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Hewie 10-30-2010 05:10 PM

Kids in the BVIs
We're taking our kids (8 and 10) to the BVIs for a cruising vacation. Our current plan is to do the typical counter-clockwise route (not including Anegada) Since we'll be pulling them out of school some of their "homework" will be plotting our courses and positions. Is the best chart for this the Waterproof Charts, Inc BVI chart or is there something better?

Thanks alot,

tgrimmett 10-31-2010 06:55 AM

Hello Dave: We used the Caribbean Yachting Charts (from Nautical Publications) when we cruised the BVI's with our two kids. Not sure if you have cruised there before, but the distances between destinations are quite short and it will be a good 'training' ground for basic navigation. We also found a couple quick reference laminated guides on Caribbean fish and fauna that were helpful after snorkeling the area. Not sure if they have them state-side, but they should be in the marine stores in the Tortola area. Our kids also enjoyed two books by Fritz Seyfarth, Tales of the Caribbean and Pirates of the Virgin Islands. Short books that were quite entertaining.

They'll have a great time and get far more value out of the trip there then they would have by another week of school. Good luck!
Thalia - The Grimmett's Sailing Adventure!

fallard 02-24-2011 10:57 PM

This may be late, but I bought the Virgin Island Chartkit years ago and also the Imray-Iolare chart. The Imray Iolare chart is waterproof and can be folded. I take this chart with me every time and leave the Chartkit home. Your navigation will be visual, but you may still want to bring a GPS if one isn't aboard.

The Imray-Iolare chart requires a slight correction if you are taking waypoints off it for your (undoubtedly WGS-84 datum) GPS. The chart tells you what the correction should be.

BTW, we took our 8 and 12 yr old grandkids to the USVI and BVIs last year. It was their first time and they really enjoyed it. They got into the pirate scene, snorkeling, hiking (like on Norman Island), the caves, and especially The Baths. You might plot your course on the chart--ball point works--and give it to them as a souvenir, in case your charter company doesn't provide a plain paper chart to keep for this purpose.

Arpegecap 10-27-2011 06:46 PM

Did 2 weeks in the BVI with two boys aged 11 and 13. They had a ball. Cruising guide is essential. Bareboats come with paper charts but as said before navigation is visual, never out of sight of land really.

fallard 10-27-2011 10:15 PM

As a general rule, the navigation is easy in the BVI, but you don't want to be naive when you are sailing into North Sound or approaching Anegada. We've had a few rain squalls over the years in the BVI that reduced visibility to less than a tenth of a mile. Thankfully, they were short-lived and we eventually resumed visual navigation.

You may be able to see the islands ahead in the BVI, but it isn't always obvious what you are looking at when it is all new to you. You need to have some basic navigation skills and be able to take a course off a chart.

Having a handheld gps plotter will do wonders for your confidence if there isn't one installed on your charter boat. You can either enter waypoints (from charts or cruising guides) yourself ahead of time or buy a chart chip for the eastern Caribbean.

Ladonco 12-26-2011 05:43 AM

I'm a new member, so I'm just looking around.

Bene505 01-04-2012 11:01 PM

Welcome Ladonco, this is a great forum you discovered.

When you get a chance, please tell us something about yourself, here:
Introduce Yourself - SailNet Community

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