Surfing Tortola

Surf Beaches on Tortola

Surfing in azure blue waters so clean you could drink if not for the salt.

Steve, the manager and music man of The Elm in Cane Garden running down the line at Apple Bay.

Surfing waves get to a good size here on the north shore of Tortola, maybe you could get lucky while on your vacation and see the energy exploding.

Warm clean water with the winter’s north swells makes for a surfer’s paradise.

Larry, a local from neighboring St Johns ripping of the top

Tortola features 4 good surf spots with reasonable access; Apple Bay, Josiahs Bay, Cane Garden Bay and Smugglers Cove.

The beach at Josiah’s Bay is sandy bottom for the most part, with a wave for every level of surfing experience. A great place to learn, a great place to rip. The right side of the beach offers white water rollers to take a first surf lesson on. Outside and to the left are some fun waves for when you become comfortable with the sport.

Icah at Apple Bay, is a surf instructor at Josiah’s Bay SurfSchoolBVI.

Josiah’s Bay located on the North Shore of the island towards the East End. It is a beautiful ride from the West End up and across the mountain roads taking about 40 minutes. Some great views and murals along the way

The surf break at Apple Bay is over a reef with some nasty coral, rocks and sea urchins, so it is not for beginners. That being said, the wave breaks real nice over the reef and holds up to double overhead swell. When the wind blows right, Apple Bay is magic.

Surf Break Apple Bay
Breaking waves and surf front of Bomba’s right down the road from Applesurf Villa

Cane Garden offers one of the world’s best waves when a north swell is happening. This right only wave offers a 100 yard plus ride that will explode down the line. The bottom is rocky and the wave breaks on a rocky beach so is definitely not for beginners!

Smugglers is a place to go when swells get real big. Most of the wave energy is dissipated here with a sweet right on the point at the right side of the beach. The bottom is fire coral so again, this wave is not for beginners.

Pictures taken at Apple Bay on February 16th, 2017. Swell was from that nasty northeaster that hit the New York area couple days earlier.

One of the great things about the Caribbean is that ground swells that come to Tortola are so predictable. A northeaster running up the US coast and most likely Tortola will have waves 3 days later.

Please learn the etiquette of surfing before going into the lineup to surf.

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!

Apple Bay’s Magic Sand

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. No worries, Apple Bay’s magic will bring the sandy beach back in a couple of days!

Head high plus North swell makes the sand disappear along Apple Bay Beach.

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; back, soft and velvety. The wonders of nature!

Picture above is 7 days after the video was recorded.

Mother Nature’s little bumps are the sand movers at work, in front of Applesurf Villas.

When the ocean calms down, a peaceful serenity awaits on the front decks of Applesurf Villas. Many a soul has passed time watching Mother Nature perform her graceful, effortless rebuild of Apple Bay’s sandy beach. One can sit and see the sand moving with the currents and then being gently laid down on the beach. A true wonder of nature.

Equally amazing is to see the sandy beach disappear in hours sometimes, as powerful north swells arrive from winter storms up north. The energy level and excitement of waves arriving takes you to another completely amazing place. Up close as fat carpets of white water roll towards you and explode; the sound, action and contrasts are unique.

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

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

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

Ferry service from St Thomas to Road Town and the West End is back to normal with Apple Bay and Applesurf Villas just a 10 minute ride from the ferry terminal.

Apple Bay, Carrot Bay and Cane Garden Bay are happening! Come on down to sunshine and bliss, the beaches are looking good.

East View at Applesurf

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

Nothing to do with Applesurf Villas or Tortola, but if you like to look at surfing pictures, below pictures of the Quicksilver Pro contest at Long Beach back in 2011 and some shots of surfers at Gilgo Beach NY over the years.

Quicksilver Pro Long Beach Contest 2011

Nice ground swell came to NY the weekend of the contest. Got to see the the pros rip it up at Long Beach, NY back in 2011 at the Quicksilver contest.

Surfing at Gilgo Beach NY

Pictures taken of Gilgo Beach over the years.