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The North Sound is like another world on Virgin Gorda--a boater's dreamworld.  Here are vast anchorages for charterers and other activities in these well protected waters. See map. The above panorama of photos from the Bitter End Resort is by Lynn McKamey, the incomparable ScubaMom. GolderHind-SirFrancisDrakeIcon.gif (3907 bytes)The North Sound has a rich history. This is a picture of Sir Francis Drake's Golden Hind, a prize captured on his famous voyage, then weighted below its waterline with gold, and on whose deck he was knighted. Drake spent a few days collecting his fleet in the North Sound before joining the legendary Sir John Hawkins to attack Puerto Rico--back in the days when the Sir Francis Drake Channel was called "Freebooters Gangway."
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Getting There.
All the North Sound areas except Leverick Bay and Gun Creek, which has a road from The Valley, must be reached by water. The North Sound Express goes between the Airport at Beef Island (Trellis Bay), "The Valley" of Virgin Gorda and Leverick Bay and the Bitter End in the North Sound.

Another ferry, which is free, goes between the Bitter End and Gun Creek, leaving Gun Creek on the half hour and the Bitter End on the hour. Launches are available to take you to Biras Creek (494-3555) and Saba Rock (495-7711) for dining and/or lodging.

Charter boats enter by the Colquhoun Reef entrance between Mosquito and Prickly Pear islands (see picture).  

Touring
Nearly all travel in the North Sound involves exciting trips across the water. The preferred means is the small power boat or dinghy.

Landlubbers pay dearly for these water transports, while charterers have them readily available.

Convenient dinghy docks are everywhere in the North Sound-- even in Eustatia Sound at Deep Bay's Beach Bar where its dining deck also serves as a dinghy dock.

To tour, go to the Virgin Gorda Tour-North Sound Water Cruise. Or simply follow this Tour North Sound icon, which starts at the Bitter End  (terminus of the North Sound Express).
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Every kind of boat and water activity is available-sailing, trips to secluded beaches, diving, rowing shells, windsurfing, small boat sailing (sunfish, laser racing, Hobi Cats, 19' Rhodes daysailors, and J24 racing sloops), outboard powered dinghies and Bradley 22s, deep-sea fishing (the North Sound is a destination for famed Blue Marlin fishing), water taxis, starlite cruises, parasailing, kiteboarding (see photo at right), waterskiing, sea kayaks, glass bottom boats, small cruising yachts, snorkeling (over coral and seagrass), jet skis, instruction, excursions to Anegada--and even non-water activities like ultralight flying and hiking! See Day Sails & Small Boat Rentals.

Elegant Tall Ships

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Majestic tall ships are often found anchored in the North Sound (above, the Sir Francis Drake was lost in Hurricane Lenny at St. Martin).

On this magnificent sound are the beautiful resorts of the Bitter End, Biras Creek, Leverick Bay and Saba Rock as well as private villas and many interesting places such as Gun Creek, Drake's Anchorage, Biras Creek's Marina Village, Prickly Pear Island, and Eustatia Sound. See North Sound Resorts for lodging information.

North Sound
Day Excursion

An exciting adventure from Virgin Gorda, The Bitter End Day Excursion includes lunch, a frozen drink, a snorkeling trip and showers as well as the use of the Bitter End pool and beaches.

Dining.
Fine restaurants include Biras Creek, The Restaurant at Leverick Bay, Saba Rock, Drake's Anchorage (when open) and the Clubhouse at the Bitter End.

Casual restaurants include the Beach Bar at Leverick Bay, the English Pub at the Bitter End, the Twin House at the Top of Gun Creek, Fat Virgin's Cafe at Biras Creek's Marina Village and Captain Poncho's at Gun Creek.

Shopping.
Most North Sound shops are found at the Leverick Bay Resort, especially the Palm Tree Gallery and the Bitter End Yacht Club, especially the Reeftique. Others are the Sand Box Boutique, Saba Rock Gift Shop and Fat Virgin's Treasures, an excellent shop at Biras Creek's Marina Village.

Sunset Cocktails

Biras Creek's bar pictured above, as well as the Almond Walk at the Bitter End, "The Rock" at Saba Rock and Pusser's Terrrace at Leverick Bay are the places for sunset drinks!

Other interesting bars the Sand Box beach bar at Prickly Pear Island, the Drake's Anchorage bar, the Poolside Bar at the Bitter End and the bars at the Top of Gun Creek.

 


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t's worth a trip
, even just for a day visit and lunch or an evening dinner. Save at least a day of your visit to the BVI for a North Sound excursion or water sports adventure. Try something you've never done before!
Pictured is the North Sound's deep, dark blue waters on the right and Eustatia Sound's shallow emerald reefs, sur-rounding Eustatia Island on the far left and tiny Saba Rock to its right. Under the white cloud is the Bitter End with bluer Deep Bay behind and Biras Creek to its right (this fine photo can be purchased from Yacht Shots Photography).

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Saba Rock

Touring
Guests generally arrive by small boats to tie up on the long dinghy dock. Or simply call the Saba Rock's own water launch (VHF 16, 495-7711) for free pick-up anywhere in the North Sound.

Beginning the tour of the smallest resort on the biggest rock, stop by the reception office for a little shopping at the gift shop.

At night, the big attraction is the school of huge, silvery tarpon patrolling under lights on the water.

A quick stroll out to the resort's tiny marina. Who knows what unusual boat might be there?

Next we climb up to the observation deck for great views to the North Sound.

Coming back down the steps, head to the back of the resort.

Notice the signs, such as "Water Co." indicating the function inside, i.e. a desalination plant.

To the back of the resort, there is the a rock breakwater, usually with a resident pelican or two.

Continuing on around, or through from the observation deck, there is a lush tropical garden--well worth a visit!

The other side of the resort is the "beach," with hammocks and the Saba Rock's own beautiful emerald reef, the great snorkeling one of Saba's little secrets.

Now you deserve a refreshment as you complete the Saba Rock tour strolling the long dinghy dock at the restaurant.
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This unique little cay, formerly the home of Pirate's Pub, is the location of the excellent new Saba Rock Restaurant as well as Saba Rock Resort (495-7711 email) and the upcoming Rhone Museum, dedicated to the legendary Bert Kilbride.

An exotic locale, Saba Rock is in many ways a world of its own, with a desalination plant and its own emerald reef.

Gateway to Eustatia Sound

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Saba Rock is the gateway to Eustatia Sound, a fascinating area of reefs, bays and beaches (see picture). Here is that gaff-rigged schooner, the Spirit of Anegada, sailing out of the Sound.

"The Rock"

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A series of A-frame dining pavilions, Saba Rock Restaurant ("The Rock"), open lunch and dinner, looks out right over the water to the North Sound and the Bitter End Yacht Club from the shaded comfort of its spacious interior.

Exposed beams, ceiling fans and tasteful decoration add to the airy, exuberant experience of being a part of this terrific setting. This is dockside dining at its finest!

The Nightly Buffet features an "All You Care To Eat" menu that changes nightly, although there is always leg of lamb and prime rib at the carving station as well as baby back ribs.

The popular Sunday West Indian buffet features live entertainment, such as a steel drum band.

Local Caribbean items include "ground provisions" like sweet potato and yams, Johnny cakes, "peas (beans)" and rice, curry or jerk chicken, island style fish (such as mahi-mahi) and salt fish stew.

Deserts include such items as key lime pie, Saba Rock's unique Painkiller Desert. hot fudge brownie sundae, and, of course, Chef Tucker's Chocolate Mousse.

An a la carte menu is available also.

Josie the bartender, who is fun and humorous with a model's good looks, recommends the Slippery Nipple (Bailey's and Sambvca). Happy hour is 4-6.

Lunch serves a pub style menu with sandwiches and chips, including signature Panko-breaded fish and chips as well as conch fritters, Wedge salad, jerk chicken wrap, Mahi or lobster tacos and flame-broiled Barbados and other Angus burgers.

Continental breakfast is provided resort guests with juice, pastries and coffee so smooth it doesn't need additives.

Carving Station

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Head Chef Shelford Tucker carves the leg of lamb, which is dry rubbed with Caribbean spices before roasting, then served with a sauce of mint jelly with rosemary.

Chef Tucker, who worked at such resorts as Pity St. Vincent and Drake's Anchorage, won the desert gold medal at the Taste of Caribbean culinary Olympics for his famous Chocolate Mousse.

The Observation Deck hosts special events such as wedding receptions and yachting club get togethers.

The Saba Rock Gift Shop (495-7711) offers local handmade items, sterling silver jewelry with semi-precious stones, Putumayo ladies clothing, and Saba Rock logoware such as t-shirts and hats.

The Marina has moorings, slips, ice and water (free with a mooring!).

See North Sound Resorts for lodging information.

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Bitter End Yacht Club

Contents
Almond Walk
Clubhouse Restaurant
Emporium
English Carvery
English Pub
Marina
Poolside Bar
Reeftique
Water Sports

Touring
A must stop on any tour of the Bitter End is the Reception building and its artifacts.

Outside in front on the dinghy dock is a shark cage.

Toward Saba Rock is the Reeftique boutique and then the Clubhouse Restaurant--a famous dining location in the islands.

On the other side is the beautiful Almond Walk--the best spot for a sunset drink!

Further on is the North Beach, sometimes called the yellow beach for the color of the cabanas. Still further is an exercise course.

On the other side of the Reception building are those all important showers with tropical Bitter End decor.

Missing a bit of TV? The Sand Palace has the answer!

And here also is the famous Bitter End water sports program and equipment, especially dinghies with outboard motors.

A special treat is an afternoon drink at the Almond Walk, watching the live entertainment at its adjoining water sports beach provided by windsurfers and others!

There's a lot more to the Bitter End, so continue on to More Touring below.

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Synonymous with the North Sound, the legendary Bitter End Yacht Club is one of the world's premier sailing destinations, a great honeymoon spot and a place for active families and adventurers. And there is enough room to stretch out in, even for those seeking solitude .

Last Outpost of the British Empire

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This landmark, now the Bitter End's Reception building, is worth a tour of its own for the interesting artifacts it contains, such as the Honduran statues collected on the world travels of founders Myron Hokin and his wife Bernice (the famous Captain B!).

Found here are the elegant Clubhouse and Carvery restaurants with champagne breakfasts, an English pub and a poolside bar, steel band and other entertainment, the Bitter End Emporium bakery/deli, Captain B's Trading Post gift shop, a complete sailing stop with all the yachtsman's needs including a Chandery, the Reeftique boutique, Nick Trotter Sailing School, diving with Sunchaser Scuba (email 495-9218--was Kilbride's), Anegada excursions, sailing, etc. You want it, they have it.

Clubhouse Restaurant

With the dark wood of British clubhouse decor swept by tradewind breezes, the Clubhouse (494-2746 VHF 16), open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, features its famous nightly dinners with buffet style salad, pasta and appetizer bars and the main entree ordered individually from a menu of 14 entrees, such as: Lobster Bahamian (fresh seasoning put on top and broiled in the shell), Yellowtail Snapper Stuffed with Crab or Lobster in breadcrumbs, Smoked Parrotfish and Blue Marlin (in own smoker using Anegadan torch wood), Shrimp Coconut or Grilled Triggerfish, and Conch "Souse" Salad with cucumber, celery and red and yellow peppers (the conch is cooked seviche overnight in lime juice).

Breakfast includes homemade pastries, eggs and Belgian waffles.

Lunch has salads, burgers, fish sandwiches and more.

Angus Bowen, head chef at the Bitter End, who manages the gold medal winning BVI culinary team, presents food unlike any in the BVI. The emphasis is on cuisine from different islands, especially Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados and Antigua.

Caribbean touches are added as well. For instance, fungi is the BVI version of Italian polenta. In Italy, water is used; while here, coconut milk is added to the water.

Winston, the baker produces the Bitter End's much-revered breads, pastries and deserts such as coconut creme pie, (using milk instead of water in his unique recipes). Winston's freshly baked goods are available at the Emporium.

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Almond Walk

Adjoining the Clubhouse, right on the water, is its open air terrace, where drinks are served all day and in the evening, with the famous almond walk, where the almond-lined walk leads to a large central gazebo. This great location showcases live entertainment by the Bitter End's own Reflections, a steel drum band, and other bands for dancing under the stars, the manager's cocktail party for guests, and even weddings!

Island Retreat

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Spread out along the base of virtually its own tropical island (actually it is part of Virgin Gorda-- see Biras Creek on the right edge, with Deep Bay in the left background and Oilnut Bay at the far end), the Bitter End fronts both North and Eustatia Sounds.

Water Sports Program. Guests at the Bitter End enjoy unlimited, free use of a large fleet of boats (that non-guests may rent), including J-24s, Rhodes 19s, Lasers, Vanguard 15s, Hobie Waves, 405s, Optimists, Sunfish, Ocean Kayaks, Alden sculls, outboard powered Boston Whalers plus a complete range of Mistral windsurfers and rigs. Freedom 30 yachts and 22-foot outboard runabouts are available for charter.

Bitter End Sailing School. Offering guests a complimentary Introduction to Sailing course, the world famous Bitter End Sailing School has a wide range of additional courses.

Reeftique. In a decorative West Indian style building next to the Clubhouse, the Reeftique (x320) offers hats and t-shirts with the Bitter End logo, toe rings, colorful beach bags, island print wraps, boat tumblers with the Bitter End logo, fashion jewelry, necklaces and earrings with sea themes and kid's clothing.

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Tour of Shops

More Touring
Sailors needing just about anything can take a mooring or slip, or even anchor, and find it here.

Those coming from, or going to, Biras Creek will have views of rock ledges where the walk is cut out of a prominent hillside ridge.

Be sure to stop at the Emporium for some of the Bitter End's famous baked goods. Well, the English Pub is in the same building, so a refreshment is not out of the question, eh lad!

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Quarterdeck Marina.   The set of docks in the middle with the small handsome building at its head (not to be confused with the landmark Reception building with the main dinghy dock in front) is the Quarterdeck Marina where moorings are paid for. The marina has 18 slips as well as moorings, sleepovers ($200 for a couple with no meals), showers, garbage pickup, water and ice.

Bitter End Emporium. Housed in the same building as the Pub, the Emporium has fresh baked goods, deli items, such as rotis and barbecue chicken, and groceries, including dairy products, canned goods, package store and other drinks, frozen meats, and fresh tropical produce.

The English Pub.  With a classic pub bar as well as an open air lounge terrace overlooking the water, the English Pub offers English beers such as Newcastle Brown ale and John Courage on draft, and stays open as long as anyone is conscious. The Pub menu includes Bruchetta, shepard's pie and steak and kidney pie cooked with Irish stout.

Captain B's Trading Post. A mini drug store, Captain B's has film, sundries, sting, itch and burn relief, shells, gifts, books, prints, maps and postcards.

Sand Palace.   Its open air benches right "in the sand," the Sand Palace has a big screen television showing free nightly video movies and sports events.

Climbing up a bit, when coming from Biras Creek, you will pass the exotic architecture of the Commodore Suites, grouped along a prominent ridge.

Just past here on the water is the Poolside Bar, just the spot for a a refueling stop.

The English Carvery is a sure sign that we are in the British colonies--well worth a quick see! And then it's back to the dinghy dock for more touring.
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Poolside Bar. With its own pool ($5 pool only) and dinghy dock, the Poolside Bar (x339) serves cocktails and lunch, such as lobster and Chef's salad and chicken salad and club sandwiches. The nearby South Beach has a swim platform in a roped off area with dual chair cabanas and umbrella and pavilion shade. On the other side, is a special secluded spot right on the water.

English Carvery. An elegant building with Old English Colonial decor, this seasonal and special event restaurant is up on the second story, its covered open air terrace overlooking the water. It has its own dinghy dock with a gazebo at the end. Nearby is the Conference Center.

A distinctive place. Far more than a resort and sailing destination, the Bitter End is a place with its own distinctive culture, a fun and casual place with excellent accommodations (see North Sound Resorts for lodging information) and many activities to chose from, including a variety of recreational excursions.

This exotic island location also offers relaxing days and peaceful walks. This insightful review is by Lynn McKamey, the ScubaMom. Also, our B-V-I Sailing Guide is featuring the Bitter End.

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Eustatia Sound

Water Touring
Pass Saba Rock, the Gateway to Eustatia Sound, on its Bitter End side and go straight out toward a red buoy on the reef (dinghies can often be seen tied up at this buoy).

When three-fourths of Necker Island comes into view on your left, you will have cleared Saba Rock's reef and you can proceed to the left to the Back of Eustatia Island or to the right to Deep Bay.

Or go straight forward to Eustatia Sound Proper. Some old charts had this area as too shallow for navigation, but there is plenty of depth here.

 

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Another magnificent Sound, Eustatia Sound is defined by Eustatia Reef, easily identified by the brilliant white of its breaking surf. Starting from Prickley Pear Island, Eustatia Reef reaches around behind Eustatia Island and stretches across the wide expanse behind its gateway at Saba Rock to Virgin Gorda's actual terminus near Oil Nut Bay. Eustatia Sound offers excellent snorkeling in general anywhere along its reef and especially over seagrass.
Back of Eustatia Island. A lovely section of Eustatia Sound stretches behind Eustatia Island. Reached by the "pirate escape route," a big "S" transit avoiding Saba Rock's reef and going between the islands' gap (see nautical chart), this day anchorage offers a great view of Necker Island across the reef as well as a small beach on private Eustatia Island itself.

Great snorkeling is to be had here with pelicans diving on schools of small fish near the island itself, great coral and fish and sting rays and starfish in the sandy areas.

Adjoining Prickley Pear Island has an inviting series of beaches for beachcombing and exploring by dinghy, including fantastic North Beach with its hiking trail.

Eustatia Sound Proper. Another great snorkeling spot is marked by a red buoy straight out on the reef. Here are the remains of a dive wreck with cannons that can be free dived in about 15' of water. Also, on the north side of the Bitter End are seagrass beds teeming with juvenile marine life.
Eustatia Island

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This aerial view from behind Eustatia Island shows spectacular Eustatia Reef "breaking" all the way to Oilnut Bay at the far tip of Virgin Gorda (photo: Eustatia Island Retreat).

Deep Bay

A part of the Biras Creek resort, Deep Bay, as indicated by its name, is a deep and protected bay, which can be used as an overnight anchorage.

Its beautiful beach is used by the Biras Creek guests for lounging and also for its various complementary watersports, including Hobie Cats, lasers, sunfish, Escape day sailors, sea kayaks and windsurfers, with teaching by Moley, the resort's personable snorkeling guide and expert instructor.
The Beach Bar here is a circular, open air pavilion and a bar made of fine stonework, with some tables in the sand and some over the water on the deck (used also as a nice dinghy dock!). Resort guests are served lunch here certain days of the week with a barbecue lunch on Saturdays.
For non-guests, there is a cash bar offering sodas, beer and mixed drinks. Lennox the bartender recommends a "Chi Chi," a pina colada with vodka instead of rum topped with Grenadine.

To reach Oil Nut Bay, continue on past the entrance to Deep Bay with Eustatia Reef on the left until it ends at Oil Nut Bay, home to its namesake resort.

There is a gap in Eustatia Reef that cruising boats sometimes use to exit the BVI.
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Oil Nut Bay End of Reef on Virgin Gorda.
At the far end of Virgin Gorda, Eustatia Reef ends near Oil Nut Bay, a snorkeler's paradise. A resident 6' barracuda is the attraction here, along with four nurse sharks on the outside of the reef. Be careful of surge and currents in reef gaps at certain times. Coconut Reef, just outside Eustatia reef reached through a gap, is a spectacularly beautiful 40-50' dive site resembling the muted harmonies of Old Masters paintings.

Oil Nut Bay Resort.

A new private resort, Oil Nut Bay, emphasizes families, wellness and nature. Pictured is its Beach Club right on the bay's extensive reef.

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Prickley Pear Island

Touring
The Sand Box  Bar & Grille offers complementary boat pickup from Gun Creek and Leverick Bay to patrons upon request.

Take the hiking trail from the Sand Box up over the ridge to North Beach.

Stop at the shady tamarind tree on top and catch the trade winds.

While hiking this trail through the national park, look for cactus, exotic butterflies, hermit crabs with their whelk shell homes, an abundance of lizards and other fauna and flora favoring dry, sunny habitats.

With luck, a hiker may spot a bananaquit nest in an Organ Pipe Cactus.

This is a great area to explore by dinghy as well. See Back of Eustatia Island for the water route to North Beach.
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The whole island is a nature refuge, getting its name from a habitat that favors this fascinating cactus.

This national park supplies crucial habitat for resident and migratory birds. A variety of mangroves flourish in the four salt ponds and along the southern shore.

Vixen Point

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It's a beautiful beach, one of the best in the North Sound with calm waters for swimming. And home of the Sand Box Bar & Grille (495-9122 VHF 16), a true barefoot beach bar, open for lunch and dinner.

Lunch includes conch fritters, honey dip chicken and mahi-mahi sandwiches. Try the Sunset Cooler for refreshment.

The dinner menu focuses on seafood with entrees such as grilled swordfish, Shrimps Prickley Pear, and sauteed conch.

Activities. Hike the park, rent jet skis, play darts inside, volleyball on the beach or fly an ultralight plane. Also moorings, ice and showers are available here.

Prickley Pear Cactus

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Its namesake Prickley Pear Cactus tends to grow in abstract shapes, like the "wings" above.

Cactus Reef. At the port side of the main entrance to the North Sound, the aptly namely Cactus Reef (off Cactus Point) is a good day anchoring spot for some snorkeling.

North Beach. This beautiful beach on Eustatia Sound offers great swimming, snorkeling, and beachcombing as well as views to Necker and Eustatia Islands.

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Sand Box Boutique

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Reached by its seagrape- lined walkway, the charming Sand Box Boutique (495-9122) carries ladies beachwear, blouses, dresses and sun hats, girl's island theme dresses, men's island print shirts, wind chimes, gifts and sundries

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Drake's Anchorage

Touring
Drake's Anchorage restaurant is closed and no longer provides water transportation.

The Anchorage itself is an excellent stopping off point to explore by dinghy. Be careful in areas exposed to The Channel's ground seas.

This is a great island to explore. There is a circular hiking trail around the island.

Take the trail to Drake's Overlook, an expansive panorama of the North Sound. Along the path look for Queen Conch in lagoons.

Continuing on around the island, in succession are found Rocky Beach, Honeymoon Beach and Skinny Dipping Beach.

Time for a dip!

Before Honeymoon Beach is the island's northern point with an landmark pinnacle made of interesting rocks pictured here.

Past Honeymoon Beach, the trail leads to a summit overlooking Colquhoun Reef.

A bench here thoughtfully provides a needed rest stop.

Further on, the trail is called the 'Trail of Palms' as it leads through the delightful Valley of Palms.

Note that here in particular the trail may be overgrown.

Afterward, a side trip goes to Lookout Point.

The trail then winds down to Long Beach at Anguilla Point and, finally, along the shore back to the start at the resort. 
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Mosquito Island, often overlooked, commands the entrances to the North Sound. Its Colquhoun Reef guards the main entrance (see report of groundings) while the Anguilla Point entrance is lined by its beaches, reefs and rocky shores.

Drake's Anchorage.
A grand space
enclosed by Colquhoun Reef and Mosquito Island, this favorite anchorage provides excellent protection and good holding in 20-30 feet of water. Moorings are no longer available.

Drake's Overlook

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A hiker's paradise, Mosquito Island features the Trail of Palms that encircles the island, North Sound overlooks such as that seen above (photo: Jere Lull), palm-lined valleys, lookouts over The Channel, summits and distinctive secluded beaches, some with great snorkeling as well as that lovers' favorite--  Honeymoon Beach!
The Resort.
With Mosquito Island all its own, Drake's Anchorage resort has closed and only its remnants weathered down from the topical climate remain. Nonetheless, honeymooners in particular have fond memories of this remote island paradise.

Its restaurant once had a reputation for fine food in a romantic setting right on the water, its intimate bar built of island stone.

In 2007, Richard Branson, owner of nearby Necker Island, purchased Mosquito Island and plans an ecotourism resort as well as a sanctuary for lemurs.

Valley of Palms

Over the ridge on the windward side of Mosquito Island, the trade wind clouds drop their moisture in the Valley of Palms when rising over the island. The fan palms become so numerous that they form a natural "archway" rustling in the breeze, a dance of delicate frond shadows over the 'Trail of Palms.'

Lookout Point. Overlooking The Sir Francis Drake Channel, Lookout Point presents a dramatic vista to The Dogs and Tortola's east end archipelago in the distance.

Honeymoon Beach

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A naturalistic stone pathway leads the trail down to this tiny beach just snug enough for an intimate couple. Enclosed by a rocky cliffside, its rock pools shelter sea urchins and colorful shellfish (photo: Jere Lull).

More Beaches.
Long Beach
, with magnificent coastal views directly opposite Virgin Gorda's Anguilla Point on Mosquito Island, is a fine beach with great snorkeling on its reef. To the west of Anguilla Point, across on Virgin Gorda is more good snorkeling.

Rocky Beach, along with Long Beach, has been rated among the top five snorkeling sites in the North and Eustatia sounds. Rocky Beach can be reached by dinghy as well.

Skinny Dipping Beach, as the name suggests, is the ultimate secluded, and elusive, beach.

Colquhoun Reef

Mosquito Island's huge reef guards the North Sound's main entrance, sitting across from Prickley Pear's Cactus Reef (see nautical chart). Colquhoun Reef offers good snorkeling on its coral and great bonefishing in its mud flats (photo and article: BareboatsBVI).


Picturesque Mosquito Rock prominently marks the beginning of the reef on the entrance side, a mark which boaters must honor.

Spectacular Colquhoun Reef shimmers in many hues of blue and green, from navy blue in the deeper water to light blues, light greens and turquoise in the shallower. See Reef Colors. The summit between the Valley of Palms and Honeymoon Beach is a great spot to view Colquhoun Reef.

 

Anguilla Point Entrance. On the Virgin Gorda side of Mosquito Island is the entrance to the North Sound routinely used by ferries, power boats and catamarans.

Sailboat charterers are not advised to use this entrance, especially when the ground seas are up. Not too long ago, a catamaran, in heavy swells, came down on the bottom, damaging its rudders, and went aground on the rocks.

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Leverick Bay

Diving & Snorkeling

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Dive BVI (495-7328, email) has a dive shop here run by Mike & Marcia (pictured in the yellow). Both are excellent instructors and divemasters. Dive BVI offers resort courses, diving and snorkeling trips, equipment sales and rentals, books, beachwear, popular Dive BVI logowear and dive travel packages with Leverick Bay.

Touring
The Leverick Bay resort itself is a nice spot to visit.

The North South Express stops here by reservation.

Don't miss the Palm Tree Gallery, the observation tower and the Victorian bar at the Lightouse restaurant. Stroll the docks and get a quick pizza at the Beach Bar.

But what distinguishes Leverick Bay are the individually designed villas marching up the hillsides of the bay.

A hike or drive here is exceptional. You can continue on to Gun Creek or The Valley over Gorda Peake.
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On the waterfront and hillside commanding spectacular views, Leverick Bay spills down from Bay Hill to the peninsula and bays on the magnificent North Sound. (Dive BVI photo credit). LeverickBayViewIcon(DiveBVI)3.jpg (6099 bytes)

Leverick Bay Resort
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With all the facilities of a resort and a marina, Leverick Bay Resort (495-7370 email) has moorings, slips with electricity, fuel, water, ice, laundromat and free showers (of great importance to sailors).

Here is Chef's Pantry, with gourmet supermarket provisioning and catering, Speedy's Car & Jeep Rentals (495-5240), Pusser's Company Store, Digital Jaming (495-7013) for reading email, hooking up laptops and using computers and The Spa (aka the Beauty Therapy Services, 495-7375 email), a women's body salon.

The Palm Tree Gallery (aka Nautical Gallery, 495-7479) has 14k gold nautical and sea life themed jewelry, Caribbean crafts, a large selection of prints, handmade glasses, sun catchers, African raku pottery, vivid enameled copper in fish themes and a large selection of earrings such as African Express.

LeverickBayStairsIcon(JereLull).jpg (7411 bytes)The Restaurant at Leverick Bay   (495-7369), an elegant restaurant with a Victorian- style bar, makes a great spot for sunset cocktails and dinner on this open air terrace. Visit the observation tower for good views of the Sound (photos: Jere Lull).

Downstairs, Jumbies Beach Bar serves burgers, pizza, ice cream and drinks.

This active resort has water sports rentals, complimentary tennis, small pool and beach, barbecues, volleyball and steel bands.

LeverickBayHillsideVillasIcon(JereLull).jpg (10681 bytes)Villas.
The hillsides above Leverick Bay, as well as the waterfront, are the location of beautiful, individually-styled villas, many with pools, whose guests enjoy the facilities of Leverick Bay. The B-V-I Guide's Villas of Virgin Gorda--Hillsides of Leverick Bay offers more information on this exciting vacation option.

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Gun Creek

Land Touring
Gun Creek is the North Sound terminus of the road over Gorda Peake to The Valley and other more settled parts of Virgin Gorda.

The Bitter End ferry is free and leaves Gun Creek on the half hour and the Bitter End on the hour.

Taxis usually meet the ferry. Potter's Taxi (495-5329) can be called at a nearby public phone. Speedy's (495-5240) has car and jeep rentals from nearby Leverick Bay.

Coming into Gun Creek from the road over Gorda Peake, the first buildings begin what is the Top of Gun Creek, a mountainside village.

Turn off to Leverick Bay, on the left going down, at the small shelter with the red tiled roof.

Straight down is the dock for ferries, dinghies and launches.
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At the ferry dock, there is a tiny bar, the  Last Stop Bar, that serves sodas, beer and mixed drinks.

Captain Poncho's (495-7208 VHF 16), open for dinner only by reservation, is a popular spot with a nice verandah within walking distance on the ferry dock. Captain Poncho cooks local style food to order, mostly fish like snapper, grouper and swordfish.

GunCreekBabyGoatOnWall.jpg (4137 bytes)A great place for a hike, especially if you have the vertical skills of the many goats in this rural village. This baby goat is right at home following its mama over the wall.

Hikes can be made down from Gorda Peake or between Leverick Bay and the Gun Creek ferry dock.

Gun Creek

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Jutting up and over the edges of its rocky mountainside perch, Gun Creek has the feeling of a Mediterranean town with its exciting views of both the North and the Sound sounds. However, Gun Creek is an authentic Caribbean village with the associated earthy, laid back and whimsical ambiance that attracts visitors from all over the world.

Halfway up the mountain at the Leverick Bay turnoff, at an immediate left, is the North Sound Superette (495-7424) which carries a little bit of everything--groceries, household and pharmaceutical items (but no alcohol or tobacco). Also here is Buck's Food Market.

Top of Gun Creek. Where the road levels off, there is an interesting assortment of snack and other bars. The Butterfly is pink with a white trellis porch, the place for "slamming" dominos, a popular BVI pastime. The Twin House (495-7469), open lunch and dinner, has at least one daily special, such as steamed or boiled fish and stewed or curry chicken. Gunny's Cool Corner has island style fast food such as chicken and fish and chips as well as drinks. Angie's caters and has barbecues on Fridays. A great spot to do some local bar hopping!

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BirasCreekLogo.gif (4232 bytes) Biras Creek

Touring
Take the walk up to the Castle for dining or drinks. Berchers Bay is over the ridge.

Toward the far end of Virgin Gorda, a road leads to Deep Bay, a fine beach and beach bar used by the guests of Biras Creek.

The trail to the Bitter End begins not far from the main dock, at the resort plant nursery. This is an easy 40 minute, mostly level walk.

Those with boats will want to make a quick water tour of the mouth of Biras Creek, noting especially the fine mangrove stands on the trailside shore.

On the way to Biras Creek, look out for superyachts at the YCCS Marina.
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A "best kept secret," Biras Creek Resort is the epitome of romantic adventure.

An exquisite marine setting, the main entry is lined by the abstract art of mangrove
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"knees"
in the calm pools of water at the far end of the "creek," the dock headed by an ornate entry gate. Pelicans can sometimes be seen here foraging in the shallows around the mangroves.

Displays of tropical blossoms such as flamboyant, frangipani, and allemandes line the picturesque walks, like that up from the gate to famous Biras Creek restaurant at The Castle.

Stop for iguanas crossing!

Berchers Bay, on the Caribbean Sea side and the location of most of the resort accommodations, is a beautiful beach with views of majestic cliffs, but its fire coral prevents its use for swimming.

End of the Earth

Only reached by water, the beautiful Biras Creek resort occupies an exotic location that centers around a narrow isthmus that separates Gorda Peake and the rest of Virgin Gorda from, if not the "end of the earth," at least the far end of Virgin Gorda.

On the left above is the "creek" with the main entry dock. Behind it is a salt pond and Deep Bay. On the right is Berchers Bay.

YCCS Marina, nearby on the Gun Creek shore of the North Sound, offers 38 slips for superyachts up to 300' long and 30' draft as well as the facilities and activities of affiliated Biras Creek Resort and the Oil Nut Bay Beach Club.

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Fine cuisine and excellent accommodations are found here. Also, Biras Creek is an excellent place to visit for sunset cocktails. Biras Creek has all the amenities of large hotel resort in an intimate setting. Read this masterful review.

Touring
The dinghy dock is right beside the cafe toward the mouth of Biras Creek. The rather nice showers and restrooms are on the water between the docks.

This is a great place for a refreshment and a little shopping.

A road leads up to the resort proper. A "shortcut" along the dock in front runs by staff housing, no doubt facing a very fine water location. There is also a trail over the mountain for hikers.

At the first structure, a very nicely landscaped path leads to the main dock and formal entry to Biras Creek.
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Marina Village

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Sometimes called the "fuel dock," Marina Village, which began as the site of functional activities and the staff housing, has become a pleasing spot to visit.

For the yachtsman, Marina Village (VHF 16, 494-3555) has moorings, water, ice, showers ($3.00), garbage disposal, complementary dinghies for guests, two motorless 26' Folk Boat sloops and three 17' center console powerboats for rental by guests and others. The main dock has slips with water and power.

Fat Virgin's Cafe. Right on the dinghy dock with a small terraced dining area, Fat Virgin's Cafe (495-7052), open breakfast, lunch and dinner, has an espresso bar, a Black Forest ham sandwich with melted brie cheese and roasted peppers on 7 grain bread, a scarlet red snapper filet pan-fried with homemade french fries and green salad, a "good" tuna salad and jumbo hot dogs.

For dessert, try the key lime cheesecake with lime curd or the Chocolate Bomb, a biscuit roll filled with guava and then filled with Bavarian cheese.

TourIcon-Shops.gif (4455 bytes)Fat Virgin's Treasures. Featuring brands such as John Warden leopard print wrapskirts and dresses, La Perla swimsuits and Meiling linen clothing, Fat Virgin's Treasures (495-7054) has Spirit brand polo shirts, t-shirts and caps with the incomparable Biras Creek iguana logo, larimar jewelry, island earrings, Biras logo mugs, handbags, ladies hats, beautiful sectioned fish mobiles, Insurance gel for sunburn relief and decorative items from all over the Caribbean.

Anegada is often reached from the North Sound
Nearby Necker Island now has its own page here

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