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post #1 of 8 Old 12-05-2008 Thread Starter
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Economy slow down BVI???

Hey everyone:

with a few months of down season on my hands, I'm thinking about heading to the BVI to pick up a few charters (yup, I know all about the work permits, etc...) but I'm curious--and this is applicable to those who are thinking about booking last minute charters--how busy the BVI are right now.

Has anyone been past the baths... if so, how full was it? How about the bight (you know... willy t's, norman island). Usually the bight's not full unless it's christmas or easter, when I've gone there it hasn't been much more than 75% full on an average type evening. But the baths are almost always at about 80-90% capacity (I'm talking boats filling up the park mooring balls) unless the swell is crazy dangerous, sometimes even then...

Anyone been chartering recently? Can you tell me about the buzz?

Tom
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-05-2008
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If you haven't already I suggest you vist the Travel Talk On Line website, specifically the BVI section. There is a plethora of fresh, as in what is happening right now, information available.

The Saturday before Thanksgiving I spent a night in the North Sound area and the BEYC/Saba Rock were quite empty. Less than 1/2 the boats than when I was last there in July, which is the "off" season. We languished too long at the Baths on Sunday, which was less than 1/2 full and made a late dash to Norman arriving at sunset. Norman was full, the protected anchoring areas were packed and we ended up going elsewhere for the night. North Sound and the Baths having few boats lulled me into thinking the Bight would be slow too. It was not. In retrospect, the weather was kind of rough and perhaps many chose not to go out and try and beat up Drakes Passage by spending the day in and around Norman. We were told Saturday evening the Bight was full too.
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-05-2008
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Was there the week before Thankgiving in Village Cay Marina. It seemed that fewer boats were leaving from the Moorings base than I expected and their entire marina was full. One morning only two boats were off of the Baths. The weather was quite rough that week so maybe the boats were not moving but when we in Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor, I saw very few boats in the Passage.
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-05-2008
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I was in the BVI the week before Thanksgiving. There was a significant north swell most of the week which probably had a big impact on people's choices. Also, The Moorings is making a big issue during their chart brief that the NPT moorings are not reliable and charterers must leave at least one person aboard capable of handling the boat when on a NPT mooring.

Skipped The Baths this trip but I seem to recall that there weren't many boats there as we sailed from Cooper Island to Marina Cay.

Busy stops where Cooper Island (before the north swell came up), White Bay JVD, and Soper's Hole. Leverick, Saba Rock, Anegada, and Little Harbour JVD where pretty light. We met someone at Little Harbour who had been at Cane Garden Bay the previous day and told us it was pretty light to start with and emptied out very early the morning after the swell came up.

At Jumbies (Leverick) and Neptune's Treasure (Anegada) we heard staff say they expected much bigger crowds the week of Thanksgiving. I don't know if that was based on reservations or wishful thinking.

Flights in and out of EIS were far from full; three flights per day now by AE, down from 11 per day last year.

I was disheartened by the development in the BVI. The development on Scrub Island is a travesty and made me very sad. The "road" on Anegada is being paved and looks like it will be officially two-way. There are lots more houses on JVD then I remember. It isn't Nature's Little Secrets anymore.
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-05-2008 Thread Starter
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dilapidated balls

so, the polypropylene is getting rotten on the national park mooring balls, eh?

it can be so hard to tell what will be packed and what will be empty... sometimes it seems like people can take the lemming approach to desirable anchorages... but of course a big northwest swell gets me revisited almost every northern exposed anchorage. Especially the baths can get to be a big gong show with cruise ship people rolling around on the beach, and folks trying to run dingies in gear... good for a chuckle.

thanks for the link on the bvi travel talk, of course I'll try that but I also wanted to hear what the fellow sailors had to say.

anyone have the thanksgiving story? crowded or pleasantly wonderful? It may be shaping up to be a great discount year and a great numbers year for anyone contemplating a charter. I bet the last minute deals in May and June especially could be pretty nice.
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-05-2008
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Thanksgiving week

I was on St. John's East side the week of Thanksgiving, and had a great view of the channel. That swell ran well into the TGiving week as well and drove all the sight see'ers to the south side as the northern bays had poor visibility. As did many boats fill the moorings on the south side.
It was full of boats daily, though admittedly I can't say where from. Coral Bay had only a few boats leave each day, and on Friday, the Thankgiving Regatta saw almost the whole Johnson Bay moored boats leave for the Regatta. Several departed Coral Bay as well. When I was on the water, I only saw a handful of boats each day on the west side and "cattlemarans" full of visitors, so there definitely is activity.

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Last edited by Calabego; 12-05-2008 at 12:36 PM.
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-05-2008
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I am writing this response from Saba Rock in the BVI and can only concur with the others - times are really slow compared to the same period in recent years.


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post #8 of 8 Old 12-11-2008
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It's been mighty blustery the past few days, bit of NE sell working. I"m hanging in Christmas Cove today, Leinster Bay last nite was nice, about half full. Prognosis is a slow, very slow season so there will be some deals developing I'm sure. EDIT BY CD - No self promotion or advertising.

Fair Winds.....

Last edited by Cruisingdad; 12-11-2008 at 11:41 AM.
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