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Catalina Sunshine: Sopher's Hole and The Sugar Mill (BLOG)

The latest from cruising-couple Greg and Beth has Catalina Sunshine exploring the famed Sopher's hole with a car ride to Tortola thrown in.

January 9, 2015: West End Tortola Island BVI

Dropped anchor between Frenchmans Cay and Tortola Island just west of Soper's Hole. The Caribbean colors on the roofs, siding, door and window frames of the shops, market, restaurants and marina offices that make up Soper's Hole "village" make the Caribbean image of West End. Center of the "village" is a great dingy dock directly in front of Pusser's landing restaurant with its outdoor terrace sitting on the edge of the dingy dock. I addition to a number of shops there is a great grocery store a few feet from the dingy dock.

We watched the sun set from Pusser's Landing.


On January 10, we rented a car to tour Tortola. We had lunch at Charlie's which is located on Wickhams Cay 2 in the middle of Road Town Harbour. And, in the center of Moorings and Sunsail's British Virgin Island fleets.

There were hundreds of the same boats, the same color, the same markings, the same color canvas, all clean and waxed, and all docked in the same orientation. The orderliness was surreal.

Leaving Road Town we headed up Joe's Hill Road with its hairpin turns and grades approaching 45 degree. This was a challenge for compact rental even in low gear. The best part of the trip was finding The Sugar Mill Hotel and it's Restaurant, in Little Apple Bay which is about halfway between Cane Garden Bay and West End on the North side of Tortola.


The Sugar Mills history started around 1640 at the height of the sugar and rum trade. The main dinning room of the Sugar Mill has in its walls ballast from ships returning from Liverpool and other ports. As there was little cargo for returning ships which had carried rum and sugar from the Caribbean, they would steal cobble stones in the middle of the night off Liverpool streets, to ballast their ships.

We dinned in what was once the boiler house for a rum distillery with its exposed walls with cobble stone stolen from the streets of Liverpool in the late 1600s. The food was equally incredible.