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Trip Report Oct 19-27

Posted By: Rush

Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 10/31/2019 03:22 PM

Very Long Trip Report...

There is nothing Jessica and I enjoy more together than sailing around the BVI, and our 20th anniversary offered us an opportunity to do it with just the two of us (for the first time). We chartered Parrots of the Caribbean out of The Catamaran Company and had an amazing trip. Lisa Eberle with CatCo was such a pleasure to work with in helping us book the charter. Thank you again!

It’s rare and amazing when a long travel day works perfect. We flew from Atlanta to San Juan with a tight 1 hour connection to Tortola. Both flights were on schedule. The only glitch was the unnecessarily long and tedious customs line in Tortola. But we still made it to CatCo by 4:30 in time to do our paperwork which lined up perfect for our 5 PM sleep aboard time. Riteway and Caribbean Cellars provisions made it there that evening and after putting stuff up we had a wonderful sunset view dinner at Brandywine Estates. We caught the tail end of some nice folks celebrating the Interline Regatta.

The Catamaran Company was awesome with smooth paperwork. Caeser welcomed us aboard our boat that evening and showed us around, even though our briefing was not until the next morning. The boat is a lovely shiny new Leopard 40 with many nice touches such as a propane grill, upgraded dinghy with electric starter and larger engine, and one of the best stocked cats we have chartered (utensils, etc.). Also, it is a 3 cabin owners version with the huge master suite which was perfect for the two of us. We absolutely loved the boat, and it is perfect for small groups, a family, or just 2, as it is easy to handle. And she sailed really well, too!

The next morning we were in a cab by 7 AM to get to the nearby Riteway for a few other provisions – we like to select our produce ourselves. This smaller Riteway was actually very well stocked. Caeser met us by 8:30 to go through a very thorough and helpful boat briefing, after which we were on our way.

We had a quick sail over to Cooper which was closed. We decided it would be a good place to practice a few mooring ball pick ups, since we typically rely on our kids to get them. I am nursing a left arm injury and have to pick up basically one handed and Jessica is typically at the helm. After a few successful tries we had a brief lunch, saw a few turtles and then set sail to the North Sound. Perfect sailing conditions with the winds coming just a little north of our beam at 15 knots. The boat sailed wonderfully and Jessica enjoyed passing the only other (larger) sailboat as we went along Virgin Gorda. A nice little squall passed where we came from but weather was perfect for us.

We grabbed a ball at Leverick with 10 other boats for the evening. Construction crews were wrapping up work for the day as we went ashore. The dinghy dock is being enlarged and they are building a new larger stage as well as a new stage for Michael Beans. We had a couple of drinks at the bar then came back for burgers on the grill aboard. Then back to the bar to watch our UGA Bulldogs win a sloppy game against Kentucky. So glad we were not there as it was 50 degrees with hard rain and wind. We went back to the boat. It was quiet at Leverick but enjoyed chatting with several nice folks. Our night finished with one last cocktail laying on the trampoline gazing at a beautiful starry night.

The next morning we had a quick stop for additional provisions at the well stocked grocery in Leverick, then motored around to Oil Nut Bay where we stayed in the Marina for the evening. Along the way, we were able to get a good look at progress at Saba and Bitter End. Looking forward to their return, assuming in 2020. The Oil Nut Marina Village was beautiful with chic décor. Very cool daybeds overlooking the water and a quaint pool at the edge. The food at the restaurant was excellent – enjoyed fish tacos and scallops for dinner. We hiked around the island and then spent the day at the beach club which we had to ourselves. The property is stunning and we are glad we spent a day there. All of the staff were extremely helpful and very nice.

The next morning we had a perfect sail up to Anegada averaging 7.5 knots. We went to one of our favorites places in the world, Cow Wreck Beach. It was fairly busy and the water was a bit rougher than usual, but otherwise a perfect day. We had an excellent dinner at Wonky Dog – it was quite fast, which was fine with us as we were already spent.
The next day was a lazy comfortable sail (6 knots) with less wind. We dropped the sails by Scrub and Great Camanoe and motored through the gap to check out the resort. Marina Cay was so green and plush, but so sad that nothing is there. Next was a long stop at Monkey Point for a snorkel and lunch on the BBQ. Finally, we ended the day in Cane Garden with ~8 other boats. All of the beach bars looked open and ready for the season. Bobby’s was a great spot for our last provisioning, and after a couple of drinks ashore we grilled out on the boat enjoying the sunset.

The next morning we had a nice swim around CGB and then motored to Sandy Cay for breakfast and a swim. We were the first there around 8:30, but immediately after, we had 4 boats join us. Then we were off to Great Harbor. We walked around Great Harbor, stopping for a drink at Corsairs and then we took the dinghy around to White Bay for an afternoon at Soggy Dollar and Hendo’s. White Bay was in full action for this early in the season. We finished the evening off with a quiet dinner at Corsairs – wonderful pizza!

Thursday morning we set sail early to Norman. It was an enjoyable sail going past Soper’s Hole, then turned a bit rough beating into it across the Sir Francis Drake – some light passing storms added to liveliness of that portion of the trip. We grabbed a ball at the Bight and then went ashore and hiked up along the ridge with great views. We noticed the hiking trail had been significantly improved (i.e. making room for a true road). Also, we looked out over an empty Benures Bay, but saw numerous brand new mooring balls.
After our hike, we decided to reward ourselves with lunch and drinks at Willy-T. At noon, WT already felt like it was in full form with the shot ski in action. Instead of more drinks, we opted for a brief snorkel at the Caves and then decided to pack up and move over to Benures Bay. Apparently, the new moorings (~15) were installed a month or so ago. There was one other boat anchored in the distance, so we took the furthest ball from them. We basically had the place to ourselves for the evening and enjoyed music, grilling, and another spectacular night for stars.

Friday was our last full day on the water, so we headed over to Cooper Island to enjoy their first day open for the season. We took a nice long swim/snorkel to Cistern Point and back and then enjoyed roti and conch fritters at the beach club. They were putting last minute touches together, but everything looked great, the food was delicious, and the folks were very friendly. We got to hang out with some new friends we met at Soggy Dollar, and then we settled in for our final night aboard over a lovely sunset dinner.

We had a very short 35 minute sail back to Hodges Creek Marina, where Caesar met us and made the check-out process smooth and easy. The boat was absolutely perfect and the first trip we have been on where there were literally no problems at all. We were not overly conservative with water consumption and we only went through a half of one of the 2 large water tanks on the boat. We would strongly recommend the folks at The Catamaran Company.

Knowing that we would not be ready to leave, we booked a 1 night stay at Scrub Island which was a perfect way to cap off the week. We were there by 11 AM where we were warmly greeted by Dee with Scrub Island with a drink in hand right off the docks. And our room was ready! So we went right to our favorite spot at the top bar in two-story pool where we spent most of the day.

The next morning we took a nice stroll around the island and then a swim by the beach and finally one last dip into the pool. We took a couple of mimosas for the enjoyable but quick trip back to Trellis and then had smooth travels home.

As always, we met so many enjoyable people along our trip including friendly locals, several fun groups of bareboaters, folks learning to sail, groups on luxury crewed charters, and all had something in common – huge smiles on their faces and so happy to be in the BVI.
Posted By: xrayman67

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 10/31/2019 03:59 PM

Great report! Thanks for sharing!
Posted By: GeorgeC1

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 10/31/2019 07:40 PM

Did they really put mooring balls in Benures bay?
Posted By: Rush

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 10/31/2019 09:02 PM

Yes. A bunch of them.
Posted By: GeorgeC1

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 10/31/2019 09:15 PM

The sad news just keeps on coming!

Edit: I was just told there are not balls there. Could you by chance have been looking at Soldier Bay?
G
Posted By: BaardJ

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 10/31/2019 11:47 PM

It's definitely Benures Bay. Sailed by it last Thursday and also counted about 15 balls.

Soldier Bay also has moorings as in the past.

Speaking of new mooring balls, several have been unfortunately added (and are in the process of being added) at the front of the mooring field in front of ARH and Potters which was a great spot to anchor for 5-7 boats.
Posted By: Kmon

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 11/01/2019 12:23 AM

Originally Posted by Rush




The next morning we had a quick stop for additional provisions at the well stocked grocery in Leverick, then motored around to Oil Nut Bay where we stayed in the Marina for the evening. Along the way, we were able to get a good look at progress at Saba and Bitter End. Looking forward to their return, assuming in 2020. The Oil Nut Marina Village was beautiful with chic décor. Very cool daybeds overlooking the water and a quaint pool at the edge. The food at the restaurant was excellent – enjoyed fish tacos and scallops for dinner. We hiked around the island and then spent the day at the beach club which we had to ourselves. The property is stunning and we are glad we spent a day there. All of the staff were extremely helpful and very nice




Did you get charged any extra fees at Oil Nut?
Posted By: ndfaninnc

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 11/01/2019 01:12 PM

Great report Rush. Thanks for sharing. This report is just getting me more excited for our upcoming sail.
Posted By: Manpot

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 11/01/2019 02:11 PM

Interested to know the price of the pizza at Corsairs..their prices have been so all over the place we have skipping it!
Posted By: gracie5

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 11/01/2019 02:44 PM

Do you happen to remember what the charge was for a slip at Oil Nut Bay? Also did they have mooring balls available? Thank you.
Posted By: GeorgeC1

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 11/01/2019 03:28 PM

Originally Posted by gracie5
Do you happen to remember what the charge was for a slip at Oil Nut Bay? Also did they have mooring balls available? Thank you.

Make sure your charter company will permit the boat entering the Eustatia sound. Most don’t allow it.
Posted By: bailau

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 11/01/2019 06:00 PM

It is redlined at Moorings...
Posted By: Rush

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 11/01/2019 07:57 PM

Yes. They charged a day pass for the Beach Club - I think it was $75 if you stay in the Marina and more if you stay on a ball.
Posted By: Rush

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 11/01/2019 07:59 PM

I am quite embarrassed to say that I can't remember the price of the pizza. I think my wife paid and both of us had enjoyed a long day of a few painkillers. But that night it was basically the only thing they were serving. I do remember it being quite good though.
Posted By: Rush

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 11/01/2019 08:04 PM

Oil Nut slips were $2/SF + $50 for electricity. They did have mooring balls nearby, so you could grab a ball and use the Marina facilities. The night we were there, there was 1 other boat on the docks and none on the mooring balls. It was definitely a splurge day/evening, but we are glad we did it.
Posted By: Kegoangoango

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 11/02/2019 01:13 AM

Great report.
Posted By: ligot

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 11/03/2019 02:00 PM

Great report! I know I can answer this with a chart but .... I don't have one here. smile

When you left ONB for Anegada, were you able to stay east of Necker or did you head back toward Eustachia before heading north? Just curious.

Dave
Posted By: Rush

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 11/03/2019 06:34 PM

There is a small cut near Oil Nut that would have taken us out of Eustatia Sound well East of Necker and we could have headed out that way north to Anegada. But we opted to go back into the North Sound and put sails up there and then out the usual way to Anegada. We did this because navionics indicated very little difference heading that way and we had never been through that narrow gap which was surrounded by coral. So we would have had to put our main up outside the sound and it was a little windy and bumpy. For us it was the prudent thing to do.
Posted By: DanS

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 11/03/2019 09:36 PM

Quote
I know I can answer this with a chart but .... I don't have one here.

Here's a convenient chart: Navionics - North Sound

Dan cheers
Posted By: BaardJ

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 11/04/2019 12:57 AM

Originally Posted by Rush
There is a small cut near Oil Nut that would have taken us out of Eustatia Sound well East of Necker and we could have headed out that way north to Anegada. But we opted to go back into the North Sound and put sails up there and then out the usual way to Anegada. We did this because navionics indicated very little difference heading that way and we had never been through that narrow gap which was surrounded by coral. So we would have had to put our main up outside the sound and it was a little windy and bumpy. For us it was the prudent thing to do.


Just a caution that if you take a straight course from the ONB channel to the Anegada approach channel, you will come very close to The Invisibles, unmarked rocks at the surface just east of Necker Island. I recall a Moorings cat going up on these rocks some years ago.
Posted By: Winterstale

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 11/04/2019 02:32 AM

I believe there is also transportation to the new ONB marina from Leverick via a ferry that they are providing from ONB.
Posted By: Winterstale

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 11/04/2019 02:34 AM

I am surprised they are allowing use of the resort property at any cost - I thought they had stopped allowing that a while back....
Posted By: Rush

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 11/04/2019 11:31 AM

They were very welcoming, but did require a fee for the day pass ( which is less if you stay at the Marina vs moorings or shuttle over. In talking with Nick who runs the marina, I gather that they believe in the importance of the boating community to help support the property. I have been there several times but have never seen more than 2 or 3 other groups at the beach club ( which is also part of the charm/allure).
Posted By: Winterstale

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 11/04/2019 03:56 PM

I am really happy to hear this! We spent a couple of days there last charter and had a spectacular time!
Posted By: shiloh8912

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 11/10/2019 05:06 PM

Manpot,

6 of us had dinner at Corsairs on Thursday night. After hearing the stories of their prices we went anyways. Lol, lesson learned. They had a printed menu for the pizza’s $31-$35 each but everything else was recited from memory. We discovered at the end of the meal that a Caesar will run you $16 and an order of Truffle Fries (substituted jerk seasoning as the Truffle Oil didn’t arrive on the boat...) will set you back $11. $227 for the six of us. It’s all good, the location was worth the expense and one of our crew earned her new sail name “Side Salad”
Posted By: Manpot

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 11/10/2019 09:29 PM

Nothing like a $35 pizza..sorry..not for me. I removed the rest of my post! Off to hear The Elmtones and $20 bar b q.
Posted By: BaardJ

Re: Trip Report Oct 19-27 - 11/11/2019 07:12 PM

I'm with Mal. I much prefer the wonderful hospitality, excellent local food, and reasonable prices at Ali Baba's and Cool Breeze in Great Harbour, JVD.
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