Sailing British Virgin Islands

I first went sailing British Virgin Islands back in the late eighties with my mate Stevie, who lives in Tortola and still go back when I can. No wonder he never wants to leave the place. Seafood like many Caribbean islands are a major part of the local cuisine. Lobster and Mahi Mahi, or Grouper and Conch, all make good eating.  The national dish of the BVI is called fish and fungi.  They boil okra and cornmeal with butter and then these are flattened to make a cake and served with braised fish. The fish is braised with a mixture of tomatoes, onions and those secret spices. Heavy spicing is a feature of local food, and they use everything from salt, pepper and hot curry powder, nutmeg and jerk seasoning. Try everything I say! Just some history. The reefs around Anegada have over 300 shipwrecks! A lot sunk between 1654 and 1899 so sailing British Virgin Islands didn’t work out so well for them. With some 60 islands, atolls and islets it was not an easy task sailing the BVI back then.

Anegada is the most northern of the archipelago that is the British Virgin Islands (BVI).  Anegada is situated around 15 miles to the north of Virgin Gorda.  Unlike other islands with volcanic origins Anegada is comprised of coral and limestone, and unlike other more mountainous islands it is low and flat. The highest elevation point of the island is only 28 feet above sea level, giving rise to its Spanish name for flooded land "tierra anegada". With an area of around 15 square miles (38 square kilometers), the island is the second largest, but with a very small population. The south shore flats are home to a big bonefish population and it is a very popular fishing destination.

Sailing British Virgin Islands Food Fete

Great news as the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Food Fete is on. You get the opportunity to enjoy all the food events and you get to eat some great Caribbean island food. Lobster Fest features fresh caught Anegada spiny lobsters. Places to try are Cow Wreck Beach, Anegada Beach Club and The Wonky Dog along with many others.

Anegada Lobster Festival. November 27 to 28, 2021

Jost Van Dyke Fish & Fungi Frenzy.  December 30, 2021. 

Check out BVI Tourism for the latest news and entry requirements and what to see, do and eat.

Courtesy BVI Tourism and BVI Lobste rFest, be there!

Sailing British Virgin Islands - Provisioning

Sailing British Virgin Islands is all about fun and relaxation and also provisioning.  Most supermarkets in Tortola have a range of imported fruit and veggies just like most supermarkets anywhere else in the world.  Some fruits might come from other Caribbean islands or USA and South America. If you want local grown produce then you will have to search it out a bit. You will find a range of produce at the many tent booths along the road from Road Town to Sea Cows Bay. They start setting up around 8 am and if you get in early, you get the pick of it, as usual Friday and Saturday mornings are the peak time. You will find bananas, bright green plantains, breadfruit, pumpkin, eggplant, okra, squash, cucumber and passionfruit. There are also organic farmers selling tomatoes, lettuce, arugula, scallions, spinach, lettuce and mixed greens. Other stalls sell watermelon and peppers as well.  There are many small shops and vendors of everything from baked goods and pastries and more. Every place from Just Van Dyke, Anegada, Cane Garden Bay, North Sound, Soper’s Hole, Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, all have something to offer if you go for a walk.

Sailing British Virgin Islands - Provisioning

Riteway Food Markets. Riteway Food Markets have a network comprising nine outlets across the BVI. These include Sopers Hole (West End), RiteBreeze adjacent to the JY Harbour View Marina, East End and RiteWay Food Markets, The Valley and Virgin Gorda. They offer good yacht provisioning at this range of locations and also offer online shopping. The major supermarket outlet is located on the Pasea Estate in Road Town.  They also have a relatively new RiteWay Food Market (Virgin Gorda). The yacht provisioning service includes a free delivery service to Tortola, Anegada and Virgin Gorda with delivery fees applying. 

OneMart Superstore.  A big supermarket with a large range on offer. They are very competitive on prices and good quality.  They will do anchorage pickup and transport you to the store so I am informed.   They have two locations in Road Town), the Waterfront Dr. Purcell area (Main Store), and Huntums Ghut.

Rosy’s Supermarket (Virgin Gorda).  Stock most everything from fresh fruit and veg to meat. Open Monday to Saturday 0800 to 2000hrs and Sunday 0800 to 1900hrs. 

Family Food Bakery. Really good artisan bread and baked products. Extremely popular with locals and charter yachts. Located at Wickhams Cay II, opposite the Sunsail entrance to the Moorings. 

Sailing British Virgin Islands - Provisioning

SupaValu.  This is a popular market with locals and stocks both fresh and frozen meats along with seafood, fruit and vegetables. Located in Spanish Town (The Valley).

Bucks Food Market.  A small store with wide range of items and has stores at the Yacht Harbour, Spanish Town, Gunn Creek (North Sound). Good source of bulk buying.

Rosy's Supermarket.  A well known provisioning source in Spanish Town (The Valley). There is both a supermarket, and a "department store" for household requirements. Open Mon to Friday 8.30 to 8 pm, Saturday 8.30 to 8.30 and Sundays 9 to 6. They also offer a yacht provisioning service so email the shopping list.

JVD Grocery (Jost Van Dyke)  Located in Great Harbour, range of essentials to buy, open 8 to 8.  

Christine’s Bakery (Jost Van Dyke) Located in Great Harbour, very yummy eats including Lobster Empanada’s.

Pams Kitchen (Anegada) If anchored an Anegada Pams Kitchen often does the rounds of boats from 5.30 am with fresh bread and baked goods such a cinnamon buns, banana bread along with jams and so on.  Her hot sauces are renowned which come in papaya, pineapple/coconut and mango flavours

Sailing British Virgin Islands - Seafood

The majority of restaurants, charter yachts and so on source seafood from Sailor's Ketch located at Penns Landing in East End. One proviso is most if not all is lash frozen.  Fresh seafood may be available on Anegada. There is also the BVI Fisheries Co-op just outside Road Town near Riteway, and was sadly heavily damaged during Hurricane Irma and it should eventually reopen.  The supermarkets such as Bobby's, Riteway and Bucks Market all sell frozen fish. You can sometimes buy fish on the docks at Skelton Baylot Fish Bay. On Thurs thru Fri 11am to5.30pm and Saturday 10am to 3pm. You can some time buy directly from fishermen at certain times so ask around. The BVI Fishing Complex is generally considered good for fresh local seafood as well as selling fishing supplies. They are open weekdays and half day Saturday. The location is Baughers Bay, Road Town adjacent to Port Purcell. Cane Garden Bay Seafood Suprette. A great place for fresh, local seafood and groceries as well as fresh bread. Located in Cane Garden Bay. Sailing British Virgin Islands is one of cruising’s great pleasures, and great for yacht provisioning.