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An Observation..And a Question #195922
05/25/2019 04:56 PM
05/25/2019 04:56 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 328
Deep East Texas
Ontheboat Offline OP
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Ontheboat  Offline OP
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Posts: 328
Deep East Texas
First, an introduction:

As I'm sure Carol can attest, I'm one of those many people that "lurk a lot, post little". Over the many years on TTOL I've gleaned a significant amount of information from this forum. I post little, but because I have little to add.

My wife and I have owned sailboats for 25+ years. Sailed the Caribbean since the late '90's. Know our way around the back roads and some of the old names and faces: some still here, some not.

Because of a mother nature (lightning strike on our boat) issue, we've been away from the BVI's for a couple of years and are looking to return. We've kept track of the recovery from Hurricane Irma and even donated to the recovery. But, we are ready to visit again.

Yes, we were around when Billy Bones went away (still have the T Shirts, kids remember the crab races out back) and were not a fan of the high-end Pirate's Bight. Stayed at Tamarind Club several times and remember the kids helped shoo away the cows in the evening (and the resident cat that did not like me). Those days ended and it was sad. However, reading through so many posts and current trip reports, our concern about returning is increased with every comment.

This Boaty Ball situation sounds absolutely insane - yet not unexpected for the way the few control the many in the islands.

Arriving. Provisioning. Heading out the first day. All are full of tips/tricks/preferences that can be interesting and fun. But, from then on out having to "adjust to the new way" with BB seems to both bring the stress many of us are trying to leave behind and completely defeat the purpose of the visiting adventure.

The mid-afternoon battle for the last mooring ball is a right of passage and an adventure. People sit on their boats solely for the entertainment. Being able to pick up a ball mid-day to eat lunch or fill tanks and head to the next stop is important. Watching the boat boy come around to grab your soggy dollars (sorry had to do that) and then keeping the receipts, of which we have many, is a joy.

Now? Download an app. Get Wifi. Peck around on your phone and plan. Fight over who gets the ball. And, as the BB people say "accommodate", is insane.

We come to the islands to get away from apps, internet, scheduling, coordinating, fighting....and BB has introduced it to paradise.

Someone convince me that progress like this is good.

-Carib Guy


Capt D (Caribguy)
s/v Mollie Jean
"When I go to heaven, I want to go from the islands..it's closer"
BVI Sponsors
Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: Ontheboat] #195925
05/25/2019 05:56 PM
05/25/2019 05:56 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 322
C
Christo Offline
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Originally Posted by Ontheboat
First, an introduction:

As I'm sure Carol can attest, I'm one of those many people that "lurk a lot, post little". Over the many years on TTOL I've gleaned a significant amount of information from this forum. I post little, but because I have little to add.

My wife and I have owned sailboats for 25+ years. Sailed the Caribbean since the late '90's. Know our way around the back roads and some of the old names and faces: some still here, some not.

Because of a mother nature (lightning strike on our boat) issue, we've been away from the BVI's for a couple of years and are looking to return. We've kept track of the recovery from Hurricane Irma and even donated to the recovery. But, we are ready to visit again.

Yes, we were around when Billy Bones went away (still have the T Shirts, kids remember the crab races out back) and were not a fan of the high-end Pirate's Bight. Stayed at Tamarind Club several times and remember the kids helped shoo away the cows in the evening (and the resident cat that did not like me). Those days ended and it was sad. However, reading through so many posts and current trip reports, our concern about returning is increased with every comment.

This Boaty Ball situation sounds absolutely insane - yet not unexpected for the way the few control the many in the islands.

Arriving. Provisioning. Heading out the first day. All are full of tips/tricks/preferences that can be interesting and fun. But, from then on out having to "adjust to the new way" with BB seems to both bring the stress many of us are trying to leave behind and completely defeat the purpose of the visiting adventure.

The mid-afternoon battle for the last mooring ball is a right of passage and an adventure. People sit on their boats solely for the entertainment. Being able to pick up a ball mid-day to eat lunch or fill tanks and head to the next stop is important. Watching the boat boy come around to grab your soggy dollars (sorry had to do that) and then keeping the receipts, of which we have many, is a joy.

Now? Download an app. Get Wifi. Peck around on your phone and plan. Fight over who gets the ball. And, as the BB people say "accommodate", is insane.

We come to the islands to get away from apps, internet, scheduling, coordinating, fighting....and BB has introduced it to paradise.

Someone convince me that progress like this is good.

-Carib Guy


+1 ...and so many other reasons it's a dreadful idea.

Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: Ontheboat] #195926
05/25/2019 06:02 PM
05/25/2019 06:02 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 482
Washington DC
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bailau Online content
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we can all debate "progress" but I can assure you BVI is the magical place it always has been. I just got back with 1 load of college kids and to a person they said it was the best time of their lives. One said "I just want to take it in because I know I probably will never get a chance to see it again"

What is disturbing is that they all loved Carib beer and we came back to Washington DC only to find out it isnt stocked at Total Wine & Beveridge any more...the kids are planning a road trip to secure some.

Boaty Ball has a silver lining. There is a phenomena we witnessed I will call the "boaty ball hole". As we come off the peak season the FCFS mooring balls fill up and the BB balls are empty for the evening as I believe everyone would rather have a regular ball. So in October I know I can check the website in the morning and if the BB's arent filling up for the day I can stroll into a BB harbor late in the day and squat on a boaty ball and not be bothered by the FCFS ball collectors...:)

Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: bailau] #195927
05/25/2019 06:11 PM
05/25/2019 06:11 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 328
Deep East Texas
Ontheboat Offline OP
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Ontheboat  Offline OP
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Deep East Texas
Bailau,

But...during high season I suspect the situation would be reversed.

Side Question: How long has Deliverance been gone?


Capt D (Caribguy)
s/v Mollie Jean
"When I go to heaven, I want to go from the islands..it's closer"
Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: Ontheboat] #195928
05/25/2019 06:19 PM
05/25/2019 06:19 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 482
Washington DC
B
bailau Online content
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Washington DC
Absolutely...during the high season it is a s***show. BB has clearly added a layer of stress and complexity that was not needed in the BVIs. I went in Feb and will never go back again Dec - Feb for a myriad of reasons to include higher rates, worse weather (for us non sail guys), lack of upgrades available for boats, cruise ships, crowds, boaty ball....

I hope I see you someday down there as it would be great to hear the stories of past...although I have been going down there for 20 years I have only been on boats for the last 7 or so...

I dont know the answer to your question as the only Deliverance I know will bring provisions directly to your boat...

Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: bailau] #195929
05/25/2019 06:21 PM
05/25/2019 06:21 PM
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 62
Waco, Texas
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Alec Atteberry Online content
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Waco, Texas
Originally Posted by bailau
So in October I know I can check the website in the morning and if the BB's arent filling up for the day I can stroll into a BB harbor late in the day and squat on a boaty ball and not be bothered by the FCFS ball collectors...:)


We all agree that there needs to be more moorings in the BVI. Locals are hesitant to invest in more moorings when they aren't getting paid for the ones they already have. I understand that you don’t like BoatyBall, but I’d hope you’d at least help out the local bay owners.

Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: Ontheboat] #195930
05/25/2019 06:26 PM
05/25/2019 06:26 PM
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 62
Waco, Texas
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Alec Atteberry Online content
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Waco, Texas
Interesting perspective. I haven’t been sailing in the BVI as long as most of the people on this forum, but even within the past decade it’s been easy to see the increased commercialization of the islands. The fact that there are almost more charter boats and credit card captains any given week than available moorings is a good indicator of this. From what I can tell this hasn’t been a spontaneous process either and it’s one I hardly contribute to BoatyBall (they’ve been in business for four months now). Charter boats and tourism bring in money and lots of it. Naturally the government and the locals are going to cater to that crowd. As demand grows so does the extent to which the government and locals begin to accommodate tourists. This could mean revamping cruise ship docks, promoting charter companies, or not setting a limit on the number of cruising permits available. Of course as this happens the islands begin to lose more of that authentic/traditional feeling. So to answer your question I guess it depends on what perspective you take. If you’ve chartered there years ago and still remember the old days I could see how all of this progress could seem pretty jarring and unnatural. On the other hand this progress has allowed more people to get into sailing, enjoy vacation, and experience one of the most beautiful places on earth even if it may be a little more “structured” than it was decades ago. Additionally I don’t know the specifics but I would imagine that for the locals, the progress and increased attention on the islands has provided many of them with opportunities and jobs that wouldn’t have been possible several decades ago. You can argue either side but in my opinion I don’t see the progress as something inherently bad, it just is what it is.

Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: Ontheboat] #195932
05/25/2019 06:48 PM
05/25/2019 06:48 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 328
Deep East Texas
Ontheboat Offline OP
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Ontheboat  Offline OP
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Posts: 328
Deep East Texas
Alec,

I appreciate your perspective. I smiled at your (correct) comment about progress seeming pretty jarring and unnatural. To those that have been going for years, it's the old "like boiling a frog" syndrome. You don't see it on a year-to-year basis, but if you take a break and go back, even with the horrible events like a hurricane, it does bring some things to perspective.

Ilon time is Ilon time. Injecting internet, apps, and online reservation rules just destroys that.

The rules should be simple:

1. First to the ball, gets the ball.
2. Enjoy watching others racing to get to the last ball.
3. Cheer the winner.
4. Invite them for a drink.
5. Put the **** cell phone away. You don't need an app to enjoy the BVI's


Capt D (Caribguy)
s/v Mollie Jean
"When I go to heaven, I want to go from the islands..it's closer"
Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: Ontheboat] #195933
05/25/2019 07:00 PM
05/25/2019 07:00 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,721
VI,NY,AZ
sail445 Online happy
Traveler
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VI,NY,AZ
Originally Posted by Ontheboat
Alec,

I appreciate your perspective. I smiled at your (correct) comment about progress seeming pretty jarring and unnatural. To those that have been going for years, it's the old "like boiling a frog" syndrome. You don't see it on a year-to-year basis, but if you take a break and go back, even with the horrible events like a hurricane, it does bring some things to perspective.

Ilon time is Ilon time. Injecting internet, apps, and online reservation rules just destroys that.

The rules should be simple:

1. First to the ball, gets the ball.
2. Enjoy watching others racing to get to the last ball.
3. Cheer the winner.
4. Invite them for a drink.
5. Put the **** cell phone away. You don't need an app to enjoy the BVI's


The newer charterers look at the BVI like a Caribbean Las Vegas and don’t really care much about it’s history & natural beauty.



Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: Ontheboat] #195934
05/25/2019 07:03 PM
05/25/2019 07:03 PM
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 62
Waco, Texas
A
Alec Atteberry Online content
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Alec Atteberry  Online Content
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Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 62
Waco, Texas
Originally Posted by Ontheboat
Alec,

I appreciate your perspective. I smiled at your (correct) comment about progress seeming pretty jarring and unnatural. To those that have been going for years, it's the old "like boiling a frog" syndrome. You don't see it on a year-to-year basis, but if you take a break and go back, even with the horrible events like a hurricane, it does bring some things to perspective.

Ilon time is Ilon time. Injecting internet, apps, and online reservation rules just destroys that.

The rules should be simple:

1. First to the ball, gets the ball.
2. Enjoy watching others racing to get to the last ball.
3. Cheer the winner.
4. Invite them for a drink.
5. Put the **** cell phone away. You don't need an app to enjoy the BVI's


I agree with a lot of that. When I head down there my phone goes into airplane mode and I only bring it out to take pictures or keep in touch with friends every couple of days or so. That being said there are so many boats and the demand is high in many of the bays so it sucks to have to leave the water at 1 to find a mooring. BoatyBall makes it easier for the locals to manage their moorings and it provides boaters with a way to stay on the water longer even if it does involve getting your phone out for a couple of minutes. For me that’s worth it, and for others it may not be; just different tastes.


Also, as Christo pointed out yesterday, there’s still plenty of mooring ball entertainment left in the BVI. Cheers

Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: Ontheboat] #195946
05/26/2019 12:51 AM
05/26/2019 12:51 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 304
Rockford, Michigan
aarpskier Offline
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aarpskier  Offline
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Posts: 304
Rockford, Michigan
Want the good old BVI days? Consider skipping the BVI and doing the US and Spanish Virgins instead. In 30 years of Caribbean chartering, out of St Thomas, Tortola, St Maarten, Martinique, St Lucia and Canouan, our trip to the SVI 2 years ago is near the top of the list.

St Thomas -> Culebra -> Vieques -> St Croix -> St John -> St Thomas. No ferries. No BB. No crowds. No hassle. Plenty of free FCFS balls and anchoring spots. A sufficient number of decent restaurants. Lots of great sailing. More time on the water instead of rushing for a mooring. True bluewater experience. A watermaker is (almost) mandatory, but they are becoming standard equipment on the newer boats. The USVI forum has a lot of great information.

Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: Ontheboat] #195949
05/26/2019 05:59 AM
05/26/2019 05:59 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 755
Kansas
captmoby Offline
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Deliverance is still there. It appears to be under new ownership and not quite as reliable as in the past.


Jim
Sailmoby II
Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: Ontheboat] #195950
05/26/2019 06:20 AM
05/26/2019 06:20 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,065
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Offline
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Deliverance now delivers dinner to boats at cooper. Check them on on Facebook


Warren
S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 450, (part of the TMM fleet until April, Charter Caribe (all inclusive-crewed) in St Thomas thereafter https://chartercaribe.com/charters/ ).
A TTOL sponsor
Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: Ontheboat] #195953
05/26/2019 07:20 AM
05/26/2019 07:20 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 385
Florida
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rfrimmel Offline
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Joined: Mar 2007
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Florida
Whatever happened to just dropping an anchor?

Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: Ontheboat] #195955
05/26/2019 07:24 AM
05/26/2019 07:24 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,065
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Offline
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Posts: 2,065
Ontario, Canada
Damages coral?


Warren
S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 450, (part of the TMM fleet until April, Charter Caribe (all inclusive-crewed) in St Thomas thereafter https://chartercaribe.com/charters/ ).
A TTOL sponsor
Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: Alec Atteberry] #195956
05/26/2019 07:25 AM
05/26/2019 07:25 AM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 482
Washington DC
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bailau Online content
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Washington DC
Originally Posted by Alec Atteberry
Originally Posted by bailau
So in October I know I can check the website in the morning and if the BB's arent filling up for the day I can stroll into a BB harbor late in the day and squat on a boaty ball and not be bothered by the FCFS ball collectors...:)


We all agree that there needs to be more moorings in the BVI. Locals are hesitant to invest in more moorings when they aren't getting paid for the ones they already have. I understand that you don’t like BoatyBall, but I’d hope you’d at least help out the local bay owners.


Dont worry my friend...I have donated and continue to donate significant money to charities, business owners, staff and others who make the place great. It may not bring any profit for me (outside any charitable deduction) but it also has the upside of not making any fellow boaters lives harder...

Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: Ontheboat] #195960
05/26/2019 08:02 AM
05/26/2019 08:02 AM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 181
West Chester, PA
ligot Offline
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West Chester, PA
Originally Posted by Ontheboat
First, an introduction:

As I'm sure Carol can attest, I'm one of those many people that "lurk a lot, post little". Over the many years on TTOL I've gleaned a significant amount of information from this forum. I post little, but because I have little to add.

My wife and I have owned sailboats for 25+ years. Sailed the Caribbean since the late '90's. Know our way around the back roads and some of the old names and faces: some still here, some not.

Because of a mother nature (lightning strike on our boat) issue, we've been away from the BVI's for a couple of years and are looking to return. We've kept track of the recovery from Hurricane Irma and even donated to the recovery. But, we are ready to visit again.

Yes, we were around when Billy Bones went away (still have the T Shirts, kids remember the crab races out back) and were not a fan of the high-end Pirate's Bight. Stayed at Tamarind Club several times and remember the kids helped shoo away the cows in the evening (and the resident cat that did not like me). Those days ended and it was sad. However, reading through so many posts and current trip reports, our concern about returning is increased with every comment.

This Boaty Ball situation sounds absolutely insane - yet not unexpected for the way the few control the many in the islands.

Arriving. Provisioning. Heading out the first day. All are full of tips/tricks/preferences that can be interesting and fun. But, from then on out having to "adjust to the new way" with BB seems to both bring the stress many of us are trying to leave behind and completely defeat the purpose of the visiting adventure.

The mid-afternoon battle for the last mooring ball is a right of passage and an adventure. People sit on their boats solely for the entertainment. Being able to pick up a ball mid-day to eat lunch or fill tanks and head to the next stop is important. Watching the boat boy come around to grab your soggy dollars (sorry had to do that) and then keeping the receipts, of which we have many, is a joy.

Now? Download an app. Get Wifi. Peck around on your phone and plan. Fight over who gets the ball. And, as the BB people say "accommodate", is insane.

We come to the islands to get away from apps, internet, scheduling, coordinating, fighting....and BB has introduced it to paradise.

Someone convince me that progress like this is good.

-Carib Guy


No one enjoys the late day theater of "mooring ball hussle" more than me and I'm pretty BB won't eliminate that. Pour a Painkiller and enjoy. Sometimes different isn't better or worse, it's just different. (I thought the guy doing figure 8's in front of me at Taboo trying to get a ball last year was hysterical until he came within 4 ft of my bow!)

As for the difference now vs "then" I have a short story. So we caught the bug on a trip in BVI in 2010 and LOVED it so much we took lessons.Now 6 charters in we feel more experienced but still learning. Kind of "been there" but still very much our "Happy Place". But ... on our last trip I got to see it through the eyes of new crew, waking up to the beautiful water every day. Eager to take sunset pics every night. Wide eyed at the beauty of Cow Wreck, appreciative of the life style and feeling every day like it's the best vacation EVER!

So I hear ya, (and everyone really) that sure, things change but from coffee on the stern every morning to rum drinks every night in a new beach shack, the sun in my face and the calm of the sail .... I love St Martin and I love Spanish Virgins but I LIVE for our sailing trips to BVI and I can't imagine a few changes convincing me otherwise.


S/V Tortuga
Lagoon 46

[Linked Image]

Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: Ontheboat] #195963
05/26/2019 08:31 AM
05/26/2019 08:31 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 36
Streamwod il
J
joeboo Offline
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J
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 36
Streamwod il
Have been coming down to the BVI as of the mid 70s. We first sailed CSY 44. What fun, and do miss the old days. Will be down with our group in july.
thanks for saying what we have thought also. I am with you .

Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: warren460] #195977
05/26/2019 11:56 AM
05/26/2019 11:56 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,721
VI,NY,AZ
sail445 Online happy
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sail445  Online Happy
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Posts: 2,721
VI,NY,AZ
Originally Posted by warren460
Damages coral?


Most of the anchorages have Turtle grass and the boats anchoring there for years before the mooring balls hardly had any effect on it. If you dive the anchorages today you’ll see large circles of sand around the mooring balls where the balls movement 24 hours a day had destroyed the grass.

Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: Ontheboat] #195979
05/26/2019 12:05 PM
05/26/2019 12:05 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,065
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Offline
Traveler
warren460  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,065
Ontario, Canada
I have noticed that. The damage radius is far small than that caused by an anchor with adequate scope.


Warren
S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 450, (part of the TMM fleet until April, Charter Caribe (all inclusive-crewed) in St Thomas thereafter https://chartercaribe.com/charters/ ).
A TTOL sponsor
Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: Alec Atteberry] #195995
05/26/2019 01:20 PM
05/26/2019 01:20 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 322
C
Christo Offline
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Christo  Offline
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Originally Posted by Alec Atteberry
Originally Posted by Ontheboat
Alec,

I appreciate your perspective. I smiled at your (correct) comment about progress seeming pretty jarring and unnatural. To those that have been going for years, it's the old "like boiling a frog" syndrome. You don't see it on a year-to-year basis, but if you take a break and go back, even with the horrible events like a hurricane, it does bring some things to perspective.

Ilon time is Ilon time. Injecting internet, apps, and online reservation rules just destroys that.

The rules should be simple:

1. First to the ball, gets the ball.
2. Enjoy watching others racing to get to the last ball.
3. Cheer the winner.
4. Invite them for a drink.
5. Put the **** cell phone away. You don't need an app to enjoy the BVI's


I agree with a lot of that. When I head down there my phone goes into airplane mode and I only bring it out to take pictures or keep in touch with friends every couple of days or so. That being said there are so many boats and the demand is high in many of the bays so it sucks to have to leave the water at 1 to find a mooring. BoatyBall makes it easier for the locals to manage their moorings and it provides boaters with a way to stay on the water longer even if it does involve getting your phone out for a couple of minutes. For me that’s worth it, and for others it may not be; just different tastes.


Also, as Christo pointed out yesterday, there’s still plenty of mooring ball entertainment left in the BVI. Cheers


Matey...you are really not getting it!

Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: Christo] #196007
05/26/2019 03:52 PM
05/26/2019 03:52 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 328
Deep East Texas
Ontheboat Offline OP
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Ontheboat  Offline OP
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Posts: 328
Deep East Texas
Originally Posted by Christo
[quote=Alec Atteberry][quote=Ontheboat]Alec,

Most of the anchorages have Turtle grass and the boats anchoring there for years before the mooring balls hardly had any effect on it. If you dive the anchorages today you’ll see large circles of sand around the mooring balls where the balls movement 24 hours a day had destroyed the grass.



OK (this may need a separate thread): first time in the BVI's. FIRST NIGHT! We anchor off of Peter. Now, mooring balls are foreign to us. We anchor 100% of the time. So, we get settled. 3 young kids. Good anchor lay. Eat dinner. Kids down. Relax.

Not.

We are drifting so far off of point that we are convinced with are full dragging. Then, we come back. Hummm.

My wife and I alternate ALL night on watch. At one point, just before sunrise, the JB song "Manana" comes to mind which includes the verse: "While the lights of St. Thomas lie twenty miles west I see General Electric's still doing their best"....That's what we could see.

The cause of our sleepless night?

We anchored just off a shelf. About half the rode was off the shelf and swaying us back and forth. So, now, we watch the bottom for sand and avoid coral heads, etc.


Capt D (Caribguy)
s/v Mollie Jean
"When I go to heaven, I want to go from the islands..it's closer"
Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: Ontheboat] #196008
05/26/2019 03:58 PM
05/26/2019 03:58 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 322
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Christo Offline
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Christo  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 322
Originally Posted by Ontheboat
Originally Posted by Christo
[quote=Alec Atteberry][quote=Ontheboat]Alec,

Most of the anchorages have Turtle grass and the boats anchoring there for years before the mooring balls hardly had any effect on it. If you dive the anchorages today you’ll see large circles of sand around the mooring balls where the balls movement 24 hours a day had destroyed the grass.



OK (this may need a separate thread): first time in the BVI's. FIRST NIGHT! We anchor off of Peter. Now, mooring balls are foreign to us. We anchor 100% of the time. So, we get settled. 3 young kids. Good anchor lay. Eat dinner. Kids down. Relax.

Not.

We are drifting so far off of point that we are convinced with are full dragging. Then, we come back. Hummm.

My wife and I alternate ALL night on watch. At one point, just before sunrise, the JB song "Manana" comes to mind which includes the verse: "While the lights of St. Thomas lie twenty miles west I see General Electric's still doing their best"....That's what we could see.

The cause of our sleepless night?

We anchored just off a shelf. About half the rode was off the shelf and swaying us back and forth. So, now, we watch the bottom for sand and avoid coral heads, etc.



Where we come from snorkeling the anchor would be both unpleasantly cold, likely impossible due to lack of vis...and also probably considered cheating.

However, here in BVI, once we've set the anchor I always put a mask on and check it visually...check around for obstructions...check its bitten well...and on a Sunsail boat with broken chain-counter and uncalibrated chain, check we have estimated the scope we need correctly.

Peter has a lot of spots similar to the one you must have been in! I wonder if snorkeling the anchor after setting would allow you a more restful night in future? It certainly gives us a lot more peace of mind!

Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: Ontheboat] #196095
05/27/2019 02:10 PM
05/27/2019 02:10 PM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 30
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Donald Offline
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Donald  Offline
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I would suggest that the BVI you remember is more aligned with the post-Irma BVI that exists today. Up until Feb 2018, I was fed up with the long waits at Full Moon Party bars (at Trellis) and decided I had had enough FMPs. I sailed in Feb 2018 (a couple months after Irma) and I could get a drink after only a couple minutes in a line up at the FMP.

In 2015, on a guy's trip we dedicated two nights (one at start of trip and 1 at the end) at the Bight (because of the popularity of Willy T's). In both of those instances, ALL of the Bight Mooring Balls (between 75 & 100 we were told) were in use by late afternoon. In Feb 2019, I was on a 3 boat flotilla and we arrived at the Bight after 330PM and we all got MBs. Of course the fact that Willy T's is no longer there would have played a role in that.

My point is the BVIs has not completely recovered from Irma and perhaps people are going elsewhere to sail (I, for one, am going to the Grenadines next February and, truth be told, I'm mixed about not going to the BVIs). As some others on this board have mentioned, the nickel and dime approach of the government (particularly in the area of fees and taxes) is slowly killing the golden goose that sailing has brought the islands.

But if you get off the beaten path and away from the main anchorages, you will find plenty of places to drop the hook. Popular places bring boats and these days those places need mooring balls (and in some cases, they need more!).

I might also say there is a bit of an upside to the overall popularity. Again comparing the planning of a BVI trip to our recent experience booking a boat in the Grenadines, the BVIs has more charter companies, larger fleets, better options for those with different sailing budgets and easier access by air making it a better travel experience than other parts of the Caribbean. But all those options is bringing about the by-product (more people) that started the OP's thread.

D

Re: An Observation..And a Question [Re: Donald] #196117
05/27/2019 07:06 PM
05/27/2019 07:06 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 304
Rockford, Michigan
aarpskier Offline
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aarpskier  Offline
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Rockford, Michigan
Originally Posted by Donald
I I might also say there is a bit of an upside to the overall popularity. Again comparing the planning of a BVI trip to our recent experience booking a boat in the Grenadines, the BVIs has more charter companies, larger fleets, better options for those with different sailing budgets and easier access by air making it a better travel experience than other parts of the Caribbean. But all those options is bringing about the by-product (more people) that started the OP's thread. D


I am not sure I understand the "upside" argument. It has always been more difficult to get to the Grenadines than to the BVI. (AA through San Juan provided lots of "downside"). However, smaller charter fleets and relatively fewer people are a plus, not a negative. And you can now fly direct from Miami to St Lucia or Grenada!

It's been 10 years since we last visited, but I assume Bequia and Mustique still have plenty of non-BB FCFS mooring balls and great restaurants, there are still boat boys in the Tobago Cays who will deliver fresh grilled lobster and red snapper to your boat, and snorkeling the reef north of Petit Tabac is still superb. Those things are what I remember about our "travel experience,"


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