Essay on The British Virgin Islands

882 Words 4 Pages
With its dazzling aquamarine waters, islands with sugar-sand beaches and endless fair winds, the Caribbean offers the best sailing in the world. At the heart of Caribbean pleasure boating are the British Virgin Islands, the world's sailing capital. Once a strategically important stop for sailing vessels that needed to replenish supplies and later a haven for privateers and pirates, the British Virgin Islands are now one of the world's premier tourist destinations.

The largest island in the BVI, Tortola, hosts more than 700 chartered vessels. Tortola is roughly in the center of the archipelago that makes up the British Virgin Islands, so it has naturally become the economic and commercial center of the islands too. Even a smaller vessel
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The island of Anegada caps the waterway to the northeast, creating a zone of pellucid waters bounded on all sides by an open island chain.

Choices for charter vessels come down to two possibilities: bareboat charters and crewed charters. Bareboat sailing in BVI is more economical, but requires a crew of people who know a bit about how to sail. Even in the relative calm of the Sir Francis Drake Channel, some boating experience is a must for bareboat charters. Chartering a bareboat trip has its charms for anyone looking for the experience of self-reliance, independence and solitude. State-of-the-art GPS equipment preserves the free-wheeling feel of a bareboat trip with less risk.

Another possibility, the crewed charter, relies on seasoned veterans to sail the vessel while passengers enjoy the unparalleled beauty of the British Virgin Islands. Crewed charters typically include meals ranging from fresh local delicacies from the ship's galley to gourmet feasts prepared by trained chefs. Some crewed charters offer snorkeling and scuba, while others focus on beachgoing pursuits. Knowledgeable crews will point out the finest beaches and the best diving locations with crewed charters.

In either a crewed vessel or a bareboat trip, sailing along the Sir Francis Drake Channel offers variety. Almost directly south of Road Town is Norman Island. So much of this small island's
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