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BVIs, Virgin Gorda: Gun Creek Port of Entry Updates

By Sue Richards — last modified Mar 06, 2013 02:27 PM

Published: 2013-03-06 13:55:00
Countries: US Virgin Islands , British Virgin Islands

Posted 6 March 2013

I recently used the BVI Gun Creek facility again and wanted to post an update. I cleared out there a week ago, in Feb 2013.

- The facility is staffed with an immigration and a customs officer, both are needed to effect a clearance and their lunch hour is 12:30 - 13:30. Clearance there is still fast, efficient and with a friendly service.

- They still have no facilities for credit cards and it didn't sound like one was going to be installed in the near future, so anyone clearing in or out there needs to ensure that they have sufficient US$ to do so, otherwise one would need to use the Spanish Town facility.

- Anchoring just off the facility is good; I checked the bottom and it was sand in about 20 feet of water. The officers stated that the boat should be anchored there when clearing in or out; I mentioned my preference for night arrivals and anchoring off Prickly Pear island (1/2 mile across the North Sound in sight of Gun Creek) with a Q-Flag flying. The customs officer stated that he thought some people had been fined by a roving patrol for doing that; but I think that there might have been other factors involved. Nonetheless, contrary to my last report, one can anchor close to the dinghy dock at Gun  Creek and one can even overnight there. Unfortunately the various boats and ferries traffic through there and there is no such thing as a no-wake zone.

Arnd
SV Zanshin (report from 2012 below)

Posted 17 April 2012

If you use the new check in facility at Gun Creek and want some privacy, anchor south of the Colquhoun Reef in Drake's Anchorage at Mosquito Island. This island is owned by Sir Richard Branson, but so far it has not been developed, but there is a landing stage.

Alternatively the anchorage to the SW of Eustacia you might have to yourself. There are a lot of buildings on this island but most are unused and it is a short dinghy ride to excellent snorkelling on the reef. From here you can see Sir Richard Branson's (private) Necker Island and the remains of his house - which was struck by lightening in Hurricane Irene in 2011.

Anthony Swanston
SV Wild Fox

Posted 29 March 2012

I cleared into the new facility at Gun Creek in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda in the BVI last week.

  • The customs & immigration offices are in the Gun Creek ferry/terminal building which has been revamped and cleaned up prior to the March 2012 port-of-entry addition. All actions for clearing in are performed at one desk.
  • Anchoring off Prickly Pear Island or Leverick Bay is allowed, and I am fairly certain that using a mooring ball or the anchorage at the Bitter End, Saba Rock or the new megayacht facility is allowed; the vessel just needs to be in the North Sound.
  • The charts don't show any anchorage in the little cove in which the Gun Creek facility is located, nor are there any mooring balls and the dock in front of the building is for the local ferries with a small area in the rear allocated for dinghies so docking the vessel right at the building is not an option.
  • While dinghy access is present, the fetch of the North Sound might make a dinghy ride from the vessel to the dock a bit choppy and perhaps even a bit wet. It is only 50 feet from the dinghy dock to the customs/immigration office; coming from the dock one goes to the exterior rotunda in the centre of the building and enters the well-marked door for Clearance.
  • Clearance was fast and efficient and friendly; as I cleared in just scant weeks after opening I was also the only person in the office.
  • As of 21.03.2012 there was no credit card machine installed so payments needed to be done in cash in US$.

The Spanish Town customs & immigration offices, which was previously the only port-of-entry on Virgin Gorda, has an anchorage and mooring ball field located quite close by, but when one figures in the dinghy ride and short walk to the ferry terminal coupled with the officers doing double-duty with arriving ferries my current preference is to use the new facility.

The BVI plans to reinstate international flights using floatplanes in the North Sound and when that happens the new Gun Creek facility might become busier (although the floatplanes only carry a handful of passengers) and the recently opened megayacht facility at Cost Smeralda (http://www.yccsmarina.com/home)will certainly add to traffic; but it should be easier and quicker to clear into and out of the BVI from the North Sound, particularly if coming from or going to St. Martin/Sint Maarten.

Arnd
SV Zanshin

Posted 15 March 2012

As of March 1, 2012 the BVIs has a new official port of entry, "Gun Creek" in the Virgin Gorda North Sound.

The North Sound is an excellent protected harbour and is also the closest point in the BVIs for clearing-in when coming from points east. This is very useful for yachts coming across from St Maarten, as it gives immediate access to the very sheltered and large bays of Gorda Sound. It also avoids going to check in at crowded Spanish Town further south.

Gun Creek is located at the south of Gorda Sound; anchor on the SE of the creek to allow room for the frequent small ferries which ply the Sound. There is a dinghy dock just behing the small ferry dock right outside the blue customs building. The office is open from 0830 to 1600 hrs Monday to Friday, and from 0900 to 1400 hrs Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Lunchtime closure un-certain.

Using ESeaClear makes the checking in and out process even speedier. Make sure when you check in that you allow enough time to cruise the BVIs as whatever you say will be dated in your passport. Subsequent extensions cost more money!

 

Read more at the Virgin Islands News Online and Virgin Islands Platinum News.

Our thanks to Arnd of SV Zanshin and Robin & Suzie of SV True Blue 1 for this update.

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