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Logo-BVIGuide.gif (2185 bytes)JOST VAN DYKE
The "barefoot" island



Page Contents

Bubbly Pool
Diamond Cay
Foxy's Tamarind Bar

Great Harbour
Little Harbour

Lobster Feasts
Nearby_Tropical_Isles Sandcastle
Sandy Cay
Stress Free Bar
Stroll the "Bypass"

When Ferry
White Bay
White Bay Walk
White Bay Campground

JOST VAN DYKE,
four miles long, is truly the "barefoot" island known by travelers around the world for its casual lifestyle, beachfront restaurants and bars, protected anchorages and fine beaches. Picture-postcard tropical isles, like Green Cay and Sandy Spit seen above, send an invitation to this special place.

A main street that's a beach, the Stress Free Bar, a harbour known for its Lobster feasts, a bypass road that's just a short-stroll, the Soggy Dollar bar named for a patron who swam ashore and home of the Painkiller drink--this is the life that defines laid back!

A favorite destination of yachties, Jost Van Dyke (see map) hosts the famous Foxy's New Year's parties that make one giant raft-up of Great Harbour.

And the "secret" attraction, the ' Bubbly Pool' at Foxy's Taboo bar and restaurant, a short taxi ride to a tropical isle, Little Jost Van Dyke, and Diamond Cay, the smallest national park.


 

 

 

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Great Harbour

 

When?

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  Really a delivery boat, the When (494-2997) is a nice ferry as well and makes a fun day trip to Jost Van Dyke. The views from the front deck are exhilarating, especially of Tortola's Steele Point and undulating coastal peaks coming out of Sopers Hole.

Also see the New Horizon Ferry Service (schedule) and the St. Thomas/St. John ferry.

 
Aptly named, spacious Great Harbour is sheltered by small mountains (photo: Bareboats BVI). An ample, if sometimes difficult holding, anchorage, Great Harbour has moorings as well as an easy entrance down the center, but avoid the large reef that extends 300 yards from the beach.
   
Getting There. Located at Great Harbour, Customs (494-3430) (which has a garbage disposal bin hereby) and the ferry dock. Ferries go to from Soper's Hole on Tortola's West End. Another ferry connects St. Thomas via St. John. Here's a tribute to long time custom's officer, the late Albert Chinnery.
   
Taxis. Locally, Bun's Tequila Sea Taxi (495-9281) and Gregory's Brat water taxi offers local trips in a center console boat and Bun's (495-9281) and George's land taxi (495-9253) costs the same for a trip to White Bay. Walking to White Bay takes about 20 minutes--see White Bay Walk. It's longer and a higher fare to Little Harbour.

Foxy Callwood

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The yachties' troubadour, Foxy sings spontaneous Calypso ballads, sometimes about his guests (photo from TMM Bareboat Vacations).

Foxy's New Year's Eve party is perhaps the most famous in the Caribbean and fills Great Harbour with rafted up boats.

The quintessent beach bar--on the beach, open to the elements, and personally attended to by Foxy Callwood. What began as little more than a lemonade-stand-size bar which was supposed to be open for one day only, Foxy's (495-9258 email) has evolved into a major cultural force.

Big annual events at Foxy's are his Halloween party (see pictures here) and Halloween Cat Fight (catamaran race) and Wooden Boat Regatta (see article) (Foxy is founder of the Jost Van Dyke Preservation Society). See the book, Foxy and Jost Van Dyke.

Known for its great local food, Foxy's has Friday and Saturday barbecues, rotis and flying fish sandwiches for lunch and grilled fresh fish and lobster for dinner.

The Foxhole (495-9275) sells T-shirts, hats, islandwear, souvenirs and Foxy's tapes.

Stroll the "Bypass"
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The Ice House

Great Harbour encompasses a large water area but a small settlement on the available flat land bordered by steep hillsides. The ferry dock extends via a small road, The Alley, transecting the plain to the local Ice House (which has ice by the block as well as cubes) and a delightful bypass road, Back Street, that forms an arc toward the back and invites a stroll through this interesting community. Jost Van Dyke has lots of goats but no chickens (for which will be grateful the late sleepers unused to rural life with roosters crowing at dawn).

Beach Establishments
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Main street here is a beach.
The ferry dock and white building with police (495-9345) and customs (494-3430) is on the right.

Corsair's Beach Bar & Restaurant, breakfast, lunch and dinner, has replaced Club Paradise, the "shocking pink" landmark, but the wall murals are still inside. This highly rated food includes great pizza and sushi as well as fresh seafood such as fish tacos, seared tuna with spicy mango sauce, and their fabulous conch fritters with goat cheese sauce (photo: Trip Advisor review).

Jost Van Dyke Ice Cream Parlor has homemade ice cream with flavors such as coconut ice cream and mango sherbet.

Happy Laury's Snack Bar (495-9259, VHF 16) is known for its pig roasts, honey-dipped chicken, Johnny Cakes, cold beer and ice cream.

Jost Van Dyke Scuba is the island's only dive shop with every kind of water adventure, including secret location diving. Browse the surf gear.

Ali Baba's (495-9280), a picturesque bar and restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, features lobster and grilled local fish, such as swordfish, wahoo, and kingfish, as well as drink specials on Bushwackers and Ali Baba's own rum punch, and a Monday night pig roast.

RudyMarinerInn(JereLull).jpg (7545 bytes)Rudy's Mariners Inn (495-9282) has five rooms, a bar and restaurant that features seafood and live entertainment (see picture) and Rudy's Superette for supplies.

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Christine's Guest House (495-9281), upstairs from the bakery, is a small bed and breakfast with rooms for  2 or 3 people for that unique vacation or a night off the boat in air-conditioned splendor.

Up The Alley.
Near
the Ice House is Christine's Bakery (495-9281), a great spot for breakfast on the small porch with tasty cinnamon buns, coconut cake, and egg sandwiches as well as fresh baked loaves of whole wheat, white and banana bread.

Nature's Basket (495-9312), on the way to the Ice House, has fresh fruits and vegetables. Its owner, Ivan Chinnery sometimes conducts walks to his own plantation where he grows mangoes, papayas, pineapples and bananas. During Hurricane Georges, Ivan "lost a quarter acre of bananas . . . mangos, avocados and all that, they held up pretty good."

White Bay
WhiteBayView.jpg (13323 bytes) Named for its long and lovely white sand beach, White Bay, now very popular with boaters,  is protected by extensive reefs.

Hexagonal Cottages

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Especially charming are the Sandcastle's four hexagonal cottages near the beach.

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Chef Oliver Clifton
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A BVIslander who has trained top BVI chefs, Chef Oliver adds a creative personal touch to a native Caribbean cuisine with strong French and American influences.

White Bay is the location of the Sandcastle (495-9888 open breakfast, lunch and dinner) (more), a lovely, intimate resort whose restaurant (see menu) has excellent dining by candlelight.

Sandcastle

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This hideaway favors sea breezes, hammocks and beach strolls.

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The Soggy Dollar Bar (495-9888), at the Sandcastle, got its name from the soggy condition of the dollar bills from sailors who swam ashore.

The Painkiller, born here, is a frozen delight made (strongly) from dark rum (often Pusser's), pineapple juice (4 parts), orange juice ( 1 part), and Coco Lopez (1 part sweetened cream of coconut) with fresh nutmeg ground on top (Pusser's recipe--the Soggy Dollar's is a closely guarded secret).

It is illegal in the BVI not to try its most famous drink!

Soggy
Dollar Bar

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Birthplace
of the
Painkiller

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For lunch, try the "best conch fritters," chicken roti, jerk chicken, or flying fish sandwiches.

New dinner menus nightly have been "wowing" guests with great dishes such as crab cakes and duck (no dinner Fridays, reserve by 4 pm).

Great breakfasts too-- with johnny cakes on Monday.

Ruben Chinnery plays from 2-4 on Sundays afternoons (see video below).


 

 


 

 

Up the beach past the Sandcastle, One Love Bar and Grill is a great spot for hanging out! Don't miss the Shark and Johnny Cakes (made to order) for lunch as well as Lobster Quesadilla, BBQ ribs with corn on the cob with cinnamon and brown sugar. And Seddy does magic tricks (signboard photo: JostVanDyke.com).

Gertrude's Beach Bar (495-9104) has excellent wings, sodas, beer and mixed drinks as well as hair braiding and bungalows for rent.

Jewel's Snack Shack is good for the best burgers, hot dogs, rum punch and other drinks.

Sea and Land Adventure Sports, past the Sandcastle, rents every kind of water and land equipment, including jet boats, water skis, sunfish, sea kayaks, paddle boats, snorkeling gear, water bikes, banana sleds, ATVs and mountain bikes (see road and trail map).



See at YouTube: Pathfinder II Kayak
Background music by
Jost Van Dyke's own Reuben Chinnery.

White Bay Walk
An interesting walk to White Bay over the small mountain, especially for the exercise minded, takes about 20 minutes (10 minutes more along the beach). Take the second left down to the White Bay Campground, possibly stopping at the Local Flavor Bar for a refreshment (note the honor bar if no one's around). Continue along the gorgeous White Bay beach, over the picturesque rocky outcropping via a path above it, before reaching the Soggy Dollar Bar, stopping here for a serious drink, a Painkiller--you've earned it! Call Bun's cab for the ride back.

The White Bay campground (495-9358), has bare campsites, tent campsites equipped with a bed, lamp and ice chest, and screened cabins similarly equipped. The cabin and tent platforms are nestled into a beautiful natural setting. However, the bare campsites on the bluff right above the beaches of White Bay are truly magnificient, the finest camping sites in the world.

Local Flavor Beach Bar (495-9358), also called the Stress Free Bar, right at White Bay Campground, has an honor payment system. Check out all the pictures on the walls as a testimonial to all the great times people have had here.

WhiteBayFryShoal(JereLull).jpg (7725 bytes)Snorkeling is good in White Bay. The dark blue is a moving shoal of fish fry pursued by a flock of pelicans (one is diving) above and a school of tarpon below. This abundant marine life is more typically seen at the Twin Towers dive site described below. Snorkeling is particularly fine out on the point off the White Bay Campground.

WhiteBayVillasIcon2.jpg (6480 bytes)White Bay Villas are three splendid villas just above pristine White Bay.

Little Harbour
A good anchorage
with moorings as well, Little Harbour is famous for its lobster feasts!

Lobster Feasts!

All Little Harbour restaurants have great lobster dinner feasts (pictures from Gary Kunkel's Photo Album).

Nestled under its small hiking mountain, Little Harbour is known for its three restaurants, Abe's By The Sea (VHF16), Sidney's Peace & Love (495-9271)(see picture), and Harris' Place (495-9302). Harris' Place has groceries and sundry items as well.
Sidney's Peace & Love (495-9271, 495-9010, VHF 16). Open for 26 years with many repeat customers, Sidney himself captures most of his lobster from the Anegada reef. Cooked to an old family recipe on an open fire, Sidney's lobster is served with peas & rice, corn, coleslaw, potato salad and hot butter. Featuring a self service bar for sofas, beer and mixed drinks, Sidney's has pig roasts on Mondays & Saturdays with live music. Reservations are suggested and credit cards accepted. aClearGIF15h-15w.gif (829 bytes)

Hostess with
the Mostess

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Shown under rafters full of Sidney's trademark hanging t-shirts of guests, Sidney's lovely daughter and hostess Rena describes their lobster as finger lickin' good.

Tee's and Tings (495-9276) sells t-shirts, earrings, necklaces, lucky charms & other jewelry in the shop and also boat-to-boat as Nippy's Traveling Salesman.

Nearby Tropical Isles: Sandy Cay, Green Cay & Sandy Spit Diamond Cay & Little Jost

A series of small islands, off Jost Van Dyke's east end, offer the perfect setting for a tropical isle--spectacular beaches, day anchoring over sandy ground and snorkeling in the shallow reefs.

Diamond Cay, seen here in the right foreground, is a very small island, but a beautiful  national park, worth a tour. Nearby on the Jost Van Dyke shore, reachable by taxi, is Foxy's Taboo bar and restaurant as well as the Diamond Cay marina with moorings, dock and supplies for visiting boaters (photo: Bareboats BVI). Long Bay behind Diamond Cay is an good anchorage if the swell is not too great.

 
Touring
Anchor in Long Bay behind Diamond Cay. Dinghy over to Foxy's Taboo and, after a refreshment, walk along the shore to the mangroves. Look for blue arrows, and take the "goat trail" up a small rock face and through a field of sage bush to the "Bubbly Pool" at a sandy cove
Bubby Pool


See at YouTube:
Bubbly Pool Jost Van Dyke
  The north swell steps down through a series of rocky ledges (as shown in this video) to the exciting Bubbly Pool,  a great spot to visit at high tide.
 

A Tropical Isle MiniTour

A mile-wide U-shape, the MiniTour starts at Jost Van Dyke's Diamond Cay and goes past Little Jost Van Dyke to Green Cay before ending at Sandy Spit. Or continue to Sandy Cay, another mile or so offshore.

 

Little Jost Van Dyke, seen above in the right background, offers anchoring (except when the surge is up) and excellent snorkeling along the shore and its reef to the right. On the north side, the dive site, Twin Towers, is visited by schools of reef squid and moving shoals of fish fry in the springtime.

To the left connecting Jost Van Dyke by a 200' angle deep reef, the Blue Hole is a small deep area and nursery for juvenile reef fish. Nearby are many Red Mangrove stands.

Green Cay and Sandy Spit are further east, adjoining Little Jost and each other, with Sandy Spit to the south.

Sandy Spit

Sandy Spit, in particular, is a superb day anchorage over sandy ground with excellent snorkeling, especially the shallow wall off the south shore (photo: BVI Yacht Charters).

Off Green Cay's ocean-side, The Playground (see video) is an exciting dive site for swell-less days. A series of pinnacles covered with brightly colored sponges and branching hydroid fans shelter abundant marine life such as juvenile angelfishes and glassy minnows, patrolled by jacks, large dog snappers, schools of barracuda, and huge tarpon, sometimes seen underneath the white foaming surf breaking on the shoreline.

JVD Scuba &
BVI Eco-Tours
offers many water-related adventures, including rarely seen tours of Great Tobago and the North side of Jost Van Dyke, where bottlenose dolphins are encountered. See a video visit to The Cathedral dive site.

Sandy Cay, about a mile to the south, has the character of an ideal tropical isle, dotted with palm trees on wide, gently sloping beaches as well as a botanical tour that includes dramatic surf-side cliffs on its ocean side.

Westernmost Great Tobago, a little-visited island on the other side of Jost Van Dyke with remote and advanced dive sites, is a marine sanctuary, the Caribbean's third largest nesting seabird site for boobies, terns and long-tailed tropic birds as well as a colony of the magnificent frigatebird.

 

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