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4 hours ago Sunset Beach [by SirRichard]
I've never seen so many people! check out their webcam 5 cruise ships will do that
7 219 Read More
4 hours ago SXM PAWS Rescue/Adoption Center [by gracie5]
Anyone flying to Raleigh, NC? My name is Scout & an amazing family from Raleigh have adopted me & are giving me my furever home. I am looking for a flight partner to help me get there. I am a small dog & fit in a carrier. All of my expenses to get to Raleigh have been paid for. If you can help me out please email Rozweiss@comcast.net Thank you so much. Scout
0 70 Read More
7 hours ago Trip Report #3 Jan 28-29 [by lhbsurf]
We are now on Statia visiting with family, but I thought I’d post a couple of pictures from our last few days on SXM.

On Friday, we were able to get Dany to grill us a couple of lobsters and sides which we ate in his bar at Cupecoy… we brought along a bottle of champagne…. It was heavenly as always. We went back to our hot tub and then poked around Maho to see what we wanted for dinner. We ended up at Mr. Chow’s (what most of you would call the former Cheri’s, though we started coming after it was gone). We got a couple of cocktails, chicken-truffle gyoza dumplings, Mongolian beef, and smoked duck fried rice. I thought it was pretty good, not great, although my husband really liked it. It was a beautiful place and good service. The bar looked really nice – I’d like to go back there for a cocktail.

Saturday was our last full day on the island. We decided to take a couple of chairs and head to Baie Rouge. It was our first time there and a beautiful beach. One very brief shower we weathered in the car… the second one (after we’d been there about 3 ½ hours anyway) we decided to head back to the villa because we were heading to Le Pressoir. It was the right call, it rained harder and longer this time. After watching the sunset at Long Bay, we made our way over to Grand Case without incident and the bartender actually helped us find a parking spot. They were quite busy as expected. This was one of our very favorites last trip, so we were excited to try it again. It was still good, but not quite the divine experience we had last time. The dirty martinis were fine, but not exceptional… Gil said he made them last year, but this year he had a bartender.. he thought he maybe shook them too much (?)…. I got the Prix Fixe menu… lobster bisque, la pluma, and chocolate royal dessert. My husband got the lamb. It was not my style of bisque – it was very dark - I prefer the creamier type at Ocean 82. The lamb was tender and tasty and I really liked the unusual flavors of the pork, wrapped around the duck and topped with pineapples. All in all, a very nice evening.

Sunday, we expected to have to pack up and find something to do. I’d made arrangements to have our Airbnb host store our bags. Turns out, he didn’t have someone checking into our unit until Monday, so he let us stay until we needed to head to the airport at 4:30. It ended up being a crazy day due to the fire. We headed over to the gas station we are familiar with, near SAX and realized traffic was completely stopped due to the fire. Turned around, went to Zee Best (blue berry muffin, Chocolate Almond Croissant (this is the best I have ever eaten… never been to Paris, but these are just divine… my husband promised to take me back next week for at least one more!!) and the roast beef sandwich w/horseradish sauce to split for a picnic at the beach (it’s big!)). Headed to the gas station at the edge of Cole Bay to fill up and by the time we finished the Simpson Bay traffic was backed up to that round about. We were so very thankful for our spot in Terrabasses because we just did another loop on the roundabout and headed back through Marigot and Sandy Ground. Went to the beach, cleaned up and headed to the airport in time to wait for an hour for the power to come on so they could process us through security. I understand they have generators, but they didn’t turn them on for over an hour…maybe conserving fuel costs? It was late in the afternoon. Still made our flight without incident… even with all the crowds and traffic, one of our best trips yet!

Our observations on reservations: We made reservations this time every other night… the restaurants I specifically wanted to go to. The other nights, we just went where sounded good. We were never turned away. We are a party of 2 and tend to eat late. We noticed there were tables available if you were willing to eat late. Reservations at Ocean 82, Le Bistronome, Le Pressoir. Walked in to Spaghetti House, Sublime, Mr. Chow. That being said, if there’s somewhere you really want to go, I’d make reservations early.
6 6 366 Read More
7 hours ago Lodging suggestion before and after charter [by Memphré]
Hello everyone! At the end of June, we will be doing our 4th charter in the BVI and for the first time we have the possibility to stretch before and after the trip. We will be 2 families of 4, and I am introducing our friends to BVI and sailing, this will be their first (and I hope not the last) time! We thought of spending two days before on Tortola and the two days after in St-Thomas, you guessed that we will pass by St-Thomas. We don't want to rent a car. For Tortola, we thought of Cane Garden Bay, more specifically renting from Myett's which we think is ok, within our budget and close to a lot of things to do. Do you have any other suggestions for Tortola?

I need your help for St-Thomas, not being able to find a place to stay for two nights. My friends want water (pool or beach) and air conditioning. Ideally located not too far from Charlotte Amalie, for sightseeing and a beach. I have already stayed once at the Windward, I do not want to go back.

Thank you!
2 138 Read More
9 hours ago One day itinerary- north sound help needed [by GettinBye]
We have been staying in spanishtown 8 of us. We have driven everywhere but today have opted to give our designated driver a break. Taxiing to leverick area. Would like to get to Bitter End and saba and pick a dinner place. I know upstairs Leverick is best food but wondering about North Sound bistro? Or any other suggestions. Oil nut marina area worth the trip for a drink?

Biggest question is about the water taxi. Where to first ? Saba and ask to be dropped at Bitter End? I’ve never done all of this from land. Thank you in advance.
1 107 Read More
10 hours ago roam app [by Knotthead]
Coming over from the bvi for a few days. Will the roam app work ok in Coral Bay? I have used it before but was closer to cruz bay.

Thanks
2 70 Read More
16 hours ago Secret Spots (we won't tell) [by Shifty]
In the wake of Jason's passing, perhaps a question someone just like him would answer best. Let me take an amateurish stab at this, as follows:

If you've been chartering for long enough to remember when you could anchor (yes, anchor, not moor, in the Bight) and you long for spots where you might still enjoy a relatively unspoiled moment of recluse for an evening or two, where might you consider going (whether BVI or USVI) if what your looking for includes the following elements:

-safe overnight anchorage (under prevailing conditions)
-no mooring balls
-good snorkeling
-no crowds
-no restaurants/bars
-eco-friendly anchoring (avoiding damage to seabed)
-NOT otherwise prohibited by local regulation

I've got an idea or two, but thought I'd leave it to the experts first.

Yours,
Shifty
5 301 Read More
Yesterday at 10:27 PM Cruise Report 1-21 to 1-28 2023- Boaty Balls and Saba Rock [by Bvicatter]
Good Day TTOL BVI Friends:

Just learned of the passing of Jason Helmbrecht. May he rest in peace, may his family find peace.

I want to post a report of recent charter with myself and crew of three just wrapped up this past Saturday. In summary, the BVIs are back, and booming!

Our total crew was two married couples mid fifties to mid sixties. We have chartered together three times. We are all experienced boaters from Annapolis, MD.

We prefer to have a little space, so we usually find a three or four cabin cat. Due to my extremely disconcerting experience with DYC on my October 2022 charter, I cancelled our reservation with them. Instead we booked a Sunsail 404 out of Road Town base.

That was a wise choice.

The cost for our 2017 Leopard 404 was about $7400, including internet router, and fuel option. The cost at DYC was about the same- but did not include router or having to refuel yacht. The Sunsail base as we all know is top notch. The boat we got was simply faultless.

Usually we go upwind first, spending time at Gorda Sound, and working our way down to White Bay on JVD. That leaves the upwind slog for the last day or so. This cruise we did the opposite.

Day 1: After the obligatory Willie T opening cocktails, we had a booming downwind sail directly to Great Harbor JVD. Arriving around 2:00pm, we found that every single ball was occupied. I day anchored so we could go ashore. I should note that virtually 90% of the mooring balls were Boaty Balls. To avoid the anchoring stress in the absolutely packed harbor, we motored up to Little Harbor JVD and spent the night on a first come ball in front of Harris's/Syndey's. Arriving at about 5:30pm, there were about 5 white balls and three Boaty Balls still open.

Day 2: National Parks ball off Sandy Cay for a walk around the island and a swim. After lunch, executive decision to take a nap and check out Great Harbor. Again, by 3:00pm, it was completely full, no open balls. Back to Little Harbor, no problem finding a first come/ first serve ball. Ashore, staggered to see that Sydney's did away with the self-serve bar. Strawberry and crew were wonderful. Had a few drinks and a restful evening on board.

Day 3: Cooper Island. Arrived about 3:00pm after close reach and a few long tacks. Two or three white balls, two Boaty Balls available.

Day 4: The Upwind Slog. Surprisingly not a slog at all. Who knew a Leopard 404 can actually sail (sort of) upwind? Stopped at Trellis Bay for Aaragorn's. (The new sushi restaurant in Trellis is really good!). Out of Trellis north around Marina Cay and out to SFD Channel. We were headed up about 300 degrees starboard tack keeping the Dogs to out starboard up the Channel. I felt we could have made Anegeda in about three hours. 7.5Kts over bottom with the boat as close hauled as I like them. With West Dog off starboard stern, we tacked- through about 120 degrees. So she sailed well upwind but the new course had us well south of east, so on engines and motor at 6.5Kts into Gorda Sound. I watched a charter cat take the cut between Mosquito Island and Gorda- not for me. Mooring ball off Leverick Bay, ashore to the well provisioned grocery store. Later, re-moored at Bitter End. About four guest rooms are available, two bars, water sports, ice, provisions. About 3/4 full in the mooring field, no Boaty Balls all first come first serve.

Day 5: Hike, swim, schnorkel. Boat over to Leverick for massive, empty fuel dock (230pm) for water, 15 cents/gallon. Anchor off the secret schnorkel spot on Prickly Pear. Re-moor at Saba Rock, ashore for Happy Hour ($5 rum punches and the Feeding of the Fishes (big tarpon). Saba Rock is absolutely gorgeous! It was always nice, the re-build is simply stunning!

Day 6: leave mooring about 8:00am. Sails up in Gorda Sounds, low humidity, crisp wind about 18-23kts. One reef in the main. Starboard tack past Mosquito and an amazing downwind sail to Marina Cay. Our boat was regularly clocking 9.5kts. Close hauled (for a cat) until turning south and then wing on wing to Scrub Island. Day mooring off Great Camenoe for schnorkeling. Ashore by dingy to Scrub island. I wanted to visit DYC to discuss the $740 deposit they had kept on my last charter. To my surprise- they have already moved to Hodges Creek. Back to boat, sails up for the downwind piece to The Indians- more schnorkeling. Take mooring near Willie T for farewell painkillers, back to base by 5:00pm.

Key Takeaways:

1) BVIs are as lovely as you remember. Everyone we met was happy, from tourists to locals.

2) Sunsail was great. Clogged head service call at Little Harbor JVD day 2: no charge. The base is awesome, the boat was literally faultless. Cost competitive.

3) Great Harbor JVD hard to get a mooring after 2:00pm. Go to Little Harbor if you need a mooring.

4) Restaurants did not seems as expensive relatively speaking. Prices in US mainland are not that far off.

5) Mooring balls are now $40/night. Boaty Balls $55/night.

6) Saba Rock was amazing. If you have not seen it since the re-build- go. Get there in time for 5:00pm Happy Hour.

7) Leopard 404 sails better than any other charter cat I have been on. I was amazed at the speed and close winded sailing on port tack. The tradeoff is the 110 degrees between up wind tacks.

8) January weather was perfect. Not too hot, low humidity, steady breeze 18-25kts the whole time.

9) Took Dolphin Water Taxi from STT to Road Town. What a pleasure! for the extra $90/head over ferry- saved a lot of time and waiting in lines at the end of a long travel day. Picked us up at airport, taxi to Red Hook, zip over to West End- stay on the boat while the Dolphin folks clear us through Customs, than drop right at Moorings Docks. Awesome!

Can't wait for our next trip!

Fair winds and following seas to all!

JAM
Annapolis, Md
1-30-2023




2 209 Read More
Yesterday at 06:54 PM Captain Alan CO tours [by Britt Husman]
Is Captain Alan still doing CO tours? If not or also, are there other boat companies providing CO tours? Captain Alan's site is not showing much in the CO section.

Thanks!
6 551 Read More
Yesterday at 04:38 PM Sargassum - and lots of it! [by RatmansWife]
It seems the winds have shifted or something, but in the last few days a lot of sargassum has started coming in. Looking to the northeast today there are patches of it everywhere.
4 335 Read More
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