Motor Cruising with real Panache

Captain Gareth at the wheel in the Sir Francis Drake Channel

Sailing in Style through the BVI

We are sailing aboard the 26 metre motoryacht Panache, pampered by a crew of four we dropped anchor last night off Jost Van Dyke, one in a string of fabulous islands that make up the chain of British Virgin Islands.

The islands are a yachtsman’s paradise, short sheltered passages between islands, quite anchorages, unused by others, clear blue sky, sumptuous sunshine and warm Caribbean seas all combine to make this one of natures little secrets and a great place to sail.

They become even more enjoyable when as a guest on board you have an attentive crew to look after you acting as tour guides and keeping you in a style that many of us would wish could last forever.

Our great crew served a BBQ steak dinner last night which we ate al fresco on the sun deck. This morning breakfast of fresh fruit set us up for the start of the day, which began with a hike to the bubbly pools.

We began at Foxy’s Taboo, a bar right down on the shoreline in Diamond Cay. An easy walk along the beach, past the mangrove trees and through a copse of Machineel brought us to a rock U shaped pool on the islands north coast. Here, when the conditions are right the Atlantic swell crashes through the small rock gap bubbling and frothing into a creamy lather of frenzied seawater.

Up anchor and away we go our powerful wake carving a white trail across the deep blue water, we are bound for Norman Island and an anchorage called the Bight.

Often referred to as Treasure Island, Norman Island was mentioned in a letter written in 1750 as being the location of treasure buried after being taken from the Spanish Galleon Nuestra Señora

From this tranquil spot it is a short hop in the tender to see the Indians a small outcrop of rocks famous as a beginners dive site and a wonderful spot for snorkelling. Equally wonderful are the caves on Norman Island where is easy to swim inside and see the myriad of fish that make them their home.

Fancy a drink? Try the Willy T a 28 metre replica of a topsail schooner and now a floating bar and restaurant or wander ashore to the top of a sandy bay and sup a rum punch at Pirates Bight

We are sailing aboard Panache and you can do so as well for around US$29,000 a week. There is room for eight on board and at US$3625 a head all inclusive that’s vacation value that is hard to match.