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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  
1sailor

Displaced BVI / USVI cruisers & alternative plans for '18

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Imagine I'm not alone here----- had plans to return to the BVI this spring as we often do; wanted to go and support our friends down there by returning with our spending and support.   BUT--- it looks too bleak at this point.    Water and power.. who knows...  refrigeration for foods at restaurants ?  I cannot imagine they will have much of this operational in the next few months.

What do we have... maybe 2,000 bareboat in the VI's ?    

What's everyone gonna do ?     We are thinking Belize, seems like  a good enough reason to go try someplace new.  Done the Grenadines enough times, I guess Bahamas are an option, but hard to get to during our time frame.

Am I missing any other obvious alternatives ?

 

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Why would Bahamas be harder to get to than VIs? There are hundreds of boats spend the winter at Georgetown anchorage...it's like its own small city.  

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yeah, but somehow the plane ticket thing (spring break) making it nearly impossible from where I live..

 

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One week = cruise the Grenadines preferably from Union Island OR St Lucia TO Martinique

10 days + one way charter from St Vincent to Grenada. 

Do not wait to book a large percentage of the Caribbean charter fleet is sunk or badly damaged. 

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3 hours ago, soma said:

I think it's the best year to cruise the VI in a long time. 

I think you have NO IDEA of the extent of the devastation. Sure go cruise the VI just make sure you are pretty much totally self sufficient on water diesel and gasoline and can manage without marinas. Yes it will be quieter in the popular anchorages MUCH QUIETER>

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We did 10+ days from St. Georges, Grenada (2 families on a Catana 47 Carbon, fast boat, made miles), up to Petit Martinique and back last May/June; decided to skip the Tobago Cays or points north this time just to keep customs hassle and crazed Dads schedule out of the loop. Maybe our best 2 weeks+ in the Caribbean so far. Make sure boat has either air or outstanding ventilation. Onshore for rest of trip afterward was also outstanding, rented a small van, waterfall hikes, spice plantations, distilleries, great food. Had 2 families in an outstanding beachfront villa for what we thought was very reasonable.

Easy to get to, friendly locals, good provisioning. Not going back to the BVI until the Soggy Dollar is rebuilt! ;-)

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9 hours ago, rattus32 said:

We did 10+ days from St. Georges, Grenada (2 families on a Catana 47 Carbon, fast boat, made miles), up to Petit Martinique and back last May/June; decided to skip the Tobago Cays or points north this time just to keep customs hassle and crazed Dads schedule out of the loop. Maybe our best 2 weeks+ in the Caribbean so far. Make sure boat has either air or outstanding ventilation. Onshore for rest of trip afterward was also outstanding, rented a small van, waterfall hikes, spice plantations, distilleries, great food. Had 2 families in an outstanding beachfront villa for what we thought was very reasonable.

Easy to get to, friendly locals, good provisioning. Not going back to the BVI until the Soggy Dollar is rebuilt! ;-)

There are moves afoot in high places to do away with the need for customs and immigration thing between St Vincent [ and Grenadines ] and Grenada. 

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Belize is wonderful for laid back. No bars, or very few. Great sailing breeze.beautiful water. Navigation is totally line of sight. Sorry no.moorings. learn to ŕead charts and anchor smart.

Not for type A people. Everything moves at a slower pace.

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Please don't NOT go chartering in the BVI's. This is still a year to charter. Go to "Facebook.com/BVI Friends and Boat Owners" and you will see how the charter companies, bars, etc  are already making plans and advertising for this season (Virgin Motor Ychts, Horizon, Moorings, BVI Yacht Charters). Understandably there will be fewer boats available to charter but the best way to help them bounce back is to go, spend some money, enjoy the sailing, the water, the people.  BTW - I have a boat there right now in Nanny Cay (Saga 43 monohull cruiser). The boat isn't totalled. My mast is standing and from prelim reports from friends there she doesn't look bad. You will be surprised to see how many boats have minor damage and are good to go. The power is being worked on now (today they are installing power to the Treasure Isle road area to get it to the big Riteway store), Nanny Cay has two large generators that power the whole marina plus stores and restaurants and plenty of fuel to run them and there are many generators operating elsewhere.  The Beach Bar and Spinnaker restaurants are up and running in NC (Peg Legs is not). 

Aid money will go to social assistance and infrastructure but only tourism $$ will go into the pockets of locals who work in tourism and boating industries. Also, go to Nanny Cay's website to see the daily progress. 

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14 hours ago, TQA said:

There are moves afoot in high places to do away with the need for customs and immigration thing between St Vincent [ and Grenadines ] and Grenada. 

...and we would have loved that, with many underwater enthusiasts (i.e. the kids and me) with us. We'd done that previously, from the North, with a quick illegal visit to Carriacou, and had enjoyed the cays. The French islands have it done right with their terminal-based clearance setup.

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The plan is to treat St Vincent and the Grenadines with Grenada as one state as far as cruising in a sailboat goes. Once you have checked in to EITHER St Vincent and the Grenadines OR Grenada you would be free to sail anywhere within these two states.

I strongly suspect that the customs and immigration formalities will still be done by real people and the French model of computers in bars by the waterside will not be followed. 

Chris Doyle who authors the excellent cruising guides for the area has been lobbying the relevant officials in the islands and it got close to happening but politics got in the way and stalled it. 

As a full time retired liveaboard cruiser it does not bother me to spend a day on the check out check in process but I sympathise with the charter who has only has a few days to enjoy this area. 

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On 9/26/2017 at 11:39 AM, TQA said:

I think you have NO IDEA of the extent of the devastation. Sure go cruise the VI just make sure you are pretty much totally self sufficient on water diesel and gasoline and can manage without marinas. Yes it will be quieter in the popular anchorages MUCH QUIETER>

Don't tell me what I know. I own two homes in St. John. I own a boat in Tortola. I've been there, on the ground, since Irma. I have dozens of friends there. I've lived there since '94. Trust me, I have a pretty good idea of what's there and what it will be like in 3 months.

 

Is there fuel TODAY? No. By December? Of course. I think it'll be the best winter in the VI in a long time. 

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Putting it out there without anything else or inuendo.  This seems like one of the worse seasons to hit the careibean in recent memory 10-20 years at least.  For a couple or people who regularly cruise this region each winter and have the means this might be the year to give back.  If you have a budget stick to it but find somewhere you can go and help during your vacation.  I would guess most retires have a excellent skill set to offer.  Simple things like logistics and management are probably in pretty short order.

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I agree with everyone up thread who thinks it would be a great idea to continue with chartering in the USVI or BVI this year...however possible.

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16 hours ago, SASSAFRASS said:

Putting it out there without anything else or inuendo.  This seems like one of the worse seasons to hit the careibean in recent memory 10-20 years at least.  For a couple or people who regularly cruise this region each winter and have the means this might be the year to give back.  If you have a budget stick to it but find somewhere you can go and help during your vacation.  I would guess most retires have a excellent skill set to offer.  Simple things like logistics and management are probably in pretty short order.

Two cat 5 hurricanes making land fall in the same year is beyond bad considering there have only been 33 since 1851. 

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On 9/28/2017 at 11:38 AM, Zonker said:

Checking into Grenada was painless. About 1/2 hour in the office in Prickly Bay

Same is true of checking in/out at Hillsborough, and Bequia.  I think most people who are going to visit Petit Martinique/PSv are not to concerned about there they are checked in.  Think from what I have seen the respective governments have the same view. 

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50 minutes ago, CCruiser said:

Same is true of checking in/out at Hillsborough, and Bequia.  I think most people who are going to visit Petit Martinique/PSv are not to concerned about there they are checked in.  Think from what I have seen the respective governments have the same view. 

Agree. Visited Carriacou from nearby Petit Saint Vincent without formalities.

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The time to go is when everyone else stays home.  You will have many anchorages to yourself that would otherwise be full.  I’d go. 

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On 5/12/2017 at 6:44 PM, nebe said:

The time to go is when everyone else stays home.  You will have many anchorages to yourself that would otherwise be full.  I’d go. 

Yes you are right about the congestion, but the plan is wife +2 kids, not 8 friends +booze, so I need the infrastructure reasonably working

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I arrived in St. Thomas on 11/25 after a long slow sail.  The Red Hook marina is open.  Fuel is available.  Restaurants are open.  Supermarkets are fully stocked.  Most hotels were closed.  The roads are bad but improving.  There is sporadic wi-fi and cell coverage.  Many homes are still without electricity.

I'd say it's fine if you are living on a boat but if you will be staying in a resort it might not be much fun even if the resort is open.

Flights out of the airport are a bitch.  Very few seats and a 3 hour wait to get through security.

 

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A good friend of mine just did a week in the BVI's as a captain on a catamaran for a week. Soma has it spot on, there's no reason not to go to the BVI's. 

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If you can enjoy being a self-contained, low-maintenance cruising group, there's probably never going to be a better time for a BVI tour. Uncrowded anchorages and no competition for mooring balls. That would also be true anywhere else in the Caribbean that has charter boats and provisions. But if you need the full BVI vacation infrastructure, and many do, I'd wait a year.

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I think one of the scary things will be seeing what happens when a bareboater who is used to the easy cruising in the BVI's decides to rent a boat in the Windwards .... 

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4 hours ago, MangoMan said:

I think one of the scary things will be seeing what happens when a bareboater who is used to the easy cruising in the BVI's decides to rent a boat in the Windwards .... 

Especially if the Christmas winds are blowing 25 to 30 knots and 3 meter seas. The charter boats get abandoned in marinas while the charters fly home losing their security deposits and with extra delivery charges to come.

Mind you the North end of St Vincent in reinforced trades and 3 meter seas will be officially unpleasant.

 

 

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Heading to BVI in a week or so together with a bigger group of friends. We originally was going to charter 2x 50 footer catamarans, but there was some change of plans because of the destruction. The smaller original charter company could only get us one boat, a different model than we wanted though, instead of the two we had booked. This message came just some weeks ago (this was all due to troubles moving fleet from other locations). It was actually very easy to get another yacht from other charter companies,, so ended up with a boat from Sunsail.

Have a few friends who has already been there. Things seem good. I'll probably miss Willy T's though.

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On 12/14/2017 at 4:59 PM, MangoMan said:

I think one of the scary things will be seeing what happens when a bareboater who is used to the easy cruising in the BVI's decides to rent a boat in the Windwards .... 

We did a bareboat out of Grenada mid December as an alternative to BVI (where our charter canceled due to damage). We had only done bareboats in USVI and BVI before that, so we fall in this category. It was just my wife and I, and we had a truly awesome time. We did 9 days, 8 nights. We went from Southern Grenada (True Blue) up to Tobago Cays and back down.

I don't think Grenada/Grenadines should scare anyone away, the routes are well traveled and there is plenty of information. Yes, some sails are much longer, the winds/seas can be bigger, and you will be anchoring. You need to pay attention to weather, and change your course and anchorages accordingly. If you are good with all that and do some homework, I think you will have a fantastic time and see some really amazing spots. It is totally different than the VIs - it feels like real cruising. If instead you want to just fly down, grab a quick chart briefing and bar hop island to island like you can out of Tortola, then MangoMan is right and this probably isn't the trip for you. 

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We just did the Grenadines and easy peasy. Plenty of mornings,  never dropped the hook. May have a few hours exposed passage but you're mostly in the lee otherwise.  Sure Not as easy as the BVIs but also nothing to scare away novice/intermediate  sailors. Needs an occasional 4-6 hour sail rather than 1-3 in the BVIs.   Can be done in the wee hours of the morning while the crew sleeps.  Old man has To get up to pee anyway. May as well motor or sail and watch the sunrise a morning or  two. Plenty of cool stuff to see. 

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So, back from my two week charter. BVI was as great as it used to be, only less crowded (but not at all lonely either, lots of boats still). Some places was obviously closed, but it didn't really affect us at all; there's places open just about everywhere still. Many of the places we were you wouldn't have guessed that a hurricane had passed through, as things was already built up - some places from scratch.

Moorings/sunsail gets weekly shipments of new and used boats, many used shipped from the Med. Ours was one from a base in the Med, and we were the first to charter it in the BVI. So if other companies don't have anything available, call them.

Edited: We could get ice most places. An other boat in the same party didn't have problems filling fuel or water either.

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I was just talking to a charter agent in the Caribbean...the season is slow.

boats are OK, facilities are OK, everything is OK.

the issue is that when folks were making winter holiday plans  they observed the hurricane damge , then decided to skip the Caribbean  this year and go skiing instead.

 

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11 hours ago, slug zitski said:

I was just talking to a charter agent in the Caribbean...the season is slow.

boats are OK, facilities are OK, everything is OK.

the issue is that when folks were making winter holiday plans  they observed the hurricane damge , then decided to skip the Caribbean  this year and go skiing instead.

 

Yup, my impression from being there as well. Moorings is basically a dead place compared to a normal season (only 1.5 piers in operation for charter, rest is just storage). Apparently they have fired almost 100 people due to the low demand.

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I live down here and all I have to say is if you have a charter scheduled for BVI you should still go, things have come a long way. If you have been moved to Grenada / Grenadines you should go it's not that difficult, electronic charts for the area are good and sailing is excellent. 

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