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  #1  
Old 06-20-2010
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BVI: self-provisioning & money questions

We will be chartering from Horizon out of Nanny Cay in mid-July, and plan to self-provision. This is our first time in the BVI and we'll be following what seems to be a pretty standard itinerary for 7 days. Two questions:

1. Is it feasible to re-stock at any of the other islands? If so, where would you recommend going?

2. I keep seeing recommendations to take either cash or travelers checks, because ATMs are scarce and many smaller places don't accept credit cards. Is this still current advice? I travel a lot internationally and must confess that I haven't seen a travelers check in years! Are there really few ATMs (esp. at the smaller islands), and are travelers checks truly the way to go?

Thanks,

Jeff
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1. No. Only a few islands other than Tortola have any provisions at all. Trellis Bay, Beef Is. has minimal provisions. Ditto for The Bitter End, Virgin Gorda. Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda has some. All are more expensive than Tortola. From Nanny Cay, take a taxi into town. Several supermarkets are there.

2. TC's are good, cash is better (no hassle cashing the cash). Some establishments take credit cards.

Stock up in Road Town for the trip. You can easily carry 7 days provisions on any charter boat and, if you should forget something, you might be lucky and find it at one of the other islands.

There are also many good restaurants on the islands. Plan on eating ashore. To miss that is to miss some golden opportunities.

Bill
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The BVI has developed along with the rest of the world.

In Roadtown, Bobby's (my choice) or RTW are the way to go for initial provisioning. Both take credit cards. If you have a lot of alcohol to buy look at Tico or Caribbean Cellars.

There are pretty good provisioning opportunities in Spanish Town and Leverick Bay on Virgin Gorda and both Trellis Bay and Soper's Hole on Tortola. Convenience store type goods can be picked up in Bitter End (Virgin Gorda), on Anegada, in Great Harbour (JVD), and Marina Cay.

Bobby's, Riteway, and Ample Hamper all allow you to pre-order and will deliver to your charter boat free. Ticos and CC will do the same. If you can't track them down with Google let me know and I'll send contact information.

ATMs are widely installed but don't always work.

I generally take a boat kitty of three or four hundred dollars and credit cards. I haven't taken traveler's checks to the BVI since the early 80s.

Watch out for National Parks moorings - the last few years maintenance has been poor. Most of the overnight MoorSecure moorings are in great shape but not all the moorings in popular anchorages belong to them.

Bill is correct there are a bunch of great places to eat ashore. Spaghetti Junction in Roadtown is my favorite first night place to eat. Cooper Island Beach Club is under new management and the reviews are all over the map; I'd stop there for drinks and eat aboard for the best sunset around. Anchor off Mosquito Island (the old Drake's Anchorage in North Sound Virgin Gorda) and dinghy in to Leverick Bay. There is an outstanding spa there, a very good restaurant upstairs, and free WiFi at Jumbies. In Anegada everyone should try the lobster once, but for my money the tuna at Neptune's Treasure is better. Take a cab to Cow Wreck for lunch; if Walker is on-island please tell him Dave from Auspicious says hello. Marina Cay is a great stop with easy access to snorkeling at Monkey Point. Skip Trellis Bay - since the airport runway was extended it isn't worth the carbon unless you have some good reason to go there. On JVD, Stanley's in Little Harbour and Soggy Dollar in White Bay are must stops. One Love is good for dinner in White Bay. On the way to JVD Sandy Spit is a great lunch stop with the chance to run around a deserted island. CGB is no longer worth the stop; the last icon of days of yore (Quito) recently sold his restaurant and isn't seen around much anymore.

All my opinion, based on many many trips since 1982 and as recently as last year. I have friends there who also keep me up on the latest *grin*

Have a great time. It's hard not to.
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Old 06-20-2010
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Too bad about Quito. Love his music. Any idea what he's up to?
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Bill and Dave,

Thank you both for the replies. The detailed info is really appreciated.

Dave, yes, I did know about Bobby's and have been going thru their provisioning lists. We'll bring a lot of the dry good stuff w/us from San Diego, and will try to stock up pretty completely in Tortola. It's useful to know about possibilities on the other islands, particularly for convenience good items.

Thank you too for the tip about moorings, and suggestions for places to eat. This is our first time in the BVIs and we're looking forward to it very much!

Jeff
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Jeff --

Look at the numbers for buying dry goods on the island. There is hardly anything you can't get. As the airlines almost all charge for carry-on you will likely save money by buying in the BVI if you can drop a bag in the process.

The stuff that does make sense to bring are spices you frequently use in Ziploc bags.

I'm a foodie and have never felt I couldn't get what I wanted at a reasonable price in BVI. I've provisioned for offshore passages in Tortola and achieved the same kinds of budgets as in the US.

The BVI are one of my favorite cruising grounds. Let me know if I can share anything that will help you enjoy it as much as I.
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Err what about Foxies. No trip to the BVIs is complete without eating at Foxies/listening to Foxy/sampling his brews and giving it some on the dance floor.

Oh yes take the old T shirt with the crews names on it, you will see why.
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Old 06-21-2010
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If you are taking a 7-day standard type of excursion, you will always be within one or at most 2 days (if going to Anegada) of a moderately well-stocked grocery store. While prices for groceries are generally higher outside of Road Town and selection can be limited, you certainly won't go hungry.

I spent many weeks at the old Sunsail base at Hodge's Creek and watched the charter boats come and go. Watching them go was ... interesting (think of the bumper-car rides at the fairgrounds) ... but when they returned the dock and cleaning crews often toted carloads of groceries back home - as has been mentioned earlier in this thread there are numerous restaurants and bars ashore and charterers seldom eat aboard as much as they expect.

Depending upon how many aboard and what size fridge you have, it might make sense to get fresh food and alcoholic beverages / other drinks on the way but stock up on meats, condiments and other specialty type foods in Road Town. The two groceries around Nanny Cay (Bobby's at the docks and the other store whose name I can't recall across the way) are just "OK" in terms of selection and pricing. The best stocked store within walking distance of a dinghy dock is at Soper's Hole (wear long pants and a winter jacket unless you want to freeze in the store), with the store at the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour coming second.
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While you can self-provision the penalty is loss of time. There are a number of stores but that means taxis, shopping, checking out, getting back to the boat and making sure you haven't forgotten anything. Another thing is that the you may not know the size of the fridge. If you have them do it, the fridge will be stocked and cold, items will be put away, and all you have to do is check out the purchase list, cast off, and enjoy the time on the water.

My suggestion is to inquire with the charter company about provisioning costs. You may find that the cost isn't much more than you'd pay if you did it yourself (many of the charter agencies get discounts from the stores). The other solution may be to bring it down yourself. Purchase the most expensive items, pack them securely, and pay the added baggage costs.
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Old 06-22-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TQA View Post
Err what about Foxies. No trip to the BVIs is complete without eating at Foxies/listening to Foxy/sampling his brews and giving it some on the dance floor.

Oh yes take the old T shirt with the crews names on it, you will see why.
Last time I was at Foxies (March 2010), they were watching videos of dog fighting. Yuck!
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