Ultimate Resource for
BVI Cruisers

Marina Cay

Marina Cay is a tiny island off the east end of Tortola.  It is a picture post card beautiful island surrounded by a reef with a deep anchorage to on the north western side.  Marina Cay sits between Beef, Grand Camanoe and Scrub islands.  Marina Cay is a well protected anchorage with something for everyone.  It's easily accessible from the Sir Francis Drake Channel and is the gateway to the north side of Tortola.

Marina Cay

Navigating into Marina Cay

Despite the reef surrounding Marina Cay, it is easily accessed in deep water from either the east side (from Sir Francis Drake Channel) or from the west (via the cut between Grand Camanoe and Beef Island). 

When approaching Marina Cay from the east, you can enter one of two ways. Our preferred route enter around the north end of Marina Cay.  You will leave Marina Cay to port and Scrub Island to starboard.  There is ample water and you will look for a large rock that juts off the north eastern end of the island and reef.  There is deep water right up to this rock and across to Scrub Island. Leaving the rock to port, you will enter the harbor.

Marina CayWhen you approach from the west side of Marina Cay look for the buoys marking western end of the reef (which extends to the south west of Marina Cay) and keep this to starboard as you enter.  You will favor the Grand Camanoe side of the channel. 

There is also a lesser used entrance from the north thru a passage between Grand Camanoe and Scrub Islands.  It is recommended to only use this entrance in good light, good conditions and under power.  There is good deep water but it is narrower than the other entrances and there are reefs on either side.  This access can also be used as a good exit if you are headed north to Anegada or the North Sound.

Anchoring & Mooring in Marina Cay

There is a good sized mooring field at Marina Cay.  However, this is a popular destination and the moorings tend to fill up quickly.  During a recent March visit, there were no moorings to be had by 1:30 in the afternoon. Moorings can be paid for at the fuel dock. If you are anchoring, there is decent holding ground.  Grand Camanoe Island is private and not available to visitors.

Ashore on Marina Cay

Even though Marina Cay is small it has a full compliment of facilities:

  • Fuel dock – Gas, diesel, water, ice, garbage bin, showers and laundry. You can even get your picture taken and posted online in a classic red London call box (phone booth!). The marina monitors VHF ch. 16.
  • Pusser's Marina Cay – offers a wonderful gift shop, small mini-mart (best for snacks rather than full provisions) and also has a free ferry service to Trellis Bay (which is also accessible via dinghy is the conditions are favorable).
  • The Hilltop Bar at the Robb White House on the highest point of Marina Cay.  This is a great place for cocktails and live pirate music.  Also up top is a croquet court which is a fun open area for kids to run around and with a great view of Virgin Gorda.
  • The beach restaurant has a great open air bar and grill for casual dining with a good menu.  There are four rooms and several small villa overlooking Scrub Island and Virgin Gorda.
  • Dive BVI has a location on Marina Cay and offers dive and snorkel trips, instruction and Eco tours.

Beach: Marina Cay has a quaint beach near the restaurant with tiki covered tables and calm waters just inside the reef.  It's a perfect beach for children and parents who want to relax.

Snorkeling:  Marina Cay offers some good snorkeling.  Off the beach on Marina Cay is a great calm area that is perfect for kids or people looking for a mellow, but scenic snorkel.  Blue tang, barracuda, turtles, rays and many other fish are seen here.  There is additional good snorkeling just off of Grand Camanoe.  Just to the North of Marina Cay along Grand Camanoe, there is a dinghy line that you can tie on to while you snorkel.

Top