Norman Island, British Virgin Islands
There are many beautiful islands in the Virgin Islands, but Norman Island, in the British Virgin Islands has a rich pirates lore as well. On the West Side of Norman Island, there are three caves you can swim or snorkel into. The caves are close to each other, graduating in size from large to small. It is rumored that Norman Island was the ispiration for the novel, Treasure Island. It is also rumored that there is still burried treasure in those caves. Next time you’re in the Virgin Islands, maybe you should some treasure hunting?
Located at the southern tip of the British Virgin Islands, Norman Island is one of the “must see” places while on the archipelago. Privately owned and uninhabited except for Pirate’s Bight restaurant and gift shop, Norman Island’s romantic history and beautiful calm bays are not to be missed.
The Bight is one of the more popular spots in the island. A large and well secured anchorage where you can anchor off the beach on your private charter boat and swim about its crystal clear water off to the shore, or pull up to the dock and walk onto the beach or to Pirate’s Bight for an unforgettable lunch of West Indian cusine.
Just south of the beach lies excellent snorkeling. The reef along the rocky outcrop is home to sea fans, sponges, brain corals, elk horn and brightly colored fish of all sizes. Norman Island’s famous caves are another great snorkeling spot for the adventurous. Just a short boat ride from the Bight, the Caves offer three different snorkeling experiences. Schools of blue tangs, yellow tails, and sergeant majors will greet you upon entry and follow you from cave to cave. To truly experience the caves, bring a waterproof flashlight so you can see the exquisite corals growing from the roof of the caves. Look hard and closely because you might just find yourself a silver pirate coin. These caves are rumored to be home to massive amounts of buried treasure.
Part of the Island's documented history is the hidden pirate booty from the Spanish treasure galleon Nuestra Senora De Guadalupe. While seeking shelter from a storm on the North Carolina Coast, the crew mutinied and took the treasure for themselves. The articles were then loaded to two Bilanders, one of which was manned by Owen Lloyd. One of the two ships perished while Lloyd's ship made it safely to Norman Island, where he and his crew buried the treasure. After Lloyd and his men were arrested in St. Eustatius, word about the hidden treasure spread out, but only a small number of the ship’s 55 treasure chests have been found. To this day, there are more than 40 treasure chests unaccounted for--and hidden somewhere on or near Norman Island.
On your next trip to the British Virgin Islands, make sure you have Norman Island, BVI on your list. Pack in as much romance and adventure possible by chartering a private charter boat that is stylish, safe and comfortable.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Grey Beard runs "Pirates Paradise Adventures," a powerboat charter company specializing in taking families and friends on fun and exciting day trips to the best beaches, beach bars and snorkeling sites of the USVI and BVI. www.PiratesParadiseAdventures.com.
Seeing the virgin islands by boat is the absolutely best way to see them, especially if you only have a short time! For more information, photos and videos about the U.S. Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands, go to www.PiratesParadiseAdventures.com.