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  #1  
Old 02-17-2013
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BVI recap

Killing time, waiting for our flight out of STT. Naturally, the week went by in the blink of an eye. I will post some trip observations and come back later to edit or add more, when its less distracting.

We bareboat chartered a Bavaria 36 out of Horizon in Nanny Cay. They are a good operator and I would use them again. I've only previously used the Moorings, which I maintain has more redundancy if your boat has a critical problem, but I liked Nanny Cay much better than Road Town.

Our depth finder stopped working as soon as we left the marina. When I called it in from Cooper Island, they were quite nervous. The Director, Henry, said that he would bring us another boat, if we felt we would not be able to safely navigate. We planned to take moorings anyway and, truthfully, couldn't imagine unpacking and repacking a boat after just finally getting underway. We never ran aground.

On day two, the shackle for the mast step main halyard block broke free while raising the main. That was interesting. It was blowing 20 or so at the time. I re-routed it through another block and we were back underway. After that, no boat mechanical issues. My wife, however, was really appreciating our boat. Best we could get out of the Bavaria 36, towing a dinghy, was about 5 knots, 4 was more common. Still we had some great sails. Nothing is all that far away.

Itinerary was:

Nanny Cay to Cooper Island (Beach club is fully renovated since we were last there. Very nice)

Cooper to North Sound on Virgin Gorda (serious beat into the wind. Motor sailed half of it. Spent two days in the Sound)

Virgin Gorda to Marina Cay. (Most were hunkering down as forecast was for 20 -25 kts and seas 10 - 12 feet. It had been blowing stiff for a few days. We decided to go take a look and would bail back into Leverick if it was too much. Swells were 8 feet and 10 seconds apart. While blowing a good 20 kts on a broad reach, it wasn't so bad, so we pressed on and made it, although ducked behind the Dogs for a break along the way. Someone posted about the bathrooms/showers at Marina Cay. They were, in fact, awful. The men's showers were closed for well needed renovation. New Pussers restaurant was nice, however.)

Marina Cay to Jost Van Dyke (swells down, but still 4 or 5 ft)

Jost Van Dyke to Norman (nicest sailing day of the week. 10 to 15 kts of breeze and 1 to 2 ft waves). Sailed every inch from JVD to Norman in about 3 hrs, including tacking around the western side of little Thatch. We were passed by Zanshin in the Thatch Island Cut. We waved, but there was no time in close quarters to properly say hello. That beautiful champagne Jeanneau 57 is easy to identify! Pirates Bight was also totally renovated since our last trip, very nice. Willy Ts had a very notably smaller crowd, almost no crowd. I think Pirates upgrade is hurting them.

Norman to Nanny Cay. (Easy shot across the channel. Horizon has a different policy from the moorings. You are required to stop at the fuel dock and top off. They then meet you there and bring the boat back to her slip. However, for $75, they will meet you at the breakwater and bring you directly to your slip and refuel her later and charge tour card on file. The fuel do k is easy to land, but the wait can be tremendous, especially if there is a huge stinkpotter on the fuel dock. There was when we arrived, although, we had already decided to do the express so we could have a nice breakfast before setting off and have enough time for shoreside showers and lunch before getting the ferry over to St Thomas. Worth the 75 in my book, but they were actually nice enough to waive it for us, as a token of good will for the malfunctioning depth finder)

Some other notables:

Someone mentioned that BVI was getting more commercial and it is. The fully renovated places are very nice, but no mistaking them for being more commercial. The places that look "local", like Foxy's or Fat Virgns, are just built to look that way. Willy Ts is probably the closest, but looked to be fading fast.

One other tip, which I had forgotten in the three years since I was here last. When on the ferry over to Road Town, you want to get up and near the door before you arrive at the dock. Otherwise, you're near the end of the customs line and it takes forever!

May think of more. Not looking forward to the 20 deg temps awaiting our return home.
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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: BVI recap

Hope you parked in a garage!
Jim
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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: BVI recap

Good report. Thanks.

Zanshin is meant to be heading our way and you spot him escaping! Now with southerly winds he may never get out of the BVIs!

Quote:
The places that look "local", like Foxy's or Fat Virgns, are just built to look that way.
Interesting note, and yes I agree. Also interesting to see the power behind the throne... Foxys Australian wife is totally opposite to the appearance of Foxy himself... one a rastafarian type muso and one a very savvy buisness woman.

Yes, anything thats run down cant survive the modern BVIs. Willi T's is an anachronism that can only survive at night with the lights low while the drunk girls still think its trendy to strip.
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Old 02-17-2013
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sounds awesome with exception to your issues with the boat
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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: BVI recap

Nice report.. but I'm a bit dismayed by talk of boats speeds in the 4s and 5s with winds 15-25??? Seems a 36 footer should do better... What year was the boat? Would you buy one?
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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: BVI recap

Looks like you followed exactly the same itinerary we did, except we did the first night in Trellis Bay instead of Cooper Island. How was the swell in Cooper? We skipped Cooper because we had been to the (very nice!) restaurant on day charters 2 out of the past 3 years, and we heard it could be pretty exposed.

Given the weather we've had in the Northeast, it's no surprise that you had a pretty substantial northern swell. Good luck digging into your house when you get home!
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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: BVI recap

Sounds like you had a great time albet the weather. The Bavaria is 18 ft shorter than you are used to sailing. So no wonder it didnt seem as quick although 5 knts in 15 knt winds doesnt seem right. They really arent slow like IPs a all. They actually compare to Tartans as far as speed. Maybe the bottom was fouled or the sails set up for it were smaller. Welcome back to winter.


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Old 02-18-2013
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Re: BVI recap

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Nice report.. but I'm a bit dismayed by talk of boats speeds in the 4s and 5s with winds 15-25??? Seems a 36 footer should do better... What year was the boat? Would you buy one?
The boat was a 2010 and the bottom was fairly fouled, particularly the keel and rudder. Almost like the diver must have skipped them. Of course, we were also towing a dinghy, which has to cost a half to a full knot. These boats get an awful lot of use in a short period of time. The engine already had 2600 hrs on it!!

The sail plan was a full battened hanked on main and a furling jib (no genoa).

My first time on a Bavaria, so I can't report on the line, only the newer 36. I actually thought it was marginally better built that the Bennie and Jennies of the same vintage. Prior to approx 2008, Bennies and Jennies were much better quality IMO. However, we were on a model that I'm sure was built for charter and I think Bavaria has a different line for owner boats (Vision or something like that?). The brand new Beneteau we chartered a few years back was falling apart in front of our eyes and I think we were the third voyage ever. Also a charter specific build for the Moorings, I suspect.

The one thing that I did not like was the double main sheet, rather that a main and a traveler, but got used to it.

All in all, it was better than the single digit temps when I got home at 1am. yikes.
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Old 02-18-2013
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Re: BVI recap

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Sounds like you had a great time albet the weather. The Bavaria is 18 ft shorter than you are used to sailing. So no wonder it didnt seem as quick although 5 knts in 15 knt winds doesnt seem right. They really arent slow like IPs a all. They actually compare to Tartans as far as speed. Maybe the bottom was fouled or the sails set up for it were smaller. Welcome back to winter.


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I thought my PHRF was 66, but I was certainly expecting a slower boat. The charters are probably a bit beaten on, even at a young age. As I posted above, a foul bottom and towing a dink must have been a cost too.

In the end, it was still great sailing. All day to get anywhere you want to go and none of it is really that far away.

The funny part is that my wife has teased me that we should really trade back down in size one of these days. She felt the larger fenders and lines were just tough and more stuff aboard was more stuff to repair. She is right in a way. However, now that we putted along for a week at 4 or 5 knots, she thinks the 12" fenders and 3/4" docklines are just fine!
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Old 02-18-2013
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Re: BVI recap

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Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
.... How was the swell in Cooper?.....
Not bad at all. Manchioneel Bay was just tucked in enough to miss a direct hit and being on the southern side of SFD channel kicks down most of it anyway.

The Cooper Island Beach club is fully renovated and very nice. We enjoyed that quite a bit. Played Shut the Box at the bar and had our first several Painkillers at happy hour (2 for 1) along with a snack. Good first night stop, as its fairly close but good progress up the channel.
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