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Bareboat BVI and St John? #184794
02/20/2019 10:06 AM
02/20/2019 10:06 AM
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Posts: 4
Littleton, CO
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LoveSun Offline OP
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Hello. I'm new to posting here, but have been reading threads for awhile. We are bareboat chartering in early April and are planning an itinerary that includes St. John, as well as the BVIs. I haven't seen any other itineraries here that include St. John. Has anyone done this before or do most people think it's too far out of the way?

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Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: LoveSun] #184798
02/20/2019 10:13 AM
02/20/2019 10:13 AM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 123
Ontario, Canada
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henryv Offline
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It is easily done and well worth it. You do need to clear out of the BVIs when you leave and clear back in on your return. This is most conveniently done at the customs office on JVD. You need to clear in to the US which you can do in Cruz bay or possibly using the new ROAM app. You don't need to revisit the US customs when leaving.

Last edited by henryv; 02/20/2019 10:17 AM.

Henryv
Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: LoveSun] #184810
02/20/2019 10:53 AM
02/20/2019 10:53 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
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USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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St John certainly isn't "too far away" - less than a mile at the closest boundary.
The peace and quiet of the anchorages is a sharp contrast to most BVI destinations. Plenty of NPS moorings available at a fair price, excellent snorkeling opportunties and no crowds.
This may help:
https://www.nps.gov/viis/planyourvisit/virgin-islands-marine-visitor-use-information.htm

Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: LoveSun] #184813
02/20/2019 11:11 AM
02/20/2019 11:11 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 660
Middleburg, VA
cwoody Offline
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Originally Posted by LoveSun
planning an itinerary that includes St. John, as well as the BVIs. ?


Where is your charter originating? BVI or USVI?


Chuck W.
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Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: LoveSun] #184818
02/20/2019 11:50 AM
02/20/2019 11:50 AM
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Posts: 5,119
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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How long is your charter?

Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: LoveSun] #184819
02/20/2019 11:53 AM
02/20/2019 11:53 AM
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Posts: 215
Ottawa, Canada
UncleLuff Offline
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If you charter out of St Thomas (CYAO for example) you can leave direct out of Charlotte Amalie, stop by St. john, check out and then head to JVD to check -in to the BVI. The better flights and convenience of flying in to STT instead of flying STT and ferrying over to Rd Town or flying into Tortola may make up for less selection in St Tomas. Never used them but CYAO seems like a quality outfit.

All that too say definitely doable! Might do that next trip to USVI/BVIs.


Last edited by UncleLuff; 02/20/2019 11:54 AM.
Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: LoveSun] #184834
02/20/2019 02:27 PM
02/20/2019 02:27 PM
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Kegoangoango Offline
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We're going on our third BVI trip this year. Do you have to pay BVI fees twice (once going/leaving for trip and once going/leaving for St. Johns)?

Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: LoveSun] #184835
02/20/2019 02:29 PM
02/20/2019 02:29 PM
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Kegoangoango Offline
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Also when we arrived at Cruz Bay in December it was packed, there was only one agent and it took quite a while (45 min to an hour).

Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: LoveSun] #184836
02/20/2019 02:56 PM
02/20/2019 02:56 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 660
Middleburg, VA
cwoody Offline
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Here is a thread from back in May 2018 discussing the latest BVI Taxes and Fees.

BVI Charter Taxes

Not sure what additional BVI fees will be assessed if you leave and return to the BVI within the original dates of your BVI charter.


Chuck W.
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Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: UncleLuff] #184845
02/20/2019 03:42 PM
02/20/2019 03:42 PM
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LocalSailor Offline
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Originally Posted by UncleLuff
you can leave direct out of Charlotte Amalie, stop by St. john, check out and then head to JVD to check -in to the BVI.



There is no need to check out of the USVI - no need to stop in St John for that leaving.

Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: LoveSun] #184848
02/20/2019 04:20 PM
02/20/2019 04:20 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 338
Ohio
jagmansr Offline
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We've gone from BVI to St John's many times. First day off the dock we head to Great Harbor and check out of the BVI. (you can check out of the BVI 24 hours before you leave and as customs doesn't open til 8:30 am, this allows us to head over as soon as we want. We spend most of this day at White Bay, dingy over from Great Harbor. We usually head over to St John around 7:30. This gives us time to go into Cruz Bay for lunch if we want. Our boat is in charter with CAPTAIN'S COMPASS and we have the needed decal on Island Fun so we can check into USVI by the ROAM apt and not deal with customs in Cruz Bay. When we had to go into Red Hook to check in we'd spend that night in Christmas Bay and enjoy pizza from the pizza boat. Our favorite snorkeling spot is Waterlemon Bay (also known as Watermelon Bay) in St John. WE normally check back into the BVI at the West End. Since the ferry doesn't stop there now, it's a pretty fast check in. The rest of these trips usually include Cooper Island and Norman Island or for now Peter Island with the Willy T.

Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: LoveSun] #184870
02/20/2019 06:25 PM
02/20/2019 06:25 PM
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Littleton, CO
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LoveSun Offline OP
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Thanks for all the info. Our charter is originating in the BVIs and is 7 days. Looks like a lot of people go to Cooper Island. The is not on our current itinerary and I'm wondering if it should be. Is Cooper Island a must-stop island?

Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: LoveSun] #184879
02/20/2019 08:02 PM
02/20/2019 08:02 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 338
Ohio
jagmansr Offline
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I don’t view Cooper Island as”must go too” rather that on a 7 day sail, going to USVI for two days, Coopers is one of the easy ports to visit. Checking back into the BVI at West end also offers CGB as another easy visit. It boils down to where you want to go, how much sailing time you want and how much play time (meaning how soon you need to arrive) you want. No matter where you go in the BVI and USCI, it will be a great trip. It’s great making an intenery, but I must admit many times over breakfast coffee, we have changed plans for the day. As I said before, we love Waterlemon Bay at St John. It’s a 45 minute sail to west End to check back in to BVI, that’s gives you many options as to where to go. Enjoy you sail, no bad choices.

Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: LoveSun] #184896
02/21/2019 01:35 AM
02/21/2019 01:35 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,119
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GeorgeC1 Offline
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With only 7 days I would stay in the BVI. I usually like to have 10 days minimum before I will head to the USVI on a split trip. You can’t really see everything in the BVI in 7 days.
G

Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: GeorgeC1] #184899
02/21/2019 06:58 AM
02/21/2019 06:58 AM
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Posts: 1,785
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Offline
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Sage advice


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Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: LoveSun] #184903
02/21/2019 08:12 AM
02/21/2019 08:12 AM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 276
UK
Christo Online content
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We have spoken to numerous people over the years who have played fast and loose with the rules and just 'nipped' over to Leinster Bay / Waterlemon Cay from the BVI for either a lunctime snorkel or overnight stay...without involving customs in their plans.

...I wonder if this still occurs, or whether the USVI have cracked down on it in some way?

I hasten to add, we personally have not done this.

Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: LoveSun] #184905
02/21/2019 08:47 AM
02/21/2019 08:47 AM
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Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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Christo..do you really want to risk that? No exactly relaxing to be worried about the next boat that comes round the corner to check you out. I am sure it is done..just as I'm sure the surfers that show up from St J in front of CRC. dont all check into the BVI's..but..and believe me I am not a "law and order" type but the penalties for being caught are pretty nasty.

Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: LoveSun] #184907
02/21/2019 08:54 AM
02/21/2019 08:54 AM
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Posts: 276
UK
Christo Online content
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Manpot. Personally no. Its crossed our mind but we've never considered the reward to be worth the risk.

My understanding is that those who do it always seem to have a convenient 'engine overheat' or similar just as they're sailing past...and so have ducked into the nearest safe-harbour to sort the issue...and snorkel...and have lunch...and a few painkillers...

All such stories have come from people with UK passports, so not as simple as just going to Cruz bay to check in. It requires an appointment at the US Embassy in London...which takes months to line up and a day standing in line in order to get the required Visa...and then when in the BVI they also of course have to check in to Cruz Bay.

Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: GeorgeC1] #184908
02/21/2019 08:58 AM
02/21/2019 08:58 AM
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Washington DC
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bailau Offline
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Originally Posted by GeorgeC1
With only 7 days I would stay in the BVI. I usually like to have 10 days minimum before I will head to the USVI on a split trip. You can’t really see everything in the BVI in 7 days.
G


I completely agree...skip STJ. IMHO not much there relative to what else you could see in the BVIs right now. I would add Anegada and skip STJ. You can find the turtles and rays you would see at Maho at Cooper. Snorkeling at Indians and caves and Monkey Point and out on the reef in Anegada (with Captain Kelly's tours) is far better than Trunk Bay etc. The kids loved Waterlemon when the starfish are there but even that is hit or miss...

My current crew just said they would spend 4 days in Anegada alone

all in IMHO

Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: Christo] #184909
02/21/2019 09:13 AM
02/21/2019 09:13 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 331
Maine USA
mainesailor Offline
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I seem to remember doing the one day trip from BVI to Leinster/Watermelon bays back in 1999 or so, wouldn't even consider it now. Our charter company at the time said it was okay for a 24 hr period.


I always take life with a grain of salt. Plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila
Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: LoveSun] #184918
02/21/2019 10:38 AM
02/21/2019 10:38 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 338
Ohio
jagmansr Offline
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Great advice not to go over to St John. We have the good fortune to go down to the BVI 3 times a year so its easy for us to pick and chose our stops without trying to hit all the "usual places". One reason we love Leinster is because hardy anyone comes over from the BVI because it does limit were you can go on a 7 day trip, thus we only have to share the area with 1 to 6 other boats. It all depends on what you want out of your trip. We actually enjoy sharing a place with only a couple other boats, cooking aboard, enjoying a glass of wine watching the sunset AND with no light pollution, great star gazing. When we were down in December we did encounter 5 other boats, they had chartered out of St Thomas and use Leinster as there first night on the way to the BVI or last day on the return. Bonus for us is having a US National Park pass, mooring is only $13 assuming the collection stations are even back up. We'll be down next week and most likely will be spending most of this trip in Anegada.

Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: LoveSun] #184927
02/21/2019 11:31 AM
02/21/2019 11:31 AM
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Dana Point
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7 days sailing the BVI is going to fly past at twice the speed of light.

As to St. Johns,

We also follow the procedures, and out of 16 BVI sailing vacations , we had one trip to St. John. We cleared out of the BVI at Sopers Hole...west end, Tortola, And cleared into to USVI , at cruz bay, St. John. Spent the night at
Leinster Bay and Water Mellon Cay. We were out of there early the next morning.

As far as not checking in with customs, while we were anchored at Leinster Bay, St. John, a U.S.C.G. patrol vessel , hove to just outside the anchorage for quite some time. Looked like he was possibly checking out the vessels and maybe
verifying their having checked in with USVI customs.

Regardless, we follow procedures, and certainly do want want to spend several days of our BVI sailing vacation, locked up in a dispute with C and I, or any government organization.

We have our fave snorkeling sites in the BVI.... and will now leave St. John to those who love it there.

BVI SNORKEL SITES.

Pelican and Indians, and Monkey Point, and a short snorkel at Cistern Point at Cooper, and maybe the CAVES at Norman . We have not tried the Dogs as yet, maybe this next trip in may.

As far as not checking in with customs, We have found that following procedures, keeps life rolling along easily. Deviate from that practice and if the hammer drops on your neck. it is not going to be a fun experience.

Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: LoveSun] #186158
03/04/2019 04:18 PM
03/04/2019 04:18 PM
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LoveSun Offline OP
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Which anchorages in the BVI are similar to St. John, with quiet, smaller, less crowded coves/bays?

Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: LoveSun] #186455
03/06/2019 07:43 PM
03/06/2019 07:43 PM
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Saint Thomas, USVI
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Originally Posted by LoveSun
Which anchorages in the BVI are similar to St. John, with quiet, smaller, less crowded coves/bays?




Almost none.

Re: Bareboat BVI and St John? [Re: CaptainJay] #186473
03/06/2019 10:24 PM
03/06/2019 10:24 PM
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VI,PR,NY,AZ
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St John has the nicest serene anchorages in the Caribbean along with excellent restaurants and good service.


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