British Virgin IslandsPrinted on waterproof, rip-proof plastic. Available folded. Map size: 25.6" x 18.5"
FM-BVIF (Folded $8.00) ISBN 1-931494-22-3
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Franko’s Map of The British Virgin Islands
This is one of the most unusual of Franko’s Maps, because it took so-o-o long to complete it (over three years in the making), and it included so much input from the locals (almost every bit of information on it has been given to me or has been carefully scrutinized by the local BVI people, specifically the British Virgin Islands Dive Association, which is all of the dive shops and some of the dive live-aboard boat operators. BVI was a huge undertaking and it turned out better than good! In fact, I think it is better than better than good! It is an outstanding, accurate chart of the islands, and it is a good map of the roads and features of each island as well. Every notable scuba and snorkeling site is shown, as are main boating routes. This is the coolest map! It is also interesting in that I utilized no digital data for it’s production, so it was produced in a less technical way than many of my maps. It is entirely a tracing of British Government charts, with the shaded relief of the islands and the descending hues of ocean blue entirely done by yours truly, by hand on the computer. It is literally a work of art.
Side 1 of Franko’s Map of The British Virgin Islands is a the finest dive map to date in the Caribbean, I think, maybe tied with my Franko’s Map Cozumel, but much more beautiful because of the nature of the layout of the islands. In addition to the artwork depicting the islands themselves, I’ve drawn up a little layout of BVI’s most famous dive site of all - The Wreck of the RMS Rhone. I remember first seeing the Rhone on that movie The Deep from the 1980's, (yes, I remember Jacqueline Bissette). In those days this movie led people to think that green moray eels could get to 10 feet long and might bite a man’s head off. But how lovely and peaceful this place is and how docile and reclusive those green morays really are. The list of British Virgin Islands dive sites that one could visit is lengthy. Around Tortola, recently made more known by Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movie, you will find just a few dive site. Likewise for the lovely island of Virgin Gorda. But as soon as you sail across the Sir Frances Drake Channel over to Norman Island (aka “Treasure Island”), Peter Island, Salt Island, Cooper Island and Ginger Island, you will find over two dozen of the world’s most scenic dive spots, and even more up around Round Rock, Seal Dogs, West Dog, Great Dog, George Dog and Cockroach Island. There are also the wrecks of the Chikuzen, Rocus and Parametta in the shallow sea between Virgin Gorga and Anageda, as well as a few dive sites at Anegada itself, but these are depicted on side 2 of Franko’s Map of The British Virgin Islands. Throughout, this is amongst the world’s best sailing, as gentle trade winds and smooth waters prevail. This side of the map also features Jost Van Dyke, a boater’s favorite destination. Making a great circle around these islands one could find dive sites with the following names: Santa Monica Rock, Angelfish Reef, Brown Pants, Spyglass Wall, Carrot Shoal, Shark Point, Ringdove Rock, The Indians, Wreck of the Fearless, Rhone’s Anchor, Rainbow Canyons, Dead Chest West, Dead Chest North, Blonde Rock, Shipwreck Bay, The Wreck of the RMS Rhone, Rec Bluff Point, Markoe Point, Carval Rock, Alice in Wonderland, Ginger Steps, Round Rock Drift, The Blinders, Coral Garden’s Vanishing Rock, Cistern Point, Dry Rocks East, Alice’s Back Door, Aquarium, Diamond Reef, Joe’s Cave, Mountain Point, Seal Dog Islands, Bronco Billy’s, Dolphin Rocks, The Visibles, The Chimney, The Flintstones, Wall-to-Wall, Towing Point, Lee Bay, Times Square, Grand Central Station, and Brewer’s Bay Pinnacles. In addition to dive sites, the best spots to anchor are shone. This includes all-night anchorage, plus day-only anchorage. Franko’s Map of The British Virgin Islands wouldn’t be complete with out a selection of 100+ of BVI’s most see, beloved reef creatures. Triggerfishes, butterflyfishes, turtles, wrasses, angelfishes, groupers, parrot fishes, grunts, snappers, filefish, trunkfish and even a sea horse are shown. Invertebrates including giant brain corals, mountainous star coral, gorgonian fans, tube sponges, sheet corals, lobsters, sea stars, crabs and the octopus are shown. Note the hermit crab scurrying across the sand in front of the drawing of the Wreck of the RMS Rhone. The descending hues of blue that show the ocean depth contours show the viewer the obvious - where the Caribbean ends and the Atlantic begins, as the bottom just drops out into the open ocean. The Continental Shelf could not be more obvious.
Side 2 of Franko’s Map of The British Virgin Islands shows the entire string of islands comprising the BVI. It is on this side that one finds the more remote and less visited island of Anegada, with it’s long, long horseshoe reef, which has more wreck than we probably know about. The southwest side of the map shows the island of St. John in the United States Virgin Islands. This side of the map contains descriptions of each of the main islands themselves, with additional information about airlines, ferries, marine park rules, and the Dive Shops, Charter Boats & Live Aboards and Marine Photography studios.
These folks comprise the BVI Dive Association, and it is they who are the experts who helped edit Franko’s Map of The British Virgin Islands. Thanks all! Also on this side of the map is a series of local photographs, also provided by the photography studios at the BVI. The main boating routes in and around all of the British Virgin Islands appear as dotted lines on this map. It makes one want to get aboard a beautiful sailing vessel and cruise the Sir Frances Drake Channel.