Soper’s Hole is situated on the far western end of Tortola and offers a busy and deep but well protected anchorage with many amenities. Soper’s Hole is a primary port of entry to Tortola and the BVI. In fact, this is the port via which many BVI charters enter.
There are two primary entrances to Soper’s Hole. If you are coming from St. John or the Sir Francis Drake Channel, you will pass between Frenchman’s Cay and Little Thatch Island. If you are coming from the North side of Tortola/Jost van Dyke you will round Steele Point and Great Thatch Island. Both passages offer deep water. The winds tend to get a bit fluky as you move thru either of these passages due to the high surrounding hills. There may also be a current of several knots as you come thru these relatively narrow passages.
As you enter the mooring field at Soper’s Hole, you will want to head into the center of the harbour or towards the Frenchman’s Cay side to the starboard. The channel for the ferries is along the northern short (Steele Point side) and it’s best to stay clear. There is plenty of water as you enter the harbor.
If you are entering the BVI and need to clear customs, the government customs office is located at the ferry dock to your port once you are in the harbor. It’s best to anchor or pick up a mooring then dinghy in to the customs dock. You will find a dinghy dock on the eastern end of the customs dock.
The customs office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. For clearance outside of those hours overtime fees will apply. Just outside the customs office there are groceries available at a small snack and grocery shop. There is also a small restaurant/bar across the street from the office. Of course, you will also find taxi’s here around ferry arrivals.
Although Soper’s is a bustling harbor, it’s roomy enough to handle it elegantly. There is an ample mooring field and room for just about any boat, including mega-yachts to anchor. The mega-yachts will anchor towards the mouth of the harbor towards the Frenchman’s Cay side in 50-70 feet of water. Other boats wishing to anchor should proceed into the harbor and anchor towards the northeastern end where there is good swing room and a sandy bottom in 20-30 feet of water.
There are moorings off of Shepherds Marina and you will find a shallow dinghy passage behind the sandbar between Frenchman’s Cay and Tortola suitable for dinghies only.
You can pick up a mooring along the southern side of the harbor from Soper’s Hole Wharf & Marina to down past Pusser’s. Moorings. These are paid for in the offices of the Soper’s Hole Wharf & Marina.
There is also dockage at the Soper’s Hole Marina for boats of all sizes.
Soper’s Hole offers one of the best varieties of amenities, shopping and services for boaters anywhere in the BVI. Soper’s Hope is a great stop for provisioning, shopping, dining, marine services, showers, fuel, ATM, ice, water, etc.
Most of the action is along the southern side of the harbor where you will pull your dingy up to the dinghy dock just in front of Pussers.
Here’s a summary of what you will find in Soper’s Hole:
Soper’s Hole is a great place to provision. The Harbour Market stands out as a market with excellent selection of meats, fruits and veggies, dry goods, snacks and drinks (including wine, beer and alcohol). This market is located next to Shepard’s Marina and is open from 8:00am to 6:30pm. There are also provisions available at Sopers Hole Yacht Services and at a smaller shop across by the ferry dock.
There are plenty of great shops where you will find just about any sort of gift items, hats, t-shirts, beachwear, books, towels, jewelry, art work etc. There is the Serenity Spa for massage, facials, pedicures and other pampering
You will find a fuel dock located just west of Pusser’s, there is also water available on these docks. Soper’s Hole Yacht Services is also to the west of Pussers on Frenchman’s Cay. They are a full service marine facility that includes the ability to haul boats (mono or cat). Soper’s Hole Yacht Services also offers fuel, water, showers, provisioning and wifi. Security is provided around the clock. You will also find trash disposal available at Soper’s Hole Yacht Services.
Just about the only thing that Soper’s Hole doesn’t offer is beaches and snorkeling. No worries, there are some great beaches that you can’t easily do by boat that are just an easy cab ride away. Suggestions include Long Beach, Apple Bay, Carrot Bay along the north side of Tortola. Is you are up for a nice 30 min. walk, you should try Smugglers Cove with is quiet, close and well protected – great for kids.