Tortola Pelicans Apple Bay

Tortola’s pelicans enjoy fishing, flying and playing along the shore line of Apple Bay on the north shore of Tortola. The birds are distinguished by their large elastic throat pouches. They live mostly on fish by catching them using their pouches as a fishing net.

The Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, is the main species on the island.

Tortola Pelican looking for fish in front of Applesurf Villas over Apple Bay Tortola.

It is unique in that it fly’s over the waters looking for schools of small fish and then captures its food by by a spectacular dive bomb plunge from up to 65 feet up in the air.

It is amazing to watch them in the shallow waters along the shore, out in front of the villa, dive and not break their necks going after the fish. Most time they succeed, letting out up to two and a half gallons of salt water and then gobbling up their food with a little shake of their butt feathers as sign of success.

Getting Ready to Dive…
Straight down plunge into the water with dinner waiting below.

The photos for the “Pelicans at Apple Bay” slideshow displayed below were all taken at the Applesurf Villas located at the west end of Apple Bay Beach here in Tortola either off the deck of the Sea Breeze or the patio of the Ocean Mist.

The brown pelican was an endangered species from 1970 to 2009 as DDT decimated them by causing reproductive failures. Since then, they have come back strong. Pelicans raise one brood a year producing 2 to 4 eggs that incubate for 30 days. It takes a couple of months before they can fly and be independent with their parents caring and feeding them via a regurgitated, partially digested fish until that time. Pelican parents will provide an average of 150 lbs of fish per juvenile this way before they can feed themselves.

Pelicans live for 15 to 25 years with a wing span of six to eight feet. The birds are not fazed by human presence for the most part and are fascinating to watch as they interact with each other scouting, dive bombing and eating.

If you walk the shore road towards the Sugar Mill from where Bomba’s was, look up in the trees on the right starting at about 100 feet ahead . You might see pelicans looking out from their nests in the trees.

Slideshow above is of Pelicans diving for food, photos had to be cropped pretty good affecting resolution, so limited size. Gives you idea of the force they hit the water with!

Ferries to Tortola

Watch out overhead

Ferry service is scheduled and pretty reliable from St Thomas to Tortola every day. The ferry ride is 45 to 90 minutes depending on the boat, destination and route.

St Thomas ferry terminals are located downtown in Charlotte Amalie and further east at Red Hook. Ferry companies include Fast Ferry, Smith’s Ferry, Native Sun and Ocean Dreams.

At the main terminal in Charlotte Amalie , once you get your ferry tickets and check in your bags, go upstairs to the Petite Pump Room for a tasty burger, chicken sandwich or Conch Fritters and maybe your first rum punch of the vacation. Good service and a beautiful view of the harbor are yours, as you wait for your ferry.

Seaborne Airlines, a seaplane airline, is located next door to the Charlotte Amalie Ferry Terminal so expect some interesting sights and sounds as they take off and land in the harbor waters right in front of you!

Currently all Tortola bound ferries go to Road Town. It is a 30 to 40 minute car ride to the East End or the West End communities from there. The West End Ferry terminal at Sopers Hole might reopen later this month!

Contact information with links to their web site, a Tortola phone number ( 284 ) and a US / St Thomas number ( 340 ) are listed. You can buy tickets in advance on line and save some time at the ferry terminal.

Road Town Fast Ferry – 284-494-2323 or 340-777-2800

Smith’s Ferry Service – 284-499-3480 or 340-775-7292

Native Son – 284-495-4617 or 340-774-8685

Ocean Dreams – 340-690-0035

Check out the discount on a round trip ticket and be aware that you will pay a 10 dollar per person environmental fee upon your arrival in Tortola. There is also a 20 dollar per person departure tax as you leave Tortola, so the total cost is around one hundred dollars round trip for the ferry trips.

The 5 minute taxi ride from Cyril E. King St Thomas Airport to the Charlotte Amalie ferry terminal is 10 dollars per person each way, with no charge for 2 bags. Additional bags are 2 dollars each.

If you are flying into Cyril E. King Airport in St Thomas on your way to Tortola, be aware that customs in the BVI closes down at 5-6 pm. You want to plan to land at St Thomas to make the 2:30 or 3:30 ferry to Tortola.

If your flight lands after 3 pm, plan on spending the night in St Thomas or taking a private water taxi to the Tortola. Dolphin Water Taxi and Ocean Dreams operate out of St Thomas and offer 12 to 50 passenger boats for passage to all of the British Virgin Islands and ports.

Please note, if your flight down is delayed, you can usually get together with a group of fellow passengers to make a deal with one of the water taxi companies. The taxi service will pay for a late entry fee and you are at your vacation destination as planned, at a reasonable cost.

Last, it is worth checking the ferry dock, if you are in Roadtown the day before you are leaving Tortola, to verify the ferry departure times. Most flights home from St Thomas require you get on the 9:00 or 9:30 am trip which are offered by different ferry companies.

Happy Vacation Time!

Sea Shells, Music and Egbert

North Shore Shell Museum

The North Shore Shell Museum created and operated by Egbert Donovan is a one of a kind establishment you want to visit. Egbert will more than likely greet you with a song and a smile at his Roadside Shack extension.

Egbert loves music!

Right across the street is his North Shore Shell Museum. Here he has shells collected from the island waters and shore along with many other island artifacts for your viewing pleasure.

Entrance to the North Shore Shell Museum in Carrot Bay Tortola.

Egbert Donovan and the North Shore Shell Museum is located in Carrot Bay Tortola on the north end of Carrot Bay right on Shore Road. Worth stopping in and saying hello.

Read some reviews about the man and his museum

North Shore Shell Museum
Beautiful colors and shapes, sea shells of all types
Island hand made

Map of the north west corner of Capoons Bay zoomed in on Carrot Bay, Tortola.

Shells of Tortola
Right across the street, the North Shore Shell Museum
Pull up and take a seat out back at Egbert’s Roadside Shack, lots of neat things to look at and stories to tell!

Apple Bay, Calm Today

Apple Bay Tortola on a calm morning

Nice swell just finished up, sweet waves Tuesday into Wednesday. Notice how a good portion of the beach is gone, it is what happens when big north swells pound the shore for days. No worries, Apple Bay’s magic will bring the sandy beach back in a couple of days!

Apple Bay Tortola, we have recovered from Urma better than ever. Would say that more than 80% of the island’s restaurants, bars and grill are open with most all the roads in good shape.

Ferry service from St Thomas to Road Town is back to normal with the west end ferry dock at Sopers Hole scheduled to open by the end of January.

Apple Bay, Carrot Bay and Cane Garden Bay are happening! Come on down to sunshine and bliss, the beaches are looking good. The video above was taken from the patio at the Sea Breeze, the upstairs suite at Applesurf Villa.

Apple Bay Beach 4/20
Apple Bay’s Magic Sand; 7 days after the north swell, the sand is back, soft and velvety. The wonders of nature!

Picture above is 7 days after the video was recorded. In the summer time where Apple Bay stays calm, the sand comes right up to the sea wall in front of Applesurf Villa. A wonder of nature.

Beach at Apple Bay
Beach covered in soft beautiful sand in the summer months at Apple Bay Tortola

Picture above of the beach at Apple Bay was taken before Hurricane Irma. Beach is very much the same minus our beloved coconut trees.

Tortola Restaurants

Good food and great ambiance is what Tortola’s restaurants are all about. Below are listing of some of the local establishments to relax and enjoy some tasty good food and cold island drinks.

West End and North Shore Restaurants

Sebastians: 495-4212
Sugar Mill: 495-4355
D’CoalpotBVI: 495-4998
Tropical Fusion – 346-3551
Bananakeet Cafe: 494-5842

Stoutt’s Lookout Bar – 442-0432
Myetts: 495-9649
Quito’s – 495-4837
Paradise Club – 495-9910
Bananas – 440-3252

Omar’s Cafe – 443-7724
Omar’s Fusion – 346-7771

Restaurants to the East and in Road Town

Peg Leg Landing: 494-0028
Captain Mulligans
– 494-0602
Gene’s Bar and Grill: 495-3086
Irene’s Restaurant and Bar – 345-0078

Village Cay: 494-2771
Watering Hole – 346-5950
Dove Restaurant – 494-0313
Pusser’s Roadtown – 494-2467
Rooftop by Brandywine – 440-2301
A Tast of India – 342-3391

Hope it helps. Chicken dinner picture above is a dish created by Chef Evelyn at D’CoalpotBVI right here is Carrot Bay. Tasty treats at Tortola restaurants await.

East View Beachfront at Applesurf Villa Tortola

Sitting out back at Applesurf Villas in Apple Bay Tortola offers some of the most beautiful views you will find of the blue ocean, fishing swarming, birds flying, people enjoying the sun, wonderful sunrises and sunsets. Here are a couple from over the years.

The photos are shots looking east from Applesurf Villa. Apple Bay is to the right with Sabastians and Bombas, then the Sugar Mill just before the bend. Carrot Bay is the next village east. The second jute where the mountain line rises is Cane Garden Bay.

Notice how the sandy beach varies in the pictures. Apple Bay sand can disappear in days, but there is always a sandy beach with in walking distance. Regardless, stunning sounds and sites.

Look out at the Sea; Hear it, Feel it and See it; Up Close and Private.

The Power of Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma destroys boats in Trellis Bay Tortola

Hurricane Irma hit Tortola dead on with the eye of the hurricane passing right over Carrot Bay!  Thank God it occurred during the day light hours for the most part on September 6th, 2017.

Applesurf Villa along with most all of Apple Bay, Carrot Bay and Cane Garden Bay suffered severe flooding, 180 mph plus winds and a couple of hours of really big waves. Here is some history of the storm.

Applesurf Villa flooded to the ceiling of the downstairs Ocean Mist suite with the new windows and doors exploding from the forces. Waves went over the top of the house!

Take a look at the slide below. Irma surgically ripped our heavy Ipe wood deck right off the house.

Other photos of the west end of Tortola in the year after Hurricane Irma. Apple Bay has been rebuilt for the most part. Soper’s Hole docks rebuilt and Harbor Market well underway. Bombas is the same, does not seem that it will be rebuilt, issue with the land owner. Otherwise, the island is back!

Apple Bay’s beach after Hurricane Irma trashed with the sea wall and debris.
Bombas post Hurricane Irma
What’s left of Bomba’s after Hurricane Irma.
damage at sopers hole
Soper’s Hole after Hurricane Irma

Tortola Waves

Snapped some shots on October 10th 2016. Wind off shore, nice ground swell rolling in. Sweet magic on the island – Apple Bay Tortola