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Trip Report

Which Virgin Gorda hotels are on sale?
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Trip Report

5/7/10 FRIDAY

We had an uneventful trip to Fort Lauderdale. We left home at 11:30 stopping at McDonald's for lunch.

We're at the Hyatt. We're very impressed. They can't do enough for us and the room is very updated and plush. We got such a good price too. The room was only $89.00 and we are leaving our car here and taking a shuttle at 10:00 tomorrow to the airport. We're watching Fox news on our wide screen TV now.

There is every kind of restaurant around here, so we have a good selection for dinner tonight.

5/8/10 SATURDAY

We are in Virgin Gorda after the most perfect day. Everything went better than we expected. After a great breakfast at the Hyatt, the shuttle brought us to the airport. We easily went through security grabbed some lunch at one of several places at the Spirit Airlines gate. The plane arrived on time. The flight looked full but as they closed the doors, we noticed 3 empty seats. So the guy at the end of our row moved over and Tom and I had an empty seat between us. What a break!

Our flight scheduled to arrive at 3:40, arrived early in ST. Thomas. So we had a slight hope we might make the earlier 4:00 direct ferry to Virgin Gorda. (If we missed this ferry we would need to take a later ferry going to Tortola, wait two hours and catch a ferry from Tortola to Virgin Gorda). We picked up our luggage and went out to where the taxis are lined up. We were directed to a van that was taking people to the ferry docks. We shared the van with a family from Virgin Gorda. They were also trying to catch the 4:00 direct ferry. They were very friendly and were sure we would be on time for the ferry. When we got out of the van, it looked like the ferry was ready to leave. The man directing the ferry said they couldn’t wait for us. But, the father of the family told him he had plenty of time and to let us board. So, we boarded and had a fairly rocky ride to Virgin Gorda.

We went through customs and when we came out we needed to find a phone to call the people from our apartment because we had arrived earlier than they expected us. Tom talked to a cop and he directed us to a guy near a van who was the manager of Bayview Apartments. His truck was full so he called his wife Nora she was there to pick us up in 10 minutes. She is very nice and took us to the grocery store to pick up food for breakfast. It was so kind of her. She also pointed out several places to eat on our way to the apartment

We feel we were really blessed by God today for the safe travel and for everything going so smoothly

Our apartment is very basic but OK and has everything we need. It’s very clean so we are happy. We walked to a nearby restaurant called the Bath and Turtle and had a very good dinner. We came back and unpacked and are watching TV. We have a flat screen but it's only 19". It's better than having none, so it will do. At least we have good WiFi.

5/9/10 SUNDAY

Yesterday was very busy. It was so wonderful to spend Mother's Day here. We had breakfast on one of our decks and waited for our rental car to be delivered. We rented from Mahogany Car Rentals. They were prompt and courteous and delivered a good jeep. We drove back over to the little grocery store called Buck’s, located near the ferry dock and got some supplies. Then we drove to Savannah Bay beach. We had a little trouble finding the road down to the beach. We have maps that aren't very detailed and directions I gathered from people on the Internet. They aren't very exact or they contradict each other. But, we found it at after several tries. The roads here are wonderful. They are all paved and well kept. So, sorry I won't have any funny pot hole comments from Tom as I did on so many other islands we have visited.

After leaving the main road, the drive to the beach was dirt and had some potholes however. Thankfully it was a short road. But, since Tom has had so much experience with dirt roads, he did very well. We were told that most of the time the beach doesn't have any people but since it was Sunday, several local families were there. They had a party with many people and we enjoyed the music they played on huge speakers. We had the snorkeling all to ourselves because the people stayed at the party. The snorkeling was only fair. It was very sunny and there was no shade. We had a beach umbrella but the winds were strong and kept blowing it over.

We had lunch on the beach. Tom did some fishing but didn't catch anything. An Islander came by and told him about a type of bait he should use. The man went over to the rocks and brought back these slimy looking worm type things and ate one and gave the rest to Tom. After talking to us for a while he asked if he could have a beer. Tom only had the one he was drinking, so the guy then asked for a couple dollars so he could buy a beer. So, Tom gave him the money. It was an interesting experience.

We spent the rest of the afternoon there. Tom got sunburn on his feet and I'm slightly burned on the back of my legs and arms from snorkeling too long. I'l have to wear long pants and long sleeved shirts to snorkel the next few days. It’s embarrassing to be dress in that outfit. But, I won't let anything stop me from enjoying snorkeling, my favorite activity.

Last night, Tom took me out for Mother's Day

We went to a resort called Leverwick’s. It was across the mountains and the roads were very steep in parts. The resort was located at the bottom of a mountain road. The road wound around a long distance to the bottom of the mountain. I had my first Bushwhacker cocktail before dinner. It's very much like the best chocolate milk shake you ever had. We had the most wonderful dinner. Tom had the best steak he has had in years and I had Shrimp Alfredo, made with colossal shrimp. It was rich, delicious and wonderful. Of course by the time we left it was dark and so we had some trouble finding the road home. On our first try we took a wrong turn and ended right back where we started. (Very funny. We had better luck the second time but it was still a little tense. We worried a little bit because we passed several cookouts with people partying along the road. But, with God’s protection, we made it home safe and very tired. We watched a video on our little TV and went to bed.

5/10/10 MONDAY

Today we had a relaxing morning. We did some things on the computer and went for groceries (yes, again). We checked out a store called Super Value because someone said they are better stocked and cheaper. We didn't find half the things we needed so we went back to Buck's store were we shopped before.

By the time we got back we were hungry for lunch. So, we ate lunch on our deck. Then we grabbed our gear and headed to Spring Bay National Park. We read that we could park close to the beach. However, we started down a trail and walked, and walked and still didn't see the beach. So, we returned to the parking lot thinking there much be a road leading down to the beach wouldn’t be so long a walk. (It's seems we can't go anywhere and find something the first time). We drove down another road and found nothing but homes. So, we went into a resort and asked. They told us that we had been at the right place the first time and the trail was only a couple of minutes to the beach. So, back we went. We met some people coming back from the beach and they said it was about a 5-minute trail. We found it to more like 4 minutes of pretty easy walking. We then arrived at the most ideal, beautiful beach. As we came off the trail, there were huge boulders in the water forming several beautiful pools with water gushing in and out in waves. This area is called “The Crawl”. We walked to the left and found another bay. We placed our chairs under the grape trees and went into snorkel. There were boulders on the beach, and in the water and wonderful snorkeling around many rocks that were under the water. The beach was huge with lots of great sand and it was easy to enter the water.

We watched sea gulls taking baths in the water. That was really funny. They seemed to really enjoy playing in the water.

I went over to The Crawl and snorkeled a bit there too. It was also pretty good. There were a lot of fish there too.

We came back about 4:30 and showered and went to a recommended place for fried chicken. Of course, we had our usual search for the restaurant. There was no sign on the restaurant. The chicken and fries were good but only slightly warm. It would have been better if it was either hot or cold. Even the fries were not hot. We walked next door to a little shop called “Yum Yum” and had wonderful ice cream for dessert.

(Can't you tell we are eating so healthy-Not? We then walked around the harbor plaza. We came home, watched a video on our small TV and went to bed.

5/11/10 TUESDAY

After breakfast we went to the little shopping plaza where Buck’s grocery store is located. We wanted to find Dive BVI to arrange a snorkel trip They told us that they go out every day to many of the islands around here. Some of the trips go in the afternoon and are for both divers and snorkelers. I have heard of some wonderful snorkel sports that are only accessed by boat. We decided to book for later in the week. I hope that my sunburn would be gone so I wouldn’t have to dress in full garb.

We came back and got ready to go to Mountain Trunk Bay near Nail Bay Resort. We actually found the road to the bay without trial and error this time. We drove down a narrow steep winding road and at the end there was parking for 2 cars. Fortunately, we were the only ones there at the time. If there wouldn't have been room, we wouldn’t have been able to turn around and we would have had to drive backwards up the road to get out.

It was a beautiful beach and we only had to walk a few feet to reach very nice chase beach chairs, under a straw umbrella. We were the only ones there for most of the day.

Tom and I snorkeled for an hour. It was the most beautiful coral garden we have ever seen. The coral was a multitude of types and very high and colorful. Also we saw many, many fish, including squid. It was excellent. We ate lunch and I went back in for another 3 hours while Tom relaxed and read his book. A guy came over to talk to him (Tom thinks he's a people magnet and I agree). This guy was off a rented catamaran and he told Tom all about visiting several islands around the area. His captain was someone who wrote a popular book on the BVI'S. We stayed about another hour, came back home, showered and went for dinner.

It was "all you can eat rib night" at the MineShaft Restaurant. We got there with only a little back tracking. The restaurant is located on an upper deck and has 360 degree views of the mountains and water all around. We had a seat on the outer edge of the outdoor deck with views of the sunset. As we looked down, we could see a tall Poinciana tree all in bloom. As it began to get darker, chickens and roasters flew up into the branches of the tree to roost for the night. They hassled each other for space and it was fun to watch. Our meal was very good. We came home and watched a video on our tiny TV.

5/12/10 WEDNESDAY

We had an adventure day today. After eating breakfast on our deck, we grabbed our stuff and went in search of Little Trunk Bay and Trunk Bay.

We followed directions to a road that went into a grouping of houses, parked in a 2 space parking area along the street and followed directions to a trail. The trail had steps going down to Little Trunk Bay. It's a beautiful deserted beach but not good for snorkeling. We walked to the other side of the beach and found a rope hanging down from some boulders. I had read that some people who were 63 had climbed the rope and it was no problem so I thought, "Well if they did it at 63, certainly we can do it at 68". Well it was a challenge, especially since I was carrying a small cooler and a 6-pound fold up sun umbrella and Tom was carrying what he calls a "50 pound snorkel bag" and 2 small lawn chairs. After climbing up the rope, we discovered that there was another rope to climb. I climbed first and Tom hoisted everything up to me and then he came. It was fun but a little frightening too. I had the thought that it probably would be more difficult coming back but I chose not to think about it too much. We went on through the tropical foliage, climbing over more large stones until we reached an opening to Trunk Bay Beach. It was also deserted with only one house, which was far up on the hill. The beach has beautiful palm trees ringing the edge of a large deep sand covered beach. It was probably the most beautiful beach I have even seen. We found a place under some grape and palm trees for our lawn chairs.

The sand was very soft and we sunk into it as we walked down the hill to the water. When we reached the water we realized at separate times that we each forgot some things back by our chairs. So each of us had to struggle all the way back to get what we left behind and come back to the water. It was either senior moments or too much sun. After this exercise, we entered the water. There was some current but not too bad.

There were huge boulders under the water and so many fish that we felt like we were in an aquarium. It was so worth the struggle we had to get there! We snorkeled about 1 1/2 hours and came in to eat our picnic lunch. I returned to snorkel more after lunch. I only stayed about another hour or so because quite a few boats pulled into the bay. It was scary because they came very close to where I was snorkeling.

Some where speed boats and others were those rubber boats with motors and some catamarans. Tom didn't have any visitors today. Only 2 people came to shore and he said they probably didn't see him up in the trees.

Later in the afternoon, we packed up for our adventure back to the car. We did fine going down the ropes but as we walked across the second beach (Little Trunk Bay), we realized that back when we first arrived on the beach we had not noticed where the trail came out. After searching a while, we finally found a trail and walked down it only to find we did not recognize anything as it came to an end at a beach . Some people where there and told us we were at the Crawl (one beach over from where we should be). So, we had our retracting experience for the day. We walked all the way back to Little Trunk Bay and luckily found the right trail back to the car.

We cooked dinner on the grill tonight. Nora was nice enough to give us a brand new charcoal grill for our use. After eating dinner on our deck, walked a few blocks to Yum Yum’s store and had the most delicious mint chocolate ice cream for the second time. Then we walked around the harbor-as if we need more exercise. We were so tired we both fell asleep trying to watch a video on our tiny TV. I went to bed but Tom got a second wind and stayed up to play solitaire.

5/13/10 THURSDAY

We woke up to a hard rain this morning. It has cleared some now and so we'll give the beach a try. But, the forecast isn't too promising.

It had rained through the night and part of the early morning. After the rain stopped, it was cloudy. We decided to try a new beach called Mahoe Bay. I saved it for the near last because it was supposed to have the most fantastic snorkeling. We drove to the Mango Bay Resort, located on the beach and parked in their parking lot. We had a very short walk to a very narrow strip of sand in front of some cottages. We thought we must have the wrong place so we went back to the car and drove up the road to another entrance near some villas. The area in front of the villas had nothing but rock and a long pier. It looked like the coral was right up to the shore so we wouldn't be able to get into the water. So, we went back to resort.

We sat our stuff on the grass on the outer edge of a cottage lawn under some trees. We swam out to the reef area but the water was very cloudy and we didn't see many fish. After snorkeling around a bit we decided to give it up and go to another beach. A couple of people were walking along the shore. They asked if we were guests of the resort. We said no and they said we were welcome to use the resort facilities because not many people were staying there at the time. They also said the snorkeling is excellent along the rocks, further down the beach. So, we will probably go there again another day. There was a lot of sand up by the cottages and a nice place with many lounge chairs for resort guests.

We decided to try Nail Bay again. We love it because they have the lounge chairs under umbrellas and we didn’t have to walk very far from the parking lot. Besides, we knew there is wonderful snorkeling there. First we ate lunch and then I went snorkeling. There was a lot of wave action and it was a little clearer than the last beach but still not good. I didn't stay very long. After I came in from snorkeling, we relaxed and read our books. About 2:30 we left, and came back to shower. We decided to check out some condos we saw on the main road called Old Yard Village. We were very impressed. We went to the office and were given a tour. The rooms were so nice and had everything anyone could want. However, they are more expensive than where we are staying. We then drove to a resort called Little Dix. It's ranked 7th in the list of best resorts in the Caribbean. We wanted to see what it is like. We walked around the grounds. Even though it was very nice, we weren't that impressed. The pool was small and we heard the beach is very, very shallow. But, everyone working there was very nice and greeted us warmly.

We went back to the Harbor shopping plaza and did some souvenir shopping. We stopped at an outdoor bar for some drinks. It’s located looking out to the sea and we had fun watching the big boats coming in to park at the harbor dock. We did some grocery shopping and came back to The Bayview Inn. For dinner we had good pizza at the Bath and Turtle restaurant and came back to the apartment. I had a lot of trouble staying awake to watch stuff on our tiny TV. I went to bed at 9:30 and Tom came later.

5/14/10 FRIDAY

We had an unplanned day of adventure today. We decided to go to Devil's Bay near the Baths. The Baths and Devil's Bay are located next to each other. The trails to each beach begin in the same parking lot. We had a few choices. We heard that Devil's Bay is more beautiful but harder to get to, and it usually has less people. If we went there, we would have more privacy and good snorkeling. The Baths is more popular. In fact, the cruise people are brought there. We decided to take the trail to Devil's Bay even though I read that it was considered strenuous. Well they weren't kidding. It was also long. We estimated it was around a mile and a half. Part was easy walking but there was a lot of climbing over small to medium rocks and huge steps. We came out to a beautiful beach. Only a couple of people were there. We sat up under a grape tree. By the time we were ready to go in the water, about 20 or so people arrived, including our neighbors from the Bayview. Coincidentally, they are also our neighbors in a community next to where we live at home. They have been going to Devil's Bay almost every day since they came to Virgin Gorda. They told us we should go through the cave to The Baths instead of back up the Devil's Bay trail. They said it's much easier. They described it as having some boulders to climb with a rope and some ladders to climb but Pat said that she did it even if she is slow and has trouble doing steps. Since they are close to our age and did it, Tom thought we (meaning me) would be fine. Ha. He’s always looking out for me.

We went snorkeling. There were quite a few fish and it was lots of fun snorkeling in between the boulders. We snorkeled all the way to the Baths and back.

After resting a while we decided to "do the caves" to get to the shorter trail. To understate it, it was a challenge. The cave is made of huge boulders piled on top of each other. We had to squeeze between, bend low under, use ropes to climb across slippery slopes, and go up and down 2 steep ladders. I had to go on my seat across one area because I was afraid to stand up. I crawled across another area and slid down a small platform wedged between the rocks. We made it to the Baths beach but would I ever do it again? A big NO! I feel blessed that we made it out without injury. But, it wasn't over yet. We still had to climb the Baths trail. It wasn't any easier than the trail to Devil's Bay, but was shorter by about a third.

When we finally got to the top, we went over to a small sandwich shop called Mad Dogs for lunch. We ate on picnic tables on a patio with chickens. Yes, chickens. They run wild on the island. One even came up on the table while we were eating. They brought out a spray bottle of water so we could squirt them away. I dropped a chip and two chickens found it in a second and got in a picking fight over it. It was entertaining-Ha. The sandwiches were very good.

We drove back home and took showers. Tom took a nap and I relaxed out on the deck.

This afternoon we went on our boat snorkel with Dive BVI. There were a few divers but mostly snorkelers. We picked up some people at Little Dix resort (which included their own personal dive person) and a couple from a sail boat out in the water.

We continued quite a ways to a cove near Cooper Island. I was a little disappointed because I wanted to go to another place that I heard had the best snorkeling but it was pretty rough seas and we needed to go to a sheltered place.

The snorkeling was good but not great. We did see a few fish we never saw before including a blue trump fish that looked like a long stick with a blue nose. As we came back to the boat we spotted several long silver fish that looked about 5 feet long. We asked about them and the crew brought out a fish book. They think they were they were snapper but Tom doesn't agree. We'll need to do more research.

Our next adventure was the ride back. We went very fast and it was very rough. Tom wondered if we should have kept our snorkel safety vests on. It was really fun though.

We didn't get back until after 5. Across from the harbor, the locals were selling meals in a large field.. Our neighbors in the other apartment told us about it before they left the island. They have this event every Friday night and it’s the best Bar-be-cue in town. So we crossed the road in front of the shopping plaza so we could purchase some food. We had a choice of chicken, fish or ribs, rice, potato salad or mac and cheese and a serving of slaw. It was carryout so we brought it home. It was as good as promised and very reasonable in price. We then walked over to YUM-YUM's ice cream store for more mint chocolate chip ice cream.

We watched some videos on our tiny TV and I was even able to stay awake.

What a great day!

5/15/10 SATURDAY

Today we planned to go to Bitter End Yacht Club Resort for a snorkeling trip. We signed up for the snorkel trip at the dive shop. We hoped to see some of the north sound and the islands while finding good places to snorkel in the area.

We had heard that the ferry to the resort leaves on the hour. We planned it so we would be there just before the hour. We drove across the island and when we arrived we were told that there would not be another ferry for 45 minutes. It was just another case of misinformation. We read our books and watched some pelicans catching fish.

The ferry arrived and we enjoyed the journey over to the resort. It was not going out until later in the afternoon.

It was time for lunch. We ate hamburgers in the restaurant. It began to rain. We found some very, soft comfy lounge chairs under an awning and relaxed. The rain shower was brief. At last it was time for the snorkeling trip. We walked over to the dive shop and were told that we were the only ones going out this afternoon. The person who was to take us out in a boat left to get the boat. We waited and waited. Finally someone at the dive booth got a call saying that they were unable to start the snorkel boat so our excursion was canceled. We were very disappointed. We could have snorkeled at the resort but we decided to go back on the next ferry.

It was mid afternoon by the time we got back to the ferry dock. We returned to the Bayview.

We grilled some salmon on our grill that evening and watched TV and went to bed.

5/16/10 SUNDAY

Sunday morning was quiet. The island is dead. Almost everyone is in church. We went over to the dive shop to talk about going out for a snorkel tour again. They said they'd try to arrange something and needed to talk to the captain and also see if more people sign up. Since we don't have a personal phone, we needed to come back later in the morning to find out if they were going out. We decided to go around town and take some pictures. And Tom wanted to find our car rental company to see if we could keep the car to use it to go to the ferry dock when we leave tomorrow morning. The people that own our rental apartment will take us but since we need to be at the ferry dock at 6:30, we hate to impose on them.

Well, it was very interesting trying to find the car company. We asked for directions twice and the local people we very helpful. But, it became too difficult and we decided to call them from Nora's phone on the office.

We went back to the dive shop and they said they would be going out at 2:30 to a snorkel site that I had requested called the Dog Islands.

We came back and had lunch on our deck. Tom went up to the second floor deck where there is a comfy lounge chair and relaxed while sat on the lower deck searching the computer, making plans for next year's trip.

Our snorkel trip was wonderful. We picked up some people at Little Dix again. We went to Great Dog coral gardens. Great Dog is one of several Dog islands that are grouped together. They got their name from pirates because there heard noises that sounded like dogs barking, when they neared these islands. As time went by some pirates decided that they would investigate because they thought these islands would make good hiding places for their loot. They discovered that the barking was from monkeys living on the islands. They hunted them for meat and now they are extinct.

The snorkeling was fantastic! I spotted a nurse shark, sitting on the bottom. I didn't know what it was until one of the boat crew identified it. That is one reason we loved going with this boat crew. They actually get in the water with us to show us things. They are very friendly and call us by name, serve us water, clean and defog our masks and cameras. Plus their boat is designed for very easy exit and entry for snorkeling. I'd go with them again if we had more time here. Oh, we also saw something called a Spanish Dancer. It looked like a piece of coral floating in the water. It's black with orange spots and leaf like. It twists and turns and flutters itself. Our guide said it's very rare and she has been on over 500 dives and it was the first time she has seen it.

Tonight we went to a local bakery to buy a roasted chicken. It was recommended on the Internet. It was located down a no name road, had no sign and looked like any other building. But, fortunately, we had good directions and even a picture of the building. The guy is a baker and only opens after 6:00 PM. and closes at 11:00 PM. He makes bread and pastries also. The chicken was very good but we didn't care for the sauce he used.

As usual, we watched a video on our tiny TV and went to bed.

5/17/10 MONDAY

This was our last day in Virgin Gorda. It had rained all night and was still raining when we got up. This was our first all day rain of the trip. Thankfully, it came at the end of our trip, after we had managed to get in everything we wanted to do. We relaxed, read and played on the computer. Then we did a little packing. Around noon, the rain had stopped and the sky was beginning to clear. We ate lunch and packed up to go back to Mango Bay Resort. We didn't have a good experience the first time we went here so we wanted to give it another try. When we got there we noticed a dark cloud over the mountain. We had just begun to unload our stuff when it started sprinkling. The sky looked even more ominous from when we arrived. We grabbed everything and ran for the car. We waited in the car for about a half-hour but the rain never stopped. We went back home. At least we did get to see Mahoe Bay and Mango Bay Resort. The rain continued off and on for the remainder of the afternoon. We repeated our relaxing that we started in the morning.

We went over to the Bath and Turtle restaurant to eat dinner for the 3rd time. We had a good meal and returned home.

We did a little more packing and watched a video on our tiny TV. I couldn't stay awake to watch much so we both went to bed early. Tomorrow we must rise early to catch the 6:30 ferry to St. Thomas.

5/18/10 TUESDAY

Neither of us slept very well. We were both worried that the alarm clock would fail. We got up before it went off. It was good that we woke up early because it took us longer to get ready than we had planned.

We didn't eat breakfast because we planned to eat in ST. Thomas. We drove the car down to the dock and left the keys in the ashtray, and locked the car as requested by Mahogany Car Rental. Surprisingly, there were quite a few people going on the ferry with us. They were mostly locals. It was a beautiful day and the sea was calmer than our trip over to Virgin Gorda. We arrived in port and Tom said, "This looks like a different town and so I don’t think it’s St. Thomas. I think we're on a different island." He asked someone one and they told us we were at Tortola. Sure enough, we had to get off the ferry and go into a building to pay a British Virgin Island departure tax. So we paid, went through a minor security check and got back on the ferry. As we continued on our journey, a worker came to each of us to tell us we would be making another stop to pick up more passengers because on of the ferry's broke down. So, we went to West End in Tortola and picked up quite a few people. We arrived in ST. Thomas around 8:00. As we got off the ferry, someone from the Taxi Company asked where we were going. Tom told him we needed to get to the airport for a 4:00 flight. He showed us where to put our luggage and told us to be back at 2:00 to take the taxi to the airport. We took a 10-minute walk into town and found a cute breakfast place, overlooking the water. We then walked around town and bought a few items but not expensive jewelry. There was only one cruise ship in town so the stores were pretty empty. Around 11:00 we found a charming bar located in the center of an alleyway. There was no one at the bar. Tom asked the bartender if he made Bushwhackers. He told him that he made excellent Bushwhackers. So, I ordered one and Tom had a Bloody Mary. Before long two young couples sat down at the bar. The women asked what I was drinking. The bartender asked if they wanted a taste. After tasting it, 3 of them ordered one. Pretty some more people came. I guess we started something good.

We walked around some more. We came across a camera shop. Tom and I had talked about getting a good underwater camera for me. The one I have doesn't take very good pictures and we had a lot of trouble with it. The sales person let me take the cameras outside to look at the screen in the sunlight. I liked the Cannon but the salesperson wouldn't give us a deal. Later on we found another camera shop called Royal Caribbean. The salesperson was very knowledgeable. He told us the price on the camera and it was the same price that Tom had bargained for in the other store. So we bought it.

We found a cute little place for lunch and then began our walk back to the ferry dock to get our luggage and take a cab to the airport. We found an ice cream place on the way and sat at a little table to eat. Again, there was no one else getting ice cream but we drew in several people.

We were a little early to go to the airport but we went anyway. It was good that we did because it was very busy and we had to go through customs for the two times. It went pretty fast however. Our neighbors from the next door apartment at the Bayview were there waiting to catch the same plane. We passed time talking with them. Even more surprising, as we looked at our boarding passes we discovered that Pat had a seat next us on the end, and her husband had the seat across the aisle.

We got into Lauderdale, got our luggage and called the hotel van. They said he was out on another run and wouldn't be able to pick us up for 30 to 40 minutes. After 40 minutes Tom called again. They said they were on the way there. We waited about 5 minutes and he arrived. He told us about a restaurant within walking distance of the Hyatt and enthusiastically described some of the food as being exceptional. It is a chain restaurant called J. Alexander’s. So we walked over and the food was excellent.

5/17/10 WEDNESDAY

After a good nights sleep, we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast at the Hyatt. They have buffet or for $6.00 you can order from a menu. The food is prepared and brought out to you. I had some of the best French Toast I have ever had and Tom really enjoyed his eggs. It was another excellent stay.

We traveled home and are unpacking and slowly getting into our routines.

SUMMARY

Bayview Apartments

Bayview Apartments were a good place to stay. We enjoy being close to town so we can walk to stores and restaurants. I booked through Nora, the manager at the Bayview. She was very accommodating, and answered all my questions. Before arriving on the island, I asked her if she supplied beach chairs, a cooler and grills. She replied promptly that she did. When we arrived she supplied us with these items. They were newly purchased. She also gave us a DVD to use to watch the movies we brought with us. We are so thankful to her for making our stay so enjoyable. The apartment was large with two bedrooms with in suite bathrooms, a comfortable living room and dining room with a small half bathroom off the living room. The kitchen was supplied with everything we needed. During our 10-day stay, our room was cleaned once and we were given fresh sheets and towels. We were also supplied with towels for the beach. There is an upstairs deck and a deck off the kitchen. Both decks are under roof. The top deck has chairs and a lounge plus a clothesline. The bottom deck has a table and chairs. We enjoyed many meals and evenings sitting on the lower deck. There was always a moderate to strong breeze to enjoy so there were not any bugs. In fact, we didn’t see any bugs during our entire stay. But, we were glad to have the bedroom air conditioner. It was hot and humid in the bedrooms. We did have a power outage two times while we were there. It affected our air conditioner and the entire apartment next to us. Nora’s husband came immediately and fixed it both times and while we were there an electrician came and fixed the problem causing the outage.

Snorkeling, Beaches and Adventure

This trip was one of the best snorkeling trips we have taken in a long time. Virgin Gorda was a perfect island for us because it offered very good to great snorkeling, and many different types of beaches. Getting to the beaches was a fun adventure. We really enjoyed going to a different place each day. We found plenty to keep us busy. We enjoy being active.

Our snorkel boat trips with Dive BVI were also a highlight. They were reasonable in price and took us to good snorkel sites. Everyone was extremely nice and helpful. We highly recommend them and would have gone out again with them if we had had more time.

Next year we are going to ST. John USVI. We are planning to stay at Cruz Views in Cruz Bay. We were there 14 years ago and can’t wait to go back.

Thank you to everyone who wrote information on the forum. It was a big help when I planned this trip.

Charlottesville...
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1. Re: Trip Report

Hi dolphin412,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write an extraordinary trip report, in fact, one of the best ones I have ever read! You clearly did your home work before you left and it sounds as though you were well prepared for your trip, but were also flexible enough to "go with the flow," too.

We were on JVD from May 10 - 14, and then VG from May 14 - 21, so our time on VG overlapped half of the week. You did a lot of things during your 10 day stay, but it sounds as though you paced yourselves well, and did the things that you wanted to do. I am also glad that you experienced snorkeling at so many terrific places on VG, but sorry that you did not get to experience the best that Mahoe Bay has to offer regarding snorkeling. When it rains a lot, the water can be cloudy from the run off, but it tends to be better a little further out. Mahoe Bay is very shallow along the shore at Mango, but you can carefully navigate the brain corals and other coral close to shore and get in a little deeper water within 10 yards or so from shore. The other way to get to the beach at Mahoe is to drive past Mango Bay Resort, until you come to the villas at Mahoe Bay, just a short distance from Mango - you drove past this area when you drove to Nail. There are several places at Mahoe Bay Resort where you can park on the side of the road and walk down the road and then the walkway to the beach without trespassing on any of the private villa lots. That walk only takes a few minutes.

I posted this on another thread, but since you enjoy snorkeling so much, I thought you might like to see this video of a huge school of tang at Mahoe on a crystal clear day with fantastic visibility, May 20, our last day on VG:

youtube.com/user/…g5aCiuGpwig

And, on the same snorkel, we encountered this school of squid in 4' of water as soon as we entered the water:

youtube.com/user/honeymoon2#p/u/3/vQ2QBwDBxYo

When you walk down to the beach at Mahoe Bay, if you turn right and walk to the end of the beach, there is excellent snorkeling all along the rocky outcropping on that side of Mahoe Bay. Here is a snorkel at the point at that end of Mahoe in 2' to 3' of water:

youtube.com/user/honeymoon2#p/u/5/QQCilGmaZHU

I am also glad to hear you had a pleasant stay at Bayview Apartments! Nora gave me a helpful tour of Bayview when I was on VG last year. I was very impressed by how pleasant she is and I assumed that she is the type of person who will go out of her way to make certain people staying at Bayview have a great stay on VG.

And the same can be said for Clennell and Verlyn at Mahogany Car Rental - how many places will tell you, "just leave the car at the ferry dock with the key under the mat, no worries, mon!" Clennell and Verlyn are two more oustanding people on VG who treat others graciously, courteously, and professionally, too.

Finally, we learned how to scuba dive with Dive BVI in 2003, and have dove with a number of dive shops throughout the Caribbean and Fiji since then, but we have become increasingly convinced that Dive BVI is the best dive shop in the Caribbean! We have both snorkelers as well as divers in our traveling group, and the Dive BVI staff work just as professionally, as well as personally, with snorkelers as they do with divers. Jeff and Casey McNutt run a first class operation all the way, and have an outstanding staff working with them. I am also very glad that you got to experience a snorkel at Coral Gardens, Great Dog Island. I try to encourage everyone I can to go on at least one snorkel trip with Dive BVI to the Dog Islands - they are one of the most pristine spots in the entire Caribbean for diving and snorkeling. You might appreciate this video I took in shallow water toward the end of a dive at Coral Gardens on May 19 at some of the same places where you snorkeled:

youtube.com/user/…FrclrnHaPY0

Thanks, again for your time and talents in writing a fabulous trip report! I am sure many other people are going to benefit greatly from you, so please keep posting on this message board whenever you can....

All the best, alashas http://honeymoon2.smugmug.com/

ACB
Rhode Island
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for Virgin Gorda
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2. Re: Trip Report

Awesome report! Great detail, yet very funny. This was one of the best I have ever read.

Look forward to reading your report on St John. It, too, is a very special island.

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Trip Report

Thank you so much.

4. Re: Trip Report

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