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Trip Report #166935
07/31/2018 12:56 PM
07/31/2018 12:56 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 326
Pittsburgh, PA
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Schwendy Offline OP
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Schwendy  Offline OP
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Pittsburgh, PA
Just returned from our Moorings 433pc charter July 20-29. We all had a great time and the trip was a big success but there were some negatives. First thing I noticed is everything from ferry, taxis to govt fees and bar tabs seemed a little more expensive this time. Arriving to RT on the ferry the customs line was horrific! Stood in the hot customs building forever! They really need to get their act together. Even some locals were saying it was never like that. Not the way to welcome tourist back! Then the Moorings taxi who I did not order for my charter had my name on his list so I felt obligated to have him drive us. We got on and taxi and then waited an hour for him to pick up more passengers that never showed. This put us at the marina very late. Customer service said I needed to do the chart briefing since the storms. I said I've done it in the past and wasn't happy about having to do it in the morning. Provisions thru Moorings were missing, boat was not ready and much older than the category I paid for. Had our boat briefing at 7:30am then chart briefing at 8:30 am. Both were rushed and the chart briefing was an absolute waste of time. I asked about missing markers at Anegada and other places and the briefer was totally unaware. But he did suggest places for good conch fritters. Pissed! Waited for propane that wasn't on board and our dingy to be delivered. Got a late start making my sleep aboard pointless. First stop, Willy T. Fun as usual but not quite the same. Female bartender, don't remember her name, was awesome. So sweet and friendly! It was Christmas in July and I won't do that again! The PR crowd seemed to have a great time and they were fun and friendly, just too many people for what I like. My friend and I went back to the Willy T later that night for a second time and that was a big mistake. Rest of our crew stayed on the boat. Soon as we got on the T there were 3 very drunk college kids that kept trying over and over to steal our dingy. Shoving match until the bartender and other patrons finally got them to leave. Fighting on a metal boat is not good. Someone hits their head and it becomes life changing. I won't go back at night again. Not worth the hassle. Very windy the whole week. Never seemed to let up. Brief showers mostly at night. Disappointed we couldn't see stars at night but overall the weather was good. Day 2 picked up another crew member at the Beef Is. airport in Trellis. Trellis was depressing. Left for Leverick as soon as her plane landed. Dinner at the marina then sleep. Rented a safari truck and went to Baths (crowded), Hog Heaven (awesome!) and Savannah Bay. Got a drone right before the trip but too panicked to fly it in the heavy wind as I didn't have time to practice before the trip. Love to hear advice on flying those from the boat! So two nights at Leverick then Day 4 headed to Anegada. My first boat trip there so I was nervous. Weather looked stormy. We followed two other boats over and I ended up trusting my own navigation. They seemed way off course. All week I saw boats doing things that didn't seem right. Yes, including sail boaters! I know how some of you like to bash the power cat crowd but twice I know I was in the right and got dirty looks from sail boaters. Just sayin. Anegada was great! Potters for lobster was perfect. Cow Wreck was the best. Skipped Flash of Beauty and Loblolly due to murky rough water, seaweed, people and bad snorkel conditions. No fish caught while trolling. Picked up seaweed that almost burned out my reel! Did catch and release lots of fish caught while moored in all the overnight stops. Much better luck than previous trips. Day 5 passage from Anegada to Great Harbor, Jost was long! Weather a little rough and rainy but not bad. Would not want to be out there in a power cat if it got bad. Day 5 and 6 spent at Great Harbor. After the first night, didn't get over to White Bay until 10am after waiting in line to fill water tanks. It was packed in White Bay. Not even room to anchor so we went back to Great Harbor. Decided to dingy over as suggested by the Mooring's maintenance guys. My wife kept saying no but we attempted. BIG MISTAKE! Got to the rocky point and water was coming over the stern. Immediately made the decision to go back but we shifted some weight forward and the bow dug into a wave. Washed us all over. In an instant we were all under water and one of our guys was hit in the leg by the motor. Very bad hematoma bruise and small cut but luckily the prop was not spinning. We made it back to the boat slowly with a completely filled dingy. Stopped two others full of people with small kids headed out. Will never do that again. Wife had a panic attack back on the boat. Taxied over to White Bay. Probably done with Soggy Dollar. Just not the same to me anymore. The bar tender is rude, thinks he's funny but not and the painkillers are better at other places. Hendos, Gurtrudes were great and surprisingly One Love was good this time. Left Jost for our final night. Planned on Cooper but super windy and big swell so back to Peter and the Willy T. Turned boat in by 9am and the marina was BUSY! Had the dock guy come on to do the final docking. Way too windy, busy and big 58 footer blocking the dock entrance for me to risk it. Ferry back to STT where we spent the night at Emerald Beach Resort. Lost one of our reservations and were full so 6 of us piled into one room for the night. Caught a guy outside our room laying on the ground trying to peep under doors! The ferry ride from RT to CA was rough! Native Son boat, thought a few times we were going to roll over. Over all it was a great trip. We handled the boat very well. Had LOTS of issues with Moorings. Last charter everything was perfect. This time, had the service guys on the boat almost every day. No AC, dingy lift broke, late start, no working radio, no working underwater lights, boat much older than category I paid for, no propane, missing provisions, no TV (not a big deal but I bought a $40 cable in the airport). 4 hour guarantee was a joke. Told me it doesn't apply to AC issues but it was the generator panel breaker that was bad not the AC. Never fixed it. Most of the time never answer the phone! Last trip our fuel bill was $173 this time $590!!! Everyone I spoke to was having boat problems, some delayed 2 days from heading out! Moorings in their defense is just having a hard time getting back up to speed from the storms. I'm sure they will get there but it was chaos this time. They did offer some compensation and I will share that in a private message if anyone is interested. I'd like to hear what other's got as well to determine if it was fair before I consider pursuing the matter any further.



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Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #166936
07/31/2018 01:09 PM
07/31/2018 01:09 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 602
Houston, Texas
louismcc Offline
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Houston, Texas
We had issues, but nowhere near the level you experienced. I'd appreciate a PM if you have an email address for someone with Moorings that might be responsive to our issues. I'm not sure how hard I'll fight for this, but we were 22 hours late getting out of Road Town because of boat issues and should receive some sort of compensation. I checked the survey box "I'd like someone to contact us about this charter" but doubt seriously the evaluation sheet even gets looked at, much less responded to.


Louis from Houston
Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #166951
07/31/2018 04:12 PM
07/31/2018 04:12 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 84
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burge Offline
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What was the name of your boat? the 43 PCs

Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #166952
07/31/2018 04:12 PM
07/31/2018 04:12 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 84
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burge Offline
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Last edited by burge; 07/31/2018 04:13 PM.
Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #166953
07/31/2018 04:19 PM
07/31/2018 04:19 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 326
Pittsburgh, PA
S
Schwendy Offline OP
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Schwendy  Offline OP
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Posts: 326
Pittsburgh, PA
We were on the Comfortably Numb. Actually not sure if I should state that. Mods can delete if inappropriate. At the same time, if the owner's are on this board then they should be aware I guess. I booked the Exclusive line and this was more Club level or even Sunsail.



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Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #166955
07/31/2018 04:36 PM
07/31/2018 04:36 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 15,841
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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Manpot  Offline
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Tortola/ Sonoma, California
You started off saying you had a great time..and then it seems the whole trip was a nightmare! Sorry to hear that because we need some positive feedback from our guests..and, yes, appreciate, honest responses too..just surprised you said you had " a great time"..but glad you did..considering..

Re: Trip Report [Re: Manpot] #166957
07/31/2018 05:09 PM
07/31/2018 05:09 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 326
Pittsburgh, PA
S
Schwendy Offline OP
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Schwendy  Offline OP
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Pittsburgh, PA
I don't think I described it as overly negative. I said there were some negatives but through out I mentioned things that were good. We did have a great time. Our dingy accident was the only nightmare part as you describe. I said it was windy but overall good weather. I mentioned the great bartender at Willy T but said the guy at Soggy is sort of a jerk. He was last time too! I said Hendos, Gertrudes and One Love were all great. My only real complaint were the boat issues but heck it got us from point A to B in relative safety and reliability so ultimately that's what matters. I will probably book with Moorings again next time but I'll definitely put some consideration towards other charter companies. I also defended Moorings in a sense. I know I and others had problems but I don't think it's the norm with them. I really think they are just overwhelmed right now or at least due to Christmas in July crowds. Some staff were apathetic but most were very polite and friendly. I will add that we did encounter a lot of locals (almost exclusively on Jost and Anegada) that were exceptionally welcoming and made a point to thank us for visiting. I thanked them back for having us. I did what I could in the aftermath of the storms with donations. I was super impressed with the progress that I saw. I expected the bars and hotels to be in good shape but thought I'd see a lot more devastation on the level of private homes. It was sad to see people on Jost still in tents. Made me feel guilty complaining about no AC on our boat! This was my 7th trip to the BVI so I've gotten to know many people there. I truly feel for them and if my trip report in any way sounded like a warning not to go I apologize. I was hoping from a visitor stand point that it would be like it was in the 80's but things were booming. It was more crowded than I think I've ever seen it. At least in the low season. I tried to spread my money around to as many businesses possible. Ate out a lot more than planned. So, yes, it was a great trip and I wish I were back right now!



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Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #166958
07/31/2018 05:22 PM
07/31/2018 05:22 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 326
Pittsburgh, PA
S
Schwendy Offline OP
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Schwendy  Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 326
Pittsburgh, PA
Manpot, rereading my post, I think my comments about government related experiences were the prompt for your comments. Yes, I stand by that! I have never been much of a fan for the way the BVI gov. handles their tourism duties. I think the customs situation may have been a fluke but the people of the islands were more than welcoming. That's why I visit every chance I get.



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Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #166959
07/31/2018 05:35 PM
07/31/2018 05:35 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 179
Okla
ScurvyD Offline
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Okla
I appreciate the honesty on the good and the bad. If I was chartering in July, had first time couples with me, and the genset and AC did not work for the whole trip, that would be a disaster. I understand that things go wrong on a charter, but some things should work or the company should make sure it does. The jump in fuel sounds weird too just because I assume you had air on your last boat and did not run the generator this time. Is the price of diesel just gone up that much? The sub par service seems to be a hit or miss thing even before the hurricane. I hope you are satisfied with the compensation they offered. Glad to hear you guys had a great time. We are looking forward to our next trip.


I'd like to be a jelly fish, cause jelly fish don't pay rent.
Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #166963
07/31/2018 07:45 PM
07/31/2018 07:45 PM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 94
New Jersey
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Catmandu Offline
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Posts: 94
New Jersey
Was there 1st week of July diesel was $4.08 gallon at Moorings. Had the same pc433 and used 115 gallons. Used the generator 6 out of 7nights and did go to Anegada. Tried to keep rpm’s under 2500 but at times had the urge to punch it but just for a minute or two.

Re: Trip Report [Re: Catmandu] #166964
07/31/2018 08:17 PM
07/31/2018 08:17 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 423
Apex, NC
agrimsrud Offline
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Posts: 423
Apex, NC
Originally Posted by Catmandu
Was there 1st week of July diesel was $4.08 gallon at Moorings. Had the same pc433 and used 115 gallons. Used the generator 6 out of 7nights and did go to Anegada. Tried to keep rpm’s under 2500 but at times had the urge to punch it but just for a minute or two.


115 gallons for a power cat for a week mostly with genny running at night - that sounds about right.
The OP states their AC was broken. I wonder if it was broken the whole time or just that it broke at some point? I don't see how OP did somewhere around 140 gallons unless the genny was running and certainly not much point in running the generator all night if the AC isn't working. So that's odd. The other option is the tanks were not full when they picked up the boat. Which given the list of things that should have been caught before the boat went out a possibility.


Life's short - sail more!
Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #166970
07/31/2018 08:49 PM
07/31/2018 08:49 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 79
JohnInAL Offline
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JohnInAL  Offline
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Posts: 79
Have you ever heard of paragraphs. Very hard to read.

Re: Trip Report [Re: JohnInAL] #166982
07/31/2018 09:39 PM
07/31/2018 09:39 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 796
JAX
J
jphart Offline
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jphart  Offline
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Joined: May 2011
Posts: 796
JAX
Originally Posted by JohnInAL
Have you ever heard of paragraphs. Very hard to read.

wave wave

Re: Trip Report [Re: jphart] #166983
07/31/2018 09:51 PM
07/31/2018 09:51 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 953
Gulf Shores AL
lindakay Offline
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lindakay  Offline
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Posts: 953
Gulf Shores AL
Originally Posted by jphart
Originally Posted by JohnInAL
Have you ever heard of paragraphs. Very hard to read.

wave wave


JohninAL and jphart - this person took the time to write a detailed trip report about their experience in our beloved islands. I'm all for constructive criticism, but please try to be respectful and choose your words with care when responding.

Re: Trip Report [Re: lindakay] #166984
07/31/2018 10:04 PM
07/31/2018 10:04 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 15,841
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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Manpot  Offline
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Posts: 15,841
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
wotizyoutawkinabout..

Re: Trip Report [Re: Manpot] #166985
07/31/2018 10:16 PM
07/31/2018 10:16 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 179
Okla
ScurvyD Offline
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ScurvyD  Offline
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Okla
Originally Posted by Manpot
wotizyoutawkinabout..



Gotta admit, that's hilarious..I appreciate the report, but I almost laughed myself to the floor.


I'd like to be a jelly fish, cause jelly fish don't pay rent.
Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #166986
07/31/2018 10:28 PM
07/31/2018 10:28 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 953
Gulf Shores AL
lindakay Offline
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lindakay  Offline
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Posts: 953
Gulf Shores AL
WellIthinkyou'reallbeingveryrudeandIdon'tappreciateit!!!

Re: Trip Report [Re: ScurvyD] #166989
07/31/2018 10:34 PM
07/31/2018 10:34 PM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 94
New Jersey
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Catmandu Offline
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New Jersey
Gliddy glup gloopy
Nibby nabby noopy
La la la lo lo.
Sabba sibby sabba
Nooby abba nabba
Lee lee lo lo.
Tooby ooby walla
Nooby abba nabba

Re: Trip Report [Re: Catmandu] #166990
07/31/2018 11:18 PM
07/31/2018 11:18 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,483
Woodstock, GA
RickinAtlanta Offline
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Posts: 3,483
Woodstock, GA
General tone of the "review" was very negative.

Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #166992
07/31/2018 11:51 PM
07/31/2018 11:51 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 13
Minnesota
MarkMN Offline
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MarkMN  Offline
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Posts: 13
Minnesota
Thank you for all the great detail on your trip report! I was always wondering about the dinghy ride around the rocks to White Bay, but glad I haven't chanced it. The point in your report about the Moorings Chart Briefing being a waste of time and your question to them about missing markers at the entrance to Anegada certainly resonated with me. I also asked the same question in our visit this past June and the briefer actually stated that all markers were back in place. This wasn't the case when we arrived in Anegada and I'm very grateful for all the members on this site that have posted their advice and warnings after their visits.

I have to admit that while the chart briefings are useful, I consider trip reports on this forum required reading prior to any visit to the BVI.

So...thanks again for the report and to everyone else, please keep them coming.


Mark
Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #167004
08/01/2018 06:49 AM
08/01/2018 06:49 AM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 107
R
Rosie Offline
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Rosie  Offline
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Posts: 107
I thank you for writing a long trip report. It took lots of time and effort. If any of you think it is hard to read, don't read it. If you think it was negative, it was still the experience of the poster. Just skip the report if you don't like what you are reading. Some of us want to hear the good and the bad. Appreciate it and don't be rude.

Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #167005
08/01/2018 07:23 AM
08/01/2018 07:23 AM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 15,841
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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Manpot  Offline
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Posts: 15,841
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Certainly not trying to be rude..honest reports are what we want..just did not get the impression from it that it was indeed " a great trip". We are on our way to the ferry this am on our way back to Sonoma. Had a terrific time here and actually got to relax. We are certainly hoping for more places to be open when we get back in October.. thank goodness for " Gene's" and " D Coal Pot". Mary and Dennis should have " The Sugar Mill " up and running then which will be marvelous..and to see a full menu at places like " Myett's" would be good..and some music please!!

Last edited by Manpot; 08/01/2018 07:24 AM.
Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #167008
08/01/2018 07:40 AM
08/01/2018 07:40 AM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 276
UK
Christo Online content
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Christo  Online Content
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Posts: 276
UK
Thanks Schwendy for taking the time to write.

I'm amazed at how different an experience you had to ours back in January...when I would have thought they would have been in a far worse position in terms of recovery.

We were Sunsail rather than Moorings (but its the same company!), sail rather than power and mono rather than cat. But still...

We had booked an older class of boat but were given an absolutely brand new vessel. We were the very first to charter it! A real treat. They had also strapped a bunch of SUPs and other toys onto the boat, free of charge.

Could it be that in Jan they hadn't had time to repair any hurricaned boats? So everyone got the new fleet...and that now in July they have had time to knock some of the damaged boats back into shape...badly?

As for the chart briefing...we attended the first time we chartered with them and never again. Totally useless. No local knowledge, no useful info. I just recall a generic 10 minute video on how to anchor and how to pick up a mooring ball. If you don't know these things already...you shouldn't be skipper! On the other hand the first year we had a great boat-briefer who did have useful local knowledge for us...every year since its been a useless 5 minute session of cutlery-counting. But...gets us off the dock quicker!

As for white bay by dinghy from Great Harbour. We've done it loads of times...but only when the weather is right and also only 2 of us in the boat. The only issue we ever had was pulling the boat up the beach one time when there was a big swell running...we got our timing wrong...the wave caught the boat, the boat rugby tackled my wife who ended up upside down in the dinghy as it surfed happily up to the top of the beach! All laughed off...until we realised that she had fallen on the fuel line (which was badly perished) and split it open! The kind chaps from Hendo's gave us some scotch tape which got us back to Great Harbour safely! Your account is a good reminder not to push that particular journey when the weather isn't right.

Like you we found people on Jost and Anegada incredibly friendly and happy to see us.

Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #167009
08/01/2018 08:16 AM
08/01/2018 08:16 AM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 326
Pittsburgh, PA
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Schwendy Offline OP
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Schwendy  Offline OP
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Pittsburgh, PA
Okay now I feel the need to defend myself. You are all right about my writing style and not using paragraphs!! I laughed at this after realizing it and give my apologies. As some have stated, don't read it if you are seeing double! When we left for the trip, we closed our coffee shop of 12 years for good. Got up at 3am for our flight the next morning. A week of fun in the sun and long travel day back, had to get up a again to basically rip out equipment and fixtures from my store before it's torn down. So I'm a little exhausted.

When I write trip reports they are just that. REPORTS not sugar coated reviews or promotions. If I didn't love the BVI, this would not have been my 7th trip. I did have a great time. My crew said it was bucket list. I think it's better to inform people of the bad things so they can learn or avoid them. I did mention positives too. Just didn't make it twice as long talking about how much fun it was floating off the back of the boat on rafts. Here ya go! Tip: buy a couple of cheap dollar store rafts at the end of summer to bring down.

I stated clearly that I don't think my experience with Moorings this time was typical. I know they were working very hard. I think it had a lot to do with Christmas in July rush and stuff happens. My first charter with them two years ago was flawless hence the bigger shock with the experience this time.

The boat fuel issue? Well I don't know the answer. I kept engines at 2600 rpm 90% of the time. Few times I pushed it. Boat seemed much slower than last time on a 433 that was newer. Not sure if engines were running efficiently and the tanks could have been delivered not full. The fuel gages did not work so I couldn't tell you. That did add some stress as well. We did run the generator every night for things like microwave, coffee, grill, charging stuff and sometimes we could get one side AC to work. The AC worked the first night and that was it for the week, except for random working of one side. The breaker would just flip after a few seconds. Bad breaker switch.

Corsair's is closed for a month as of 7/29.

Our decision to dingy over to White Bay is ultimately my fault. I made a bad call based on encouragement to do it from the Mooring's service guys. I figured they knew better than me. I will be more diligent in the future for sure.

Every comment I made that is perceived to be negative has been mentioned on this board many times by other posters. I often read White Bay and in particular Soggy and One Love aren't what they used to be. I actually defended One Love. Had a great time there this trip. Some of the locals I talked to, spoke extremely badly of the BVI government's handling of the storm response and the treatment of the Willy T. I did not prompt them to do so. Just happen to agree with them.

It's very gray and rainy here in Pittsburgh this morning. Sorry to all of you that would like me to say it's sunny and I hear the ice cream truck coming!



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Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #167018
08/01/2018 10:48 AM
08/01/2018 10:48 AM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 61
Massachusetts
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Sea&SkiPJ Offline
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Massachusetts
Hi Schwendy,

Thanks for your OP. I, for one, don't object to honest, direct feedback. Better to prepare for issues and get pleasantly surprised than expect the best and get disappointed. My opinion anyway.

I chartered a sloop with Sunsail from July 5th through the 12th (4th trip). One thing that made a difference for us was that we reserved with Dolphin Water Taxi, going from CA to RT. Yes, Dolphin is expensive ($750 for 5 people), BUT, the convenience and complete absence of stress was well worth the price. Besides not having to deal with mobs at the ferry terminal in CA, we arrived at customs in Road Town in between usual ferry landings. In other words, we were the only people in the customs office. Additionally, the captain handled all of the transactions; all we had to do was check our passports. We were literally out of there and at the Moorings dock in 25 minutes. I can't speak highly enough for doing it this way.

I think the Moorings base is struggling a bit to return to normal operations, but I experienced none of the headaches that you did. We did the evening captain's briefing. I agree that it's a waste of time for anyone whose already been there, but it's a formality, so best to get it over with. We did have a delay in the morning, waiting for our paddle boards, cooler, linens and towels. I'd say we got off the dock an hour later than I had hoped, but in the grand scheme of things and certainly compared to your experience, that was pretty good. So, leaving at 10:00, we arrived at Cooper in plenty of time to have a virtual pick of the litter on mooring balls.

We contemplated taking our dinghy to White Bay from Great Harbor. I watched one group attempt it, with water washing over the gunwales and spraying the occupants and immediately decided against it. The taxi ride was nice and dry. Soggy was fine, although the retail clerk could have been more pleasant. Hendo's was amazing. Regarding your comment about the price of things...we had dinner at Corsairs. I think they've done a pretty good job restoring the building and beefing it up against future mayhem. Vinnie, Pizza Dave and Kenny worked their butts off and definitely showed their appreciation for our business. Admittedly, $25 for a pizza is a steep price. Even Patsy's in New York City doesn't charge that much. That said, I can clearly understand why proprietors feel the need to charge more, at least for now. Recovering from that devastation takes its toll and it's hard for some of these folks to get back on their feet. So, for now, I can tolerate the up charges. Hopefully, things will settle a bit after the next season.

Ditto on the Willie T. I know people love it there (I actually did appreciate their service), but I escaped the frats a long time ago. My 26 year-old son was enjoying himself though, especially the naked women. Other than the college antics, my real concern is that what they're using as a replacement for a dinghy dock is downright scary, if not incredibly dangerous. It's some kind of combination of a skiff and a barge (right?), tied up to the port side, aft. It's a metal boat with flat, slippery surfaces and sharp edges. The goal is to tie up to it, climb aboard somehow and then take a giant step off the stern to get onto the deck of the T. Getting aboard the T when sober and agile is a challenge, but not unusually demanding. But after negotiating the arrangement when I exited the T for the peace and serenity of my boat's cockpit, I couldn't help but wonder how that feat would be accomplished at night, when patrons are falling down drunk and senseless. I'm surprised no one's been seriously injured yet. I like Peter Island as my last night's stop, as it's a short cruise back to the Moorings base, but I have to admit, from now on, I'll only be observing the T from afar.

Anyway, gray and rainy here in Massachusetts too. Good day to plan our next trip to the BVI.

Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #167021
08/01/2018 11:12 AM
08/01/2018 11:12 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 1,573
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
JasonHelmbrecht Offline
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JasonHelmbrecht  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 1,573
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
Good morning.

Great report, Schwendy!! I'm curious about your taxi observations. The taxi fare schedule has not changed since your last trip so you should not have seen any changes there but I know some drivers will try to charge more. Do you remember any specific fare? I can check them against the published fares to confirm your charges.

Sounds like you had a great trip!

Cheers,
Jason Helmbrecht
Agape Cottages, Cane Garden Bay

Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #167025
08/01/2018 11:29 AM
08/01/2018 11:29 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 271
W
windward2c Offline
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windward2c  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 271
Thanks for trip report - I am curious what the winds were generally. I have chartered prob close to 20 times now and every single trip is very different for any number of reasons (boat, guests, logistics, etc) but the single biggest factor is always the weather. I have had no wind for a week, steady 25kts plus for a week, huge N swells, days of rain ,etc but generally being the tropics it is pretty consistent so we all get frustrated when it differs. Would love to input your personal weather experience into your report so we can all better understand the perspective.

Re: Trip Report [Re: Sea&SkiPJ] #167048
08/01/2018 05:24 PM
08/01/2018 05:24 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 326
Pittsburgh, PA
S
Schwendy Offline OP
Traveler
Schwendy  Offline OP
Traveler
S
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 326
Pittsburgh, PA
Originally Posted by Sea&SkiPJ
Hi Schwendy,

Thanks for your OP. I, for one, don't object to honest, direct feedback. Better to prepare for issues and get pleasantly surprised than expect the best and get disappointed. My opinion anyway.

I chartered a sloop with Sunsail from July 5th through the 12th (4th trip). One thing that made a difference for us was that we reserved with Dolphin Water Taxi, going from CA to RT. Yes, Dolphin is expensive ($750 for 5 people), BUT, the convenience and complete absence of stress was well worth the price. Besides not having to deal with mobs at the ferry terminal in CA, we arrived at customs in Road Town in between usual ferry landings. In other words, we were the only people in the customs office. Additionally, the captain handled all of the transactions; all we had to do was check our passports. We were literally out of there and at the Moorings dock in 25 minutes. I can't speak highly enough for doing it this way.

I think the Moorings base is struggling a bit to return to normal operations, but I experienced none of the headaches that you did. We did the evening captain's briefing. I agree that it's a waste of time for anyone whose already been there, but it's a formality, so best to get it over with. We did have a delay in the morning, waiting for our paddle boards, cooler, linens and towels. I'd say we got off the dock an hour later than I had hoped, but in the grand scheme of things and certainly compared to your experience, that was pretty good. So, leaving at 10:00, we arrived at Cooper in plenty of time to have a virtual pick of the litter on mooring balls.

We contemplated taking our dinghy to White Bay from Great Harbor. I watched one group attempt it, with water washing over the gunwales and spraying the occupants and immediately decided against it. The taxi ride was nice and dry. Soggy was fine, although the retail clerk could have been more pleasant. Hendo's was amazing. Regarding your comment about the price of things...we had dinner at Corsairs. I think they've done a pretty good job restoring the building and beefing it up against future mayhem. Vinnie, Pizza Dave and Kenny worked their butts off and definitely showed their appreciation for our business. Admittedly, $25 for a pizza is a steep price. Even Patsy's in New York City doesn't charge that much. That said, I can clearly understand why proprietors feel the need to charge more, at least for now. Recovering from that devastation takes its toll and it's hard for some of these folks to get back on their feet. So, for now, I can tolerate the up charges. Hopefully, things will settle a bit after the next season.

Ditto on the Willie T. I know people love it there (I actually did appreciate their service), but I escaped the frats a long time ago. My 26 year-old son was enjoying himself though, especially the naked women. Other than the college antics, my real concern is that what they're using as a replacement for a dinghy dock is downright scary, if not incredibly dangerous. It's some kind of combination of a skiff and a barge (right?), tied up to the port side, aft. It's a metal boat with flat, slippery surfaces and sharp edges. The goal is to tie up to it, climb aboard somehow and then take a giant step off the stern to get onto the deck of the T. Getting aboard the T when sober and agile is a challenge, but not unusually demanding. But after negotiating the arrangement when I exited the T for the peace and serenity of my boat's cockpit, I couldn't help but wonder how that feat would be accomplished at night, when patrons are falling down drunk and senseless. I'm surprised no one's been seriously injured yet. I like Peter Island as my last night's stop, as it's a short cruise back to the Moorings base, but I have to admit, from now on, I'll only be observing the T from afar.

Anyway, gray and rainy here in Massachusetts too. Good day to plan our next trip to the BVI.



You are soooo right about the Willy T temporary dingy dock. I busted my A@$ when I landed on it and slid on the slippery metal. Twisted my knee and it hurt the whole week! Still does! I'll give Dolphin a try next time as long as my cheap crew mates can agree!



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Re: Trip Report [Re: windward2c] #167049
08/01/2018 05:28 PM
08/01/2018 05:28 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 326
Pittsburgh, PA
S
Schwendy Offline OP
Traveler
Schwendy  Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 326
Pittsburgh, PA
Originally Posted by windward2c
Thanks for trip report - I am curious what the winds were generally. I have chartered prob close to 20 times now and every single trip is very different for any number of reasons (boat, guests, logistics, etc) but the single biggest factor is always the weather. I have had no wind for a week, steady 25kts plus for a week, huge N swells, days of rain ,etc but generally being the tropics it is pretty consistent so we all get frustrated when it differs. Would love to input your personal weather experience into your report so we can all better understand the perspective.



I only caught one weather report towards the end of the week that said 25knts gusting to over 30. It seemed like steady 20+ the whole week with a couple of days being worse. I'd say 4-6ft waves in Drakes on the worse days. All the sailboats I saw had sails with one or two reefs in them. Had I been on a monohull it wouldn't have been much of an issue. I get a little sketchy on power boats and the 433 just doesn't seem so big to me any more. I didn't have any wind gauge to give you more accurate info. Rained almost daily but only very brief showers and mostly a quick downpour in the middle of the night. That sucked for us trying to sleep with no AC but we managed. It was overcast with some sun all week.



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Re: Trip Report [Re: JasonHelmbrecht] #167050
08/01/2018 05:32 PM
08/01/2018 05:32 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 326
Pittsburgh, PA
S
Schwendy Offline OP
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Schwendy  Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 326
Pittsburgh, PA
Originally Posted by JasonHelmbrecht
Good morning.

Great report, Schwendy!! I'm curious about your taxi observations. The taxi fare schedule has not changed since your last trip so you should not have seen any changes there but I know some drivers will try to charge more. Do you remember any specific fare? I can check them against the published fares to confirm your charges.

Sounds like you had a great trip!

Cheers,
Jason Helmbrecht
Agape Cottages, Cane Garden Bay



I'm sure the taxi fares were correct for the most part. We just took more than usual so we spent more in that respect. STT airport to ferry terminal was 10/pp plus couple of bucks per bag. Emerald Beach Resort by the airport in St. Thomas over to the airport (short distance) was sort of a rip off. I think that driver charged us 7/pp plus 4/bag! There were 6 of us. I almost could have walked. Each year it's expensive. I just need to get used to that.



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Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #167052
08/01/2018 06:28 PM
08/01/2018 06:28 PM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 94
New Jersey
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Catmandu Offline
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Catmandu  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 94
New Jersey
We stayed at Emerald one day front end and one day back end, this way no stress in making ferries. We walked to/from the airport, very easy short walk. Cab from Emerald to ferry $70 with bags for 8 of us.

Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #167633
08/13/2018 12:23 AM
08/13/2018 12:23 AM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 7
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wandawoman80 Offline
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wandawoman80  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 7
Thank you so much for your report. I am booked with the Moorings, 433PC Moorings Exclusive, sailing end of month. This is our first BVI charter. I did hire a skipper. I wonder, if I made a mistake using this company. Their reviews in the past were good, but recently, they seem to be not so good. Wish I could have found this forum before I booked. I probably would have gone with a different company. Again thanks very much for taking the time to share your trip. I will post my story when I get back. I pray for the best.

Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #167651
08/13/2018 01:45 PM
08/13/2018 01:45 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,785
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Offline
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warren460  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,785
Ontario, Canada
Keep on close eye on mid Atlantic weather


Warren
S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 450
Re: Trip Report [Re: wandawoman80] #167672
08/13/2018 06:44 PM
08/13/2018 06:44 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 326
Pittsburgh, PA
S
Schwendy Offline OP
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Schwendy  Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 326
Pittsburgh, PA
Don't stress! I hope my post provides info to help avoid a few things but you can never avoid everything. It's a combination of luck and what level you can let things go. I think a lot of my issues had to do with how busy they were during Xmas in July. I think you will be fine! The more time that goes by the more things they will get ironed out. Mooring's is just as good as anyone else. Maybe they slipped a bit and aren't better than everyone else but still just as good so going with another charter company wouldn't guarantee anything. Have a great trip!



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Re: Trip Report [Re: Schwendy] #167676
08/13/2018 07:02 PM
08/13/2018 07:02 PM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 94
New Jersey
C
Catmandu Offline
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Catmandu  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 94
New Jersey
To limit boat issues I always get the Exclusive Plus boat (less than 1 year old) and always do a sleep aboard the night before. To afford it I always go non peak and share with a second family. If still tight we do more eating (and drinking) on board. Most issues will appear during the evening start and can thus allow ample time to be addressed. Non peak also has the advantage of if your not happy with the boat another would be available. The evening start also takes the stress out of getting to the marina and leaving at a reasonable time and also allows for provisioning for those items you forgot or where not available at Moorings. Had a nice breakfast at marina and was off the dock by 10am. Stress is the last thing you want on vacation. I also do Emerald day before and day after charter. No worry about making ferries.


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