Trellis Bay is located on Beef Island, situated off the eastern tip of Tortola. Trellis Bay is on the northern shore of Beef Island and is just next to the Beef Island airport that serves Tortola and the BVI.
Trellis Bay is a wonderful anchorage that offers an ample mooring field and plenty to do ashore. There is a small island called Bellamy Cay in the center of Trellis Bay. Bellamy Cay is the home to a single restaurant called the Last Resort. It's a fun and wonderful restaurant that is among the highlights in Trellis.
Given that Trellis Bay shares a shore with the airport, there are some different and important navigation instructions here compared with most harbors. There is a "No go zone" that extends off the end of the Beef Island airport runway on the western side of Trellis Bay. This zone is clearly marked with a series of 8 large yellow flashing buoys. No vessel taller than 10 feet may go inside this zone sailboats should stay clear. Any yacht with masts exceeding 50 feet needs to request permission to enter Trellis, this is done by hailing the Civil Aviation Department on VHF 16. If you are going to pass between Bellamy Cay and the airport, you are requested to contact the Beef Island airport tower of VHF 10 before doing so.
If you are approaching Trellis Bay from the east via Sir Francis Drake Channel, you will have Sprat Point to your port. Just off Sprat Point, you will see a flashing buoy marking a rock, keep this well to port and you will pick up two green markers which you will keep to port and two red markers just off Bellamy Cay which you will keep to starboard as you enter. In doing so, you will leave Bellamy Cay to starboard. Charter boats should not proceed into or out of Trellis Bay between Bellamy Cay and the airport. In addition to the restricted area off the end of the runway (marked by yellow buoys), but there is shallow water here as well – as if you actually needed two good reasons not to venture here! You will see some of the local water shuttles using this passage but stay clear of this area. There ‘nuff said.
If you are entering Trellis Bay from the west, having just come thru the pass between Little Camanoe and Great Camanoe, proceed east until you have passed Bellamy Cay. Then turn to starboard and enter Trellis by heading south and leaving Bellamy Cay to your starboard as you enter. You will pass thru a set of two red and green channel markers.
Trellis Bay offers a large mooring field where you should be able to find an available mooring even later in the day during the busy season. Moorings can be paid for at The Loose Mongoose. If you prefer to anchor, there is room to do so. You will generally be in ~15' of water in Trellis Bay and will find a soft sandy bottom with good holding. Inside Trellis Bay you will want to favor the eastern side of the Bay (and Bellamy Cay). But not too close as there is very shallow water as you get closer to Bellamy Cay, which is surrounded by a reef. In the southern end of Trellis towards the docks and on the western side of Bellamy Cay, the water gets very shallow. The water also becomes quite shallow as you get to the far eastern side and along the southern shore of Sprat Point (just inside Trellis Bay). Use caution.
Trellis Bay has an eclectic group of shops, restaurants and fun things to do. There is a funky artist culture/community reminiscent of the ‘60s or ‘70s. Here's a run down of what you will find ashore in Trellis Bay:
Aragorn's Studio is at the center of Trellis Bay both literally and figuratively. Aragorn's Studio is a magnificent artisan's studio created by Aragorn Dick-Read. You will find original works of art here including prints, sculpture, t-shirt and jewelry. It's a unique and fun place to spend some time and pick up a gift or memory of your trip. The studio is right on the beach and there are some great trees for kids to climb on, chickens and cats roaming free and metal sculpture. Every month there is a full moon festival on the beach at Aragorn's. These are fun family oriented events with music, entertainment (stilt dancers), BBQ and fireballs (created inside of several Aragorn sculptures). Aragorn's Studio is a BVI highlight.
The Last Resort restaurant is located on Bellamy Cay, which is a small spec of an island with a dinghy dock and a great restaurant. They used to have a live donkey that greeted visitors. The Last Resort is owned by comedian Tony Snell and the restaurant is known for it's great drink and food but also for nightly entertainment where the house band puts on a fun music show where the guests are invited (forced?!) to participate. Oh, and the band is liberal about providing shots of tequila to guests who join in. The Last Resort monitors VHF channel 16. Reservations are suggested. This is definitely a spot worth checking out.
Trellis Bay Market offers a great spot for provisions with just about anything you'd need including meats and fish, fruits & vegetables, bread, beer, wine, groceries, gifts. Trellis Bay Market is located towards the western side of the Bay at the base of the ferry dock.
De Loose Mongoose & Beef Island Guest House. Located just down the beach from Aragorn's on the south side of Trellis Bay is the Beef Island Guest House. The bar and restaurant are called De Loose Mongoose. De Loose Mongoose monitors channel 16 for dinner reservations. The Beef Island Guest House also has rooms for rent.
D' Best Cup is a great coffee shop, there are quite a few of these shops thru out the BVI. There is also HIHO clothing shop, a Tortola original clothing company that provides a great line of Caribbean inspired clothing and swim wear.
BVI Boardsailing School is located on the beach next to Aragorn's Studio. The beach in front of the Windsurfing school is a great place for beginners to learn or for veterans to enjoy a cruise around Trellis Bay. The Board Sailing School also has a Cyber Cafe that is great for breakfast or lunch and for getting that Internet fix.
Finally, there is some decent snorkeling to be had around Bellamy Cay. In particular check out the northwest, north and northeast side. However, stay close to the Cay and be careful of boats. On the Eastern shore of Trellis, keep an eye out for large starfish!