Vacation Mistake or The Perfect BVI Float Plan? An Extra day on Anegada, British Virgin Islands

Written by Captain Mark Cochran: Professional Yacht captain in BVI with The Catamaran Company”

The island of Anegada is a sailors must-see. The beaches, bars and people here have a familiar comfort that is impossible to forget and more difficult to ignore. Once a visitor, always a friend, you will be back again.

It’s a conservative tradition of the “Sailor’s Wisdom” that sees us pay homage to the lyrical superstitions we recite to remind seafarers not to trifle with the unforeseen forces of wind and tide.

“Red Sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red Sky at morning, sailor take warning!” It’s a planned early departure from Virgin Gorda’s North Sound. We want to take advantage of the forecasted breeze that is expected to fill in, on our starboard beam. It is with eased sheets and out-stretched arms, that we head off into the unknown.

Stories abound of a legendary “drowned island” off to the North. Earning its’ name, “Tierra Anegada” the Spanish term for flooded land. The island barely crests the water’s surface, with an elevation of only 28 feet, she remains unseen. Many a visitor who ply the beautiful blue waters of the Sir Francis Drake Channel and the surrounding seas of the Isla de Virgines, never visit Anegada’s distant shores and it’s a mistake. Bareboat charter companies previously restricted less experienced crew from making the long journey, thus, further adding to the island’s mystique.

After a comfortable morning’s beam reach on our Lagoon 450 sailing catamaran, we can just see her on the horizon. “Land Ho,” is the cry, Nature’s Little Secret is out! But, don’t let the other islands in the BVI hear, or they might get jealous and ask that the mystic and fun loving, joking jumbies pay you an unsuspecting visit in the night. Known to be pranksters, you never imagine what trouble they might bring? Best not to tempt fate!

Is my unconventional plan worth the risk, that we might miss something the other Virgin islands have to offer? As Captain, I’ve elected to part with the typical weeks’ sailing itinerary and dedicate two entire days on Anegada.

When I explained my float plan to some experienced, salty, sailor friends, who have visited the BVI and spent time sailing around the other islands and anchorages the beautiful territory has to offer, they seemed surprised, confused and perplexed by my bizarre decision. They believed the additional time spent on Anegada would leave us with a feeling of regret for having missed something.

An “Anegada Island Day” to do anything, I mean, nothing! Let me explain something few visitors to the BVI get and fewer truly understand, it IS, all about your attitude. It’s OK to have a “free play day.”

So, what will you miss with this planned extra day to do nothing? Nothing. What do we potentially gain? Literally, Everything!

Ever felt like you needed a vacation from your vacation? Unless you actually dedicate the time to unwind and slow down properly, you simply will never understand the fundamental truth that it’s OK to do nothing on vacation, it’s actually quite something! There is always something to be missed, but, there is everything to be gained by planning to do nothing. An unstructured free day on Anegada is the key to a truly relaxing BVI vacation.

Slow down for a change. Breath, Listen, Imagine. Take a walk alone for miles on any of Anegada’s white sand beaches. Comb the beach. Stare at the sea. People watch. Chat with a stranger and become friends for life.

However, should you feel compelled to keep a quicker pace and only grace Anegada’s shores for a short while then, I suggest you rent a scooter (it’s quite possibly as safe here, as anywhere). Accidents can happen, so please keep mind, the sand can be slippery when cornering. Stay on the left and you’ll always be right.

Had one too many tropical drinks? Leave the responsibility of driving to someone else and take an open-air, taxi island tour and get that perfect shot. Eat lunch, dinner or both somewhere local. Try grilled Anegada spiny lobster or some other tasty island treat that’s more familiar to your palette.

The best thing about Anegada, it’s the perfect sailing destination to do nothing at all, and do it guilt free. Take a vacation from yourself and free that inner child that’s inside all of us. Try to remember what it’s like being a kid again. Permit yourself the luxury of an additional day of free play on Anegada. You really don’t need a list of the Top 10 Things to do on Anegada, but here it is:

Here is the list Google won’t give you when searching for the “Top Ten List” of things to do on Anegada when renting a catamaran for a vacation:

Please remember to only purchase and wear, environmentally and reef safe sunscreen!

  1. Do absolutely nothing, guilt free
  2. People watch
  3. Stare at the sea
  4. Walk alone on a beach
  5. Make a lifelong friend
  6. Listen, Breath and Imagine
  7. Read an actual book
  8. Eat something great other than lobster
  9. Take a nap on the beach
  10. Wash, rinse and repeat!

The other list:

  1. Try grilled Caribbean Lobster or local conch
  2. Snorkel Horseshoe Reef
  3. Give Bone Fishing a try
  4. Watch the Kiteboarders
  5. Find Flamingos at the Salt Pond
  6. View endangered Rock Iguanas
  7. Tour the island by scooter or taxi
  8. Take a walk on a beach (alone)
  9. See a mountain of conch
  10. Witness a green flash


Contact The Catamaran Company for more information on boat rentals in the BVI


phone: 1800-262-0308

About The Author


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.