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BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker #95296
04/21/2016 01:36 PM
04/21/2016 01:36 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 4
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elliotth27 Offline OP
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elliotth27  Offline OP
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Hello Cruisers!
I am brand new to this Forum so please forgive any newbie protocol missteps

Having bareboat chartered the BVI a handful of times (for a week each time), I finally decided it was time for a longer trip, and am taking my family of 4 for a month long bareboat charter out of Tortola, BVI from June 15 - July 15, 2016. I have a 2010 Lagoon 400 catamaran reserved for the month (have chartered a Lagoon previously and enjoyed it), and intend to have some other family and visitors join us periodically for portions of the cruise.

At first glance, this seems to be a very helpful and active community, so I figured I'd reach out to you lovely folks for some expert advice.
Understanding that planning for a 1 month trip may be significantly different than planning the prior 1-week trips, and also keeping budget and crew ages in mind (myself 39, wife 37, son 7, son 5),

Here are the topics I could use some assistance with:

1.Provisioning:
In the past I have always used Riteway Food Markets <a href="" target="_blank">www.rtwbvi.com</a>, and have pre-ordered my entire trip's provisions which were delivered to the slip on our departure date. I've learned more each time, but normally tend to over-provision. My questions are:
a) for a 1-month trip, how much initial provisioning is recommended (full month? 2 weeks? 1 week?),
b)should I utilize this (or other) delivery services, or is there a substantial enough cost savings to warrant going provision shopping myself for the initial batch?
c) what other BVI islands, aside from Tortola, should I consider as a destination for re-provisioning (esp. perishables ie. fresh produce) ?

2. Mooring / Anchoring
Some basic math and common sense tells me I could save $ by anchoring vs. mooring. On 1-week trips I normally pick up mooring balls, but for a month living aboard that really starts to add up. questions:
a) are there anchoring fees if I anchor in a mooring field?
b) any general opinions on doing more anchoring than mooring, aside from the obvious avoidance of dragging anchor in more inclement weather?
c) any particular overnight spots where anchoring is NOT suggested?

3. Water / Trash / Ice
My prior trips have all been on SVs with water makers and ice machines. This vessel will not have either. Also, I'm used to buying Ice, and disposing of trash, via the vendors who dinghy up to your mooring. So a few questions:
a) Where are the best spots to refill water? any free water (not including rain!)? if not, what can I expect to pay?
b) Any suggestions on Ice pickup & trash drop-off, aside from paying a vendor in a dinghy?

4. Communications
a) what is the best/most reliable sources/vendors for purchasing internet connection and suggestions for having wifi on the boat?
b) Same question for cell phone service? (perhaps these are one and the same?)

5. Family / Kids
My prior trips have been all-adult trips. Any advice on:
a) family-friendly areas or family centric must-do activities?
b) suggestions on where my kids might meet other cruising kids? or we might meet other cruising families w/ kids?

6. Water Toys
I'll be needing fishing gear, a kayak, lounge rafts, and snorkeling gear for 2 adults & 2 kids. I'll probably purchase and bring the kids snorkeling gear. Regarding the rest, I've previously rented from Last Stop Sports <a href="" target="_blank">www.laststopsports.com</a> and was pleased.
a) Anyone have any better or more economical suggestions?

7. Other
Any other tips from those of you who have spent several weeks at a time cruising the BVI? Or families w/ kids doing the same?


I realize there is no single 'right answer' to these, but any guidance from your experience and knowledge would be greatly helpful!!
Thanks in advance for replies !!!!!
Elliott

BVI Sponsors
Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: elliotth27] #95297
04/21/2016 01:56 PM
04/21/2016 01:56 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,756
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
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RickG  Offline
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St. John, USVI
Any plans to head to USVI, SVI or St. Martin?

We did a one-month trip in the fall and provisioned for a week at a time. If you have a freezer then its worth buying proteins up front. For shelf-stable staples we laid in a bigger supply where the prices warranted. The cheapest prices and best quality were in Fajardo, Tortola, St. Thomas and Culebra. Virgin Gorda and St. John were okay for light re-provisioning. Jost Van Dyke is okay for ice and eggs.

We anchored out the majority of time. The only place that has an anchoring fee is on the north shore of St. John within the national park; then only if the moorings are full an you anchor. We do not anchor at the main Cooper Island anchorage (drag) and Little Harbor, JVD (depth).

The most we've paid for water is $0.40 per gallon. We prefer Leverick, Saba, Sopers Hole, Nanny Cay, VGYH, Jost/North Attitude for water, in that order. If you're drinking tank water, its worth bring an inline hose filter, sold as RV filters. In the USVI, we prefer Crown Bay, Yacht Haven Grande and Red Hook on St. Thomas. Puerto Del Rey in PR is cheap and big.

We bought a router from Digicel and we're happy with it. AT&T when there is line of sight to St. Thomas and St. John.

A lot of the cruising families are headed south at the time of year to avoid hurricane season. We meet bareboaters with kids on a lot of the beaches. I'm a big fan of attending local Sunday worship and having a chance to meet folks; the rest of crew not so much. I recall a group of kids at Neptunes on Anegada making great summer sport of grabbing sharks by the tails and pulling them on the beach.

Have fun, relax, the time will go fast.

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Benetau 423
St. John, USVI
Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: elliotth27] #95298
04/21/2016 02:02 PM
04/21/2016 02:02 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,613
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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maytrix  Offline
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Massachusetts
I'll answer a few..

1. I'd start with a week. Think space, how long it lasts..etc. Using a provisioning service is fine. You can easily re-provision in a few spots on Tortola and Virgin Gorda.

2. You shouldn't anchor in a mooring field. The cruising guides and other charts do show areas where you can anchor.

3. Plenty of places to fill up on water all around. I don't recall the cost off hand.

4. Visit LIME or Digicell and get what you need direct from them.

6. Prior to Moorings doing this themselves, we used last stop and were happy with them.

Sounds like a fun time!


Matt
Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: maytrix] #95299
04/21/2016 02:20 PM
04/21/2016 02:20 PM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 200
Oklahoma
LivinLarge Offline
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LivinLarge  Offline
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Oklahoma
If you are on Jost and need provisions, Rudy's has a great selection of food and beer -- an unfound gem if you ask me. They may not have quite the selection of some of the other big places on Tortola or St Thomas but you can find a lot there.

However, we waited for 3 days to get some eggs which they said were coming -- finally walked down to JVD Grocery and they had plenty !!!


Allan
Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: LivinLarge] #95300
04/21/2016 02:55 PM
04/21/2016 02:55 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 108
RickBlaine Offline
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RickBlaine  Offline
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Curious where you are renting the boat? A month long charter is on my wish list but a few years away.

Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: RickBlaine] #95301
04/21/2016 03:27 PM
04/21/2016 03:27 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 348
Pittsburgh, PA
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Schwendy Offline
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Schwendy  Offline
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Pittsburgh, PA
Not much to add other than reiterate the don't anchor in the mooring field and don't bother renting fishing gear since no one can fish any more!



[Linked Image]
Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: RickG] #95302
04/21/2016 05:21 PM
04/21/2016 05:21 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 4
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elliotth27 Offline OP
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elliotth27  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2016
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RickG, thanks for the awesome info!! We will most likely not be in USVI, SVI, or St.Martin this go-round.

maytrix, thanks for the response!

LivinLarge, thanks for the Rudy's recommendation!

RickBlaine, longtermcharters.com

Shwendy, I wasn't aware about any no fishing situation. I bareboated BVI last about 2yrs ago and we had a blast fishing, and it appears you can still obtain fishing licenses. please elaborate!

Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: elliotth27] #95303
04/21/2016 06:15 PM
04/21/2016 06:15 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 743
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Cleobeach Offline
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Cleobeach  Offline
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5. Family / Kids
My prior trips have been all-adult trips. Any advice on:
a) family-friendly areas or family centric must-do activities?

We have been taking our now 10yo to the VIs ever since he was 4mo, a couple of times a year, land based.

I think the VIs are very family friendly with many things kids will love. In no particular order, my son enjoyed -

On STJ:
Al the north shore beaches, Maho especially for the turtles
Both ruins - Annenburg and Catherineburg
Any Friends of the National Park program
The ranger-led Reef Bay trail hike. Call ahead, reservations needed.
STJ carnival, used to have a good kids area

VG:
Dinner at coco maya
Anything at Leverick
Saba Rock happy hour tarpon and tank talk
Copper mine
Spring Bay - probably his favorite ever
Gumption's Necker Island tour. The lemers rocked his world.
Michael Beans and the Jumbie nights, don't know about the summer schedule for those.

Cooper Island

Walking the trail on Sandy Cay

I am sure I am forgetting something.

b) suggestions on where my kids might meet other cruising kids? or we might meet other cruising families w/ kids?

There is a great blog I read written by a live abroad family who are currently in STT. She writes extensively about activities with kids. When I get to work, I will post the link.

Sounds like a dream trip! What a perfect age to take the kids.

Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: Cleobeach] #95304
04/22/2016 12:51 PM
04/22/2016 12:51 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 118
Quebec , Canada
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Frenchsailor Offline
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Frenchsailor  Offline
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Quebec , Canada
Do you know the Cruising Guide to the VI ?

http://www.cruisingguides.com/products/2015-2016-cruising-guide-virgin-islands

Lot of informations about mooring fields, anchoring, provisionning ...
Very helpful to plan your trip.

Last edited by Frenchsailor; 04/22/2016 12:56 PM.
Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: Frenchsailor] #95305
04/22/2016 12:53 PM
04/22/2016 12:53 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 969
NC, USA
capndar Offline
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capndar  Offline
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NC, USA
If you end up at St Thomas, Cost U Less is a great place for bulk provisions (it is like a Caribbean Sam's Club)


Capndar
Masters 50 GT Sail/Power/Towing
3rd generation sailor
Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: Cleobeach] #95306
04/22/2016 01:36 PM
04/22/2016 01:36 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 743
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Cleobeach Offline
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Cleobeach  Offline
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This is the blog I mentioned, looks like they are switching to wordpress but you can start getting some info on her Facebook page -

http://www.itsanecessity.net/

Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: Cleobeach] #95307
04/22/2016 03:10 PM
04/22/2016 03:10 PM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 200
Oklahoma
LivinLarge Offline
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LivinLarge  Offline
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Oklahoma
Elliot ....

see this thread about fishing in the BVI

http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/s...4&fpart=all


Allan
Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: capndar] #95308
04/22/2016 03:38 PM
04/22/2016 03:38 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 348
Pittsburgh, PA
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Schwendy Offline
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Schwendy  Offline
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In case you didn't want to read the whole thread about fishing, it's basically all about an old law that the BVI gov has now decided to enforce. The charter boat has to be registered with the bvi gov for fishing. So far, lots of vague info floating around but it's safe to say that few boats will be "legal" for fishing any time in the near future. Some are claiming they are getting issued licenses by the conservation/fisheries dept as usual. I spoke with them myself and yes this is in fact true. While they may or may not issue you the fishing license it's irrelevant because IT'S NO GOOD ANYWAY! They will gladly take your $45 if you want to give it to them. However, you can still fish from shore only without a license.



[Linked Image]
Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: Schwendy] #95309
04/22/2016 04:09 PM
04/22/2016 04:09 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 373
now - or when ?
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CGB Offline
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CGB  Offline
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now - or when ?
...and.... with a license... can't even do that....

((ok, ok....))

Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: capndar] #95310
05/10/2016 11:41 AM
05/10/2016 11:41 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 4
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elliotth27 Offline OP
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elliotth27  Offline OP
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Wow some really great feedback and advice here. Much appreciated!!!!

Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: elliotth27] #95311
05/11/2016 03:22 AM
05/11/2016 03:22 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,882
U.K. and Spain
Jeannius Offline
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Jeannius  Offline
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One point I haven't seen mentioned is the Cruising Permit. You say you'll have visitors during the month. The Cruising Permit is based on number of people aboard so, strictly speaking you should either get a permit for the maximum number of people you'll have aboard at any time during the month or you'll need to go and pick up a new permit for the additional people as they arrive.

I don't know what enforcement is like at the moment but when I was full time in the BVI I had a few permit checks, usually when at National Park mooring balls.

Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: Jeannius] #95312
05/11/2016 08:17 AM
05/11/2016 08:17 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 542
Apex, NC
agrimsrud Offline
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agrimsrud  Offline
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Apex, NC
Quote
Jeannius said:
I don't know what enforcement is like at the moment but when I was full time in the BVI I had a few permit checks, usually when at National Park mooring balls.


When we were at Saba last year we had the BVI authorities (I don't recall what department anymore) come along side and ask for our papers. We had two guests that joined us late and were leaving early so they spent some time looking over our papers to make sure they were in order. So enforcement can happen anywhere - make sure you have the papers in order. I imagine with the new push for more revenue they will be happy to give you a great big fine for an oversight/mistake.


Life's short - sail more!
Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: elliotth27] #95313
05/13/2016 08:32 PM
05/13/2016 08:32 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 304
Rockford, Michigan
aarpskier Offline
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aarpskier  Offline
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Rockford, Michigan
In June 2014, our family group of 11 was down for a week on a Moorings 4800. This was the first sailing trip for our 4 grandkids, then ages 5-7-7-11. In order to build their enthusiasm, and give them some idea of what to expect, we created a "Crew Preparation Manual" just for them. They each got a three ring binder at Christmas, with the first 3 of 8 chapters, and then 1 chapter each month until departure. Now planning for same group in June 2017 on a Lagoon 52.

This is link to generic pdf and Word versions of the manual (about 7 MBs).

https://www.dropbox.com/l/6wdhO3oxde6DuC1e5TApUn?

Our version was personalized, of course, The crew chapter has photos of each family member and their assigned "pirate" positions and tasks. In Appendix D, each child's name was spelled out using the appropriate nautical flags. This personalization has been removed from the linked version, so users can make it their own.

Feel free to use this with your kids.

Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: aarpskier] #95314
05/16/2016 11:48 AM
05/16/2016 11:48 AM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 24
Arlington, Tx.
CaptainGutt Offline
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CaptainGutt  Offline
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Arlington, Tx.
aarp: would like to try your 'manual', but link doesn't work (for me anyway).

Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: aarpskier] #95315
05/23/2016 11:20 AM
05/23/2016 11:20 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 4
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elliotth27 Offline OP
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elliotth27  Offline OP
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Thanks aarp!! I also tried your link but didn't work for me either.
The manual sounds like an amazing and creative idea - would love to see it if you could repost a working link. Thanks!

Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: elliotth27] #95316
05/23/2016 11:25 PM
05/23/2016 11:25 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 295
Tustin CA
d_fish Offline
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d_fish  Offline
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Tustin CA
What a great idea for kids! I would love a copy of this manual as well. We are taking a 7 & 11 year old on our trip in June.

The link did not work for me either.

Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: elliotth27] #95317
06/04/2016 09:20 PM
06/04/2016 09:20 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 7
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Gneissgirl Offline
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Your kids will have a blast, and you will, too! We took 3 boys, ages 5,11, and 15 for 2 weeks, and could have stayed longer. The most fun is seeing the BVI through your kids' eyes!
Some things to ponder:
Stay more than one day in a spot and "dig in" a bit, when it makes sense. Kids enjoy exploring, etc. Half the fun is hiking, renting a jeep, taking in dinghy around, heading in to town, visiting with people, buying food, etc. In fact, one time we dropped all three off in Great Harbour, hoping for a little quiet time. About 90 minutes later we headed back in to shore, and found they'd all found a group of same-aged island kids to play with. Now that I look back on it.....not our brightest parenting move, but we thought they'd stay together. Nope, within a short time, the little one was playing some kind of hopscotch with some locals his age, the middle one was playing soccer, I think, again, with kids his age, and the oldest was playing basketball. This was over 20 years ago, and it was a more trusting time, but they're all culturally sensitive, confident adults, who love to travel and experience new things so maybe that was ok. When we were there many years back there weren't a lot of kids with cruising couples. Now, with catamarans, there seem to be a lot more families with kids along than when we sailed a number of years ago. I'm sure yours will find new friends wherever they go!
Some other things: establish some basic rules, guidelines and routines, adjusting as you go. You probably sail often wherever you are, so this won't be new. I remember our youngest had some short "time outs" for misbehavior. I think he had to sit in the head for a few minutes a couple of times, although we discussed putting him in the dinghy with the garbage smile (He's still quite a character.)

I think Leverick Bay is a great place to reprovision, as they have the kinds of foods my family loves to eat. Good selections, reasonably priced, etc. Also, bring plenty of snacks and such that your kids like so you can save a bit there. We had 3 boys who were always hungry (still are), so we brought things like granola bars and other easy to pack snacks, like Salted Nut Rolls and Pringles that could make it on the plane. It can be a challenge to feed kids. I remember one time during the trip, we sent them on their own to the restaurant near our marina in Nanny Cay, and followed them a bit later (keep in mind one was 15, so that made it easier to send them alone). They had headed back to the boat by then. We ordered pineapple with our breakfast and were told, "We don't have any left. These three young boys were here, and they kept ordering pineapple until it was all gone." But, those are the kinds of wonderful memories you'll cherish long after the trip ends. Have a great time!!

Re: BVI 4wk bareboat w Kids, multi-topic advice seeker [Re: aarpskier] #95318
07/28/2016 03:55 PM
07/28/2016 03:55 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 304
Rockford, Michigan
aarpskier Offline
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aarpskier  Offline
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Posts: 304
Rockford, Michigan
Sorry for the bad link. Let me try again. First link is to the generic pdf document. Second link is to generic Word docx document.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/0atsf40f0i1hiba/Grandkids%20Crew%20Manual%20-%20Generic.pdf?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/q6b5f0ks4w4nph...0Word.docx?dl=0

Hope these work. I will try to check this forum more frequently then every couple of months! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Blush.gif" alt="" />


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