Dive Operators: Bert Kilbride created the two dive operations that continue to service Virgin Gorda. Dive BVI has two locations on Virgin Gorda, one at Yacht Harbor in The Valley and one at the Leverick Bay Resort on North Sound. (They also have a third location on nearby Marina Key, next to Tortola.) Mike and Marcia Goldberg manage the Leverick Bay operation, which includes a nicely stocked shop. They offer divers very personalized service and limit their boat to 12 divers. Kilbrides Sunchaser Scuba is located at the Bitter End Yacht Club on North Sound. Its boat can accommodate more than 20 divers and is ideal for the less-experienced diver. Kilbrides does not have a shop. Diving: The British Virgin Islands are noted for warm water (84 degrees F in the summer/ 77 degrees F in the winter), excellent visibility (60 - 100 feet on average), extremely healthy and vibrant reefs and a wide variety of tropical fish. There's little to no current, and the only moderate tidal considerations during late December and January. Most dive sites are at depths of less than 85 feet. Excellent dive sites include Alice in Wonderland, POS, The Chimney, The Visibles, Wall to Wall and Bronco Billy's. There are several shallow and accessible wrecks well worth visiting, including the Rhone and the Chikuzen.Dive Costs/Packages: Expect to pay $75-$100 for a two-tank dive with rental gear. Both dive operations offer discounts for multiple-day divers. You can arrange stay/dive discount packages with most of the resorts. The prices vary depending on length of stay and number of days diving. Getting there: Beef Island airport on Tortola is the international airport for the BVI. American Airlines held the monopoly for service from the U.S. until this past January, when TWA began service, including connecting service directly to Virgin Gorda. If you don't mind a more arduous journey, consider flying into St. Thomas for the considerably lower airfares. You'll spend more time but less money, and the ferry rides give you a nice tour through the islands.Places to stay: The dive boats serve all hotels, so location on this small island is not an issue. Saba Rock, Bitter End Yacht Club and Biras Creek Resort are all on North Sound. Each is a quality Caribbean resort accessible only by boat. Leverick Bay Resort, also on North Sound, is accessible by car. Leverick offers numerous villas and traditional hotel rooms that tend to be a bit less expensive than the other resorts. There are numerous other hotels and resorts in The Valley and around the southern end of the island.Sailboats: If you're a sailor, you may want to consider chartering a sailboat instead of a land-based stay. Charter boating is far and away the largest tourist activity in the BVI. Both Dive BVI and Kilbrides will do rendezvous dives for boaters. Simply call one day ahead and the dive boat will meet your boat at the dive site or at a convenient intermediate point along the way. They'll even bring rental gear for you, if needed. Currency: U.S. dollar. Note: there is only one ATM on Virgin Gorda, located at Yacht Harbor in The Valley. From North Sound, that's about a 40-minute drive round-trip. Credit cards and traveler's checks are welcome everywhere.Language: English, but locals speak quickly and have their own vernacular. For more information about dive packages and e-mail addresses, click on the home page below.
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