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Page Contents

Brewer’s Bay
Brewer’s Bay Pinnacles
Lambert Bay
Naomi’s Grapetree Beach Bar Josiah’s Bay
Josiah’s Bay Plantation
Mt. Healthy Windmill
The Boutique
Traditional Life

Exposed to the full blunt of the ocean, this magnificent coast has remained the most undeveloped part of Tortola–its wild and rugged side.

From primeval Brewer’s Bay to the raging surf of Josiah’s Bay, Tortola’s Ocean Coast holds sway in the imaginations of those seeking the elemental side of life.

Hike down a ghut from high up on Ridge Road, it’s the only way to reach Trunk Bay, the ultimate secluded beach here.

This coast offers glimpses of traditional life and artifacts from its history, from the Mt. Healthy Windmill to the ruins of an old rum distillery as well as those of a sugar plantation, now housing the Josiah’s Bay Plantation Art Gallery.

Tortola’s ocean headlands are seen above from an airplane (photo: Angelina Cat).

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Brewer’s Bay

Getting There
The turnoff coming from Cane Garden Bay will appear with the stunning view to Brewer’s Bay itself on the other side of the ridge. From Ridge Road, the turnoff is at the Cool Breeze Bar, which has sodas, beer and mixed drinks.

The steep roads into Brewer’s Bay call for the use of four-wheel drive vehicles. If using a car, gear down and use the motor as a brake to aid the "brakes."

The waterfront drive is very compact, dominated by the campground with beach bars on each side.

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This work of art is inspired by the traditional wooden boat at the Bamboo Beach Bar.

Stop at the Bamboo Beach Bar (where there are public restrooms on a trailer). Walk the beach to the other beach bar. Circle back by the shady road.

A longer beach stroll is possible in the other direction.

A tropical bower engulfs the road leading down off the mountain, the overgrowth wildly intertwined into a shady enclave.

Brewer’s Bay exudes a closeness to nature not far removed from the old ways of life on Tortola, where only a generation ago cane fields were harvested to give the bay its name. Local farmers still grow "ground provisions" on terraced hillside gardens.

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A steep-descent experience to reach by land, Brewer’s Bay is often off limits to bareboat charters, suitable only as a non-winter day anchorage due to the ground seas and the extensive coral reefs. But the sailor’s loss is the land traveler’s gain.

BrewersBayBeach(DanBurch)Icon.jpg (5827 bytes)The surge from the ocean comes around the point and breaks on its rocky cliffs. Excellent swimming, as well as snorkeling on both sides and a semi-circle in the center, waits off its beautiful beach, lined with coconut palms (photo: Dan Burch).
Right on the beach under a canopy of seagrapes, palms and almonds (yes they are edible in season), Brewer’s Bay Campground has its own beach bar and restaurant with traditional cooking. A favorite for campers from all over the world!
Bamboo Beach Bar & Restaurant (494-3463), right at the campground, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner (homemade sandwiches only offseason). Barbequed, boiled and fried local fresh fish, such as yellowtail, bonito, and blue runners, are served for dinner (reservations please), with rice and vegetables such as sweet potatoes and green bananas, and locally grown herbs and spices (called "seasonings" in the islands). Cold sodas, beer and mixed drinks (the rum punch is especially popular) are available with burgers, including vegetable and fish burgers as well as beef. Barbecues are held on Sunday evenings.

Traditional Life. Where the road jogs in the flat area, there is a stone ruin of a old rum distillery in operation until 1956. At the Bamboo Beach Bar sits the remains of a wooden boat built on the island in the traditional way with ribs out of White Cedar and planks from Pitch Pine. Carl Parsons, who partly owns and runs the campground and beach bar, is very knowledgeable about the old ways on Tortola, not far removed in time. See Traditional Life in the BVI.

Nicole’s Beach Bar (lunch only) has palm and almond trees growing right up through its deck that overlooks the surf. Nicole’s offers sodas, beer, mixed drinks, beef, cheese and fish burgers, fries, hot dogs and ice cream. An unbeatable combination is a cheeseburger accompanied by one of the great Pina Coladas.

Cap’s Place Bar & Restaurant. Above Nicole’s about 75 yards off the beach at Icis Villas, Cap’s Place (494-6979) offers local Caribbean food, Continental breakfast, and an assortment of American and West Indian specials (dinner by reservation).

Coconut Branch is a beach bar at the other end of the beach.

Icis Villas Commissary. The commissary (494-6979) carries canned food, sodas and beer and other non-perishable items.

Brewer’s Bay Pinnacles. An advanced dive site just off the western point of the bay, the Brewer’s Bay Pinnacles, while one of the rare BVI dive sites accessible from the shore, is reached by boat due to the danger to swimmers of strong currents and large winter swells as well as being so far from the beach. These massive pinnacles rise from 100 feet to within 30 feet of the surface, rock mazes covered with fire coral and sea fans, habitat for turtles, large jacks and lobsters.

See Resorts, Cottages and a Campground on Tortola’s Ocean Coast for more information on the Brewer’s Bay Campground, Ronneville Cottages and ICIS Villas. See Tortola Villas for villas in this area

MtHealthyWindmill(EriksMom)Icon.jpg (10519 bytes)Mt. Healthy Windmill.
Within walking distance to the northeast are the ruins of Tortola’s only remaining windmill powered sugar mill, a large, tapering circular structure built from local rock as well as coral and red bricks used as ballast in ships (photo: Eriksmom album).

Catching the steady tradewinds on its "sails" to turn a shaft (like a propeller), the shaft then used cogs on its end to turn a cogwheel. This then rotated the central shaft which turned rollers that crushed the cane. The cogs and shafts for transferring forces in wind, and water, mills were important antecedents to the invention of the steam engine itself that began the Industrial Revolution.

Now preserved as a National Park, the Mt. Healthy plantation has other ruins, such as a cistern and stables, as well as its boiling house where the cane’s juice was run through a series of kettles before the concentrated and purified juice was poured into flat wooden panels to cool and crystallize into sugar (or molasses), then scraped into barrels for shipment.

An undisturbed location conducive to relaxation, Mt. Healthy has benches and a picnic table as well as a short trail with interesting plants and wildlife.

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Josiah’s Bay
This dramatic beach often has heavy surf, much beloved by surfers, but swimmers must be cautious of the strong undertow.

Don’t be surprised if you are joined by a cow and a calf or two on the beach.

Josiha'sBeachIcon(DanBurch).jpg (6000 bytes)Off the beaten path, the beach can be found completely deserted at times and is a good spot for a picnic.

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Salt Pond

Seen from Ridge Road, the salt pond at Josiah’s Bay provides habitat for wading birds such as black- necked stilts (also called funeral birds because of their black and white coloring) and wintering white-cheeked pintail ducks.

Naomi’s Grapetree Beach Bar.
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Right on the beach on a cozy dinner porch overlooking the bay, Naomi’s (495-2818), open breakfast, lunch and dinner, has surprisingly sophisticated international and local food.
Known for its excellent cheeseburgers and veggieburgers, rice and beans and grilled fish sandwiches and platters sometimes using very colorful (literally!) local varieties, this small beach bar also offers shrimp and lobster dinners cooked to order (by reservation), such as grilled lobster scampi and curried shrimp.
In the Caribbean, you never know who might be a family friend helping out at the restaurant–in this case, chef Grant MacFarlane, known for his Caribbean "fusion" cuisine, who has appeared in Gourmet Magazine.
A special spot with great beach ambiance, partly under huge seagrape trees (see their trunk sizes), here you also can rent beach lounge chairs and boogie boards. Try Naomi’s special fruit punch made from a variety of fruits such as guava, tamarind, pineapple and passionfruit.

Josiah’s Bay Plantation Art Gallery. Originally a sugar plantation, Josiah’s Bay Plantation has been restored as an art gallery and cafe complex.

A "must stop" attraction!

Like entering a special world, past tall Indonesian and African sculptures (functioning as CD holders) in the entry foreground, the Art Gallery (494-1637) leads through a middle ground of displayed art objects like African Zulu masks, to a background of wall paintings on the beautiful stonework. This magnificent gallery, with its lighting and layout, is a work of art itself! JosiahsBayPlantationCDholder.jpg (5142 bytes)

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TourIcon-Shops.gif (4455 bytes)Run by Freddie, the gallery features a different artist for each medium. And many everyday items, such as bird covers and rattan baskets, enhanced by interesting designs.

Secret Garden Cafe (495-1834) offers casual, open air courtyard dining out-the-door of the art gallery among the ruins of the original structure. An eclectic menu includes falafel sandwishes, grilled shrimps and scallops, homemade pizzas, chicken wraps, gyros and a variety of soups such as pumpkin.

The nearby Escape Restaurant (495-1017), open for lunch and dinner, has great local food, like fresh fish, whelk, mutton and local Caribbean sodas. Try bartender Maxine’s personal Hurricane drink. EscapeBartenderMaxine2.jpg (6426 bytes)
See Resorts, Cottages and a Campground on Tortola’s Ocean Coast for more information on the Josiah’s Bay Cottages. See Tortola Villas for villas in this area

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Lambert Bay

Take Lambert Road at the East End police station, a large white building, on the coastal road (Blackburn Hwy.) turn inland at the exact place that the road to Ridge Road (Little Dicks Road) begins–except you take the road less traveled (toward the airport side).

Good for swimming, this wide, palm-fringed Lambert Beach, also called Elizabeth Beach, is very pretty and pristine with fine white powder sand.

Great views to outlying islands. Well worth a special trip! Swimmers must be cautious about the undertow on certain days.

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Rock Sculpture

This rock outcropping at Elizabeth Beach resembles a giant conch shell.

Green sea turtles nest on the beach in January and February. A wildlife warden from the National Parks Trust protects the nesting site. Large volcanic rock outcroppings adorn the enclosing ridges of this high mountainside valley.

Just over the hill and just past where the pavement ends, turn left at the white wall with the Lambert Resort sign.

The drive down this steep mountain valley to the resort is a quite nice series of turns.

Park in the resort’s lot just past the first buildings, where there is a pleasant walk past the restaurant and resort to this gorgeous beach.

Stop by the restaurant for a drink or a bite to eat.

Turtle Restaurant
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This elegant open air dining pavillion bumps up against a picturesque rock outcropping on one side and walks out the front to the palm-studded bluff right on the beach, with views to Guana Island and the ocean. A fabulous setting!

Featuring a wide selection of tried-and-true Caribbean inspired cuisine, the Turtle restaurant (formerly Mine Shaft) (495-2877), open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offers dinner specialities such as crab fritters made with breadfruit for an appetizer, fresh soup nightly, Tropical Mango Chicken, fresh local game fish caught locally by a Portuguese family, fettuccini Alfredo with shrimp and Steak Au Poivre (see menu).

Lunch excels in salads such as jerk chicken Caesar salad, char-grilled tuna steak and chicken breast sandwiches as well as honey/beer batter chicken and baby back ribs.

Popular breakfast items are eggs benedict, build-your-own omlettes and tropical pancakes. And very popular is the Sunday brunch with special events and live entertainment by local bands at the adjoining bandstand and dance pad that gives the feeling of dancing right on the beach!

Enjoy the large portion deserts and drinks at the bar, such the Cliffhanger with Bacardi lemon rum, blackberry liquor, cranberry juice, triple sec and lime, created by Cliff, the bartender, as a smooth drink so one lady could "shoot with the guys."

Located right at the resort’s first buildings, the Boutique at Lambert Bay is worth a special trip or at least a quick look see on a beach trip.

Fashion Show

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Anesta Frett, manager and buyer at The Boutique, travels to her native Trinidad, Tobago and elsewhere for island fashion at its best, especially handpainted items.

At her best in all sides of fashion, here Anesta appears in a fashion show at Foxy’s.

The Boutique at Lambert Bay. With women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, The Boutique at Lambert Bay (495-2877) offers handpainted, batik and tie-dyed linen, rayon and cotton sundresses, swimsuits, coverups, evening dresses, Exqusit and rayon sarongs, Lambert logo t-shirts, polos and caps, Hawaiian shirts, boxer shorts, sandals and handpainted men’s shirts.

Gifts include Calabash purses popular in hummingbird and sailboat motifs, bamboo wood chimes, handpainted maracas, ghekos, and wooden zebra cats.

Popular with Italian guests in particular are exquisite diaphanous coverups and sarongs.
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See Resorts, Cottages and a Campground on Tortola’s Ocean Coast for more information on the Pusser’s Lambert Beach resort. See Tortola Villas for villas in this area.

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