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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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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