In case you are on the lookout for a catamaran Constitution and the idyllic tropical island, you can see it simply 5 miles southeast of Tortola, throughout the Sir Frances Drake Channel. At simply 1½ miles lengthy by ½ mile extensive, the largely uninhabited tiny Cooper Island is an unspoiled paradise. In case you are on the lookout for roads, purchasing malls, nightclubs and crowds, you’ll not discover it right here. However, if you’d like the right escape from the stress of on a regular basis life, than this must be a vacation spot in your BVI catamaran constitution itinerary. With solely four privately-owned properties on the island, plus a small seashore membership resort with a handful of colourful however easy rooms with kitchenettes, ceiling followers and personal baths with out of doors showers, Cooper Island is a peaceable place to loosen up.
Cooper Island is surrounded by coral reefs and dive websites. The principal anchorage on Cooper Island is Manchioneel Bay, positioned on the northwestern shore. Named for the tree with toxic, small inexperienced apples, Manchioneel Bay is shaped by a gorgeous stretch of white sand seashore fringed with coconut palms. Though the underside of the bay is roofed in patches of sea grass- which regularly makes it troublesome to get an anchor set- there are roughly 40 mooring balls obtainable for in a single day anchorages. Sitting within the cockpit of your catamaran constitution, gently rocking at anchor on the clear, calm water within the balmy tropical breezes, you look ashore on the bougainvillea, frangipani, lime bushes, hibiscus, oleander, tamarind, flamboyant, loblolly, yucca, orchids, cactus and different unique crops, in addition to take heed to the nice chirp of birds. It’s straightforward to see why Manchioneel Bay is claimed to be the inspiration for Jimmy Buffet’s well-known, Cheeseburger in Paradise.
Most individuals on a catamaran constitution to Cooper Island do nothing – and that’s the concept! You possibly can laze on the seashore, learn a ebook, poke within the Sea Grape Boutique, take a swim, sip a rum drink of your selection, gaze out on different yacht charters as they glide by within the Sir Frances Drake Channel and watch the sundown over a number of the different islands. In case you are feeling extra energetic, you’ll be able to discover the island on foot, snorkel or dive, and even dinghy over to close by Salt Island.
One of the best snorkeling is true off the seashore. The ocean grass in Manchioneel Bay is an attention-grabbing snorkel. Search for inexperienced turtles, sting and eagle rays, starfish and a big Queen Conch mattress. Now and again, you may additionally discover sea horses. When you comply with the rocks parallel to shore south of the Seashore Membership jetty, you will notice many reef fish, together with parrot fish, blue tangs, angel fish, in addition to numerous sea urchins and a big resident octopus. For some wonderful snorkeling, take your dinghy to the south of Manchioneel Bay to Cistern Level and tie your dinghy off to the road connected to 2 buoys and snorkel round Cistern Level Rock and coral reef ridge. Cistern Level is famous for its photogenic ledges coated with sensible corals, flowing gorgonians (sea rods and sea followers) and ample tropical fish typically in teams like gray snappers and blue tang. You could sometimes see a sleeping nurse shark and even an enormous lobster or two. There are normally a college of barracuda floating across the mooring line, however they’re innocent.
In case you are into diving, Cooper Island is on the coronary heart of a diving paradise. Cooper Island, along with Salt and Ginger Islands on both aspect, has 11 of the 50 or so finest identified websites within the BVI. Sail Caribbean Divers, a PADI Gold Palm, 5-star resort, has a dive operation positioned throughout the Cooper Island Seashore Membership. They provide a full vary of scuba diving experiences for all ranges of divers. In case you are on a catamaran constitution, you’ll be able to both meet them at Cooper Island, or they’ll rendezvous with you, and inside 15 minutes, you will be diving on a spectacular reef or wreck website. Satan’s Kitchen, on Cooper Island’s windward aspect, is one such website. It’s a collection of ridges with chambers, caves and coral with numerous lobsters, some moray eels and even a shark sighting potential. Different dive websites embody the Thumb Rock, Markoe Level, and the Pat and Marie L wrecks.
In case you are on the lookout for extra journey, go away your catamaran constitution in Manchioneel Bay and take a 15 minute dinghy journey over to Salt Island. Salt Island is known as for the island’s three evaporation ponds. Salt Island was as soon as an essential supply of salt for Her Majesty’s ships. At the moment, the island and its salt ponds nonetheless belong to the Crown, however they’re operated by the native populace. Annually at first of harvest, one bag of salt is accepted by the Governor as annual lease. There’s a tiny rundown settlement simply off Salt Pond Bay that you may go to. For the previous couple of years, just one individual appears to reside there. He’s normally napping in a hammock below the shade of some palms. When you occur to catch him on the proper time, he might level you within the route of the salt ponds and will even clarify how the harvesting is completed. You may as well purchase a small bag of salt. Salt Pond Bay is affected by a surge and subsequently, it’s only a day anchorage. Be sure your anchor is nicely set earlier than going off to discover the salt ponds. For these wishing to dive the wreck of The Rhone, go to Lee Bay-just across the nook from Salt Pond Bay. This bay just isn’t nicely protected and can be affected by surge. The Rhone is protected by he Nationwide Parks Belief, so anchoring over The Rhone is strictly forbidden, but when your constitution yacht is lower than 50 toes, you’ll be able to decide up a mooring in Lee Bay after which dinghy over to The Rhone, utilizing the dinghy mooring line offered. Simply pay attention to divers within the water for those who do dinghy over!
The Wreck of The Rhone is without doubt one of the most well-known dive websites on the earth. Earlier than she was sunk throughout a hurricane in 1867, The Rhone had been the delight of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Firm and carried 313 passengers. Throughout the storm, she hit Salt Island, was damaged in two, and promptly sunk. At the moment, her two halves are nicely preserved on a sandy backside and her metal wreckage has turn into house to myriad species of fish and encrusting corals. The Rhone is an ideal two tank dive. The bow part, which lies in about 80 toes of water, reveals the coral encrusted cargo maintain and different inside chambers. Outdoors, a cautious survey of the wreckage reveals the ship’s foremast full with crow’s nest and its bow spirit mendacity on the sand. Assist beams for the horizontal deck lie on their sides – the well-known “Greek columns” so typically photographed. The strict part accommodates the ship’s as soon as highly effective engine, her prop shaft and large 15′ propeller that lie in 25 toes of water. The wreck of The Rhone is most well-known because the movie website for the film, “The Deep”, staring Jacqueline Bisset. The hatch, which performed a distinguished position within the film, makes an unbelievable entry to this “treasure ship” for divers who can simply transit the well-lit inside. Different diving websites off Salt Island embody Rhone Reef; the colourful current-battled Vanishing Rocks and Blonde Rock. Blonde Rock is a pinnacle which rises from a depth of 60 toes to a mere 15 toes beneath the floor. Its rock ledges, tunnels, caves and overhangs are house to crabs, lobsters, lovely fan corals and hordes of reef fish.
Whether or not you’re simply limin’ or partaking in some extra stimulating exercise on or round Cooper Island, in some unspecified time in the future, you will get hungry. Most yachties on a catamaran constitution cite the restaurant as their foremost purpose for returning to Cooper Island. The Cooper Island Seashore Membership’s restaurant is a good spot for open-air, informal type eating on the seashore – looking over the boats at anchor. Open for lunch and dinner, Cooks Norma, Sheril and Gail-Ann create magic of their tiny kitchen. Attempt their nice pasta, native fish, veal marsala, beef, lamb or conch curries, rotis and the native West Indian specialty of conch fritters served with a spicy dip. Save room for do-it-yourself desserts like mango-papaya cheesecake, carrot cake and chocolate brownies. Sneakers will not be required, however make reservations for dinner!
Cooper Island is simply one of many BVI’s gems generally known as “Nature’s Little Secrets and techniques.” With its informal grace, countless ocean views and dramatic island panorama above and beneath sea degree, Cooper Island is paradise in all of its tropical splendor. Prepare your catamaran constitution and be captivated by Cooper Island’s intimate allure!