Sailing and Surfing – How learning to sail will forever change your surfing!

Ahhh, surfing. Is there any better feeling than judging the wave just right, digging in with a stroke or two, and gliding down a perfectly shaped mountain of water? Pure bliss.

Here’s the catch: That bliss can be hard to come by. Winds, tides, swells, beach access, parking, flights, hotels, and beaucoup other factors get in the way.

Say you wanted to surf the British Virgin Islands, renowned for secluded breaks and gorgeous beaches…and also for having limited tourist-y development. While that kind of seclusion makes it attractive to get-out-of-towners and adventure-seekers, it also makes it hard (by definition) to get to and experience.

Surfing Cane Garden Bay JM
Caribbean Barrel, Cane Garden Bay BVIs – Photo by Jerome Mosetic

All right, then. Let’s cut to the chase. The fashionable folks over at Beach Tomato have already compiled a respectable list of 5 of the best places to surf the BVIs. We’re not going to rehash or quibble here; let’s just assume you wanted to surf everything on their list, top to bottom.

After flying in, here’s what you do:

#1 To surf West End, Anegada:

Get yourself to the island of Anegada. That means a private charter flight from the island of Tortola or from Puerto Rico or St. Thomas. Or it means a ferry from Tortola. Plus a taxi or car or bus once you’re on Anegada.

#2 To surf Cane Garden Bay, Tortola:

From Anegada, catch a ferry (6 hours, assuming it’s running on the day you want to travel) or flight on a small airline, back to Tortola. Again find a car, taxi, or bus to get you from the south side of the island over to the northwest side.

#3 To surf Josiah’s Bay, Tortola:

Catch a bus (or something) for the 13 kilometer ride over from Cane Garden Bay.

Surfing Apple Bay JM
Surfing Apple Bay, BVIs – Photo by Jerome Mosetic

#4 To surf Bomba’s, Apple Bay, Tortola:

Catch a bus (or something) for the 19 kilometer ride back to the west side of the island.

#5 To surfSandy Cay:

What do you know? You’ve got to charter a boat (or hitch a ride on one) to get there!

Don’t forget that during all of that ferrying, car-renting, and bus-catching, you’ve got to make time to find hotels and restaurants or grocery stores. Plus, your schedule would have to be pretty regimented. It’s not so much a “surf” trip as it is a “series of logistical steps” trip.

Now imagine how much more awesome your trip could be if you first took the time to learn to sail and then used those skills to launch your surf adventure. You could fly into the area, charter your bareboat cruiser, and load up on all the supplies you’ll need in one fell swoop.

Scoot right on over to Anegada. Hang there as long as you like. There’s no boat to catch (we’ll teach you to set the anchor properly!). There’s no small plane to squeeze into. When the surf bug is satisfied, do your crossing over to Tortola.

Deserted Left in BVIs JM
Deserted Lefts Peel Unridden in the BVIs – Photo by Jerome Mosetic

Explore the myriad bays and breaks in whatever order you like. If the 3 spots on Tortola that Beach Tomato lists aren’t working, pull anchor and find one that is. And when you’re ready, it’s just a short jaunt over to uninhabited Sandy Cay where you can moor or drop anchor.

Learning to sail gives you the ability to surf the British Virgin Islands (and many other places to boot!) where you like, when you like. Plus you can change your schedule to fit swell and weather conditions, ensuring you always find the right break, the sweet lefthander, the perfect pipe. The bliss.




Sailing and Surfing – How learning to sail will forever change your surfing!

The only way to join our tribe is to learn to sail with Nautilus.

We’re really careful to make sure that we know and trust anyone coming on one of our special trips.

Join us on flotillas, offshore deliveries, free webinars and unforgettable sailing adventures around the world. Join the Tribe.