Sailing the British Virgin Islands

All about a family vacation spent Sailing the BVIs.

British Virgin Islands family vacation

Our family vacation this summer was a sailing trip through the British Virgin Islands. My husband’s oldest brother, Mike and his family invited us to share a boat charter and set sail with them. They have two daughters the same age as our two teen children, so it was a good time to take this once in a lifetime trip with them.

For nine days we shared a 40-foot catamaran with their family for a family adventure, exploring the BVIs, mooring at different places along the way. I wouldn’t say it was luxury by any means, but instead more similar to RV camping on the water. Although for me, being on that water in any shape or form is certainly a luxury.

Mike and his wife, Eydie, had sailed quite a bit before they had children, but soon that hobby had to take a back seat to beginning a family. When the girls got older they decided after some yearly trips to the Virgin Islands that they wanted to take up sailing again, eventually to sail the Virgin Islands.

British Virgin Islands family vacation British Virgin Islands vacation British Virgin Islands travel photo The British Virgin Islands, among other wonderful places across the globe, offer boat charters (rentals) with or without a captain, as well as a chef, if needed. A couple of years ago, Mike and Eydie chartered a cabin on a catamaran with a trained captain and mate to see if it was something they really wanted to invest their time in. They were hooked.

Mike soon began the process of getting certified to be able to confidently captain a boat on his own. I’m glad he did. We were able to take advantage of a family member in the best kind of way. We split the costs of chartering a catamaran without the extra costs of a captain and mate.

Sailing the British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands vacation British Virgin Islands vacation In addition to our chartered boat we rented other water toys, including a paddle board that each of us took our turn with. Fun stuff! My son, Hank mastered it right away, and was paddling all around coves where we moored.

Sailing the British Virgin Islands Sailing the British Virgin Islands travel Sailing the British Virgin Islands My brother-in-law, Captain Pumpkin Pants, checking our anchor.

Sailing the British Virgin Islands We hung towels and other wet clothes out to dry. The best clothesline ever!

Sailing the British Virgin Islands. Our taxi during the trip was a dingy that we pulled along behind the catamaran. It gave us freedom to moor or anchor and then dingy in to land for dinner or more supplies.

Sailing the British Virgin Islands Sailing the British Virgin Islands British Virgin Islands travel A fun shower at one of the marinas.

Sailing the British Virgin Islands The brilliant waters of the Caribbean always amaze me. Pictures never quite do it justice.

British Virgin Islands travel Sailing the British Virgin Islands If you’re interested in the blue waters of the Caribbean, and have reliable sea legs, consider chartering a boat. As I mentioned before, boats of many sizes can be chartered with or without a captain, but I’d suggest if you don’t hire a captain, you or someone else you know become one like my brother-in-law did. Knowing the ins and outs of boating as well as the waters you’ll be cruising can make your trip a whole lot more enjoyable.

Sailing the British Virgin Islands There are many companies that offer boat charters with boats of many different sizes available. Here are a couple that we have experience with:

BVI Yacht Charters

Horizon Yacht Charters

If you have any questions about planning a trip like this, please let me know. I’ll be glad to answer what I can, or pass them along to my brother-in-law, Captain Pumpkin Pants.

Wishing you clear seas ahead!

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  1. 2

    AmyRuth says

    Amy, beautiful beautiful shots. What a canvas to work with right? Thank you for sharing your family and excursions with the world. I absolutely love the ocean, believe the word is fascinated. Its just magical and beautiful and I often wonder how anyone can doubt there is a God when there is so much beauty along with the mystery of power in those waters. Truly a memory for your family and it sounds like it was worth repeating another day.

  2. 4


    Amy! These photos are even more gorgeous than the ones you shared on Instagram throughout your trip!!! It absolutely looks like a travel ad – and one that would get tons of bookings, too! And by the way, Hope looks like a MODEL in that photo of her!

  3. 6

    Wenderly says

    So incredibly breathtaking!! I want to have a Captain Pumpkin Pants in the family to charter a boat with! Maybe I could just borrow yours?

  4. 7


    Wow just wow….this is better than any camping trip pictures I have ever seen!!! Thank you so much for sharing! xo

  5. 9

    Sharon says

    Found my way here to your blog via Pinterest following Robyn Stone – Add a Pinch. Have a small sailboat, taking sailing lessons toward our certifications, reading lots of books and watching lots of videos thru cold winter nights as we dream of getting out of our ‘little bathtub of a lake’ and one day sailing in the Caribbean. Loved your Beautiful photos and memories!

  6. 11


    Oh wow, what an amazing vacation. Amy! Your photos are just gorgeous. I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking that we need to charter Captain Pumpkin Pants for a blogger trip, lol!

  7. 12


    This has been my dream vacation for quite some time now. Can I ask where you flew into? And, how long did you stay? Was it long enough?

  8. 15

    Darcie says

    Oh wow….be still my heart! I would love a vacation like this. Your photos are absolutely stunning….I will be returning to this post tonight, to show my hubby :)

  9. 16

    Jessica says

    Your photos do an amazing job of capturing all the wonder of such a gorgeous place, Amy!

  10. 17

    Bill says

    I coming soon !! Midwest lakes and Florida aren’t cutting it!
    Hats off to ya !!

  11. 18


    This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your trip. The pictures make me a little homesick. It looks like you all had a wonderful time, what a great way to vacation.

  12. 19


    I’d say you captured that stunning water perfectly, Amy. What a trip! I can’t imagine doing that with our kids just yet, but it might be going on the bucket list. Thanks for sharing!

  13. 20

    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective says

    Oh my goodness Amy! What a fabulous experience you will never forget. The photos are phenomenal–they made me feel like I was there. And your daughter looks JUST like you in that first shot, minus the dark hair. :)

  14. 21


    The photos of the water are so inviting but I am immersed in Shark Week on Discovery and I’m hearing that stupid Jaws theme song while I peruse them. :)

    Choosing between camping and this? This wins hands down…what a great adventure!

  15. 22


    Oh my gosh you just made my Saturday. What a wonderful chance to be with your family and experience such an adventure together. Thank you so much for sharing. We have been talking about doing this for a while now, either with our friend who is a captain or on one of those “working” charters. After your amazing photos I am going to make it happen.

  16. 26

    Marly says

    What an incredible trip! Thanks for sharing these photos. I feel like I was there myself!

  17. 27


    This is the first time I’ve had a chance to sit down and read about your vacation. First of all, your photos are stunning…STUNNING!!! you captured the azure blue water so beautifully. For a few minutes, I felt lost in the Caribbean.

  18. 28

    Kim - Liv Life says

    I’m so happy you posted your vacation!! We love “cruising”, and quickly discovered we don’t like the mass market lines. Currently we sail on ships with about 190 passengers, however, on our last voyage we were talking about doing exactly what you just did. Your photos are absolutely beautiful!! BVI is high on my “I need to visit” list, but you just moved it higher. Beautiful photos!!

  19. 29

    Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking says

    Breathtaking views Amy! Looks like it’s a one in a lifetime kind of trip. Your photos are stunning, better than those in a Travel magazine.
    Thanks for sharing

  20. 30

    teresa says

    I am completely mesmerized by these gorgeous pictures!
    We LOVE the Caribbean! We honeymooned in Anguilla and go back whenever we get a chance.
    You always forget just how BLUE/aqua that water is until you get back again!
    Love the picture of the towels. LOVE all the pictures. I wonder if there are any SHARKS in the pictures that you didn’t see!!! You know me~always wondering about THE SHARKS!
    What a fabulous adventure for your family!
    A trip they’ll never ever ever forget!
    LOVE this post!
    Delighted to be getting to know you Sweetie~Pie!

  21. 31

    TidyMom says

    AMY! these are just breathtaking! you said pictures don’t do it justice………..I can’t imagine it being any more beautiful!! My dear, I think this would be my dream vacation!!!

    Maybe Captain Pumpkin Pants could take a whole group of us bloggers next year! lol…….*dream*

    • 32


      Hey Cheryl!

      Hee, hee, hee … I’ll be sure to let Captain Pumpkin Pants know. ; ) He may be all about that if we make cupcakes and cookies all along the voyage.


  22. 35


    St. John and the BVIs is our favorite spot in the whole wide world! your pictures absolutely do them justice! looks like you have the perfect vacation!

  23. 36


    Great photos of the BVI- you really captured the essence of what it’s like here. BVI really is the perfect place for a family vacation. Next time you are looking for a St Thomas or St John Boat Rental let us know!

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