Odds & Ends
Some information which may be useful to the day traveler or those planning on a longer stay:
The official language of the British Virgin Islands is English although some native islanders do have a "Caribbean" type of accent.
The official currency is the U.S. Dollar.
The climate is sub-tropical. Pack light-weight, casual clothing!
There are anywhere from 30 to 60 British Virgin Islands according to some counts, but the major islands are Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda, and Jost Van Dyke. The capital is Road Town on Tortola, which faces Drake's Channel and Peter Island, sometimes known as "Amway" island because the people who own it made their fortune creating/selling Amway products.
The island music is played by "fungie bands.
The BVI became a British Colony in 1872.
The first cruise ship arrived in 1960!!
The biggest sports activities in the Virgin Islands are Scuba and Boating. One of the things Tortola is known for is as the home of one of the largest bareboat charter fleets that there is. [A bareboat is a boat that you charter and sail by yourself.]
We did not charter a bareboat (we had a captain and a cook to do that work for us) and we chartered out of the USVI and not out of the BVI. But if you know how to sail, a bareboat charter can be a really nice vacation.
Tortola was one of the more stunning Caribbean islands we stopped at during our two week cruise - particularly for it's scenery.
The mountainous landscape is just so amazing creating a superb backdrop wherever you are on the island!
Enjoy the scenery
This is Cane Garden Bay beach in Tortola. A great place to kick back with a beer or other drink in hand and soak up the rays. Make sure you wear some strong sunscreen (but then again that goes for any beach). There's no entrance fee (when I was there) but it's quite a drive from the cruise ship pier. So hire a taxi to get you there.
Bomba's Surf Shack ~ On the Wild Side
If you happen to be driving along the road near Cappoon's Bay and you see a bunch of ladies' underwear attached to what looks like a run down shack, you've reached Bomba's Surf Shack located right on the beachfront!! Bomba himself started this legendary beach party place in 1976 and some say it is the oldest and most memorable hangout on the island.
Bomba's pretty much resembles a squatter's shack from the roadside. It looks like it's being held together by plywood, driftwood, abandoned rubber tires and the odd panty or two. Supposedly the shack has a resepectable sound system . Every month according to the almanac, Bomba's stages one of its legendary "FULL MOON" parties, with "free house tea spiked with hallucinogenic mushrooms. (The tea is free because it's illegal to sell it.)" Some nights there's live music and a cheap all-you-can-eat barbecue. Bomba's is open most days of the week if the business is there.
If you are physically uninhibited, have appeared in a "Girls Gone Wild" film, like to party hardy and are always looking for the party scene, this is probably THE place for you. Lucky for you, videos are prohibited. Personally, I flunked the "Are You a Shack Girl??" test.