Taken December 3rd, 2017
Starlight arrived on Friday to our winter home in the Virgin Islands. It is so wonderful to be back in paradise. Everyone has been tirelessly working, amazingly, to bring the islands further along than we could have ever expected. Things are fluid in the post-Irma Virgin Islands, but moving quickly in a positive direction. From Anegada to St. Thomas, there are a ton of spots open and a lot of great opportunities for a truly fantastic week-long sailing vacation. There are some opportunities, too, for those who want to help tourism and assist in the enormous need for relief (giving links included our next post will address relief tourism). Mother nature, too, is in full recovery mode with lush green hills, sparkling emerald blue warm water, fantastic underwater wildlife and the best scenery anywhere. The BVI remains Nature’s Miracle and the most fun paradise on earth.
There is plenty to do here in the Virgin Islands. Based on what we’ve seen this week, here is a bit of what to expect when you charter with Starlight or any of the wonderful BVI and USVI charter companies in the early stages of Irma recovery. We will report back next week with more info after our charter. So, stay tuned.
We went first to Virgin Gorda where we have spent a great deal of time on charter and off. We love Virgin Gorda!TheVirgin Gorda Relief Operations Center team (VRGROC)(donate here and visit their facebook) along with team Branson and others have been working hard at getting Virgin Gorda up and running. The Bath’s are looking great, as is Savannah Bay and lower Virgin Gorda. We have not yet visited the North Sound, but know that Leverick Bay is open and The Happy Arr with Michael Bean will be back this season.
Starlight is on charter from December 10-15th and will update with plenty of pictures and info on the recovery in North Sound.
I had the honor of meeting the BVI Director of Tourism, Ms. Sharon Flax Brutus, and deliver some relief supplies from Starlight Guests. I also enjoyed a delicious meal at Coco Maya restaurant, sophisticated culinary oasis that is awesome by any standard.
Jost Van Dyke
Jost Van Dyke is open and thriving! You can help by donating to the BVI relief fund (click here).
In White Bay, Soggy Dollar Bar is leading the way to recovery in White Bay and is serving up fun mixed with painkillers and a beach. Soggy’s is fun as ever! A recent addition to White Bay, Hendo’s Hidout, is thriving with a fantastic menu and lovely scene. Other great beach bars are open in different stages. White Bay is great for Sunday Funday on Starlight.
Around the corner, Foxy’s is going strong. They have a link to donation with the Jost Van Dyke Preservation Society. We had an excelling dinner with wonderful service, and fun times with Foxy himself who is in great spirits. Starlight is currently open for a special Caribbean Christmas followed by a truly special year at Foxy’s infamous New Years party (this year a simple Toga Theme).
Sandy Spit is still with us and Manchioneel Bay is stunning secluded beauty. We spent our first night in the BVI here and it remains one of the truly most beautiful places in existence anywhere. B-Line Bar is making great strides to reopen, and Justine of Foxy’s tells me that a full restoration of Taboo is starting soon.
Pirates Bight leads the way on Norman Island with a fantastic menu and daytime hours. The staff of one of the BVI’s favorite restaurants worked hard and has opened for us. Pirates Bight is in exceptionally good shape. Norman Island, as always, has some of the best snorkeling in the BVI with both the Caves and Indians in reach. The harbor waters of the Bight are exceptional for a day of relaxing and playing. The Willy T will be coming back soon with a new boat.
Starlight will be in Norman Island next week with a full report.
Anegada was fortunate to bear less of a direct brunt than the rest of the islands. Reports are in that Stephanie the Scooter Girl has a scooter waiting for you. Cow Wreck Beach and Loblolly Beach are open for business with great food and fantastic swimming and snorkeling.
Starlight will be on charter next week with a full report.
ST. John and St. Thomas
The USVI has been working hard, as well. The USVI has several spots open for chartering fun. Also, there are a several great organizations to donate to in the USVI including VI Strong and Kenny Chesney’s Love for Love City Foundation.
On, St. John: The Virgin Islands National Park Service recently has several beaches open including Cinnamon, Trunk, Honeymoon and Hawksnest. Cruz Bay is readying for tourism with several restaurants and shops, including one of our favorites Extra Virgin Bistro, open and ready to go.
St. Thomas, too, has places open and ready to go. Nothing is more quintessential on USVI charter night that a day swimming and enjoying Pizza Pi in Christmas Cove. Pizza Pi is in place. Locals know to be at their “soft opening,” which is this year on December 16th. Dinghy’s Beach Bar in Water Island is always a fun last stop and convenient for those flying from Charlotte Amalie.
Don’t worry about provisioning. There are some great grocery stores open and stocked for us to provision your Virgin Islands charter. We have visited Moe’s Fresh Market in St. Thomas and Rite Way in Tortola, both of which are fully stocked and have the freshest produce and meats.