Jost Van Dyke and Sandy Cay : Day 7
After all of the wedding festivities in St. John were over, James and I hopped on the first ferry to Tortola the next morning. I was a wee bit queasy from the night before, but ready to begin our week-long catamaran trip with my family! My dad has always been big into sailing and always took us out on boats growing up - but this was my first time to spend an entire week on a sailboat!
We chartered our Moorings 3900 catamaran from The Moorings based out of Tortola. It was the perfect size for all six of us : my sister and brother-in-law, my mom and dad, me and James. We each have our own cabins, there are two restrooms aboard, and a small but fully-working kitchen. My favorite thing to do in the morning is watch the sunrise while drinking coffee on our cat! A truly magical experience.
A quick side note about seasickness : I purchased a couple of ReliefBands for James and I after doing a bit of research on the best methods to combat nausea. Dramamine is another option but is known to cause drowsiness, so I wanted to find a method that let me be wide awake and fully enjoy my experience aboard! Needless to say, the RefliefBands have worked impeccably the last few days. They even helped me not be so queasy when I was hungover! Serious score. I seriously suggest these, as they are comfortable, easy to use, and start working immediately. There is no worse way to ruin your trip than by being uncontrollably nauseous the whole time. And no, this is not a paid advertisement - they simply work.
Our first stop on the trip was the uninhabited, Sandy Cay! Previously owned by the Rockefeller family (what did they not own?), it transferred ownership to the National Parks Trust on the Virgin Islands in 2008. There is only day-time mooring allowed, so we stopped for a couple of hours to roam around the gorgeous trails. There are plenty of lizards and hermit crabs - but not much else. The waves can be rather rough coming up on the steep beach near the mooring balls, so it does require an experienced dingy captain to navigate onto shore (there is no dock, so you'll have to anchor it on shore). I would suggest simply swimming to shore instead of taking a dingy. There is no infrastructure, so I wouldn't plan on bringing more than your snorkel gear (and maybe a float) to get to and from the island.
Jost Van Dyke
You can't make a trip to the BVI's without a stop at the infamous Soggy Dollar Bar. They're renowned for originating and perfecting the Painkiller, "a sunny drink for shady people". The name of the bar originated due to the fact that there is no dock to access the venue, you have to jump out and wade in - hence the "soggy dollar" aspect of the name. They have games, lounge chairs, drinks/food, a gift shop, and of course, a spectacular view of White Bay. I suggest watching the sunset here, painkiller in hand. Note to visitors - this is a bar and it does get rowdy so come open-minded and equally medicated!
After sunset, head to the Great Harbor side of the island and enjoy dinner at Foxy's for a fun and casual environment. They're food is pretty good and they have a laid back atmosphere with string lights, shirts, license plates, flags, etc hanging from the ceiling.
If you're not boating/sailing into Jost Van Dyke, another option is to charter a boat or take a booze cruise over to the island from St. John! A large group of wedding guests took a booze cruise to Jost for a day trip - everyone said they had a great time! Just be sure to bring proper clothes, a passport (you are leaving the USVI's and going into the British Virgin Islands ), and cash for customs/drinks/food.
A few other spots to check out on the island if you have time:
- One Love Bar and Grill
- Ivan's Stress Free Bar - supposedly much less "wild" than Soggy Dollar
- "Bubbly pool" on the far east end is a naturally formed tide pool
- Sandy Spit - a small island across from the Bubbly Pool, great for picnics/lounging
Overall, this island is a great spot for some Painkiller fun on the must-see BVI hotspots. Love to hear your stories about the Soggy Dollar!
Kat- Wander Life