One thing I noticed about the British Virgin Islands: there are a LOT of bars.
We stopped at so many beach bars on the Arabella trip that I’m breaking them up into two posts. Today I’m posting photos and info about the bars on Norman Island, the inspiration behind Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Treasure Island. Later in the week, I’ll post my thoughts on Jost Van Dyke, which is, without a doubt, party central for sailors.
You could always tell the most popular spots by the number of catamarans, yachts and other vessels anchored in the bays. These islands are small – way too small for large cruise ships to enter – and several of our landings were “wet” (meaning, no dock). But that just added to the Painkiller-induced fun (forget wine, the rum-based Painkiller was my drink of choice for the week).
After our day of snorkeling the Caves and the Indians, we headed into Pirates Bight, a classic beach bar with serving up ribs, chicken and BBQ fish. The restaurant also featured a great gift shop where I bought my fave T-shirt of the trip: “Pirate Girls Kick Butt.”
For some members of our group, the bar was little dark. Good thing Gordon carried a headlamp!
After dinner, some of us dared to go to Willy T’s, a ramshackle-looking boat bar anchored in the bay.
The bar, named for the ship William Thornton, has long had a notorious rep. At one point, the bar gave out free T-shirts to women who would jump naked off the top (and the Internet proves that many took advantage o f this!) It wasn’t packed when we arrived, but there were enough people dancing and drinking shots (served on a surf board) to make things interesting.
A couple of crew members, Holly and Ben, came with us to make sure things didn’t get out of hand.
While the crowd wasn’t as wild as I’ve heard it can be, there were still shenanigans going on. At various times, women would ask the bartender to “tattoo” them, a process that involves placing stickers where the sun don’t shine.
In general, our shipmates were sedate. But on this night, Tedi and Krassi, a mother-daughter duo, let loose, getting down with the locals and other tourists.
All in all, we had a fun time, downing our Painkillers and watching others get wacky. I can see how a night at Willy T’s can get quickly out of hand!
Next report: Foxy’s and the Soggy Dollar on Jost Van Dyke
Do you have a fave Caribbean beach bar?