British Virgin Islands - Profile
- The Virgin Islands are an archipelago comprising hundreds of small islands and cays situated between Puerto Rico and the Leeward Islands. The eastern half is a British dependency, while the western part is US territory.
- The largest British islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost van Dyke and Anegada, the latter being slightly set apart, while the former are grouped together around the Sir Francis Drake channel.
- The Virgins are perfect cruising ground - scenically beautiful, with countless bays, coves and anchorages, the waters sheltered from the strong trade winds and ocean swells.
- The British Virgins are now the largest bareboat charter centre in the world. For this reason they are often less attractive to the long-distance cruising sailors, who prefer the less crowded islands of the Caribbean.
- The BVI uses the American buoyage system, so red buoys mark the starboard side upon approach from the sea.
Based on reports to Noonsite from cruisers, petty theft from yachts is on the rise in the Caribbean in general. Cruisers should take basic safety precautions and use common sense when leaving the boat or going ashore at night. The common practice is "lock it or lose it". Dinghy thieves operate throughout the Caribbean and best advice is to place your dinghy and outboard on deck and chain them overnight. Conceal any deck items below decks at night or when not on board.
The Caribbean Safety and Security Net (firstname.lastname@example.org) provides information by anchorage or by island, so sailors can plan their cruising in the Caribbean with an eye to appropriate behaviour and precautions wherever they decide to go. Should you have suffered a boarding, robbery or attack on your yacht or have information about a yachting-related security incident, go to the CSSN homepage and click on the "Report an Incident" icon. The associated form is quick and simple to complete and ensures that all the necessary details are reported. The CSSN is the most comprehensive source of Caribbean security incidents against sailors. Remember, it is every cruiser's responsibility to ensure that incidents are reported. Also cruisers can subscribe to e-mail alerts, follow on facebook and twitter and listen to the SSB Voice Service.
The Caribbean Security Index (CSI) is a a tool to assist cruisers in assessing the probability of crime at ports and anchorages throughout the Caribbean. The CSI provides a means of assessing risk in a given area.
Also be sure to check the noonsite Piracy & Safety Pages
Last updated July 2016.
The Caribbean's first walk-in weather centre, CARIBWX, is based in Road Town. Customised weather forecasts, a daily Caribbean SSB weather net, and also daily email marine forecasts are among the many services they can offer.
Tel. 494 7559
Marine forecast 0805 (Mon-Sat), 0945 (Sun) & updates every hour on the half hour.
Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Office providing public weather forecasts for Antigua & Barbuda, the Leeward Islands and the BVIs.
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page
There are two other entry points, Port Purcell and Beef Island Airport, but yachts are not supposed to enter or clear at these.
Jost van Dyke: Great Harbour *
* indicates port of entry