Another question about Tortola beaches

Old May 20th, 2002, 08:33 PM
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Another question about Tortola beaches

Hi! Going to Tortola in a few weeks and plan to visit Smugglers, Brewers and other recommended beaches on the island. But will we find restroom facilities at any of these beaches? Also, is it safe to leave personal items (car keys, camera, etc.) on the beach while we're snorkeling?
Old May 20th, 2002, 09:01 PM
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Would you leave your personal belongings at Lake Michigan ?
Old May 21st, 2002, 02:52 AM
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I visit the BVI frequently. Generally, theft is less of a problem than in the U.S. (maybe even less than Lake Michigan), but I would not leave anything of value on any beach anywhere.
That said, at this time of year you can find many beaches that will be deserted, but not those you mention. Our preference is to pick out one of the small, generally deserted bays, and do as we wish for a morning. Quite preferable to have your own Robinson Crusoe type of paradise than to share something that has 20 or 30 other people on it.
Old May 21st, 2002, 03:00 AM
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You won't find facilities at Smuggler's. Brewer's has a nice little bar there- I think he has a restroom.He makes a powerful painkiller... I highly recommend waterproof fanny packs for snorkeling. At least for your keys and cash. Leave your camera in car until you finish swimming, or take the disposable ones. I felt safe with belongings, but safer with them on me!
Old May 21st, 2002, 03:40 AM
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At Smugglers I thought that behind the honor bar past the frige there was a bathroom.Nothing fancy but there was a toilet. I have not been there since 1999.
Old May 21st, 2002, 05:31 AM
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Just a comment on safety in Tortola...
Last year, my girlfriend arrived at the airport very, very early for our flight home.
A cab driver approached us and asked if we needed a ride anywhere. He offered to give us a quick tour before we had to check in for our flight.
This kind man looked at our tickets, spoke with the ticket agent to confirm flight, assured us that we could leave our luggage in a pile near the ticket counter at the airport and away we went.
For just a few dollars, we got the grand tour-even met his family-he had to stop and drop off money for his wife. When we returned to the airport, our bags were there, no problem mon.
We bought the men at the airport bar a drink as a thank you, and off we went with wonderful memories of this magical, special island.
Old May 21st, 2002, 06:36 AM
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Rented a house in Feb 01' just above Brewers Bay. There is a restaurant there and perhaps some facilities I can't remember, but don't leave your valuables unattended. That is just asking for trouble.
Did anyone tell you there are bugs in the spring and summer months? Our rented home had a house journal where people recorded their experiences. The spring and summer entries were filled with talk of gnats and other biting bugs. Bring bug spray!
Old May 21st, 2002, 06:42 AM
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Tortola is definitely one of the safer islands, but I wouldn't leave keys, a nice camera, or a wallet/purse on the beach.

Before our last trip I bought a small, inexpensive waterproof bag at a local dive shop. It attached around the waist and worked well.

You're not likely to have items stolen from a locked car on Tortola, unlike some islands.
Old May 21st, 2002, 11:52 AM
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We just got back from Tortola last week so the information is still fresh in my mind. We snorkeled at Brewers a couple of times and had no qualms at all about leaving our belongings unattended on the beach. There were so few people around that it wasn't an issue for us and nothing was bothered. We had a waterproof attachable pack with us (I think I got it from Magellan's) but we didn't use it. There is a beach bar at Brewers with a restroom that you can use if you buy something. They also rent beach chairs for $3 each. There was a large school of blue tangs that I followed around for quite awhile at Brewers. It was awesome.

We also went to Smuggler's and even though everyone said that was the best place to go for sorkeling we thought Brewers was better. We really didn't see that many fish and the water was definitely rougher than at Brewers. There were no obvious restroom facilities at Smuggler's that I saw and there were no beach chair rentals to be had. Although it's a beautiful beach we didn't stay long because of no chairs. We don't enjoy lying on a towel on the sand.

There are lots of restaurants and a public restoom at Cane Garden Bay. There were also plenty of beach chairs you could use (for free!). We were on Tortola for 10 days and went to Cane Garden Bay probably 5 or 6 days and it was never crowded. A couple of days I don't think there were more than about 20 people on the beach. And that is supposed to be the most crowded beach on the island! Perhaps it's crowded in high season or when a cruise ship is in port but we didn't experience any crowds at all.

Even though you didn't ask if you decide to do a day sail I strongly recommend Patouche II. Joe and Julie were excellent hosts and the snorkeling spots they took us to (2 off of Norman Island and one off of Peter Island) were excellent. It was a fun day and definitely worth the $100 each.
Old May 21st, 2002, 06:25 PM
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Thanks everyone for your input. We are novice snorkelers (obviously), and I really appreciate the advice (think I'll look for that waterproof fanny pack). Sharona, since you just returned from Tortola last week, were you bothered much by bugs? I'm taking bug skin repellant, but will I also need bug spray? And a side note to Joel: we chose to stay at Frenchman's Cay mainly because of your enthusiastic recommendations. We leave June 6th and the time can't go fast enough!
Old May 22nd, 2002, 07:15 AM
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Hi Cheryl. Bugs were a small nuisance but I had spray-on Skintastic that I used on my ankles and feet and that took care of the problem. And I didn't need to use it every day nor did my husband have any problems even when he didn't use it. We stayed at Long Bay Beach Resort and the mosquitoes were pretty bad at dusk but we were never bothered eating dinner in open-air restaurants.
Old May 22nd, 2002, 04:04 PM
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Glad you decided to choose Frenchman's. We love it: the view, the privacy, the view, the roomy 2 story villa, the view, having a kitchen, the view, the very friendly managers, and did I mention the view?
Be sure to take the pkg with the car as it's a must to get out and about.
Please say hi to Pam and Terry from Joel and Alice in SC.
Old May 22nd, 2002, 04:10 PM
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Try to get #4, Cheryl. While all the villas have excellent views, #4 is placed just right.
And try the foods over at the Ample Hamper at Sopers Hole. It's very near by. There's a little mini-mart that you drive by on the last 1/4 mile before Frenchman's. Good for snacks and coke and such.
Bring your own condiments so you don't have to buy whole bottles of mustard, etc.
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