On the opposite end of the beach is Rudy's Mariner Inn. This establishment has 5 rooms, a bar and restaurant featuring seafood and live entertainment, and a small store in the back offering basic provisions. Next store to Rudy's, you will find the charming Methodist Church where, "All are Welcome" and the Jost Van Dyke Primary School- located behind the church. Next down the beach is Ali Baba's. This picturesque bar and restaurant specializes in BBQ ribs and chicken, conch, grilled local fish, drink specials (including their own rum punch) and a Monday night pig roast. At Wendell's World, get some delicious ice cream, stock up on provisions, or have one of the ladies braid your hair in the back beauty shop.
In the center of the harbor is the Government Dock. In front of the dock is the Customs & Immigration and local Police station. You may need to hunt for an official since the station is rarely open. Behind this two-story building, is the local Ice House, which has ice by the block as well as cubes. Take the alley next to the Ice House to reach Christine's Bakery and Nature's Basket. Christine's Bakery is a quiet little place for great breakfast sandwiches and is especially known for the tasty banana bread. Nature's Basket has fresh fruit and vegetables from Ivan Chinnery's own plantation. Finally, be sure to take a stroll along Back Street that forms an arc through this interesting little community. While there, check out the wooden sloop behind Foxy's that is being built by the Jost Van Dyke Preservation Society.
Just over a mile to the east of Great Harbour is Little Harbour- an incredibly quiet and picturesque anchorage. Those on a Caribbean charter know it for its 3 restaurants that offer great lobster dinners! On the west side, dine at either Harris' Place or Sidney's Peace & Love. Sidney's has been open for nearly 30 years. T-shirts of guests dangle from the ceiling. Lobsters are caught by Sidney himself, and both the lobster and chicken are cooked over an open fire according to an old family recipe. Meals are served with hearty helpings of rice and peas, coleslaw, potato salad and steamed vegetables. Thursday night is all you can eat lobster and Mondays and Saturdays are pig roast nights- each with live music. The bar is self service: mix 'em as you like 'em, just keep a tab!
On the eastern side of the harbor is Abe's by the Sea. Owned by Abe Coakley, this small restaurant does not look like much from the outside. There is a tiny bar and just a few tables, along with a little store out back to do some simple provisioning. The pleasant surprise comes from the quality of food that emerges from the kitchen. Freshly caught lobster and fish is brought in daily. If you are lucky, you can actually meet the fishermen at the dock and select your dinner. The tables are meticulously set with pretty placemats and flatware. Besides fish and lobster, the menu also includes conch and chicken. Prices are reasonable and serving are generous. Meals include peas and rice, coleslaw or salad and delicious homemade desserts.
Other Places To Visit
If you are on a Caribbean charter to the BVI, there are many other things to do in and around Jost Van Dyke. You can trace the varied history of the Arawak Indians, Caribs, Dutch, African and British on the old trails that meander over Jost Van Dyke. The highest point is only 1,054 feet, so you can easily hike or take an ATV. You can explore the vegetation-covered ruins of centuries old sugar mills. In the autumn and winter, watch the whales and dolphins from a peaceful hilltop. A series of small islands off Jost Van Dyke's east end also offer spectacular beaches, day anchoring and snorkeling in shallow reefs:
- Diamond Cay on Long Bay Beach, Jost Van Dyke is where Foxy's has opened Foxy's Taboo bar and restaurant. There are a few moorings and a substantial dock. From there, take the goat trail crossing the short peninsula separating Long Bay and a salt pond through waist-high wild sage bushes to the "Bubbly Pool." This geological delight is one of the BVI's Nature's little secrets! This spot is like a natural Jacuzzi. The rock formation on Jost Van Dyke's rugged northern coast funnels waves through a very narrow passage into a small natural pool that "bubbles" as the waves crash in. It is about five feet deep and fun for the whole family.
- Little Jost Van Dyke offers a small anchorage except when the surge is up. There is good snorkeling along the south side. On the north side, there is a dive site called, Twin Towers. In the springtime, expect to see schools of reef squid.
- Green Cay is a superb daytime stop with excellent snorkeling on the reef that extends south of the cay. Off Green Cay's oceanside, The Playground 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 angelfish and glassy minnows, patrolled by jacks, snappers and schools of barracuda and tarpon.
- Sandy Cay is located to the east of Jost Van Dyke. Owned by Laurence Rockefeller, this is an ideal tropical island dotted with palm trees on wide, gently sloping beaches. There is a botanical tour on a small path that encircles the island and affords spectacular views of the surrounding islands.
- Sandy Spit is a superb day anchorage laying immediately south of Green Cay and within "spitting" distance of Jost Van Dyke and Sandy Cay. This is an fantasy-like little island that is encircled by a picture perfect 360° white sand beach, some green vegetation, and only two coconut palms. It is a fun place to sun bath, picnic and explore, but the snorkeling is not great.
Donna Wolfson also know as "Sailgirl" at Virgin Island Sailing, has been sailing in the Caribbean and writing about it for years. Learn more about Caribbean Charter. http://www.visailing.com/
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