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  #1  
Old 01-14-2008
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sailing time is here: BVI (BVI to Saba)

Hello,
The sailing time is here! Few more hard days at work and than I am off.

I will be sailing for two weeks from Jan 19. from Sunsail in Tortola on a Beneteau 423.
This will be my first time in BVI, so I have few questions:

1) I like to sail.
It all seems very close on the map of BVI.
Does it make sense to stay there tor two weeks ?
Is it feasible to sail over to Saba (and perhaps visit the island around Saba (St Barth, Statia, St Kitts..) from Virgin Gorda or Anegada ?

To put it in perspective: I was in Antigua twice (two weeks each time).
The first time we sailed to Barbuda, St Eustatius, St Martin, St Barth, Nevis, Around Redonda and back to Antigua.
The second time we went up to Barbuda (I really like that place), down to Guadeloupe, to Dominica and back.

Is this plan crazy and i will have plenty of sail in BVI?

Does Sunsail even allow sailing to Saba?
We are a crew of six, so to me it looks like a nice night passage - Might be a hard beating if we have pure E, but if we have NE it may be not so hard.
If we would have NE and are too fast we can divert to Philisburg (StMartin) as I have made the night approach to this port and it is easy, while I am not sure about night approach to Saba.

2) My flight comes to St. Thomas from NY at 1:35pm. What ferry do you recommend to come to Sunsail base in Road town o Tortola
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2008
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There's plenty to see and do in the BVI. In addition, the USVI and the Spanish Virgins are just to leeward. Again, plenty to see. I've been sailing there periodically since 1969 and I never tire of the area.

Have also done most of the Leewards and Windwards as far as Grenada. Not much reason to go to Saba...no good anchorage, nothing of much interest. St. Martin is more interesting. Doubtful, however, that SunSail would let you cross the Anegada Passage (about 100 miles) to visit the Leeward Islands without special permission.

Have fun.

From airport in STT take a taxi to "Tortola Wharf" or the "Tortola Ferry". It leaves from downtown Charlotte Amalie. Takes 45-50 minutes to reach West End, Tortola. You can stay on it to Road Town, about 15-20 minutes further East.

Bill

Last edited by btrayfors; 01-14-2008 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 01-14-2008
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Thumbs up Ideally Sunsail (and all charter companies).....

would like you to sail in circles within 2 miles of the main base and not break anything.

I agree with btrayfors about USVI and Spanish Virgins. That is the way to go IMHO. First see if the company still allow it. They used to allow one way trips to PR up to 5 years ago when they closed their base there.

Ask for a boat with a US Decal/US registered as this may help checking in in to USVI (Cruz bay). Make sure all your passengers are US citizens or if not have Visas in their passports (Visa waiver does not apply).

St. John = great, St. Thomas = pit (but good to buy booze), St Croix = so so, but nice long sail. nice day anchorage in Buck island., Culebra = Great, breakfast at Mamacitas, Vieques = Great, PR = OK.

Remember you are returning upwind. Shout if you plan this route and require more specific info.

Get Pavlidis guide to the area.
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Last edited by gtod25; 01-14-2008 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 01-14-2008
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Thanks Bill and gtod.
I forgot to mention that all 6 of us are EU (Slovene) citizens and US VI is off limits without a visa. None of us have a visa.
It is kind of stupid however that we can fly to US (visa Waiver) or travel with a ferry, but can not sail there.
I was thinking to ask in St Thomas if we can apply the rule of "visiting adjacent islands" as part of Waiver programme. We would already be in US and would just leave for BVI and come back. I am not sure if it works.



Edit: here is what made me think we could enter with a boat without a visa:

From: http://immigration.about.com/od/visa...a/visawp_2.htm
Q: Can a VWP applicant for Admission Be Readmitted To the United States Follwing a Short Trip To an Adjacent Island, Canada, or Mexico?
A:
* Generally, VWP applicants admitted under the VWP may be readmitted to the United States after a departure to Canada or Mexico or adjacent islands for the balance of their original admission period. This is provided they are otherwise admissible and meet all the conditions of the VWP, with the exception of arrival on a signatory carrier, in which case the inspecting officers have the discretion to grant the applicants entirely new periods of admission.
* The VWP applicant is admissible and may be readmitted to the United States under the VWP after a departure to Canada or Mexico or adjacent islands provided the person: 1. Can identify an authorized period of admission that has not expired,
2. Plans to depart the United States prior to the expiration date of their period of admission,
3. Presents valid, unexpired passports which reflect admission to the United States under the VWP, and
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Last edited by tomaz_423; 01-14-2008 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 01-14-2008
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I just spent a while writing a wonderful description of Saba and explained how I had just sailed there and am currently writing the email while attached to the dock and charging my depleted batteries - and then I realized you were asking about another Saba .... I'm at "Saba Rock" in the BVI North Sound!

To reiterate what gtod said - you need a US B1-B2 visa or better in order to sail a private vessel into the USA. None of the visa waiver programs applz. It is odd, ever since my work visa for the USA expired and I now have a "mere" tourist visa they ask me each and every time upon entry to the USA why I applied for a visa and I always have to say I sail.

The BVI has a lot of beautiful harbours and lots of restaurants/bars (few of which are "great" but none of them are truly awful. Every single destination in the BVI is reachable from every other destination in a daysail. There are snorkeling and diving opportunities as well as beaches everywhere. Some anchorages are worth staying for a couple of days. None of them are going to be empty during the season, though.

I will still be around on the 19th, but might set out for St. Maarten one or two days later.
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Old 01-14-2008
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I spent 6 days sailing just the BVIs (and that was my first and only trip there so far) and I wish it would have been 2 weeks. Good question on what Sunsail will allow in terms of how far away you can go. If you have to stay within the BVIs, plan your itenerary so that you don't just hop from one bay to another on the same island, but to have some longer sails. You can criss cross the islands, go around the outside, getting in some great sailing and still linger long enough to really enjoy "island time".
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Wink AHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..........

DON'T even dream about it. $3,000 fine per person + immediate deportation (without the boat). Add the fact that no one in the USVI (and the majority in the US) has a clue where Slovenia is. AND if your name ends with anything like "šević", with all those funny letters your are well on your way to a fitting for a red jump suit and an extended stay on an island three islands west.

JH Ch&^*t, 6 Slovenians on a boat invading the US homeland. Are you insane!!!!!
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Old 01-14-2008
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An extended stay? In the BVI? Sounds good... Although only if on a boat.
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Old 01-14-2008
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Try Guantanamo Bay!
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Old 01-14-2008
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Hmmmm... You're right. Not a good idea!
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