Norman Island, BVI

People often ask me what my favorite islands are and I tell them St John is by far my favorite, and I have written about different sites around that island many times, but today I want to tell you about my third favorite…Norman Island.

This island is the inspiration of Robert Lewis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.  His uncle visited here and told Robert about it.  Robert then drew up a fake map based on the descriptions he heard and wrote that wonderfully fun pirate tale.

Usually our first stop is actually a mile from the island itself.  This would be the Indians (1st photo), which is four huge rocks sticking up from around fifty feet of water.  On the other side it is around 15 feet deep with some great crevices and a fantastic and fairly easy swim through cave (just don’t panic if a surge does not let you go forward right away).  Towards the south side there is some wonderful soft coral (2nd photo).  This is where I got one of my most colorful videos of a turtle, which you can see on the Chartering tab towards the top.  As you come around the most southern Indian you will be amazed as you are swimming over a rock around 5-10 feet deep with great coral and lots of fish and the bottom seems to never materialize.  This is because is plummets from that 10 feet to the 50 feet you moored you boat in.  Many people have told me this is the most colorful snorkel I took them on in a week.

The next site is The Caves (3rd photo), which has been inspiring the “X marks the spot” fantasy since these islands were discovered by Columbus.  There are really four caves on Treasure Point, but one of them you have to climb to and no one counts it.  The first one from the north is great because you swim into this huge hole in the side of the cliff.  Once inside it shoals up to 5 feet or so of small cobble stone.  This cave goes back about 80-100 feet and even makes a turn for another 15 feet or so.  Going in you can’t see anything and a flashlight is recommended, but once you turn around and look towards the entrance you can see everything.  What is fun is to go all the way in, turn the corner, and sit at the very back waiting for everyone else to enter.  Usually you will get a scream or two when you say hello.  The second cave is just a big concave and what you see is what you get.  Some people like it the best, because the colors are spectacular.  The third one is hard to see from the boat due to the angle it faces.  This one you enter in the middle and it goes to the left and right.  The left side shallows out to a point where it can be dry at low tide.  To the right you can walk out a hole and exit the cave that way.  Across from the entrance there are some very colorful underwater bowls to look at, but I would not recommend getting into them due to the coral.  Look for the glass sweeper fish which are
always at the entrance on the left side swaying back and forth with the surge.  As with the Indians, The Caves are part of the BVI Nation Parks system and mooring balls are offered during the day for you to use.

At night you may want to try dinner at Pirate’s Bight.  Many people have told me this is their favorite restaurant and it got a complete makeover this last summer.  I still can’t get over the difference.  Way back when the original “establishment” was a guy with a grill and cooler.  He would fire a signal cannon around 4pm and everyone would come in.  The party went on until either the gas for the generator ran out or the ice and that was it.  Now it is a nice boutique resort.   After dinner you will want to party on the Willy T, but I am saving that until next week.

The Bight is where all the fun is at night, but if you are a cruiser you may not want to pay the $30 mooring fee.  I have seen boats anchored here, but it is pretty deep.  You may want to try the balls south of the Caves, because I am told they don’t collect money very regularly there, or anchor in Benures bay on the north side or Money Bay on the south side.  I have seen boats in both spots and they are suppose to be nice, but I have never done it since I always want to be near Pirate’s Bight and the Willy T.

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