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Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 USVI #229257
07/03/2020 05:00 PM
07/03/2020 05:00 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 511
Apex, NC
agrimsrud Online happy OP
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agrimsrud  Online Happy OP
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Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 511
Apex, NC
Upon request I'm attempting to summarize my recent sail trip June 19-28 out of STT on the 45 ft Beneteau "Dream Machine" managed by CYOA.
To make clear, this is our boat so you are free to discount anything I indicate regarding the experience as biased but I really am trying to summarize the trip fairly
without marketing fluff. I am not going to give you a day to day journal - I am trying to stick to things that are noteworthy/useful for others.

Our original travel dates were 18/29. Unfortunately Delta decided to only fly Friday through Sunday. So we got shortened up by one day on each end. I will save you
the horror story of Delta customer support. But will tell you that we did wring our hands for a bit before traveling weighing our physical safety against our mental safety.
In the end we decided we were going to pull the trigger and go on vacation. And I'm very happy we did. Ten days of virtually news blackout and thus not hearing about covid,
politics, riots, etc was great!

When we arrived STT we were stuck in a long line of people outside of baggage claim. Turns out the island health department was doing
temperature checks via infrared probes to the forehead on every arriving passenger. Which I have no problem with but the issue was that by the time they zapped our
temperatures we had been baking in the sun for several minutes. Accordingly we were told that our temps were 101, i.e., we had a "fever". And of course so did virtually
every person on the flight. Lucky for us we got to the monitoring station relatively late. By then the holding pen for the people with a fever (they were trying to
cool down) was overflowing. So were were told we could go but to quarantine if we had symptoms.

We had arranged a rental car from Paradise car rental. We were met in baggage claim by a representative. I went with her to check out the car and sent my wife and
daughter to look for bags. This was the first time we had rented from Paradise and I would like to say it was a great experience. It was $100 for the day - all inclusive
of taxes- for which we had a four door Jeep in near new condition. And they pick up the car from CYOA when you send them a text at the end of the rental.
And this is where I did the first dumb one of the trip. I forgot to leave the key to the jeep, i.e., I took it with me when we left the dock the next day.
I fell on my sword and apologized profusely and they were most gracious. We left the key when we got back to the dock.
I hope we're not on some "naughty" list with them because I really did appreciate the experience and the product and would definitely rent from them again.

We picked up food/drinks by first visiting Cost-U-Less. This was the first time we've been to this store. Think of it as a island version of Costco, i.e.,
you can buy big packages of stuff. We were not really looking for big packages of stuff so we didn't get much here. However, we did find the fruit/vegetable selection
at this store the best we've seen on St. Thomas so in the future we will still stop here. The second stop of our provisioning was Tutu Plaza Extra.
A more or less "normal" grocery store that we've visited many times in the past. There are two options for provisioning that are within walking distance of CYOA if
you prefer.

We were off the CYOA dock by 900 on Saturday with the intent of sailing clockwise around St. John. We stopped in Christmas Cove slightly past ten where we picked up the
last mooring ball available. A lot of boats in this little bay that look like they've been there for a long time. There were many boats anchored in this bay as well
as moored. We relaxed and went swimming and then ordered pizza from Pizza Pi. That whole experience is something so unique it should not be missed. The pizza is pretty
good. Not the best pizza I've ever had but certainly the most beautiful pizza stop I can imagine. Sit on the boat with a cold drink and pizza, admire the clear and
blue waters, nice breeze, and think to yourself that life is good! No covid here!

Next up we started our St. John BBT (Beautiful Beach Tour) by stopping at Trunk Bay. During the trip we visited not only Trunk but Hawksnest, Cinnamon, Maho, Leinster,
Salt Pond, Little Lameshure and Great Lameshur. Every one of these beaches/bays can be a monthly picture on your calendar you hang on the wall. And each one of these had
plenty of moorings available. The only place we couldn't get a mooring ball was one evening in Salt Pond when we arrived late afternoon and where there are only five
mooring balls available. No problem.... we just scooted next door to Great Lameshur.

From our stop in Leinster we wanted to go up to the Annaberg sugar plantation. Not so easy to beach a dingy here as there is a lot of shallow water with a rocky beach.
We made it the last thirty feet by paddling the dingy. The sugar plantation is part of the park service and has posters explaining everything you're looking at
and life in general in the period. I highly recommend the experience if you are looking for something a little bit on the educational side. Bring something to drink
as it can be very hot.

Once we got around to the other side of St John we thought we would anchor in Coral Harbor and go out to dinner. We successfully anchored the boat (no moorings in this
bay) and took the dingy in to shore. We had not been to Coral Harbor since our first charter nearly thirty years ago so it was a somewhat new experience. First
issue was finding a place to tie up or land the dingy. The only place we could see was the dock by Skinny Legs in the NE corner of the bay. Walking up from the dock
was like walking through a junk yard. I thought for sure the junk yard dog was going to come greet us. We also needed to dump garbage. The dumpster close to the dingy
dock had a sign indicating dumping garbage was frowned upon. We asked at Skinny Legs and were told that if we walked down the road a half mile there
was a public dumpster. We finally talked one waitress into allowing us to dump our bag in the restaurant dumpster. Take note that it's not all that convenient to get rid
of your garbage on St. John. You may need to hold on to it in one of your holds for a couple of days. Anyway... back to the story. There were three restaurants within
walking distance that were open and seemed eager for customers. We went back to the boat as it was still too early to eat dinner. Once back on the boat - much to my
wife's dismay - I started the engine and asked her to pull up the anchor. The bay was ugly - full of derelict boats. While she wanted to eat out the rest of us
(son, daughter, and myself) would rather have had raman noodles for dinner and wake up in a beautiful bay vs. eating a nice dinner out and waking up to the ugly junk yard
in Coral Harbor. We scooted around the corner to Salt Pond. My wife, after being told she was not allowed to help with the dinner preparation - agreed it was a
better choice.

Before our trip we had decided that if conditions were favorable we would try sailing down to St. Croix for a couple of days. We've never made that sail before and felt it
would be a good "stretch" of our skill set. Conditions looked ok (not great) so we gave it a try. We left Salt Pond Bay at 0700 into what I initially thought was thick morning haze.
Pointed the boat south and aimed for the eastern part of St. Croix to make sure we accounted for any possible leeway. The chart plotter indicating an approximate distance
of 34 nm so we were thinking maybe a six hour trip. Visibility was about 2nm which we later learned was not morning haze but rather Sahara sands. We were on a beam reach with
winds up around 20 knots in 4 to 6 waves. Sailing with one reef. As we didn't really have any way to bring the dingy up on the boat we used one of our dock lines to
extend the painter out to about fify feet. It was pretty rough with frequent drenchings from waves hitting the side of our hull (i.e., not from the bow). We had
not pulled up the outboard on the dingy which leads me to a lesson learned. Always pull the outboard out of the water! We've never really seen any reason to pull
the engine up before. You might argue you have a little less drag but other than that? As it turns out there is a good reason. About an hour into the trip I started
looking very closely at the dingy to try to make sure it was doing well. And that's when I discovered that with the motor in the water it was occasionally shooting up a
rooster tail of water that was landing in the dingy. We brought the boat up to the wind to haul the dingy in to look it over. It had two inches of water in her so needed
to be bailed. No big deal... just get in the dingy and bail her. As it turns out it's pretty scary getting into/out of a dingy in 6 foot wave action!
But got it done, pulled the motor up and further dingy issues for the trip. An hour later my wife starts puking. She's never been sick on any of our trips before.
She insisted she was going to be fine and we should continue. At this point were were possibly two hours in to a six hour journey plus potentially six more hours
coming back up. What would you do? Well I turned the boat around and went back to St. John. In my experience people that are motion sick do not recover if the motion
is continuing. And frankly if you are sick you are absolutely not having any fun. The next day we tried again. This time with the wife wearing a patch. Conditions had also
calmed a bit which resulted in a beautiful 5 hour sail to St. Croix (btw, 4.5 back up). Too bad it was so hazy - we didn't see the island until we were about 2 miles
from land. In clear conditions it has to be an absolutely stunning sail.

In St. Croix we pulled in to Green Cay marina and filled fuel. Asked the dockmaster if he had a slip for us. He indicated that he had a slip only if we promised that we
would not stay more than two nights. Deal. Green Cay marina was a very nice facility. Very nice showers, laundry, club hang out, restaurant, pool, etc.
Very quite and very clean.

We had been told that there was nothing on St. Croix worth seeing. I disagree. We rented a car from Centerline car rental and spent a day exploring. Christiansted
waterfront area was very charming. And the drive down the north coast was nice. Did you know there is a rain forest on St. Croix? I didn't.
When we originally planned the St. Croix sail we were planning on a visit to Buck Island. Didn't make it there this time but pretty sure we'll do the St. Croix trip again.
Maybe in combination with doing SVI and sailing the route in a big triangle.

The boat was in great condition. It was clear that even though CYOA was shut down for a couple of months they had been busy using that time to make the boats even better.
Dream Machine had new solar panels, new bimini, and a watermaker that was operating flawlessly (it's of course supposed to run flawlessly but it's been temperamental for the
past few months). And a bonus was a new (to me) dingy. A nice Highfield with bigger tubes (dryer ride) and less weight so it's easier to drag up on shore - have not seen my wife so excited since the boat was new.

Some pictures of the trip can be found on https://www.facebook.com/SVdreammachine

We have chartered (either as customers or as owners) with CYOA for the past eight years. Always on a mono. Every trip
we have gone over to the BVI with our anchorages on the USVI merely as a stop to/back from the BVI. This was our first trip to really explore/enjoy the US side. We
found this to be a different experience than our normal BVI routine. In many ways a better experience. In the future
we will spend more time on the US side. If you are thinking of a sail you will find the USVI has much to offer.

Last edited by Carol_Hill; 07/03/2020 07:01 PM.

Life's short - sail more!
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Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: agrimsrud] #229258
07/03/2020 06:01 PM
07/03/2020 06:01 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 162
K
Kegoangoango Offline
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Kegoangoango  Offline
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K
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 162
Nice report and sounds like you guys had a great trip.

Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: agrimsrud] #229260
07/03/2020 07:02 PM
07/03/2020 07:02 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 72,590
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 72,590
Central Florida!
Hi. I'm leaving this here, but it is about the USVI, so I changed the title.

Thanks for the report.


Carol Hill
Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: agrimsrud] #229261
07/03/2020 08:36 PM
07/03/2020 08:36 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,592
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Online content
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GeorgeC1  Online Content
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Posts: 5,592
GA/NC
Sounds like a great trip. Something to think about when doing a long open water trip is to just take the motor off the dinghy. The B45 should have a pad on the back rail for storing the motor and it takes about 5 minutes to get it off and back on.
George

Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: GeorgeC1] #229262
07/03/2020 08:57 PM
07/03/2020 08:57 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,844
VI,GA,AZ
sail445 Online happy
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sail445  Online Happy
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Posts: 2,844
VI,GA,AZ
Depending on the seas you might want to also put the dinghy on deck. Davits make it simpler

Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: agrimsrud] #229265
07/04/2020 07:59 AM
07/04/2020 07:59 AM
Joined: Apr 2020
Posts: 3
V
Volle Maan Offline
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Volle Maan  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2020
Posts: 3
Great report. We chartered “Dream Machine” in the past from CYOA. Well maintained boat with some nice extras like the water maker. Look forward to being back down in the island next years for another charter. Be safe everyone.

Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: agrimsrud] #229275
07/04/2020 09:21 AM
07/04/2020 09:21 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,665
Bradenton, FL
Winterstale Offline
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Winterstale  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,665
Bradenton, FL
Thanks for the report!! We are leaving Tuesday morning for a charter with them on “Always Sunny” and cannot wait to be out on the water and not thinking about COVID!!

The airport experience sounds like a bit of a bummer...I have also heard that they may do actual COVID testing on some passengers?? Ugh....we don’t arrive until 3 that day and will still need to hit Pueblo but oh well....we will gird our loins for paradise...LOL.

We do not have an ice maker on board - I am guessing Cruz and Coral are the only STJ spots to buy it...we are bringing our soft-sided Yeti to stock as much as we can before leaving the dock. Planning on Christmas Cove and Pizza Pi for night 1 and after that? Wherever we decide to go!


[Linked Image]

Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: Winterstale] #229279
07/04/2020 10:19 AM
07/04/2020 10:19 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 72,590
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 72,590
Central Florida!
Winterstale--Enjoy your trip! Please do 'pay it forward' and also post a report upon your return.


Carol Hill
Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: agrimsrud] #229280
07/04/2020 10:29 AM
07/04/2020 10:29 AM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 710
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Cleobeach Offline
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Cleobeach  Offline
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Posts: 710
As a longtime (25+ year) visitor to STJ, I found your report interesting. Cruz Bay definitely has better access and more eating and drinking options than Coral Bay. There are two different marinas “planned” for Coral Bay and holy cow, are people ever upset about the idea. Would make for good reading with a drink in hand, I can send links if you are interested. It reads like a best selling novel - generational STJ families wanting to make money, annual visitors protesting any change, corrupt politicians, shady developers, etc.

Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: agrimsrud] #229283
07/04/2020 10:54 AM
07/04/2020 10:54 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,592
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Online content
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GeorgeC1  Online Content
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Posts: 5,592
GA/NC
Post the links! Would love to read! Anyone option the movie rights?

Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: agrimsrud] #229290
07/04/2020 11:18 AM
07/04/2020 11:18 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,665
Bradenton, FL
Winterstale Offline
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Winterstale  Offline
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Posts: 5,665
Bradenton, FL
Carol - I will definitely post a report!


[Linked Image]

Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: GeorgeC1] #229292
07/04/2020 12:08 PM
07/04/2020 12:08 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 710
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Cleobeach Offline
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Cleobeach  Offline
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Originally Posted by GeorgeC1
Post the links! Would love to read! Anyone option the movie rights?


Sort version - two proposed marinas, one on land owned by the STJ Moravian church by the ball fields in the vicinity of Skinny Legs. The other on the opposite shore in the area of the old Voyages building.

This site has covered the issue for several years. https://newsofstjohn.com/?s=Marina

TripAdvisor threads

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTop...y_Marina-St_John_U_S_Virgin_Islands.html

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTop...t_update-St_John_U_S_Virgin_Islands.html

The Summers End developers secured long term leases on several water front parcels owned by generational families. No movement on the development means no income to the land owners.

The is a very vocal contingent of visitors that are rallying against any marine services what so ever in Coral Bay.



Last edited by Cleobeach; 07/04/2020 12:10 PM.
Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: agrimsrud] #229293
07/04/2020 12:12 PM
07/04/2020 12:12 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 710
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Cleobeach Offline
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Cleobeach  Offline
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Posts: 710
The Save Coral Bay site -

http://savecoralbay.com/

Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: Cleobeach] #229299
07/04/2020 12:31 PM
07/04/2020 12:31 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 72,590
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 72,590
Central Florida!
Hi. Please post links in the USVI forum. Thanks!


Carol Hill
Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: Carol_Hill] #229305
07/04/2020 12:39 PM
07/04/2020 12:39 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 710
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Cleobeach Offline
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Cleobeach  Offline
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Joined: May 2008
Posts: 710
Originally Posted by Carol_Hill
Hi. Please post links in the USVI forum. Thanks!


Done!

Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: Carol_Hill] #229311
07/04/2020 01:01 PM
07/04/2020 01:01 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,064
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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LocalSailor  Offline
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Originally Posted by Carol_Hill
Hi. I'm leaving this here, but it is about the USVI, so I changed the title.

Thanks for the report.

Can it also be posted in the USVI page??

Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: LocalSailor] #229339
07/04/2020 05:17 PM
07/04/2020 05:17 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 72,590
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 72,590
Central Florida!
Hi. Posted link in USVI forum


Carol Hill
Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: agrimsrud] #229340
07/04/2020 05:32 PM
07/04/2020 05:32 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 86
Folsom Lake, CA
L
Latadjust Online content
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Latadjust  Online Content
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Posts: 86
Folsom Lake, CA
Thank you agrimsrod! Nice report and it gives us more horizons to contemplate sailing towards...

Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: agrimsrud] #229363
07/05/2020 10:58 AM
07/05/2020 10:58 AM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 631
Washington DC
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bailau Online content
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Great report and agree with Latadjust...never boated on the USVI side

Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: agrimsrud] #229480
07/07/2020 08:45 PM
07/07/2020 08:45 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 27
Ft. Worth, TX
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lisajctx Offline
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Ft. Worth, TX
Thanks for the great trip report! Where did you reprovision?

Last edited by lisajctx; 07/07/2020 08:47 PM.
Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: lisajctx] #229519
07/08/2020 01:23 PM
07/08/2020 01:23 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 511
Apex, NC
agrimsrud Online happy OP
Traveler
agrimsrud  Online Happy OP
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Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 511
Apex, NC
Originally Posted by lisajctx
Thanks for the great trip report! Where did you reprovision?

We planned pretty carefully so had nearly everything we needed off the dock. We did pick up some ice in Coral Harbor. The other opportunity we had was in Red Hook when we dropped one of our kids off but didn't really need anything at that point. We also picked up a few things on St. Croix but this is probably not what most people would do. If I was on St. John and needed more than a bag of chips I would likely go to the store in Cruz Bay. Seems the best choice from what I've seen.


Life's short - sail more!
Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: agrimsrud] #229547
07/08/2020 07:04 PM
07/08/2020 07:04 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,064
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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LocalSailor  Offline
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Posts: 1,064
USVI
Provisioning away from Charlotte Amalie can be done in Red Hook STT, or Cruz Bay and also in Coral Bay STJ and I am sure somewhere close on STX but IDK where.

Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: agrimsrud] #229594
07/09/2020 08:21 PM
07/09/2020 08:21 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 63
The Beautiful BVI
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Brent Offline
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The Beautiful BVI
Ahoy Captains,

Good to see the USVI is moving to PCR Testing for some Travellers, at least from some of the Hot Spots up north. I am looking for other sources to confirm this Report.
https://viconsortium.com/vi-coronav...limetree-bay-commits-to-test-all-workers
https://doh.vi.gov/news/governor-br...ions-residents-arizona-florida-and-texas
I hope it can mitigate the ‘Jump’ in Covid 19 Cases in the USVI this week.
https://stthomassource.com/content/...id-19-cases-largest-single-day-increase/
https://viconsortium.com/vi-coronav...-starts-affecting-st-thomas-and-st-john-
I hope all our Sailing Brothers In Arms in the USVI can Hold Fast!

I Sincerely hope the BVI Gov and Governor, and other governments in the Caribbean and Internationally, are watching the International rise in infections carefully and measuring whether to use a Calendar or Medical Conditions as a barometer for Travel and Tourism.

A second news source had reported the availability of PCR Testing for Travel out of the BVI.
https://bvinews.com/bvihsa-providing-pre-travel-covid-19-testing-service-for-a-fee/
As BVI Politicians push for PCR Testing as the basis for Travel and Tourism.
https://bvinews.com/now-is-the-time...facilitate-inter-regional-travel-walwyn/

Fair Winds, Brent from The Captains Compass

Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: agrimsrud] #229645
07/10/2020 03:28 PM
07/10/2020 03:28 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,064
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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LocalSailor  Offline
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USVI
Brent , thank You for a very realistic outlook,

when you look at the surge in positive cases in one week 55 new cases of a total of 153 - you have to see why the governor is taking some very well aimed steps to control this -- closing the beaches at 4pm on Sat/Sun totally limits large gatherings congregating for cookout/BBQ/Drinking - a fine controlled reaction that allows everyone to enjoy the beaches for recreation and exercise -- closing the bars to stop elbow to elbow maskless drinking/socializing is also a specific area of transmission concern.
Restaurants are still open under the same rules as before, just can't sit at the bars.
Of bigger concern is the requirement of a test before landing here after 7/15 from the highest problem states, changing the time limit to 5 days is helpful but some people are going to have problems getting a test in time
Because our hospital system is so very limited we can not withstand a surge like Fla and AZ are experiencing in hospital admissions, that is the major problem here.
Here is a very good look at the situation on all 3 islands:
[b][/b]
https://www.covid19usvi.com/covid19-report

Re: Trip report 6/19 to 6/28 [Re: LocalSailor] #229727
07/12/2020 12:11 PM
07/12/2020 12:11 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 21
STX
J
jandreas Offline
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jandreas  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 21
STX
Originally Posted by LocalSailor
I am sure somewhere close on STX but IDK where.


I would use https://www.qualityfoodvi.com/ for most everything.


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