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S/V Orion Revisited #214964
01/20/2020 09:05 PM
01/20/2020 09:05 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,253
VIRGINIA
B
BEERMAN Offline OP
Traveler
BEERMAN  Offline OP
Traveler
B
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,253
VIRGINIA
FYI, this is a re-post from August 2017...why? some may remember when a particular photo site was an economical good 3rd party photo sharing/storage site, when their prices went through the roof, many like me opted out and all of my older report pics are now distorted by that site. Thanks to Carol and Eric we can upload directly to TTOL nowadays. Eric will see if there's an easy fix to restore photo's in the trip reports, but until then I'll start doing one by one the best I can. As we plan to charter again this year, I figured I'd start with our last BVI Charter, which was one month before Irma on S/V Orion who was lost in that storm. Cheers!

BVI July 31 - August 9, 2017 (Part 1)

How far in advance do you plan your trips? We couldn't find a good vacation window in our schedules until only 5 weeks out! Lucky for us it wasn't "in-season" Once I was given the go ahead from my better half I started looking at charter websites that had availability features and saw that Mark's (SailOrion) cat was available at TMM and shot him a text, we both are proud HOKIE families you know! After a week or so the contract was signed, sealed and delivered! We were booked for 10 days on S/V Orion, yes!!!

We felt lucky to find direct flights from IAD-Dulles to STT for $490 with less than a month out. I think I remember the Beef flights were around $900+ each? We like flying into Beef, but the savings after the ferry fees added up to more Presidente's than I can drink!! With a week to go we picked up some things for our Polar Bear cooler as we always do. I then submitted our fishing license paper work...now this process turned out to be way more difficult than in the past. I printed the form to sign, scan email , included credit card info and sent it in. I received an email at the end of the week that said I needed to fill out the credit card authorization form and a vessel registration form, sign, scan, send. Fortunately I saw that email before heading to our cabin that lacks a printer/scanner. Once in the mountains I received an email on the Friday before our departure...credit card required a swipe!! Contacted the company and told them to allow the purchase and asked the fisheries department to try again.....

We boarded our United flight at 0730, got comfortable for the 4 hour flight...then "DING! sorry ladies and gentlemen we are experiencing a radio issue, shouldn't take too long!" an hour and a half later we were in the air!! Problem with that delay is that we knew we would miss the 1330hr ferry, uggh! We were still in good spirits, WE ARE ON VACATION!! I had contacted Kevin to taxi us to the ferry, but he was nowhere to be found when we arrived, certainly our delay probably caused the confusion, but the taxi guys hadn't seen him all day? They jammed us in the next available cattle car! Next ferry was at 1530hr and that gave us time for a snack and drinks at the Pump Room. I took a deep breath and contacted TMM and told them we would arrive after 1700hr and they said no problem, Andrew the taxi driver would pick us up and show us to our catamaran, nice!


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We took a seat topside on the ferry to enjoy the breeze and abundant sunshine. It was here that I began to morph into "bubble boy"! That is the endearing nickname my family calls me because until I'm acclimated my face stays beaded up with sweat, especially with SPF applied! Seas were calm, I believe 4 feet was the forecast. My wife had put on her patch earlier in the morning and it did its job perfectly. As we cruised along the north shore beaches of St John it was obvious that the islands had seen some rain, hillsides were beautifully green and lush, cool.


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The ferry made a very quick stop in West End, then on to Road Town. Again, it was great seeing how green everything was, we have come down this time of year many times and it is often a little brown. I kept an eye out for the sargassum, I saw plenty of photos and webcam shots showing massive amounts of it in various places including Sopers Hole, it was present but not in huge quantities at this point of our travels.



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In Road Town we cleared C&I very quickly, there were only 15 people on this leg of the trip. The officer was very pleasant, but a future report will describe a totally opposite experience! She did charge us $10 for our provisions in the Polar Bear. In less than 10 minutes we were in Andrews air conditioned taxi where I morphed slowly back to my normal self. It was 1720hr when we arrived at TMM. We were greeted by Joyce!! If you've been to TMM...Joyce is perhaps the most consistently pleasant person I know. In her wonderful voice she said welcome back your boat is ready! She walked us to Orion and made sure we were settled, said she would have coffee for us in the morning, then told me to follow her inside the office so I could say hello to Barney, TMM owner. It felt great to be back here, TMM is a great operation.



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There is a well stocked mini-Riteway at the entrance to the marina that was open until 2100hr, but first it's time for good food and a cold beer at Sharky's restaurant before I morphed into my other nasty version of myself!! With bellies full and adequate provisions onboard we made ourselves familiar with the clean spacious Lagoon 400, it lives large especially with only 4 of us. We did have to decline offers from family and friends to join us, glad we did because it was very comfortable and relaxing with just the fam!




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To be continued.......Cheers!

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Re: S/V Orion Revisited [Re: BEERMAN] #214966
01/20/2020 09:12 PM
01/20/2020 09:12 PM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 36
W
wofat Offline
Traveler
wofat  Offline
Traveler
W
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 36
Wow, I'm just back on the board for the first time since my last charter in 2017 and we chartered Orion as well, just before Irma. We returned her I think 2 weeks before the storm. Crazy coincidence seeing her here, just posted. Nice trip report! Looking forward to reading the rest!

Re: S/V Orion Revisited [Re: BEERMAN] #214980
01/20/2020 11:05 PM
01/20/2020 11:05 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 247
Okla
ScurvyD Offline
Traveler
ScurvyD  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 247
Okla
We have been on both ORION's now. Mark, ORION, and TMM are all top notch.


I'd like to be a jelly fish, cause jelly fish don't pay rent.
Re: S/V Orion Revisited [Re: BEERMAN] #214997
01/21/2020 09:27 AM
01/21/2020 09:27 AM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 961
Petoskey, MI
CottageGirl Offline
Traveler
CottageGirl  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 961
Petoskey, MI
Great to read! We were the “original” Orion’s 2nd charter I think. Heading back down this Friday - looking forward to the great folks at TMM!


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