Willy T, a floating restaurant in BVI, returns to original location

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The Willy T floating bar and restaurant, anchored off the Bight near Norman Island in the British Virgin Islands.
The Willy T floating bar and restaurant, anchored off the Bight near Norman Island in the British Virgin Islands.

Tharr's great news for all wannabe pirates and fans of the legendary Willy T floating bar and restaurant.

After months of uncertainty, the government of the British Virgin Islands said that the Willy T floating bar and restaurant could relocate to its original location, anchored off the Bight near Norman Island on the southern tip of the archipelago.

A fixture in the BVI since 1989 and a popular component of the destination's tourism offerings, the original Willy T (named for William Thornton, a British architect and activist born on Jost Van Dyke in 1759) was destroyed during the 2017 hurricanes.

But when the replacement vessel arrived in the BVI last May, it was denied anchorage at Norman Island by the government and moved to Great Harbour off Peter Island. A decision by the government to return to the Bight was dependent upon the ability of the owners of the new Willy T to meet various environmental, health and safety criteria.

"After studying the matter very carefully, we have agreed that the Bight off Norman Island is the best location for the Willy T," Vincent Wheatley, minister for natural resources, labor and immigration, said in a prepared statement in June.

"The Willy T will continue to live on as an integral part of our tourism offerings at its original location off Norman Island on the seabed serving as part of the BVI's artificial reef system," Wheatley said.

The move from Peter Island to the Bight, which was once called Man of War Bay, took place earlier this month.

The Willy T is reachable only by boat or water taxi. And once guests arrive, they are met with strong rum, fun and food every day of the year.

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