Named after one of the earliest settlers of the Virgin Islands, this island is situated about 5 miles North West of Tortola. Of course, Jost van Dyke himself, and why an island was named after him is still a bit of a mystery. By some accounts, he was a wicked and bloodthirsty Dutch privateer, by other accounts he was a plantation and slave owner and businessman. In all probability, he was all of the above since professional titles tended to be pretty blurred in the 17th and 18th centuries.
In any event, the Island of Jost van Dyke today is an integral part of the British Virgin Islands and is administered by the Crown.
So WHY should you visit Jost van Dyke? Easy:
There is no entrance tax in the BVI but there is a departure tax of about $25.00 per person. This is a moving target so watch out.
The island has a customs and immigration office so you can sail there directly from St. Thomas and check in at Jost van Dyke to get your passport stamped, pay your cruising tax and national park fees in a less crowded environment. I still remember the days when the customs officers went barefoot and their office was a little palm frond cottage on the beach at Great Bay. Today it’s in a nice air conditioned concrete structure across from the dock.
The island is a hop, skip and a jump from West End Tortola where you may be picking up your charter yacht. It’s also a quick run across to Cane Garden Bay on Tortola that has a great beach and good parties and music.
There are also ferries that run from St Thomas, and from Road Town and also from West End Tortola to Jost van Dyke. A lot of weekend traffic from all these locations, mostly day-charter folk.
Basically, you should keep JVD on your itinerary not only because it a great little place with nice beaches but also because when you get home, someone will INEVITABLY ask you: “did you visit Foxy’s? Did you go to the Soggy Dollar Bar?”