Sailing in the British Virgin Islands for 10 days – day 3 and 4

Posted by Director of Education on October 3, 2016 under About NauticEd, Bareboat Charter, Crew, Skipper, Videos and photos | Comments are off for this article

This is day 3 and 4 of sailing in The BVI with BVI Yacht Charters on a Lagoon 450.

DROP AND GIVE ME 20 yelled Jeff as we did mountain climbers, burpies, press ups and beach sprints for a morning workout. What a way to start a day and White Bay beach is the best for it. Imagine working out and jogging on this beach in the morning to work up a good sweat then just fall in the water at the end – now stop imagining and go there!

White Bay Beach

White Bay Beach, JVD, BVI

Sandy Cay was on our way to our next stop Cane Garden Bay. I’d never been to Sandy Cay before – always electing the much smaller Sandy Spit which is also very cool and not to be missed but Sandy Cay is pretty special too, now that I know. It has a most amazing white sandy beach with awesome swimming. We did a reenactment of Hallie Berry in the James Bond movie where he offered her a mojito as she came out of the water. But alas not as good as the original. Still, the model was great – biased option of course.


Mojito? On Sandy Cay!

Don’t miss the incredible sandy beach at Sandy Cay – usually you can have this beach to yourself. (not after this blog goes viral though).

Still with plenty of time in the day we decided to reverse direction a little and go see Bubbling Pools at the north east end of JVD (Jost Van Dyke); between JVD and Little JVD. Here the wash of the water rushes through some rocks and ends up in a little pool. Since the water has been roughed up through the rocks, it is like a little jacuzzi -fun.

Bubbling Pools

Bubbling Pools

To get there, you anchor or grab a mooring ball next to Foxy’s Taboo (Not Foxy’s) and walk north along the trail for about ½ a mile. Turn left as you climb a little knoll. With a Northerly swell, Bubbling Pools can be a lot of fun and depending on the size of the swell can border on dangerous. Anyway, it is great to see and well worth the walk.  On the way, I walked past the Caribbean Manchineel poison apple tree and shot this video.


After Bubbling Pools we stopped at Foxy’s Taboo Restaurant. Of all the trips I’ve done to the BVI, this was the first time I had visited Foxy’s Taboo. Big mistake should have done it before because speaking of danger, they’ve got a few dangerous drinks which is dependant more on the swill than the swell.

Foxy's Taboo Jost Van Dyke

Foxy’s Taboo Jost Van Dyke

“Friggin in the Riggin” drink was the most popular amongst the crew.

Back to the boat we set sails for Cane Garden Bay. The entrance into Cane Garden Bay is well marked with a green and red. Keep red to right.

Cane Garden Bay Entrance

Cane Garden Bay Entrance

This is one of my more favorite spots in the BVI – why? Don’t know – just is. There is a long beach that is populated with bars and restaurants. It’s a little touristy as it caters to the Cruise ship crowd taxi’d over from Road Town. Still, the bay is quaint and the locals are friendly. There are heaps of mooring balls and if they run out you can save $30 and anchor just beyond the most outer mooring which is still pretty close to the beach anyway. There is a decent grocery store, Bobby’s – well decent enough to pick up a few extras. They could up their game a little on the vegies.

Cane Garden Bay

Cane Garden Bay

To the north end of the bay is a large pier where you can get fuel, water and ice. The bay is open to the north and west so stay away if there is a big swell as you’ll get slammed against the pier wall. We stayed in CGB for 2 nights just because of its idyllic setting. They have lots of water sports on the beach and a giant swimming area.

A quick digress: A note about the bays and beaches anywhere you go in the world. While it may seem obvious to us all, but the Charter Companies would rather you dump out the head rather than send it into the tanks. They do this to not clog the tanks or get calls from clients saying they flushed something they should not have could you please come unblock it. BUT please, no matter what they say, close the seacocks when in a harbor. Then just remember to dump after you get out away from the shore 3 miles.  

Back in Cane Garden Bay, the next morning we had a massive pig out breakfast with Bloody Mary’s to start the day. Then we went on a hunt for a set of flip flops for Jeff who blew out his flip flop (and stepped on a pop top) on the hike to Bubbling Pools yesterday.   Seemingly the day flew by but not without some serious fun in the water, fun with the dinghy and fun with the sea kayak. There was a weak call for to check out the night life on shore but moment later the call was followed by snoring. Yet again – failing from the experience of yesterday, we went from Blue to black and back to blue Ducks again. I mean come on people. We neglected to secure the Sea Kayak. Some rotten

Yet again – failing to learn from the experience of yesterday, we went from Blue to black and back to blue Ducks again. I mean come on people. We neglected to secure the Sea Kayak. Some rotten soles in the middle of the night went joy riding on our kayak that was tied up behind. They left the kayak at someone else’s boat. We only found out about the joy ride part rather than theft by a keen eyed crew member spotting a dinghy driving around the harbor towing a red sea kayak and stopping at each boat. This happened just as we had resigned ourselves to paying the rental company for the Sea Kayak. So potential black again turned to only blue. Notes to self and Crew. Let’s secure the boat properly prior to going to bed.

See Day 5 

See day 2 of sailing in the BVI with BVI Yacht Charters on a Lagoon 450

How to Spring off the Dock with a Catamaran

Posted by Grant Headifen on August 12, 2010 under Bareboat Charter, Crew, Maneuvering Under Power, Skipper | Be the First to Comment

Next week we’re going to Tonga and the island of Vava’U for a week long NauticEd Flotilla sailing trip amongst the archipelago. After a rainy and relatively cool winter in New Zealand this year its going to be a welcome and fun trip. We’re bareboat chartering three catamarans from the Moorings. 21 adults and 3 three children aged 2, 3 and 6 are coming. Correction that makes 24 children I think by the excitement and way every one is acting so far. We’re looking forward to doing some excellent sailing, fishing, swimming in warm water, snorkeling under the rock wall into Mariner’s cave and maybe have a few lovely glasses of red wine under a warm evening sky. So in light of catamaran sailing then I thought this week we’d review a method of getting a catamaran off the dock when a difficult wind is blowing onto the dock. We needed to use this in the British Virgin Island last year and with some whacky wave action we also had to time it right. It’s just as well we used this method because, with the waves, some serious damage could have occurred.

Using a spring line to get off the dock with a catamaran

Using a spring line to get off the dock with a catamaran

The concept is pretty simple and effective. First tie a dock line from the front of the boat to the  dock towards the aft. Then turn the helm all the way towards the dock and engage the out side engine in forward. The thrust from the backward wash of water as depicted by the arrow onto the turned rudder plus the force moments from the outer thrust and inner dockline will act to turn the back end of the catamaran out away from the dock. You must position a crew member with a dock fender to hold it between the boat and the dock. When the boat is turned out a significant amount, you can engage reverse but make sure it is more than 45 degrees out, else you can be in trouble with the wind  pushing you back onto the dock. Once in reverse, turn the helm the other direction to get the boat moving in the right direction. Wait until the boat is a significant distance away from the dock before you decide to engage forward and swing the boat around otherwise the back quarter of the boat can broadside back into the dock, especially if the wind is strong.

You can apply a little reverse thrust to the dockside engine but keep it so that the tension remains on the dock line. The method of using the dock line rather than just opposing engines turns the catamaran more effectively when operating close to the dock because the  dockside front quarter is essentially trapped thus a simple rotation won’t work.

Make sure that the dock line is arranged so that it is tied to the boat then looped 1/2 turn around the dock cleat then back to the boat. In this manner the crew member managing the fender can, at the right time, release one end of the dock line and pull it back around the dock cleat to retrieve it – all the while standing on the boat as it pulls away from the dock. Make sure the end has no knots in it. Also ensure the crew member understands not to release the dock line too early because they will not be able to hold against the thrust force.

Obviously this concept works similarly for monohulls.

Full concepts of maneuvering sailboats under power, sailing rules and catamarans are covered in these two NauticEd sailing courses.

Life Saving Tip for downwind sailing

Posted by Grant Headifen on May 10, 2010 under Bareboat Charter, Coastal Navigation, Crew, Skipper, Storm Tactics | Be the First to Comment

Some tips are long and some are short – This short one will save your life or one of your crew.

As you know – sailing downwind has the dangerous potential of the accidental gybe. This can be quite a common occurrence if you have an inexperienced crew at the helm or perhaps with a major wind shift when sailing close to an island and … well… with the added distractions of being on a sailing vacation, an accidental gybe is probably going to happen.

Please teach your crew to only walk to the front of the boat on the boom side of the boat when sailing down wind. In this manner, the boom is only traveling at a bruising 20 miles per hour when slamming across instead of the fatal 100 miles per hour when it reaches the other side.

Could be dangerous

Could be dangerous

It’s particularly important to emphasize this when heading out on a bareboat charter vacation where you’re often taking along some land lubbers. So, NauticEd has put together a quick briefing list for the crew prior to departure which includes tips like this.

Download the PDF at the bottom of the page at