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Trip Notes and TIps #167066
08/01/2018 09:45 PM
08/01/2018 09:45 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 19
Y
yourcraig Offline OP
Traveler
yourcraig  Offline OP
Traveler
Y
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 19
Not going to post a stop by stop trip review but just a few random recommendations.

1. Can't say enough good about CYOA and Captain Jay and several of the owners who keep their boats there and also were generous communicators and sharers.

2. I'm spoiled now by generator, A/C, watermaker, and underwater lights for the tarpon show. Those will be must-haves for every trip from now on.

3. Microfiber towels! My wife was a genius on this one. Ours were Venture 4th from Amazon in the extra large size. We each got our own so they were different color coded. They dry in minutes. They are sand proof (just give them a shake). My two regrets... The boat still had traditional terrycloth towels set out and it was just too tempting to grab one instead of looking for your microfiber that might still be in your dry bag from your last shore trip. I wish I'd made the "captain's call" sooner than mid week to ban further use of the terry towels and insist they all be stowed away. The water and the beach is such a big part of a VI trip that a great towel makes a big difference. Why deal with hanging soaking towels from lifelines, worrying about them blowing away, waiting hours for them to dry only to get soaked from a rainstorm, getting musty smelling, etc. My second regret is not bringing along two more! I would have liked to have two more in the smallest size. Again color coded so everyone knows what the intended use is. One would be a "boat towel" for cleaning up water from floors and other boat surfaces. No one would ever want to mistakenly dry off with this one. The second would be dedicated to drying dishes.

4. I'm not going to risk forum sacrilege by naming the runner up, but Leverick had the best roti by far. I swear it had a pound of chicken in it and the most delicious curry. I think it was thigh meat, but it worked well with the flavor. Elsewhere it was 90% potato and some dry-ish breast meat.

5. Because so many of the trip legs are less than an hour sail, I would look for a in-mast furling main next time. Otherwise it is too tempting to just motor over. I know it takes some trust from the charter company that I know how to point into the wind and not force the thing. Downwind we did fly the genoa alone quite often and made 5.5 knots which was plenty fast to where the sailing was over before I wished it to be. It was a good tip from Captain Jay.

6. The sail to Anegada and back were my favorites. Such a nice beam reach. Obviously don't oversail your skill, but why anyone would skip this leg as too far is beyond me. Unfortunately there was a green algae bloom and the visibility was only about 15 feet for snorkeling. I could see just enough of a tease to tell that the reef would have been amazing.

7. I'm not sure where I got the expectation, but I thought the lobster dinner at Potter's would have been more of a show. I was kind of disappointed to find they were all already on the grill and about ready to go on the table. Still a great meal though and everyone had their fill of lobster. Next time maybe I would ask if the kids could come by early to watch them getting taken from the cage and prepped.

8. Don't be afraid to charter a mono. With the help of this forum we never had an uncomfortable, rolly anchorage.

9. Chartering out of St Thomas was great. I saw other recent posters talking about long waits at Tortola immigration at the airport. I had no lines at all either clearing in at Soper's or checking back in to the US at Cruz. Soper's was funny. The C&I guy asked if I'd been to the BVI before. When I said no, he asked what I expected the fees where going to be. The other guys wondered if I would be going back to the boat (giving up? to get more cash?). It was good natured and I took no offense. I said $630. He said, I think it is going to be more... After 10 minutes of calculating they came up with $623 which was the exact figure I had, but I'd just been rounding up. We had a good laugh about "I guess he was pretty prepared". In Cruz Bay, we had the exact same US C&I guy we later had at the STT Airport. We had a good laugh about him recognizing us, but us not the other way around. It does force you to put a few pins in your itinerary, but I would do it again.

10. On Sunday there were few places to eat in Cruz Bay, but the newly opened (two weeks) branch of The Tap and Still. Highly recommend. The $8 burger was the best value of the whole trip and happy hour had $3 beers or strong Bullit brand cocktails.

11. I enjoy being self-sufficient and "going local" as much as possible so went with self-provisioning. However, coming from the west coast we leave at 11 PM to arrive by 2 PM with no sleep. The 30% premium (about $200) would have been well worth it to have someone else do it for us. Being so tired on arrival it was torture rather than a fun learning experience. By the same note, everyone who said forget about getting off the base the same day, couldn't have been more right.

12. Don't pack anything that isn't already a favorite at home. Two swimsuits and rashguard shirts are plenty. Long sleeve is fine since you are just putting it on to jump in the water so getting hot isn't a problem. Choose neon colors on the rashguards so you can be seen by other boaters. My wife is still pissed at the 50' cat full of 20-somethings at the Rhone who screamed at us (swimmers) to get out of the way of the mooring ball they wanted. Trust me -- I chose my swimming path carefully, don't dawdle, and never want to be in the way of a fellow captain, but at the end of the day, swimmers have right of way for goodness sake. Damn glad we were at least easy to see. Be careful with what you wear to the Baths as my son destroyed his swim shorts sliding down rocks. I would have invested more space in my favorite clothes to put on AFTER being wet all day. If you are someone who likes synthetics, maybe you are fine in just your swimwear all day, but I would have brought a few more of my favorite cotton T's and cotton shorts.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this truly the best vacation of our lives!














Last edited by yourcraig; 08/01/2018 10:03 PM.
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Re: Trip Notes and TIps [Re: yourcraig] #167068
08/01/2018 09:59 PM
08/01/2018 09:59 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 542
Panama City Beach, Florida
xrayman67 Offline
Traveler
xrayman67  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 542
Panama City Beach, Florida
Thanks for the report!

We too took microfiber towels on our trip in May. Super fast drying and about 1/5 the space and weight. We have the Waves brand.

Re: Trip Notes and TIps [Re: yourcraig] #167074
08/02/2018 08:30 AM
08/02/2018 08:30 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 58
St. Thomas, USVI
CYOACHARTERBASE Offline
Traveler
CYOACHARTERBASE  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 58
St. Thomas, USVI
Thank you for the nice remarks about CYOA and our staff, we appreciate it.

Of interest to charterers that view the C&I process at Cruz Bay on the return to STT as a negative is that C&I has now rolled out the ROAM application. This requires a smartphone and some pre loading of data but allows one to do the entire process using the app. The app is available in the Apple and Google app stores. Please also note that you must establish a second account at login.gov

Read more about the ROAM app here.

CYOA Yacht Charters

Re: Trip Notes and TIps [Re: yourcraig] #167075
08/02/2018 08:41 AM
08/02/2018 08:41 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 385
Florida
R
rfrimmel Offline
Traveler
rfrimmel  Offline
Traveler
R
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 385
Florida
CYOA, thanks for the ROAM app info.

Re: Trip Notes and TIps [Re: yourcraig] #167078
08/02/2018 09:09 AM
08/02/2018 09:09 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 969
NC, USA
capndar Offline
Traveler
capndar  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 969
NC, USA
Yes that ROAM program looks interesting.


Capndar
Masters 50 GT Sail/Power/Towing
3rd generation sailor
Re: Trip Notes and TIps [Re: yourcraig] #167080
08/02/2018 09:54 AM
08/02/2018 09:54 AM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 248
Okla
ScurvyD Offline
Traveler
ScurvyD  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 248
Okla
Thanks for the tips. Cant wait to get back.


I'd like to be a jelly fish, cause jelly fish don't pay rent.
Re: Trip Notes and TIps [Re: yourcraig] #167093
08/02/2018 11:37 AM
08/02/2018 11:37 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,601
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
JasonHelmbrecht Online content
Traveler
JasonHelmbrecht  Online Content
Traveler
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,601
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
One tip regarding Potter's. I always recommend that people stop by around 4 or 4:30 and have drink, chat with the staff, and watch Sam prep the lobsters on the dock. It's definitely part of the experience. Give that a shot next time.


JasonHelmbrecht
Coconut Breeze Villas
Cane Garden Bay
reservations@coconutbreezevillas.com
www.coconutbreezevillas.com
Re: Trip Notes and TIps [Re: JasonHelmbrecht] #167112
08/02/2018 02:00 PM
08/02/2018 02:00 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 19
Y
yourcraig Offline OP
Traveler
yourcraig  Offline OP
Traveler
Y
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 19
Yes, about that time as we were heading back to the boat from the beach to get cleaned up for dinner, I saw Sam out on the dock chopping and thought it looked like prep and was scratching my head thinking that would have been later. It would have been easy to drop my wife off and swing the dinghy around with the kids for 15 minutes to watch. I almost did. However when we made the reservation they were clear to arrive between 7 and 7:30 so I just focused on being earlier in that time window. Anyway, that is exactly what this forum is for. The next folks will know better. :-)


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