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BVI Cruisers

The Bight – Norman Island

Navigation into The Bight

Sailing into The Bight is a pretty straightforward proposition.  There is deep water and really the only hazard to be aware of are the rocks which are just off the western tip of Water point which will be to your Port as you enter the Bight.  Stay to the center of the mouth of The Bight and you will be fine.  If you approach The Bight from the North via Pelican Island, you should not pass between the Indians and Pelican Island.  Leave these well to starboard or port as you approach.

Is you happen to be approaching The Bight from the South, you should be mindful of Santa Maria Rock which lies off the Southwestern tip of Carvel Point. The rock is hidden by 5'-6' of water, so be careful when approaching Norman via this route.

Anchoring & Mooring in The Bight

One of the wonderful things about the Bight from my perspective is the fact that moorings are plentiful.  This makes for a hassle and worry free experience when sailing with kids or entering the Bight later in the afternoon.  A skiff will come by in the early evening to collect the $25 (as of this writing) mooring fee. If you prefer to anchor in the Bight, there is plenty of room for that as well and there is generally good holding ground.  You will find good anchoring in the northeast corner of the Bight or along the Southwestern shore. In either case, you should get close enough to shore that you are in ~15'-25' of water.  However, be careful that you don't get so close that you are anchoring in coral. 

Ashore & Activities in The Bight

One of the things that I like best about cruising into The Bight is that there are some great short dinghy trips that provide for great exploration and snorkeling. I always like to make sure that I have a full tank of dinghy fuel when visiting The Bight so I can travel through out the bay and even outside to the Caves.  Here is the roster of things to do and short dinghy trips:

Norman Island Caves:

Take a dinghy trip to Treasure Point and the Caves.  There is nothing else like this in the BVI; it's a real highlight.  There is some excellent snorkeling to be had in and around the caves and off Treasure Point. Just outside of the Caves there is a dinghy line where you can tie on and go for a snorkel or swim to explore the caves.  If you have an underwater flashlight, definitely bring it!  It's a great for getting a better view of what's in the Caves.   There are also a few National Parks moorings (daytime use only) where you can easily access the Caves if you stop for lunch or a quick swim.  Like all National Parks moorings in the BVI, a permit is required for use of these moorings.  There is great snorkeling outside the Caves all along the Southwestern tip of treasure point.

Hiking Norman Island:

Norman Island features some excellent hikes.  The head of one trail begins at the Pirates restaurant on the beach.  Follow the path for a great hike to the top of the hill and provides some good exercise and nice views.  As with all of the islands in the BVI, you'd be well advised to wear proper shoes when hiking (no flip flops!). There are many jagged rocks and spiky cactus (my son once had a cactus thorn go clear thru a flip flop on one hike…not how you want to spend your vacation).  Norman Island is inhabited by loads of wild goats.  They are generally not aggressive but you'd be well advised to stay clear if you encounter them.

Willy-T:

The William Thornton is a top party attraction in the BVI. The Willy-T as it's affectionately known is a 100' steel schooner moored in southern section of The Bight.  The Willy-T has a galley, bar and restaurant. It has a large aft bridge deck famous for it's dive platform and debauchery!  William Thornton was born in May 1759 on Jost van Dyke.  He was educated in Scotland and was an architect, painter and inventor.  William Thornton was best known as the designer for the US Capitol building in Washington DC.  The Willy-T is a must visit BVI party spot.  If you are looking for peace and quiet or an early night you'll want to moor or anchor a ways away from the Willy-T.  Dinghy (or swimming!) is the only way to the Willy-T as there is no ferry service. Willy-T monitors VHF channel 16 or 74 or can be reached by phone at: 496-8603.

Pirates Bight restaurant:

"Pirates" is a casual restaurant and bar on the eastern beach of The Bight. Pirates Restaurant lets you look west out at the harbor and as such is a great spot to take in a sunset while enjoying a cocktail.  Pirates is also a great spot for lunch or dinner and offers entertainment and dancing most evenings. Seeing bat The Bight is typically a busy harbor, this is a fun spot. There is also a gift shop with all things 'Pirate"!  The Pirate's restaurant offers a happy hour from 4-6 and 10-mightnight daily.

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