The Virgin Islands: a popular place for sailors in the Caribbean. Also a popular starting point or ending point for sailing across the Atlantic. Here’s a little bit of info to get a sense of place.
The Virgin Islands are made up of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), and the Spanish Virgin Islands (which are part of Puerto Rico and also the United States, Spanish
speaking). Many boats end their Caribbean season in this Island Archipelago. It makes a good departure point for the Atlantic Crossing and a potential place to find a ride across the Atlantic.
British Virgin Islands (BVI)
Road Town (Tortola) is the commercial centre of the BVI. This is where many boats provision and clear in. West End (Tortola) is another sail boat hub, with a customs office, where you have a chance to find a boat. The Bitter End is an ideal chill zone in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda. It’s relatively affordable and a good place to hang out while searching for a boat. Willy T’s on Norman Island is a popular stop for yachties and party animals. The Baths are a spectacular natural rock formation on the island of Virgin Gorda. I could spend weeks exploring this gem.
USVI & Puerto Rico
Red Hook and Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas are popular cruising stops and your best bet to find a ride. Charlotte Amelie is the capital of the USVI, a huge natural harbour, and one of the most visited ports in the Caribbean. St. John is almost entirely a protected nature park with loads of hiking and diving potential. If you have the chance to sail via the Spanish Virgin Islands (Culebra and Vieques), do it! Salinas in the south of Puerto Rico is a popular place amongst sailors with a potential to find a ride. For the islands in USA territory (USVI and Puerto Rico) you’ll need a valid ESTA stamp in your passport, which you need to apply for online a few days before entering the country. You can only receive the ESTA stamp when entering USA territory via scheduled transport (flight or ferry), not under sail. Check the latest visa situation when planning to go there.
The above is an excerpt from the book Ocean Nomad: Catch a Sailboat Ride & Contribute to a Healthier Ocean. Learn more about sailing as a means of travel and contributing to the ocean in Ocean Nomad.
At the end, it’s purpose behind all it that make it worthwhile. Enjoy the journey. And come and say hi in the Ocean Nomads tribe : the global support network for impact driven ocean adventurers.