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Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 #185381
02/25/2019 10:55 AM
02/25/2019 10:55 AM
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isuee94 Offline OP
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isuee94  Offline OP
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Recently returned from an amazing week in the BVI's so I thought I'd post a few thoughts.

My wife and I chartered a 2017 Nautitech Open 40 with Horizon and were joined by two other couples. This would be our first charter after completing our ASA certifications last year.

We all flew into STT on Monday the 4th and had arranged a private water taxi with Sea Lion charters since we wouldn't be able to make the last ferry to Tortola. They had a driver waiting for us at the airport who then took us all to Red Hook to catch our water taxi. The water taxi ride was fast and bumpy but we all had a great time and did our best to empty the cooler of Carib! After a quick stop in Red Hook to get checked in, we were delivered directly to Horizon's dock. We had arranged for a sleepaboard and knew ahead of time that we would be arriving after the office was closed. We went straight to our boat and got everyone settled in before we headed off to Peglegs for dinner. We had pre-ordered some provisions with Bobby's and those were waiting for us on the boat when we arrived. We had a few items missing but that was quickly corrected after a phone call to Bobby's the next morning. We had also pre-ordered liquid provisions with Caribbean Cellars and they had been delivered earlier in the day and were securely stored with Horizon.

The next morning (Tuesday), we were greeting by a smiling Christalen as we checked in at the Horizon office. Since this was our first charter after completing our ASA certifications, Horizon required that we have one of their skippers with us for the first two days. We were a bit surprised by this requirement at first, but in the end it was a good refresher and got us off to a good start. After some final provisioning at the Riteway in Nanny Cay and completing the briefing with our checkout skipper, we grabbed some lunch at Genakers and were off. The boats are pretty tightly squeezed into the marina at Nanny Cay but with a good shove and some guidance, getting out of the marina was uneventful. We made a quick practice dock at the fuel dock since we'd be bringing the boat back there at the end of the week to top off and would need to get water (more than once) during our trip.

We were then off to sail across to Peter Island, where we spent our first night in Great Harbor. We had drinks and dinner at the Willy T and had a great time!

The next morning (Wednesday), we were able to get a BoatyBall reserved in Manchioneel Bay, Cooper Island. Knowing we had a ball reserved, we took our time getting over to Cooper Island. We had a few drinks during happy hour then went back to our boat to swim and chill for a while before getting cleaned up for dinner. Dinner was very good!

The next morning (Thursday), we again reserved a BoatyBall for Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda. We sailed up to Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor to drop off our checkout skipper and top off the water tanks. After that we headed back to The Baths and had no issues getting National Parks Mooring. We tied the dinghy to the roped off swim area and then swam ashore to explore The Baths. It wasn't terribly busy so we apparently missed the big cruise ship crowds. We then moved on to Leverick Bay and picked up our reserved mooring. We again had a few happy hour drinks before getting ready for dinner. We had dinner upstairs at Leverick and it was excellent!

We had been cleared to head to Anegada so we got up early on Friday to reserve a BoatyBall and head ashore to pick up a few provisions before pulling up to the dock to top off our water. It was a nice 2-1/2 hour reach up to Anegada and an uneventful entrance into the anchorage. I had spent quite a bit of time studying the charts and locations of the channel markers so we were well prepared. We took a taxi to Cow Wreck beach where we had lunch and did some snorkeling. For dinner, it was lobster at Neptunes Treasure.

The next morning (Saturday), we had a long downwind sail to Jost Van Dyke. About half way there we could see a rainstorm building behind us and the wind was building so we dropped the sails and motored while the rain passed through. We arrived in Great Harbor around 2:00 and had no issue getting a mooring ball. We dinghied over to Soggy Dollar and had a late lunch and a few drinks. Dinner was the beach BBQ at Foxy's.

The next morning (Sunday), we went ashore to get a few provisions, then docked again to refill the water tanks before heading up to Diamond Cay. We picked up a mooring there and then headed ashore for lunch at Taboo. They're still getting up and running and it's a smaller space than before but lunch was great. We then headed over to B-Line for a few drinks. For dinner, we took a taxi back to Great Harbor and ate at Corsairs. The food was great and the rum punch was delicious. We had a few more drinks at Foxy's before taxiing back to Diamond Cay and dinghying back to the boat.

The next morning (Monday) we sailed around West End and to the West of Little Thatch Island. The winds had built a bit and were running more or less straight out of the east so we ended up motor sailing the rest of the way to Norman Island to cut down on the tacking up the channel. We had heard that Norman Island hasn't been as busy lately and while we had no issues getting a mooring ball, it did seem fairly busy that night. We went ashore and had lunch and some drinks at Pirates Bight and made reservations for dinner. We headed back to the boat to relax and work on finishing off our liquid provisions before dinner. Really enjoyed Norman Island!

The next morning (Tuesday) we got up and worked on packing and tidying up the boat before returning it to Nanny Cay. We headed to the fuel dock to top off and were able to get right in without a wait. We rang Horizon, then got diesel, water and dinghy gas topped off while we waited for them to send one of their guys over to bring the boat back to their dock (per their instructions). Jalon showed up about the time we were finished filling up. He got the boat onto the dock with ease, went through an easy debrief with us and we were off the boat. We grabbed lunch again at Genakers while we waited for our 1:30pm taxi to take us to the 2:30pm Road Town Fast Ferry to Charlotte Amalie. We spent our last night at Olga's Fancy in Frenchtown. We really enjoyed the location and the hotel and would highly recommend it. The next morning we had breakfast at Frenchtown Deli (highly recommended!) then walked back to Charlotte Amalie to pick up a bottle of our favorite Chai Rum. Then it was off to the airport and back home...until next time.

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Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: isuee94] #185393
02/25/2019 01:53 PM
02/25/2019 01:53 PM
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ColoBoater Offline
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Thanks for sharing, Sounds like a great week.

Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: ColoBoater] #185394
02/25/2019 02:20 PM
02/25/2019 02:20 PM
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isuee94 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by ColoBoater
Thanks for sharing, Sounds like a great week.


Definitely! The only thing we'd probably do differently next time is not hit as many islands. Spending two days in Jost was always our plan and it was nice to slow down a bit. We had also originally planned to spend two days in Anegada if we were allowed to go, but we didn't know right away if we would be allowed so we ended up adding an extra island on the front end that took a day away from Anegada.

Last edited by isuee94; 02/25/2019 02:23 PM.
Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: isuee94] #185395
02/25/2019 02:24 PM
02/25/2019 02:24 PM
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Looking forward to our trip with Horizons in Oct. Sounds like you had a fun and uneventful trip!

Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: isuee94] #185404
02/25/2019 04:12 PM
02/25/2019 04:12 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 15,947
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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I'm confused by you "heading to Red Hook to get checked in and then straight to the Horizon dock"..You dont check out of STT and do check into the BVI's...right now JVD or Road Town.Sounds like you had a good time which is all that counts.

Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: isuee94] #185408
02/25/2019 04:44 PM
02/25/2019 04:44 PM
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Memphis, BVI, CT
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Manpot, I also noticed that but give him a break - it was after he emptied the cooler of Caribs!

Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: Manpot] #185410
02/25/2019 05:06 PM
02/25/2019 05:06 PM
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isuee94 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Manpot
I'm confused by you "heading to Red Hook to get checked in and then straight to the Horizon dock"..You dont check out of STT and do check into the BVI's...right now JVD or Road Town.Sounds like you had a good time which is all that counts.


Yep, typo there. Should have said Road Town.

Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: isuee94] #185429
02/25/2019 08:14 PM
02/25/2019 08:14 PM
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North Carolina
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RacerRon Online content
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Sounds real similar to my rough sketch for an itinerary! We might skip the overnight at Cooper, and do 2 at Anegada!
Thanks for sharing!!



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Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: isuee94] #185443
02/26/2019 01:13 AM
02/26/2019 01:13 AM
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Ontario, Canada
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And you can never beat the Wonky Dog lobster on anegada.


Warren
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Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: isuee94] #185461
02/26/2019 08:29 AM
02/26/2019 08:29 AM
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Posts: 200
Dana Point
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Thanks for the great trip report. And, you had one heck of a great BVI , first trip. Good on ya.

Also, we have reservations at Olga.s Fancy upon arrival and departure. First time with them and looking forward to some land kick back and wiggle room.

Excellent report.

Denny and Erica

Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: warren460] #185467
02/26/2019 09:28 AM
02/26/2019 09:28 AM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 15,947
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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Wonky Dog lamb shank..YUM!!! At Cow Wreck watch for a "tax" charge on your tab..there is no such thing in the BVI's and its a hidden service charge (tip).

Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: isuee94] #185482
02/26/2019 11:42 AM
02/26/2019 11:42 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 430
Charlotte, NC
DEL Offline
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Having just completed a sailing trip from Feb 9-17, it is interesting how much less crowded the anchorages appear to be when one doesn't start on the weekend and avoids those with a popular event. We arrived at Great Harbour, JVD, at 11am and after circling the mooring field 2-3 times were lucky to get a ball just as someone left. That night was Foxy's buffet.

I was one for two trying to use Boaty Ball at 7am. Got Anegada for Tuesday night, but Cooper lit up so fast for Thursday night that all balls were gone in less than ten seconds. Marina Cay (Sunday) and the Bight (Saturday) filled up late in the afternoon. Reserved two nights at Leverick which helped to reduce my blood pressure. Of course backing in to a slip with a crosswind is never fun.

Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: isuee94] #185583
02/27/2019 10:05 AM
02/27/2019 10:05 AM
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isuee94 Offline OP
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We definitely felt like we were 'off the schedule' with our Tuesday to Tuesday charter. Certainly less crowded than if we had done the typical Saturday to Saturday schedule. I think there was only one other boat leaving Horizon the day we left.

Boaty Ball was a bit of a blessing and a curse. I got lucky and was 3 for 3, but setting an alarm for 6:50am to get up, get on Boaty Ball and refreshing the page until the clock hit 7:00am felt a bit like trying to buy concert tickets from Ticketmaster. That said, knowing we had a ball reserved took away the stress of not knowing if we'd have a ball when we got there.

Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: Manpot] #185602
02/27/2019 11:32 AM
02/27/2019 11:32 AM
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Washington DC
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bailau Online content
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Originally Posted by Manpot
Wonky Dog lamb shank..YUM!!! At Cow Wreck watch for a "tax" charge on your tab..there is no such thing in the BVI's and its a hidden service charge (tip).

We didnt have a "tax charge" last week at Wonky...but will look for next time

Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: bailau] #185604
02/27/2019 12:00 PM
02/27/2019 12:00 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 15,947
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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Not Wonky Dog..Cow Wreck is where I got " taxed" and argued about it until our cab driver backed me up! They removed the " tax" and I gave the lady $20 cash tip but told her not to lie in future..hope it worked, but probably not.

Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: Manpot] #185606
02/27/2019 12:12 PM
02/27/2019 12:12 PM
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bailau Online content
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ok...will check that one and revert

Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: isuee94] #185681
02/28/2019 11:09 AM
02/28/2019 11:09 AM
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With water taxi, is it possible to check into West End. I see you corrected to RT, but wondering if West End was an option?

Great Report - Thx

Slug

Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: isuee94] #185682
02/28/2019 11:09 AM
02/28/2019 11:09 AM
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With water taxi, is it possible to check into West End. I see you corrected to RT, but wondering if West End was an option?

Great Report - Thx

Slug

Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: isuee94] #185690
02/28/2019 11:49 AM
02/28/2019 11:49 AM
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Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
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Yes, water taxis can check into West End.

Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: isuee94] #185748
02/28/2019 06:58 PM
02/28/2019 06:58 PM
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Great report, isueee94! Always glad to hear from newbies! That first BVI cruise will stick with you forever.
I noticed that your water consumption was a bit high. You might want to get get your crew accustomed to “joy baths” with a warm fresh water rinse on the transom. And rinsing dishes in salt water is just part of the trip. Thanks for posting!

Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: SkipperChip] #186056
03/03/2019 12:40 PM
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isuee94 Offline OP
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Thanks! Yes, water consumption was definitely high. Part of the issue was that the heads were freshwater not saltwater. Odd for a charter boat.

The other issue was obviously getting everyone to shorten their showers. It got much better as the week went on but with 6 people showering evey day, we did got through quite a bit of water.

Originally Posted by SkipperChip
Great report, isueee94! Always glad to hear from newbies! That first BVI cruise will stick with you forever.
I noticed that your water consumption was a bit high. You might want to get get your crew accustomed to “joy baths” with a warm fresh water rinse on the transom. And rinsing dishes in salt water is just part of the trip. Thanks for posting!

Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: isuee94] #186072
03/03/2019 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by isuee94
Thanks! Yes, water consumption was definitely high. Part of the issue was that the heads were freshwater not saltwater. Odd for a charter boat.

The other issue was obviously getting everyone to shorten their showers. It got much better as the week went on but with 6 people showering evey day, we did got through quite a bit of water.




I just push the green button and the water maker and when the tank is full I push the red button. smile


Life's short - sail more!
Re: Trip Report - Feb. 4-12 [Re: agrimsrud] #186077
03/03/2019 09:42 PM
03/03/2019 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by agrimsrud
Originally Posted by isuee94
Thanks! Yes, water consumption was definitely high. Part of the issue was that the heads were freshwater not saltwater. Odd for a charter boat.

The other issue was obviously getting everyone to shorten their showers. It got much better as the week went on but with 6 people showering evey day, we did got through quite a bit of water.




I just push the green button and the water maker and when the tank is full I push the red button. smile

I did the same thing on your " Dream Macihine " in January. Kind of spoils ya don't it?


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