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Trip Report (11/10/19 - 11/17/19) #209434
11/19/2019 01:11 PM
11/19/2019 01:11 PM
Joined: Nov 2019
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sweatingsailor Offline OP
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5 first-time charters, aged late 30's to early 50's. 2 couples and a single on a FP Helia 44 3 cabin version from TMM Yacht charters. 3 of us are regular mono-hull sailors, two had never been on a sailboat before.

Friday: Fly from Tampa to San Juan. Hotel in San Juan. Explore old town.

Saturday: Fly to EIS. Taxi to TMM Base. After getting settled into the boat, we walked to a bbq food truck back toward road town. Great bbq, but lots of bugs at dusk. Late night stargazing on the trampoline. Last minute provisioning at the small Riteway next door.

Sunday: Riteway provisions showed up at 7:00am, despite the scheduled 8:30 delivery. Luckily I was up and sitting on the flybridge. All food was delivered as ordered. Checked out the boat/inventory/briefing etc. We were new customers of TMM, so we did a checkout sail.

Got out of the marina at about 12:30, after dropping off our briefer/checkout captain back at the dock. We sailed down to Norman Island, and took a ball on the northern edge of the mooring area. We took the dinghy to the Indians and did some snorkeling before dinner at Pirates Bight. Opinions were divided over dinner. 3 out of 5 thought the food was good, but not great, and certainly overpriced. Made a very brief stop at the Willie T. No need to go back there. It was kinda sadly abandoned. Maybe we were too late for the day party, and too early for the late night crowd? Stargazed from the trampoline

Monday: Motored over to a national park mooring and snorkeled the caves in the morning. This was a highlight for sure. Lunch on the boat.

Wind was far enough south to sail up to Cooper Island and moor on the south end of Manchioneel Bay. Snorkeled a bit. Dinner at the Cooper Island Beach Club. Another decent but overpriced meal.

Tuesday: Got up pretty early. Winds were ESE, so we were JUST able to motor-sail to the Baths. We were the second boat on the national park moorings at around 8:30am. We dinghy'ed to the rope line and swam ashore. Great plan getting there so early. Really had the place to ourselves. Lunch at top of the Baths.

After lunch, we sailed across to moor at Marina Cay. GREAT spot to moor. Quiet location, but able to use the dinghy to get to trellis bay for the full moon festivities. Really enjoyed this spot more than expected. No real noise from the airport. Far enough from Trellis that when we wanted quiet, we had it. Could see this plan falling apart under heavier seas. Backup plan would be to use the Scrub Island Ferry.

Wednesday: Got water at marina cay. Didn't get fuel, once we found out that they only accept cash. Motored between Scrub and Camanoe Islands, then raised sail once clear of the passage. Sailed all the way to Anegada. Made reservations at Anegada Reef Hotel for dinner, then took at taxi to Loblolly. Had lunch there then snorkelled off the beach. We were planning to spend two nights here, but the bugs were really bad, no matter what we did for off/deet/etc. Dinner was really great here.

Thursday: Sailed downwind to Great Harbor JVD. Got a good mooring. Arrived ar around 11:00. Watched some jerks in moorings boats race to the last couple of moorings an hour later. Took a cab over to Soggy Dollar for lunch/painkillers. Soggy Dollar is the same as it's ever been. Foxy's for dinner. Food was ok. We were probably a little too early for any serious nightlife here. Still a great day/night. Re-provisioned at the market on the west end of the beach in Great Harbor. Got coffee and conch empanadas from the bakery ashore.

Friday: Motored over to Diamond Cay / Little JVD. Got a mooring with no problem. Lunch at Foxy's Taboo. (One of the best meals of the trip) Hiked to the bubbly pools - very cool. Hung out at the B-Line Bar a bit. Dinner back at foxy's taboo. This anchorage was idyllic. Quiet. Only a couple of other boats. Epic stargazing on the trampoline. Really a special day and night.

Saturday: Motored to Peter Island / Deadman's Bay. Anchored near the southeast corner of the bay. Grilled some shrimp and made spanish rice for lunch while some of the crew walked the abandoned beach, snorkeled, and laid about in the hammock. Another great spot. Sailed back up to Road Town in time to fuel at Village Cay Marina (Fort Burt didn't have fuel). Tied up at the TMM docks for the night in preparation for early departure the next morning.

What will we do differently next time?
** We'll cook more on the boat. All breakfasts and most lunches were on the boat. We'll do a few dinners aboard next time. Didn't think we got anything experience or value-wise from Cooper, Norman or Foxy's dining experiences.

** We'll replace some of the stops with quiet, secluded spots if possible. Would probably skip Cooper and Anegada, maybe the Baths. Will definitely NOT skip Little JVD and, if they're still closed, Peter Island.

** We stayed in San Juan one night, then flew to EIS. Then a sleepaboard before the charter. If think we were too conservative with timing on that. We'll probably skip the San Juan hotel night in favor of an extra charter day next time.

** We might do an itinerary that includes St. John next time. My wife and I love that island, and it hurt a bit to be so close without visiting.

Other items of note:
** Probably a function of us being on the edge of the season, but we never used boaty ball, and still got spots everywhere that we tried. Never had to resort to a plan b anchorage. It was fun to have a very loose plan, and just decide as we went where to go next.

** Will definitely use TMM again. The booking, checkout, briefing, boat cleanliness, reliability, and checking process were all very smooth. Minor issues were addressed promptly a the dock or with an engineer visit from trellis bay.

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Re: Trip Report (11/10/19 - 11/17/19) [Re: sweatingsailor] #209443
11/19/2019 01:55 PM
11/19/2019 01:55 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 982
Washington DC
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bailau Offline
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Thanks for great report especially with what you would do differently

Re: Trip Report (11/10/19 - 11/17/19) [Re: sweatingsailor] #209484
11/20/2019 08:35 AM
11/20/2019 08:35 AM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 502
ski2play Offline
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ski2play  Offline
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Fun Report!

We were at the villa that week, and the weather was beautiful!

Friday night was an amazing star gazing night on the East End of Jost.

Re: Trip Report (11/10/19 - 11/17/19) [Re: sweatingsailor] #209565
11/21/2019 11:38 AM
11/21/2019 11:38 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,460
An island state of mind
tradewinds Offline
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tradewinds  Offline
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An island state of mind
Nice report. You realize the mooring balls at the Baths have a 90 minute limit, right?

Re: Trip Report (11/10/19 - 11/17/19) [Re: tradewinds] #209590
11/21/2019 07:02 PM
11/21/2019 07:02 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 3,001
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sail445 Offline
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Give them a break, nobody ever goes by the 90 minute rule.

Re: Trip Report (11/10/19 - 11/17/19) [Re: sail445] #209606
11/22/2019 12:30 AM
11/22/2019 12:30 AM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,562
Woodstock, GA
RickinAtlanta Offline
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RickinAtlanta  Offline
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Originally Posted by sail445
Give them a break, nobody ever goes by the 90 minute rule.


That's rude and unfortunate. So you take a ball for however long you want??

Re: Trip Report (11/10/19 - 11/17/19) [Re: sweatingsailor] #209615
11/22/2019 08:32 AM
11/22/2019 08:32 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 969
NC, USA
capndar Offline
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capndar  Offline
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Thanks - nice report. We also enjoy little Jost/B-Line/Diamond Cay

How did the coral/fish at the Caves compare with the Indians?

and we do adhere to the 90 min rule at the baths


Capndar
Masters 50 GT Sail/Power/Towing
3rd generation sailor
Re: Trip Report (11/10/19 - 11/17/19) [Re: sweatingsailor] #209647
11/22/2019 02:31 PM
11/22/2019 02:31 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 296
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Kryssa Offline
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Now that I've finally been there after 4 trips, I'd suggest going back to Anegada next time and going to Cow Wreck Beach. Not much for snorkeling but the beach bar is great and the beach is nicer than Loblolly (at least to us!)

Re: Trip Report (11/10/19 - 11/17/19) [Re: sweatingsailor] #209699
11/23/2019 09:51 AM
11/23/2019 09:51 AM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 225
West Chester, PA
ligot Offline
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Thanks for the report! I'd second the mention of Cow Wreck. It's a go-to on every trip. Also like your idea of a stop at St Johns. We're going to work on that too.


S/V Tortuga
Lagoon 46
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Re: Trip Report (11/10/19 - 11/17/19) [Re: sweatingsailor] #209705
11/23/2019 10:52 AM
11/23/2019 10:52 AM
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Posts: 982
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bailau Offline
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Snorkelling at Flash of Beauty Anegada and occasionally Loblolly is top tier IMHO...and Cow Wreck is top beach bar

Re: Trip Report (11/10/19 - 11/17/19) [Re: sweatingsailor] #209708
11/23/2019 11:34 AM
11/23/2019 11:34 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,066
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Online content
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GeorgeC1  Online Content
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Irma really took a toll on the snorkeling in both places. It was once fantastic. On our last trip there a year ago everyone agreed we should have skipped it. Perhaps it has improved over the last year however the damage was extensive and looked like a generational thing to repair itself.

Re: Trip Report (11/10/19 - 11/17/19) [Re: tradewinds] #209735
11/23/2019 06:06 PM
11/23/2019 06:06 PM
Joined: Nov 2019
Posts: 5
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sweatingsailor Offline OP
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Originally Posted by tradewinds
Nice report. You realize the mooring balls at the Baths have a 90 minute limit, right?


I actually did not know this. Thanks for pointing it out. We'll be sure to observe that limit in the future.

Re: Trip Report (11/10/19 - 11/17/19) [Re: capndar] #209736
11/23/2019 06:12 PM
11/23/2019 06:12 PM
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sweatingsailor Offline OP
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Originally Posted by capndar
Thanks - nice report. We also enjoy little Jost/B-Line/Diamond Cay

How did the coral/fish at the Caves compare with the Indians?

and we do adhere to the 90 min rule at the baths


I found the caves to be more interesting for the dramatic rocks and large schools of sigh which were about.

We visited the indians later in the day, and the visibility wasn't the greatest by that time.

Re: Trip Report (11/10/19 - 11/17/19) [Re: GeorgeC1] #209737
11/23/2019 06:35 PM
11/23/2019 06:35 PM
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Washington DC
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bailau Offline
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Originally Posted by GeorgeC1
Irma really took a toll on the snorkeling in both places. It was once fantastic. On our last trip there a year ago everyone agreed we should have skipped it. Perhaps it has improved over the last year however the damage was extensive and looked like a generational thing to repair itself.


George-

If you are referring to FOB and Loblolly we went there May '19 and they were really good....dont have any pre Irma comparable visual for this but will do FOB again, have the non snorkelers wait at Loblolly and then walk over...

the Indians have been great the last few times...

Hope all is well


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