Yes, you can anchor
I’ve heard it said that you must use mooring balls in the BVIs, that there are no places left to anchor. I’ve even heard people talk of avoiding the area altogether or planning to rush through it because they wanted to avoid the extra expense. How crazy would that be? The Virgin Islands are awesome!
To put the minds of those folks at ease, after five weeks in the BVIs, we can report that we did not spend even one night on a mooring ball. In the USVIs we did pay for a mooring ball but only for one night and only because we were in the Marine Park where anchoring is prohibited.
Where did we anchor?
- BVI – Virgin Gorda – North Sound – Off Prickly Pear Island
- BVI – Virgin Gorda – Savannah Bay
- BVI – Virgin Gorda – North Sound – Leverick Bay
- BVI – Jost Van Dyke – Great Harbor – Eastern shore of the bay, or right up in front of the moorings, close to the beach
- BVI – Normans Island – The Bight – By the little beach near the Willie T, or in sandy area by the SW corner of the bay
- BVI – Tortola – Road Harbor – Behind the mooring field by the Ferry Terminal (check your charts to avoid anchoring in the prohibited area)
- BVI – Tortola – Buck Island – Western shore
- BVI – Peter Island – Great Harbor – Close to the beach (don’t go too close to the shore to avoid the fishermen’s nets), or in sandy area on NW side of bay
- BVI – Normans Island – Benure’s Bay – Anchored stern to the eastern shore
- BVI – Salt Island – Salt Island Bay – Just east of the beach
- BVI – Peter Island – White Bay – Off the beach, just outside the swim markers
- BVI – Tortola – Road Harbor – Behind the mooring field by the Ferry Terminal
- BVI – Great Camanoe Island – Cam Bay – Behind the reef
- BVI – Ginger Island – South Bay – Off the beach
- BVI – Peter Island – South Bay – Avoid the floats which mark the island’s desalination plant intake
- USVI – St. Thomas – Cowpet Bay – Eastern side of bay
- USVI – Water Island – Druif Bay – Behind the moorings
- USVI – St. Thomas – Charlotte Amalie – Long Bay
- USVI – St. John – Round Bay – Long Bay
For more details on each of the bays listed use the search feature on the blog (right hand side bar of this page). There are countless other places that we have anchored as well. Suffice to say that if you are competent with anchoring, you’ll have no problems exploring the Virgin Islands and avoiding the added expense of moorings balls should you choose to do so.
Note: We did pick up moorings balls on several other occasions but only short term (an hour or two) to snorkel or to run an errand. There was no charge to do this.