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.