I have chartered in the BVI about 20 times since 1982, mostly from the Moorings. I go back to the islands because they are beautiful and the people are friendly. The sailing is easy.
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Here are my impressions from a first-time, bareboat cruiser with minimal sailing experience.
1. The Moorings were overwhelmed.
2. The provisioning for our boat was not delivered until about 11:30 a.m.
3. Our boat briefer rushed-through the boat operations.
4. We finally left the Moorings at 3:00 p.m. and raced for the Bight
5. always chancy trying to find a mooring.
6. While away from the Moorings, I needed an explanation as to how to properly reef the sails.
7. attempted to go from Little Harbor on Jost van Dyke to Trellis
8. When you are doing a lot of motoring about, cruising seems like nothing more than a rich man's campout.
9. Be aware that the taxi situation on the islands is very expensive.
1. I haven't been down since the Sunsail / Moorings merger, but I'm surprised. This runs counter to my experience. Could you have confused an "island time" attitude with being overwhelmed?
2. That doesn't seem too bad to me. I usually fly in late afternoon and arrange to sleep aboard the boat the night before the charter "starts." Bobbies delivers provisions late afternoon and there is plenty of time to verify the order and pack things away before dinner.
3. You submitted a resume that indicated you knew what you are doing. It is up to you to ask questions about things you don't see or understand. Another benefit of sleeping aboard the night before is to have questions ready. I almost always have questions about switching water tanks on boats I haven't sailed before.
4. Okay - your choice of destination. Why start out going downwind from Roadtown when so much of the BVI is upwind? Head to Cooper, Fat Hogs Bay, or Spanish Town for the first night, depending on what time you get out of Road Harbor.
5. Yep. I do try to sail in the morning and explore and play in the afternoon. I also have a backup for every stop where I can anchor.
6. Please see number 3 above. Incidentally there are tons of good checklists for charter briefs on the Internet. Check the BVI forum on www.traveltalkonline.com
7. Why? Not good route planning in my view. From Road Town, head up wind, do Coopers, the Baths, North Sound, Anegada, Marina Cay, then JVD, Sopers, and (if necessary) The Bight (I like the South side of Peter better).
8. Why were you motoring with such great wind?
9. No comment. Never used a taxi in the BVI except the included ride from the airport or ferry to the charter docks. You have a sailboat and a dinghy -- just about everyplace can be reached. I will have to next visit since the new location of Spaghetti Junction isn't reachable by boat and I won't miss dinner there.
I sailed a Beneteau 32 in the BVI on my honeymoon in 2001. We had a great time. It's a nice little boat. The wonderful memories have lasted much longer than the marriage!