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  #31  
Old 05-08-2014
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Re: Island hopping between BVI and USVI?

I really don't get how the US lets all the corruption and crime occur in the USVIs. Being an island, there is no where to hide. Any commitment to this should be able to clean it up in a weekend, although, would require a substantial police/military force for a while. You would first need to hire half the locals to build a huge jail and after 3 to 5 years, when the bad guys get the point, convert it to a hotel to handle the increase in tourism as a result of lower crime. There are a lot of very good people on the islands (often quite religious too), but there is a bad element that they even steer clear from and I'm sure would like to see eradicated.
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  #32  
Old 06-05-2014
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Re: Island hopping between BVI and USVI?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccriders View Post
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I'm leaving next week for BVI and 10 day charter with Conch. After studying the cruising guide and planning charts, I'm intrigued with St. John, especially the north shore. I don't find much here on including St. John in a cruise, and need to know if I still have to clear BVI customs outbound, US customs inbound, but not outbound, and then BVI customs inbound upon return? How long after clearing out with BVI does one have to actually get out of Dodge? Do you think I could clear out in Tortola, overnight at Norman Island and then clear inbound to USVI the next day?
That way I could do a circumnavigation of St John and spend one or two nights on the north shore and then head back to Soppers Hole to clear into BVI customs or back to tortola if I left off JVD.
So that begs the question, "Is JVD a must see?"
Thanks,
John
How did it go? Did you check out of BVI and into USVI? How did the logistics work for you? And how was Conch? (I've heard mixed reviews on them.)
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  #33  
Old 06-06-2014
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Re: Island hopping between BVI and USVI?

Since the only place to clear USC & BP on St. John that I am aware of is Cruz Bay on the western end of the island, you may want to look into a USC & BP program called the "Local Boater Option". While I am not yet enrolled, I intend to be so. It is my understanding that you can enroll into the program at USC & BP in Cruz Bay allowing you to check in by phone in the future. Example: You clear out of the BVI's at Jost or Soper's and want to go to Coral Bay on the very east end of St. John. This program allows you to check in by phone, thus avoiding almost a full days sail to Cruz Bay and return.

Remember that you must check into and out of the BVI's, while it is only necessary to check into the US. Another problem area that gets people in trouble is the fact that the USVI are special tax free zones and as such require that you clear US Customs when entering the taxable US, ie: Puerto Rico or the mainland. If in doubt, ask.
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Old 06-06-2014
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Re: Island hopping between BVI and USVI?

The application process isn't as simple as it used to be. What is anymore? Years ago when my wife and I went down to the local CBP office with passports and boat docs it took all of 15 minutes to walk out of there with LBO numbers. Now it's my understanding that you must apply online, get an appointment for an interview and then get your number at some later date. I could be off a bit as I'm repeating the experience of a friend who recently waded through the process. You might start by looking here https://svrs.cbp.dhs.gov/ I didn't see any locations listed along the coast of Wyoming.

The system works great once you've got the number. I cross in and out of the BVI and PR frequently.
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Re: Island hopping between BVI and USVI?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gts1544 View Post
Since the only place to clear USC & BP on St. John that I am aware of is Cruz Bay on the western end of the island, you may want to look into a USC & BP program called the "Local Boater Option". While I am not yet enrolled, I intend to be so. It is my understanding that you can enroll into the program at USC & BP in Cruz Bay allowing you to check in by phone in the future. Example: You clear out of the BVI's at Jost or Soper's and want to go to Coral Bay on the very east end of St. John. This program allows you to check in by phone, thus avoiding almost a full days sail to Cruz Bay and return.

Remember that you must check into and out of the BVI's, while it is only necessary to check into the US. Another problem area that gets people in trouble is the fact that the USVI are special tax free zones and as such require that you clear US Customs when entering the taxable US, ie: Puerto Rico or the mainland. If in doubt, ask.
Let us know how it goes for you. When I checked into the "Local Boater Option," a couple years ago, the procedures seemed to be set up to cater only to "Local Boaters." (Hence the name.) I doubt that a tourist who charters down there once every year or two would be willing to have his entire chartering group make a special trip down there for an interview.
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  #36  
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Re: Island hopping between BVI and USVI?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
Let us know how it goes for you. When I checked into the "Local Boater Option," a couple years ago, the procedures seemed to be set up to cater only to "Local Boaters." (Hence the name.) I doubt that a tourist who charters down there once every year or two would be willing to have his entire chartering group make a special trip down there for an interview.
If you click on the link I provided you will see a list of locations to do the application process. I glanced at the list and saw Erie,PA listed. There may be others closer to you like Dover, DE. One does not have to come "down here" to get the LBO.

Last edited by FarCry; 06-06-2014 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 06-08-2014
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Re: Island hopping between BVI and USVI?

Take Five,
Well, we did not go to St John. During our boat briefing we were told the holding tank had been bypassed and that we only had over board flushing of the head. Since that would be illegal to operate in US waters we completely revised or sail plan. While I was a little put off by this fact, I have to say Conch was just fine, very laid back and otherwise accommodating. I guess you get what you pay for and we were taking some equipment risks with a twelve year old boat. The sailing was fabulous, I just can't believe the difference deep water makes in 20 kts, versus our shallow bay. I must go again, and will consider Conch on my next charter, but on a newer boat.
John
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  #38  
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Re: Island hopping between BVI and USVI?

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Originally Posted by ccriders View Post
..During our boat briefing we were told the holding tank had been bypassed and that we only had over board flushing of the head...I was a little put off by this fact...
I would be a lot put off by this fact. People swim off their boats in mooring fields like the Bight, Virgin Gorda, etc., and the thought of people dumping their sewage in those confined areas is disgusting.

Are all of Conch's boats rigged like that? Regardless of the letter of the law, it would seem irresponsible not to do their plumbing properly.
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  #39  
Old 06-09-2014
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Re: Island hopping between BVI and USVI?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
I would be a lot put off by this fact. People swim off their boats in mooring fields like the Bight, Virgin Gorda, etc., and the thought of people dumping their sewage in those confined areas is disgusting.

Are all of Conch's boats rigged like that? Regardless of the letter of the law, it would seem irresponsible not to do their plumbing properly.
Recall that there are no pump out facilities of any kind in the BVI. It would be nice if charterers would use the tank in anchorages and dump in the Channel or the Atlantic. Unfortunately when a charterer returns a boat with contents in the holding tank it costs the charter company a lot of time and labor to get the boat out to dump the tank so some have bypassed the tank to avoid the problem.
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  #40  
Old 06-09-2014
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Re: Island hopping between BVI and USVI?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Recall that there are no pump out facilities of any kind in the BVI. It would be nice if charterers would use the tank in anchorages and dump in the Channel or the Atlantic. Unfortunately when a charterer returns a boat with contents in the holding tank it costs the charter company a lot of time and labor to get the boat out to dump the tank so some have bypassed the tank to avoid the problem.
Why not deduct the costs to empty the holding tank from the deposit left by the charter guest if they "forget" to take care of that before returning the boat? Money is typically a good motivator for most. Confirming the tanks are empty could easily be integrated into the debrief at the end of a trip.
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