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Text- Bitter End, Virgin Gorda


Leaving Marina Cay

BB steers French Maid away from Marina Cay.

Following our night in Marina Cay, we would do our longest and most exposed sail to the north end of Virgin Gorda Island. The winds had mellowed to about 18 knots, and for a second day we enjoyed blue skies. We sailed east initially away from Marina Cay, and when clear of Scrub Island, we moved north, out of Sir Frances Drake Channel and into the Atlantic Ocean. Days of heavy wind had left big swells, but these were of long enough period that the boat moved easily up and over them. Despite the swells and wind waves, with the sails up, the boat settled into an easy surge, with relatively little frenetic behavior. The wind was perfect and we moved along at close to hull speed.

After four hours of sailing, which included several long tacks, we passed Necker Island, the private island of Sir Richard Branson. The island consists of a gentle hill covered in Palm trees and other vegetation. It has white sandy beaches, and 2/3 of the island is surrounded by a coral reef. Indeed, it is inviting. The cost of such an invitation will set one back a reputed $64,000 per night, for up to 14 people. I was told that the island is effectively booked full for the next two years. Guess I'll have to wait.

The entrance into Bitter End passes between Mosquito Island and Prickly Pear Island. It is a wide passage, except that a reef, hidden below the water, extends across all but a couple of hundred yards of that expanse. Taking the time to navigate between the buoys is essential. Charter sailers in the BVI are not permitted to sail after nightfall because confusing the myriad of flashing navigation buoys quickly becomes unforgiving. Immediately through the passage, one enters the two mile long bay of North Sound, which features quiet water, and multiple places to moor. At the east end of North Sound is The Bitter End Yacht Club, with boat services, shops, restaurants, recreation and lodging. There is a local village located at the south end of the Yacht Club. Not far from The Bitter End are some nice sand beaches with mooring buoys

At the other end of this large, quiet, bay, is Leverick Bay, which is a small town of mostly local inhabitants. It has schools, churches, a cricket pitch and basketball courts. I suspect there is also a soccer field somewhere. We stayed one night at The Bitter End and one night at Leverick Bay. We moved to Leverick Bay because we were told that on no condition were we to miss having a dinner at "Hog Heaven," a simple BBQ restaurant with an unequalled view of the islands.


Fishing in the Atlantic.

As we sail into the Atlantic on a starboard tack, Tuna works at catching a big one.


Sailing the Atlantic 2.

John takes over and keeps us north of the Dog Islands.


A yacht with Necker Island in the background.

A serious yacht passes between us and a serious island (Necker Island).



We moored by this beautiful beach on Prickly Pear Island. Leverick Bay is in the background.


Water skier.

This lady had great fun wake boarding behind their dingy.


Path at Pusser Village, Bitter End

John and Charlie explore the beach near our boat.

Hurricane twisted trees.

These old trees have seen more than one hurricane pass through.


Tom brings a mechanic to the restaurant.

The owner of the restaurant said that the generator had gone out. Since we had a mechanic visiting us, Tom brought him over to see what could be done. Islands need maintenance, just like boats.


Pusser's at Bitter End.

The hotel at The Bitter End Yacht Club.


Recreational equipment at Bitter End.

Diving and sailing are just a couple of activities on offer at the Yacht Club.


A map of the Bitter End village.

A map of The Bitter End village.

Shps in Bitter End

Shops of The Bitter End.


A tasteful yacht.

Charlie and I were both attracted by this tasteful yacht. It's professional crew were all wearing starched, white uniforms.


Pusser restaurant at the Bitter End.

Pusserss restaurant at The Bitter End. Prickly Pear Island is in the background.



Lunch under a spreading Mimosa Tree. In Taiwan, where I grew up, these were scarlet when in bloom. In the Caribbean, they are bright yellow.
The Club makes a very good fourteen dollar hamburger. This is excused by the fact that everything is imported.


A pelican on the dock.

A pelican airs its feathers as we clamber aboard the dingy.


A barracuda hangs out behind French Maid

That evening, at French Maid, this four foot barracuda loitered right beside the dinghy. He had probably grown accustomed to the occasional scraps thrown his way, or perhaps, the careless crew member falling from the dinghy.