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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Chartering > Last minute charter in BVI''s
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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-11-2004 02:42 PM
Mike31
Last minute charter in BVI''''s

All,

We just returned early this morning, and we had a great time. Sunsail provided excellent service, and I plan to use them in the future. We did learn about the 2 people killed in their dinghy when they were run down by a powerboat. It turns out this occurred in North Sound right near Saba Rock. There was an article about it in the local sail magazine (forget the name, similar to Soundings here in New England).

The weather was very good, the only rain we had was after we had moored or anchored for the evening. Dinner at the Willie T was rather laid back by their standards, but we did go on a Sunday.

Thanks to all for the advice given, and I can''t wait to go back.
10-30-2004 12:23 PM
bob_walden
Last minute charter in BVI''''s

One thing occured to me to add: please be sure to cover all possible safety issues with your crew for dinghy operations. There was a very sad event in the bvi earlier this year, when a dinghyload of young people coming back from a party at night was run down by a large motor-craft. Both boats were at fault: the dinghy was showing no lights, and the motor launch was running way too fast in the mooring field. Very tragic--I think there was at least one youngster killed, and several injured.

Dinghies need a light at night, preferably several. One person at the front of the boat should keep a flashlight, hopefully with a glow-tube/wand on it, aiming forwards, while the dinghy motors SLOWLY. And everyone needs to be keeping watch, and possibly shining flashlights on and off at any vessel that looks to be under way and heading towards them. Needless to say, drinking and boating don''t mix--the dinghy driver needs to be sober. Finally, they all need life preservers at hand, and the presence of mind to don them if needed.

Dinghies are great fun, but please make sure that young folks are reasonably safe with them, and keep their speed down to 5mph or less inside mooring areas. As the previous poster said, your son, if he''s at all like any other 20 year old, will do things with a dinghy that we would not do, and he should! Heck, we''re all only 20 once. But hopefully he won''t risk anyone else''s safety while he''s having fun.

Hope your trip is great. We''ll be there Jan 13-26, on "Leap Frog", a Beneteau 41 out of Road Town.

bw
10-29-2004 01:39 PM
p32
Last minute charter in BVI''''s

I''d add to that, let the boys plan a day or two. By planning the day I mean planning departure and arrival times, picking the destination, doing the navigation and the sailing or motoring if they choose, picking where/whether to anchor or moor, what to do when you get there and selecting where/what to eat. Unless they are putting life or property in jeopardy (real jeopardy, not just something you might not do) let them plan whatever they want. Resist the urge to correct, help, critique, or offer any assistance unless asked for.

Myself at that age, I would have liked nothing more than being given the dingy for the day to explore anywhere I wanted sans adult supervision, North Sound would be a great base for that activity. A handheld VHF in the dingy would make this option less stressful for your and your wife. Others like bob_walden above, sound like they would enjoy more of the social opportunities. Mike31, I know you mentioned your wife, the admiral, was not too fond of a night out drinking for the boy(s). But if it''s going to happen, the BVI on sail charter is probably a pretty safe place. No cars to drive, no violent crime to worry about, no close friends to get into trouble with, and very little chance you''ll run into anyone you know or will see again! About the worst thing would be having trouble finding the boat after a night out and the hangover the next day.
Just keep an open mind, be willing to let the kids make some SIGNIFICANT decisions, even if you don''t fully agree.

The difference between an adventure and an ordeal is attitude.(shamelessly copied from somewhere, but very true).

Brian
10-29-2004 08:06 AM
bob_walden
Last minute charter in BVI''''s

Mike;

There is a ton of stuff for a 20-year old to do in the bvi. Besides snorkeling, try getting a basic windsurfing rig from your charter company--most of them offer them as a "boat toy", along with kayaks, etc.

There''s a lot of great places to party too, without getting in too much trouble. The full moon party at trellis bay (I think) is great for all ages--it gets wilder as the night wears on, so you might want to set a curfew. There are similar events all over the place in the bvi.

There are usually some good parties and just plain good hang-out spots at the Bitter End on Virgin Gorda, and Saba Rock will be fun for him too--a loud rock n'' roll party every night (don''t anchor too close).

If he likes music, he needs to spend an evening at Quito''s in Cane Garden Bay. A very fun place for 20-somethings. Also, there''s tons of hard-to-find CDs in the bvi in every trinket shop and market. Lots and lots of caribbean stuff that his friends will envy when he goes home.

And hey! It''s the tropics, and he won''t be the only bored young person around: some of them will be girls. I sure with _I_ had spent some time in the BVI when I was his age.

You might want to check out www.traveltalkonline.com and look at the bvi forum. There are several archived discussions on this topic, and a lot of other good info for any first-timer in the bvi. Have fun.

bw
80-some odd days and counting from next charter in bvi and can''t wait
10-23-2004 06:59 PM
Mike31
Last minute charter in BVI''''s

All,

My oldest son is worried that he will be bored on the charter (he is 20). He stated, "from what I can tell, all there is to do is sail and snorkel." Seems enough to me, but can anyone give some ideas on things for he and my 16 y/o to do? I do plan to rent a sailboard for the length of the charter, but any other ideas are appreciated.

Thanks
10-22-2004 12:49 PM
rhans
Last minute charter in BVI''''s

Hiya Brian
I''m not John but I''ll give your questions a shot, and no I don''t own a boat in charter there but do spend quite a bit of time in the BVI''s
1.While often there is no price diff. between flying into EIS or STT, as mentioned, the choices of flight times are much greater into STT. Don''t remember ever paying departure tax leaving but that might have to do with to many Caribs.
2.If you charter with VIP out of St. Thomas. being on the east end you''re close enough to the BVI''s so it''s more of a choice than logistics.
3.No need to check out of the US but you need to both check in & out of the BVI''s and then back into the US. BVI''s C&I that we use are either West End Tortola (Sopers Hole) or Great Harbor JVD, both painless, then pick up a ball in Caneel Bay St Johns and take the Dink to Cruz to clear into the US.
4.Here''s a big one for the location of VIP. There is a fairly large market within a short dingy ride with price fairly close to the mainland. Besides that these people are great to deal with IMHO.
Rick
10-22-2004 08:26 AM
p32
Last minute charter in BVI''''s

John,
Since you obviously have significant experience in VI chartering and are recommending a US based start, I''d be interested to hear your thoughts on a couple of questions. I''m assuming since you own a boat in charter you researched the differences between USVI and BVI starts. The trip I outlined above was our first and only (but not last) VI charter.
1) You mentioned flight availability. For our trip airfare for our family (4) was the biggest single expense. A quick look on orbitz this am did not reveal any significant price diff between St. Thomas, US and Beef Is. BVI from Tampa, FL. I realize this stuff changes all the time, but have you found in your experience that flights are any less expensive to US VI than British? Is there a departure fee for leaving St. Thomas as there is from EIS?
2)When you sail from St. Thomas, do you stay in the US or do you travel to the BVI as well?
3)Related to 2: If you go to the BVI do you need to check in and out, and if so what is the "hassle factor" involved? Do you then need to check back into the US?
4)Provisioning for us was tedious. As I mentioned before, next time I''d make more extensive use of the online service we used, and that will help, but still I found prices much higher than I read to expect and selection to be about what I''d read to expect (somewhat limited). How would you compare USVI vs BVI for provisioning?

I enjoyed the charter we did more than any other sailing I''ve done and would happily repeat it as done, but I''m certainly open to options that could improve it even further.

Thanks for your time.

Brian
10-21-2004 04:13 PM
Valdare
Last minute charter in BVI''''s

Mike,

Looks like I am too late but VIP is in St. Thomas, you could probably have saved the day on the front end. Flights every 1/2 hour to St. Thomas. We have a boat with them and everyone we have had contact with that has sailed with them have had nothing but great things to say.

I am short of time but will give you some ideas about where to go next week. We''ll be going in early Dec. for the 8th time. Some great snorkeling all over the place.

John _/) _/) _/)
10-21-2004 08:23 AM
Mike31
Last minute charter in BVI''''s

We are going through Sunsail because this is our first charter, and Moorings told me I would need a skipper for at least 1 day, whereas Sunsail certified me to bareboat, so a rather easy decision. I found Bobby''s website, and plan to use them for most of the provisioning. On the front end we are staying 1 day in San Juan due to flight arrangements, and then 1 day on the back end at the Sunsail base. Should be a great time. The 20 y/o is looking forward to being somewhere where the drinking age is 18 (wife is not too fond of that).
10-21-2004 07:11 AM
p32
Last minute charter in BVI''''s

The name of the place we used to provision was Bobby''s Marketplace http://www.bobbysmarketplace.com/ . We were a little reluctant to rely on them for all our provisions since it was our first time, but I was very happy with their service and would use them again. We too looked at the Sunsail provisioning service and were unimpressed. In general, I found most food items were quite a bit more expensive than US prices, I keep reading on the web about 15% over US prices, my experience was that its more like 50%+. There was a Store called "Ample Hamper" (I think) at the Sunsail base but their selection was much less complete than Bobby''s, but they did have the basics and you can''t beat the convenience. If you go to Bobby''s its a taxi to Roadtown($20 per person each way if I recall, adds up for a family of 4).

While we were happy with our Sunsail charter, I would look into using Moorings next time just for the convenience of being in the "big city" of Roadtown for provisioning.

Brian
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