A couple of weeks ago I finally got to go on a vacation that was over a year in the making. It all started when my mom decided she wanted to take me, my two brothers, our significant others and my niece and nephew on a trip of a lifetime. We discussed different options, like a trip to Europe, but decided that warm weather was the way to go. My parents decided to charter a 51 ft power catamaran from the Moorings, a luxury yacht charter company, to explore the British Virgin Islands for 10 days.
We had three flights to take in order to finally land int Tortola. Toronto to Miami, Miami to San Juan and San Juan to Tortola. Our final flight was on a tiny 9 seat Cessna that gave us a beautiful view of our surroundings.
After about an 8 hour journey we landed in paradise. A quick drive from the airport brought us to our home for the next 10 days. After throwing everything on board we were off in under an hour and headed to Norman Island. The most interesting part about Norman island was the ship anchored offshore that had a bar and small kitchen onboard. It was THE place to spend your afternoon sipping on Painkillers and taking in the crystal clear water.
Our next island was Jost Van Dyke, we stayed in one of the largest bays on the island called Great Harbour and saw our first turtle here! We also had a boat moored next to us that had disconnected one of the mast lines to use as a giant swing, it was awesome! We spent one night in Jost before heading back to the main island of Tortola but this time visiting Cane Garden Bay. Cane Garden Bay was stunning, the beach was beautiful and the sunsets were absolutely spectacular.
The next morning we made our way towards Marina Cay with a quick stop snorkelling at Monkey Point. Out of all the snorkelling spots we checked out this had to be one of the best. We saw schools containing hundreds and hundreds of Blue Tang (Dory!). This was the first night we spent at a marina. We chose the Scrub Island Marina and it was an excellent place to hang by the swim up bar and soak up the sun. That evening we took a water Taxi over to Marina Cay to visit one of the most famous Pusser's Rum locations, the one with the telephone booth! Our ride back was an interesting one, in an effort to get back to the marina as soon as possible we paid a man to take us back across the channel in his tiny little dinghy. There was barely enough room for the 4 of us and I actually had to stand up in order to balance out the weight in the boat. The boat sat so low that when the waves hit the side of the dinghy they actually came right over the edge. Needless to say it was worth the ride to Marina Cay.
Anegada, an island on the outskirts of the BVI's, was our next destination. We spent two amazing nights there and got to see some of the most beautiful beaches i've ever visited. The sand was soft and white and the water was incredibly clear. We couldn't have asked for better weather.
After Anegada it was off to the Bitterend. The Bitterend Yacht Club felt like being in a movie. The hammocks, the water, the ambience was spectacular. We sadly didn't stay the night at the Bitterend due to the fact that the prices were a little steep so instead we made our way over to Levereck Bay to moor up for the night.
Spanish Town was our final stop. Spanish town is the largest city on the BVI's second largest island, Virgin Gorda. It's home to the most famous attraction in all the islands and that is the Bath's a cluster of massive boulders that litter the beach on the Southeastern side of the Island. They were brought to the surface by volcanic eruptions hundreds of years ago. The Baths was my favourite spot on the entire trip. The rocks were absolutely spectacular and the water was so clear and warm, just an absolutely beautiful spot.
We spent the last day at Cooper Island and did some more snorkelling. This time we took the dinghy out to the point and tied up. After swimming around the reef for a good 10 minutes I spotted a beautiful shell maybe 20 feet down. I asked my sister-in-law Karen to go grab it for my mom because I had damaged my eardrum earlier that week snorkelling. She asked to borrow my GoPro to try and pull the shell away from the coral reef so I handed it to her and she dove down towards the shell. She reached toward the coral with the GoPro extension arm and out of the darkness came a tentacle pulling the shell back toward it's lair. Karen let out an underwater scream and came swimming back to the surface "did you see that!?" she yelled. There was a tiny little octopus that had collected all the most beautiful shells to keep as it's most prized possessions. It was such a cool experience to see the interaction with such an intelligent Cephalopod.
We spent the final night in the Moorings marina because we had to be up early to catch our flight. It was a whirlwind 10 days and they went by faster than I ever could have wanted. The trip that took a year to plan has come and gone and now I can't wait to see where we get to go next.