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Trip Report 4/28-5/6 #160448
05/08/2018 11:33 AM
05/08/2018 11:33 AM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 111
J
jpfitzy7 Offline OP
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jpfitzy7  Offline OP
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J
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 111
Just got back from our third charter and it was amazing. I know it's been said countless times on this page but I will say it once more: if you have any doubts about going put them right out of your mind. As I said, this was mine and my wife's third charter and the other 4 on our crew this was their first visit. I'll try to remember and hit all of the high points.

We arrived on Saturday, April 28th. Our initial direct flight from Boston to STT was changed to include a 45 minute stop-over in San Juan. Inconvenient but not the end of the world. We arrived in STT and grabbed our bags to headed to the boat. We had decided to try something new this time and charter out of St. Thomas. We used Virgin Island Yacht Charters in Compass Point and we will continue to use them going forward! What an outstanding group of people there! Although I did not have the opportunity to meet Jim and Kristi since they were traveling, the rest of their staff was amazing. Big shout out to Walter who was just outstanding with all of his help and acquainting us with the boat. Seriously, top notch operation.

We chartered a FP Lucia 40 named Discovery. The boat was perfect for the 6 of us. Easy to handle and sailed beautifully. We arrived at the charter base and were greeted by Walter who suggested we get out gear stowed and plan to do the walk through and chart briefing the next day. The boat was in perfect condition and the paddle board, kayak and extra linens requested were already aboard. After getting organized we hit the Dive Bar in Compass Point Marina for a late lunch. Great attitude in that place. Awesome spicy chicken sandwiches and the coldest of cold beers. The Food Center is across from the Marina so we walked there and stocked up on booze, water, produce and other items. We had packed a polar cooler full of meat and other items and brought this from Boston. It helped a lot. After we cabbed it back to the boat and stowed away our provisioning we hit the Dive Bar again for a night cap. Such a fun little place.

Sunday morning we were up by 8 and met with Walter in the office. The chart briefing was perfect since it was just my wife and I and Walter and it basically was the three of us reviewing my float plan and making notes based off of it. After that we checked out the boat and once again Walter was very thorough and showed us everything we could possibly need to know about it! This review lasted about an hour. Once completed we topped off our water, dropped lines and we were off the docks by 1030. We made our way out of Compass Point and headed towards St. John and Trunk Bay. There are 4 mooring balls at Trunk and only one was in use when we arrived. We dinghied in and spent some time snorkeling the underwater trails and exploring the beach before returning to the boat for the short trip to Maho Bay, our first anchorage for the night. Lots of moorings available and we picked one up close in to the beach and set about swimming and drinking and preparing dinner. As has been mentioned before, there are no pay stations in the USVI so this was a free mooring night!

Monday we were off early in order to hit customs in JVD as soon as they opened. All of the paperwork was completed and after a short wait and a $645 fee we were all cleared through. This fee also included our departure taxes since we cleared out at the same time. We took the dinghy over to White Bay and it was amazing how far things have come along! My friends loved Soggys and the weather was perfect. We checked the board and picked up our painkillers that others had ordered for us. While hanging out another friend saw us on the webcam and sent in an order for additional ones so we were all definitely feeling no pain! We were really excited to find my father-in-law's police patch back in place in the rafters. I thought it was really cool how they took them all down before the storm to protect them. We enjoyed conch fritters and grilled cheeses at Soggys ( I don't know why but I just love them there!) and then headed off down the beach to get beers from Gertrudes and Seddys. Late in the afternoon we grabbed a couple rounds at Hendos before heading back to Great Harbor for some dinner off the boat. At night we hit Foxy's, but things were kind of dead on shore and since it was a long day we returned to the boat for a nitecap and some sleep.

Tuesday we enjoyed breakfast on board before motoring to Sandy Cay. Only one other boat was moored up and we had the entire island to ourselves. After that it was off to Cane for the night. The beach is beautiful and it was good to see the crowd at Myettes, but there is still a long way to go. Work continues on Quitos and I can't wait to return and see it again. We enjoyed dinner on board and then drinks ashore at Myettes and Paradise. They are the only places open. But it was a fun night and everyone had a great time all around.

Wednesday we continued along the coast of Tortola to check out Marina Cay. Work is continuing there and, even though the bar was open for lunch and drinks, we opted to by-pass it and continue to Leverick. It appeared there were several boats that had spent the night in Marina Cay's mooring field. WE arrived at Leverick and WOW! It doesn't look like anything was out of place. Seriously, the place looks great! We got our slip and immediately grabbed a cab to Hog Heaven. Again, amazing work was done there and the place looks beautiful and the food was better than ever. I think everyone on the crew picked that as their favorite shore meal! Back at Leverick we restocked on items from the pantry which was well stocked and we topped off our water before hitting the pool and then returning to the boat to prep for dinner and listen to the Happy Arrrrr Show! It was the last night and there was pretty big crowd in. We headed to Coco Maya for dinner and the devastation in Spanish Town is pretty sad. Lots of work will be needed but it was ongoing and I have no doubt it will be as better than ever in no time! Dinner was great as usual at Coco Maya and then it was back to the boat to prep for an early start to the Baths.

Thursday we were off the dock by 730 and had perfect wind for a great sail to the Baths. Lots of boats already moored when we arrived but we found a ball with ease and my crew opted to just swim from the boat all the way in. We pretty much had the Baths to ourselves as we walked through. The crew loved it and after a quick swim at Devil's Bay we made our way back through and grabbed some beers at the bar near the beach. Once the beers were consumed we headed to the Top of the Baths. Place looked awesome. According to the bartender they lost part of the roof and the small bridge in the pool but that's it. We enjoyed some conch fritters and basil mojitos.....yeah, I was a bit curious but now I have something else to do with all the excess basil from my garden because they were incredible. We swam back and hoisted our sails for the trip to Cooper. We arrived at 130 and had to pick up a ball pretty far out in the field. By 300 all the balls were gone, but there was anchoring space left. Ashore we enjoyed happy hour and drank way too many rum punches but it is what it is. After a quick shower we were back ashore for dinner in the restaurant. The mahi was perfect and everyone enjoyed the bread pudding for dessert.

Friday morning we remained at Cooper since my wife and a friend were off to dive with Sail Caribbean Divers. The rest of us hit the coffee shop on Cooper for breakfast and enjoyed some down time. We met the dive boat around noon and had a quick lunch at the bar before setting sails and heading for Norman. Sail was perfect and we were at Norman and moored up rather quick. We ended up right near the wreck of the Willy T and after some photos headed in to Pirates Bight for some cold beers and conch fritters, then it was back to the boat for dinner and some late night drinking and card playing. The wind really started to pick up that night and we heard it blowing all night long. Just before morning the sky really opened up but by the time we awoke the weather was awesome.

Saturday we had a slow morning in Norman and enjoyed breakfast aboard. We attempted to grab a ball at the Caves but they were completely full so we decided to try our luck at the Indians. The reason the Caves were full was because it was just too choppy at the Indians so we decided to abort and head over to Sopers Hole to see how things looked. The best word to describe it is rough. Pussers appeared open but that was it. We then turned and headed back to the USVI for our last night in Christmas Cove. It was a little choppy passing by Cruz Bay but we grabbed a ball tucked in close at Christmas Cove and had a real nice night. We hit Pizza Pi for a bite to eat and did some snorkeling and swimming and just laying about enjoying our last evening in the islands. At night it was drink the boat dry and we had a good go about it, although we may have provisioned too well since there wasn't much left!

Sunday morning we were up by 7 to finish packing and prep for the journey back to the base. Can't believe the week was over already! After breakfast we contacted Walter to let him know we were heading in and arranged to meet him at the fuel dock in Compass Point. Within 30 minutes we were tied up at the fuel dock and had turned control of the boat back over to Walter. After fueling we returned back to our slip and got our bags and prepared for the cab back to the airport. After settling up we all agreed the trip was amazing and we plan on returning in the near future. The cab arrived and we made a quick stop at the ferry terminal in order to clear back into US Customs. That was so quick and easy and we were on our way within 15 minutes. We got through security at STT real quick and had plenty of time to put the balance of our boat kitty to good use with several rounds of beers while awaiting our flights! The trip was perfect, the weather was perfect. Everyone we met was amazing and so happy. So many people thanked us for coming. We heard many tales from people about the storm and the way that everyone is continuing on is awesome! I can't wait to go back and I know the rest of my crew feels the same way!


Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - beer in hand - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO HOO, What a Ride!"
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Re: Trip Report 4/28-5/6 [Re: jpfitzy7] #160455
05/08/2018 12:57 PM
05/08/2018 12:57 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,644
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
JasonHelmbrecht Online content
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JasonHelmbrecht  Online Content
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Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,644
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
Great report!! Just a bit of info for others who may be planning stops at Cane Garden Bay. Besides Myett's and Paradise Club, Rhymers on the beach, Henley's on the beach, Irma Shack on the roadside of Paradise, and Columbus Sunset bar on the road are also open.

Did I understand correctly that you didn't need to clear US Customs until after the boat was returned?

Cheers,
Jason


JasonHelmbrecht
Coconut Breeze Villas
Cane Garden Bay
reservations@coconutbreezevillas.com
www.coconutbreezevillas.com
Re: Trip Report 4/28-5/6 [Re: jpfitzy7] #160456
05/08/2018 01:06 PM
05/08/2018 01:06 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 111
J
jpfitzy7 Offline OP
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jpfitzy7  Offline OP
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J
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 111
Right, we were told that we had 24 hours to clear customs after getting back to US waters. We arrived at Christmas Cove around 2ish and we wrote that on the customs forms. Then, the next day, on our way to the airport after we returned the boat we stopped at the customs office at the ferry terminal and we were done within 15 minutes!

Last edited by jpfitzy7; 05/08/2018 01:07 PM.

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - beer in hand - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO HOO, What a Ride!"
Re: Trip Report 4/28-5/6 [Re: jpfitzy7] #160458
05/08/2018 01:30 PM
05/08/2018 01:30 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 129
Billings, MT
harleybuffett Offline
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harleybuffett  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 129
Billings, MT
Thank you for the great report! We've gone out of STT for 2 charters but this time we decided to go out of Tortola. It's good to switch things up! Agree with you totally about the Dive Bar at Compass Point. We spent a VERY rainy Saturday night there before our last charter and we had a blast smile smile smile

Re: Trip Report 4/28-5/6 [Re: jpfitzy7] #160459
05/08/2018 01:45 PM
05/08/2018 01:45 PM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 94
New Jersey
C
Catmandu Offline
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Catmandu  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 94
New Jersey
Did you happen tp past Sandy Spit?

Re: Trip Report 4/28-5/6 [Re: jpfitzy7] #160460
05/08/2018 01:46 PM
05/08/2018 01:46 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 111
J
jpfitzy7 Offline OP
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jpfitzy7  Offline OP
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J
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 111
We saw sandy spit in the distance but did not get too close. Looked pretty barren.


Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - beer in hand - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO HOO, What a Ride!"
Re: Trip Report 4/28-5/6 [Re: jpfitzy7] #160466
05/08/2018 03:14 PM
05/08/2018 03:14 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,066
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Online content
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GeorgeC1  Online Content
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Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,066
GA/NC
Great trip report. I am a bit fuzzy on the customs part however. That is certainly a radical change from past practice in the USVI or anywhere for that matter. Generally no one can leave the boat until it has been cleared and a yellow flag must be flown. I looked online for the new procedure and can’t find anything about it. Can you provide a source? Would be great news if true!
G

Re: Trip Report 4/28-5/6 [Re: Catmandu] #160468
05/08/2018 03:28 PM
05/08/2018 03:28 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 547
Apex, NC
agrimsrud Offline
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agrimsrud  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 547
Apex, NC
Originally Posted by Catmandu
Did you happen tp past Sandy Spit?

I was on Sandy Spit Friday May 4th. I think about half the island is gone. All of the vegetation is gone except a few little palm "twigs" two or three feet tall at the center of the island. We still enjoyed the stop same as the past. Sand and water is still beautiful - just a little less sand.


Life's short - sail more!
Re: Trip Report 4/28-5/6 [Re: jpfitzy7] #160469
05/08/2018 03:44 PM
05/08/2018 03:44 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 111
J
jpfitzy7 Offline OP
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jpfitzy7  Offline OP
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J
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 111
When we picked up the boat we asked about clearing back into the US. We were told by the charter company that we had 24 hours to check in at a customs office from when we entered US waters. We were also told that we could get off the boat and go ashore during that 24 hour period. We arrived in Christmas Cove around 2 and I noted that on our Customs arrival form. The next day we proceeded to Compass Point Marina and returned the boat. Once that was finalized we hopped in a cab for the airport. AT the ferry terminal the cab pulled over and all 6 of us went inside to the private vessel reporting area. A customs agent came out, reviewed my paperwork, checked our passports, told us we were all set and that was that.


Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - beer in hand - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO HOO, What a Ride!"
Re: Trip Report 4/28-5/6 [Re: jpfitzy7] #160470
05/08/2018 03:52 PM
05/08/2018 03:52 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 98
Virginia
B
BVIShuga Offline
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BVIShuga  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 98
Virginia
Thank you for doing the trip report! Loved reading it. We will be there next week and thinking of going to Coco Maya. How did you get there from Leverick? Cab and if so how did you go about calling one?


Love sailing the BVI's with friends.
Re: Trip Report 4/28-5/6 [Re: jpfitzy7] #160472
05/08/2018 03:55 PM
05/08/2018 03:55 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 111
J
jpfitzy7 Offline OP
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jpfitzy7  Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 111
We went to the front desk at Leverick upon arrival to request a cab to Hog Heaven for lunch. Then we made arrangements for the trip to Coco Maya that evening. Cost was $20 a person roud trip.


Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - beer in hand - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO HOO, What a Ride!"

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