Joe and I's first time staying in the British Virgin Islands was on Jost Van Dyke (JVD) at the Perfect Pineapple. After settling into our room, we realized we hadn't received a key. We went down the hill to 'reception' (also the convenience store, breakfast buffet, taxi stand, etc) to ask for our key; the response, 'we don't lock doors here, but I might be able to find a key if you really want.' We happily denied a key!
With a population around 300, Jost Van Dyke holds onto the small Caribbean vibe. It is one of the last places that still has 'honor' bars, which means you make your own drinks and leave cash in a jar. Three-square-miles house one of the most famous beach bars and an insane New Year's celebration that hosts thousands of eager partiers.
The main town is Great Harbour where restaurants, grocery, bakery, customs/immigration office, and
dive center are located. Each of the restaurants have their own flair, and we've enjoyed Sugar & Spice Snack Bar, Ali Baba's, Corsairs and Foxy's over the years. The most famous is Foxy's, as Foxy himself is a legend and has been welcoming cruisers with cold rum since the 60s and hosts the annual 'Old Years Night' celebration.
The pristine, tropical, white sandy beach of White Bay is where the famous Soggy Dollar Bar can be found, home of the original Painkiller rum cocktail. Soggy Dollar got it's name because when it was built there was no road leading to White Bay, so the only access was by boat to swim in then pay with wet bills. Today, most visitors still swim ashore even though there is a road from Great Harbor now. Our favorite establishments are One Love and Ivan's Stress Free Bar, although there are others. White Bay is filled with day-trippers from the surrounding islands, but as the sun goes down, it is truly one of the greatest places on Earth.
Heading east on the one main road, you come to Little Harbor. Sidney's Peace & Love, Harris Place, and Abes By the Sea serve up succulent seafood and other Caribbean favorites in this bay. A friend of our's sailed the British Virgin Islands in the 90s and has fond memories of Sidney. Sadly, Sidney passed away a few years ago, and the restaurant is now run by his daughters. Photos from Sidney's Honor Bar with one of his daughters, Strawberry.
The far east end of the island holds a hidden destination, the Bubbly Pool. A short easy hike from Foxy's Taboo restaurant, lays a rock formation and wading pool that bubbles as the sea rushes in. The walk to the Bubbly Pool is one of the best areas to see wildlife! With countless birds such as magnificent frigates, egrets, brown boobies, pin-tail duck families, and goats, mongoose, and sea life, you could spend hours exploring the small area.
Looking south from the Bubby Pool, a shallow reef connects JVD to Little Jost Van Dyke. Today, no one lives on Little Jost Van Dyke, but B-line Bar is a local establishment serving food and drinks beachfront. It has a quintessential island vibe!
Kenny Chesney's "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems" was filmed on and around Jost Van Dyke, and the artist mentions the island in many of his songs. Have you been to Jost Van Dyke? Tell me your favorite part or memory. To learn about charters on board Kuma Too visit www.SailingKumaToo.com
Until next time, Happy Sailing!