Norman Island is home to the legend of pirates, hidden caves and buried treasure. Perhaps most notably, Norman Island is the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Treasure Island" which has made the legend of Norman Island famous worldwide. Norman Island is a 610-acre island that is uninhabited. In that past, farmers have used Norman to raise cattle and goats. Today, Norman is especially well known for the beautiful caves that are part of the pirate legend and are a main attraction for visitors to Norman Island.
Norman island is part of the island chain that runs to the south of Tortola and it lies close to the boundary separating the USVI from the BVI. As such, there are spectacular views of St. John from the northern side of Norman Island.
Norman Island is seven miles south of Tortola across separated by the Sir Francis Drake Channel. This proximity makes Norman island a preferred first night or last night of many BVI charters.
The Bight is the biggest and most well known of the harbors and anchorages on Norman Island. The Bight is a very well protected anchorage with good holding ground and plenty of moorings. Although well protected, the shape of the hills surrounding The Bight can create a funnel effect that provides a refreshing breeze consistently through out this harbor.
See full details on The Bight at Norman Island.
Kelly's Cove sits just outside the Bight and is situated below Water Point. Kelly's Cove provides many of the benefits found in the Bight but with a little more peace and quite. The caves, Willy-T and Pirates are all accessible via dinghy fro Kelly's. The one other attraction that is appealing at Kelly's Cove is the great snorkeling right off the boat. There is some wonderful coral. Just a short dinghy ride away there is some other good snorkeling off Water Point. There are a few overnight moorings in Kelly's and it's possible to anchor, however, tight swing room can make this a bit of a challenge depending upon how full Kelly’s cove is. If anchoring, you'll also need to make sure that you aren't in coral and that you are in shallow enough water to prevent massive swinging if there is a wind shift or backwind.
Treasure Point is a day anchorage only. There are several National Parks day moorings just off the Caves that provide outstanding access to one of the BVI's top attractions. You are also able to anchor off Treasure Point but be careful to do so a few hundred yards off the shore as to not find yourself dropping the hook in coral. There are dinghy lines just outside the mouth of the Caves; you can tie on to these then just a short swim to the Caves. You should not motor inside the dinghy lines are there tens to be many swimmers. This area is best when the seas are relatively calm, it can get a bit bumpy and uncomfortable if the seas kick up.
Privateer bay is just south of Treasure Point and is best used as a day anchorage. It's a nice quite area and provides some nice snorkeling. Anchoring can be somewhat of a challenge however as the bottom drops off quickly and there is coral to watch out for with your anchor. You can dinghy up to the Caves from Privateer Bay. Like Treasure Point, Privateer bay is best in calmer conditions and can be a bit bumpy if the seas are up.
Benures Bay is an amply sized and well-protected bay that lies on the North shore of Norman Island. The entrance is wide open and free of shoals or other obstructions. Benures Bay is a lovely secluded spot that offers good anchoring and protection under most conditions. The exception would be with a northern wind…you would probably be best to find a better-protected anchorage. You will find the best anchoring to be o the northeast side of Benures Bay; there is good holding ground and some nice snorkeling in Benures as well.
Soldier bay is also located along the Northern side of Norman Island and is just to the west of Benures Bay. Soldier Bay is suitable for just a few boats and like Benures, is best avoided in a northern wind. Best conditions for Soldier bay (and bemires) are typically in the summer months when there is a prevailing southeast vs., the winter months when you are more likely to have the Northern wind. The entrance to Soldier Bay is open and straightforward. There are no shoals or hidden obstructions. There is good holding ground and nice snorkeling in Soldier Bay.
Monkey Bay is on the rougher south side of Norman island. It's a beautiful rugged spot that is out of the way from heavy charter traffic. Monkey Bay is a great daytime anchorage and can be used overnight if there are fair conditions. The approach to Monkey Point is straightforward and fairly open. However, when approaching from the east be sure to give a wide berth to the southeastern point of Norman island. It's a rocky bluff that has good water but the swells can be significant (coming straight out of the Caribbean Sea) so proper caution should be used when approaching.