Saba Rock and Bitter End

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After our fantastic sail from St. Martin to the British Virgin Islands, we checked in at Sopers Hole and immediately motored east into the trades to reach North Sound and the Bitter End Yacht Club. This is one of our happiest places on earth and we wanted to see the rebuilding and reopening of Bitter End 2.0. This entire resort was leveled and totally destroyed by hurricanes IRMA and MARIA in 2017. Now, along with Saba Rock, they reopened in the fall of 2021. What a joy to return! We have spent several Christmas vacations here and we have sailed into here on every charter boat we rented and we even hosted a wedding here for our friends, Debbie and Mick. So, Bitter End is dear to our hearts.

We arrived back at the Bitter End Yacht Club on Feb 10, 2022

Saba Rock vs Bitter End Yacht Club

One cannot sail into the North Sound and go to only one of these special places. Saba Rock and Bitter End have been the destination of every island charter boat ever since they were established many years ago. These two places are completely different and always have been. Saba Rock is literally a reef, a rock, an outcropping, that has been expanded and expanded over the years from a scuba diving shop and bar to the point where it is a full resort place to stay and a destination on its own.  Bitter End Yacht Club is a multi-featured resort with houses, pubs, a sailing center, restaurants, stores, and much more.  The Bitter End covers many acres and has beaches that are wonderful and a  sailing center for boat rentals, along with a full-service marina with fuel and water to service the visiting yachts. Time spent in North Sound will be shared between these two resorts. It is required.

Bitter End Yacht Club dining area.
Saba Rock Dining area

Saba Rock vs Bitter End Architecture

The architecture and the approach of the two resorts are an amazing contrast. Bitter End Yacht Club has focused on more natural materials, wood timbers, and wood framing with metal roofs and natural wood siding. Bitter End Yacht Club is much more casual and focused on an environmentally designed resort, one that will fit into the natural surroundings over time as the wood weathers. Saba Rock is a stainless steel structure bolted into concrete pilings and then cabled together with massive SS rigging cables and turnbuckles. The stainless steel was then coated with black epoxy, protecting it from the salt air. Saba Rock should never ever blow away again since the concrete footings are sunk into the seafloor. The owner spent $70 million dollars to rebuild the sleek and sophisticated Saba Rock!  Bitter End Yacht Club, BEYC, is much more casual and focused on an environmentally designed resort, one that will fit into the natural surroundings over time as the wood weathers. 

Bitter End Yacht Club with a beautiful view of our boat on one of their 60 mooring balls.
Saba Rock construction is epoxy coated stainless steel tubes, bolted to welded steel covered with wood then cabled together for additional bracing!

Both Places are a DREAM

We can not say one place is better than the other, yet of course, our hearts are in the BEYC with all our history and many fun visits there.  What is a joy to see, is the rebuilding of these resorts, after total destruction. It has taken 4 years, YES, FOUR YEARS to recover. It has taken millions of dollars and thousands of hours of labor and love.  So, to sail back here and to learn and enjoy the new resorts was a real joy. These places always will remain very special places in our hearts. We cannot wait to sail back next year!

Photo Essay of Bitter End and Saba Rock

Full Moon over Saba Rock on Valentine’s Day. Notice the waves wrapping around the island.
Full Moon Over Saba Rock
The lower bar and dining area of Saba Rock
Logo on guest room porthole
Guest room entrance
5 of 7 rooms at Saba Rock
The second-floor bar at Saba Rock
The second floor bar at Saba Rock overlooking sunsets on North Sound
The Quarterdeck second floor of Bitter End 0verlooking the marina and North Sound
Night shot at Bitter End Resort
The framed ceiling of the dining area at Bitter End Yacht Club
Our Island Packet 35 sv ISLAND SPIRIT on mooring ball #2 off the Bitter End Yacht Club
The new rental rooms/houses with 2nd-floor loft bedrooms and first floor living with hammocks, decks and dinghy docks
The new marina and dinghy dock at Bitter End Yacht Club
Overlooking the swimming beach from The Quarter Deck
The Clubhouse CH at the Bitter End Yacht Club
Quarterdeck overlooking the marina
The marina office and check-in area at the Quarterdeck
Beach bar in a real boat with beach games, Radeen killed me on the cornhole boards.
Saba Rock dining and bar area,  at the dinghy dock
Bitter End Boat Bar beach area
Bitter End boardwalk overlooking the beach bar
I am so amazed at the structure of Saba Rock. welded cabled stainless steel. OMG!!!
Back at the Bitter End Yacht Club bar for painkillers overlooking the beach
The provisioning store at BEYC
Bitter End Yacht Club loft looking out to North Sound, so cool
BEYC statue we all remember from check-in is now upstairs in the quarterdeck lounge.
Quarterdeck lounge
BEYC Quarterdeck porch 
A massive slab gathering table for diner parties of 10, BEYC
BEYC inside dining with a great view
BEYC inside dining
BEYC BOUY Room dining and pub

North Sound, BEYC, and Saba Rock Location

This location is at the far east end, into the tradewinds, the eastern end of Virgin Gorda. There are no roads to here. The only way is by boat. it is the Bitter End of the Virgin Island Chain of islands, hence the name. 

The location of the Bitter End and Saba Rock. All the way east. It is the bitter end…. 🙂

Thank you for taking a look at our happy place.

PS: We have been lost in the beauty of these familiar Virgin Islands since Feb 9, 2022. It is now March 23 and we are wrapping up a new canvas job here in St. Thomas. Soon we will set sail, in a week or two heading NW with a destination of Annapolis MD by May 15, 2022. That is our target. We will sail from USVI to Puerto Rico to Turks and Caicos to the Bahamas to the Gulfstream to Outer Banks, up the Chesapeake Bay and HOME. 1,500 nm approximately, taking about one month. Maybe??? For now, we enjoy these USVI islands and finish the canvas job.

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11 Replies to “Saba Rock and Bitter End”

  1. Beautiful
    Wow…the Bitter End, and especially Saba Rock have dramatically changed…I remember a grungy bar on Saba Rock and that was all…But I thought the old villa’s on Bitter End were more elegant than what they’ve rebuilt….but they probably won’t blow down now.
    Thanks for this…as always

  2. If you end up in the Abacos before May 1st, look me up. I’m running a Hinckley Talaria 44 out of little harbor and have a house your welcome to the amenities at. I also have a company car, I’d be happy to take you around the island.

  3. Love the photos of the roof framing. Excited to see Team Island Spirit in Rock Hall this summer.
    “ Yah Mon “

  4. On and off the boat, you two are a treasure! It is so uplifting to see the rebuilding of these special places. I remember them well and hope to return one day soon. Again, thanks for all the pictures and your commentary. Good winds!

  5. Great post as always. You guys look great!
    I love the photos especially the nighttime ones. Did you use your phone for those as well?

    Hope the new router is working out for you. Enjoy your last few days in the BVI‘s and smooth sailing back north

  6. Interesting – they’ve done a wonderful job. Our first trip there was in 1979. I remember another resort up a small bay to the right of BEYC. You could dinghy up to their beach and walk through the grounds to a deep bay that faced east and had a marvelous crescent beach. I had an albino angel fish rubbing my ankles just like a cat. Is that place still there?

  7. What a beautiful photo commentary on the BEYC. Glad you two are doing well and enjoying reminiscing about your time there over the years.
    Capt Dan – heading for back surgery next week. Looking forward to being anesthesiacly (sp?) comfortably num” during the process

  8. Miss you both so much! You both look so healthy and fantastic. Radeen your hair is gorgeous!!!!!!!! Love you both and miss you!!! Savor the journey!

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