Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
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Re: Island hopping between BVI and USVI?
Since the only place to clear USC & BP on St. John that I am aware of is Cruz Bay on the western end of the island, you may want to look into a USC & BP program called the "Local Boater Option". While I am not yet enrolled, I intend to be so. It is my understanding that you can enroll into the program at USC & BP in Cruz Bay allowing you to check in by phone in the future. Example: You clear out of the BVI's at Jost or Soper's and want to go to Coral Bay on the very east end of St. John. This program allows you to check in by phone, thus avoiding almost a full days sail to Cruz Bay and return.
Remember that you must check into and out of the BVI's, while it is only necessary to check into the US. Another problem area that gets people in trouble is the fact that the USVI are special tax free zones and as such require that you clear US Customs when entering the taxable US, ie: Puerto Rico or the mainland. If in doubt, ask.
Let us know how it goes for you. When I checked into the "Local Boater Option," a couple years ago, the procedures seemed to be set up to cater only to "Local Boaters." (Hence the name.) I doubt that a tourist who charters down there once every year or two would be willing to have his entire chartering group make a special trip down there for an interview.
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1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1994 Mason 44 Firefly on loan from my BFF (West River, Galesville, MD)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)