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post #11 of 15 Old 11-23-2011
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We are chartering a Lagoon 400 from BVI YC in February. This will be my first time chartering in the BVI's and first time on a cat.

It's also been years since I have skippered a larger sailboat, so I decided to get the "Captain check out" on my first day. They charge $150 for that, which seems fine, but I am wondering how long this will take...

My big concern is that after a two hour or so checkout we will be hard pressed to get away to an anchorage for the first night and will end up on the dock in Roadtown...

Any idea what to expect, or suggestions for a nearby anchorage for our first night out?

Tks
If you want to pick up a mooring, The Bight has 80 and is an easy sail from Road Town. It gives you your best chance of picking one up if it getting late and if you aren't lucky, you can always anchor. But ask your checkout skipper, he's sure to have a suggestion.
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post #12 of 15 Old 11-24-2011
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You could easily make Fat Hog's Bay and anchor out or Soper's Hole and grab a mooring. Dinghy your skipper ashore and send him home in a cab. You could even do Marina Cay and have him take the free ferry to Trellis and a cab home.
That sounds like a plan. Can you take a wag at how long to sail to Soper's Hole or Marina Cay?
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post #13 of 15 Old 11-24-2011
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Roadtown to Soper's is probably two hours under most conditions. Marina Cay will be three or a bit more if you sail all the way as you'll be tacking.

Another alternative if the Captain is willing and locally connected is to go to Cooper Island and snag a ride home from a dive company, Deliverance, or even the employee shuttle. That will cost you more to get him home, but Cooper is an easy 2 hour close reach, one tack.

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post #14 of 15 Old 11-24-2011
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Thanks for the prompt replies. I checked with BVI YC and they confirmed that we can drop the captain off and pay his fare home... Now we can plan with confidence.
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post #15 of 15 Old 11-25-2011
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I’ll let you decide how long it will take but Soper Hole is about 8 nautical miles from Road Town and Marina Cay about 9. Typically Sopers Hole will be roughly downwind and Marina Cay mostly upwind. Conventional wisdom is that the wind is from NE at the beginning of the year becoming SE from February until Hurricane Season approaches. You can expect 10 to 20 knots occasionally higher – “your wind speed may vary”. Occasionally there will be a “North Swell” when the wind comes from the NW (ish), in which case you should avoid anchoring/mooring in Cane Garden Bay, around Dog Islands or SE end of Virgin Gorda - it gets quiet uncomfortable.

Your charter company may give you one but a really useful planning tool is Cruising the Virgin Islands planning map from Fine Edge. It has recommended “cruising routes” with waypoints marked and a list of waypoints with Lat/Long. If you have a handheld GPS you can program in the waypoints ahead of time which makes it quick and easy to program routes (not that navigating in the BVI is very difficult). You can get it from West Marine, Amazon or fineedge.com, and probably a bunch of other places too.

Have fun – you’ll love it.
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