Year #2 of Island Hopping in the British Virgin Islands with Brent and Kylee! I really do have to pinch myself some days thinking about how lucky I am to get to go on adventures like this!!
I need to start this blog by saying it saddens me so much while writing this blog – looking at the beauty we saw and explored the first week in August – to now seeing the photos of the destruction to the islands caused by Hurricane Irma at the first of September. It’s truly heartbreaking to see the places we were at destroyed such as Soggy Dollar Bar, Foxy’s and Saba Rock or completely blown away like Sandy Spit Island. My one thankful thought is knowing that when we were there most islands were already shutting down – or about to shut down – for hurricane season. So while the buildings were destroyed, I have to hope most of the people had taken shelter somewhere else and were safe. I’ve put together a few comparison photos from some of the places we went. I truly hope they rebuild soon, because the BVIs is a place that everyone should explore at least once in their lifetime.
Before and After of Leverick Bay
Before and After of Marina Cay
Before and After of Soggy Dollar Bar
Before and After of Saba Rock
Trip Itinerary and Highlights
With that said, let me now share some of the amazing highlights of our trip this year! I’ll go island by island so you can share in our 7 night journey.
EJ infront of our Catamaran at Sprat Bay on Peter Island
Map of our BVI Island Hopping
Day 1: Tortola to Jost Van Dyke
After a red eye flight to Tortola we arrived in Tortola at 8am and took the shuttle to the Moorings Marina. We had to wait a few hours for our boat to be ready, but by 1pm we were off on our adventure!
Landing in Tortola
Our catamaran kitchen
Our Catamaran’s name was “We Are Nuts” – and during some crazy rain storms on the trip we kind of had to agree! ;)
"We are Nuts" - yes we are!
Trish and I survived the week on "We are Nuts"!
Our first stop that afternoon was White Bay on Jost Van Dyke to visit the famous Soggy Dollar Bar for an original Painkiller drink. We sat on the beach for a while sipping our drinks, taking in the first sights and smells of the islands – and then had dinner at Hendo's Hideout since we were all too exhausted to cook on the boat that first night.
Pulling up to White Bay - for the soggy dollar bar on Jost Van Dyke
Great way to start night 1 of vacation with a Painkiller!
Jost van Dyke - Soggy Dollar Bar
Day 2: Jost Van Dyke to Cane Garden Bay
We explored more of Jost Van Dyke heading over to Great Harbour to visit another famous bar – Foxy’s Tamarind.
Jost Van Dyke - Great Harbour
Kylee and EJ at Foxy's
Foxy's Tamarind Bar
From Great Harbour we went over to Sandy Cay – a small uninhabited island. My gosh was it beautiful! White sand, turquoise water – yep…I could stay there for a while! We paddle boarded to land, walked around the island, relaxed and soaked in the magnificent views!
Pulling up to Sandy Cay Island
EJ and Trish paddle boarding
EJ on Sandy Cay
We took the dingy over to Sandy Spit – an even tinier island that we could walk all the way around! There is only 1 palm tree on the island (famous from the Corona and other commercials), so of course we grabbed a pic with it.
EJ on Sandy Spit - (the only palm tree on the island)
Instead of staying at Jost a second night, Brent made a game day decision to head over to Cane Garden Bay on Tortola, about an hour away. We got there by dinner time – ready to explore the next morning.
Cane Garden Bay
Day 3: Cane Garden Bay to Marina Cay
After breakfast we headed via paddle board to Cane Garden Beach, which was a nice well-inhabited spot. It was a fun place to explore, walking up and down the little shops along the beach while sipping on a 'morning adult beverage' to start our vacation day right!
Feet - Cane Garden Bay
Kylee and EJ at Cane Garden Bay
Cane Garden Beach
Next on the agenda was a stop at Guana Island for some snorkeling at Monkey Point. There was a neat little cave we could swim up to and explore the beautiful coral below. Little did we know this would be our only “good” snorkeling of the trip, as the storms following this day churned up the dirt and seaweed so much it lost some of its beauty.
Snorkeling at Monkey Point on Guana Island
Coral and Fish
Brent jumping off the boat!
At Marina Cay, we headed to shore to take a peak in the shop, be silly at the phone booth and just relax on land a bit. That night we cooked spaghetti for dinner and sat outside for a while looking up at the beautiful, almost full-moon peeking between the clouds.
Help - Kylee is stuck!
Day 4: Marina Cay to The Baths back to Marina Cay
Our first stop of the day was on Virgin Gorda to explore The Baths. A place that was one of our highlights last year, and yes - it lived up to expectations once again! After a quick swim to shore, we started our journey hiking in the caves, over the rocks and wading through the small pools of The Baths.
Kylee walking up the rocks at the Baths
EJ walking through the Baths
Look how strong she is!
Brent and Kylee at The Baths
EJ walking through the Baths
At the end we were treated with the beautiful Devil’s Bay!
EJ and Trish in Devil's Bay
After relaxing there for a bit, we headed back through the caves and walked up the island to the Top of the Baths restaurant for lunch.
Kylee and Brent at the Top of the Baths restaurant
What's a tropical vacation without a storm, right?! Thankfully we got moored back up at Marina Cay (the only place nearby we could find a spot) before the skies really opened up! We had some crazy storms that lasted through the night, but overall not too bad - just some good old fashion wind, rain and lightening.
Storms rolling in...
Heavy rain! (safe and sound on the boat though)
So what to do during the storms? Have an R&R on the boat kind of day...pour some drinks, play games, color, and just enjoy the rain!
Playing games during the rain
Breaking out the coloring book to pass the time
The captain making sure we all stayed safe
Day 5: Marina Cay to Leverick Bay
After the storms (over 6 inches of rain and up to 40mph winds) we all had a fairly slow start to our morning after a restless night of sleep. By mid-morning we headed over to The Dogs (Great Dog island) for snorkeling. This cave was really cool!
At The Dogs (Great Dog island)
We snorkeled up to the cave at Great Dog
EJ on Great Dog
Sails up! Next we made our way over to Leverick Bay on Virgin Gorda to fill up the boat with water, buy some grocieries, relax while floating in the water and finish off the day with a nice dinner on shore at the rooftop restaurant.
Enjoying sails up!
We are here!
More of this please!
EJ and Kylee eating dinner on Leverick Bay
Day 6: Virgin Gorda Leverick Bay to Saba Rock to Cooper Island
After mooring up at Saba Rock we took the dingy over to Prickly Pear Island, where we got to gawk at Richard Branson's Necker Island and the Google Owner's Island! We saw some people kite surfing on Necker Island – my theory was it was Obama on vacation again – so I’m just sticking with that!
Kylee and Brent at Saba Rock
EJ and Kylee on Prickly Pear Island (the storms washed ashore all the seaweed)
We had a nice lunch at Saba Rock and afterwards found the quaintest spot on the island to sit and enjoy the beautiful views for a few minutes!
Kylee, EJ and Trish at Saba Rock
Saba Rock - Virgin Gorda
EJ on Saba Rock
Sails up to head over to Cooper Island. Our intention was to eat dinner at their island restaurant, but guess what – the whole island was closed for the season! Oops. We spent the rest of the afternoon playing on the paddle boards and relaxing, and then all dug into what food we had on the boat – I think hot dogs was the winner.
EJ ready to hook the mooring ball as we come into the bay at Cooper Island
Kylee and EJ relaxing after going for a quick paddle board workout
Sunset in the BVIs
Day 7: Cooper Island to Peter Island
EJ and Kylee on Peter Island
Our last full day in the BVIs was spent exploring Peter Island. Our first stop was Deadman’s Bay where we paddle boarded to land and hiked across to the beach on the other side.
Our last stop was Great Harbour where we moored for the afternoon and evening. It was a very relaxing day – floating in the water, paddle boarding, coloring, etc. Just soaking in that last bit of island life before going back to reality the next day.
Feet - sailing around Peter Island
Trish enjoying the views of Peter Island
EJ paddle boarding to shore
With a beautiful sunset to cap off our final day, Brent cooking us steaks for dinner, and another night spent looking up at the stars – it was the end to an amazing vacation! Lots of twists and turns during the week, but that’s what makes it exciting and a true adventure!!
Our last sunset in the BVIs
Day 8: Peter Island to Tortola
An early start this morning as we left the island at 7am to head back to the Marina to return the boat, shuttle to the airport and catch our 10:30am flight to Puerto Rico.
Heading back into the Moorings on Tortola
FYI - definitely sit on the left side of the plane if taking this route from Tortola to Puerto Rico – the view of the islands was spectacular!
Flying out over the BVIs
Beautiful overhead view of the BVIs
Thanks again to Kylee and Brent for another incredible year in the British Virgin Islands! BVIs 2017 in the books!!
Slideshow of more BVI photos - use right/left control arrows or scroll and click to view