SAILING & DIVING VACATIONS
Tortola Sailing & Sights offer great vacations for people who want to learn to sail and also explore the beautiful Virgin Islands above and below the sea. We know how precious your days off are, so we want to offer you a combination of learning to sail with other fun things, allowing you to get the most out of your time off. British Virgin Islands is special because not only does it host two great old wrecks with fascinating history behind both of them, (the famous RMS Rhone, that sunk 150 years ago, and the NEW The Kodiak Queen, which was sunk this year.) It also has many coves, caves and reefs to explore due the 50+ islands that make up the BVI.
This sample itinerary will never be 100% accurate, your skipper will always have flexibility because of weather, seasonality, students’ experience & needs etc.)
Day 1 9.30am Arrive at our classroom in Soper’s Hole Marina to meet your fellow students and instructor. After completing your Health & Safety paperwork, your instructor will take you to your boat and get you settled into your cabin. Then it's time for the safety briefing, provisioning etc. before your sailing training begins as you help with the lines to get the boat of the dock. The afternoon sailing will take you to Norman Island (one of a number of islands reputed to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's pirate novel Treasure Island). There may be time to visit ‘The Caves’ before picking up a mooring ball at 'The Bit'. There will be time for a swim and a sundowner on Willy T’s. Crew (the students and skipper) will decide on the nights they cook onboard or eat ashore - At Norman Island there is the choice to eat at Pirate's Bit or Willy T's.
Day 2 After an early breakfast onboard it's time to sail out to ‘The Indians’ Norman Island or Rainbow Canyons - Pelican Island for a morning dive (or snorkel). After lunch back onboard the afternoon will be spent learning new sailing skills, before anchoring in one of the many bays off Peter Island. Dinner will be onboard.
Day 3 The day will start with an early breakfast onboard, before a dive on the ‘Wreck of the R.M.S. Rhone’, near Salt Island (ask your instructor to tell you about the Queen & the salt from this island). This world famous dive site is a ‘must’ for any diver visiting the BVI. After lunch onboard, the afternoon will be spent sailing to Cooper Island to anchor for the night. After dinner (either at the resort or onboard) make sure you have time to check out the rum bar on Cooper Island.
Day 4 After breakfast prepare for a full day of sailing, allowing you to build your confidence at the helm. Heading to Trellis Bay, (the place to be if it is a full moon). Lunch may be under sail if you want to make it ashore for dinner. It is a quick dingy ride ashore to one of several restaurants there.
Day 5 Breakfast can either on the boat or ashore at the beautiful Scrub Island resort, then it's time to set sail for a full day of sailing to Virgin Gorda. Depending on which course you are taking, you will have exams to do every few days, but don't worry, your instructor will talk you through all of this so it won't be a surprise to you. Anchoring in Spanish Town, the choice of dinner will be onboard or eat at the beautiful Coco Maya restaurant.
Day 6 There is so much to see around Virgin Gorda, a few days can be spent around this island. After breakfast onboard it’s time to explore. With the new dive site ‘The Kodiak Queen’, purposely sunk in March 2017, it's another 'must do' dive. This former Navy fuel barge is 1 of the only 5 vessels to have survived the attack on Pearl Harbor. Found rusting away in Road Town, Historian Mike Cochran, with the help of Richard Branson has allowed us all to enjoy it once again. The afternoon will be spent in Spanish Town Marina learning docking stills. After a busy day dinner can be onboard or ashore, then its time for revision.
Day 7 After an early breakfast a visit to ‘The Baths’, another 'must see', it’s just too beautiful to miss! A couple of hours to walk through The Baths, with time to snorkel, before swimming (or getting dingy) back to the boat. The rest of the day will be spent learning new skills as you get underway around Virgin Gorda to North Sounds. Once the anchor is dropped, there will be time for a snorkel and a sundowner. There are a few choices for dinner at North Sounds include Leverick Bay, Saba Rock or Bitter End Yacht Club.
Day 8 After breakfast there will more time to enjoy the beautiful North Sounds, snorkelling, kite surfing, or a visit to Bitter End Yacht Club ashore for lunch, revision or sitting exams, students and captain can chose to stay here for 2 nights at anchor, to enjoy the beauty of the reef. (Interested in kitesurfing lesson? This is the place to learn! Let us know and we can arrange it for you.)
Day 9 An early breakfast will allow the crew to get underway first thing for a busy sailing day. Sailing past Richard Branson's islands, Neckor and Mosquito, you will follow the north coast of Tortola, sailing west. This evening you will anchor in the beautiful Cane Garden Bay, a busy bay with lots of bars, live music and restaurants. Your instructor will have lots of info and recommendations about Happy Hours, dinner, etc.
Day 10 After breakfast onboard there may be an opportunity to a little more docking practice, (depending on how busy the bay is) before setting sail to Jost Van Dyke. The day will be spent revising what you have learn and of course learning new skills. Dropping anchor in Great Harbour before dark, it’s now time to visit world renown 'Foxy's bar’, (Foxy - there is talk of the queen giving him an Honorary Knight for services to the islands but this hasn't been confirmed yet).
Day 11 After breakfast onboard, its time for another dive. With several sites to chose from, ‘Twin Towers’, ‘Wayward Wall’, ‘The Cathedral’ or ‘Sandy Cay’ - the instructor will discuss all choices with everyone onboard. After the dive, it’s back onboard for lunch. Some of you may have to complete another exam before sailing around to White Bay to visit the famous Soggy Dollar bar, where you will find a ‘Painkiller’ waiting for you. Another beautiful bay to relax on, before sailing back to Great Harbour, for another night at anchor.
Day 12 An early start after breakfast will allow you all to practice any skills that need to polished up before your practical exam. Time permitting, there may be an opportunity to allow for a quick visit to Sandy Cay - a beautiful little deserted island, great for a walk through, a snorkel and view for an early lunch. The time you return to Sopers Hole will depend on the time students need to be back there to catch taxis, ferries, planes etc. (sleeping onboard on your last night may be an option based on availability and other bookings, ask us and we will always offer it where we can).
As you say goodbye to your crew, the hardest part will be leaving the beautiful BVI and the new friends made, we will not be surprised when you email us in the future telling us you are coming back. :-)