The BVI is the closest place to tropical heaven an American can get if he wants to charter a yacht. They leave the cold of the northern winter and come south to the sun and wide open spaces of the US or BVI. They sail from one anchorage to the next BUT when they get there they anchor right on top of each other or pick up a mooring ball. The charter companies promote the use of the moorings as do the retail outlets and restaurants along the shores of the bays. The more balls the more potential customers who have holiday dollars to burn. At 30 dollars a night that is quite expensive if you are a long term cruiser so you have to anchor but where.
Anchoring in a mooring filled bay is difficult because a yacht at anchor swings differently to one attached to a ball. The people who put the moorings down do to to optimise the number in a given space. When it get to deep they stop so for a cruiser there is only deep water in which one can anchor. Often a difficult decision to try the deep water or trust that the wind will stay in the same direction all night and drop the anchor between the moored boats.
The Bight on Norman Island is a large almost enclosed bay just half a day sailing from the major charter bases. It is filled to capacity with moorings. On the day before and the day after the charter fleet change boats - the old crew leave and the new crew arrive The Bight is filled to capacity. There is not a single ball free and not enough room to swing a cat let alone a anchored yacht. At night the Pirates Bight and the William T floating bar thump to the music all through the night.
You may well ask why did I go to The Bight? It was in the middle of the week and the place was empty. The ships bar closed soon after sun set and Malua was able to drop and anchor in the mooring field and swing without a concern in the world. However I would not return and would not suggest any cruiser visits the place.
A magical moment on Malua
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