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USVI only, Boareboat Trip report - 6/12/2021-6/19/2021 #259045
06/22/2021 04:17 PM
06/22/2021 04:17 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 70
Louisiana
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cajunscuba Offline OP
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cajunscuba  Offline OP
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We just returned from a 7 day bareboat charter out of Compass Point Marina with Dream Yacht Charters. Booked with Jenny at Owners Time Charters. Jenny was easy to work with and the prices she can give are good deals IMO, despite the problems I had with the boat.
This was our first time chartering in USVI. With only a 7-day charter, we all decided it was not worth the hassle or stress of testing and quarantining to get into the BVI and then having to do the same to get back into USVI. My intention with this trip report is for those who never sailed in the USVI waters and do not want to deal with the same hassles.
Flight and covid testing
Wife and I had POSITIVE covid antibody test results about 10 days before the flight. As you may know, having a positive antibody test result within 4 months is acceptable. So I received my approval from USVI travel portal 4 days before the flight. When I went online to check in for my flight, United Airlines (supposedly linked to USVI portal or some government entity) kept rejecting my test results. I called United and they said it is happening to a lot of people and I should be fine when I check in at the airport. He was right. No problem checking in at the airport. However, right before we boarded, we had one last scare with a gentleman that didn’t quite know what he was doing.

We reserved a private taxi with My Love Tax. A little about their service: The driver, Mezher, was outside the airport waiting for us with a sign with my name. Very good service. We even asked him to pick us up at Compass Point when we brought the boat back. He was there on time the last day. We had some time to spare after disembarkation on our last day. So he dropped us off downtown Charlotte Amalie. We shopped and ate, and he came back to bring us to the airport. Highly recommend him.

The boat, DYC, and marina
We were on a 2019 Lagoon 40, Blue Iris. I thought we would have somebody show us the basics on the boat right when we boarded and then do a chart briefing in the morning, but that was not the case. It was, “here’s your boat” and that was it. Not my first bareboat so no big deal, but if it WAS my first one…. I wasn’t given much info when I arrived. Not just about the boat, but wasn’t told when the boat briefing would be done, and general info.
If chartering with DYC - FYI: marina had no showers; DYC snorkel equipment was in fair to poor condition and the selection of fins was not good. So at least bring your own mask/snorkel if you have it. Make sure you have everything you paid for in the “starter pack.” We were missing some items.
There’s a very small store on site with snacks, ice, and a small selection of liquor and maybe beer.

Provisioning
I did our provisioning through viprovisioning. We planned our meals around what they had on their website. You can request some things that are not on their website at check out. I like the convenience. It was a good service. I called a few days before and the person I spoke to was helpful. Shortly after we arrived on the boat, everything I ordered was delivered with only a few substitutions. The selection of beer, liquor, and mixers was adequate for us as well.

We were going to do supper at the Dive Bar on site, but the wait was long and it was really hot with no breeze. We decided to take a short taxi to Red Hook for drinks and food. Many options. Glad we did.

The first night in the marina the a/c in one of the cabins froze. It happened to our cabin. The next morning, the head technician told me not to set it below 26 or 27 Celsius. Not something you wanna hear when you paid extra for a/c. I thought why not just add some Freon and see if that helps? I was ready to leave the dock so I agreed. Good thing it was our cabin bc the others in my crew like it much colder than the wife and me. I set it at 26 the rest of the trip and slept fine every night. The other cabins were set at or around 22 and they worked just fine.

Sunday
That morning I went to the office when they open at 8:30. The only person in there was a captain. Like I said, I was not told when the boat or chart briefing would done. So he took my information down. He said boat and chart briefings are done at the same time. So we were to just hang out on the boat until someone showed up. Same guy showed up around 9:00-9:15. I wondered if me going to the office at 8:30 sped things up for me.
The boat briefing was informative. This is when I learned that the watermaker I paid extra for would not be working during my charter. Another disappointment. This would have been good to know beforehand. At this point, I had my crew go buy more drinking water. I had a 79 gallon water tank. I’ll say my crew were good with their water usage overall. I filled up once at Cruz Bay.
There was no real chart briefing. Not the ones I’m used to anyway. He told me to stay to the east of “current rock” between St Thomas and Great St James….that was my chart briefing.
They gave me the boat with the fuel tanks 50% full. We paid to fill them up at the beginning of the charter so I would not have to do it at the end. That was probably a good decision as it is my understanding a lot of people are trying fill up at the end of their charter. I will say that I did top off the starboard tank in Cruz Bay when I needed water and brought the boat back with a little more fuel than what I started with.

We left the fuel dock around 10-10:30. Half my crew had never been on a sailboat before so I wanted an easy and enjoyable first day. I motored to Maho Bay. Hooked up to one of several available mooring around 12:30 I believe. The turtles and the sunset were the highlight here. Some also saw some squid. The beach is beautiful here as well. Great scenery. They quit serving food on the beach at 4. I thought it was 5. Our plan was to eat an early supper there, but we went too late. Good drinks there though. Supper onboard. Magical day

Monday
After some paddle boarding and breakfast, we made a nice snorkel stop at Watermelon Cay. We hooked up to one of the moorings and took the dinghy to the dinghy tether. It’s recommended to swim counter clockwise around the cay. I found this out too late after crossing a snorkeler who did it before.
My impressions were that the BVI is still strict about people crossing into their waters. So I never raised the mainsail on north St John and flew just the genoa at times. Saw many people doing the same. Once I got on the east side of St John I raised the mainsail; moorings were full at my preferred choice, Salt Pond Bay; so we hooked up at Great Lameshure; beautiful anchorage and with good snorkeling. There were some vacant moorings during the night.

Tuesday
We headed over to Caneel bay motoring with the genoa out. Picked up a mooring in front of Honeymoon Beach. Not many vacant moorings here during our overnight here. Very good snorkeling along the rocky shores as shown on the NPS marine Guide map and a very nice beach, albeit crowed. Beach was about empty around 4:30 though. The little restaurant on the beach had a decent mahi sandwich. Others in the group raved about their food. Delicious drinks to try here – lazy lizard and drunk lizard. We spent much of the day hanging out on the beach. Half of the crew left early to take a taxi into Cruz Bay. FYI taxis cannot enter the gate to get into the honeymoon beach area after 4 or 5 (can’t remember which one). The rest of us got ready and took the dinghy to Cruz Bay. Shopped a little while waiting for our table at High Tide. EVERYONE at our table loved their food. I got the Tropical Mahi and it was amazing. We experienced great service, food and drinks here. Great day

Wednesday
The night before, at High Tide, I spoke to a local who recommended we fill our water tank at Cruz Bay when the marina opens at 7 to beat traffic. Upon arrival the next morning I had to wait for one small boat and I was next up. We topped the water tank, starboard fuel tank, and got ice right there. While the wife and I were doing that, my crew went reprovisioned a 5 minute walk up the road. The worker at the marina asked why we were there so early. We told him we wanted to beat the traffic. He acted like we were crazy. I’d say there were at least 5 boats waiting in line after us. I’m glad we went early despite that gentleman’s stated opinion. He took our trash bags for $3 per bag, cash.
The next overnight anchorage I planned on doing, Trunk Bay or Hawknest. Both were very nearby. With the extra time, I decided to make our way to Whistling Cay and hooked up to one of the day time moorings for a good snorkel. We then made our way to Trunk Bay and saw no moorings available so we went into Hawksnest where there were plenty of vacant moorings. We snorkeled, paddle boarded, and hung out on the boat or beach the rest of the day. We were one of only 3 boats moored here for the night. Plenty of vacant moorings. The beach was beautiful, and while it was small, it was uncrowded. We hung out on the beach on the east side and were 1 of only 2 groups there. One reason we stayed here was the easy access to the trail that leads to Windmill Bar. On the hike up we made a very short detour north to the Peace Hill Windmill. We were very glad we did. Awesome lookout point where the sugar mill is.
The hike up to Windmill Bar took us about 40 minutes. I’d say it was a moderate hike. It’s about 700 feet up I believe. Windmill Bar was busy. We had an awesome spot to watch the sunset. There was a tent by the bar that was serving a good variety of delicious food. We watched the beautiful sunset and hiked back down to the boat while we had daylight. Windmill Bar is a great spot. Magical Day

Thursday
Over the years I’ve seen Trunk Bay mentioned many times on lists as a top beach, so since I was so close I felt an obligation to take my wife there. So after breakfast, we hooked up to mooring at Trunk Bay and took the dinghy in. It is a very beautiful beach. Maybe a little prettier than Hawknest, but way more crowded. The snorkeling at Trunk Cay is very good – the school of tarpons probably being the highlight. Saw some stingrays here as well. Worth your time. Stayed here about 2 hours. Glad we made that stop.
Made our way to Buck island to see the wreck and the turtles. I’d recommend going here only if you’re passing by, but do not go out of your way. We hooked up to a mooring here just west of Turtle Cove. I went down to see if there was anything worth seeing and it was just sea grass. I didn’t go too far away from the boat. Moments later a tour boat, The Cat, showed up with 30-45 people. So we figured “if they’re here, there must be something worth seeing.” We decided to see where they went. They showed them a turtle. Another boat showed up with more people. We asked the tour guides where the wreck is and they told us. It’s in Mouillage Cove under the moorings in the northern side of the Cove. Getting off the mooring was interesting when being completely surrounded by so many unaware snorkeling tourists. I really should have done more research on this stop but didn’t think we’d go to it. We checked out the wreck, which was cool, but not sure it was worth going out of my way for.
Ten minutes after leaving Buck Island we got hit with some rain, rough weather and high seas on our way to Christmas Cove. We picked up one of the last moorings available; called Pizza Pi and they said they had been fully booked since 9 am that morning; oops; another thing I should have found in my research. It stopped raining a bit and some of us snorkeled Fish Cay; good snorkel; highlights were stingray and tarpen. It rained pretty much the rest of the evening and we just drank and played cards in the salon.
Friday
After breakfast we headed for Water Island making good speed with the genoa out. We arrived at Druif Bay around 10:20. Dropped the anchor for the first time this trip. Once I felt comfortable with our holding we went get some food and drinks at Dinghy’s Beach Bar and Grill. Verdict: Delicious food and drinks, but sllllooowww service. We tried getting a golf cart to take around the island, but they were fully booked. We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out on the beach. It’s nice, but crowded. We had a good time, but I will say this was my wife and my least favorite stop. We liked the food so much at Dinghy’s, we all decided to have supper there as well. It was a nice supper watching the sunset. The panko fish tacos and/panko fish sandwich are delish.
Within 5 minutes of laying in bed, my a/c shut off. The generator quit working – “Problem with fuel supply.” I had plenty of fuel. I’m sure some of you can troubleshoot that, but none of us could. So we slept with no a/c the last night. The wife and I slept fine with a nice breeze blowing through the hatches. Others on the boat said they were hot.

Saturday morning (womp womp womp)
Uneventful morning heading upwind. Called DYC base at 8:30, which was about 30 minutes before arrival, and then called again when I entered the channel. They sent someone on a dinghy who boarded the boat and docked it. Boat debriefing. Then went to the front office to discuss the issue with the watermaker. They offered me a 2 day credit or a $600 reimbursement.

Conclusion
By day 4-5, I was saying I got my money’s worth out of the trip and the rest was bonus. I find myself describing it as a magical week. Coral seemed healthy and beautiful on our snorkels around STJ. St John may very well be my favorite island of all the USVI and BVI. However, as far as sailboat chartering goes, I’d prefer the BVI. We did not take much advantage of the many hiking trails on STJ. I thought we would have. However, we were busy enough.

Any questions, just ask

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Re: USVI only, Boareboat Trip report - 6/12/2021-6/19/2021 [Re: cajunscuba] #259054
06/22/2021 05:24 PM
06/22/2021 05:24 PM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 290
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MIDiver Offline
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Thanks for the report. Glad you had a nice time in spite of the boat issues. Compass Point was absolutely horrible when we were there in February. Will never charter out of there again. Happy to be "home" in the BVI.

Re: USVI only, Boareboat Trip report - 6/12/2021-6/19/2021 [Re: cajunscuba] #259077
06/22/2021 07:30 PM
06/22/2021 07:30 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,224
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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LocalSailor  Offline
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Cruz Bay Marina ?? = National Park Dock?? TY!

Re: USVI only, Boareboat Trip report - 6/12/2021-6/19/2021 [Re: LocalSailor] #259102
06/23/2021 07:22 AM
06/23/2021 07:22 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 70
Louisiana
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cajunscuba Offline OP
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cajunscuba  Offline OP
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Louisiana
Originally Posted by LocalSailor
Cruz Bay Marina ?? = National Park Dock?? TY!


Correct. Sorry about that.

MIDiver - I agree with you on Compass Point Marina. I'll give DYC the benefit of the doubt and assume their operations are better in other locations.

Last edited by cajunscuba; 06/23/2021 07:24 AM.
Re: USVI only, Boareboat Trip report - 6/12/2021-6/19/2021 [Re: cajunscuba] #259109
06/23/2021 08:37 AM
06/23/2021 08:37 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,821
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
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RickG  Offline
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St. John, USVI
I'm glad you had fun.

The DYC briefing challenge is pretty well known. They send people not know how to operating the basics. The classic is people anchoring for the first time in Coral Bay and not knowing that the engine needs to be on to operate the windlass.

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Benetau 423
St. John, USVI
Re: USVI only, Boareboat Trip report - 6/12/2021-6/19/2021 [Re: cajunscuba] #259122
06/23/2021 10:01 AM
06/23/2021 10:01 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 798
Middleburg, VA
cwoody Offline
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cwoody  Offline
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Middleburg, VA
Originally Posted by cajunscuba
[quote=LocalSailor]
MIDiver - I agree with you on Compass Point Marina.


Is DYC teamed up with VIYC at Compass point?
We chartered from VIYC in 2019. I gave the marina and VIYC service a "C" back then. At lease the showers were working on shore. Looks like things have not improved.
Think it saved about and hour on the trip east to St John compared to sailing out of CA.
Burgers at Dive Bar were a highlight. Back to CYOA for next STT trip.


Chuck W.
[Linked Image]

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Re: USVI only, Boareboat Trip report - 6/12/2021-6/19/2021 [Re: cajunscuba] #259142
06/23/2021 01:56 PM
06/23/2021 01:56 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 89
Dallas, Tx
dlatin Offline
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dlatin  Offline
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Dallas, Tx
Awesome trip report, very informative. You said you motored to Maho on Sunday. Did you motor all the way from the marina? Is that because Pillsbury sound is too rough to sail across? St. John is our favorite island but I’m going to miss the sailing you get with the BVIs

Re: USVI only, Boareboat Trip report - 6/12/2021-6/19/2021 [Re: dlatin] #259155
06/23/2021 04:46 PM
06/23/2021 04:46 PM
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Posts: 70
Louisiana
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cajunscuba Offline OP
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cajunscuba  Offline OP
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It's only about 10 miles from Compass Point Marina to Maho. I motored because 4 of my 8 crew had never been on a sailboat or catamaran before. I wanted a fast and easy first day after a long day of travel the day before. The next day on the east and south side of STJ I raised the mainsail and genoa and some of the crew got sea sick for a little while. You are correct about the sailing in BVI vs USVI. I saw several boats with just the headsail out.

cwoody - My understanding is they are partnered with VIYC or "teamed up." I was told they have around 100 more boats at compass point marina than they did in December. Hyperbole? I don't know. I was also told they cannot find employees to work there. Seems to be a norm these days

Re: USVI only, Boareboat Trip report - 6/12/2021-6/19/2021 [Re: cajunscuba] #259156
06/23/2021 04:59 PM
06/23/2021 04:59 PM
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Posts: 3,350
VIRGINIA
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BEERMAN Offline
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Nice report!! Was the "little restaurant" on Honeymoon Beach or was it Zozo's? Have a pic??

Re: USVI only, Boareboat Trip report - 6/12/2021-6/19/2021 [Re: cajunscuba] #259172
06/23/2021 10:34 PM
06/23/2021 10:34 PM
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Posts: 1,150
JAX
jphart Offline
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Yes, DREAM has slips at Compass. Different operations and office than VIYC.

Zohos is at Caneel Bay. On the water, outdoors only.
In March 2021 it was bar service, and price fix $100 dinner.
Tried the “Fifth Try” rum with owner John

Re: USVI only, Boareboat Trip report - 6/12/2021-6/19/2021 [Re: cajunscuba] #259174
06/24/2021 07:13 AM
06/24/2021 07:13 AM
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Posts: 70
Louisiana
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cajunscuba Offline OP
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cajunscuba  Offline OP
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I believe the restaurant at Honeymoon beach is Bikinis on the Beach

Re: USVI only, Boareboat Trip report - 6/12/2021-6/19/2021 [Re: cajunscuba] #259184
06/24/2021 09:44 AM
06/24/2021 09:44 AM
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BEERMAN Offline
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Thanks, found their website. Not sure we'll go...but never know!


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