large dining room table which doubles as a double bed if needed. She lacked the refrigerator space we'd enjoyed on prior trips and for the first time, no microwave. Being the pirates we are, we made due. We are huge foodies and accomplished chefs and planned our menu carefully and strategically. To ensure optimal freshness and storage, we provisioned the first portion of our trip on Scrub Island, then will provision again at Sopers Hole on Tortola later in the trip.
Bitter End Yacht Club - The Legend Lives On!
This year we had the pleasure of checking off a huge bucket list checkbox by visiting the legendary Bitter End Yacht Club. It was destroyed by Hurricane Irma in 2017 and was under construction when we passed by in April of 2021. It reopened in December of that year to rave reviews! Its fascinating history can be found here, but in a coconut shell, Basil Simonette built the Bitter End Yacht Club in the late 60s. At that time it was just a small jetty, a few moorings, 5 cottages, and a bar. By the early 70s, under new ownership, the club grew to become a playground for mariners near and far, establishing itself as the legend we know today.
Bitter End Yacht Club is back and it is built to last! Would you like a scratch-made pizza from the pizza restaurant? Maybe fine dining is your pleasure, How about raising a glass on - and to - a raised piece of history? The Reef Sampler was a vessel utilized in building the club back in the 70s that sunk. It has now been raised and converted into a one-of-kind beach bar! It's all here! It's only accessible by boat, so grab your first mate and go! It's good to the Bitter End!
After we checked the lifelong dream Bitter End box on our bucket list, we went on to check the box we've been waiting for since 2018...Saba Rock. In 2o20 we purchased our much coveted Saba Rock gear to aid in the building effort, then waited for the opening!
Also a birth child of the 60s, Saba Rock was the home base of diving pioneer Bert Kilbride's "Resort Course" diving base, putting Saba Rock officially on the map. Kilbride later went on to launch the Pirate's Pub, famous for being one of the best oceanfront bars in the Caribbean.
“My friends, it is quite likely that after your first visit you will become Bohemian Sabarockans, incurably dependent on the charm of the island. Every attempt to leave ends in the desire to return as soon as possible.”
Today this one-acre 'rock' in the North Sound offers everything from the laid-back island vibe to the full luxury resort experience. Eat, drink, stay, spa, shop, and RELAX!
The fully covered outdoor dining room offers breathtaking views, sensational fresh local seafood, steaks, lamb, and much more. We highly recommend the Seafood Fettuccine and the Beef Tenderloin. The wine list has an impressive selection of by-the-glass or by-the-bottle options.
The Main Bar and Sunset Bar would do Bert's legacy proud with a richly stocked bar, uniquely curated craft cocktails, and specialty wines. Worth the trip to the North Sound! The only thing better than the food and drinks is the friendly service. We felt like family! They even helped us load 3 bags of ice and helped us board our dinghy!
Our next stop - Jost Van Dyke where we'll visit one of the most beautiful beaches in the BVI's, White Bay, home of the world-renowned Soggy Dollar and Foxy's Tamarind Bar on Great Bay!