Little Thatch Island BVI is off the western end of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. The name Thatch is a bastardization of the name Teach. Edward Teach was the real name of the pirate Blackbeard.
These islands are named after Blackbeard. So folklore goes.
Little Thatch Island
Little Thatch was used by pirates as a place of retirement, (This always makes me think of Bingo busses, oxygen tanks, and walkers!). The entire west end is of Tortola has multiple lookouts and sugar hills for pirates to climb to the top of and watch several seas.
George and Marie Myrick
I am going to fast-forward to the 1960s when George and Marie Myrick leased this fifty-acre island with the vision of running a small all-inclusive resort. At the time in the late ’60s, there was a Hilltop House there, a cottage down by the dock called the Jetty House.
There was even a beachside bar with a sign above the door called Club 16.
Tower House, could be found on the western tip of the island, with three bedrooms and the Boat House would be made into a house for the Myricks.
It was a place of coziness more than luxury with kerosene-operated table lamps, Tilley Brass Lamps manufactured in England.
A story of turning an early charter boat crew career into an onshore resort where most of their business was repeats and they partied along with their guests, as we all do, in the old days.
The Beginnings of the Sandcastle on Jost Van Dyke
The Myricks were approaching their last winter on Little Thatch. The lease would run-out and the owners, The Foxes, want to sell the Island.
The Myricks started looking for beachfront property to start their own resort. Five miles away they found White Bay and Jost Van Dyke with a perfect one-acre flat property.
The Myricks decided to build cottages. Imported from North Carolina called Rondettes. An eight-sided building. They ordered two to start with.
Building also entailed hauling tons of supplies to Jost Van Dyke to build the Sandcastle Resort and Soggy Dollar Bar. They soon found out that once a year, without fail, the sea would toss small stones on the eastern side of White Bay. These were perfect for concrete aggregate.
The Painkiller Drink
The Myricks invented the Painkiller drink in the early ’70s! You would be hard-pressed to find a bar that does not sell this drink now in the British Virgin Islands.
The Myricks lived here on Jost Van Dyke for ten years until they moved on. The rest, as they say, is history. I bought George’s book many years ago and was one of the first to purchase and received a flint along with my purchase of the book. I do not remember however where the flints came from!
Snorkeling around Little Thatch Island BVI
The snorkeling and diving around Little Thatch are superb. Please note that anchoring is not an option here as the island is surrounded by shallow reefs.
I have done many drift dives and snorkels on the North and South Side of Little Thatch. There can be quite a current so one must plan carefully.
You will find an abundance of black coral and Angel Fish at depth.
If you are going to anchor it has to be in over 50′ of water to be off the reef and this is a very busy area for ferries.
Here is a diagram that shows the entry and exit positions possible for drift dives at Little Thatch Island BVI. CAUTION on making sure the current is going in the right direction!
Little Thatch Island BVI Today
Now owned by the owners of OTTERBOX since John and Jill Maynard sold it in 2014. This West Indian privately owned island can be rented out. An idyllic spot if I ever saw one.
Little Thatch is located less than 1/2 a mile from St John, and mere yards from where yachts check into Tortola while coming up from St Thomas.