There’s something about Tortola, the largest of the British Virgin Islands in the eastern Caribbean, that has long attracted sailors, from Columbus to Blackbeard and Captain Kidd.
Undoubtedly the protected aquamarine waters and white sandy beaches have been part of the attraction – but perhaps the most alluring quality of all is the constant cooling sea breeze, which continues to attract sailors of all persuasions to the lush island – one that is surrounded by a bevy of equally attractive islets, seemingly predestined to be a sailing holiday paradise.
The Moorings, based in Road Town, is the pick of the charter companies, and its brand new 4800, built in collaboration with South Africa-based Robertson & Caine, is the pick of its fleet. A bright white twin-hull catamaran, she accommodates eight passengers in four en-suite cabins, plus a spacious salon and ample social areas all around.
Each journey begins with a morning of safety and provisioning – pre-ordering your favourite on-board snacks is highly advisable – before departing for Marina Cay, a diminutive coral island with a single restaurant, Pusser’s, which serves up the first of many Caribbean cocktails, the aptly named Painkiller.
From there guests anchor in Spanish Town at Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour for an excellent meal overlooking a rounded rock colossus at Top of the Baths. Leisurely calls at innumerable points of interest ensue, whether secluded coves for snorkelling and swimming or yacht clubs like the recently opened Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, a dependence of its namesake club founded by His Highness the Aga Khan in 1960s Porto Cervo, Italy.
The days are invariably filled with sunny skies, as well as cultural and natural richness, not to mention regular doses of water sports, island-hopping, shopping and sunbathing. It’s an ever-changing tableau of land, sea and light, mixing adventure with luxe accoutrements – and attracting an entirely new generation of sailors and adventurers along the way.
All images © The Moorings/Rama Knight