Clarity Is Available To Go Into The BVI's
As was mentioned in our latest Instagram Post, Clarity has completed all the paperwork and safety gear to enter the BVI"s with Charter Guest again. It's been a long time, almost 3 years, but starting this month, we are taking reservations again. Flying into St. Thomas is much easier than flying into Beef Island, and opens up so much more territory to explore.
Recently we took the Family and My Sister down to the BVI's the week before Christmas. We explored some of our old favorites and some new one's. Here is the new rules on entry to the BVI's and how to navigate. You are required to check in at 1 of 4 areas: Great Harbour- Jost Van Dyke, West End Tortola- Soper's Hole, Spanish Town- Virgin Gorda, and Road Town- Tortola. The big difference is, you are required to check out of the BVI's on your last day. You use to be able to check-in & out upon entry, but no more. You are also required to file a Sail Plan on the App Sail Clear, this is suppose to make entry much easier. All of the info for the vessel, and your guest are downloaded, and Customs and Immigration receives it electronically. We checked in at West End and checked out @ Jost Van Dyke. Check-in was pretty simple, it took about 1 hr. to complete the paperwork and pay the fees, approx. $135 total for 5 people. Check out was a little more of a pain, but I think it had more to do with the location and bad timing. Jost is a smaller Island, and I don't think they had it properly manned the day we checked out, plus a Ferry had come in at the exact time we arrived. The checkout Fee was $15 total.
The area we were most excited to see, were the New Resorts in the North Sound, or new to us. Clarity wasn't around when Bitter End Yacht Club and Saba Rock existed prior to Irma and Maria. We planned on spending 2 nights in the North Sound, and could have spent more time, if we had the time available.
The entry into the North Sound is not very difficult, there is a North Cardinal buoy marking a reef, then a well marked entry of navigational buoys through the reef, you can see the reef in the video above.
We chose to take a Mooring @ Bitter End Yacht Club, they have approx. 72 moorings and 26 slips. You can pay for your mooring at the Front Desk. We had dinner Reservations @ Saba Rock the first night and BEYC the 2nd night.
In addition to the Resorts above, you also have 1 of our old Favorites- Oil Nut Bay. You can take the dinghy through a well marked channel, that brings you to Oil Nut Bay Marina. Oil Nut Bay is a beautiful Resort, The Marina portion has a pool, over water seating areas, Bar & Restaurant, and Shops.
Try the Top Chair
Saba Rock is a resort set on top of a very small Island, that was recently rebuilt. It has a Restaurant on the first floor, Bar on the 2nd floor with Pool Table, a Gift Shop, 9- Guest Rooms, and a Kite Surfing/ E-foil School.
We had their Lunch and Dinner, and both were very good. Their Sister Restaurant is on Virgin Gorda, Sugarcane Restaurant.
My Oldest Daughter, Emma, was also excited to learn to ride an E-Foil. Her and I took a 2 hr. class, and were able to learn to ride the board in the 2 hour time slot. Clarity may need to make an investment in 1 of these.
As was stated, The Bitter End Yacht Club is back, and new and improved. They are working on a multi year renovation. At this time, they have 2 of 11 Bungalows complete, The Marina, The Buoy Room Restaurant, The Reef Sampler Bar, The Market, and the Reeftique shop online.
The Bitter End's Front Desk was some of the most helpful people. They helped us rent a car on Virgin Gorda, explained to us how to take their Ferry to Gun Creek to get around on Virgin Gorda, and gave us some helpful excursions while we were there. We will definitely be back.
If you have the time, The North Sound is a great place to spend a couple of days while exploring the BVI's. Sometimes, when you only have a week to make your rounds of all of the Islands, you feel rushed, but now with these 2 areas back and better than ever, you won't feel bad to stay anchored in 1 spot for just 1 more night.
Here are some pictures from our excursion on Virgin Gorda: