BVI Holidays

September Heatwave

Most of us are basking in this unusually hot September weather.  Some of us enjoying it, some of us having to work and hoping it lasts until the week-end and some of us wishing for rain to cool off!

Whatever situation you are in – this is typical British Virgin Islands weather.  You could be flying off there for a glorious week or two lazing on white sand beaches, cooling off in the crystal clear Caribbean Sea and watching a spectacular sunset with a nice cocktail in hand.

Sounds appealing? ….pick up the phone and call BVI Holidays – we will be happy to arrange this for YOU!

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The Watery Grave of the RMS Rhone

The wreck of the Royal Mail Ship Rhone which lies at the bottom of the Caribbean Sea in the British Virgin Islands off of Salt Island, is regarded as the premier wreck dive of the Caribbean.  Divers say they can feel the haunting presence of those who went down with the steamship during a category five hurricane which swept through the BVI on October 29, 1867. Whether swimming through the bow section or investigating the intricate gears laid open in the stern, touching the signal cannon or wondering at the neat order of the wrenches laid out in the midsection, there is both the feel of history and the feel of the mysterious.

The twisted iron hulk still gives us cause to consider the power of nature over man, and the ghosts that still haunt the wreck. But the true message of the RMS Rhone lies in the life which has taken firm hold here. A life which has taken form in hundreds of different colours and shapes. One which allows divers to briefly share in the continuing cycle and appreciate the beauty and diversity of the underwater world in the BVI.

The British Virgin Islands offers some of the best diving worldwide.

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Our Wonderful Olympians!

Many congratulations to our amazing Olympic medallists – didn’t they do well!  How very proud we all are of them.

Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills won gold for Britain in the Womens’ 470 sailing class.  It was Saskia’s Dad who first introduced her to sailing and her favourite childhood sailing boat was a wooden Optimist which is the best boat for youngsters who want to learn to sail.

The Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda offers a children’s sailing programme and the instructors start their young would be sailors off on Optimists!

If you have children who would like to follow in Saskia’s footsteps or simply just enjoy messing about on the water, there is no place on the planet offering the facilities that Bitter End offer.  It’s a great place to start!

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Would You Like to Spend a Holiday on Necker Island?

Great news!  Richard Branson’s exclusive retreat in the BVI has just announced some last minute availability on selected dates for the remainder of 2016.  They are accepting stays of 3, 4, 5 and 7 nights and you can book as an individual couple.  All meals, drinks, watersports, beach parties, sushi pool parties and transfers are included.  For some, this is the opportunity of a lifetime to experience the beautiful white sand beaches and turquoise blue sea surrounding Necker. One of the Balinese villas even has a zip-wire to the beach!  Dates are available in September and October.

This could be your home for 3, 4,5 or 7 nights.  Call BVI Holidays to book today!

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Paradise on Earth only in the BVI!

Hello again!  I did promise you another update on my recent trip to the beautiful British Virgin Islands so, here it is.

Having said good-bye to Cashew the baby turtle, I left Oil Nut Bay and checked into the Bitter End Yacht Club also on Virgin Gorda.  Bitter End is by far the best resort I have seen anywhere and is excellent value for money.  They include so much in the cost of your holiday – all your meals, a vast fleet of small boats including hobie cats and dinghys, excursions to other islands in the BVI, an introduction to sailing, snorkel trips twice daily, sunset and champagne cruises, yoga on stand up paddle boards, windsurfing and the accommodation is akin to tree houses all linked by wooden walkways. The views are simply stunning. There literally is no place like Bitter End and it’s great for families, singles and couples.

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My next and last stop in the beautiful BVI was Peter Island Resort and Spa Peter Island boasts 1800 acres and is home to this amazing 52 room hotel. Peter Island offers Ocean View and Beachfront rooms and 3 luxurious villas with pools – two of them come complete with chef and waiting staff. There are several fabulous white sand beaches, good for sunbathing, snorkelling, beachcombing and enjoying the varied water sports that Peter Island has to offer. There is also an incredible Spa – probably the largest you have ever seen (!) offering a huge variety of treatments and couples massage suites too.  The food at Peter Island is a gastronomic delight and they will cater for any dietary requirements you may have.

Sadly, I could only stay for one night but….you can enjoy this island paradise for much longer!   If you wish you were here, you are welcome to call me to arrange.  A lovely combination would be to spend a few nights at Bitter End and a few nights on Peter Island.  What could be more idyllic!  Until next time…..

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Meet Cashew the Baby Turtle

Hello Everyone!

As you may have seen on Facebook, I have been in the British Virgin Islands on a business trip, but now pleased to be back in the office planning holidays with my select clients to this island paradise.

I began my trip with a few nights on Tortola staying at Frenchmans – a beautiful hotel/villa resort with an excellent restaurant, lovely pool and tennis courts.

This was followed by a visit to Scrub Island …never has a place been so inappropriately named!  It’s stunning!  Fabulous pool, spectacular views and an amazing Spa.

Next stop was Oil Nut Bay again – unusual name for an utterly stunning resort offering top class suites with amazing views and luxurious villas all with their own pools.  At Oil Nut Bay, I was introduced to a baby turtle named Cashew.  I’m going to leave you with Cashew today – isn’t he gorgeous! and I will give you another update regarding my BVI trip next week.  Wishing you all a wonderful week-end!208

Wimbledon Weather!

Well – it’s Wimbledon fortnight and already the players are having to play on extra days to try to finish their matches.

Spectators are having to sit wearing raincoats eating their strawberries and cream and trying to stop the raindrops from getting into their their champagne!

Imagine being transported away to sunnier climes?  We have some excellent tennis courts in the BVI, where some of the stars of Wimbledon have actually played! Imagine saying “game, set and match” against a beautiful backdrop of sun, sea and sand!

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I rest my case……

Bareboat Chartering and How it All Began

ashoreIt all began in 1968 when a few adventurer/sailor/visionaries realised what the British Virgin Islands had to offer and took the plunge into a risky endeavour – the bareboat chartering business. Crewed chartering for holidays had been going on since the late 1940s and had become well established in the US Virgin Islands but bareboat chartering, where the visiting sailor takes the boat and captains it himself with his own crew, was a new idea. One of the key factors in making the enterprise a success was that the charter company in the BVI would sell and then lease the boats from individual owners when they weren’t sailing them; then rent them out, and share the revenue. There would be no capital outlay necessary from the charter company.

Back then, the boats were basic, primitive even, by today’s standards. The average size was about 35ft with sparse accommodations; bunks one-up, one-down were not uncommon. Engines were potentially dangerous petrol driven affairs, unheard of nowadays. The cooking facilities included an alcohol stove, hand primed and pumped and a hand or foot operated water pump for dishes. The more luxurious boats had a saltwater pump to conserve fresh water. Refrigeration was a block of ice in an insulated box. Showering was not encouraged except by means of sea water on deck or perhaps a black bag filled with fresh water, heated by the sun, and hung from the rigging to be sprayed by means of a hand operated hose – what luxury!

Today the size of the yachts range from 31′ to 54′ and include not only monohulls but catamarans as well.  Catamarans have been around for decades but were always regarded with contempt by traditional yachtsmen. But by 1990 perceptions began to change and catamarans started to make inroads into the charter boat industry. They have lots of room, shallow draft, manoeuvre easily under power, and are fast and fun off the wind. Not only that, but they sail on a relatively even keel so “terrifying” heeling is eliminated. Although some sailors still prefer monohulls, catamarans and power cats have now become the vessels of choice for many.

Sailing in the BVI is a real pleasure – you are always in sight of land, the islands are easy to navigate between and you can still find deserted beaches and anchorages.

The yachts are equipped with GPS, fridge/freezer, barbecue, all bed linen and towels, including beach towels, cabin fans, some have air conditioning etc. etc..

Sailing around the islands is the best way to see the beautiful BVI.  Contact BVI Holidays for more details 

Deep Sea Fishing in the BVI

Deep sea fishing has long been an exciting and exhilarating sport in the British Virgin Islands.  The Scrub Island Blue Marlin Invitational is the crème de la crème of deep sea fishing! In response to several billfish tournament teams, owner and captain requests, Captain Skip Smith and Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina have collaborated to present blue marlin enthusiasts with a new venue in the ultimate BVI fishing territory. The Scrub Island Blue Marlin Invitational will take advantage of the hot North Drop bite during the summer full moons. With its close proximity to the fishing grounds, this tournament is a breath of fresh air and sure to be a success for fishing enthusiasts from all over the globe. The Scrub Island Blue Marlin Invitational will be held at Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina from August 14 – 17, 2016.

If this is of interest to you, call BVI Holidays for more details and how to register on the fishing tournament of the year, located in the heart of the British Virgin Islands!

Spanish Invasion of Tortola!

In 1625 the Spanish launched an assault on Tortola in the BVI in pursuit of a Dutch trader cum pirate named Joost van Dyk.  Fearing for his life, Dhr van Dyk took refuge on one of the neighbouring islands in the BVI and that island eventually took its name from him and to this day is called Jost van Dyke.

Jost Van Dyke, has been a sailor’s mecca for years. Great Harbour, the main port of entry, is always bobbing with sailboats and sailors coming ashore to the charming West Indian village that lines the beach with gift shops and restaurants, the most famous of which is Foxy’s Tamarind Bar. Foxy is a great calypso guitarist and singer and has been known to compose a calypso song on the spot, about certain visitors to his bar.

Mountainous and sparsely populated, this island hide-away is just a short ferry ride from Tortola’s west end. Offering one pristine white beach, appropriately name White Bay and several diverse snorkelling sites including Sandy and Green Cays – small little islands just to the east – this idyllic island is not only a favourite watering hole, but a place for underwater marine enthusiasts as well.

A hike over the hill from Great Harbour will put you in Little Harbour, a smaller bay with several seafood restaurants. Diamond Cay is another attraction with a small seaside restaurant and a trail to what is known as “the bubbly pool” a natural breakwater from the sea that comes alive when waves pour into a pool-like formation stirring up the waters.

Jost van Dyke is also home to the Soggy Dollar Bar – so called as there is no jetty and visitors have to swim from their yachts to the beach. Mic, the bartender, then pegs the “soggy dollars” on the washing line and mixes his famous Painkillers for his thirsty customers.  The recipe for the “Painkiller” is top secret and no amount of persuasion will entice Mic to part with his precious recipe.

Jost van Dyke – another of the BVI’s little gems.