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Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's #241659
12/05/2020 05:19 PM
12/05/2020 05:19 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 63
Omaha, NE
unipanther Offline OP
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unipanther  Offline OP
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Omaha, NE
Question (could be deemed as a dumb one by sailors or frequent visitors), we plan to spend a week on Tortola 10/2021 and rent a boat for several days to buzz around Tortola, Jost, Virgin Gorda. I would also like to take the group to Maho Bay to snorkel and see some turtles but I am wondering if we can just tie up to a mooring ball and snorkel and not have to go through customs if we don't step foot on the island. Is that possible without breaking the law? The boat is smaller like a 26' Cobia.
Thanks!
Matt

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Re: Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's [Re: unipanther] #241660
12/05/2020 05:24 PM
12/05/2020 05:24 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 234
Minden, NV USA
CaptnAndy Offline
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No, you can't do that. You would have to clear USVI customs.



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Re: Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's [Re: CaptnAndy] #241663
12/05/2020 07:12 PM
12/05/2020 07:12 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 63
Omaha, NE
unipanther Offline OP
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unipanther  Offline OP
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Thank you CaptnAndy!

Re: Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's [Re: unipanther] #241666
12/05/2020 07:41 PM
12/05/2020 07:41 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,441
An island state of mind
tradewinds Offline
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An island state of mind
You definitely have to check in in St. John

Re: Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's [Re: unipanther] #241671
12/05/2020 08:29 PM
12/05/2020 08:29 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,978
VI,GA,AZ
sail445 Offline
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Originally Posted by unipanther
Question (could be deemed as a dumb one by sailors or frequent visitors), we plan to spend a week on Tortola 10/2021 and rent a boat for several days to buzz around Tortola, Jost, Virgin Gorda. I would also like to take the group to Maho Bay to snorkel and see some turtles but I am wondering if we can just tie up to a mooring ball and snorkel and not have to go through customs if we don't step foot on the island. Is that possible without breaking the law? The boat is smaller like a 26' Cobia.
Thanks!
Matt

You would first have to check out of the BVI, then check into the USVI and and then check out of the USVI and check back into the BVI if it’s not a US flagged vessel.

Re: Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's [Re: sail445] #241687
12/06/2020 06:58 AM
12/06/2020 06:58 AM
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 115
Mill Valley, CA
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Husker Offline
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Originally Posted by sail445
Originally Posted by unipanther
Question (could be deemed as a dumb one by sailors or frequent visitors), we plan to spend a week on Tortola 10/2021 and rent a boat for several days to buzz around Tortola, Jost, Virgin Gorda. I would also like to take the group to Maho Bay to snorkel and see some turtles but I am wondering if we can just tie up to a mooring ball and snorkel and not have to go through customs if we don't step foot on the island. Is that possible without breaking the law? The boat is smaller like a 26' Cobia.
Thanks!
Matt

You would first have to check out of the BVI, then check into the USVI and and then check out of the USVI and check back into the BVI if it’s not a US flagged vessel.

I believe you can check in and out for the USVI in one visit if your intended stay is short....like 3 days or something like that.

However I wouldn't do that until the BVI border is open. We transited from Jost to Norman yesterday and had to get clearance to do so as we were outside the BVI exclusion zone.


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Re: Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's [Re: Husker] #242623
12/15/2020 05:37 PM
12/15/2020 05:37 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 63
Omaha, NE
unipanther Offline OP
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unipanther  Offline OP
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Is there a big fee to check in the USVI? I know it's a hefty one to go over to Jost from St John for the day but haven't researched how much it would cost to check into St John for the day from Tortola. Thanks! Matt
It's so freakin' close to Tortola, and a beautiful island that I would like to show my friends.

Re: Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's [Re: unipanther] #242627
12/15/2020 05:46 PM
12/15/2020 05:46 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,811
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Online content
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It’s a small fee for a boat and free as far as I know for a individual.
G

Re: Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's [Re: unipanther] #242629
12/15/2020 06:08 PM
12/15/2020 06:08 PM
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MIDiver Offline
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I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Cruz Bay Customs House is currently closed (per the cbp.gov webpage) and clearing in for small private vessels would therefore need to be done on St. Thomas. Not certain what re-opening timelines for Cruz Bay will be and how long the USVI will require negative COVID tests and pre-registration on the travel portal. One can hope this will all be over by Fall 2021 but who knows?

Re: Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's [Re: unipanther] #242630
12/15/2020 06:33 PM
12/15/2020 06:33 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,152
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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USVI Customs fees are very affordable across he board for boat entrty.
I think right now the protocols for entry from everywhere - including BVI - are too cumbersome to try it on a charter boat. -

Re: Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's [Re: LocalSailor] #242635
12/15/2020 07:37 PM
12/15/2020 07:37 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 63
Omaha, NE
unipanther Offline OP
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unipanther  Offline OP
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Omaha, NE
We are planning renting a small 26' Cobia from Island Time for the week and plan several day trips. We loved our week on St John a couple of years ago and rented a small 17' Boston Whaler to cruise and tour the North Shore one day. It was one of my best days EVER in the Caribbean. I loved the freedom of sailing from beach to beach on the North Shore. I would love for my friends to experience that as well. We plan a couple of day trips to Jost, a day to Trellis Bay and then over to Virgin Gorda, a day to Willy T's and Pirate's Bight. I just love having options. And when we were on St John a couple of years ago, the only beach bars open at the time was High Tide and DR!NK. I'd love to visit The Beach Bar and Joe's Rum Hut this go around if I could and had time.
Thanks!

Re: Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's [Re: unipanther] #242637
12/15/2020 07:54 PM
12/15/2020 07:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,116
road town
sleepychef Offline
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would Island Time would allow you to exit the BVI?

Re: Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's [Re: sleepychef] #242648
12/15/2020 09:14 PM
12/15/2020 09:14 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 63
Omaha, NE
unipanther Offline OP
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unipanther  Offline OP
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Not sure, I suppose I could ask them. I thought I would check here first.

Re: Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's [Re: unipanther] #242662
12/16/2020 09:38 AM
12/16/2020 09:38 AM
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 132
Virgin Gorda, BVI
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Originally Posted by unipanther
Not sure, I suppose I could ask them. I thought I would check here first.


Hi unipanther. You definitely will not be able to move back and forth between the USVI and BVI during your trip without quarantining everytime...

Re: Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's [Re: unipanther] #242674
12/16/2020 12:55 PM
12/16/2020 12:55 PM
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Posts: 115
Mill Valley, CA
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Husker Offline
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I don't think you can reenter the BVI by boat currently. They even closed the passage around West End. It was open, with prior permission last week, but they closed it again around the time they delayed the port opening to January.


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Re: Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's [Re: unipanther] #243041
12/21/2020 06:08 PM
12/21/2020 06:08 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 63
Omaha, NE
unipanther Offline OP
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unipanther  Offline OP
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Just to reiterate, we will not be in Tortola until October 2021. I understand the chaos of COVID today, and if it continues until 10/21, obviously, we will make the appropriate arrangements and probably just stay within the BVI's if allowed. In normal times is what I'm referring to.

Re: Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's [Re: unipanther] #243077
12/22/2020 10:39 AM
12/22/2020 10:39 AM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 215
Dana Point
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captdennyj Offline
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With 17 BVI trips over 36 years, only once did we leave the BVI and head over to Cruz Bay, to St. Johns. Customs at St. Johns was a rude beast, and we kept life simple, we cleared in and out and only snorkel Leinster bay for one over night, and gone the next morning.

FYI for violating customs check in: That afternoon at Leinster bay and shorkeling watermellon cay, we spoted a USCG Coast Guard Patrol Vessel, hove to just of the harbor entrance for quite some time. No real reason to do that, unless they were checking out the moored vessels and confirming they had checked in. We would consider risk vs reward.

That particular time, several years ago, we checked out of the BVI at West End ( Sopper hole) . St.Johns USVI, and back in at Sopers Hole,
Tortola , BVI. Customs at West End was very easy, very friendly and shared a beer with the customs agent. Big difference in attitude ..

If we wanted to spend time in St. Johns, we would follow all of the required procedures and make several days of it enjoying the various anchorages, and having a grand time. Extend the vacation.

However, at this time, the less involvement with customs, and emigration, etc, the better, we only would be sailing the BVI, and enjoying all those special treasures , and snorkeling sites, and hiking, and great sailing winds, and partying down throughout the whole BVI chain .

Actually now, we spend a night or two on St. Thomas on the trip down and on the return. And use the ferry to get over to Road Harbor, and pick up our 36 ft sailing vessel for our bare boat tow weeks of Sailing the BVI.

Just FYI, our BVI Itinerary: ( can vary )

Fort Burt Hotel next to Conch Charters. One ngiht.
* Early Boarding, our own total 100% pre sail vessel inspection, self provisioning, chart brief, and vessel systems check out by Conch Staff.
* Sail over to Norman Island, and of course party down on the Willy T. ( I think they are now at Peter Island ) .
* Snorkel and breakfast from Mooring at The Indians and Pelican Island. ( early works, few moorings )
* Cooper Island , Maschioneel Bay, ..snorkeling and happy hour, beaching it and swimming. Good times.
* Sail up the Sir Francis Drake Channel...to the Baths hike thru to , Devils Bay, romp inside the Baths, then snorkel outside the boulders back to the beach, walk up to the Top O the Baths, swim and rums/ Then Back to the
boat.
* Sail up to Virgin Gorda Sound and moor or slip at Leverick Bay for the Friday Night jump up and BBQ, and the mocko jumbies. Makes your pants want to get up and dance,
* Also, at Leverick, we sometimes would take a tour taxi to the Baths....if the moorings were filled at the Baths. Or also pick up slip at Virgin Gorda Yacht harbor...lots of options.
* Back to sailing, Next Island, Marina Cay. Snorkeling, and partying ashore, excellent dinners , view and fun.
* After leaving Marina, Cay, motor the short distance to MONKEY POINT... wow ! Super snorkeling, limited time . Now worries, super snorkeling and then breakfast, drop off, and open the mooring to others.
* Next Island, JOST VAN DYKE, a couple of favorite mooring areas, Diamond Cay ( Foxys Taboo) and Bee line Beach Bar, plus Great Harbor, more fun, and THE SOGGY DOLLAR BAY in White Bay.
* Jib only easy sail to CANE GARDEN BAY..... easy mooring pick up, and , party ashore, live bands, and fun times , many great bars and restaurants.
* SOPPERS HOLE: More beach bars, Pussers Co. Store, jMyettes, QUITOS, and the BANANA, plus more.
* NANNY CAY, TORTOLA, Really nice new marina, new slips, super service, Peglegs to party down, beach and swim.
* Sail Back to the Moorings, and maybe a last overnight again at the Willy T.

Now, these were our favorite BVI anchorages, and marinas over 36 yrs and 17 sailing vacations where we bare boated with the Moorings, Sunsail, and now Conch. Point being, there really was no reason to go to St. Johns, but if we did visit that beautiful island again, we would build in a few days there, not just an overnight, and extend our sailing vacation to three weeks.

Would our itinerary change , absolutely, due to wind directiion, swells and an open roadstead, weather, no moorings available, or just having a good time and stay at an anchorage for an extra day

I fully understand that St. Johns, USVI, is a very close neighbor to the BVI, but I also believe in following procedures and am fully aware of the consequences of violating a nation's borders, and customs regulations and laws.

Lordy, we need the BVI to completely open up and this bloody covid to be long and permanently gone, so we can return to sail those fabulous islands, and talk story with everyone, the locals, the belongers, the visitors of both sea and land....Our favorite time of the years is late may early june, before hurricane season and the kids getting out of school.

I know, a log post, but I needed to share the great times, and hope for near future returns to the BVI.

It feels so good to reflect back to all those grand sailing vacations.

Denny and Erica

Re: Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's [Re: unipanther] #243101
12/22/2020 02:44 PM
12/22/2020 02:44 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,116
road town
sleepychef Offline
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Willy T back in the Bight, check on Cooper to see if they have opened yet, have fun

Re: Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's [Re: unipanther] #243102
12/22/2020 02:48 PM
12/22/2020 02:48 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 215
Dana Point
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captdennyj Offline
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Sleepy

Yep, I also heard that the Willy T was back in the bight, on Norman.....I think that is for the better.

Denny

Re: Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's [Re: unipanther] #243156
12/23/2020 11:34 AM
12/23/2020 11:34 AM
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Posts: 115
Mill Valley, CA
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Husker Offline
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Thanks for sharing Denny. We've done much of the same with several excursions to St. John and St. Thomas. One year we sailed down to St. Croix for a week which was awesome. But, in general, we spend most of our time in the BVI....there's more to do and many more anchorages. We are hoping to do a two-week trip soon (post-COVID) from BVI to SVIs to St. Croix and back to BVI.

Regarding clearing in/out, we've had the opposite experience. Clearing in to the US at Cruz Bay has always been a breeze. Friendly and relatively quick. Even easier with the CBP Roam app. Clearing back in to BVI, almost which out exception, has been a pain in the [censored]. Surly attitudes, long waits, you name it. That goes for West End and Road Town. The times we've cleared in to Jost have been fine. In general, tho, not worth the trouble for a one or two night stay in the USVI.

BTW - Cooper Island Resort is currently closed. I heard they will be closed for the 20/21 season.

Husker, out.


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Re: Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's [Re: captdennyj] #243179
12/23/2020 05:01 PM
12/23/2020 05:01 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 63
Omaha, NE
unipanther Offline OP
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Thanks Denny!
I hear you loud and clear, we will plan to stay in the BVI's (but it's just so damn close!!!!!).
We will have PLENTY to do around Tortola, Jost, Sandy Spit and Sandy Cay, Bee-Line, Norman Island the Wiley T and Pirates Bight, Vigin Gorda the Baths and CocoMaya, Monkey Key for snorkeling, Cane Garden Bay, Smuggler's Cove (where our villa is), Trellis Bay, etc.....
I will need a recommendation list of what to do each night of the week while we stay (like Friday night at Foxy's, etc...)
Thanks again for the help!!
Matt

Re: Mooring in USVI staying in BVI's [Re: unipanther] #243271
12/25/2020 09:49 AM
12/25/2020 09:49 AM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 215
Dana Point
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captdennyj Offline
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Great responses,

Looks like the party light is going to be illuminated by Husker and Panther. We will be splicing the main brace, to you, may you all be doing the same with a Pain Killer. in the BVI.

Ah, yes, be sure to get the Pain Killer number correct to your taste.

# 1 One shot of Pussers Rum
# 2: Two shots......................,'
# 3: Three shots...................

We wimp out with number 2's.....but usually have a couple, and start losing count

It is great to hear about your land plans and sailing adventures. Makes our hearts feel good .

Positive and refreshing.....

Denny and Erica


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