A Legendary Caribbean Floating Bar Is Back in the BVI

willy tThe Willy T is back.

It’s back in The Bight. 

For years, it was one of the Caribbean’s bucket-list bars: a floating, decommissioned old tanker converted into a beach bar Mecca. 

Then, in 2017, the William Thornton, or Willy T as it was affectionately known, was lost in Hurricane Irma. 

But after its owners found a replacement, and after a year or so of moving around and looking for just the right location, the Willy T has returned to its rightful home in The Bight at Norman Island in the British Virgin Islands, once again a must-stop hotspot on the yachting and sailing circuit in the Caribbean capital of boating.

caribbean willy t
The Willy T at its home perch off Norman Island in the BVI.

The newer, larger, very crisp new Willy T is back in action, again drawing travelers from all over the BVI and the world for its frenzied brand of raucous fun. 

willy t 2

There’s even a broad menu, too, from burgers and ribs to salads, desserts and even a wine list. 

But the draw is still the painkillers and the beers and the feeling that you’re in a tiny sliver of a country unto itself, an all-day seaside party that’s one of the unique experiences in all of the Caribbean, a place where time and reality seem to take a break. 

norman beach

Caribbean Journal visited the Willy T this week for some on-location photography for an idea of what the relaunched bar is like, stopping at the similarly reopened Pirate’s Bight at Norman Island in the process.

Pirate’s Bight reopened for the season on Oct. 4, looking as spiffy as ever in its pristine corner of Norman Island, with an impressive new menu (including the out-of-this-world roasted cauliflower with quinoa) and the same famous blue roofs.

If you haven’t been back to the British Virgin Islands in the last year or so, it’s time to plan your return.

For more, visit the Willy T. 

— C