Yacht Charters in the British Virgin Islands by Bareboats BVI
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spacer Sean Anderson surfs during the storm
Sean Anderson surfs during the storm

BVI Hurricane Information

Hurricanes can and do threaten the Caribbean and the British Virgin Islands from time to time.

Hurricane season officially begins June 1st and ends November 30th. However, the vast majority of hurricanes which have affected the BVI in the recent past have occurred in September ... with a few notable exceptions.

In August 2004, (the last time a storm came very close), it became apparent for this part of the Caribbean that Hurricane Frances would be a non-event. I took a drive along the north shore of Tortola to see what I could. I arrived at Bomba's Shack at 2:30 in the afternoon to find surfers enjoying the effects of the storm.

An hour later, you wouldn't have known it was only 3:30 pm. It looked like nightfall! I was trying to get a photo of a very ominous cloud passing over Jost Van Dyke. I lined up the shot and just as I clicked the shutter, "something" came thundering behind me and shot overhead!

Jost Van Dyke as Hurricane Frances Passes to the North
View of Jost Van Dyke as Hurricane Frances passes to the North

For a brief moment it was very dark and then very light. An acquaintance standing nearby asked, "What was that?" I said I thought it might be lightning, but for all I knew, it could have been a Pterodactyl! I was looking through the lens! About 20 seconds later, my suspicions were confirmed by a loud thunder clap. The net result was the surreal photo above! The picture below was taken a couple of minutes later and is a more accurate depiction of the light conditions!

Surfer Tom Merrigan waits for the perfect wave off Bomba's Shack
Tom Merrigan waits for "his" wave off Bomba's Shack

Recent Hurricane History

There have been many more storms than those listed below which have threatened the British Virgin Islands ... but we've been luckier than others. Hugo was certainly the most devastating storm with the one-two punch of Luis and Marilyn following closely behind. Bertha spawned some horrific tornados in her wake and Lenny came out of the blue from the wrong direction!

Hugo spacer Sept. 18 - 19 spacer 1989
Luis   Sept. 5 - 6   1995
Marilyn   Sept. 14 - 15   1995
Bertha   July 8   1996
Georges   Sept. 20 - 21   1998
Lenny   Nov. 17 - 18   1999
Frances   Aug. 30 - 31   2004

Many clients ask, "What happens if our vacation is canceled due to a hurricane? "The answer is ... "That's what travel insurance is for!"

More info and pictures coming whenever a storm passes our way!

Photos of the British Virgin Islands

Map of the BVI

For information about sailing the British Virgin Islands,
Contact our bareboat charter specialist!

Phone: (284) 495-4168 Tortola, British Virgin Islands
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Text & Photos Copyright © Bareboats BVI. All rights reserved.
Launched: September 3, 2004 - Last Updated: January 27, 2014