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Island Hopping - without a vessel #152756
01/18/2018 06:12 PM
01/18/2018 06:12 PM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 7
Boston, MA
rbartolini12 Offline OP
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rbartolini12  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 7
Boston, MA
Hi everyone,

First time poster so please be gentle smile I apologize in advance if this topic has been beaten to death....

A little background - I'm a 34 year old male coming off my second knee surgery since Aug. I've been the sole caretaker of a family member with severe mental health issues for the last 5 years.

Basically, I need to get the hell out of here to recharge for a few months or longer and the BVIs have always been the #1 destination on my wish list.

My question is this - how apt are you to offer a ride to someone looking to jump islands?

I realize this question almost comes off as cheap because you've spent a lot of money to own or charter a vessel and I'd be trying to do it on the cheap, which I realize is almost impossible. But I'd hope to reciprocate by using 20 years worth of experience fishing the northeast, cooking, cleaning, general labor, straight up cash, etc. I would do my part and then some. I would have a decent amount of money saved.

I'm an easy going guy who likes good conversation over a couple drinks. I love to fish, hike and snorkel. I've lived in the Florida Keys (Big Pine) and I've spent time in T&C and Aruba.

Given all that info (thanks for bearing with me) would any of you be at all inclined to give someone like me a lift if it fit your itinerary? One thing that might be a problem and might even make it damn near impossible is that I'm 6'3.

Any advice/insight, experiences good or bad, would be greatly appreciated. If anyone knows of any other forums that might better serve this question I'd welcome all suggestions.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this. Safe travels!

- Rob B

.

Last edited by rbartolini12; 01/18/2018 06:14 PM.
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Re: Island Hopping - without a vessel [Re: rbartolini12] #152757
01/18/2018 06:21 PM
01/18/2018 06:21 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,988
Charlotte, NC
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NCSailor Offline
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NCSailor  Offline
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Posts: 1,988
Charlotte, NC
Are you asking for a ride between islands or joining a boat as a stay aboard guest? I would do the former but not likely the latter.

Re: Island Hopping - without a vessel [Re: NCSailor] #152758
01/18/2018 06:24 PM
01/18/2018 06:24 PM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 7
Boston, MA
rbartolini12 Offline OP
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rbartolini12  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 7
Boston, MA
Originally Posted by NCSailor
Are you asking for a ride between islands or joining a boat as a stay aboard guest? I would do the former but not likely the latter.


More than likely I would just be asking for a ride between islands, but if it happened that I got along with the crew and they felt the same towards me, I'd definitely be open to anything really.

Thanks for the quick and honest response

Last edited by rbartolini12; 01/18/2018 06:26 PM.
Re: Island Hopping - without a vessel [Re: rbartolini12] #152759
01/18/2018 06:35 PM
01/18/2018 06:35 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,988
Charlotte, NC
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NCSailor Offline
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NCSailor  Offline
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Charlotte, NC
Sailors are a welcoming bunch and we are accustomed to having guests aboard. But most times charter boats are pretty full when they head out.

Re: Island Hopping - without a vessel [Re: NCSailor] #152764
01/18/2018 07:17 PM
01/18/2018 07:17 PM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 7
Boston, MA
rbartolini12 Offline OP
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rbartolini12  Offline OP
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Posts: 7
Boston, MA
Originally Posted by NCSailor
Sailors are a welcoming bunch and we are accustomed to having guests aboard. But most times charter boats are pretty full when they head out.


Thanks again, NCSailor. I should've distinguished between the two, but that sort of reaffirms what I've researched. And also why I didn't know if I'd even be able to pull it off because of my height (sailing). But personality-wise, I think I'd fit in pretty well with the sailors smile

I've read a few blogs, but was just looking to see if in reality it's actually doable or not. Has anyone here given a ride to someone jumping islands? Again, any suggestions, experiences, etc would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

- Rob B

Re: Island Hopping - without a vessel [Re: rbartolini12] #152767
01/18/2018 07:39 PM
01/18/2018 07:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,940
Buffalo, NY
lauraandrex Offline
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lauraandrex  Offline
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Buffalo, NY
For hitching a ride to and fro you would probably not be able to plan that so much ahead of time but if you can go with the flow, as NC Sailor said, sailors are very welcoming (especially if you come bearing rum or other goodies) and although cabin space might be full, a ride would be within reason for sure, unless you are creepy and throw a serial killer vibe LOL. If you're chill, you will make friends along the way anyway at all of the stops, I would think you would be offered a ride if you told them your situation, island hopping can be expensive because you have to taxi then ferry and that can add up easily and people understand that.

Re: Island Hopping - without a vessel [Re: lauraandrex] #152769
01/18/2018 07:50 PM
01/18/2018 07:50 PM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 7
Boston, MA
rbartolini12 Offline OP
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rbartolini12  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 7
Boston, MA
Originally Posted by lauraandrex
For hitching a ride to and fro you would probably not be able to plan that so much ahead of time but if you can go with the flow, as NC Sailor said, sailors are very welcoming (especially if you come bearing rum or other goodies) and although cabin space might be full, a ride would be within reason for sure, unless you are creepy and throw a serial killer vibe LOL. If you're chill, you will make friends along the way anyway at all of the stops, I would think you would be offered a ride if you told them your situation, island hopping can be expensive because you have to taxi then ferry and that can add up easily and people understand that.


Thank you, Laura! That's what I was hoping to hear! I wouldn't even plan ahead really, I'd just go with the flow like you both said. Hoping to find volunteer opportunities as well to help extend my stay.

But yes, I would come bearing gifts and I most definitely keep it chill! LOL

Thanks again!

Last edited by rbartolini12; 01/18/2018 07:51 PM.
Re: Island Hopping - without a vessel [Re: rbartolini12] #152787
01/19/2018 12:03 AM
01/19/2018 12:03 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 304
Rockford, Michigan
aarpskier Offline
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aarpskier  Offline
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Posts: 304
Rockford, Michigan
Originally Posted by rbartolini12
One thing that might be a problem and might even make it damn near impossible is that I'm 6'3.


You have said you are just looking for a ride between islands. In the BVI, that means 2 to 6 hours, most if not all of it on deck. You won't be using a berth, or spending much time below, but even if you were, your height is irrelevant. I'm 6'4" and have a couple of dozen Caribbean charters in my past. And the US Navy upper height limit for submariners is 6' 8", so you are good to go! pirate

Re: Island Hopping - without a vessel [Re: aarpskier] #152788
01/19/2018 12:11 AM
01/19/2018 12:11 AM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 7
Boston, MA
rbartolini12 Offline OP
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rbartolini12  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 7
Boston, MA
Originally Posted by aarpskier
Originally Posted by rbartolini12
One thing that might be a problem and might even make it damn near impossible is that I'm 6'3.


You have said you are just looking for a ride between islands. In the BVI, that means 2 to 6 hours, most if not all of it on deck. You won't be using a berth, or spending much time below, but even if you were, your height is irrelevant. I'm 6'4" and have a couple of dozen Caribbean charters in my past. And the US Navy upper height limit for submariners is 6' 8", so you are good to go! pirate


That's what I like to hear! Thanks so much for your response. Cheers!

Re: Island Hopping - without a vessel [Re: rbartolini12] #152790
01/19/2018 12:59 AM
01/19/2018 12:59 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 500
BaardJ Online content
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BaardJ  Online Content
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If you have the time to wait for a ride, then hitchhiking via boat might work. If you want to reliably get to several islands then I would rely on the ferries (and have pre-arranged accommodations waiting since there are limited rooms currently, unless you plan to pitch a tent). See BestofBVI.com for latest post-Irma schedules. It appears that for ~$150 in ferry fare you could do the following example tour of 5 BVI islands

1) Tortola (Roadtown or Trellis Bay) to Virgin Gorda (Spanishtown) - Daily departures
2) Drive/hitch/taxi to Gun Creek, Virgin Gorda then roundtrip ferry to Oil Nut Bay resort - daily
3) Virgin Gorda (Spanishtown) to Anegada - M/W/F
4) Anegada to Tortola (Roadtown) - M/W/F
5) Tortola (Roadtown) roundtrip to Norman Island (Pirates Bight reataurant) - Not sure if this is back up and running daily departures
6) Tortola (West End) roundtrip to Jost Van Dyke (Great Harbour) - daily

In a few months, you may also be able to ferry from Trellis Bay to Scrub Island, and from Roadtown to Cooper Island.


BTW it won't be a problem being 6'3" on the majority of today's charter boats, especially if you are just looking for transport to the outer islands. They're all within 1~4 hour sail from Tortola depending on conditions.

Re: Island Hopping - without a vessel [Re: BaardJ] #152791
01/19/2018 01:20 AM
01/19/2018 01:20 AM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 7
Boston, MA
rbartolini12 Offline OP
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rbartolini12  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 7
Boston, MA
Originally Posted by BaardJ
If you have the time to wait for a ride, then hitchhiking via boat might work. If you want to reliably get to several islands then I would rely on the ferries (and have pre-arranged accommodations waiting since there are limited rooms currently, unless you plan to pitch a tent). See BestofBVI.com for latest post-Irma schedules. It appears that for ~$150 in ferry fare you could do the following example tour of 5 BVI islands

1) Tortola (Roadtown or Trellis Bay) to Virgin Gorda (Spanishtown) - Daily departures
2) Drive/hitch/taxi to Gun Creek, Virgin Gorda then roundtrip ferry to Oil Nut Bay resort - daily
3) Virgin Gorda (Spanishtown) to Anegada - M/W/F
4) Anegada to Tortola (Roadtown) - M/W/F
5) Tortola (Roadtown) roundtrip to Norman Island (Pirates Bight reataurant) - Not sure if this is back up and running daily departures
6) Tortola (West End) roundtrip to Jost Van Dyke (Great Harbour) - daily

In a few months, you may also be able to ferry from Trellis Bay to Scrub Island, and from Roadtown to Cooper Island.


BTW it won't be a problem being 6'3" on the majority of today's charter boats, especially if you are just looking for transport to the outer islands. They're all within 1~4 hour sail from Tortola depending on conditions.


Thanks for such a detailed and thoughtful response! I will definitely take those suggestions into consideration. My intent would be to hang around a bit on each island and hope for a ride. I would also like to camp as you previously mentioned if possible, but I do know of other semi-affordable options. I know JVD has camping, but I still need to research the other islands more. But I hear you on pre-arranged accommodations and using the ferries as I'm sure I'll get sick of "roughing it" at some point.

And just to clarify as I hadn't mentioned dates, I wouldn't be able to go for a few months as I'm still recovering from ACL reconstruction. But my goal is to have 10 grand saved by then(which should be doable) and have another grand saved to get me home when I run out of steam or funds, whichever comes first. I'm hoping to get by for 3 months with what I've saved and by capitalizing on volunteer opportunities. Wouldn't mind visiting the USVIs as well.

Probably sounds like a pipe dream, but I'll have the time and the funds. I have a decent amount of experience solo traveling, just not in this part of the world. You only live once and I know I'll regret it if I don't give it a shot.

Thanks again!

Last edited by rbartolini12; 01/19/2018 01:23 AM.
Re: Island Hopping - without a vessel [Re: BaardJ] #152825
01/19/2018 12:11 PM
01/19/2018 12:11 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 16,100
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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Manpot  Offline
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Posts: 16,100
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
I have met many interesting folks in beachfront bars on Tortola..especially the now open again Myetts...during Happy Hours. Many are on boats and I have been lucky enough to be invited along a few times by folks I have met like that. That is usually just a daysail..but I made lifelong friends through TTOL when I asked ( for a very reasoanable fee) if I could join Mike and Jean Beswick aboard :"Jeannius" for a sail from Tortola to Mustique and then island hop back. I would stay on here and look for offers like that. Everyone, including lovely Laura here, were strangers to me when we sailed off and dear friends when we returned!

Re: Island Hopping - without a vessel [Re: rbartolini12] #152834
01/19/2018 01:10 PM
01/19/2018 01:10 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 55
Houston,TX & Destin, FL
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pbd007 Offline
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Houston,TX & Destin, FL
I believe that the max number of days is 30. Then you have to depart and return for another 30 day visa. Could be wrong but check it out.

Re: Island Hopping - without a vessel [Re: pbd007] #152849
01/19/2018 04:13 PM
01/19/2018 04:13 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,789
VI,NY,AZ
sail445 Offline
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sail445  Offline
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Posts: 2,789
VI,NY,AZ
Some people get upto 6 months consecutively per year.
They would give me only 30 days and if I wanted to stay longer I’d have to go immigration in town to ask for an extension or leave the BVI and return.
Going into town for an extension can take the better part of the day.
Also immigration doesn’t allow you to read a book while waiting.

Re: Island Hopping - without a vessel [Re: rbartolini12] #152879
01/20/2018 12:04 AM
01/20/2018 12:04 AM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 459
East End, Tortola / Chicago
YachtReprise Offline
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YachtReprise  Offline
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East End, Tortola / Chicago
Hi JB,

First of all, could you please reduce the size of your ginormous avatar? It's wreaking havoc on (at least) my screen. Thanks.

The BVI is a wonderful destination to explore, but not in the way that you envision, I suspect. If your notion is to hitchhike from island to island, spending a few days in each place exploring what there is to explore, the BVI is a little 'small' for that. You can spend days, weeks or even months on Tortola doing just that. Virgin Gorda to a lesser degree. After just a couple of days on JVD you will be an expert, and will have met nearly everyone on the island. All three are easily accessible by ferry, and there's camping on Tortola and JVD...at least pre-Irma (do your research). Virgin Gorda has some very reasonable accommodations. The other islands that you have heard of or read about, like Norman, Peter, Cooper, Scrub, Marina Cay are great for hiking and hitting the bar afterwards, but really won't take more than a day to explore. You will be able to get to all of them by ferry or supply boat. Again, do your research.

The bareboat scene in the BVI is NOT a 'cruising' environment. People rent a boat for a week or two, with a set group of their friends or family and enjoy the incredible ease of sailing and convenience of these protected islands. Not many would enjoy an interloper on their vacation, even with the enticement of rum or riches. It would be like expecting someone to invite you on their family vacation to Cabo.

What you might be romanticizing are the true cruising sailors - those who have their own boat and spend their lives cruising the world seeking whatever it is they're seeking: adventure, freedom, peace...whatever. Often cruisers enjoy taking a guest crew member, to make life more interesting, fatten the cruising budget, or just because they're nice people. This is NOT the forum to meet those people. Most cruisers skip the Virgin Islands these days...just too crowded and expensive. But you can meet plenty of these free spirits on other forums, such as cruisersforum.com. You can post yourself as 'crew available - willing to share expenses' and find yourself a berth on a boat virtually anywhere that there are cruisers. It may take a lot of correspondence for you to be vetted, but you will eventually find a match. (Cruisers are pretty particular about who they invite on board - I know because I was one!) But you have a few months, so it's worth the effort.

PM me if I can offer further advice. I was once young and stupid with a dream of adventure like you. Now, after a lot of adventures, I'm old and stupid, but still seeking adventures. Good luck!

Re: Island Hopping - without a vessel [Re: YachtReprise] #152895
01/20/2018 10:00 AM
01/20/2018 10:00 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 71,595
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Regarding the avatar, are you using IE??? For some reason, some versions of IE make some avatars take up half the page. I use Edge and his avatar is normal size, so it is not his avatar but your browser that is the issue.


Carol Hill
Re: Island Hopping - without a vessel [Re: rbartolini12] #152908
01/20/2018 12:49 PM
01/20/2018 12:49 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 163
Lake Tara, GA
Standrea Offline
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Standrea  Offline
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Lake Tara, GA
Hi Rob, actually we have been bareboating in the BVI since the 80's and we have both given rides to people island hopping over the years and been invited along on someone else's bareboat when we did a land based vacation. I feel like if this is your dream... GO FOR IT! We had a full.boat of people and gave someone a ride from Anegada to Virgin Gorda because they had a party to go to. Made a new friend and dropped him off with a smile.You never know who you'll meet in life by being open, so don't let anyone rain on your dreams. Sometimes you just gotta take a chance and live on the edge to feel alive and appreciate every day. And if we run across you, you absolutely have an invite! 😎😎

Last edited by Standrea; 01/20/2018 12:51 PM.
Re: Island Hopping - without a vessel [Re: Standrea] #152979
01/20/2018 07:52 PM
01/20/2018 07:52 PM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 7
Boston, MA
rbartolini12 Offline OP
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rbartolini12  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 7
Boston, MA
Thank you ALL so much for the replies! Sorry I'm just getting back to this...

Lots of good, honest, thorough, positive responses....obviously I still have a lot of planning/research to do. But I have the time smile

Manpot - thanks for relaying some of your experiences. Encouraging!

YachtReprise - really appreciate your post and offering to answer some questions via PM. I might take you up on that. Somewhat young and stupid, absolutely. Cheers.

Standrea - I would ABSOLUTELY take you up on that offer. Thanks so much for your post smile

Again, thanks to all for taking the time respond!

Last edited by rbartolini12; 01/20/2018 10:58 PM.
Re: Island Hopping - without a vessel [Re: Carol_Hill] #152995
01/20/2018 10:46 PM
01/20/2018 10:46 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 459
East End, Tortola / Chicago
YachtReprise Offline
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YachtReprise  Offline
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Posts: 459
East End, Tortola / Chicago
Originally Posted by Carol_Hill
Regarding the avatar, are you using IE??? For some reason, some versions of IE make some avatars take up half the page. I use Edge and his avatar is normal size, so it is not his avatar but your browser that is the issue.


Well now, IMHO, that's just silly.

I'm using the latest version of IE, 11, which is currently the most popular browser used worldwide (depending on what statistical methodology you use). I find it to be the fastest and generally most useful overall.

I'm not a fan of Edge, but I do use other browsers for other purposes.

I would think that a simple Forum website would be able to work with any browser, particularly the most used browser in the world.

I appreciate all of the work that has been done during the upgrades, but I'd suggest that this is a small glitch that might be addressed when there's time.

Re: Island Hopping - without a vessel [Re: YachtReprise] #153000
01/21/2018 04:44 AM
01/21/2018 04:44 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,531
Worcester, U.K. and Spain
Jeannius Offline
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Jeannius  Offline
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Worcester, U.K. and Spain
Originally Posted by YachtReprise
Originally Posted by Carol_Hill
Regarding the avatar, are you using IE??? For some reason, some versions of IE make some avatars take up half the page. I use Edge and his avatar is normal size, so it is not his avatar but your browser that is the issue.


Well now, IMHO, that's just silly.

I'm using the latest version of IE, 11, which is currently the most popular browser used worldwide (depending on what statistical methodology you use). I find it to be the fastest and generally most useful overall.

I'm not a fan of Edge, but I do use other browsers for other purposes.

I would think that a simple Forum website would be able to work with any browser, particularly the most used browser in the world.

I appreciate all of the work that has been done during the upgrades, but I'd suggest that this is a small glitch that might be addressed when there's time.



I'm with YachtReprise on this. I use 4 different browsers for various reasons but IE 11 is the one I use 99% of the time and viewing this thread is painful. I see the offending image is 2048 x1536 pixels which is perhaps a little excessive. Presumably a maximum avatar size is one of the settable paramaters on the forum.


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