There can’t be many regions in the world that can reasonably be compared to the Caribbean for spring sailing. Climate is not the only factor here; the sailing conditions are virtually perfect, the islands provide huge variety in culture, history, food and music, and the snorkeling is stunning. Also, the cost of a bareboat charter in the Caribbean Sea is by no means prohibitive and such a holiday offers the kind of existence that we might spend the rest of the year only dreaming about.
The British Virgin Islands especially are lavished with perfect beaches, splendid wildlife, stunning panoramas and fun, laidback waterside day and nightlife. Here are some of the highlights of a classic Caribbean Sea adventure during a bareboat charter around the BVI.
Dive Cooper Island
Don’t expect to anchor here; the turtle nests are jealously protected from the kind of human activity that has seen turtle numbers decline in other regions around the world. But for that reason the diving around Cooper Island remains just so exceptional. Aside from the turtles that you may see investigating the corrals, sponges and other aquatic undergrowth, you’ll be able to take advantage of the many fantastic sites for snorkelling. One of the benefits of all those invaders, pirates and blood-thirsty treasure hunters of yesteryear are the shipwrecks of today: ideal environs for spotted eagle rays, blue tangs, queen anglefish and more.
Inspect the ruins of Copper Mine, Virgin Gorda
With the islands under British rule, Cornish miners established the Copper Mine back in the first half of the 19th century and extracted copper ore, which was then shipped all the way back to Wales. Many of those miners’ descendants still populate the islands today. Scramble around the ruins and you’ll find veins of copper and splinters of quartz as well as the mine’s ancient beam engine, not to mention various other integral features of a site that was for a brief time a hive of activity. Highly evocative of the period, the ruins represent a fascinating break from all those onerous beach barbecues and marine species.
Laze Marina Cay
If for some peculiar reason, however, you hear the call of those cocktails, freshly grilled fish and lobster once more, you could do far worse than pay a visit to Marina Cay. This islet just off the West End Bay of Great Camanoe is the perfect stop-off for a long, lazy lunch. From here you can go on organised diving and snorkeling trips. Alternatively, you may wish to simply paddle a while, have yourself a little lie-down, and maybe spend some time taking in the view.
No matter what you find to do while sailing around the British Virgin Islands, you won’t want to miss these three highlights.
Laura Lynch, creator and writer of Savored Journeys, is an avid world traveler, certified wine expert, and international food specialist. She has written about travel and food for over 20 years and has visited 70+ countries.