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Newbie Itinerary Question #93148
04/05/2016 09:05 PM
04/05/2016 09:05 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 38
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fromaway3774 Offline OP
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Hi Everyone,
Long time lurker, first time poster, checking in. Our first bareboat charter is coming up in two weeks. We are out of Road Town, considering spending first night at Jost, next a long sail to North Sound for two nights, and then working our way down Cooper-Peter-Norman islands on our way back to Road Town. Is there any reason we would not want to do things in this order? (I guess implying any order at all to our itinerary pegs me as a newbie.) We are sleeping aboard before we officially start so I anticipate a reasonably early hour of departure on our first day.

Thanks to all!

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Re: Newbie Itinerary Question [Re: fromaway3774] #93149
04/05/2016 09:21 PM
04/05/2016 09:21 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,321
Charlotte, NC
SuburbanDharma Offline
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Hello & welcome!

The likelihood of an early start is slim to none on your first day unless things have changed since our last charter. It would require you to be able to do all of your checkouts the day you arrive & in our experience that's rarely possible, especially as a first-timer. I'd plan on Norman, Cooper, or Peter for your first night.

Sailing up the north side of Tortola to North Sound can be rough depending on conditions. If the weather is perfect it can be a decent but very, very long uphill climb, but if the weather isn't perfect it can be a real bear. Down from Jost & then up the channel is a VERY long upwind slog, especially if you're not on a very big boat. I wouldn't try it... On our trip a couple weeks ago we went from Soper's to Scrub on our first day & it took almost 6 hours in well over 20kts of wind. Just depends on wind, waves, vessel, and sailing ability... But it's a long way.

Unlike every normal, reasonable person here, I almost always have a set itinerary & we've only had to abandon it once or twice over the years due to impossible conditions. But I think you're trying to bite off too much with doing things in this order.


If I can't be a good example, I'll just have to be a horrible warning. [Linked Image]
Re: Newbie Itinerary Question [Re: SuburbanDharma] #93150
04/05/2016 10:01 PM
04/05/2016 10:01 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 51
New York, NY, USA
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pk5352 Offline
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Opinions are like itineraries- everybody has at least one smile

Me personally, I'd plan for going the other way- heading out of RT for a relatively short downwind(ish) sail to Norman for early arrival and chill first day, then work back east to Cooper, then North Sound, THEN downwind along North Coast to Jost. With random stops along the way. Done it both ways, and the counter clockwise is the one I remember as being best. Of course this is weather dependent. Anyway, now we don't really have an order- we just go. We just got back from our 5th charter a week ago (which still makes me a newbie too) and it was just great. Gets better every time. Have a great time.

Re: Newbie Itinerary Question [Re: fromaway3774] #93151
04/05/2016 11:39 PM
04/05/2016 11:39 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 207
Dallas
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camelot Offline
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Dallas
noon likely earliest departure and that assumes no problems found on the boat that need fixin'.

Sail to Norman, snorkel the caves (best light in PM) or the Indians then to the Bight overnight -- lets you shake out the sails and helps with any seasick issues -- the sleep aboard the night before also helps.
Early up I the Am is easy sail down then across to Yost or head up-wind to Salt and snorkel the Rhone then overnight at Cooper -- then an easy sail to North sound.

Sailing up-wind in Drake's channel for us is never as fast as we would like -- usually dead up-wind and more tacks than we would like especially in a cat... But lots of places, some less frequented like Fallen Jerusalem that can make for a special day on the water.. Be flexible, and let the winds and waves be your guide.

Re: Newbie Itinerary Question [Re: camelot] #93152
04/06/2016 08:21 AM
04/06/2016 08:21 AM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 15
Lymington, UK
DorothyGale Offline
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Lymington, UK
My wife and I are just back from our first bareboat charter (monohull) and had an absolutely fantastic time. About two months ago I asked TTOL pretty much the same question that you are asking– and now I feel I can contribute a bit to the conversation!

On the question of clockwise vs anticlockwise – it really is a question of what your sailing experience is and what your objectives are. We sail pretty much exclusively in the south coast of England, so the sailing during our two weeks in early March were pretty much what we usually expect – F3-4 with occasional F5-6. The north side of Tortola is more exposed, so it will be a livelier sail. On the objectives, going clockwise will give you longer sails with more beating early in the week, with the last half of the trip quite relaxed with VERY short, downwind sails between overnights for the second half. Going anticlockwise I think will let you have slightly longer sailing times between stops and the longer downwind sail from Virgin Gorda to JVD will be great. That said – everything is pretty close so you can probably do a figure of eight if you like.

We had a Moorings boat and did not get away until 2:30, so just did a quick sail over to Norman Island and had a nice snorkel of the caves. My two pieces of advice would be to be flexible about your itinerary but get up early (we usually cast off lines at 7:00) and sail to a breakfast stop before heading out to your final anchorage for the night. We were the only people (for a bit) at quite a few popular places (Indians, Baths, Sandy Cay) by doing this.

If I was going to go for a week based on what we learned – I would recommend:
Day 1 - Road Town – Indians – Norman (do the caves that afternoon)
Day 2 – Breakfast at Dead Man Bay – Salt Island – Cooper (definitely snorkel Cistern Point)
Day 3 – Breakfast at Dogs – Leverick Bay – see the Michael Bean show and make sure you meet Nick, he is as great as everyone says
Day 4 - rent a car and head to Baths by 8:00 and drive around the island, Spring Bay, copper mine, Hog Heaven. There is a better view than Hog Heaven that we discovered. Just past (going towards Spanish Town there is a sign to a path to the top of the mountain. It is a 20 minute hike or so, and there is a wooden tower that you can climb and have a full 360 degree view. We parked at an overlook a bit past the hike entrance.
Day 5 – Breakfast at Saba Rock – dinghy around to Eustacia sound for some snorkelling – Sail to Marina Cay – this wasn’t on your list, but was one of our favourite places. Happy Hour show with Stel and Snuggs was a lot of fun.
Day 6 – Breakfast at Monkey Point – sail to JVD. We took a mooring ball in front of Foxy’s Taboo. Highly recommend it. From here you can do the bubbly pool, and Sandy Spit. Taxi over to Great Harbour, visit Foxy’s then hike over to White Bay and do all of that craziness. We met up with Arnd on Zanshin for a sundowner one night here – he has great stories so keep a look out for him – Thanks, Arnd!
Day 7 – Breakfast at Sandy Cay – Sail to Soper’s Hole for a lunch stop (Fish & Lime was great) – then have a great long sail back to Road Town, or Norman if you want to get up early for the return.

We had two weeks so we also did Anegada for 2 nights, which was probably our number 1 stop, so would work it into a 7 day charter, leaving some other places out, but for your first time – I would say give it a pass. We did about 80% of the things I had hoped to do on our trip, so it was a complete success – we have to return to do the other 20%.

Have a great trip. Already planning our return!

p.s. and thanks to everyone on TTOL that gave us so many great ideas and help in our planning.


[Linked Image]
Re: Newbie Itinerary Question [Re: fromaway3774] #93153
04/06/2016 08:26 AM
04/06/2016 08:26 AM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 107
SailOrion Offline
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For what it's worth ... Since launching www.BVIFloatPlan.com we have prepared 80+ Float Plans for people and not a one includes a leg directly from Jost to North Sound. Charterers taking the clockwise route, typically stop at Marina Cay or Scrub on the way to North Sound. Have a great trip! - Mark

Re: Newbie Itinerary Question [Re: SailOrion] #93154
04/06/2016 09:08 AM
04/06/2016 09:08 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,418
Bradenton, FL
Winterstale Offline
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Listen to what Kristine (SuburbanDharma) is saying....and keep in mind they are sailing a very nice 56 footer so if SHE is saying that? Best believe it <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Wink.gif" alt="" />

I would do the opposite unless there is some very specific reason to hit Jost first - I would do one of the following:

Peter/Cooper/NS (longish but if you tack outside the Dogs and then line up with Necker and tack into the Sound, It's do-able and could make for a very nice sail)/JVD/Norman/back to base

Or

Marina Cay/North Sound/JVD (long)/Norman/Peter/Cooper

We like the sailing for sure....just not slogging into the wind if don't have to....



[Linked Image]

Re: Newbie Itinerary Question [Re: Winterstale] #93155
04/06/2016 10:35 AM
04/06/2016 10:35 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,559
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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maytrix  Offline
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We've gone to JVD first before, but we've then slowly made our way east from there, possible stopping at CGB, then Marina Cay before heading to North Sound.


Matt
Re: Newbie Itinerary Question [Re: maytrix] #93156
04/06/2016 10:56 AM
04/06/2016 10:56 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 152
Encinitas, California
sbrownell Offline
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Encinitas, California
We will be there during the MIT MBA group week (exact dates) and are reconsidering our route to by pass crowded anchorages. We thought about this route which has jost first.
Day 1 - Jost
Day 2 St John
Day 3 - Sopers (clear customs lunch) - head to Norman
Day 4 Cooper
Day 5 & 6 Virgin Gorda
Day 7 Peter Island

Any thoughts - we have will be sleeping aboard and hope to get our by 11am


Steph
Re: Newbie Itinerary Question [Re: sbrownell] #93157
04/06/2016 11:23 AM
04/06/2016 11:23 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,321
Charlotte, NC
SuburbanDharma Offline
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SuburbanDharma  Offline
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Posts: 3,321
Charlotte, NC
Quote
sbrownell said:
We will be there during the MIT MBA group week (exact dates) and are reconsidering our route to by pass crowded anchorages. We thought about this route which has jost first.
Day 1 - Jost
Day 2 St John
Day 3 - Sopers (clear customs lunch) - head to Norman
Day 4 Cooper
Day 5 & 6 Virgin Gorda
Day 7 Peter Island

Any thoughts - we have will be sleeping aboard and hope to get our by 11am


You'll have to clear out of the BVI customs at JVD & then clear into US customs if you go to St. John.

Maybe someone with more recent experience will chime in but I can count the number of charters in which we were off the dock by 11am on one hand. (And we always slept aboard).

Other than that I don't see any issues.


If I can't be a good example, I'll just have to be a horrible warning. [Linked Image]
Re: Newbie Itinerary Question [Re: sbrownell] #93158
04/06/2016 12:55 PM
04/06/2016 12:55 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,559
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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maytrix  Offline
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Quote
sbrownell said:Any thoughts - we have will be sleeping aboard and hope to get our by 11am


Personally speaking, I wouldn't bother with St. John for such a short visit. Clearing customs isn't that big a deal, but it does take time and you have to do it 3 times. Out of the BVI, in at Cruz Bay ST. John and back in to the BVI. If it was me, I'd opt for either JVD for day 2 as well seeing that you'll only have the afternoon there day 1 - you could also fit in some time at CGB. Or just move everything else up a day too. Anytime we go to St. John, it is for at least 2 nights.

As far as getting off the dock by 11. It is possible. We've done it. We are also owners with Moorings though so our check out process is very quick. I typically know the boat we're on, where everything is and have gone through it before we brief. Only time we've been later is if we'd had issues with something missing or broken and had to wait.

So, if you are able to do the chart briefing (if required) the night before and either go over the boat thoroughly yourself and either do the boat briefing the night before or as early as they can do it, then you'd probably have a good shot at getting out by 11. Although this also depends a lot on the charter company.


Matt
Re: Newbie Itinerary Question [Re: maytrix] #93159
04/06/2016 02:37 PM
04/06/2016 02:37 PM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 215
Ottawa, Canada
UncleLuff Offline
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Posts: 215
Ottawa, Canada
Quote
maytrix said:
Quote
sbrownell said:Any thoughts - we have will be sleeping aboard and hope to get our by 11am

As far as getting off the dock by 11. It is possible. We've done it. We are also owners with Moorings though so our check out process is very quick. I typically know the boat we're on, where everything is and have gone through it before we brief. Only time we've been later is if we'd had issues with something missing or broken and had to wait.

So, if you are able to do the chart briefing (if required) the night before and either go over the boat thoroughly yourself and either do the boat briefing the night before or as early as they can do it, then you'd probably have a good shot at getting out by 11. Although this also depends a lot on the charter company.


Hey Maytrix; based on your experience, we have a Mooring's boat charterted as of the 4th but won't be arriving until that PM (around 4 or so)and we are planning to leave the next morning. (it was cheaper for us to rent for 7 days then to do 6 days and a sleep aboard, in case you are wondering why we would rent a Cat for a day we wont be using) I am hoping to get the briefing the night we arrive and go through our checklist, orientation and provisioning that afternoon and evening.

Based on your experience, what is the likelihood of being able to do this?

ALso do you have any experience with Mooring captains? was hoping to request a Captain for a day to give us some tips and pointers and help the rest of the trip run smoothly. anyone that you can recommend?

Thanks!

Re: Newbie Itinerary Question [Re: UncleLuff] #93160
04/06/2016 02:43 PM
04/06/2016 02:43 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 1,624
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
JasonHelmbrecht Offline
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JasonHelmbrecht  Offline
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Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
If you can get Jimmy Hodge, he is one of the very best people and captains you'll ever want to meet. He typically goes out for full week trips, but it can't hurt to ask.

If you have an extra cabin, you might consider taking him for the full week. He knows how to stay out of your way at the right time and knows the islands better than anyone...

Cheers,
Jason

Re: Newbie Itinerary Question [Re: JasonHelmbrecht] #93161
04/06/2016 07:42 PM
04/06/2016 07:42 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 38
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fromaway3774 Offline OP
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fromaway3774  Offline OP
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Thanks everyone for the great advice. This is precisely the intel I was looking for!

We will most likely adapt and go counter clockwise given the good advice. I will admit that the reason for considering going from Jost directly to VG was to log a long sail early in the trip. I could happily lounge in a float with a book and rum drink all day everyday but DH is looking for more sailing action. I was hoping to take care of his jones early in the trip so I could focus on the rum, um, I mean snorkeling. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />

Our home waters are Casco Bay, Maine, so we are used to plans changing on a dime due to weather. Being able to plan a week of destination ports and sticking to the plan would be a welcome novelty!

We are on a 44' catamaran but we usually sail a monohull. Adapting to the cat will be part of the adventure.

Thanks also for the recommendation on Marina Cay - I was intrigued and now think I will find a way to work it into the itinerary.

Thanks again to the forum - I really appreciate the thoughtful responses!

Re: Newbie Itinerary Question [Re: fromaway3774] #93162
04/06/2016 08:02 PM
04/06/2016 08:02 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,728
Maine
Breeze Offline
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Breeze  Offline
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Maine
It doesn't come up all the time on Newbie threads, but it is worth a mention...........

Remember that there is not " twilight" in the BVI as we have in the northern states. More than a few people have been caught not understanding this-- it is DARK very quickly after sunset in the Islands. Plan for it.

Re: Newbie Itinerary Question [Re: Breeze] #93163
04/06/2016 08:21 PM
04/06/2016 08:21 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 38
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fromaway3774 Offline OP
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fromaway3774  Offline OP
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Good to know!

Re: Newbie Itinerary Question [Re: Breeze] #93164
04/06/2016 08:26 PM
04/06/2016 08:26 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,321
Charlotte, NC
SuburbanDharma Offline
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SuburbanDharma  Offline
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Posts: 3,321
Charlotte, NC
Quote
Breeze said:
It doesn't come up all the time on Newbie threads, but it is worth a mention...........

Remember that there is not " twilight" in the BVI as we have in the northern states. More than a few people have been caught not understanding this-- it is DARK very quickly after sunset in the Islands. Plan for it.


By golly you're right! I never really paid attention but once the sun goes down it is DARK!
<img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/duh.gif" alt="" /> OMG, I can't believe I hadn't noticed it but it's absolutely true. I'm such a dumba$$ <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/duh.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Laugh.gif" alt="" />


If I can't be a good example, I'll just have to be a horrible warning. [Linked Image]
Re: Newbie Itinerary Question [Re: Breeze] #93165
04/06/2016 08:27 PM
04/06/2016 08:27 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,102
Miramichi NB Canada
Sandsailsun Offline
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Sandsailsun  Offline
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Miramichi NB Canada
Quote
Breeze said:
It doesn't come up all the time on Newbie threads, but it is worth a mention...........

Remember that there is not " twilight" in the BVI as we have in the northern states. More than a few people have been caught not understanding this-- it is DARK very quickly after sunset in the Islands. Plan for it.


Great advice. My flashlight is now always packed in my bag whenever we leave the boat ...never know what the late afternoon ashore wil bring...happy hours tend to get very happy at times and the sun and hence the daylight is suddenly gone <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />


Kim

Re: Newbie Itinerary Question [Re: Sandsailsun] #93166
04/06/2016 08:30 PM
04/06/2016 08:30 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,321
Charlotte, NC
SuburbanDharma Offline
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SuburbanDharma  Offline
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Charlotte, NC
I don't have room for a flashlight in my bag among all the dog treats & cat food "just in case"... <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Laugh.gif" alt="" />


If I can't be a good example, I'll just have to be a horrible warning. [Linked Image]
Re: Newbie Itinerary Question [Re: fromaway3774] #93167
04/06/2016 09:03 PM
04/06/2016 09:03 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 51
New York, NY, USA
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pk5352 Offline
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Fair point on the long sail. Someone said it earlier, but the sail from Cooper up to North Sound can be a good long one. And never forget that you can make any of the island hops as long as you want if you just keep sailing smile I would 2nd Marina Cay. We always enjoy it more than we think we would. Don't neglect to snorkel the reef there- always surprises with some cool stuff. Similar to you, we are monohull sailors at home, but always look forward to the Cat (also a 44 usually) when chartering. Enjoy the trip.
pk

Last edited by pk5352; 04/06/2016 09:04 PM.
Re: Newbie Itinerary Question [Re: UncleLuff] #93168
04/06/2016 09:20 PM
04/06/2016 09:20 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,559
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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maytrix  Offline
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Posts: 5,559
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Quote
UncleLuff said:
Based on your experience, what is the likelihood of being able to do this?


If you are at the base at 4, you can probably do the boat briefing that evening which would make it easier to get out that morning. If you arrive on island at 4, might not happen by the time you get to the base, but still a possibility. Worst case, you can push to do it first thing the next morning, just have to remind them again in the morning.

Matt


Matt
Re: Newbie Itinerary Question [Re: JasonHelmbrecht] #93169
04/08/2016 10:52 AM
04/08/2016 10:52 AM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 215
Ottawa, Canada
UncleLuff Offline
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UncleLuff  Offline
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Ottawa, Canada
Quote
JasonHelmbrecht said:
If you can get Jimmy Hodge, he is one of the very best people and captains you'll ever want to meet. He typically goes out for full week trips, but it can't hurt to ask.

If you have an extra cabin, you might consider taking him for the full week. He knows how to stay out of your way at the right time and knows the islands better than anyone...

Cheers,
Jason


Thanks for the tip! I will inquire as to availability.


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