Matt and Britney Weidert

Matt Weidert

BVI Catamaran Charter: 10 Day Sailing Plan

Do you have 10 days to explore the British Virgin Islands on a BVI catamaran charter? I envy you! I usually only have time for week-long yacht charter trips.

I drew up the perfect 7-day sailing itinerary for the BVIs, but what if you have a few extra days?

Here’s how I would design it, let’s dive in!
Looking towards Saba Rock in North Sound

The yacht charter plan: 10 days sailing the British Virgin Islands

Day 1: Head for North Sound

Is sailing up to North Sound too ambitious for your first day? No!

It’s only a 2-3 hour trip, and there’s no better setting to enjoy a first night aboard.

Sail up Sir Francis Drake Channel from the Road Town area and skip the Baths (we’ll come back!). If you haven’t been before, try Mountain Point for a lunch and snorkel stop along the way at the NW tip of Virgin Gorda. The Dogs are also a great alternative if there are no moorings available or if there is a northerly swell running. Read more about BVI sailing conditions.

Grab a mooring ball near the Bitter End Yacht Club or Saba Rock and marvel at the beauty or the protected harbor of North Sound.

Pour yourself a cocktail, you’ve arrived in paradise!

Consider making a reservation ahead of time at either the BEYC or Saba Rock. You can’t go wrong with either to enjoy an excellent meal to kick off the trip.
Devils Bay at the Baths, Virgin Gorda

Day 2: Explore Virgin Gorda and the Baths

Today we’re going exploring ashore. Make the quick motor across the sound to Leverick Bay for a change of scenery. You can pick up a mooring ball, or spend the night on the dock if you wish.

Grab some walking shoes and arrange for a taxi to take you for a shore-based visit of the Baths. I like this option since you don’t have to worry about red flag conditions on the beach from a northerly swell. No need to swim ashore from your catamaran!

On the way, consider grabbing a bite at Hog Heaven and marveling at the panoramic views.

You can also consider eating at the Top of the Baths after hiking through the giant boulders. All in, it’s about a 30 minute taxi ride, one way.

Today is also a great opportunity to eat that CocoMaya, one of the top-rated restaurants in the BVIs with a gorgeous setting. Make sure to make reservations early! Leverick Bay also has excellent options for dinner.
The lagoon of Cow Wreck Beach

Day 3: Sail offshore to the Sunken Island, Anegada

Next up we’re sailing north to my favorite BVI destination, Anegada. I wrote more about navigating to Anegada and what to expect there in this post.
This is a great day to get those fishing lines in the water - you can expect to catch mahi, little tunny, mackerel, or barracuda along the way (check out these BVI fishing tips).

I like spending 2 days at the sailing destination of Anegada on our BVI catamaran charters - it is 100% worth it, trust me.

Break up your visit into 2 parts:
  1. Epic north shore beach exploring on your first day
  2. Horseshoe Reef tour on your second day
Grab a mooring ball at Setting Point, get your things organized, and head ashore for a full day of beaching and liming away the afternoon. You can taxi it, but we like to rent mokes for the flexibility they offer.

In the morning, we usually head to Flash of Beauty which lays claim to the best snorkeling spot on the island. Just to the west is Loblolly Bay.

Big Bamboo or Monica at Flash of Beauty can serve you up something for lunch. Try Monica’s roti!

Set your sights for Cow Wreck Beach in the afternoon for some lagoon swimming and chilling at TIPSY’s beach bar.

After a long day, take it easy and mix up something easy for dinner aboard your catamaran with a sundowner and an epic sunset.
Conch Island

Day 4: Tour beautiful Horseshoe Reef

Before you get picked up for your tour, make lobster dinner reservations at one of the establishments at Setting Point.

A couple weeks before your trip, you’ll want to reserve a tour with Kelly or Sherwin. I’ve used Kelly in the past, but I’ve heard Sherwin is great too from what I hear.

They’ll pick you up right from your yacht sometime mid-morning. t’s a fun ~30 minute speedboat ride out to the reef. He’ll set you up on a drift snorkel and you can also help him look for lobster. While it’s illegal for visitors to take lobster, Kelly and Sherwin are able to when they are in season. They can also hook you up with conch.

The reef is really beautiful, and we’ve even seen nurse sharks and eagle rays.

After the snorkel, you’ll stop by the famous conch mounds on your way back. Make sure to hop in the water and get your picture taken.

Back at the yacht, relax and get ready for an awesome lobster dinner party, right on the beach.
Sunset view in Cane Garden Bay

Day 5: Enjoy an easy downwind sail to Cane Garden Bay

With prevailing easterly trades, this is usually an enjoyable downwind sail to Cane Garden Bay. If you’re fishing again, troll over the wreck of the Chikuzen - there are a lot of big fish that hang out here.

I like Guana Island for a lunch stop. Monkey Point has good snorkeling or if you are looking for more of a challenge, try anchoring at Muskmelon Bay. I talk about it in my secret BVI anchorages post.

Cane Garden Bay is a quintessential Caribbean bay with it’s pastel colored houses and palm tree lined beach.

This is a great day to re-stock on provisions mid-trip if you need something. Bobby’s Supermarket is a well stocked grocery store you can walk to from the dinghy dock.

Pro tip – pick up a mooring ball at the back end of the anchorage. It’s a longer dinghy ride ashore, but you’ll be rewarded with an unspoiled view of the sunset over Jost van Dyke to the west.
Sandy Spit (pre-Hurricane Irma)

BVI Catamaran Charter Day 6: Relax at Sandy Spit and hike to the Bubbly Pool

Take your time in the morning – you aren’t going far. Mosey up north and drop the hook at the anchorage to the west of Sandy Spit – it’s a idyllic uninhabited white sandy island.

Swim, snorkel, or head ashore for a picnic.

After lunch, the moorings at Diamond Cay are a good option to overnight. You have access to two excellent bars/restaurant – Foxy’s Taboo and B-Line. You can’t go wrong with either.

The Bubbly Pool is another popular attraction which is around a half mile walk from the dinghy dock at Foxy’s. Waves crash through the rocks here into a pool that you can swim in. Try and time it for high tide – it will be more exciting!
Liming away the afternoon with some painkillers

Day 7: Party at the famous Jost Van Dyke beach bars

Today is another beach day. Woo!

This is your day to just chill – and there is no better place than the beach bars at White Bay on Jost Van Dyke.

World famous Soggy Dollar Bar, inventor of the painkiller, beckons. Check out their webcam for a live look at the action.

You have two options for anchorages. The easiest option is to grab a mooring ball in Great Harbour, dingy ashore, and then either grab a short cab, or walk ~30 minutes to White Bay.

You can also relocate the yacht to White Bay, but you’ll need to exercise caution. For some bareboat charter companies, White Bay is off limits because squalls and backwinding can easily put boats on the beach – so, check first. It can also get very crowded, and the anchorage is tight – there is not much room for error.

I talk about my concerns in this post and some of the other options you have for enjoying White Bay.

We are content to just hang out on the beach at Soggy Dollar Bar all day long, sipping painkillers. But you should check out the others if you want to explore!

Hendo’s Hideout, next door, is newer to the scene. The food here is fantastic.  Coco Loco, Gertrude’s, and Ivan’s are also worth checking out.
The famous caves you can snorkel at Norman Island

Day 8: Norman Island’s floating bar and the Indians

On the way to Norman Island, make a pit stop at the Indians for some snorkeling around the pinnacles that jut from the sea. It can get busy, so try and arrive early!

If you need water or fuel, Soper’s Hole is a good option on your way.

Continue to Norman Island and grab a mooring ball in one of the biggest anchorages in the BVIs. Read more about what to do at Norman Island in this article I wrote.

If you didn’t get enough snorkeling, hop back in the dinghy and head over to The Caves – Normand Island, and in part, this snorkel site is rumored to have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island. There are 3 caves here that make for an awesome snorkel experience.

The legendary Willy T (or William Thornton) resides in the Bight and is a permanently moored bar and restaurant, known for it’s wild times among cruisers and vacationers.

Grab some food, a cocktail, and be sure to jump into the bight off the upper deck.
Fresh mahi hitting the deck

Day 9: Fishing and chilling at Peter Island

This is a bit of a free day. If you like fishing, head for the shelf and south drop on the other side of Norman Island. We have had some success with mahi in this area.

Peter Island is a good overnight - check out Key Bay for some seclusion. There is only room for a couple boats. Conveniently located here is the wreck of the old Willy T. In 2019, Beyond the Reef successfully sunk the Willy T here as an artificial reef. It was beached nearby at Norman Island after Hurricane Irma.

It’s best as a dive, but you might be able to see it snorkeling with good visibility.

Other Peter Island anchorages we like are Little Harbour or Deadman’s Bay.
Diving the HMS Rhone

Day 10: Dive the Rhone and celebrate at Cooper Island

Last day or your bareboat or crewed charter! Let’s make the most of it. Sail for Salt Island and the moorings where you can snorkel/dive the famous wreck of the HMS Rhone, a National Park site. It always impresses me just how big this dive site is.

After lunch, sail for Cooper Island. Make sure you are familiar with BoatyBall as you might have to play the lottery to secure a mooring ball here. Anchoring is prohibited to protect the sea grass.

We always try and eat ashore here to celebrate our final night in the British Virgin Islands. The meal never disappoints and the rum bar and brewery are also worth checking out.

Sunsets here are spectacular over Tortola and the US Virgin Islands to the west. Not a bad way to finish up your BVI catamaran charter trip!

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