November 2014, four of my friends chartered a 47 foot catamaran, with crew, and sailed the British Virgin Islands. Quite possibly one of the most enjoyable and relaxing 10 day vacations I’ve ever had. If you are looking to truley get away and only have a week or 2, consider this option.
The boat, Nemo, a 47′ Nautitech (france) is owned and crewed by an Italian couple. The run charters in the Mediterranean during the off season in the Caribbean. They were incredible hosts, they managed absolutely everything with perfection. And Nemo is stunning! The catamaran makes for a very comfortable and spacious experience and the sailing is stable and just plain fun. We were encouraged to participate in helm activities as much or as little as we desired. Food was amazing, seriously all of us gained weight on the trip (with no regrets). Coctails and hors d’oeuvres were waiting for us every afternoon when we returned form our land excursions.
We met Nemo in St Thomas. We were picked up from the airport by a car arranged in advance, and taken to Redhook Bay where Nemo and Crew were ready and waiting. We left the port within a half hour of boarding and set sail for Francis Bay, Sopers Hole, Norman Island, Peter Island, Trellis Bay/Beef Island, The Baths, Virgin Gorda/Saba Rock, Anegada, Sandy Spit/Cay, Jost van Dyke (Great Harbor, White Bay), and Caneel Bay.
Some days we snorkeled, others we drank at beach bars and lounged on the beach, or just splashed in the warm Caribbean water. Then we’d return to the boat for Cocktails and usually stay there. Several nights we ventured onto
land for dinner or drinks, but generally, we all preferred to stay on the boat in the evenings. We sat outside all evening – talking, eating, playing cards and drinking games, relaxing and laughing for hours. When we did venture out for night life we visited the typical Caribbean beach bars and harbor restaurants where we could moor along with all the other sail boats (and the occasional motor yacht). Most notable were Foxy’s in Great Harbor, Willy T’s – Norman Island (although my personal memory of that one is hazy), Soggy Dollar in whit Bay – where the Painkiller Cocktail was invented, and Big Bamboo and Neptune, beach bars on Anegada.
There are many sites to see, some surprisingly good snorkling and diving, and decent hikes. A highlight for us was renting scooters and driving around Anegada for a day. You will not be at a loss to find activities, but I bet you’ll be hooked on the “doing nothing” 24 hours. There must be something about sailing and the Caribbean that brings out the day drinking, card playing, sun bathing, beach lounging, skipper in all of us.