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post #11 of Old 11-10-2012
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Re: Abacos or BVI

There are charters available in several places on St. Thomas. We have chartered at least a half dozen times from Island Yachts in Red Hook, which is a hop, skip, and jump to St. John. We've done the USVI-BVI scene 4-5 times and the check-in procedures are a nuisance, but tolerable. If you've got a week-long charter with the little one, you might consider the following itinerary out of Red Hook: Day 1 & 2 - sail/motor to Leinster Bay. Enjoy the beach, which you can snorkel from and maybe hike to the Annaberg sugar mill. You'll be eating on your boat. Day 3 - sail and mostly motor (you want to spend more time at the Baths and can sail another day) to Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor and take a slip. You'll check in (and out at the same time) at the customs facility next door to the marina. [The skipper only goes to customs and will pick up forms for the crew to sign. He will bring them back with passports and pay the requisite fees. This process could take an hour if you have to go back and forth to the boat.] Take a taxi to the top of the Baths and hike down to enjoy this fabulous area. Consider it a beach stop for the young one, but you'll be hiking through the boulders (20+ min each direction) to a really nice beach (no facilities) at the west end of the baths. Bring your snorkel. There is a good restaurant up top that you might consider to treat yourself that night. You'll want to take a taxi back to the marina for a shower and change. You can eat at the pub style restaurant at the marina, but only if you have to. If you care to, you can splurge on a taxi back to a nice dinner at the Top of the Baths ($$--but you get what you pay for). I seem to remember it was $5/person each way 2 years ago for the taxi, but this will be a day to remember. Day 4 - top off your water and pick up any additional provisions at the marina before sailing westward in the Drake Channel on your way to Caneel Bay. You are required by law to check in at US customs (everybody has to show up in person) at Cruz Bay. You pick up a mooring anywhere to the west of Caneel Bay and dinghy into Cruz Bay and don't forget to lock the dinghy. You may want to check out the shops and maybe have another dinner ashore. You'll be on a park mooring that night. Days 5-6 you can explore the bays east of Caneel Bay or go around St. John in either direction to Salt Pond Bay (another of our favorites), which has a nice beach, but no facilities. You can hike over to close-by Drunk Bay, past the salt pond. An alternate is either of the Lameshur Bays if the moorings are taken. The last day is an easy jog back to Red Hook to turn the boat in. BTW, you can check out the boating scene at Note that the moorings are $15 in the US vs. at least $25 in the BVI and you will have to use them on this itinerary.
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