Pacific Wave’s amazing sail south from the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to Dominica
Follow Pacific Wave on our first leg of the sail south for hurricane season as we sail through the tropical islands of the Caribbean visiting Saba, Montserrat, Guadeloupe and finally arriving in Dominica. We’re always very sad to leave the beautiful BVIs but it is a necessity to sail south to 12 degrees and hopefully avoid any Tropical Storms and Hurricanes. We know, however, that we will be returning again at the end of October to offer BVI Crewed Yacht Charters in this fantastic archipelago of islands.
Our first voyage required an early start so the alarm went off at 4am to ensure that we were up and ready to leave North Sound in Virgin Gorda, BVI prior to sunrise. We were rewarded by a brilliant pink sunrise behind Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island. It was a treat, see the photograph below, as the island looked so beautiful at this early hour.
As we sailed past Necker Island the red ball of the sun rose and reflected on the sea as we sailed on towards Saba.
This is the longest passage taking 13 hours so we took it in turns at the helm steering Pacific Wave through the Caribbean Sea toward an island that rises steeply from the seabed and is surrounded with steep clips and no beaches.
As we got closer we could see the steep sheer cliffs of the island. Anchoring on the west side of the island close to the steps means that you’re in for a treat with a brilliant sunset, perfect after a long days sail. As you look up the mountain you can see villas clinging onto the edge of the cliff face of this dormant volcano.
Day two and yet another early start this time to sail to Montserrat. After a full day of sailing we arrived at the anchorage in Little Bay. Another wonderful Caribbean sunset awaits us.
Day three and dawn was breaking as we left Montserrat, a beautiful sight. Sailing outside of the exclusion zone and you can smell the sulphur in the air from the volcano; the stench of rotten eggs is so strong! You can see the steam streaming out of the top of the volcano.
As we head out of the south corner of the island the big swells hit us, the seas are usually high around the island. We set our course initially for Iles des Saintes however we change our plans due to the weather. The forecast was good when we left Montserrat, however the weather conditions were deteriorating so we changed course for Basse Terre on the southern corner of Guadeloupe. When we were in the lee of Guadeloupe we dropped our sails and motored backwards along the island to the shelter of Deshaies, a tiny fishing village to the north. Arriving early evening this bay offers good shelter for the tropical wave that was now forecast to pass through on the updated weather forecast. Just as we thought, we were in for a lively night with regards to the weather with lots of wind, rain and thunderstorms.
Day four and due to the weather conditions we decide to sail to Anse de la Barque further down the coast which is a tiny anchorage which offers some shelter, but not as good as Deshaies. So late morning we sailed south arriving a few hours later in this pretty bay, perfect timing for an afternoon swim.
Day five and the alarm rings out at our usual time of 4.30am. With big seas and lots of winds forecast we have a brisk sail ahead past Iles des Saintes to the lush tropical island of Dominica. As we arrive in Roseau we are met by the marine security who escorts us to a mooring buoy. We are the only visiting yacht in the anchorage; it is very quiet for this time of year. The seas are so deep around Dominica that you need to pick up a mooring because you need to anchor closer inshore and the current in the anchorage switches so you don’t want your anchor to flip over and drag.
It’s sunset we can finally relax as we are staying for a few days to let more bad weather pass through, so it’s time to enjoy the stunning Caribbean sunset accompanied with a Pacific Wave Traditional Rum Punch, delicious.
Dominica was devastated last August when Tropical Storm Erika hit this tiny island. It’s good to find out that the island is well on the way to recovery with a lot of work being undertaken to repair the roads and bridges that were washed away with the sheer volume of rain that fell on the island.
The fruit and vegetables that you can buy on this tiny island are outstanding! Their mangoes are the best in the Caribbean, with tiny stones and lots of delicious sweet juicy flesh. And we’re lucky enough to be able to spend some time in Dominica on our journey south.
Follow us on our next voyage Dominica via Martinique to St Lucia with lots of Dolphins & Turtles along the way.