Tortola Trip Report

From: pallister@prodigy.com (MR THOMAS J PALLISTER) Date: Fri, 3 May 1996 21:35:52, -0500 To: Seawolff@interport.com Subject: Tortola, BVI Trip Report - Tom Pallister

TORTOLA TRIP REPORT - APRIL 15 - 22, 1996, BY TOM PALLISTER

Eloise and I had never even heard of Tortola before we saw the special offered by American Airlines a few weeks ago. We couldn't pass up the deal they offered and having been there, couldn't be happier! While Tortola might not be for everyone, especially if you like high rise hotels and glitz, it's a laid back island with a charm all its own, and excellent diving.

We stayed at Prospect Reef Resort and loved it. We had a suite with a refrig, but no air conditioning. We didn't even miss it because the large overhead fan was great. The only complaint I had was that the no-see-ums (mosquitos) loved me. Eloise only got two bites the whole week! That's probably because they were busy chomping on me! The room was large and airy and the view was spectacular. Hammocks were available and were great. Also a very large lap pool was almost our own private pool! Very few guests used it and we loved it. The grounds are very well kept and the help is superb. The water is potable which is a plus. There's a marina on site, as well as Baskin in the Sun dive shop. Two restaurants and other shops compliment the place. Another plus is that it's close to town and we walked there a few times.

Roadtown has a lot of neat shops and as I said, no glitz. Usually there was one cruise ship in port and sometimes none. The restaurants on the island are moderately priced and wonderful! We especially liked C & F's. You won't believe the delicious bar-b-qued chicken, ribs, and lobster! It's a small place so make reservations. I can't wait to get back there! We also tried Mrs Scatliffs which is on the other side of the island and the food was great. This is one of those restaurants that you have to go to at least once to experience it. The PUB outside of Roadtown was super for dinner with a great view of the harbor and good food and music. For a meal with super atmosphere, you have to try Pussers Pub in town. We also dropped some $$'s in their great shop attached to the restaurant. But for excellent Italian food, don't miss Capriccio Di Mare in town. We love Italian food and this was some of the best we've ever had while on vacation.

On the other side of the island is Cane Garden Bay, a beautiful place to swim and enjoy the sun. The restaurants are also very good. We went back twice and spent about 5 hours there each time.

The diving was great! I dove two days and Eloise dove one. I dove Rhone Reef and Painted Walls and they were both great reef dives. I have great pictures that I took at both sites. The topping on the cake was when Eloise and I dove the wreck of the Rhone. The ship sank in 1867 and is in two parts. You do the forward part on the first (deep) dive which is about 82 feet and the aft section on the second dive, which averages about 60 feet or less. Lots of neat swim throughs, portholes still in one piece with shiny brass and in one the glass is still there, and even a spoon that is sticking out of the wreckage! Lots of marine life and super, super picture taking opportunities. We can't wait to get back there. This is a site you could dive many, many times. There's even a rack with huge wrenches in it. On the forward dive you can see the mast and crows nest lying on the bottom. There's also a swim through where you come out by a very large propeller! Great pictures!

We dove with Baskin in the Sun, and they were great. Only complaint was that on the Rhone dive we were on one of their smaller boats and it was really overcrowded. They have a large dive boat called the Narcosis and there's lots of room on it. However they were taking snorkelers from the cruise ship out on it that day. The divemasters were extra special, especially Melanie (Mel) and Mickey. Try to dive with them if you get the opportunity.

We also went on a day sail on the White Squall sailboat. This 80 foot boat is beautiful and we had just a super time! Made great friends and were treated great. Couldn't have been better! Highly recommended for an unforgettable day trip.

As you can tell, we're hooked on the place and can't wait to go back. Any questions, just email me at Pallister @ Prodigy.CO


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