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Mooring balls V anchoring
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Link to this postPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:46 pm    Post subject:  Mooring balls V anchoring

Hi, I am new to the site and new to the BVI's. We have a bareboat charter in late April and I have just heard from an aquaintance, who has just returned from a trip that it was extremelly difficult to find a mooring ball after 12 noon. He told me he saw boats fighting over the last one at 11am one day. So my questions it really that bad? Will it be quieter in late April? Is there lots of room outside of where the mooring balls are, where you can anchor for the night or do the moorings take up all the best spots? My idea was to sail, snorkel or hike most days, hopefully arriving mid afternoon to anchor for the evening. Is this wishfull thinking. Any tips or info greatly appreciated, Thanks
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Link to this postPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:46 pm    

It depends on where you are - but, even when very crowded, I think that it is a real exaggeration for anyone to say that they saw boats fighting for balls at 11AM. In most of the busy anchorages, 11AM is prime time for getting a ball because the boats from the previous night have only left in the last hour or so and the ones for the upcoming night have not arrived.

The most difficult anchorage is Manchioneel Bay at Cooper Island. In the busy season (December-April), Cooper is pretty much filled up by 1 or 2PM. Even so, boats do leave in the afternoon.
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Link to this postPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:25 am    

Thanks Walker, and thanks for your excellent site.
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Link to this postPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 2:17 pm    

We too, were worried about the same thing but when we came out at the end of January, we really didnt have a problem. Even at Cooper, there were still 3 or 4 balls left at around 5-6pm which is when we usually get to the end of a days sail.

Only place we had a problem was at the Baths but that was because the 'wick' had disappeared from the end of about 5 balls and there was only one left apart from the commercial balls.
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Link to this postPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:48 am    

Most places that have moorings leave little, if any, room to anchor unless you really know the harbor, have a shallow draft or end up in 40 + feet of water. Sinbad's experience at Cooper was the exact opposite of mine a few weeks earlier as by 2:30-3 there was nothing left. I think the issue with Cooper may be that on weekends, when most people start or stop their charter, it is an easy first day or last night place to stay since it is close to Sunsail and the Moorings. In late April it shouldn't be super busy, but if Cooper is full, it is a easy sail either down to Peter or across to Marina Cay/Trellis.

If you are going to Anegada, you may wish to try to plan this when there are no flotillas scheduled (check with your charter company) as they can fill up the moorings pretty quickly. Weekends seem to be less busy there. It is easy to anchor there though in the direction of the town dock (NOT the ARH dock) after clearing the last red buoy.
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Link to this postPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:52 pm    Post subject:  Cooper Moorings

Back in November, we did a late afternoon dive on The Rhone, then headed for Cooper. We made it there right at 4:45. There were no mooring balls left. We ended up anchoring.

As the cruising guides say, the bottom is mostly grass covered sand. It took a few tries to get an anchor to hold. By then it was dark. The anchor cleared about a 20 foot long path before it bit under the seagrass and held.

I spent most of the night listening to the winds (25kt+) howl over the bow of the catamaran. Not much fun.

If I was getting a late start from the Rhone, I might be tempted to go back to Norman.
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