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