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cubfan

any experience/ideas for bareboat in the BVI?

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Not sure if I should post here or in cruising anarchy (If in the wrong place please feel free to move with my apologies).

Three families are thinking of chartering a cat in the BVI this spring (6 adults 7kids 10&under).  We have been saving and talking about this for a while and it seems like if we don't get it done this year kids will be off to middle school etc and tougher to pull for a few days if necessary.  Will definitely go with a  cat, rather than a mono.

I figure that has to be a fair amount of experience here.  Someone suggested we fly into St. Thomas and leave the families in a hotel and the men go get the boat and pick them up-which sounded great, but one of the charter cos said you'd have to check out/in/out/in customs and the boat would have to be flagged to be able to sail into US waters-they strongly discouraged it.

Any companies you had great success with?

Anyone that was a disaster?

What to do?

What not to do?

 

It has been a few years since I've sailed the BVI, but I did a few of the regattas in the past.

thanks for your thoughts/opinions.

cheers

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If you are going for a short time like a week, it makes sense to charter in the BVI to avoid clearing in and other hassles. Horizon out of Nanny Cay is good but there are many other good charter companies like Moorings/Sunsail in Roadtown.

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Also recommend using outfits in Nanny Cay, don't remember which one, but was quite a while ago.  Took a Nonsuch 30 out for a week.

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What to do:

Be sure to use sunscreen on your balls.  Oh.. wait.... you said bareBOAT. 

No suggestions here.

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We flew into USVI then took ferry to BVI's picked up boat in Nanny Cay pretty simple. 

 

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call Ed Hamilton Yacht Charter brokerage...........they;ll take car of you

http://www.ed-hamilton.com/

(and  I've had the best luck with Horizon Charters out of Nanny Cay)

 

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Don't leave the families in St. Thomas while you go get the boat(s).  You'll waste at least a day and the hassle with the most unfriendly immigration people in St. John are not worth it.  Fly in to the BVI and just cruise there.  More than enough to see and do.  You can fly into St. Thomas and take the ferry to Roadtown, Tortola but check the ferry schedules.

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Very easy, you really can't go wrong on were to go.  Plenty of suggestions on the web.  Now when it comes to the boat just remember you get what you pay for the big boys like Moorings, Sunsail, have newer boats which mean less break downs.  Cheaper is not always better.

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Skip St Thomas. Fly into Roadtown.

Charter from the Catamaran company, new or newer Lagoon Cats

Take the first night sleep aboard option (evening arrival etc.). It lets everyone get comfortable with the boat and ready for the next day.

Like all the charter companies, you can pre-order provisions or go shopping on your own. Spanish harbour also has a small grocery/liquor store.

Try to get to Anegada as well

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You are not in the right place to get the type of detailed response you are looking for ....

Go here:   http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/postlist.php?Cat=0&Board=bvi

These people are absolute fanatical lunatics when it comes to chartering in the BVI.  No logistical issue is too small to be dissected by them 100 different ways.

Be aware.  None of them know how to sail although they think they do ...

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A few years back we flew into USVI and ferried over to Tortola to pick up the boat at Moorings.  It was all pretty easy peasy for logistics and customs.  I would strongly recommend the arrival sleep aboard option.  The person who did all the brain damage work of setting up the trip had nothing but good things to say about the folks she dealt with at Moorings. 

 

This was without a doubt one of the best trips wifey and I have ever done.

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Horizon in nanny cay is my favorite by far, TMM is great, Moorings is expensive but will bring you toilet paper if needed and help you wipe too.   The smaller third tier groups like Conch Charters etc are fine, but their boats are old.  It is cheap.

Best advice I can give you:  everyone does a saturday-saturday charter.    The recommended 7 day route is what they all do.    Get your chart briefing done friday late or saturday EARLY AM so you can boogie outta tortola.  Instead of going to Norman or Cooper on your first day, get farther north (Marina Cay, maybe even Gorda Sound) and for the rest of your week you'll enjoy way less crowded anchorages, have avaiglablemooring balls etc.     

On sunday AM's they race Lasers and Hobies at BEYC in north gorda sound, if you have any dinghy sailors amongst you.

The Trip out to Anegada -- they make it sound scary.  It's not.   17 miles from North gorda sound light, and well worth it.

Don't spend the night in cane garden bay or Great bay on JVD--- lots of surge.

that's all I got but check on CA this has been a popular topic over many years around here.

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Just did a Moorings 4800 Cat (Leopard 48) out of Roadtown.  Great trip.  Only sailed for about two hours.  If I had to do it all over, I would consider a Power Cat!  Had no Customs/Immigration problems.  Had a few minor provisioning issues.  Still ended up with way too much food and booze at the end.  The Moorings employees benefited from this!  Ice was the biggest issue, and that wasn't a problem.  Had a rat on the boat.  He liked the melon, chocolate, and bottled water!  Damn near cut my finger off at the Soggy Dollar Bar.  The manager patched me up and drove me to the clinic in Great Harbour.  

 

We came through San Juan, PR.  Stayed there for a few days to acclimate.  Stayed out of questionable areas, and had a wonderful time.  Short 45 minute puddle jumper flight to Tortola.  

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2 hours ago, AlienBowman said:

Don't leave the families in St. Thomas while you go get the boat(s).  You'll waste at least a day and the hassle with the most unfriendly immigration people in St. John are not worth it.  Fly in to the BVI and just cruise there.  More than enough to see and do.  You can fly into St. Thomas and take the ferry to Roadtown, Tortola but check the ferry schedules.

+10    BVI to USVI makes no sense on a short trip (that little sojourn has ruined many vacations time wise - though I did it one night to go to Skinny Legs in St John's without clearing customs from BVI).   

 

Moorings Road Town !!

Edit... yes to Anegada being easy and fun btw....great restaurant...   and try not singing "Anegada da vida" in your head the whole time you are at the helm....

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If you are tempted by Conch Charters be aware that they are older boats and not as well maintained as a Moorings boat. The water is as warm and the sunsets are just good though.

Do not play fast and loose with customs and immigration the penalties are severe. If you visit St Johns. from the BVI do the check in check out bit. Remember non US citizens must have a B1/B2 visa Canadians may be treated differently  but CHECK. 

If your dates allow the full moon party at Trellis bay is a must do. If offered mushroom tea or rum punch make sure you understand what it is you are drinking. The rum on offer can be 159% proof.

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10 minutes ago, Swabbie said:

No way a first timer should miss the Indians, caves and Willy T for Nanny Cay 

Totally agree 100%.

My point is, do those on the back end of your trip when nobody's there, leave at end of trip from cooper or Norman early Sat. AM for  your boat return to road town / nanny key etc..

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Fly into beef island if you can swing it, STT won't save a lot once you consider transportation, ferries and maybe even a meal there before you get over to Road Town. 

Don't miss Anegada, Virgin Gorda North sound, Spanish town for the baths(if you wanna stay over night) Willy T, Indians. Really nothing difficult about anything there. They make Anegada sound scary, but its easy peasy. Know how to anchor well, thats about all you need to know! Great breeze every day. Have used moorings group and dream yachts, both with good success. Pre-provsioning with riteway is the dream and will save a ton of headache. They only charge for what they bring(in case they're out of anything) and very reliable. Factor in Island time for nearly everything you do though. 

If you have any specific questions feel free to private message me. I've been down there a fair few times. Good luck and enjoy, its one of the best places to charter for a reason. 

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Just back from 12 days in the BVI with the family... on a Moorings 43/Beneteau.   We decided at the last minute to go so had no time to plan anyway.  Called up Moorings, booked flights and left 14 days later.  Bought the The 2017-2018 Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands from Amazon and had it in 2 days but barely cracked it open before leaving.  

Took our own masks and snorkels based on the theory that we wouldn't use shared tooth brushes provided by the charter company to save packing space either.  This turned out to be a good plan as the provided masks were barely usable anyway.  BTW, remind the kids that masks don't float!

Pack less clothes.  What ever you think you need to take, cut that in half and you will still have too much.  Two bathing suits, a clean shirt for each day, and one set of non-swimming shorts/shirts.  For the women, no hair driers, no makeup, and just headbands and a dressy cover-up. 

Our path was flying into St Thomas, taking the Road Town Fast Ferry over, then doing the 6pm early arrival.  Buy your tickets and taxis through Moorings to make it easier.  This all went flawlessly.  The chart briefing should be labeled "bar hoppers guide".   The best part was the statement "Be careful of right-of-way rules around power boats... power boaters are easily confused"... He did not say it as a joke!   

We did food provisions for 6 days for 11 days on the water but we do eat light.  That was plenty given the stops at restaurants about once a day.   For a big group, go on shore for lunch, not dinner to save significant money. Food is expensive... like $10/gal milk expensive.  Budget accordingly. Reservations are suggested not because of crowds but because they may not open or have food that you want.  Especially true on Anagada.  You order when reserving a time.

We had a great time.  Once on the boat, we didn't worry at all about lack of planning.  You pretty much have one decision to make... clockwise or counter clockwise... and maybe a Anagada v. No Anagada leg.  Engage the kids in planning for the next day and setting up the nav system with appropriate points and routes.  

You have the opportunity to make 7 new lifelong sailors!!!!   Hopefully they leave thinking they are good sailors, not leave thinking you are.

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2 hours ago, 1sailor said:

Totally agree 100%.

My point is, do those on the back end of your trip when nobody's there, leave at end of trip from cooper or Norman early Sat. AM for  your boat return to road town / nanny key etc..

No one should do Willy T's without a lot of folks to party with.  You want that place to be raging. 

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Been there, done that, loved it, here are some things that we found helped:

Get the kids familiar with snorkeling before you go, like have them do a 1/2 hr lesson in a pool with a local scuba school so they can clear their ears, get hand signals, be comfortable with their face in the water while breathing

Give them a one-use underwater camera or two (they're cheap) & dont pester them if they take lame photos or use them up

Definitely fly into Beef Island, evening check in like mentioned above, you will still not get out of the harbor till after lunch the next day - island time

1st night go to Marina Cay, short hop from Road Town, easy moorings, nice little island w/ restaurant and beach and snorkeling for beginners. Traveling with kids is more exhausting for parents than you realize at first, so this helps settle in.

Spend plenty of time in the Sound (days): check out Prickly Pear, BEYC, Saba Rock. Sign up for BEYC snorkeling trip, they will go just north of Saba and there are (or were) some "pirate" cannons on the sea floor in about 15' of water that kids love, take the ferry from BEYC or Saba Rock over to Leverick and get a cab to the Baths, walk down and have fun there, eat at the top of the hill and get a cab back, its the best way to see the Baths (theres a rock outcropping on the path down to the beach that looks like a skull)

Anegada is cool but if you are pressed for time (like your trip is a week instead of 2) its not a big deal for kids, great lobster bbqs adults love and amazing beaches

Norman Island in the bight has lots of moorings, a restaurant on the beach, good beach for kids, there's "pirate" cave around to the west you can dinghy to from your mooring, tie up to the dinghy line and kayak or snorkel into - Treasure Island was based on this place (alledgedly)

Kids and adults eat more than usual when constantly on a boat, so when you go ashore to hang out at a beach, order something like mac & cheese from the beach restaurant as soon as you get there, it'll take awhile like everything does on island time, and put it in front of the kids when they run by, it'll cut way down on grumpy kids which lead to grumpy adults

Dont make a hard and fast schedule, more like guidelines. Nothing happens quickly there, including service/food/etc. Also, it'll probably be alittle stormy at some time during your trip for a day or two, good time to hang out at the Sound or Norman Is bight

Try to get where youre going by about 1 or 2, then relax/snorkle etc

The tidal range is only about a foot, so the beach restaurants have tables in the sand close to the water, kids play in water, adults enjoy Pain Killers and cheeseburgers, what a life

 

 

 

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Only plan to do Anegada if you are chartering for 12 days plus. Plenty to do round the BVI. 

Don't miss snorkeling the Indians. The Rhone meh.

 

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The Rhone was great for me. Maybe it was because I kept imagining Jacqueline Bisset underwater in a T-shirt.:rolleyes:

Also, I think Anegada is the best stop in the BVI. It's closest to the laid-back vibe the isalnds used to have. But I agree that one should not stress the schedule. There's always next time.

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With that big a crowd you should look for the Lagoon 50 or 52 with the 5 cabin layout.  Catamaran Company has several of each.  We chartered a 52 "Nauti By Nature" about a year and a half ago-the boat was absolutely incredible (and huge)-the best feature was a watermaker,  We could use 250 gallons a day and refill in about one hour.  Sooo helpful when you have a large group to not have to worry about water usage-we never tied up to a dock until the end of the charter.

+1 on flying into St. Thomas and taking the Fast Ferry across-St. Thomas is a much nicer airport than San Juan, and the puddle jumper into Beef Island is more stressful than standing on a catamaran ferry with a cold beer cruising through the islands at 20+ knots.  Total travel time is actually a little shorter if connections are all smooth.

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Done it a couple times. Our tastes are plebeian, YMMV

we enjoy flying in to STT and spending a night there either on the front or back end of the trip. We take the ferry which is kinda fun and the Petite Pump Room in the terminal has good food. Get yer first taste of ilon food there. We also enjoyed the Galleon House and Point Pleasant to stay on STT. 

We have chartered with TMM and with Conch. Both gave good service. TMM is first tier (new boats) Conch is second tier. In our experience the TMM boat had more mechanical issues than the Conch boat did but we were happy with both companies. Be advised: locals are on ilon time, and it can be more expedient to solve problems yourself than waste time waiting for service.

If you want to spend a night on Tortola we like the Fort Burt hotel with its individual swimming pools overlooking Road Harbour. Close to town, just walk everywhere. The Pub at the bottom of the hill beneath Ft Burt has good food. We also loved the Roti Palace downtown but we hear the little old lady running it has passed. 

The Bath and Turtle on Virgin Gorda has awesome curry goat

if you see a little old lady selling baked goods on a corner or by the roadside, stock up. You will slap your Mama for not cooking like that. Last we were there, there was a stand on the trail to the Bubbly Pool

--bring more money and fewer clothes. 

--provisioning can be hired, but you may have to wait on delivery. We had a better experience going ourselves.

--http://bvipirate.com/ is a site run by a fella from TX who has a place on Anegada. Good navigation and plenty other tips 

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we always fly into St. Thomas and take the ferry.  Depending on when you arrive, you may need to spend a night and then take the ferry in the morning.  The chart briefings are around 9am if you haven't done one before.  There is supposed to be a new BVI airways flight from Miami starting up soon.  Sunsail/Moorings is nice, as is TMM, plus probably a lot of others I haven't used.  I like Mooring's location to the grocery/booze store the best.  and they have nice facilities.  snorkeling musts are Indians, caves, wreck of the Rhone (it's not by the rhone buoy, it's off the point..) and monkey point off of Guana island.  Baths is awesome, but be careful swimming in if the wind is strong, the riptide can be a bitch trying to swim from the dinghy line to shore, the beach to your left is easier to swim to.  North Sound is fun.  if you stay on a Saba Rock mooring, you get free ice and free water fill up.  Have everyone take long showers before you go to the dock for water.  Foxy's beach BBQ (YVD) on Friday and Saturday night is good.  If you go to Anegada, try to rent the two pickup trucks (with bench seats in the back), or get a taxi to the beaches on the north side of the island.  cow wreck is nice, and they have a basketball hoop.  If you rent the scooters, just assume at least one person in your group will crash.  you can make your own painkillers using an empty gallon jug of water.  pour in one bottle of Mt. Gay rum, one big can of Goya orange juice, one can of Goya pineapple juice, one can of cream of coconut, and mix it up. (the combination fills the gallon almost to the top, so it's perfect mix in that regard) keep it in the fridge.  pour over ice, add shaved nutmeg on top.  you can get the nutmeg and grater at the grocery store.  Assign one adult to look after the children your first time making these.  you will be 4 gallons in before you know it.  

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Don't leave the family in St. Thomas and come get them - you'll waste a day of the charter doing that.  Just fly into STT and take the fast ferry over to Road Town.  Its super easy - yes customs sucks in Road Town on the dock but its the only part of the trip that is painful.

I chartered a very nice and well maintained Seawind cat from BVI Yacht Charters back in 2015 - and I have a trip planned the first week in December with the same company.  We had an issue while in Anegada with one of the diesels (was my fault) and they met me in Trelis with the part to fix it.  Only took a couple minutes and we were golden.  They earned my return business - going to take out a Nautitech open 40 this time.

Going to Anegada is a must - even if you only have a weeklong charter.  We're planning on spending 2 days up there and spending every minute of daylight on the north shore beaches.

The caves are definitely worth visiting - just watch out for the "Salty Boys" who like to head out there on their 30-something foot boat chock full of naked men and aren't afraid of sharing one of those caves with you and your guests/kids/wife/whatever - unless you're into that kind of thing :P

 

 

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I've chartered a couple of times out of Moorings Roadtown location, cleared into St. John USVI from BVI on one trip. No problem but it definitely took a few hours on the way in (one Dutch guy needed a visa, all others were Canadian and American) no problem...tie to mooring ball, dinghy crew into office, short line at customs, dinghy back, and that's it), and  fly quarantine flag upon return to Roadtown and customs was 100 yards up the road. Personally, unless you've got a good reason (we had a wedding to attend) I wouldn't waste the half day that it ends up taking and would just sail around BVI.

One thing that worked well for us on both trips was we booked rooms right at the Moorings the night before and the night after the charter. It makes collecting your crew arriving (as was our case)  from all sides of the continent at different times way easier prior to loading up the boat the next day(tell everyone to pack REALLY light and put a travel ban--though it may be hard to impose---on hard luggage, soft bags only!!...it's amazing how much cubic space can get wasted with 13 empty carry-on bags) On the way back, the night in the hotel lets everyone re acclimatize before hitting the airport the next day. If you've got a bunch of kids to herd around, this option can make it easier. There's a pool/restaurant at the base that's all pretty good and can keep everyone occupied enough until everybody is sorted out.

Pretty much every island is no more than a few hours away, Anegada a bit further but worthwhile and not a problem to get to. If you have time, with this big a group and kids, pick at least one anchorage to stay at for a couple of days(BEYC...lots of windsurf/dinghy options for the kids, great bar for the adults, pool, wi-if available to bareboaters)  as opposed to trying to hit every single anchorage on your list if it's a 7 day trip. 

 

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You already have fantastic advise in the thread! I'll just add that,

  • A week is way too short! 10 or 14 days is the ticket, IMHO.
  • Catamarans are grand -- get enough people on board you can afford a small cat
  • Early low season is low-risk and low-crowds.
  • Conch Charters is often fantastic pricing for the boat/season/nr of days combo above. The boats are older, but I don't sail brand new boats when I'm at home either.

For us, these things hang together. We've been doing it with extended family (my parents, sister, extra friends) every couple years for a decade. We get 3 or 4 couples on board for 2 weeks early in the low season, enjoy finding moorings, table for dinner, etc; and it's all very reasonably priced.

If you have divers on board, you can rent the kit locally so it's on the boat when you arrive, there's compressors in many spots, and your divers will dive themselves silly for no money at all.

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4 hours ago, Max Rockatansky said:

the Petite Pump Room in the terminal has good food

And there's a hydroplane which lands skimming the roof. Sit outside, and peel your eyes when you hear the propellers!

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On 8/29/2017 at 3:15 PM, TQA said:

Only plan to do Anegada if you are chartering for 12 days plus. Plenty to do round the BVI. 

Don't miss snorkeling the Indians. The Rhone meh.

 

The Rhone suck fer sure.

36962929525_b982979572_z.jpg

36962931235_f89dc7c341_z.jpg

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23 minutes ago, DavidBuoy said:

The Rhone suck fer sure.

36962929525_b982979572_z.jpg

36962931235_f89dc7c341_z.jpg

 

Err those guys are DIVING. I have snorkeled there a couple of times. I suppose I was comparing it to some other wrecks around Anegada or Antigua Barbuda. The point I am trying to make is that if I had a guest on board and one day left to give them a good snorkel I would take them to the Indians. 

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The Indians and the point at Cooper are amazing for snorkeling.  If you go to the Baths (a must see at least once) anchor at a nearby anchorage (Cooper or Marina Cay) the night before and depart and head to the Baths at sunrise.  Pick up a mooring, have breakfast, and head in to hike as early as possible.  The crowds get crazy as the day goes on and the experience of the spectacular setting is far less appealing waiting in lines to climb ladders.

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On 9/1/2017 at 11:46 AM, martin.langhoff said:

For us, these things hang together. We've been doing it with extended family (my parents, sister, extra friends) every couple years for a decade.

For those of us not in the know, when is the "low season"?  Thanks.

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1 hour ago, bplipschitz said:

For those of us not in the know, when is the "low season"?  Thanks.

June-August

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3 hours ago, DavidBuoy said:

Wait, when were you planning on going?

 

yeaaaaaa.... you may need to make some adjustments

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Might as well shut this thread down.

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On 9/3/2017 at 9:13 AM, dacapo said:

June-August

The low season just started a couple of days ago and will probably last for a year or more. 

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     I think the Rhone got shifted in a previous hurricane even though sunk. Not sure what year pr what storm that was but it would not have been near the destructive potential that Irma had. I had my own private wreck in Great Cruz Bay that got buried in sand with each successive hurricane. It was a CYS 44 that I had salvaged off of the rocks but was too badly beat up to repair. I got served by the DPNR and fined for 'maintaining a hazard to navigation' so I told them I took it to the three mile limit and let it sink in the deep waters there. Little did they realize that it was in the murky hole in the middle of the bay and served well as a 44' mushroom storm mooring for the subsequent hurricanes. After a couple of years the cabin overheads were about 18" off the sand as most of the hull had settled into the soft bottom. That is the perfect clearance that lobsters prefer for a secure abode and I happily harvested them regularly. Sadly a hurricane finally left only the pulpits sticking out of the sand which seemed to be a magnet for bareboaters even though my mooring ball should have kept them clear. I would glady freedive down and free their anchors for those that got snagged for a small fee or a bottle of rum. The water was only 20' deep but you would be amazed at how many would just cut the line and leave if I weren't there to do the brief dive for them. I had a pretty poor attitude for bareboaters after having suffered 'hit and run' damage too many times while I was not on my boat, but finally yanked the pulpits off as I had more anchors harvested from them than I knew what to do with. I had a huge hawser well secured to the hulk that saved my boat from a bad hurricane that beached or sank half the boats in the bay. If there was a boat in Great Cruz that survived Irma, I bet it was on my old storm mooring. BTW, what is the statute of limitations for 'maintaining a hazard to navigation'?

   Here is a testament to just how  fast the wind can switch as the eye passes over.

However, just as Rhone was passing Black Rock Point, less than 250 yards (230 m) from safety, the second half of the hurricane came around from the south. The winds shifted to the opposite direction and Rhonewas thrown directly into Black Rock Point. It is said that the initial lurch of the crash sent Captain Wooley overboard, never to be seen again. Local legend says that his teaspoon can still be seen lodged into the wreck itself. Whether or not it is his, a teaspoon is clearly visible entrenched in the wreck's coral. The ship broke in two, and cold seawater made contact with her hot boilers which had been running at full steam, causing them to explode.

The ship sank swiftly, the bow section in 80 feet (24 m) of water, the stern in 30 feet (9 m). Of the 146 people originally aboard, plus an unknown number of passengers transferred from Conway, only 23 – all crew – survived the wreck. The bodies of many of the sailors were buried in a nearby cemetery on Salt Island. Due to her mast sticking out of the water, and her shallow depth, she was deemed a hazard by the Royal Navy in the 1950s and her stern section was blown up.

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3 minutes ago, Rasputin22 said:

  The ship sank swiftly, the bow section in 80 feet (24 m) of water, the stern in 30 feet (9 m). Of the 146 people originally aboard, plus an unknown number of passengers transferred from Conway, only 23 – all crew – survived the wreck. The bodies of many of the sailors were buried in a nearby cemetery on Salt Island. Due to her mast sticking out of the water, and her shallow depth, she was deemed a hazard by the Royal Navy in the 1950s and her stern section was blown up.

The story I was given from our dive boat team was that people were locked in their cabins for "safety".

Wiki states: "As was normal practice at the time, the passengers in Rhone were tied into their beds to prevent them being injured in the stormy seas."

Seems safe.

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Thanks David.

     I'll have to try that with my guests next time I take on a Hurricane charter job! I'll start with Jacky!

Image result for jacqueline bisset diving

 

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On 8/28/2017 at 9:58 PM, cubfan said:

Not sure if I should post here or in cruising anarchy (If in the wrong place please feel free to move with my apologies).

Three families are thinking of chartering a cat in the BVI this spring (6 adults 7kids 10&under).  We have been saving and talking about this for a while and it seems like if we don't get it done this year kids will be off to middle school etc and tougher to pull for a few days if necessary.  Will definitely go with a  cat, rather than a mono.

I figure that has to be a fair amount of experience here.  Someone suggested we fly into St. Thomas and leave the families in a hotel and the men go get the boat and pick them up-which sounded great, but one of the charter cos said you'd have to check out/in/out/in customs and the boat would have to be flagged to be able to sail into US waters-they strongly discouraged it.

Any companies you had great success with?

Anyone that was a disaster?

What to do?

What not to do?

 

It has been a few years since I've sailed the BVI, but I did a few of the regattas in the past.

thanks for your thoughts/opinions.

cheers

Skip the USVI and fly into Tortolla and sail in the BVI.  There's so many places to go.  You could spend weeks in the BVI alone bouncing from mooring to mooring.  

I've done two bareboat charters with The Moorings and had great experiences both times.  Excellent service, the boats are clean and immaculate and they give good support.  There are likely cheaper places, but it was worth the money for the top quality service and hassle free experience.  

Oh and don't be a pussy by getting a cat.  Yes they are likely bigger inside, but they sail for shit.  If all you want to do is motor around with a sail up and pretend you're sailing, then get the cat.  But if you really want to sail, get one of their nice monohulls and actually sail around the islands.  SWMBO and I had a 50' mono for just the two of us.  Yeah it was overkill on size, but I needed my aircon at night ;)

Seriously, skip the USVI.  Customs is a royal PITA.  The BVI is much more laid back and the rum is excellent!

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2 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Skip the USVI and fly into Tortolla and sail in the BVI.  There's so many places to go.  You could spend weeks in the BVI alone bouncing from mooring to mooring.  

I've done two bareboat charters with The Moorings and had great experiences both times.  Excellent service, the boats are clean and immaculate and they give good support.  There are likely cheaper places, but it was worth the money for the top quality service and hassle free experience.  

Oh and don't be a pussy by getting a cat.  Yes they are likely bigger inside, but they sail for shit.  If all you want to do is motor around with a sail up and pretend you're sailing, then get the cat.  But if you really want to sail, get one of their nice monohulls and actually sail around the islands.  SWMBO and I had a 50' mono for just the two of us.  Yeah it was overkill on size, but I needed my aircon at night ;)

Seriously, skip the USVI.  Customs is a royal PITA.  The BVI is much more laid back and the rum is excellent!

 

    great advice for 2019......maybe 2020

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1 minute ago, Kingstonsail said:

 

    great advice for 2019......maybe 2020

Why?  I just got back from diving in the Red Sea for a week.  What happened?  Did Rimas land aground in the BVI?

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3 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Why?  I just got back from diving in the Red Sea for a week.  What happened?  Did Rimas land aground in the BVI?

  as the British say "are you  taking the mickey"...but I'll bite.    Probably 90% of the charter fleet and 75% of the infrastructure of BVI charter services has been wiped out.

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9 hours ago, Rasputin22 said:

 

However, just as Rhone was passing Black Rock Point, less than 250 yards (230 m) from safety, the second half of the hurricane came around from the south. The winds shifted to the opposite direction and Rhonewas thrown directly into Black Rock Point. It is said that the initial lurch of the crash sent Captain Wooley overboard, never to be seen again. Local legend says that his teaspoon can still be seen lodged into the wreck itself. Whether or not it is his, a teaspoon is clearly visible entrenched in the wreck's coral. The ship broke in two, and cold seawater made contact with her hot boilers which had been running at full steam, causing them to explode.

This reminded me of some photos I made many years ago during a dive of the Rhone. The divemaster labeled the spoon and I remember seeing it but I can't clearly make it out in the photo. There's also a brass port that divers keep rubbing so it's clean, a signal cannon, and the remains of those exploded boilers.

cBQWdRIpLE6cA03fD299FOrDquMib3_nrDCoEWxg

PKpMY2f0EAlKk1p_Ph04WwH7muukh-o8AkVO42cd

IndayJve2D2kR-WzC23yYaSkIOgEHxQQPqZ7L7Ug

LjQ2oyHa8pdno7tIqOZAihGg4Z1FV-x6ynE6kqT3

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11 hours ago, Kingstonsail said:

  as the British say "are you  taking the mickey"...but I'll bite.    Probably 90% of the charter fleet and 75% of the infrastructure of BVI charter services has been wiped out.

Oh shit, that sucks!  No honestly not taking the mickey.  I've been on a liveaboard dive boat in the red sea for a week with ZERO phone or internet access.  Just got back and catching up with the world.

And I have to add, being totally unplugged from the world has been wondrous beyond belief.  All I did was dive, eat, sleep - rinse lather repeat.  

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I was there for our honeymoon in December. What a shame. 

 

I'm sure they will rebuild quick. The cruise ships will be back first, then the chart companies will rebuild. 

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18 minutes ago, sailsail said:

 

I'm sure they will rebuild quick. The cruise ships will be back first, then the chart companies will rebuild. 

 

    and what dockside amenities do you think will welcome those tourists?...   restaurants catering to Brits that want fish and chips...nope     kitsch tourist stands selling crap...nope

   I've been in Road Town when a cruise ship came in...the tourists just wander around...buying bikinis...eating fish and chip...and generally just enjoying the beautiful scenery.   Well it's going to be a long time before Road Town looks welcoming from the lido deck.  I imagine for the next 5 years the response from your typical cruise shipper type person will be "  ewww   looks gross...I'm going to the buffet"

      ...cruise ships only go where the clients want to go....as much as the BVI government wants the ships back......clients don't want to go to a disaster zone.

....as for charter boats.....  without all the iconic BVI stops (which have been wiped out)...why go?   I can sail clockwise around an island anywhere... (or turn left   turn left if you are into that)...

   this is going to take a long time...  keeping in mind rebuilding the infrastructure for the locals is the only priority right now from the government standpoint.

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7 hours ago, Kingstonsail said:

 

    and what dockside amenities do you think will welcome those tourists?...   restaurants catering to Brits that want fish and chips...nope     kitsch tourist stands selling crap...nope

   I've been in Road Town when a cruise ship came in...the tourists just wander around...buying bikinis...eating fish and chip...and generally just enjoying the beautiful scenery.   Well it's going to be a long time before Road Town looks welcoming from the lido deck.  I imagine for the next 5 years the response from your typical cruise shipper type person will be "  ewww   looks gross...I'm going to the buffet"

      ...cruise ships only go where the clients want to go....as much as the BVI government wants the ships back......clients don't want to go to a disaster zone.

....as for charter boats.....  without all the iconic BVI stops (which have been wiped out)...why go?   I can sail clockwise around an island anywhere... (or turn left   turn left if you are into that)...

   this is going to take a long time...  keeping in mind rebuilding the infrastructure for the locals is the only priority right now from the government standpoint.

You would be shocked how fast they rebuild when over 60% of your economy depends on those cruise ships. I know we are supposed to hate cruise ships here but the islands live for them.  I bet within six months they will rebuild enough that Carnival is coming back, within 9 months I bet Norwegian, Disney, RC are back.   Well actually Carnival may be back next week...

 

Hopefully they rebuild quick as Cozumel and the other  cruise ship destinations on the east coast of South/Central America will be packed for a while....

 

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11 hours ago, sailsail said:

You would be shocked how fast they rebuild when over 60% of your economy depends on those cruise ships. I know we are supposed to hate cruise ships here but the islands live for them.  I bet within six months they will rebuild enough that Carnival is coming back, within 9 months I bet Norwegian, Disney, RC are back.   Well actually Carnival may be back next week...

 

Hopefully they rebuild quick as Cozumel and the other  cruise ship destinations on the east coast of South/Central America will be packed for a while....

 

How serviceable is the port at the moment? (Just curious if they can load/offload and is the channel different after the storm?)

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21 hours ago, Kingstonsail said:

 

    and what dockside amenities do you think will welcome those tourists?...   restaurants catering to Brits that want fish and chips...nope     kitsch tourist stands selling crap...nope

   I've been in Road Town when a cruise ship came in...the tourists just wander around...buying bikinis...eating fish and chip...and generally just enjoying the beautiful scenery.   Well it's going to be a long time before Road Town looks welcoming from the lido deck.  I imagine for the next 5 years the response from your typical cruise shipper type person will be "  ewww   looks gross...I'm going to the buffet"

      ...cruise ships only go where the clients want to go....as much as the BVI government wants the ships back......clients don't want to go to a disaster zone.

....as for charter boats.....  without all the iconic BVI stops (which have been wiped out)...why go?   I can sail clockwise around an island anywhere... (or turn left   turn left if you are into that)...

   this is going to take a long time...  keeping in mind rebuilding the infrastructure for the locals is the only priority right now from the government standpoint.

I get your point...kind of. 

A company like the Moorings has a worldwide fleet to draw upon, so with a lot of effort, should be able to get back up and running in at least a limited capacity before many others. I won't pretend to offer a time frame on bouncing back from this disaster but I'll put it out there that anyone who cares for and loves the area and is already booked for the upcoming season do their best to work with whatever charter company they are with, to get down there and spend some dollars. Every foreign penny counts in getting the economy moving again and the trickle down effect from a larger flagship company like Moorings on the broader economy shouldn't be underestimated.

If those iconic BVI stops aren't quite up to snuff for you this time around and you feel like sailing around a different set of islands, maybe just grin and bare it just this once if it's possible to proceed with current charter plans this year, the belongers and any other local businesses will more than appreciate it.

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