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I Spent a Week Sailing Around the British Virgin Islands — and It Brought Back My Best Childhood Memories

My favorite childhood memories take place in the large above-ground pool at my grandmother’s house in upstate New York. I will never forget the heat on my skin and the chlorine in the air when my brother, cousins, and I walked together in the summer. Long after the sun had set, we would lift ourselves out of the water and patter on the back porch, towels wrapped tightly around us and water dripping from our hair. We would indulge in ice cream and talk about Pokemon or video games while drying off in the humid heat, quickly becoming as exhausted as an 18-wheeler speeding down the highway.

I hadn’t felt this way in a long time – and I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I finally felt it again, when I got back on board. Nomada at sea After a day swimming in the ocean waters surrounding the British Virgin Islands, where this ship is based.

This newly refurbished 62-foot Lagoon 620 catamaran is the son of Nomada Hotel Group, famous for its gorgeous boutique properties dotted around Central California – and they’ve made sure their accommodations at sea are just as impressive as their accommodations on land. The boat is packed with amazing amenities, including five spacious guest cabins with en-suite bathrooms, an on-board chef who prepares daily meals and snacks in the fully-functioning galley, and an array of water sports equipment, from paddleboards and snorkeling gear to sea kayaks and jet skis. Watery.

Jasom Nottle/Courtesy of Nomada at Sea


Since this was my first time sailing on a catamaran, I had no idea what to expect when I stepped on board the first day. I nervously took off my shoes as we approached (no shoes were allowed on the plane for my safety) and shook hands with our captain, Ryan Adler; And our host, Constanza Fernandez; And our chef, Kenitha Ashton. Our bags were taken to our rooms while we explored what would be our home for the next few days.

Jasom Nottle/Courtesy of Nomada at Sea


The back deck was incredibly spacious and featured a large dining area and lounge spaces perfect for lounging in after long days. Our chef mostly used the enclosed galley space, but it was stocked with snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, books, and anything else we might need while we settled in at sea. The front part of the boat, or bow, has deck chairs and hammocks and provides plenty of space to lie down at night for stargazing. Finally, the flybridge, located at the top of the stairs aft, houses a dining area, a guest lounge and two steering wheels for the crew.

Jasom Nottle/Courtesy of Nomada at Sea


All of the en-suite rooms are located below the kitchen area, and most days, we would wake up to the smell of bacon, eggs, or whatever else the chef was cooking that day. The queen bed is located high above the floor and faces a tall window on the wall, providing a stunning view of the ocean. With guest-controlled air conditioning, an in-room iPad for entertainment, stunning Pierre Frey upholstery, and specially scented FableRune bath products, it took a significant amount of strength for me to leave my bed each morning—even while waiting for Chef Kenitha to cook. For me upstairs.

Galen Robinson/Travel + Entertainment


As we dined at restaurants and bars around the islands, there was nothing quite like Chef Kenitha’s cooking. Almost every morning, we had a full breakfast, and after each adventure, whether on the islands or in the water, she brought us snacks to refresh us—from charcuterie plates and homemade ceviche to fresh fruit juices and mixed drinks. The ship’s on-board chef creates these menus based on guest preferences, which guests can fill out before they even set foot on the ship.

Jasom Nottle / Courtesy of Nomada at Sea


On day one, we sailed from Nanny Cay Marina on Tortola and began a week-long trip to some of the most popular spots around the islands. Itineraries vary from guest to guest and are completely customizable based on guests’ ideas and tastes. The British Virgin Islands contain over 60 different individual islands, and while they all give an island feel, each has its own unique offerings.

After we left Nanny Cay, we stopped for our first activity at sea: a snorkeling session around Norman Island. Captain Ryan convinced us to explore sea caves with tales of hidden pirate treasure, and we all kept our heads down as we tried to spot fish and sea turtles in the water. It was a great way to start our adventure.

Galen Robinson/Travel + Entertainment


Virgin Gorda was our first official stop on the tour, and it did not disappoint. We had a wonderful dinner that first night at Rosewood Little Dix Bay (I had the most delicious lobster Anegada I’ve ever eaten) and spent the next morning in The Baths National Park, hiking around 40-foot rocks and putting our sneakers first into pools From the water on our way to one of its beaches.

We had lunch at Saba Rock, a small island resort in North Sound, and ended our second day at the famous Bitter End Yacht Club, where we browsed the gift shops and ate at the nautical-themed restaurant, The Clubhouse. Our final stop the next morning was Hog Heaven, an out-of-the-way barbecue restaurant with some of the best views on the island. (Although the food is delicious, it’s worth the trip up the island for the views alone.)

We stayed on Virgin Gorda the longest on this trip but made stops at other notable hot spots in the BVI. We went snorkeling around the uninhabited Dog Islands and Sandy Cay, relaxed in the pool and ate a fantastic multi-course meal at Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, and spent time learning how to make painkillers at Soggy Dollar and dancing on the tables at Foxy’s. , two iconic establishments located in Joost Van Dyke.

Exploring the British Virgin Islands by boat is the absolute best way to enjoy everything you can in such a short period of time. Each island, both big and small, was its own unique destination, and by the time we had passed through them all, I realized that you could spend any holiday you wanted here as long as you knew each individual island. Sailing these islands on Nomada at sea It was a treat I’ll never forget – the food, culture and variety of adventures you can have beg to be remembered. However, the Nomada crew and people made this trip worthwhile.

After the first snorkeling session of the trip, I climbed back on board the Nomada and collapsed onto one of the deck chairs, because I was exhausted from trying to keep up with the sea creatures below. I can’t remember falling asleep, but it wasn’t long after I woke up and realized we were sailing again. As I sat down to drag my tired body back to my room, I noticed that I wasn’t the only one who had fallen asleep – most of my boatmates had also found a place to pass out aft. I couldn’t help but smile as I remembered those summers in upstate New York, fighting exhaustion after a long day on the water.

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