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post #10 of Old 10-06-2003
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BVI charter report

I was on a Moorings 4-day crewed charter in April this year. It was our first trip to the BVI, and it was like a dream--absolutely wonderful. If you''ve never bareboated and want to "scout" the area, do a crewed "cabin" cruise first. Our crew (Brett and Ronnie) handled the 47'' cat like the real pros they are, and served exquisite meal after meal. We went to Peter Island, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, Monkey Point/Marina Bay, then finally back to roadtown. Now I feel like I know the area well enough to bareboat down there anytime and know the good places to go.

As to the attitude issue brought up in this thread: one of the things our crew told us over drinks the first night was that island folks get irritated (and show it) when you try to go too fast for them. Our captain, Brett, has been in the BVI for a few years and seems to know everyone in every bar. Every night we went ashore, Brett walked into the bar with us, shook hands/hugged the staff, and immediately went behind the bar and started serving drinks for us and for anyone else--the barstaff seemed to take it for granted that he would do this, and took the opportunity to relax a bit (ha!). Anyway, Brett''s advice was to dress well in stores and restaurants (ie, no bathing suits, no flips, wear shirts, nice shorts or slacks), smile, say hello, have a "bit of a chat" (Brett and Ronnie are English), stay laid back, act as if you''re very happy and relaxed, in no rush, and interested in the people around you. After saying hello, exchanging names, talking about the weather, etc, for a while, the waiter/bartender/whoever will have asked you what he/she can do for you, and you can say "oh, when you have time, I''d love a [whatever], but there''s no rush." The "whatever" will be there twice as fast, the person you''re dealing with will really warm up and be nice, and you''ll all have a good time.

Act like you''re not in a store/restaurant/whatever--act like you''re in their house as a guest. It works--most of the time. After all, there are a-holes everywhere. And I''ve never had to deal with officials in the BVI, don''t know what the right approach is there. Closest I came was going into a bank to get some cash (for some reason my atm card would not work in atm machines there, but would work in stores.) In the bank, it was all business, no "island time", everyone--locals and tourists--were treated with bureaucratic indifference but with efficiency.

Anyway, that''s my 2 cents worth. I''d have to say that when we took the time to apply the above advice it always worked really well. When we were tired and grouchy (it rained quite a bit while we were there before and after our cruise), and reverted to US-style expectations of service, we got the cold shoulder.

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