Soooo glad we came. Arrived 3/10 Hodges Creek, Dream Yacht. Lagoon 52, 6 cabins, 5 couples. Applause to Dream Yacht and the new base managers - Isabelle and Tierry (most likely mispelled). They are now operating from the east end of the marina while barge and crane are still hoisting boats off the bottom and docks. I think they said they have 40 yachts in the fleet. Can’t say enough - I received an email about a month after Irma confirming our yacht was destroyed but a new one would be moved from Antigua. One year old with only minor complaints- this yacht does not have an ice maker!
Departing the marina, there are several submerged yachts and an upside down Lagoon 52 awaiting the derick. Ashore in Tortola, roads are rough. Airport was fine. Signs of Irma everywhere.
On the water - just magnificent! Easy to find mooring balls at the Indians on a Sunday afternoon. Plenty of room in the Bight. Pirates Bite up and active. Fritters and Pain Killers galore Easy to pick up a ball at the caves The volume is way down from one of busiest weeks- Spring Break. No Yacht Week revelers.
Stopped at Sopers Hole and lunch at Pussers. They’re open with a less complete menu but it looks like they did the minimal
to reopen and then stopped. It’s like walking through a construction (destruction?) zone. The market has been swept clean but is missing everything inside and windows, doors and walkway. The docks are mostly gone. De Best Cup (coffee) was open but nothing else. Customs has been cleaned up but still operating from a tent. Very sobering and glad we went in.
To have a choice of mooring balls on Great Harbor at 4pm was indeed a treat. Foxy’s looks nearly fully recovered though the dock is not as long as it was and the brewery has, evidently, not reopened. Christine’s Bakery begins the customs house looks undamaged and the pastries and muffins good as ever. Customs house looks intact. All other businesses either just reopening or under construction including Corsairs and the dive shop. Fuel docks open and friendly as ever.
Anegada - Arrived before noon on a Tuesday to a full mooring field but found food holding east of the field up by the channel to the ferry pier. The island looks untouched except for some telephone cables still across the roads. Loblolly and Cow Wreck are beautiful as ever and the bars are fully operational though cell coverage is spotty as is the service that permits credit card usage. Potter’s by the Sea served up an awesome lobster meal and a great DJ to continue the party. Dean Wheatley rented us a vehicle (always a pleasure to deal with) and arranged a charter excursion to see the flamingoes and conch grounds at the east end of the island. Great captain and crew in the 28’ launch - Nigel. Highly recommended!
Baths were flying a red flag - strong currents and onshore surf- one death reported by the parks official - the Friday before we arrived. And people are still paddling and swimming in! We pulled into Leverick and took a cab ride back to the Baths. At 3pm we almost had it to ourselves. One other party from Phoenix followed us through. Top of the Baths nearly 100%.
Leverick is still under construction but in fabulous shape with the only Spa open that we found. Shops and restaurant all open.
Truly blessed to be here. My crew of newbies are loving it and seeing it through their eyes, even in its “still recovering” state has been a treat for my wife and I.
Don’t postpone or go elsewhere. They need your patronage and you won’t be disappointed!
Willing to answer questions but may not check back until next week. We’re only halfway through the trip!
Checkout was thorough. Sails are easy to master - self tacking jib that has had its car adjustments removed or damaged. It’s a big working jib such that it can be a workout rolling it in and the furling line won’t reach the electric winch. The main is huge - mast towers at 100’ above waterline but its easy keeping the boat into the wind with the large engines. Three well rigged reef points mean six additional lines and clutches - just more complications. With the boom above the ample fly bridge (our party of ten has been up top comfortably) tending to the stack pack and reefing lines means climbing a few rungs up the mast and into the stack pack - its the price you pay for the fly bridge. The B&G electronics package is awesome - large touch screen chart plotter at the helm. Touch screen tank, battery monitor and lighting control. Touch screen A/C controls in each cabin. Electronic bilge monitoring. I love the electronic engine controls - a slight delay on engine response when you go from forward to reverse, but the transmissions are smooth and no clunk when you drop it into gear. I’m less of a fan of the hydraulic steering - no feel in the wheel and not reliably responsive in close quarters - but you have two powerful diesels (70hp) to compensate - all close quarter maneuvers are by throttle. The boat we originally booked had an ice maker and electric heads. The latter has been a complaint as several (of the six) heads need servicing as effluent comes back into he bowl.
Two captains? No. As stated in my post, the marina is a bit rough still so they require you to let them take the boat out and that you call them to pilot the boat back to a berth on returning. This is my 5th Charter with them (next will be Greece if this happy crew gets their wish) This is only slightly larger than the 50’ Catana - my first with them. The Catana was the reason we first booked with Dream Yacht. A big leap ahead of the FP, Lagoon and Leopards that form the majority of charter fleets. While Dream’s fleet is largely FP and Lagoon, there are still quite few Catana and now, Bali yachts. If you’re not confident take a captain for the first day or two - we met Damien who was captaining their 62’ cabin Charter -very knowledgeable, friendly and French! The ladies said he was easy in the eyes too. Dream Yacht relies on your sailing resume and the systems walk through conversation to guage your abilities.
Thanks for the informative report - we're 🛫 down on Thursday for 11 days chartering out of CYOA on St. Thomas. Happy to be on a monohull ⛵️ .... those cats sound intimidating and too complicated to me! 😜