BVI’s Best Kept Secret: Guana Island

August 25, 2014 by SV Mary Christine | 5 Comments

May 29th we sailed East toward Guana Island.  Mom enjoyed another gorgeous morning on the bow as we let the wind carry us forward through the spectacular British Virgin Islands.

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Guana Island is an 850-acre private island. Cottages and Villas can be rented for an all-inclusive $5,000 – $15,000 per WEEK, or the whole island can be rented at an average rate of $30,000 per night. Yes, per NIGHT!! A maximum of 36 guests are allowed at any one time to maintain that private-island feel.

Of it’s seven beaches, White Bay Beach is on the leeward side of the island and is even equipped with private mooring balls at a rate of $30 per night. That’s pretty standard for anywhere in the BVI so why not spend it in front of an exclusive private island? We were told by one of the staff members that the island is private, but the ocean floor and the sand on the beach are technically public. We were welcome to play on the south end of the beach as long as we stayed clear of the resort facilities.

The beach was gorgeous and the water was clear. Several large tarpon swam around the boat and there were some small coral patches near the beach suitable for beginner snorkelers. Not many charter boats come here so we had the place all to ourselves. It was incredible!

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Monkey Point lies to the south with day-moorings which are supposedly maintained by the Virgin Islands National Park staff. It’s a popular spot for charter boats to snorkel during the day, though overnight mooring is not allowed. We took a dinghy ride to Monkey Point from our mooring in White Bay and we were less than impressed with the snorkeling there after what we had already seen at Muskmelon Bay to the North.

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Our recommendation: Skip the popular “Monkey Point” and head straight for Muskmelon Bay! The rocky cliffs surrounding the bay give these moorings a truly majestic feel. The stillness echoed around us. Depths of 60-80′ give off a rich blue brilliance to the ever-so-clean waters in what we believe to be the “Best Kept Secret of BVI.” Moorings here also cost $30 per night, however the islands staff sometime doesn’t come to collect. If you’re lucky, you might get the 2-for-1 deal!

The coral formations in Muskmelon Bay made for some of the most magnificent snorkeling we have ever seen. Like underwater highways, the millions of small bait fish swam past us in and out of the coral mazes. Each crevice seemed never ending as they looped around and up and down. The coral heads are on average 8-10′ tall and full of life. Hundreds of different species of reef fish thrive here.

A return trip with an underwater camera is a MUST, though the true magic of this place will forever be engrained in our memories. Especially magical for Bean, it was her very first time snorkeling! What a lucky woman to be introduced to the underwater world in Muskmelon Bay, BVI…

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Stay tuned for more adventure in the BVI! We are currently enjoying the rest of Hurricane Season in Mt. Hartman Bay, Grenada.  Please leave us a comment if you enjoyed these photos!

A quiet anchorage and a slice of heaven

August 20, 2014 by SV Mary Christine | 2 Comments

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May 27th we sailed over to a little anchorage between Little Jost Van Dyke and Sandy Spit. It’s a popular spot for charter boats but not many stay over night. We had the place all to ourselves in the morning and evening hours…

We snorkeled near the reefs in the crystal clear water spending the day in paradise. It was only a short walk around the whole island. The cool Caribbean Breeze felt so refreshing after our swim.

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Yes, this place is real. Our little slice of heaven. Would you like to go?

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Peter decided we should go on a romantic walk down the beach. And what did we find?

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A coconut of course! Another sign we are exactly where we are supposed to be :)

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Fragments of coral were scattered all over this tiny little island. Picture perfect and very secluded. It’s a magical feeling when you have an island all to yourself!

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I think the best part of Bean’s trip was getting to cuddle with Gunner again :)

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Next stop? Cane Garden Bay, Tortola!

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Stay tuned for more pictures during our stay in BVI!

We are currently working on boat projects and blog posts in Grenada for the remainder of Hurricane Season. If you’re in the Secret Harbor neighborhood, come say HI :)

I Wish I Was There Tonight… On Jost Van Dyke

August 17, 2014 by SV Mary Christine | 8 Comments

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In the evening hours of May 24th, Peter, my Mom and I sat in the cockpit watching the planes come in over St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. We had anchored in Brewer’s Bay, just a short distance from the airport near Charlotte Amalie. The next afternoon my Grandmother was scheduled to arrive to spend a little over a week with us on Mary Christine.

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By this time, Mom was beside herself with excitement to finally be back in the Virgin Islands. Her last visit was in 2006 when she left her heart and a piece of her soul on Jost Van Dyke. Jeanne, my Grandmother and Mom’s Mom, had never traveled this far before and was thrilled to earn her very first passport stamp!  With three generations aboard, it would surely be a trip to remember.

My 31st birthday was May 26th and what better way to celebrate than to spend it on Jost Van Dyke with family?!! After picking up Bean at the airport, we immediately set sail for an overnight stop in Hawksnest Bay, St. John. (I couldn’t say Jeanne when I was little and now everyone calls her Bean. The name has stuck through all these years!) The morning of my birthday we sailed north to Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke.  It was a gorgeous sail with perfect winds. The Virgin Islands are truly spectactular – unlike anything we’ve seen on our journey so far. The way the islands are nestled together, it makes for some pretty perfect cruising grounds.

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With little room to anchor, we picked up a mooring ball toward the back of the mooring field. All four of us could hear Kenny Chesney singing a little song called Somewhere In The Sun inside our heads,

“Oh I wish I was there tonight on Jost Van Dyke
Sipping on some Foxy’s Firewater rum
Or kickin’ back with Ivan
With all my friends down in the islands
Wouldn’t take much for me to up and run
To another life somewhere in the sun”

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We made dinner reservations at Foxy’s for later that night. Luckily, it was a Monday and fairly quiet. Foxy’s can definitely get rowdy!

Dinner was outstanding and the ambiance was perfect. Just a quiet night with a little Caribbean Breeze… My kind of birthday!! :)

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Tuesday 5.27 we took a short dinghy ride over to White Bay, BVI. Mom was absolutely GLOWING!!! Happiness was spilling out of her like I’ve never seen before. The second she got in the water, it was as if she was HOME. I felt like she was welcoming us to the place where she belongs… Can you feel it too?

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Kickin’ back with Ivan…

Enjoy these photos of Ivan’s White Bay Campground and Stress Free Bar before it was torn down this summer. This famous beach bar is currently being rebuilt due to foundation damage from a rain storm 10 years ago! Rumor has it, Ivan’s will be back up and running this November, just in time for our return to JVD!! While most of the memories will be put back up, we’re sure Ivan will need lots of help with new decorations of seashells, t-shirts and autographs from all his visitors.

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What’s your favorite spot in the Virgin Islands???

Stay tuned for lots more photos of the time we spent in BVI! We are currently relaxing down in Grenada for the remainder of Hurricane Season. If you’re near Mt. Hartman Bay/Secret Harbor, come say hi!!!

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