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Yesterday at 09:09 PM BVI Commission of Inquiry on 18-06 [by Zanshin]
I highly recommend watching this on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p258-xLQeoI

The witness is the Hon. Julian Whitlock and the testimony is worth watching. To categorize him as "hostile" is an understatement. I also put him into the category of "arrogant" and "misinformed" but that's purely personal - for those who have experience of BVI politics you should get some popcorn and lean back and soak up this soap-opera worthy session. With politicians like this who seem to see themselves above the law it is not surprising that the crown has called this commission into being!

Just as a tidbit, he starts off with demanding to be referred to as "Speaker Whitlock" as he is the speaker of the house; and mentions several times that he considers the COI commissioner to be his "equal" and does not recognize the authority of the court. And it gets better from there! If anyone here remembers the old "Perry Mason" TV show you'll see lots of parallels.

His whole testimony is just over 1.5 hours and there's a quoteworthy/newsworthy item every couple of minutes. It should be noted that the Hon. Whitlock opted not to attend his first session and only the threat of jail time compelled him to attend this session smile
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Yesterday at 08:17 PM USVI only, Boareboat Trip report - 6/12/2021-6/19/2021 [by cajunscuba]
We just returned from a 7 day bareboat charter out of Compass Point Marina with Dream Yacht Charters. Booked with Jenny at Owners Time Charters. Jenny was easy to work with and the prices she can give are good deals IMO, despite the problems I had with the boat.
This was our first time chartering in USVI. With only a 7-day charter, we all decided it was not worth the hassle or stress of testing and quarantining to get into the BVI and then having to do the same to get back into USVI. My intention with this trip report is for those who never sailed in the USVI waters and do not want to deal with the same hassles.
Flight and covid testing
Wife and I had POSITIVE covid antibody test results about 10 days before the flight. As you may know, having a positive antibody test result within 4 months is acceptable. So I received my approval from USVI travel portal 4 days before the flight. When I went online to check in for my flight, United Airlines (supposedly linked to USVI portal or some government entity) kept rejecting my test results. I called United and they said it is happening to a lot of people and I should be fine when I check in at the airport. He was right. No problem checking in at the airport. However, right before we boarded, we had one last scare with a gentleman that didn’t quite know what he was doing.

We reserved a private taxi with My Love Tax. A little about their service: The driver, Mezher, was outside the airport waiting for us with a sign with my name. Very good service. We even asked him to pick us up at Compass Point when we brought the boat back. He was there on time the last day. We had some time to spare after disembarkation on our last day. So he dropped us off downtown Charlotte Amalie. We shopped and ate, and he came back to bring us to the airport. Highly recommend him.

The boat, DYC, and marina
We were on a 2019 Lagoon 40, Blue Iris. I thought we would have somebody show us the basics on the boat right when we boarded and then do a chart briefing in the morning, but that was not the case. It was, “here’s your boat” and that was it. Not my first bareboat so no big deal, but if it WAS my first one…. I wasn’t given much info when I arrived. Not just about the boat, but wasn’t told when the boat briefing would be done, and general info.
If chartering with DYC - FYI: marina had no showers; DYC snorkel equipment was in fair to poor condition and the selection of fins was not good. So at least bring your own mask/snorkel if you have it. Make sure you have everything you paid for in the “starter pack.” We were missing some items.
There’s a very small store on site with snacks, ice, and a small selection of liquor and maybe beer.

Provisioning
I did our provisioning through viprovisioning. We planned our meals around what they had on their website. You can request some things that are not on their website at check out. I like the convenience. It was a good service. I called a few days before and the person I spoke to was helpful. Shortly after we arrived on the boat, everything I ordered was delivered with only a few substitutions. The selection of beer, liquor, and mixers was adequate for us as well.

We were going to do supper at the Dive Bar on site, but the wait was long and it was really hot with no breeze. We decided to take a short taxi to Red Hook for drinks and food. Many options. Glad we did.

The first night in the marina the a/c in one of the cabins froze. It happened to our cabin. The next morning, the head technician told me not to set it below 26 or 27 Celsius. Not something you wanna hear when you paid extra for a/c. I thought why not just add some Freon and see if that helps? I was ready to leave the dock so I agreed. Good thing it was our cabin bc the others in my crew like it much colder than the wife and me. I set it at 26 the rest of the trip and slept fine every night. The other cabins were set at or around 22 and they worked just fine.

Sunday
That morning I went to the office when they open at 8:30. The only person in there was a captain. Like I said, I was not told when the boat or chart briefing would done. So he took my information down. He said boat and chart briefings are done at the same time. So we were to just hang out on the boat until someone showed up. Same guy showed up around 9:00-9:15. I wondered if me going to the office at 8:30 sped things up for me.
The boat briefing was informative. This is when I learned that the watermaker I paid extra for would not be working during my charter. Another disappointment. This would have been good to know beforehand. At this point, I had my crew go buy more drinking water. I had a 79 gallon water tank. I’ll say my crew were good with their water usage overall. I filled up once at Cruz Bay.
There was no real chart briefing. Not the ones I’m used to anyway. He told me to stay to the east of “current rock” between St Thomas and Great St James….that was my chart briefing.
They gave me the boat with the fuel tanks 50% full. We paid to fill them up at the beginning of the charter so I would not have to do it at the end. That was probably a good decision as it is my understanding a lot of people are trying fill up at the end of their charter. I will say that I did top off the starboard tank in Cruz Bay when I needed water and brought the boat back with a little more fuel than what I started with.

We left the fuel dock around 10-10:30. Half my crew had never been on a sailboat before so I wanted an easy and enjoyable first day. I motored to Maho Bay. Hooked up to one of several available mooring around 12:30 I believe. The turtles and the sunset were the highlight here. Some also saw some squid. The beach is beautiful here as well. Great scenery. They quit serving food on the beach at 4. I thought it was 5. Our plan was to eat an early supper there, but we went too late. Good drinks there though. Supper onboard. Magical day

Monday
After some paddle boarding and breakfast, we made a nice snorkel stop at Watermelon Cay. We hooked up to one of the moorings and took the dinghy to the dinghy tether. It’s recommended to swim counter clockwise around the cay. I found this out too late after crossing a snorkeler who did it before.
My impressions were that the BVI is still strict about people crossing into their waters. So I never raised the mainsail on north St John and flew just the genoa at times. Saw many people doing the same. Once I got on the east side of St John I raised the mainsail; moorings were full at my preferred choice, Salt Pond Bay; so we hooked up at Great Lameshure; beautiful anchorage and with good snorkeling. There were some vacant moorings during the night.

Tuesday
We headed over to Caneel bay motoring with the genoa out. Picked up a mooring in front of Honeymoon Beach. Not many vacant moorings here during our overnight here. Very good snorkeling along the rocky shores as shown on the NPS marine Guide map and a very nice beach, albeit crowed. Beach was about empty around 4:30 though. The little restaurant on the beach had a decent mahi sandwich. Others in the group raved about their food. Delicious drinks to try here – lazy lizard and drunk lizard. We spent much of the day hanging out on the beach. Half of the crew left early to take a taxi into Cruz Bay. FYI taxis cannot enter the gate to get into the honeymoon beach area after 4 or 5 (can’t remember which one). The rest of us got ready and took the dinghy to Cruz Bay. Shopped a little while waiting for our table at High Tide. EVERYONE at our table loved their food. I got the Tropical Mahi and it was amazing. We experienced great service, food and drinks here. Great day

Wednesday
The night before, at High Tide, I spoke to a local who recommended we fill our water tank at Cruz Bay when the marina opens at 7 to beat traffic. Upon arrival the next morning I had to wait for one small boat and I was next up. We topped the water tank, starboard fuel tank, and got ice right there. While the wife and I were doing that, my crew went reprovisioned a 5 minute walk up the road. The worker at the marina asked why we were there so early. We told him we wanted to beat the traffic. He acted like we were crazy. I’d say there were at least 5 boats waiting in line after us. I’m glad we went early despite that gentleman’s stated opinion. He took our trash bags for $3 per bag, cash.
The next overnight anchorage I planned on doing, Trunk Bay or Hawknest. Both were very nearby. With the extra time, I decided to make our way to Whistling Cay and hooked up to one of the day time moorings for a good snorkel. We then made our way to Trunk Bay and saw no moorings available so we went into Hawksnest where there were plenty of vacant moorings. We snorkeled, paddle boarded, and hung out on the boat or beach the rest of the day. We were one of only 3 boats moored here for the night. Plenty of vacant moorings. The beach was beautiful, and while it was small, it was uncrowded. We hung out on the beach on the east side and were 1 of only 2 groups there. One reason we stayed here was the easy access to the trail that leads to Windmill Bar. On the hike up we made a very short detour north to the Peace Hill Windmill. We were very glad we did. Awesome lookout point where the sugar mill is.
The hike up to Windmill Bar took us about 40 minutes. I’d say it was a moderate hike. It’s about 700 feet up I believe. Windmill Bar was busy. We had an awesome spot to watch the sunset. There was a tent by the bar that was serving a good variety of delicious food. We watched the beautiful sunset and hiked back down to the boat while we had daylight. Windmill Bar is a great spot. Magical Day

Thursday
Over the years I’ve seen Trunk Bay mentioned many times on lists as a top beach, so since I was so close I felt an obligation to take my wife there. So after breakfast, we hooked up to mooring at Trunk Bay and took the dinghy in. It is a very beautiful beach. Maybe a little prettier than Hawknest, but way more crowded. The snorkeling at Trunk Cay is very good – the school of tarpons probably being the highlight. Saw some stingrays here as well. Worth your time. Stayed here about 2 hours. Glad we made that stop.
Made our way to Buck island to see the wreck and the turtles. I’d recommend going here only if you’re passing by, but do not go out of your way. We hooked up to a mooring here just west of Turtle Cove. I went down to see if there was anything worth seeing and it was just sea grass. I didn’t go too far away from the boat. Moments later a tour boat, The Cat, showed up with 30-45 people. So we figured “if they’re here, there must be something worth seeing.” We decided to see where they went. They showed them a turtle. Another boat showed up with more people. We asked the tour guides where the wreck is and they told us. It’s in Mouillage Cove under the moorings in the northern side of the Cove. Getting off the mooring was interesting when being completely surrounded by so many unaware snorkeling tourists. I really should have done more research on this stop but didn’t think we’d go to it. We checked out the wreck, which was cool, but not sure it was worth going out of my way for.
Ten minutes after leaving Buck Island we got hit with some rain, rough weather and high seas on our way to Christmas Cove. We picked up one of the last moorings available; called Pizza Pi and they said they had been fully booked since 9 am that morning; oops; another thing I should have found in my research. It stopped raining a bit and some of us snorkeled Fish Cay; good snorkel; highlights were stingray and tarpen. It rained pretty much the rest of the evening and we just drank and played cards in the salon.
Friday
After breakfast we headed for Water Island making good speed with the genoa out. We arrived at Druif Bay around 10:20. Dropped the anchor for the first time this trip. Once I felt comfortable with our holding we went get some food and drinks at Dinghy’s Beach Bar and Grill. Verdict: Delicious food and drinks, but sllllooowww service. We tried getting a golf cart to take around the island, but they were fully booked. We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out on the beach. It’s nice, but crowded. We had a good time, but I will say this was my wife and my least favorite stop. We liked the food so much at Dinghy’s, we all decided to have supper there as well. It was a nice supper watching the sunset. The panko fish tacos and/panko fish sandwich are delish.
Within 5 minutes of laying in bed, my a/c shut off. The generator quit working – “Problem with fuel supply.” I had plenty of fuel. I’m sure some of you can troubleshoot that, but none of us could. So we slept with no a/c the last night. The wife and I slept fine with a nice breeze blowing through the hatches. Others on the boat said they were hot.

Saturday morning (womp womp womp)
Uneventful morning heading upwind. Called DYC base at 8:30, which was about 30 minutes before arrival, and then called again when I entered the channel. They sent someone on a dinghy who boarded the boat and docked it. Boat debriefing. Then went to the front office to discuss the issue with the watermaker. They offered me a 2 day credit or a $600 reimbursement.

Conclusion
By day 4-5, I was saying I got my money’s worth out of the trip and the rest was bonus. I find myself describing it as a magical week. Coral seemed healthy and beautiful on our snorkels around STJ. St John may very well be my favorite island of all the USVI and BVI. However, as far as sailboat chartering goes, I’d prefer the BVI. We did not take much advantage of the many hiking trails on STJ. I thought we would have. However, we were busy enough.

Any questions, just ask
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Yesterday at 07:58 PM Trip report Saturday 19-Monday 21 [by snuba]
Trip report.
After biting nails for few hours on Friday and re-submitting application we finally got EHAS approval for my DH after he got denied and I got approved for our flight on Saturday. SXM here we come.

Saturday.
after uneventful flight, we checked in at our home away from home Beachside Villas, dropped the bags off and went to Carrefour for supplies. After quick dip in the pool, some snacks, short nap off to dinner at Pineapple Pete’s. They were fairly busy but service was good as usual. French onion soup for both of us, coconut shrimp and shrimp stuffed with crabmeat. All was good. Back to the BSV and early to bed.
Stopped at Yacht Club for a couple of beers on the way home.

Sunday.
Get up, gaze at a beautiful turquoise water out of our porch, sigh “ we are back again “. Off to Cafe Atlantico in Simpson Bay for some croissants and baguette, back “home” for breakfast of some eggs, coffee, ham and newly acquired croissants. Life is good!
Day consisted of swimming, snacking, Airplane watching and napping.
Went to dinner at Palms but they were closed, drove by Vesna but they were closed also so ended up at the Bar Code. First time for us and were very pleased with our choice, cute place, chicken Caesar salad for me and huge Club sandwich for DH. All was good but service was very slow despite they weren’t full at all. No rush, we are on the island time. Stopped at the Boat Bat for a couple of rum punches on the way home.

Monday.
Breakfast at home, dip in the pool and off to obligatory trip around the island with stop at Bikini Beach bar on Orient for a couple of adult refreshments. Back home for a dip and a nap.
Dinner was in, served on the porch with a beautiful view. Consisted of fried chicken, pasta and veggies. After bottle and half of red vine off to bed.

More to follow.
Luda.
8 329 Read More
Yesterday at 06:03 PM Trip Report, June 18-21, 2021 [by jazzgal]
Friday, June 18

Today’s sail was on Spellbound with Captain Brent; I really liked him as he was very thorough and conscientious with his instructions to us. It was an around-the-island sail with stops at Creole Rock and Tintamarre. The sea at Creole Rock was pretty rough; as a result, I didn’t go into the water at Tintamarre. That was a bad decision in retrospect as folks who did saw turtles. It was a fun group of people, especially the honeymooning couple who happened to be staying at Divi.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

There were actually six, but I couldn’t get them all in one photo.

[Linked Image]

I returned to my room and faced having to say goodbye to my beloved feline, Dexter. I was able to video in and talk to him before the vet came. After Dexter was gone, they swaddled him and took him to Elvin, his very bonded brother, so he could see that Dexter wouldn’t be coming back. My fabulous boarder sent me many pictures, which I appreciated. I stayed in for the evening as I was in no state to be out and about.

Saturday, June 19

Another sail, this one on Enigma with Captain Neil. Just as we got into the dinghy to be taken to the boat, it started raining. By the time we arrived at the boat, we were sopping wet. One of the crew gave me a towel, which was kind of him to do. I was able to get a little dry, but it didn’t take away the chill. Not a fun way to start the day so coffee was in order.

This little beach bar is back open; you get to it by driving beyond the police station/immigration. I tried to go last time I was on the island but couldn’t figure out what their hours of operation were. Folks who were staying at the Air BnB next door raved about it so I hope to get there this trip.

[Linked Image]

These folks must have a fabulous view!

[Linked Image]

We dropped anchor at Friar’s Bay, where a sailing club was doing lots of practicing.

[Linked Image]

Friar’s Bay Beach Café looked pretty empty. The guy who was cleaning his boat in the buff must have been below deck when this was snapped.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Neil’s son, Johann, is now doing the cooking on Enigma and it was a fantastic spread, perhaps even more so than previous sailings. Thus, when we returned to land, I wasn’t very hungry. Had a snack at The Palms before returning to Divi to get cleaned up.

Sunday, June 20

Met friends for Sunday brunch at Emilio’s. This had been my suggestion, and I was sorry I made it. There was an extensive spread for sure, but I thought the food was unexceptional and was disappointed overall.

[Linked Image]

The grounds at Emilio’s are beautiful.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

The car needed gas so I headed toward Cadisco and then snapped several of the wonderful murals in Sandy Ground.

[Linked Image]

There was a local who was going to sit in front of the first one to eat his lunch. When he saw me stop, he came over to ask if I was going to take a picture as he didn’t want to be in the way. He pointed out the signature of “Jimmy” in the upper right and said Jimmy Sheik does a lot to help the local children. Here’s a YouTube link of him doing some painting.
LINK - JIMMY SHEIK

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image] [Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
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I decided to check out the Sunday afternoon music at Porto Cupecoy, where I ran in to a couple of locals I know who invited me to join their table. Some of the music was actually jazz! It was a pleasant way to spend some time.

[Linked Image]

After returning to Divi, I saw these kids fishing in Little Bay below my deck.

[Linked Image]

Late dinner at Mark’s Place, where they continue to do a tremendous take-out business.

Monday, June 21
I had intended to have a Divi Day, but it turned out that I needed to go to DK Gems to talk about a piece I’m having made (slider) to go with a ring I already have. This was at the time the island-wide power outage occurred so I had to bend underneath their sliding door as it wouldn’t go all the way up. Business accomplished, I went to The French Touch for lunch and asked Jean-Pierre what he could do without electricity. The answer was a nice avocado and mango salad.

Back to Divi, where I attended the Managers’ Party. Toward the end, RM5 LI came over and introduced themselves, and we talked about getting together the next day. Decided to stay at Divi for dinner. I just don’t understand why they can’t provide better food as the resort otherwise is very nice.

I am starting the home stretch of my Divi stay……
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Yesterday at 05:26 PM Suggestions for mid-trip provisioning [by louismcc]
We start our 14 day Moorings charter next Thursday and I am looking for suggestions about the best way to handle provisioning on that long a trip. Most of our previous charters were 10 days so this wasn't a big issue.

We're on a 46.3 monohull with 5 people so cold storage is definitely a limiting factor. At some point during the trip we'll need to do some significant shopping.

We're doing our initial provisioning with RiteWay. We plan stops at Cane Garden Bay, Leverick, Jost van Dyke, and Anegada and would like to do any required mid-trip provisioning without a return to base.

I know Leverick is doing some remodeling but gather the store is still open. How is the stocking there? What are the options at Cane Garden Bay? I assume that both Anegada and Jost van Dyke are places with limited store options but have never investigated those spots.

I assume West End would be another option but we don't plan to stop there and most likely won't even be passing by until the every end of the trip.
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Yesterday at 01:44 PM Seeking luxury BVI day charter rental - 15 guests [by VirginGordaResident]
Hey TTOL. I've run into a bit of an issue for some guests of ours. There are two different groups - one of 13 people and one of 15 people - who want to rent a high-end, luxury day charter boat to take them island hopping around the BVI. The 39' Midnight Express from Chillout Charters would be perfect, but it only can take 12. The other option I have found is the 58' from Dede, but it is currently undergoing an engine refit.

I'm thinking something like a large Sunseeker could be perfect. Or a large power cat. Anyone got any recs?
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Yesterday at 12:50 PM Day 2 & 3 [by RM5 LI]
Day 2 (Sunday) Had breakfast at Fort Amsterdam Cafe since we didn’t get to the market yet then headed to the beach on campus. Met some nice folks from MA. Had a wonderful day just relaxing. Picked up some breakfast items at the market. Dinner was at Gizmo’s again. Greek salad with grilled chicken for me, fish and chips for Bill.

Day 3 (Monday). Had breakfast in then ventured out. Went to SXM Cigars in Maho for Bill, stopped off at Carefour Express to pick up a few items. Went to Dany’s Beach Bar in Coupecoy area where we enjoyed chatting it up with Dany and others while having a few Caribs and Presidentes. Then headed to Rainbow Cafe for beach and lunch. Scallops, white asparagus and wild rice for me. Bill had tuna two ways. Food was delicious! Got back in time to join in the fun of a cocktail meet and greet of the Divi team by Gizmo’s bar. Didn’t win on the raffle but chatted with some nice folks and met Jazzgal. smile. Picked up a pizza from Gizmo’s and back to our place.

I’d like to post photos but need to figure it out.
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Yesterday at 11:35 AM CDC compliant covid test [by GeorgeC1]
I thought I read on here that there was a monitored self test that could be used for entry to Puerto Rico returning home. Does anyone have info on brands and where to purchase?
G
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Yesterday at 03:37 AM Alamo vs. National vs. Ace [by VegasCanadian]
Im looking at rentals for a week in March and prices are basically the same for a similar vehicle at Alamo/National/Ace. Does anyone have experience with any of the 3 or can recommend one over the other 2 on the island?
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Yesterday at 01:04 AM Buccaneer Beach Bar [by candj]
It has been a while since we have been on the forum and were wondering if the BBB has reopened under the new management? Has anyone been there and has the menu changed significantly and how is the food and service? We are scheduled to return in 5 months and hope that we can visit the BBB on the first night on the island.
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