North Sound, Bitter End, Leverick bay

North Sound, Bitter End, and Leverick bay are all popular destinations on Virgin Gorda. For now we will discuss North Sound. There are 3 ways to enter north sound and the easiest is by the main marked channel. The channel is deep and plenty wide allowing for small cruise ships to come in through.

There are 2 red and 2 green markers between mosquito and prickly pear islands that mark the entrance. The next easiest is the cut between mosquito island and Anguilla point on Virgin Gorda. The cut can take vessels of 5 1/2 feet draft.

After rounding mountain point head straight for the cut. Be aware of a small reef that juts out from the beach on mosquito island. Travel through the center of the cut then immediately when you are inside turn and aim at the red roof of Leverick bay. This will keep you in the deepest water.

The water drops to about 6 1/2 feet about 100 yards after you make the turn, the shallowest being just before the depth drops back off to 25 – 30 feet. Do not come through the cut if there is a large swell running outside!

Arriving by Bareboat

If you are in a bareboat, check that your company allows you to go through this cut. The last entrance is the most difficult of all. This is a passage from north sound through to Eustatia sound.

Bare boats are not allowed through here but you can take your dingy and explore the sound, the passage is on the eastern side of Saba Rock. Do not try to go through the western side!!!

There is about 8 feet of water in the passage and there are a couple of green markers. You can anchor pretty much anywhere in north sound except there is a seaplane area near gun creek. Often you will see many very large Mega Yachts in here owned by the likes of Obramovich or Larry Ellison. Other than the reefs near the main entrance to the sound, it’s all clear water except one submerged rock that is in the south east corner of the sound. It has a large red floating marker to the rocks north.

Mosquito Island

Mosquito is owned by Sir Richard Branson and is a private island, there is an anchoring spot in front of his dock. Come at it from the direction of Leverick bay a couple of hundred yards off Mosquito’s shoreline. Look around and find a sandy spot, keep an eye out for reef as there is lots scattered around here. Snorkeling the reef here is good. If you anchor here and then want to go to the Bitter End next, be sure to pass to the south of the 3rd red marker that is quite a long way south of the other markers in the main channel.

Leverick Bay

photo of Leverick Bay on Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands. Part 2, Leverick bayLeverick Resort, Virgin Gorda

Leverick bay is a fun spot on Virgin Gorda with lots to do. There is a marina in Leverick bay that has quite reasonable overnight dockage.

Water, fuel and ice is available on the dock at Leverick Bay. Power boat rental both large and small are available as is, Leverick bay also offers provisions and a gift shop.

There is a pool area at Leverick bay that serves burgers and drinks. There is a very high end restaurant upstairs at Leverick bay that has a huge wine cellar with about everything you could ask for. The real attraction at Leverick bay is the free happy hour entertainment.

Old pirate Beans. Leverick Bay Virgin Gorda

Performing through the high season on Leverick Bay is an entertainer named Michael Beans, he is the last of the Jolly Mon. He sings, plays guitar, harmonica and many other instruments including the beer box bass.

He plays all sorts of pirate songs with a large helping of jokes, pirate quizzes and even a conch blowing contest. It is great entertainment for young and old. When he is not around, Leverick Bay will often put on steel drums and Mocho Jumbies.

These are the traditional stilt walking entertainers of the Islands. It is easy to tie up your dingy either on the western side of the marina dock right at the beach or at the little dock right in front of Beans stage area.
There are many overnight moorings at Leverick bay, you can also anchor just outside the mooring field in anywhere from 20 feet to 50 feet of water. the holding is good.

Prickly Pear in north sound

The western shore of Prickly Pear island is a fine anchorage and is well sheltered, the water depth gradually decreases as you close in on the shore with no surprises. You can anchor just about anywhere you like. There are a dozen or so overnight moorings on the south west point.

Saba Rock

Another fun place, Saba is a tiny little island that boasts a bar, restaurant, dock, and a couple of vacation rooms. It has a nice gift shop, inside the shop there is a small museum that has a collection of vintage outboard motors and also a collection of artifacts from the wreck of the RMS Rhone. One of the most famous shipwreck in the world.

The island was originally much smaller and owned by a man named Burt Killbride. Burt was one of the original treasure hunters to the islands. He spent decades surveying hundreds of wreck sites locally from the early 1600s to the late 1800s. He was instrumental in helping to create the Rhone National Park.
Just outside of the gift shop is a sea water tank that has many fish, lobster and eels etc in it. There is also an old cannon that was one of 2 signal cannons from the Rhone.

At sunset, the staff from Saba feed huge schools of tarpon right from the dock. If you want to see this with the kids just ask the staff what time. If you’re there after dark, walk around to the back of the restaurant. There are some hammocks there, take a rum punch and enjoy the stars.

There are many overnight moorings in front of Saba Rock and The Bitter End Yacht Club. If you don’t want to take a mooring but want to anchor then anywhere behind the mooring field is ok. The water is deep, 70 to 80 feet and the holding is good.

photo of a conch from Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, Part 2, Leverick BayConch shell from the British Virgin Islands

Conch Shells

In the morning there is a probability that you will be visited by a young lady in a small skiff. She sells hand made jewelry that is always a hit with the girls. An old man may also visit with conch shells that have been made into blowing conch. They make a great memento for the kids even if they can get a bit annoying.

Conch shell is on the list of endangered items, not because they are scarce, but because do gooders have seen the massive harvested shell piles and figured with piles that big they must be in trouble. Because of this they are not supposed to be brought back into the States.

We have had dozens and dozens of guests take them home in checked luggage and never had a problem while others have had them confiscated from carry on luggage. A small garbage boat may also turn up and let you dump trash at 2 or 3 bucks a bag, there is a free skip at gun creek.

The Bitter End Yacht Club

There is not a sailor worth his salt that has not heard of the Bitter End. From its humble beginnings in the 60s to the large sprawling resort and yacht club it is today, the bitter end has been a favorite stop for yachties. There are a ton of things to do here such as walking trails, windsurfer, hobbie cat and small keelboat rentals and tuition. There is also Kite surfing lessons, scuba diving, fine dining, casual dining, bars, gift shops and some provisions. The bitter end is a resort, so expect to pay resort prices.

The marina offers dockage, water, fuel and ice. There is a TV room for those who are getting the heeby jeebys from tv withdrawal. Strolling along the boardwalk will almost surely create an encounter with the wild iguana’s that hang around.

From here it is possible to walk all the way around the the Biras Creek Resort, and then on further to the new Mega Yacht marina Lasmeralda. Here you can often see many very large motor yachts worth tens of millions, some are even available to charter for a week.

Gun Creek

Gun creek gets a mention for 2 reasons, one being that you can take a dingy to the dock and then a short walk along the road are some free garbage skips and a small garage, that has a reasonable store with prices much lower than either Bitter end or Leverick bay.

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