Boat Trippin’ in the British Virgin Islands
Out of all means of travelling, my long time favorite used to be road trips. Just for the sake of being in a different place every night, until very recently when I discovered boat chartering. (I actually never owned a car).
Boat chartering consist of renting (for a defined number of nights) a sail or powerboat out of a harbor so you can explore its surroundings without being dependent on ferry schedules and other means of transportations. Having a sailor/captain as a friend is obviously ideal (and was my case), but in most cases, captains, cooks and other crewmembers can be hired for a substantial fee. This is especially needed if you lack experience in nautical activities, yourself. The overall cost of the boat (per night/per person) is about the same price as a nice hotel room.
The place we explored was the British Virgin Islands – a pretty archipelago in the north of the Caribbean Sea. This particular place is famous for chartering given its rather safe harbors, protected from hurricanes and other superstorms. Boat owners typically feel leaving their boatswith a chartering company is a safe and reassuring option about. On top of that, for travelers, the distances between each island remain reasonably short and accessible. Even non-sailors never feel stuck on a boat for too long and the winds remain pretty steady and interesting for beginners.
And the islands themselves?! Given a high traffic at sea, they remain untouched and wild – a few beaches or isolated harbors have one or two little restaurants to welcome visitors. Some, even, have a little supermarkets with minimal supplies. In other words, this is the perfect way to disconnect.
I have, personally, never really been what is known as “a beach bum” – I thought after two experiences in the Caribbean this place was simply not for me due to the crowds (tourists) and not enough to do. I must admit that boat chartering in the BVI really changed my view. I would jump on a boat again, in a heartbeat, if I were to be invited once more!