Great Tabago, BVI
One of the greatest things about the Virgin Islands, from a boaters perspective, is the relative closeness of about 100 rocks, cays and islands. That’s about how many land masses make up the Virgin Islands. And being so close together gives you many options to choose from. It also gives you a great deal of shelter when navigating between the islands. In most cases you don’t have to stay exposed to big seas for very long. (There are exceptions to this, called “snotty seas” where you can’t hide anywhere.)
That said, we occasionally experience conditions down here that don’t require you to tuck and dodge. Conditions that you’d find on a small lake (or Megan’s Bay) Conditions so calm that you get a nice reflection from the sky.
We recently had 4 days in a row of flat flat flat conditions. It was incredible and a great time to be on the water. My guests kept mentioning that Deja Blue was a very smooth ride. “That she is.” I’d reply. “That she is.” (No reason to go messin with a perfectly good compliment. Of course the captain has something to do with a smooth ride as well. ; )
Most all of you know of White Bay on the southern shore of Jost Van Dyke. It’s home to such famous beach bars as Ivan’s, Sedi’s and The Soggy Dollar. You also probably know on the south shore, Great Harbor, home of Jost’s Customs House and the original Foxy’s. And some of you may even know Little Harbor which is where you’ll find Sydney’s Peace and Love. If any of you have been out with me then you surely know Diamond Cay home of my favorite restaurant, Foxy’s Taboo. (good eatin!)
But is that it? Is that all there is to Jost? Nope. There’s a whole coast line of Jost that most people don’t get to see. The Other Side of Jost Van Dyke. The North Shore of Jost Van Dyke. This Video contains a glimpse of Jost’s north coast. It’s been edited down in time to show you just some typical coast line and this natural phenomenon that I thought was really cool where the waves caused a cloud of mist to shoot into the air.
For more great (or not so) click [videos]
There’s no way to pull this off without the feeling that someone has put their thumbs in their ears and is sticking out their tongue at you. That someone is unintentionally me.
Here are some sunset photos taken along the way. (Sigh) That’s right, we got great sunsets as well. Even better when viewed from the water.
Sunset over St Thomas
Sunset at The Narrows
- Vessup Bay
American Yacht Harbor, St Thomas
This is what the North Swell looks like from my window. (Yes I have a great view.)
The North Swell. You might have heard this term before. It happens a bit here in the Virgin Islands so I’ll give a shot at an explanation. First, we’ll start with a the definition of swell:
A swell is a series of surface gravity waves that is not generated by the local wind.
So no matter what the winds are doing. A swell can occur from another direction and make things interesting. The North Swell comes from the North. Our wave patterns, usually come from the east.
What does the North Swell do? Basically it causes the surf on most beaches to increase to a point that swimming can become hazardous. In regards to boating and beaches, a North Swell in the Virgin Islands can give The Baths a “Red Flag”. (meaning the Parks Dept will shut them down for safety reasons). This can also happen to north shore beaches of Tortola, as well as Trunk Bay on St John. It can also cause a lot of large waves in White Bay on Jost Van Dyke meaning you’ll most likely swim in from your boat as anchoring near the shore will be a challenge.
More times than not, snorkeling on the northern shores suffers from a North Swell as it tends to churn up the waters and reduce visibility. On these days you will most likely find the best snorkeling on southern exposures. But on the flip side, a North Swell increases the number of areas were surfing can be done. Also the North Swell is a necessary component to The Bubbly Pool on Jost Van Dyke actually being bubbly.
The North Swell also leaves north shore waters in an agitated state of turquoise blue which is absolutely beautiful.
New Year’s Eve Sky over the Virgin Islands
This is what the Virgin Islands’ sky was doing just now on Nochevieja or Old Night or New Years Eve. No matter what you call it, hope your celebrations are great and your new year is blessed. (Pronounced BLESS-SAID. That’s Island talk for awesome.)