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The British Virgin Islands--A Place Made For Sailing!
Rich in sailing lore from the Age of Discovery, of colonies in
strange lands, and the Rousseauian dream of the simpler, more noble "man in
nature," the BVI's Sir Francis Drake Channel evokes these dim memories.
Named for that fabled round-the-world voyager and privateer (a
pirate sanctioned by the Royal Navy), the Sir Francis Drake Channel constitutes an
"inland sea" in the middle of Caribbean Ocean.
With a small tidal range and minimal currents, these protected
waters are renowned as a sailor's paradise, with a taste of the surrounding ocean felt
mostly as ground swells at certain exposed locations.
tradewinds of long ago commerce-by-sail provide fairly
consistent winds--15-20 knots in the winter, except the famous Christmas Winds of 25-30
This semi-arid climate makes for a lot of sunshine. Rain usually
comes in the form of squalls--a time to drop sail and take a free shower in the balmy air.
Yes, this is the place!
Navigation is by sight, as well as chart,
with rocks and coral visible by their brownish color while beautiful light greens,
turquoise or deep blue colors predominate over sailable waters.
Surrounded by the picturesque, small mountains of volcanic origin
(except the flat "coral reef" that is Anegada), the British Virgin Islands are close
together for fine, short sails, rather than
cheap flights between
nearby destinations, amongst ever-changing
vistas of verdant slopes and
sparkling seas leading to overnite stays in exquisite bays and intimate coves.
Yes, still we go down to the sea for that quest, for adventure in
exotic climes, and that life more primitive, a simpler existence, and in touch with an
inner, finer being we know is there, to be drawn out by the islands.
And you say
all you need
is a boat, mon?