Great And Little Thatch Islands

another photo of Thatch and Dead Chest IslandLittle Thatch, BVI

Both of these islands are down off the western end of Tortola. The name Thatch is a bastardization of the name Teach. Edward Teach was the real name of the pirate Blackbeard

These islands are named after Blackbeard. Little Thatch was used by pirates as a place of retirement, (This always makes me think of Bingo busses, oxygen tanks and walkers!). Little Thatch has an exclusive rental villa on it and the owners of the island live on the hilltop.

The snorkeling and diving around Little Thatch is superb but note that anchoring is not an option here as the island is surrounded with shallow reef that drops off to about 70 feet.

Great ThatchPhoto os great Little Thatch BVI, from the article Thatch and Dead Chest Island

Great Thatch is the much larger island and is not inhabited. There are the ruins of an old signal station and a couple of old graves, just up the hill on the easter side of the salt pond. You can anchor in here in about 50 feet of water but there are no overnight moorings or national park moorings on either Thatch Island.

The snorkeling and scuba diving in the bay that faces west end are good.

Dead Chest Island

This island was also made famous by Blackbeard and is the place that he was reported to have abandoned 15 men with just a keg of rum and a pistol with one shot. The Idea was that the men would get drunk then fight over the gun to be able to commit suicide.

It is said that they drank the rum then decided to try to swim over to Peter Island where there were people in residence. Apparently they didn’t make it as on the tip of Peter Island is Dead Mans Bay!

So then a couple of centuries later Robert Luis Stephenson got the inspiration for his 4 lines of Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum. Later this was made into the pirate shanty it is today. This song is now made a household term by the Walt Disney’s movie and theme park ride Pirates of the Caribbean.

Photo os Thatch and Dead Chest IslandDead Chest, BVI

There are several dive and snorkel moorings around the island and on shore is a shooting range that was used by the British Virgin Islands Customs.

Over by the targets are remnants of a boiling vat that was used to boil down sugar cane into molasses back during the slave era. They did this because it made the sugar into a more dense product for shipping.

There are no overnight moorings at dead chest and anchoring is not practical because of the large coral reefs that surround the island. If you are interested in exploring these islands or any other islands in the British Virgin Islands, please click the home button on the top of this page.