Reliable trade winds blow consistently and provide welcomed, cool breezes. No wonder the
Virgin Islands are considered the best charter grounds in the world and
“the perfect winter or summer retreat.”
The Virgin Islands are sunny most
of the time even in the winter months.
Temperatures vary from the high 80’s to
the low 90’s in summer and from the low to
mid 80’s during the winter.
During the winter months of November through April, any significant weather in the North Atlantic will produce swells typically along the northern coast of the islands. These ground seas have little effect on vessels under sail. It is at this time of the year that surfers are attracted to the islands.
Most anchorages exposed to the north are prone to this phenomenon – called the North Swell. We recommend you choose your anchorage accordingly.
Owing the northeast trade winds, the wind direction throughout the Virgin Islands is dominated by the movement of the Bermuda high. During the winter months of November to January, the prevailing wind is from the northeast at 15-20 knots. The fabled Christmas winds can produce 25-30 knots for several days at a time. By February the winds start to move around to the east and by June they are blowing out of the southeast at 10-15 knots.
During September to October the trade winds are weakest, and the weather can be less settled. It is important to note that these months are considered hurricane season. By November the high pressure system around Bermuda starts to stabilize and 15-20 knots breezes become the norm.
While late summer to fall is considered rainy season, rain squalls can come at any time of the year. It is a good idea, should you see a squall approaching, to shorten sail beforehand and batten down the hatches.
In most cases these periodic squalls, which pass quickly are welcomed as they give your boat a good rinse down and are quite refreshing. Most of the time it’s sunshine and rainbows!
The tidal range throughout the Virgin Islands is about 12 inches depending upon the time of year. You will probably be unaware of any fluctuation. However, you cannot rely upon the rising tide to float you off the odd sandbar. Currents in certain areas can reach 1-2 knots.
Published to commence from June to November. Generally, mid-August to mid-October is the time that you are most likely to see a tropical storm occur. Several days of advance warning is always given. VOYAGE charters closes our annual booking calendar from August 15 to October 10. This is also the period when we haul our fleet for annual servicing at our own boat yard conveniently located at Sopers Hole.
Should you have to evacuate the vessel due to an approaching storm or hurricane, VOYAGE will give our charter guests advance warning as well as assist in finding suitable land accommodation. We will endeavor to get all guests back onboard at the soonest possible time. We highly recommend that travel insurance coverage be purchased for charters booked during hurricane season.