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Trip Report 12/2-12/10/20 #242247
12/11/2020 12:49 PM
12/11/2020 12:49 PM
Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 3
Santa Barbara, CA
D
Debra319v Offline OP
Member
Debra319v  Offline OP
Member
D
Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 3
Santa Barbara, CA
This forum has been so helpful in providing info for our trip, so I decided to stop lurking and write up our experience. As noted by others, arrival at STT was easy after completing info on the portal and obtaining approval. We had planned a Moorings BVI trip for Thanksgiving week and booked this trip as a replacement with VIYC. We were on Cassidy, an FP Helia 44. VIYC was outstanding, with prompt replies and coordination throughout the charter from April and an informative briefing and boat checkout with Walter. The boat is a couple of years old, but clean and well maintained, and we felt it was a great value. We had four adults, each with own cabin, very comfortable.

Rather than write a long narrative, I'm going to do a list for things I've seen mentioned elsewhere. If you want more details I'll be happy to respond.

Car: Paradise, great service, they dropped off and picked up from Compass Point Marina (We took a taxi there because it was dark when we got in and we'd never been to Red Hook before. It was a good decision for us)

Provisions: Food Center:ok except some produce, then used Moe's

Dive tanks, racks, and weights: Red Hook Dive Center, reasonable prices, great communication from Susan, very prompt delivery. We had to take the gear from parking lot to boat, which was ok, but we were used to having it set up by Moorings. The racks were cylinders, which worked much better than the metal frames we've used before.

Restaurants: Agave in Red Hook (twice), Extra Virgin Bistro- Cruz Bay (twice), La Tapa-Cruz Bay. Entree prices $40-45 at EV & IT

Moorings: Caneel Bay (dinghy to Cruz Bay) 3 separate nights,
Maho Bay (noisy) so moved to Francis Bay 2 separate nights, Waterlemon Bay, Cinnamon Bay,buggy-not enough breeze. We did see the big British patrol ship in the Narrows as we went around Mary Point.

We have a senior park pass for the National Park Service. The first evening we stopped at the Cruz Bay NPS center and spoke to a park service officer. He gave me a credit card "coupon" from the box located left of the dinghy dock. I paid for seven nights in one credit card payment, which I dropped off at the Caneel Bay floating payment platform (although it still hasn't shown up on my card).

Diving/Snorkeling: I had a hard time finding current info for diving. We had two tanks each and hoped to refill along the way. We snorkelled at Maho Bay and had good visibility and interesting fish, so that was a good start.

We had our first dive at Grass Cay (eastern-most buoy) because it was too rough for Carval Rock. We felt it was an okay dive; not great, not bad. Low Key Dive had two boats there so we assumed it must be one of the better options. After the dive, two of us stayed on the buoy and two of us took the dinghy to Red Hook Dive to refill tanks. Susan was super fast on refilling the tanks, but the ride was 30 min. each way and I can't say I would recommend it or do it again.

Our second dive was at Whistling Cay. This was pretty disappointing. SCTLD is spreading to a lot of coral in this area and visibility was low on that day. There wasn't as much sealife as we had hoped.

We thought we would dive Waterlemon but after snorkeling it we decided it was too much like Whistling Cay. At this point we were running out of days and thought we'd go back to Carval Rock. Unfortunately the wind was from the south and it seemed to put the 44' cat too close to the rocks, so we went back to Grass Cay. This time we dove the western-most buoy. It was shallow, but had the most sealife and best visibility of all the diving and snorkeling of the week. Low Key Dive also had a boat there before we left.

All in all we had a wonderful trip. When we come back we will probably sail more, head south faster, and try Pelican Rock and hopefully Eagle Shoals. It was the first week-long boat trip for two of the four of us, so it worked out well to take it easy. It's always a pleasure when you can go out for more than a week and have zero problems with the boat, dinghy and gear!

Fair winds,
Debra

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Re: Trip Report 12/2-12/10/20 [Re: Debra319v] #242251
12/11/2020 02:14 PM
12/11/2020 02:14 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,263
Colorado and Sailing the World
Maria_and_Steve Offline
Traveler
Maria_and_Steve  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,263
Colorado and Sailing the World
Interesting that you said Maho was noisy? What was the source for all the noise? Just curious.

Re: Trip Report 12/2-12/10/20 [Re: Maria_and_Steve] #242255
12/11/2020 02:53 PM
12/11/2020 02:53 PM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 290
M
MIDiver Offline
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MIDiver  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 290
When we moored in Maho in July a mega yacht came in late, complete with blaring music, flashing disco lights and searchlights. They partied until 4am.

Re: Trip Report 12/2-12/10/20 [Re: Debra319v] #242257
12/11/2020 03:04 PM
12/11/2020 03:04 PM
Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 3
Santa Barbara, CA
D
Debra319v Offline OP
Member
Debra319v  Offline OP
Member
D
Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 3
Santa Barbara, CA
Yikes, that's awful. At least with us it quieted by dark. Two day boats came in with competing speakers on their boats, louder and louder. Several catamarans moved. A little later two speed boats went through the outer swim area at incredible speed, and then the boats with flashing lights (NPS?) came. It was much better to watch it all from a distance.


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