Virgin Islands

Suggested Itinerary: Virgin Islands Weekend

Day 1: BVI Boat Tour.  Sailboats may be romantic, but they are slow.  Instead, opt for a Sea Ray speedboat charter like the Captains.  Start off early, racing across the archipelago to Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda.  After a little shopping, head to the The Baths, a collection of giant boulders at the island’s tip.  Your boat anchors in the bay, requiring just a short swim to shore.  The trail through the Baths meanders among the boulders and crystal pools.  On the way back, stop at Sandy Cay, a tiny islet with a single palm tree (you’ll recognize Sandy Cay from the Corona commercials).  Again, you’ll swim to shore.  Finish the day at nearby Jost Van Dyke, home of the Soggy Dollar Café.  Another swim to shore is required—hence the soggy dollars.  Beware the flies, though.  On the way back to St. Thomas, spend a couple of hours shopping at Cruz Bay (St. John’s).

Day 2: Relaxing at the Resort.  Take a break from boating and lounge around the pool.  Try a private beach dinner at the water’s edge.

Day 3: Treasure Island Boat Tour.   Head out in your Sea Ray toward the islands that inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write Treasure Island.  Start first with Norman Island, where two caves open onto the Caribbean, accessible only by snorkelers.  Bring an underwater flashlight, as it’s really dark in there!  The main cave goes back 70 feet.  Be careful, though, as the water is shallow, with urchins clinging to the stones.  Surging water or disorientation can easily bounce a snorkeler off the sides of the cave.  The second cave is not as deep, but there’s a hole in its ceiling that provides more light.  After exploring the caves, enjoy a civilized lunch at nearby Peter Island Resort.  Along the way, you’ll pass Dead Chest island, where the pirate Blackbeard punished several pirates by marooning them with nothing but a bottle of rum and a cutlass.  The tale found its way into Treasure Island: “Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest— …Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!  Drink and the devil had done for the rest— …Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!”  There was no water on Dead Chest island so the only way to survive was a long swim to Peter Island.  Some of them didn’t make it, and their skeletons once decorated a nearby beach—now aptly named Deadman’s Bay.  After lunch, head to the Indians, a rocky outcrop several miles from shore.  It amounts to snorkeling in the middle of the sea so watch out for strong currents on windy days.  Heading back to St. Thomas, stop again at Cruz Bay for a drink.


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