British Virgin Islands,  Travel

First Time to the British Virgin Islands

One of the benefits of living on St. Thomas in the Caribbean is the number of countries surrounding it. In fact, one country is only a 30-40 minute boat ride depending on the weather and the water conditions. I’m speaking of the British Virgin Islands, commonly known as the BVIs.

For me, this was always a destination on my list of places to go because of everything I know about them from my aunt, uncle and cousins. You see many people who love to sail, will fly to St. Thomas with the goal to Sail the BVIs. This was something that my aunt and uncle would do often and one year, my parents were able to join and everything they told me when I moved here, put the BVIs on my radar.

Thank goodness I live where I live and have friends who love adventure because there are PLENTY of boat charters that offer day trips to certain islands. So, one Sunday in January myself and 8 friends (boat captain was also a friend) ventured  north to Jost van Dyke and Norman Island for a day of fun in the sun with One Love Charters, who happen to also run the Sports and Social Club (which is where I’ve met majority of my friends).

Jost van Dyke is one of the 4 main islands that make up the BVIs and although small is home to several beautiful beaches. When you enter the BVIs, the first stop is customs which is located in Great Harbour. Great Harbour is also the most frequently visited destination and home to Foxy’s, one of the most popular bars, and known for the famous New Year’s Eve bash!

We didn’t end up staying in Great Harbour following customs. We headed west to White Bay, home to Soggy Dollar Bar, which is known for the creation of the famous drink called the Painkiller. (click for recipe) Have you had a Painkiller before? You’re missing out if you haven’t! We hung out at this beach for a while and enjoyed the soft white sand and Caribbean blue water, playing some water Frisbee, and drinking a painkiller.

Next up, was Sandy Spit Beach, which is basically a tiny island off the east coast of Jost with sand circling a small patch of plant life and view Jost and Tortola. Did I mention this beach or island is TINY? It only takes about 3 minutes to walk around the entire island and every view is just a perfect and the next!

Next up and one final destination of this BVI trip was to an island called Normal Island. This particular island is home to Willy T’s, a popular floating restaurant/bar, commonly known for jumping off the top deck, which of course I did, twice! Willy T’s is named after William Thornton, who was the architect for the US Capitol Building, however it wasn’t always the Willy T’s we know and love today. It began as a Baltic trading vessel until 1989, when the wooden boat became a restaurant. It’s been about 6 years since the replacement from the original wooden boat to a steel shunner. I highly recommend this location on any first, second, third, etc. trip to the BVIs.

Plus, how can any traveler or adventurer want to pass up the opportunity to jump of a top deck into transparent Caribbean blue water?

When it was finally ready to leave Willy T’s, we didn’t have too much time left before we would have to make our way back to home base, so we headed for a brief pit stop at some harbor in St. John.

We arrived home all exhausted, slightly red, and a little intoxicated, but memories were made, friendships grew stronger, and my passport was no longer empty (I had to renew this summer). The BVIs were more than I could have imagined and I have just touched the surface of the many islands. Next up, The Baths on Virgin Gorda and maybe a trip to Tortola! So much more to see and do…glad my time isn’t up yet in St. Thomas!

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