Rum Therapy On St. John

Although the smallest of the three US Virgin Islands, St. John has a tremendous amount of things to do and see, or plenty of space to stretch out and do nothing at all, if that’s what you’re looking for!

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During a recent visit, we took an early morning car ferry from Red Hook, St. Thomas to St. John. The car ferry is a good option if you’ve rented a car on St. Thomas and have plenty of time – just check with your car rental company to make sure they allow it.

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Car Ferry from Red Hook, St. Thomas to St. John

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Lovely Cruz Bay, St. John. Cruz Bay is where the ferries arrive and depart.

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Right off of the passenger ferry dock you’ll find a number of great beach bars and fun stores. During this trip, we made a stop at St. John Spice (upper level) and Bones Rum (1st level).

Take a hike down the beach and stop for a drink at:

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High Tide

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Joe’s Rum Hut, or

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The Beach Bar.

Cruz Bay has a lot of other great restaurant, bar and shopping options – there’s literally something for everyone. We headed up the hill on 20 toward the north side beaches and stopped at the Cruz Bay overlook for a pic.

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Then took a hike down through the forest to check out Salomon (Solomon) Bay and Honeymoon Beach.

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Salomon (Solomon) Bay

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Honeymoon Beach

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We continued on 20 past Caneel Bay

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And stopped at Hawksnest Bay Beach to lounge in the water for a while

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Climbed Peace Hill to check out the ruins and the gorgeous views…

Then lingered for a while at the popular Trunk Bay Overlook for a picture of the spectacular bay.

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Trunk Bay

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And snorkeled at the Trunk Bay Underwater Snorkel Trail

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Stopped at Cinnamon Bay to put our toes in the sand

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Checked out beautiful Maho Bay for the first time

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And peaceful Francis Bay.

We took our time looking around Coral Bay.

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Enjoying a very tasty Jazz Brunch at Miss Lucy’s

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and later an extremely tasty hamburger and rum drinks at Skinny Legs.

We hiked the Salt Pond Trail to Drunk Bay

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to check out some interesting coral sculptures that other visitors have created…

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And took one last chance to wade in the clear, blue water of Salt Pond Bay. Reluctantly, we headed back to the ferry,  a bit more tan and a lot more relaxed…

There you have it. A few of our favorite experiences from our last (much too short) visit to St. John. We’ll most certainly be going back, so, what have we missed? What are your favorite things to see and do on St. John?

 

To see other posts on St. John and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Rum Therapy Sailing in the British Virgin Islands (The Wrap Up)

 From Trellis Bay, we headed over to the island of Jost Van Dyke. On our previous sail, the conditions were not favorable the day we were to head to JVD, so we were not able to get there and that made us even more excited to visit this time.

We made our first stop on beautiful little Sandy Cay between Tortola and Jost.

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After spending some time in the water we took the hike through the center of the island.

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We made our way back to the boat and headed just a short hop north to an even smaller uninhabited island called Sandy Spit.

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The snorkeling was excellent and we felt like we had our own private island for just a few hours…

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After spending a quiet night moored at East End Harbour, JVD, we began the last day of our trip motoring into White Bay.

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We spent the day visiting all of the great beach bars on White Bay from one end to the other – for research purposes, of course, as well as lounging in its crystal clear blue water…

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One more Nilla Killa and a few more minutes of sand and sun and we headed back to the boat for a short nap and a sail to Norman Island to spend our last night at Willie T’s

After an excellent dinner aboard the cat prepared by our Chef, our Captain dinghied us over to the Willie T where we spent the rest of the evening having a great time. We made a lot of new friends that probably didn’t remember us the next day and the only problem we had was finding our dinghy after an evening of revelry! Hmmm…and some of us somehow ended up with a Willie T tattoo… ;)

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Find the rest of the Rum Therapy Sailing in the BVI series here:
Part 1 (Norman and Peter Island
Part 2 (Virgin Gorda)
Part 3 (Saba Rock and Anegada)
Part 4 (Great Camanoe, Trellis Bay, Beef Island)

To see more posts on the BVI and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2013
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Rum Therapy Sailing in the British Virgin Islands (Part 4)

It was hard to sail on from Anegada. Such a laid back beautiful island. Think I could stay there for weeks, wandering the amazing deserted beaches….perhaps another trip will be in order.

We moved on with a nice sail back to Great Camanoe where we stopped to snorkel in a beautiful cove. The pelicans were going crazy dive bombing for minnows and we jumped in the gorgeous calm blue water to see what we could see.

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It was a virtual minnow smorgasbord; easy to see what the pelicans were after. We also saw a fairly large school of squid in ultra clear water.

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The rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying the water and the scenery before moving on to our anchorage for the night – Trellis Bay.

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Trellis Bay is a popular anchorage on Beef Island, and although crowded that evening, it gave us a chance to go ashore and experience Aragorn’s Studio and the other shops and sights in the area.

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We spent a little time just hanging in the awesome hammock outside of Aragorn’s.

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And checked out the fireballs and burning man used for the Trellis Bay Full Moon Parties.

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We topped our stay in Trellis Bay off with a hilariously fun evening at The Last Resort on Bellamy Cay in Trellis Bay where we enjoyed a great dinner, played some foosball, sang at the top of our lungs and probably enjoyed just a little too much rum…

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Although the party continued early into the morning hours, we dinghied back to our boat around midnight to rest up for a sail the next day to Jost Van Dyke.

Part 1 of this series: Rum Therapy Sailing in the British Virgin Islands (Part 1) – Norman Island and Peter Island.

Part 2 of this series: Rum Therapy Sailing in the British Virgin Islands (Part 2) – Virgin Gorda.

Part 3 of this series: Rum Therapy Sailing in the British Virgin Islands (Part 3)Saba Rock and Anegada

Part 5 of this series: Rum Therapy Sailing in the British Virgin Islands (The Wrap Up) – Jost Van Dyke, The Willie T – Norman Island


To see more posts on the BVI and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Rum Therapy On Tortola

 Ahhh…Tortola. We’ve have the pleasure of visiting this, the largest of the British Virgin Islands, several times – yet the more we visit, the more we realize we need to come back and spend more time. During our recent visit to the VI, we planned for another visit to Tortola, and once again ran out of time to see all that we wanted to see.

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Regardless, we’ve seen and done quite a bit in our 3 visits (so far) to Tortola and here’s just a few of the highlights to date….

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Tortola is a large and mountainous island, so it’s advisable to rent a car if you’d like to spend some time exploring. There are no car rental companies at the Road Town Ferry Terminal, so reserve one ahead ahead of time, (we didn’t and it took some time to find a car) and plan to take a taxi to the car rental office or check to see if the rental agency provides a shuttle. Remember to drive on the left and be prepared to tackle some pretty steep hills on the north and west ends of the island.

Our luxurious accommodations while on Tortola were graciously provided by Susan at the spectacular Limin’ House (more on this later), which is in the West End above Soper’s Hole, so we started exploring the east side of the island, hoping to scratch a few things to see off  “the list” before checking in to the Limin’ House.

Road Town is a bustling town with a lot of bars, restaurants, shopping and attractions such as a botanical garden, and we could have easily spent some time exploring (preferably by foot), but there were cruise ships in town and it was super busy, so we quickly headed out of town to find some beaches.

On the east side of town we crossed the Queen Elizabeth Bridge and actually left the island for a while to explore neighboring Beef Island, a small island close to Tortola which houses the Beef Island Airport, several pretty beaches and some interesting shops in Trellis Bay.

The first beach we stopped at was the lovely Long Bay on Beef  Island – not to be confused with the Long Bay on the west end of Tortola.

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Long Bay – Beef Island

We continued on to Trellis Bay, home of Aragorn’s Studio and the location of one of the two Full Moon Parties in the area.

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The Trellis Bay Full Moon Parties feature the Burning Man, Fireballs and Mocko Jumbies and are a bit…well, should we say, more family appropriate than the other one we will mention later in the article.

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The Burning Man and Fireballs, created by Aragorn, that are spectacularly set on fire during the Full Moon Parties.

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Aragorn’s Studio – great place to shop or just check out the local art.

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Trellis Bay is the place to catch a free ferry to The Last Resort – a bar and restaurant on neighboring Bellamy Cay that serves good food and drink and can feature some really boisterous entertainment in the evenings. We enjoyed a night there while sailing a few years ago and after returning to our boat, could hear the laughter and merriment continue until the wee hours of the morning!

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The Last Resort On Bellamy Cay

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The band loves to get the audience involved by offering free shots if you can name the song they are playing and are willing to come up and sing along.

From Beef Island we headed back to Tortola stopping by Captain Mulligan’s for a quick drink and a bit of lunch.

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We’ve stopped by Captain Mulligan’s a couple of times now, but would love to be there to watch a football game on the huge screen out back. You can also hit golf balls (buoyant ones that are retrieved) into the ocean behind the bar!

Making our way west, we passed West End and Soper’s Hole and continued on to Smuggler’s Cove. This was our first visit to Smuggler’s Cove, despite the fact that we’d been told by several people that it was their favorite beach on the island.

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Smuggler’s Cove – every bit as beautiful as we’d heard

After spending a bit of time walking the beautiful soft and sandy beach, we headed to Long Bay, Tortola.

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Long Bay is a mile long stretch of gorgeous sand and turquoise blue water.

We walked down the beach to see if Winston Nature Boy, the owner of Nature Boy Beach Bar, was around and to get a rum punch.

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As luck would have it, Winston was in and we sat and chatted with him over a quick beverage. He’d made some changes to the bar since our last visit, and although still pretty rough, the location is great – it’s tucked away at the far end of Long Bay with a few beach chairs and not a lot of people.

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Nature Boy’s Bar on Long Bay Beach

After relaxing for a while in the sun and the solitude, we made our way to Sebastian’s.

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We snapped a few pictures, fully intending to come back, relax and enjoy some of Sebastian’s own rum ….but, alas, we ran out of time. This will be first on our “to do” list when we return to Tortola!

Onward up the road to the infamous Bomba Shack.

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This is the location of the second and definitely wildest of the two Full Moon Parties in the area. We attended a Bomba Full Moon Party in 2010 while sailing and you can read more about the adventure here: Full Moon Party at the Bomba Shack.

Definitely worth a stop to try some of Bomba’s Rum Punch, even if you’re not here for the Full Moon Party. The Bomba Shack’s got a beautiful view of Jost Van Dyke and it’s fun to sit and sip some rum punch while watching the surfers out back.

A few other things that you shouldn’t miss while on island:

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The Callwood Rum Distillery in Cane Garden Bay

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Cane Garden Bay – great nightlife and entertainment

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Shopping, people watching and enjoying a Pusser’s Painkiller at Soper’s Hole

And just in case you need more to do during your visit to Tortola, you can also take a ferry to Jost Van Dyke, or Virgin Gorda, or book an excursion to Sandy Cay and Sandy Spit.

After exploring and spending time on some beautiful beaches, it was a treat to head up the mountain to our luxurious Tortola accommodations at the Limin’ House. Located on the hill above Soper’s, we enjoyed fantastic views of not only Soper’s Hole and the boats in the harbour, but many of the surrounding islands and absolutely stunning sunsets!

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The Limin’ House Villa is available as a vacation rental while on Tortola. If you are interested in finding out more about this spectacular accommodation, contact Susan at (941)-358-8907 or (941)-735-6220, Eastern Standard Time or Email at limin[email protected]
Website: http://www.liminhouse.com/
Facbook: https://www.facebook.com/LiminHouse

 

To see more posts on Tortola and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Rum Therapy On Virgin Gorda

We’d spent the better part of two days on Virgin Gorda in the past – both times on sail trips, and saw just bits and pieces of what this island has to offer. During our recent trip to the VI’s, we had a chance to stay “on island” which gave us a better opportunity to explore this British Virgin Island reportedly dubbed “Fat Virgin” by Christopher Columbus.

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What did we experience on Virgin Gorda this time? It took several weeks to sift through our very full photo memory cards, but here are some of the highlights through pictures.

We arrived in Spanish Town on the ferry from Tortola, and rented a car through Mahogany Rentals  (they met us at the ferry dock with our vehicle for the week – very convenient!) Our beautiful oceanside accommodations were graciously provided by Lorna at Rambutan Villa (more on that later) and we made our way up to Nail Bay to locate the villa before continuing up the hill to the highly recommended Hog Heaven.

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Hog Heaven is a bar/grill overlooking North Sound with a spectacular view of Necker Island, Prickly Pear Island, Saba Rock and on a clear day you can even make out Anegada.

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We lingered at Hog Heaven for quite a while enjoying the views, a Blondie Special (their specialty rum drink) and some tasty BBQ ribs.

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From there we headed directly to The Baths, making a quick stop at Mad Dog for a beverage and Top Of The Baths to take in the view.

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Mad Dog

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Top Of the Baths

We then headed down the path towards The Baths. Although we’d been to The Baths twice before, the beauty never ceases to amaze us and the vibrant colors change depending on the time of day and the angle of the sun.

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We continued on the trail to Devils Bay

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Devil’s Bay

During the rest of our time on VG, we took in as much as we could, including:

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Spring Bay

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Big Trunk Bay

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Savannah Bay, Pond Bay, Mahoe Bay Overlook

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Savannah Bay

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Jumbies, Leverick Bay

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On our last day, we rented a dinghy from the extremely accommodating General Manager of Leverick Bay Marina. We arrived later in the morning and by then they only had one dinghy left, but he graciously set us up, gave us directions to the places we wanted to see in North Sound that are accessible only by boat, told us to watch for seaplanes and set us on our way.

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Our yacht for the day! From Leverick Bay, we headed over to Biras Creek to make a quick stop at the Fat Virgin Cafe to enjoy a rum punch and the view.

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We hopped back in dinghy and headed straight to Saba Rock passing the Bitter End Yacht Club. BEYC was closed for the week for a private function so were only able to enjoy its beauty from the water – this time.

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Bitter End Yacht Club

We’d briefly stopped at Saba Rock before during a sail, but there’s enough to do on “The Rock” that you could easily spend an afternoon lounging in the hammocks or in the bar enjoying the sunshine and tales from the many sailors that visit.

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Before heading out to our last stop, we ordered one of their rum drink specialties – the Saba Rock Banana Daiquiri.

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Just a short dinghy away, The Sandbox beckoned. The Sandbox is located on Prickly Pear Island and we docked to enjoy some time in the sun.

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Prickly Pear Island and The Sandbox

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Heading back to Leverick Bay we took a quick pass by Mosquito Island, a private island purchased by Sir Richard Branson that he hopes to develop into a premiere eco-tourism resort.

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Mosquito Island

Sun kissed and satisfied with our afternoon of captaining our dinghy through the beautiful North Sound, we headed back to our tropical oasis at Rambutan Villa to enjoy the remnants of the days sun rays and listen to the waves gently lap the shore.

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The owners of Rambutan Villa also own the stunning Villa LaVida next door. Both are available for weekly rental.  If you are interested in finding out more about renting these oceanfront properties, email them at [email protected] or
[email protected]

To see other posts on Virgin Gorda and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Rum Therapy Sailing in the British Virgin Islands (Part 3)

Saba Rock
We pulled up anchor the next morning and made a quick stop at Saba Rock Resort for some ice before our sail to Anegada. We only had a few minutes, so we quickly explored the Gift Shop, Restaurant/Bar and hammocks out back. We were too early to enjoy a Painkiller or Rum Punch at the bar which has a great view of North Sound, so we’ll have to return again to fully experience the “Rock”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Saba Rock

From Saba we set sail for Anegada, about 15 miles north of North Sound.

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Rush Hour in the BVI…

On our way we spotted a whale breaching – three times – as if he were putting on a show for us!

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Thanks to our boatmate Jimmy for capturing images of the whale. We somehow managed to only get sky and water…

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Shortly after the excitement of watching the whale, we could see Anegada in the distance. Only 28 feet in elevation at its highest point, the first thing you spot is a few trees and a white strip of sand.

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The shallow reef around Anegada is tricky to navigate and has claimed hundreds of vessels (we read around 500 shipwrecks) over the years, so we were more than happy to have an experienced Captain at the helm.

 Once ashore, we spent the day exploring the incredible beaches of Anegada,

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Loblolly Beach

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Pomato Point

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Then spent the evening dining on Caribbean Lobster that had just been pulled from the ocean that day

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While sipping Pinot Grigio with our toes in the sand just feet from the waters edge…

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And if that weren’t perfect enough, when we got back to the boat for the evening, we were treated to an absolutely stunning Anegada sunset.  A day we’ll never forget.

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Find the rest of the Rum Therapy Sailing in the BVI series here:
Part 1 (Norman and Peter Island

Part 2 (Virgin Gorda)

Part 4 (Great Camanoe, Trellis Bay, Beef Island)

Part 5 (The Wrap Up)

To see more posts on Anegada and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory


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Rum Therapy Sailing in the British Virgin Islands (Part 2)

If you missed Part 1 of this series, click here: Rum Therapy Sailing in the British Virgin Islands (Part 1) – Norman Island and Peter Island.

Virgin Gorda
We rose early the next day in anticipation of our sail to Virgin Gorda. On our way, we passed Salt Island, Cooper Island and Ginger Island, which we didn’t have time to explore this sail, so they’ll remain on our “need to explore” list. Previously we had an overnight stop at Cooper Island, but because we arrived late and left early, we got a few sunset pics and that’s about it – for now…

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View from Cooper Island

First stop in Virgin Gorda – The Baths

Explored the massive boulders and crystal clear water of The Baths and Devil’s Bay.

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From the Baths, we took a hike to the top and enjoyed a dip in the pool, a few Piña Coladas and a gorgeous view at the Top Of The Baths.

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Next stop – North Sound

Enjoyed a wonderful dinner overlooking North Sound at Leverick Bay Resort & Marina.

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Last Stop –  Bitter End Yacht Club for the night.

Played pool, foosball and darts while while enjoying some beverages at the Bitter End Crawl Pub (good selection of rums!), then headed back to the boat for several very spirited rounds of Liar’s Dice!

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Up next: Our time on Anegada “The Drowned Island”
Rum Therapy Sailing in the British Virgin Islands (Part 3)

To see more posts on Virgin Gorda and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Rum Therapy Sailing in the British Virgin Islands (Part 1)

Sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be,
Just a dream and the wind to carry me,
And soon I will be free…Christopher Cross

It’s no secret that we love to sail.

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Can you beat the feeling of the sun warmed sea air on your face and the sounds of the sea as you adjust the sails to catch the warm breeze? We’ve been lucky enough to sail the British Virgin Islands (BVI) twice and are hooked. Once on a sailboat and once on a catamaran, we can’t wait to go back again. Although we’ve seen quite a bit of these picturesque islands, there is still so  much more to explore and we look forward to doing just that.

Through lots of pictures and just a few words, we’d like to share some of what we’ve experienced – so far – in the BVI. Check out this MAP to see the location of each of the islands.

Norman Island
At the southern tip of the British Virgin Islands, this privately owned, uninhabited island has plenty to experience. We spent one night on both of our sails in The Bight –  a sheltered harbour which makes a great anchorage. While there, we:

1. Took a hike to the top!
(You can find the path behind Pirates Bight. Great views of The Bight, Peter Island and Tortola.)

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2. On our way back down, we stopped for a drink, some sun, beach time and chatter with fellow boaters at Pirates Bight.

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3. Dinghy-ed  up for a drink at the infamous Willy T’s.
(Go during the day for some tasty food and a (usually) quieter crowd. Go at night for the party! Read more about one of our visits here: Rum Therapy at Willy T’s)

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4. Snorkeled the Caves
(Just past Treasure Point is a great area to snorkel with several caves and abundant fish. Keep your eyes open for treasure – apparently some was found years ago in The Caves.)

Peter Island

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We took a short sail around Norman to Peter Island, home of the magnificent Peter Island Resort and Spa. We spent an awesome day in Deadman’s Bay doing the following:

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1. Walked the beach, kayaked and enjoyed cocktails at the Deadman’s Beach Bar & Grill

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2. Snorkeled
(Turtles can sometimes be found in the sea grass beds)

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3. Took a short hike up the road to get a beautiful view of Deadman’s Bay and the other side of the island

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After a great day basking in the sun at Deadman’s Bay, we moved the boat around the island to Little Harbour for the night. As the sun went down, we enjoyed some rum and wakeboarding behind the dinghy. We’d already had a great couple of days and were looking forward to heading north the next day to the beautiful island reputedly named The Fat Virgin by Christopher Columbus – Virgin Gorda.

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Check out Rum Therapy Sailing in the British Virgin Islands (Part 2):
Virgin Gorda

To see more posts on Peter Island and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Rum Therapy in Turks and Caicos

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The promise of beaches like the one above caused us to book our first trip to Turks and Caicos a few years ago.

In researching Turks and Caicos, we found that some cays and islands had fantastic high end resorts (Parrot Cay) and some were very quiet with very little tourist traffic. We really wanted to experience a week “off of the grid” and as we were traveling with 4 other adults, we also wanted to find a place large enough to comfortably accommodate 6 on the beach. We ran across a villa rental on North Caicos and thought it might fit the bill. It did.

We flew in to Providenciales, gathered our luggage, hailed a taxi, stopped at a grocery store in Provo before catching the ferry (we read that groceries were quite limited in North Caicos) and caught the ferry to North Caicos.

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The ferry arriving in Provo

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We rented a car in North Caicos for the week. Quite the feat to drive on the right side of the car on the left side of the road, but a car was really necessary and luckily there’s n0t much traffic at all on North Caicos.

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Our villa was located off the main road (see above) and road signs are scarce on North Caicos, so fortunately we had plenty of sunshine left to find our villa.

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The villa was right on beautiful Whitby Beach and we took advantage of the amazing view every day – and night.

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So what did we do for a week? Let me tell  you!

Beaches
The beaches we visited on Turks and Caicos beaches are indescribable. The sand was soft and white… Most beaches on the north side had extremely sandy bottoms and we could walk many feet into the ocean before there was a drop off. On North Caicos we rarely saw another person on the beach and conch shells were everywhere!

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Snorkeling and Shelling
We took an excursion and spent the day snorkeling and shelling. Our captain took us out to a reef where the snorkeling was excellent with vibrantly colored fish and coral. We stopped at a deserted Cay to do some shelling and were amazed to find hundreds of unbroken sun bleached white sand dollars of all sizes.

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We made one more stop at Little Water Cay – a nature reserve, to check out the Turks and Caicos Rock Iguanas.

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Exploring other Islands
Middle Caicos

We took a day trip and drove to Middle Caicos which is connected to North Caicos by a causeway. Middle Caicos looks entirely different than North Caicos and we thought parts of the Beach Cave Trail looked a wee bit like Ireland!

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Providenciales
Provo is the most populated island of  the T&C chain and home to Grace Bay Beach, frequently named as one of the top 10 beaches in the world. It’s an easy ferry ride from Provo to North Caicos and we spent the day shopping, enjoying a few beverages and walking Grace Bay Beach.

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Relaxing
This was our week to get “off the grid” and it didn’t take long to get on island time. No internet access and limited cell phone coverage was a little strange at first, but by the end of the week we were lovin’ it. It gave us plenty of time to do this:

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and this,

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and lots of this…

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Odds and Ends

Just a few other things we enjoyed during our time in T&C.

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Great dock to watch the sunrise and sunset on Horsestable Beach.

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Excellent Caribbean Lobster dinner with Karen at the Silver Palm Restaurant – North Caicos

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Conch, conch and more delicious conch at Miss B’s Island Hut – North Caicos


Finally finding (after several failed attempts) and snorkeling at Three Mary Cays in North Caicos

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One thing that every trip we take to the islands teaches us is that you can never see and do all there is to see and do on an island in just one week.
Our first trip to Turks and Caicos proved that to be true once again. Although we saw A LOT, did A LOT and relaxed A LOT (Yes, we enjoyed a good bit of Rum Therapy there!), we really only saw a fraction of what these beautiful islands have to offer and hope we’ll have the opportunity to return someday to see much more…

 

To see other posts on Turks and Caicos and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 

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Rum Therapy In Kauai

A few years ago, we were lucky enough to spend a week on the island of Kauai. This misty, aromatic, lush island with almost surreal scenery was magical.

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From the beautiful sunny beaches in Poipu, to Mount Waiʻaleʻale, one of the rainiest spots on earth, Kauai has a tremendous variety of places to discover and enjoy. Our week there was a mixture of excitement and total relaxation – just what we look for in a great vacation.

Just what did we experience? Well, we’ll show you!
We flew into the Lihue Airport, rented a Jeep and set off for the north side of the island to Princeville. Click here for a Kauai Map.

Beaches
On our way to Princeville, we stopped to scope out a few beaches. We saw nearly deserted stretches of golden and bronze sand just waiting for a set of fresh footprints. We of course obliged.Resort in

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Flowers and Foliage
Upon checking into our resort we were taken aback by the lushness of the foliage surrounding us and the beautiful flowers and treesFrom then on we had no doubt why Kauai had earned the nickname “The Garden Isle”
(Bird of Paradise, Foliage around our resort, Rainbow Eucalyptus Bark)

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Kauai 7 (600)
Waterfalls

Kauai is a land of amazing waterfalls. I mean AMAZING. Some of them have even been filmed in the opening of The TV show Fantasy Island and the movie Jurassic Park. You can drive to see Wailua Falls (Fantasy Island) and the others we saw while on an incredible helicopter ride – some were on the inside of a volcano!!

Kauai 8 (600)
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Kauai 11 (600)
Na Pali Coast
Is there a more spectacular place on earth? The Na Pali Coast is a 15 mile stretch of unbelievably beautiful rugged coast on Kauai’s northwest side. There are no roads on the Na Pali Coast and you can only experience it by hiking, boating or helicopter. We were there during the winter when the north side experiences rough water, so we opted to experience the Na Pali Coast by hiking and helicopter. Both offered a unique and unforgettable experience.

Hiking the Na Pali Coast
We drove to Ha’ena State Park where the Trailhead for the Kalalau Trail is located. The Kalalau Trail is an 11 mile trail that leads from Ke’e Beach to Kalalau Beach on the Na Pali Coast. Na Pali apparently means “The Cliffs’ in Hawaiian and pretty soon after starting the hike, we saw how it earned its name. The trail is steep and rocky in parts, but SO worth the effort. We encountered this part towards the start of the trail, but it leveled out a bit after that.

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We only made it to Hanakapiai Beach ( 4 miles round-trip).

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We hoped to make it to the waterfalls (an additional 2 miles up AND back), but found we didn’t bring enough water to chance it. With the elevation changes and rough trail, the hike to Hanakapiai was about all we could handle that day and returned to our resort for a poolside massage….
Find out more about our Na Pali Coast Hike here: Na Pali Coast Hike

Doorless Helicopter Ride
Seeing Kauai by helicopter is an experience we will never forget. The fact that I was able to be talked into taking a DOORLESS helicopter ride still amazes me, but I would do it again in a heartbeat…

Kauai 19 (600)
Kauai 24 (600)
Waterfalls, Waimea Canyon, Na Pali Coast, Wai’ale’ale’ and Nawiliwili are all completely different experienced by air and the ride exposes you to sights you won’t see from the ground. Amazing. Read more about our Doorless Helicopter Ride over Kauai here: Helicopter Ride in Kauai

 

Ziplining
I was feeling adventurous after our doorless helicopter ride and actually thought that  ziplining through a tropical  forest would be fun. It was. After working up the nerve to hurl myself off a perfectly good platform, I was amazed at how cool it was to soar over the lush tropical land below us.  There were two zipline locations in Kauai when we visited and we chose the zipline closest to Mount Waiʻaleʻale. We were transported to the zipline in the all terrain vehicle pictured below – which was quite possibly more nerve-racking than the zipline itself!

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Read more about our zipline experience here: Ziplining in Paradise

Odds and Ends
We saw so much in one week and took so many pictures that we really couldn’t cover the whole experience in detail in one post! Here are a just a few additional things we’d recommend seeing and doing while in Kauai:

Kauai 30 (600)
Kilauea Lighthouse

Kauai 31 (600)
Kalalau Lookout (In Waimea Canyon Park)

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Waimea Canyon (nicknamed “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific”)

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Walking Tour and Coffee Tasting at Kauai Coffee Company

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Golf on Kauai – There are 9 courses on Kauai – some with pretty spectacular views!

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See if you can catch a glimpse of a Monk Seal sunning on one of the beaches in Poipu

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Although we visited Kauai prior to the opening of  Kōloa Rum Company, you can now visit their tasting room and store in Lihue. Check out our previous post using Kōloa Rum in a Pineapple Daiquiri.

And – don’t forget to just relax, enjoy the scenery, take in the sights and fragrances of this tropical paradise, order some of the freshest fish at one of the many great restaurants, and leave your footprints in the golden sand

Aloha!

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To see more posts on Kauai and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 

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