Re: First time chartering in BVI flotilla with kids
Your kids will have a blast. I don't think a flotilla is a bad idea for a first trip down. Navigation is generally not too tough down there, but a "guided tour" will give you the lay of the land and prepare you for your next trip. As far as provisioning, I'd focus on getting plenty of breakfast and lunch food. We often eat dinner ashore. If you want to eat dinner on the boat I guess just get dinner food as well. We can usually find a place to re-provision every few days, but you may not have that flexibility in a flotilla. In any case, you are not going to starve in the BVIs if you run light of food. Fishing off the boat is fun, but be very careful what you eat. Many of the reef fish can give you ciguatera poisoning. We have never gotten it, but from what I hear it could completely ruin your trip. Unless you are an expert at identifying types of fish I would just catch and release - or at least bring it in to shore and have some of the local experts advise you on if it is an acceptable fish to eat. For extras you might consider some water toys. Maybe kayaks or SUPs, depends on what your family is in to. As far as charter companies, I am sure you can find a perfectly acceptable boat at Sunsail. If you aren't set on the flotilla you could look into some of the smaller companies such as TMM or Horizon. Voyage is also a good choice if you want to sail a cat. Finally, I would consider whether you really will want to be land-based for the second week. There is a lot to see around the BVIs and one week on a boat is not nearly enough time to see it all. You may want to consider keeping the boat for a second week and venturing off on your own. You should be perfectly comfortable sailing there after one week with the flotilla. If it was me I would probably be itching to set off on my own after a week with the flotilla. Remember, you can always go to Hawaii or Mexico and stay at a resort, condo, villa, etc... Not many other places where you can be in a different harbor every night on your own boat.
Hope that helped!