The British Virgin Islands
Sailing and diving in the British Virgin Islands with Steuart and Fran aboard Two if by Sea was our best trip ever... from the moment we landed to being picked up by our friends, Steuart and Fran and whisked away to Two if by Sea, the trip was perfect.
The first morning we headed off for The Chimneys (second photo down at left, center section).
We anchored the boat and slowly entered the water to descend to forty-five feet and head towards a spectacular site called The Chimneys which is, as you guessed it, a chimney-like vent which starts at forty-five feet in a large cavern and ends at the surface as you make you way through a small but comfortable opening ten feet below the surface. The light pierces it and forms a spectacular spotlight effect when you are at the base of the vent. Just Wonderful.
After snorkeling around a while, we also discovered that you could swim through the rocky outcrops above the water and within one of them was a hollow area which was just great as well. A deep pool surrounded by rock and coral engulfs you while inside, but you had better be a fairly strong and confident swimmer.
Later, we lifted anchor and headed off towards The Bitter End Yacht club and anchored off a small island just west of the club for the night.
The next morning, we set sail around the tip of the island and while we had plans to head to Anegeda, we chose to tack off towards the Baths on Virgin Gorda.
The Baths (photo at bottom right) are truly amazing. Boulders the size of apartment buildings are leaned up against each other and in the center form a walkway which is incredible as you wander your way through 100 ton boulders perched inches above your head.
Our next stop was the world famous Wreck of The Rhone (photo below at right). Widely regarded as one of the best wreck dives in the Caribbean, the two halves can be dived separately. The Bow lies in 60 ft - 90 feet - divers can swim inside the ships hold and see coral encrustations along with many fish. Diving inside a wreck that has great ambient light is always fun On our first dive, Yim and Fran stayed above the wreck and followed our bubbles through the dive. Lobsters and crabs often hide inside the wreck. And I mean crabs. I found one that had at least a four foot span.
Outside of the wreck, the foremast and crows nest can be seen along with the boilers, condenser, wrenches and winch.
The stern, often done as the second dive (15 ft-60 ft), shelters lobsters and octopus hiding in the metal work of the boiler gear box housing, the rudder and the propeller. Many fish varieties including Barracuda, Southern Stingrays, Eagle Rays and Turtles live in this National Park area. We swam through the open area beside the propeller... it's a great spot to boost a divers confidence in safe conditions.
After leaving The Rhone, we headed down to Peter Island and anchored in a deserted bay for the evenings, snorkeled around watching the rays search for food ten feet down and came on board for some yummy rum drinks.
Then, off to the Caves. Located on the southwest side of Norman Islands, these really are Treasure Caves. You can swim right inside them and with a flashlight, can easily enjoy the huge colonies of anemones attached to the surface of the openings. It's a great mornings snorkel trip.
Then out to The Indians (see photo at right). These three rocky outcrops, which reportedly rise 55 feet above the water and 55 feet below hide an underwater garden. Whether those measurements are accurate or not, this is one great dive and once is not enough. Fran led us on this trip through an underwater garden the likes which are rare today on any dive before heading us back to the base of The Indians.
Swimming along at the base of these slabs of rock closely will reward you with dozens of different soft corals clinging to the surface before you come to a short wide tunnel which we easily swam through and entered another small world.
As we rounded the back, there was a small coral tunnel easilt large enough to swim through carefully. It's just a really cool spot. Little caves to enter, tons of fish, huge rocks anchored all around you, beautiful soft coral and a maximum bottom depth of 55 feet.
What else could you ask for?
To top all this off, being on Two If By Sea includes the culinary skills of Fran, who will be your hostess. There is nothing better than having spent the day diving and sailing than settling down to a wonderful meal outside on the back of a catamaran. For a sampling of Fran's menu, click here.
If you would like to take a sailing trip with Two if by Sea, e-mail us.
Our favourite sailing destination
is the British Virgin Islands
aboard Two if by Sea, a 45'
Leopard Catamaran crewed
by our friends Stuart & Fran.
The location, diving, sailing
and company is world
class and we highly
recommend this as a
The British Virgin Islands