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post #2 of Old 10-19-2004
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Last minute charter in BVI''''s

In 2001 I spent the better part of a month sailing the BVI''s.

Recommendations right off the bat - I chartered NorthSouth - very reasonable prices, but the boats show it. You''re not getting "show room boats." We had minor issues all the time, but I''m handy, and nothing was structural or serious... stuff like the doorhandle to the head came off, forward hatch leaked... I fixed it all, and kept sailing happy for the price break. I''d recommend them with the caveat you should know you''re not going to get "new condition" boats.

Also - do NOT provision through the charter service. I chose not to, but heard from SO many others that I made the right choice I''m convinced. We went grocery shopping and hung out in Nanny Cay all the first day. Set sail the second, and did "supplemental shopping" along the way. We did breakfast aboard (cooked in the galley) and sandwich lunches and went out for most dinners. You''re usually headed to a beach pub for happy hour, you get hungry, you eat... you drink more... you get the picture - its GONNA HAPPEN! Couple of nights we "stayed in" we barbequed onboard.

I was there a long time though - long enough to sail around Tortola once, and then up to Virgin Gorda YC, and back to Nanny Cay. Many anchorages I stayed more than one night because they were just SO nice... couple of recommendations:

Manchioneel Bay - OMG, maybe the best. Just to the South (?) is a reef, between Cooper and Salt Island, and it is AMAZING. I snorkeled with a family of sea turtles, and "fled" from a shark - found out later it was just a Nurse Shark, no fear, they''re herbivores... ''course I''m thinkin'' maybe I smell like herbs... (none in particular.....) The anchorage is awesome, the bar there rocks, and there are goats on the shore - they''re a trip to watch.

Also incredible is Jost Van Dyke - it was blowing a gale when I was there, so White Bay (I think, the one to the North) was pretty lumpy, and I only dinghied over to the Soggy Dollar - but I hear that''s quite a spot. Sorry to all the big fans out there, but Foxy''s was a disappointment to me.

Norman Island was fun... quiet (near the Caves and the Indians). But, crowded. Too many people at the Indians to try getting over there - decided instead to get a VERY early start and ensure a good spot at the caves - well worth it, the fish were cool.

Monkey Point - on the North West Side Tortola is UNBELIEVABLE snorkeling - never in my life have I seen so many fish in one place - barracuda''s and all.

But most of all... the sailing. OMG, the sailing. Was in a 36 Jenneau, and loved EVERY minute of the sailing. Did I say the sailing was incredible? It was!

Have a blast, feel free to ask questions - in case you couldn''t tell, I had a great time!
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