NOTE: The Bitter End is in the process of reinventing itself after the devastating recent earthquakes. The specifics of this listing, and others in this area, are out of date. Please join OCG and help us get the word out on the new look, feel, and features of your favorite places in the BVI!
BEYC is one of the most well-known yacht clubs in the world, and hosts some prestigious events in the world of racing under sail. But most come here for the shear fun of it. This place has everything – Pools, fantastic restaurants, full sailing school, rentals, places to walk and play, and that crazy view almost the whole time. It truly is a magical setting, and worth the pretty penny it takes to stay there. The good news is, as a traveling sailor you can partake in much the BEYC has to offer, without the expense of a room.
Taking up most of the eastern shore of the sound, The Bitter End is surrounded by deep water and easy to approach. The only hazards to be aware of are the 70 mooring balls and the channel marked for the ferries that shuttle people and supplies to and fro at all hours. Otherwise, there is generally a forest of masts marking the spot.
Pretty much all the water less than 15 meters deep is thick with 70 mooring buoys ($30/night), so if you plan to stay a while with the BEYC, pick one up (the northern 12 buoys belong to Saba Rock). They offer a trash service between 8 and 9am ($1.50/bag) and a launch shuttle to the docks most evenings. There is some room to anchor in good sand in about 30-40 feet on the north end of the mooring field tucked up near Prickly Pear Island. If we are going to anchor, we tend to look around the corner in Eustatia Sound for more privacy. In addition, the Bitter End offers a full service marina with 20 slips and room for truly grand vessels. Docks are served with electricity and water. Nightly rates vary, and club membership is available, granting additional privileges.
As stated above, the The Bitter End has a bit of everything. Take a small dinghy out, or a sailboard if you’ve never been. This is one of the best places in the world to learn some new skills on the water. Afterward, you can relax with one of the tallest and strongest (and not surprisingly, most expensive) painkillers we’ve found at the Clubhouse Grille perched right on the sandy beach north of the dinghy dock. There is also the English Pub/market across from the Quarterdeck Marina, a spot for nightly movies or to catch CNN during the day, and a couple of clothing/gift shops. Sailors are welcome throughout, including the availability of showers for a fee, but be sure to be more than respectful of the needs of guests and staff.
In addition to the touristy stuff, you can find fuel, a small chandlery, mechanical services, free garbage drop and other important services ashore. Check in with the Quarterdeck Marina staff with any questions, or hail them on VHF 16.
Maybe just once, you should have a sunset dinner at a fantastic restaurant, right on the beach, with waves lapping at your feet and the sun splashing into a perfect palette of color. This just might be the place. Or if that’s too much, just grab a huge painkiller and enjoy the view.