It is easy for divers to get caught up in the numbers game of spotting and remembering fish species as they explore the BVI’s diverse underwater environments, but there are a host of other lives down there – especially invertebrates – just as worthy of attention. From the tiny, brightly colored Christmas tree worms, to the large and elusive slipper lobster, there is much to appreciate that doesn’t boast a backbone! Whether your Cuan Law diving adventure takes you to the shallows of Coral Gardens or the atmospheric depths of the Wreck of the Rhone, there are myriad life forms to discover in the vibrant reefs of the BVI.
Do you like shells? Well don’t be fooled by the Flamingo Tongue Cowry as it sits on its favorite perch- a gently swaying purplish-blue fan coral. This snail, with its stunning, almost giraffe-like patterning of creams and browns, is actually playing tricks. Deceptively, the pattern is not part of the shell at all, but rather its foot (which covers the shell)! We don’t recommend disturbing anything on a reef, but should you dislodge the cowry from its resting spot then wait a minute or so as the little critter ponders its next move, the pattern will creep back into the shell, revealing a plain pinkish creamy shell surface.
Check out the sponges! Large and aptly named Barrel Sponges are easy to spot on BVI diving trips, but there are numerous others including some more reminiscent of a science project gone wrong – think green slime! Then there’s the coral. Many of the most striking examples are named for the hard, calcified external features resembling elk or stag horns, yet the BVI reefs are home to a spectacular diversity of other coral species. Look more closely – especially on a night dive, or if you’re able to find a gloomy rock overhang – as it’s under these conditions that the living coral polyps peep out from their hard protective homes. The tiny feathery tentacles’ colorations range from brilliant yellows, golds and oranges on cup-coral, to purples and iridescent blues and greens on some of their cousins.
Are anemones your thing? Or perhaps you like worms and nudibranchs? Go slowly and seek out all the crevices and you’ll be sure to turn up examples of all of them. The large and not exactly handsome Donkey-dung Sea Cucumber will be one of the easiest to find as he traverses the sandy floor, but even that less than beautiful worm offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of the reef. He lives a pure recycling life, with sand going in one end and coming out the other, with a little gentle cleaning happening in between.
And then there are this writer’s favorites – the Reef Squid. Definitely not the behemoths of legend; nevertheless these guys are smart. At around one foot or so in length (and very tasty), they are usually secretive. I have been lucky enough to see what can only be described as school outings à la “Finding Nemo”, twice! The first was whilst snorkeling at Little Harbour, Peter Island, when what looked like Mama and Papa stood guard at either end of a line of more than 70 squid of all sizes. They were on a mission, and stayed in formation as they moved at a reasonable pace across the shallow natural sandy harbor. The second was at Sandy Spit off Jost van Dyke, and again Mom and Pop looked to be in charge. While not as numerous as the school in the previous encounter, they were all close to adult size and seemed less skittish. I tried to “talk” squid, moving my fingers together to resemble their outstretched arms. They did allow me to stay with them for quite some time, so I guess they at least tolerated the human, even if they could not comprehend what it was trying to communicate!
Book your BVI diving adventure on the luxury liveaboard the Cuan Law. Experience the vibrant marine environments of the Caribbean, exploring the numerous shallow reefs, open water dive sites and murky wrecks of the BVI.
By Duncan Muirhead
From the minute we boarded – the most accommodating “family” welcomed our group!
EVERY island, wish, ask, want was happily achieved. My first trip to BVI’s was wonderful, this trip was AMAZING. So happy to have had an amazing time, the snorkeling was fantastic – finally made it to the Baths and Willie T’s – dreams do come true! Did not want to leave the boat and new friends behind! THANK YOU Capt. Scott and crew!
The Cuan Law is a PERFECT TEN for diving/family vacation. This was our family’s 8th time on the Cuan Law. It continues to be our favorite vacation because the diving is incredible, the crew is outstanding, and the food can not be beat. The crew makes the trip so special. The crew makes it a special vacation whether you dive or not. We have taken people from 22 months old to 78 years old. There is lots for everyone to do.
Plenty of dives if your family is into diving, but also fun water sports (tubing, water-skies, sailing, snorkeling, beach ventures, etc.) for others. Best trip EVER! They have hammocks for relaxing, mats for laying out and tanning, crew that will make you any drink you ask for, and overall a comfortable environment for a relaxing vacation. They are completely so flexible so they allow you significant input into the schedule for the week including where you moor and where you dive. THE best service money can buy! DON’T MISS OUT – BOOK IT !!
My wife and I first sailed and dove on the Cuan Law 28 years ago. We had a great time, and returned for a second trip a decade later. Again, we had a wonderful week. Now that our sons are in their 20s, and seasoned SCUBA divers, we decided to share the experience with them, and we could not be happier with our decision.
We all had a superb week. Everything about a trip on the Cuan Law is just “right.” For starter, the crew is amazing. From the moment you board the Cuan Law, you have no choice but to relax. The first thing that happens is your shoes come off, and go into a storage container for the duration of the trip. (You don’t need them onboard, and it actually was a bit depressing to put them on when it was time to end our trip.) The crew members are attentive without feeling intrusive. You want a dive guide? Great, you have a dive guide. You want to go on your own with your dive buddy? That works too.They are constantly working to keep the ship, and your stateroom, clean and organized, but never seem to be underfoot.
If you want or need anything, and there is a way to get it, they will make it happen. And the food is Amazing. Patrick is a magician. Every meal had the look, taste and presentation of a top Michelin starred restaurant. The diving is typical Caribbean Diving. Generally good visibility, with low to moderate currents. Not too deep. And if the weather allows, there are several world class wreck that the Cuan Law will visit. We were able to dive the Rhone and Chikuzen, both outstanding dive sites. When you are not diving, there are water toys available. Hobie cats, sea kayaks, paddleboards, water skis, and more. You can be as busy as you want, or you can flop down in a hammock on the huge deck, and read a book. (My choice, while the boys were out getting dragged across the water on kneeboards.)
Overall, we could not have been more pleased with our time on the Cuan Law. She is a great vessel for people who want to dive, but also want to do other things on their trip, and she is crewed by an outstanding team that goes out of their way to insure you have a great time. We can’t wait to return.
Tis the seasons to start planning your Christmas holiday sailing vacation in the British Virgin Islands! Trade in your boots and snow for flip flops and white sand beaches this winter with a week on Cuan Law. We all now how quickly the holidays arrive and now is the best time to get your vacation plans sorted. You can save on flights and rest easy knowing your escape to the BVI is settled before summer starts.
The BVI features beautiful weather all year long, especially in December with average temperatures around 80 degrees. Along with blue skies the water is especially clear which is the perfect setting to discover the best dive sites in the Caribbean. Guests not interested in diving can spend the day snorkeling, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding in the calm waters around Cuan Law.
We love island excursions as much as diving and our guests wake up to a new island everyday. Bring your favorite hat and sunglasses for an afternoon hiking the world famous Baths in Virgin Gorda. Then cool off with a swim around Spring Bay before we sit down for a fun beach front BBQ served by our friendly staff. There is always time to explore a new beach or hiking path, don’t forget to bring your camera!
Everyone indulges a bit on vacation and with Cuan Law all of your food and drink are included. Right after sunrise our chefs are busy in the kitchen preparing for a buffet breakfast. Lunch is also a buffet served around noon featuring the likes of fresh baked pizza, taco day, fresh salads, BBQ, and local seafood. A recent review on TripAdvisor boasts “The meals were always exceptional as Chef Kellie deftly accommodated our low carb and high protein requests. And Exceptional is an understatement. REALLY excellent and unique provision! We had a Filet that was better than any steak I have had in Texas!”.
Trying to find the perfect holiday gift for your family can be daunting, but rest assured a sailing on Cuan Law in the British Virgin Islands will create memories to last a lifetime. Family and friends of all ages will cherish the time spent together exploring the BVI.
You’ve tied the knot, cut the cake and posed for the photos, now your’e ready for a BVI sailing vacation! Begin your adventure in Tortola by boarding our 105 foot trimaran where our friendly crew will greet you with cocktails and an exciting BVI sailing itinerary.
Your all inclusive sailing charter in the BVI starts with Cuan Law, here are a few highlights you can expect from the trip.
Norman Island – A quick sail over to Norman Island passing the Indians and anchoring near the Caves for a few hours of snorkeling and diving. The views for dinner are truly break taking with the sunset dipping over St. John from the aft deck. Guests love to explore the caves at Treasure Point, an emerald green lagoon that inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.
Virgin Gorda – Spend the afternoon hiking down to explore the Baths through magnificent natural boulder fields. Cool off a bit with a swim around Devil’s Bay before heading over to Spring Bay for our beach bbq. Our staff provides a fun beach front bbq with cold drinks, grilled burger and hot dogs, fruits, salads, desserts and more.
Pristine turquoise waters, balmy air temperatures year-round and unforgettable underwater scenery no matter where you dive keeps the adrenaline pumping for everyone from novice snorkelers to experienced scuba divers. Among the talented crew are two Scuba Instructors and additional Dive Masters. You can take a short Introduction to Scuba course if you are a beginner in a very ‘no Pressure’ environment.
Spa Services – Enjoy a spa day during your sail at Ixora Spa at Scrub Island Resort. Ixora Spa is a requisite for sailing enthusiasts seeking a true experience that embraces its cliff-side sense of place. Ixora Spa skillfully blends the healing powers of Ayurveda in a variety of wellness treatments that will leave your mind peaceful, muscles relaxed and skin beautiful. (Inquire about availability when booking.)
Dining on Cuan Law
Breakfast on Cuan Law – What an amazing start to the day! From French toast to Eggs Benedict to Blueberry Pancakes to Farmhouse scrambled eggs, you can be sure that our Chef will help you to prepare for another fun day on the water. For the early risers our Continental treats are available from around 6.30am, but you are on vacation, so there is a more relaxed start for those who prefer to snooze as our pipping hot daily special’s are served at around 8.00am.
Lunch on Cuan Law – The casual fun of our buffet lunch served on the aft deck can’t be beat. You’ll enjoy homemade pizza’s, Mexican feasts, fresh zesty salads, and of course our signature cookies and cakes. All of this and the every changing views as each day you’ll be at a new anchorage off any one of the stunning cays and coves making up the beautiful British Virgin Islands.
Dinner on Cuan Law – Dinner is a classic sit-down event and is the culinary highlight of the day. A savory blend of cosmopolitan cuisine and Caribbean fare are complimented by a broad selection of fine wines. A week of dining on the Cuan Law is a truly memorable experience.
While a Cuan Law trip always aims for guests to enjoy a casual and relaxed break, our lovely dinners do have a more formal feel. Think beach-chic restaurant dining, perhaps in Miami and you’ll have an idea of the ambiance and the quality of this evening experience. We offer a wide selection of the best fresh produce available and we also do our best to tailor menus if your group has any specific requests. Our Chef delights in helping you with those Special Celebrations too so please be sure to let us know about birthdays and anniversaries!
“The Cuan Law is a trimaran sailing vessel specifically designed and built for the ultimate diving experience. Luxury accommodations, delicious food, and a terrific captain and crew make this cruise a top notch dive adventure The sensational diving is complimented by onshore adventures. The perfect combination of relaxing and exciting.” – Via mccachrenjm on TripAdvisor
Your Adventure Starts Here
Imagine waking up every morning to an ever-changing landscape of white sand beaches and emerald seas. Relax with a glass of wine and dine on a wide variety of delicious bites from our culinary team. We would be thrilled to welcome you on board for your honeymoon in the British Virgin Islands. Call or email to book today!
Bring the Whole Family to the BVI for Thanksgiving!
The British Virgin Islands is the perfect spot for any family vacation, especially when your activities, accommodations and meals are included. On Cuan Law, you can expect all of this, with a high level of personal service you would normally experience at a five star resort.
The BVI has beautiful weather throughout the holiday season, and all of your island favorites have been open and thriving for some time. The infamous Willy T is now located at Peter Island with the likes of Cooper Island Rum Bar and Pirate’s Bite hosting various holiday parties and events. The trade winds and temperatures are just right for an escape with the family to explore the beautiful BVI.
The holiday season not only brings gorgeous weather but all some of the clearest waters that are perfect for a morning dive or snorkel at the Caves on Norman Island. For guests not interested in diving, there are many other ways to enjoy the water like snorkeling, kayaking, hobie cat sailing and stand up paddling. We also take daily island excursions that include hiking, sightseeing and learning about local history and culture.
For many, the best part of Thanksgiving season is the food, and Cuan Law does not dissappoint! Our culinary team are excited to produce all of the holiday favorites including roasted turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes with gravy and assorted pies and desserts. All meals are included in your vacation including buffet breakfast and lunch, snacks throughout the day and a plated dinner in the evening. Don’t forget to stay hydrated at our full service bar featuring classic Caribbean cocktails, beer, smoothies, sodas, and juices.
Finding a way to celebrate all that you are thankful for this year is easy, book your BVI family vacation on Cuan Law! We can take care of all your needs create memories that last a lifetime.
We are delighted to welcome aboard our new chef! Get to know a little bit more about Chef Patrick Wilson.
Welcome to Cuan Law! Can you tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to be our new chef?
Well, I went to culinary school in Chicago in 2003. Back then I very distinctly remember setting a goal that some day I was to be the chef on a large ship in the Caribbean. I’ve spent the last 15 years of my professional career working toward that goal. I have traveled all over and have eaten at some of the best restaurants on the planet. I’ve been fortunate enough to work at some very reputable fine dining establishments and collected knowledge from many well known and respected chefs. I am extremely excited to bring this knowledge to the guests of Cuan Law and look forward to providing a level of cuisine only found on the highest end of live aboard charters.
What is your favorite thing so far about working on a boat?
I love the water! I want to be on the water. I want to be in the water. Food and water are the essentials of life. I have a profound respect for both. SCUBA is my favorite water activity. I love that I am able to enjoy doing this with the guests a few times a week!
If you had to choose a song that mirrors your cooking style what would it be?
Love & Happiness by Al Green
When you love the food that you create and love what you do, I believe the food tastes better. Happiness is most important. If you aren’t happy, find the thing that makes you happy. Life is too short to not have love & happiness. I feel fortunate to have both.
Tell us some of your favorite ingredients and how you can use those on charter?
Chili peppers! With a passion! Specifically the West Indian habanero pepper. I fully understand that not everybody is crazy about spicy food. I myself love it, but when it comes to cooking for the general public I have a way of incorporating such a small amount of heat that it’s almost completely undetectable. I dislike flat food. Food, like wine should have layers. When I taste the food that I make I look for at least three to four layers of flavor. They are to be balanced in a way where not one is overpowering, but rather can be tasted and enjoyed individually.
Other favorite ingredients that add complexity to the food I create include but are not limited too:
Fish sauce, Gochujang paste, Garlic, Ginger, all curries and Bacon – because – BACON!
We have seen you scuba diving between meals, which dive is your favorite so far?
Wow. That’s a tough one. There are so many great dives in the BVI. I would say the dive I like the most is the one I haven’t done yet. Ha, but for real, The Rhone is really cool!
If you had just one cocktail to share with a guest which would it be?
I’m going to be boring with this one. I love a vodka soda with two limes. It’s clean, it’s refreshing and it’s water! Also I don’t share my cocktails, it’s MY cocktail! I’d be happy to make a painkiller for a guest though. They are the perfect island cocktail, but too much sugar for me.
Recent review from TripAdvisor! “A huge shout out to Chef Patrick who provided the most amazing meals everyday – better than any five star restaurants I’ve been to!” Read full review here.
Check out some photos of Chef Patrick’s food from charter!
Another fun week on Cuan Law exploring the British Virgin Islands. We had some really nice weather with winds around 20 knots most of the week. The visibility underwater was pretty good as well especially when diving the RMS Rhone at Salt Island. Guests spotted several nurse sharks, eels and turtles during the dive.
Our island excursion began with a hike on Salt Island to explore the salt ponds and views. The hike takes about 30 minutes and provides sweeping views of the bay below. We anchor nearby and this bay provides a calm setting for the evening dinner.
The following day we setup for diving on the north side of Tortola with a stop at Brewers Bay. Guests enjoyed water skiing, hobie cat sailing and kayaking between dives with a mexican inspired lunch and salmon dinner.
The fun continued over at Guana Island the next day with a dive at Alice in Wonderland and Angelfish Reef. During our lunch our more adventurous guests decided to go for the cliff jumping on a nearby rock. Exploring the bay with the kayaks a few guests spotted some green sea turtles.
Our most popular day is always Virgin Gorda because guests hike the baths and enjoy a beach side BBQ in Spring Bay. Our new crew member Kelly, lead the group thru the Baths National Park hike and down to Devils Bay. Guests enjoy snorkeling and swimming the calm waters and white sand beaches. After the hike we head over to Spring Bay for the beach BBQ where Chef Kellie and crew had a delicious spread of burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, fresh fruit and cookies.
We ended the charter with a surprise as one of our guests was celebrating a birthday. Chef Kellie hand made the cake complete with edible coral and reef fish!
Cuan Law is the third in the fleet of trimarans designed and built by the owners, Duncan and Annie Muirhead. Duncan is of Scottish heritage and his family home overlooks the Misty Law mountain range there. Law is Gaelic for mountain. Their first vessel which was more of a collaboration than an original Duncan design was named the Misty Law in memory of these mountains as Annie and Duncan took off for their sailing adventure in the 1970’s.
They spent many seasons working charters in the Mediterranean in the summer months then sailing across the Atlantic to work the newly imagined Caribbean charters in the winter months. One of those early guests, a Canadian businessman Hal McCarney became a great friend and collaborator and in the 1980’s they planned, designed and and built the next vessel together with him, a luxury live-aboard dive vessel. This one, the Lammer Law, was named after the largest mountain in the Misty Law range.
Duncan and Hal could not stop at two, so the third one came along and they started construction in June 1987, but although they wanted to stick with the “Law” tradition, they had run out of names. They decided to ask former guests to come up with ideas and following in the Gaelic tradition, Cuan Law was submitted. At the time they all understood Cuan to mean Ocean, hence Cuan Law = Ocean Mountain, quite apt for the largest sailing trimaran in the world. It was discovered a while later that another dialect of Gaelic translates Cuan to mean peaceful, which is also lovely, so Cuan Law = Ocean Mountain, or Peaceful Mountain! 🙂