Sail and Dive Around the Caribbean

By: andrewbowman

August 5, 2010

As you probably know, Virgin Atlantic are Caribbean specialists, with flights to eight destinations across the region. So we know the best way to get there, but what’s the best way to see the region once you’ve touched down?


Charter and Go

For the ultimate experience, what could be better than sailing around the islands, stopping off where and when you like? That’s what Ayla Lewis would recommend, and she would know. Having worked as an onboard chef for seven seasons in the Caribbean, she’s seen her fair share of sunshine and surf, beautiful beaches, diveable depths andheavenly food of course – and most of it by boat.



St Maarten's Heineken Regatta

St Maarten’s Heineken Regatta


Ayla put her considerable expertise to use in the second part of this post, an indispensable guide to making chartered sailing simple for the first-timer. So, we thought we’d take this opportunity to ask her about personal highlights from her Caribbean career:


It’s all about the fish

Fresh Wahoo for Dinner!

Fresh Wahoo for Dinner!


“I was once offered freshly caught local spiny lobster off the back of the boat while anchored on Christmas day morning. We proceeded to set up a BBQ on our very own island for an unforgettable Christmas lunch Caribbean style! (Union Islands north of Grenada)”

“Catching a 150lb yellow fin tuna between the islands, and serving up freshly caught sushi for dinner.”

“Discovering my BEST dive secret in the Caribbean, between St Kitts and Nevis, with huge schools of barracuda and tarpon, dozens of spiny lobster, and crystal clear visibility.”


The active and the relaxing

“Hiking up though the rainforest canopy at Loterie Farm, St Maarten, and returning to a truly Caribbean-style feast at the restaurant at the bottom.”


“Having some “me-time”, reading a book over light lunch in Catherines Café in English Harbour, Antigua.”

“Letting off steam kite surfing in Vieux Fort in St Lucia, where they have beach side cabins for the real kite surf adrenaline junkies.”


Going down for a night dive in Antigua

Going down for a night dive in Antigua



Caribbean nights

Diving in Saba

Diving in Saba


“Seeing Jimmy Buffet pick up a guitar and play “Margaritaville” in a sleepy little beach bar in Gustavia, St Barts.”

“Going off the beaten track in Barbuda and catching an elusive “green flash” sunset over a sun-soaked rum punch.”

“Putting on my dancing shoes for a good, solid night out at The Mad Mongoose followed by ‘Abra’s‘ in Antigua, or The Lady C (floating bar & grill) and then onto Bliss in St Maarten.”


Sunset behind Nevis from Shirley Hieghts, Antigua

Sunset behind Nevis from Shirley Heights, Antigua


Don’t forget to check out Ayla’s beginner’s guide: How To Sail Around the Caribbean to get the lowdown on chartering your own boat – and book your Virgin Atlantic Caribbean flights here.

Categories: Our Places