October 8th-19th, 2006 - British Virgin Islands
This page has been moved from "Upcoming Events" and will eventually be turned into a "Trip Review" page.
The following information is from Noel Hall, trip leader.
BVI - British Virgin Islands
Where is it?: The British Virgin Islands, usually simply called the “BVI”, are located in the Caribbean near Puerto Rico, about 1,000 miles southeast of Florida. The U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Thomas) are part of the same island chain, and they actually overlay each other.
How do I get there?: BVI is a short ferry ride from St. Thomas, which is easily reached through Atlanta on Delta, or through Charlotte on US Airways. Another route is through San Juan, Puerto Rico, by airline shuttle to Tortola (Beef Island Airport - EIS)
But isn’t October/November during hurricane season?: Hurricane season in the Caribbean is June through November, with the peak in September. Although there is a remote chance of a trip being interrupted by a tropical storm, weather reports allow for plenty of time to take appropriate action in case of an approaching storm. The trade-off is warm water and calm winds, perfect for scuba diving and power boating.
I haven’t heard much about diving in BVI, is it any good?: The British Virgin Islands are known as the sailing capital of the world, but the secret of scuba diving is now out. Websites such as www.bluewaterdiversbvi.com and www.divetortola.com have plenty of details about diving in the area.
Why a “bareboat”, aren’t there liveaboards in BVI?: Yes, the Cuan Law (www.cuanlaw.com) is an excellent choice and their website offers lots of information about diving in BVI. However, the cost is twice that of chartering our own boat.
I don’t understand, just what is a “bareboat”?: See the website www.bareboatsbvi.com and click on Motor Yacht Charters in the left column. Then click on any of the power boat links for a full description. The term “bareboat” simply means NO CREW. This means no captain, no cook, no dive-master, and no one to clean-up after you. Just like renting a car, we leave with a full tank of fuel, and bring it back with a full tank and no damage.
How do we find the dive sites, and how do we get tanks refilled?: The dive sites are mapped and have mooring buoys. We simply tie-up and go diving. Dive shops with compressors are located throughout the islands.
Where do we stay at night?: We live and sleep on the boat. Each evening we plan our itinerary for the next day and where we will stay the night (all subject to change at any time).
What about food?: We usually stock the boat for breakfast and lunch. Evenings we can eat on the boat or choose to eat on shore. Small restaurants are located on many of the beaches, as well as beach bars with limited menus.
What is this going to cost me?: It depends on the choice of boat, choice of cabin, and the number of people on the boat. For example, eight people on the “Trader 485” would be about $700 per person for a ten day charter. Other boats or fewer people would likely be somewhat higher. The other major cost is transportation to BVI. Airline fares to St. Thomas are likely to be about $500. Other costs of fuel, scuba tanks/fills, taxis/ferry, food & drink could be another $500. For “quick & dirty” estimates, plan on $1,500 - $2,000 for a ten day trip. The actual costs can be narrowed once we have an idea of the number of people and their choice of boat.
Links to information on: