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Trip Report, Nautilust, 7/16 - 8/1. #63934
08/05/2015 07:21 AM
08/05/2015 07:21 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 397
jbuch02 Offline OP
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I'm doing a stop by stop review of our charter. Intended audience is the first or second time traveler to the BVI. There's a lot of detail here for newbies. Regulars can just skip this. Part 1:

7/16: Arrived at STT from ATL around 1:00p. On the arrival side, the airport is entirely negotiable, checked luggage easily and quickly retrieved ....... on a Thursday. That's not always the case on Fridays and Saturdays when traffic is much heavier. I think there was just one other aircraft arriving at the same time as we did. Departure from STT is an entirely different matter and I'll cover that later.

A week before our arrival, I arranged taxi service to CA Ferry w/Kevin. He was very responsive. I texted him on landing, he texted right back saying to meet him under the Trophy Sword Fish hanging on the wall in the luggage area. He sent an associate, Lee, to meet us. There was no scrambling for a taxi or waiting for the dispatcher to fill one up while you roast in the sun. This is why people here use Kevin in CA.

Never saw Kevin. Lee took us straight away to the CA Ferry Terminal. The process of de-planing, retrieving luggage, getting to Lee's taxi and then to the Ferry Terminal took about an hour. We were at the Ferry by 2p for the 2:30p Ferry. Taxi Fare is $10pp which is a dollar more than the standard taxi rate. I gave Lee $25. He was very appreciative.

No RTFF at that time. The available ferry was Native Son which goes to RT via West End. We could have waited for the RTFF later (4:30 I think) but the rule people follow here is to take the first ferry available going to Tortola. That's good advice. Going through WE adds about 15-20m to the trip depending on how many folks get off there. All the ferry companies reduce their scheduled runs around the first week in July. It's hard to predict which company you'll end up riding although times seem to have settled down and are not as chaotic as in the past. From CA to RT during the week, you can pretty much count on a 2:30 and a 4:30 run which works fine for arrivals at STT between noon and about 3-3:30. Just be flexible.

A one way ticket ( don't buy a Round trip) is $35. There is a bag charge of $3 per bag. You can have one small carry on and a purse. When you buy your tickets, you need to show your passport. You can pay with a credit card. Our bill for two with tax and bag charges was $104. We tagged 4 bags (one a Polar Bear cooler).

There are a lot of people milling around at the ticket counter. It can be confusing. Don't be shy. Step up to the counter and get your tickets. You'll get a bag receipt for your checked bags then they are moved by employees to the baggage area. You will proceed to the boarding area, present your ticket to the agent and find a seat there. There is shade and a nice breeze.

Arrival at Road Town: the ride to RT takes about 65-70 minutes via WE. After docking, employees will move all the baggage first. This takes about 10 - 15 minutes so, you can just stay seated or be an eager beaver and get to the front of the line. You might save a few minutes going through customs that way. Up to you. BVI Customs agents and dock personal are not forthcoming with the required forms. I never found the BVI customs forms on line and had to ask for them while in the customs line.You'll have plenty of time to fill them out. If you make a mistake or forget an entry you'll be gently reminded to correct it/fill it in. Dates are entered day/month/year. Your arrival vessel is the name of the ferry (e.g., Adventure).

There are two stages to customs processing: you, then your bags. After presenting your passport and clearing in you go back outside and pick up your bags. If you're bringing a cooler with food in it, declare the value of everything you brought in on your customs form. After we picked up our four checked bags, the agent just waved us through the gate to the front of the terminal. Didn't check anything, didn't collect duty on our declared items. It's always going to depend so, don't take short cuts. Let the agents do that for you.

We pre-arranged a rental with DeDe's about three weeks out. I texted Deadman (the owner, Frank Faulkner) when we left CA. Told me to ask anyone outside the RT terminal for DeDe. Did just that and a young man stepped up and took us to our rental in the terminal parking area. A nice Mitsubishi 4 passenger wagon with plenty of room for bags. $65/d, $75 w/insurance. You may or may not want the insurance. Your choice; check coverages with your own auto insurance or what's provided with the credit card you use. You fill out a couple of forms and you're on your way. The tank was about a quarter full. You bring it back that way.

Drive to and arrival at Tamarind Club. This place is in East End and close to Dream Yacht Charters in Hodges Creek. It's about 15-20m from RT ....... except if you make a wrong turn but we had a nice island tour! You drive on the left. Best advice I got here with regard to driving from Manpot was left shoulder to left shoulder, check right before you turn left, keep it under 35. It's really pretty easy and nothing to fear. You'll adapt quickly. Just take it slow. I found local drivers to be pretty courteous.

Tamarind club is unique. I've a ready talked about it up thread so won't repeat. We liked it, others may not. Nice pool with swim up bar. The menu is local, varied and good. You can eat from it just about any time you want and there is someone in the kitchen to cook it. The bar is pretty much opened whenever. Depends on who's there to pour the drinks. Like I've already said. Pretty relaxed with the place on ilon time for sure. None of the rooms have keys. You can lock the sliding doors from inside. I don't think anyone does. Pretty safe.

Thoughts on pre-charter time in Tortola. I'm a big proponent of having a couple of days in Tortola pre-charter. We arrived on Thursday pm for a Saturday Sleep Aboard and a Sunday departure. There's no one right way to do this. Depends on your schedule and your budget. Your adding the cost of hotels, meals and a rental car to your expenses. That's the down side. The upside is that it can be relaxing, there are some great restaurants on Tortola and it affords time to do more precise provisioning. We just hung out at Tamarind on Thursday afternoon, ate a nice evening meal there and had a good night's sleep.

On Friday we took a tour of Tortola, had lunch at Pussers in RT, stopped by Digicell to check on options and decided to just keep my ATT Passport plan. Next time I'll skip the ATT Passport plan and get a Digicell mifi and voice/data plan using an unlocked iPhone. At the end of the day, that approach is probably going to cost less than ATT Passport and you'll get better data access.

There is plenty of free wifi around but it's not secure and its spotty ....... Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Best and secure wifi was at Scrub Island Resort. I had pretty good data access using my ATT mifi and phone but the data is expensive and goes fast on the mifi. I reloaded the mifi once ($30 for 120mb). It's a pain in the [censored] to do it as you have to call International Customer Support and sit on hold for a while. Like I said, I'll go with Digicell next year.

Lastly, we stopped by DYC to find out how early we could board on Saturday. I also inquired about getting access to the boat's fridge and freezer. Staff were very accommodating. After that we went back to Tamarind, took a swim in the pool and then cleaned up and headed out to West End to have dinner at Frenchman's Clubhouse with Mal and his wife Candice. Nice way to end the day. Thanks Mal.

We pre-ordered non-perishables from Rite Way and all our beverages from Caribbean Cellars two weeks out. We shopped in person for perishables. Frankly, I wouldn't use the competitors. Just to compare, I went into OneMarket and Bobby's. My view is that most will prefer the feel of Rite Way and the availability and appearance of produce, meats and fish. Rite Way is as stocked and as appealing as any stateside Kroger, Publix, etc. The others I visited, not so much.

Delivery to our boat on Saturday afternoon by both stores was on time and exactly as ordered. We walked through Rite Way on Saturday around noon, picked up our perishables and headed to DYC where, as I had been advised on Friday, we could board around 2 to have access to the fridge. Completed the check in paper work that afternoon too. The boat was fully ours by around 3:30p. We left the chart and boat briefings for first thing Sunday morning after determining only two other boats we're going out then. Our other guests arrived around 4 and we drove to RT to pick them up. After that we just relaxed on the boat for our first evening and sleep aboard. Dinner was lite snacks of cheese, crackers, fruit and summer sausage that I brought from home.

Next: Part II , Hodges Creek (DYC) to Peter Island

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Re: Trip Report, Nautilust, 7/16 - 8/1. [Re: jbuch02] #63935
08/05/2015 04:15 PM
08/05/2015 04:15 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 44
Lawrenceburg, IN
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DaveJ Offline
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Thanks for the quick thought report and now the details. Sounds like a relaxing and enjoyable trip. Looking forward to the departure from STT story, as that is where we have experienced most of our unplanned deviations.

I am curious as to rationale behind the "don't by a round trip" statement for the ferry. Is there a concern I'm missing? I have always (just 3 trips) bought the round trip ticket in advance feeling it provides some level of protection in having a "reserved" seat (if there is such a thing) and it saves $5 per ticket. I do feel it helped on the return from RT to CA in March 2014 on a Sunday when they were turning folks away (saying the ferry was full) for the 8:00 ferry.

My flight schedules have usually locked me into specific ferry schedules, so maintaining flexibility has not really been a factor...avoiding delays has been the priority.

My experience thus far has been, though not always timely, RTFF has been much more reliable than US Air!

Re: Trip Report, Nautilust, 7/16 - 8/1. [Re: DaveJ] #63936
08/05/2015 05:33 PM
08/05/2015 05:33 PM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 489
Jacksonville, FL, USA
onlymedication Offline
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onlymedication  Offline
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Dave, the reasoning behind not buying the RT tickets is just that, flexibility. The ferries aren't known for adhering to a strict schedule, to be diplomatic about it. You are usually best off showing up to the ferry dock and buying a ticket for the next boat to depart. If you bought your ticket in advance and the boat you bought the ticket for is broken or otherwise running behind, you are basically stuck waiting for that boat or buying a ticket on another ferry and eating the cost of the prepaid ticket. It's just not worth the $5 discount. YMMV, but I guess it worked well for you once getting a seat on a boat that might otherwise have been "full", so if it works for you, good. Above is why most don't buy the round trip though.

Re: Trip Report, Nautilust, 7/16 - 8/1. [Re: onlymedication] #63937
08/05/2015 06:04 PM
08/05/2015 06:04 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 16,282
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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For the above stated reasons we never, ever buy round trip tix..an option we like is taking the Inter Island Ferry ( reliable)..you clear at St John and then on to Red Hook..it does involve a taxi ride from there..but we have lunch at " Fish Tails" by the dock and relax...

Re: Trip Report, Nautilust, 7/16 - 8/1. [Re: Manpot] #63938
08/06/2015 01:47 PM
08/06/2015 01:47 PM
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Posts: 961
Petoskey, MI
CottageGirl Offline
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CottageGirl  Offline
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So how long did you have food in your polar bear cooler until you could get it in a fridge?

Re: Trip Report, Nautilust, 7/16 - 8/1. [Re: CottageGirl] #63939
08/06/2015 04:24 PM
08/06/2015 04:24 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 16,282
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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Manpot  Offline
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We dont travel with no stinking food!

Re: Trip Report, Nautilust, 7/16 - 8/1. [Re: Manpot] #63940
08/06/2015 06:49 PM
08/06/2015 06:49 PM
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Posts: 3,251
VIRGINIA
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BEERMAN Offline
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These should earn frequent flyer points! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />

[Linked Image]

Re: Trip Report, Nautilust, 7/16 - 8/1. [Re: CottageGirl] #63941
08/06/2015 07:39 PM
08/06/2015 07:39 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 397
jbuch02 Offline OP
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jbuch02  Offline OP
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Quote
CottageGirl said:
So how long did you have food in your polar bear cooler until you could get it in a fridge?


Meats and fish were packed in zip lock bags, air removed and placed in the freezer set at the lowest temperature setting for 24h. The meats and fish were removed, un-zipped and a small amount of water was splashed in each package. The packages were re-zipped, air removed and placed back in the freezer for three days.

Cooler was packed at 6am, 4 techno ice pks placed on top of the meat and checked as baggage at the airport at 9am. We arrived in STT around 1pm and at Tamarind resort about 4p. I checked the meats/fish and they were still frozen solid. This was 10h after packing. There was room in Tamarind's kitchen freezer and we put the whole thing in there until it was taken out on Saturday around noon.

When I got to the boat about 2:30p and opened the cooler the meats and fish were still frozen rock solid. They were transferred into the boats freezer and remained frozen until used.

The Polar Bear Coolers may be the best on the market as far as I am concerned. They are compact and really sturdy. I have the 48 and love it. It was our deck cooler for drinks on the boat. It held a bag of ice about a day and 1/2. That is remarkable.

Re: Trip Report, Nautilust, 7/16 - 8/1. [Re: jbuch02] #63942
08/06/2015 08:48 PM
08/06/2015 08:48 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 397
jbuch02 Offline OP
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jbuch02  Offline OP
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Part II: the float plan, the boat and DYC. I want to stress again, as I stated in the quick thoughts post I made earlier, that the ideal itinerary for the BVI is one that lists things you want to do or see and work them in as your trip unfolds. After doing this a couple of times, I like this approach a whole lot more than a rigidly planned itinerary but your mileage will vary.

I'd offer that the less familiar you are with the area, the tighter your plan might want to be. This affords some chart and anchorage study before your charter using the BVI Cruising Guide along with the VI Anchorages book. I'm not sure I would have wanted to not have a plan on my first charter but still, you could look at the charts in a big picture sort of way then do more detailed chart and anchorages study based on what you want to do on any given day. Work out a way to do this/plan that suits the lowest common denominator among your crew. Everyone is happier that way.

DYC and check out: after a sleep aboard, the next morning JO Oliver, the dock master, came to our boat right at 8am as we had discussed the day before. He saw we were still enjoying breakfast so asked if we wanted him to come back. We said sure, give us about an hour. He returned then, we went through the inventory, equipment check out and chart briefing in about 45 minutes. I have my own check list and went through it before JO arrived. The dingy OB and the dingy itself was pretty ruff. JO replaced both quickly. Everything else was fine.

DYC is a small operation nested with two other companies in Hodges Creek - Marine Max and the Catamaran Company. There is a nice motel and restaurant at the marina. There is a smaller version Riteway in East End, maybe a five minute drive away. It's walkable in about 15 I suspect. Went there twice, once for a bag of ice and once for some supplies. The place is Ok.

I have a personal bias toward the smaller companies. It's just my preference but I like being treated like a sailor and not a contract number. 1 year ago it was Horizon, also a small company. I liked both equally in terms of customer service and accessibility. On the day we checked out, it was very relaxed and calm.

The boat, Nautilust, a Beneteau 41 is brand new. It was commissioned and put into charter service in November of 2014. This one is the 3 cabin/2h version. It does not have AC or a genset. My view is that if you're going to charter in July/August, you have to either pick your anchorages carefully for a nice breeze and hope you get one or get a boat with at least dockside AC. The one thing this does aside from allowing for maybe a couple of nights in a slip with cool AC for sleeping, is dry stuff out a little when you are on a dock fueling, having lunch, whatever. Without AC you're in a constant state of dampness. Entirely workable for some, not for others. Just be aware.

The layout on these boats is super for chartering. They are very popular with both moorings and sunsail in their versions of it. It has an aft, L shaped galley with a big top loading freezer and front loading fridge. Both were very efficient although the freezer is a big power drain and the stock alternator and regulator on this boat isn't powerful enough to get that important last 10% of battery charge. It works though. We just ran the motor a lot. Dock side power got the batteries well charged which led us to the conclusion that the alternator/regulator combo is a little undersized. The Yanmar diesel is very efficient and powers this boat well. I think it's a 50, maybe 60hp. Very fuel efficient. Over 14d we burned 22 gallons while running the motor a lot to keep the battery bank up.

Cabinet and storage space in the galley is good. It was well equipped. The only thing we needed that wasn't there was a potato peeler. We used a French Press for coffee. There is a percolator aboard. Never used it. There is a microwave. We used it three times for reheating some meats and doing microwave bacon. Worked great as long as you ran the engine. It might be fine on just the batteries but you'll flat line them with repeated use leading to decreased battery life for lead acid batteries.

The aft head is spacious and has a separate shower area. Electric flush toilets. Good storage under and over the sink. The forward head is smaller with the usual plastic curtain thing to cover the sink and cabinets. Up here, you can pull the sink faucet out of its spot and mount it up higher as a shower. That works.

There is plenty of head room. One of our crew is 6'5". He had no problems getting around below although he did sleep in the cockpit as he felt a little claustrophobic in the aft cabin. The forward cabin is set up well with lots of storage space. My wife and I are smallish. We fit in there fine. There is nice big hatch above the forward berth. Good for cooling as long as there is a steady breeze. There is a small hatch in the starboard head and one next to it on the port side in the standing area of the forward cabin. Ventilation is ok and great if you leave the forward cabin door open. The saloon is spacious enough. The previous charterer broke the hinge on the table so there was no piece to allow the table to be dropped down to form a berth. Not a big deal except there is a big hatch center in the saloon and when you attach a breeze catcher at anchor the wind pipes through the whole boat nicely. I would have slept there if we could have made up the saloon berth.

The best part about this boat is the cockpit. It's huge. It's equipped with a electrically operated swim platform that's nice but probably won't last. There's a nice fold out table, lots of storage underneath it (don't use it for ice though - good for cans), huge lazeretts port and starboard and two large access hatches to storage lockers aft for bumpers and such. Stored all our canned bevs in the lazeretts and stocked the polar bear cooler from it each morning. Don't dump cold water out of the cooler. Leave a couple of inches of it in there when you put a new bag of ice in (in the plastic bag) as it helps to cool down warm cans

Sails like a dream but it's tender; you put a reef in at 17 true, a second at 22. It's a fractional rig with a larger main and a slightly smaller jib. The deck is very well laid out for sail handling. We experienced both those wind conditions and loved how it sailed with one reef, not with two. I didn't think it was the best boat hard on the wind. It seemed to like 35-40 degrees apparent a lot but not much closer to the wind. That's probably due to the shoal draft keel. A deep draft would be a better performer but at 7' your not going to Anegada. The boat sailed well off the wind, especially on a reach/broad reach with just the jib in 17+, the boat flew on those points of sail with both the main and the jib up. Overall this is a great boat for up to 6 folks.

Last edited by jbuch02; 08/06/2015 08:53 PM.
Re: Trip Report, Nautilust, 7/16 - 8/1. [Re: Manpot] #63943
08/06/2015 10:34 PM
08/06/2015 10:34 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,558
Woodstock, GA
RickinAtlanta Offline
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Quote
Manpot said:
We dont travel with no stinking food!


So what??? Each to their own and this is NO debate!

Re: Trip Report, Nautilust, 7/16 - 8/1. [Re: CottageGirl] #63944
08/06/2015 10:44 PM
08/06/2015 10:44 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,558
Woodstock, GA
RickinAtlanta Offline
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Quote
CottageGirl said:
So how long did you have food in your polar bear cooler until you could get it in a fridge?


The Polar Bear Cooler held frozen sealed food for about 14 hours until we got to our villa. I much prefer to take product with me to cook in our villa and have what we want instead of hoping the local market on Virgin Gorda has what we want. We definitely supplement those few items with what can be found locally. I'm not sure what some of the very vocal respondents don't understand about this but if you don't want to bring food on your trip then DON'T. This is not a debate but a preference.

Re: Trip Report, Nautilust, 7/16 - 8/1. [Re: RickinAtlanta] #63945
08/07/2015 01:17 AM
08/07/2015 01:17 AM
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Posts: 5,900
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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Just something to mention. DYC is not a small charter company. In fact they are the largest charter company in the world and they are expanding in the Caribean as fast as they can. I think they are now the second largest company in the BVI.
G

Re: Trip Report, Nautilust, 7/16 - 8/1. [Re: RickinAtlanta] #63946
08/07/2015 01:51 AM
08/07/2015 01:51 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 414
Memphis, TN
beerMe Offline
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jb,

Thanks for all of the details, as they say the devil is in the details!

I have a preference for "best deals" and oddly enough Sunsail was the winner two trips ago. Although I tend to prefer the smaller operators (BVIYC is my favorite) it surprised me how much I liked Sunsail. Location, near Riteway was nice and when we had a problem (dingy had a leak and I droped the grill grate overboard) they showed up in about 2 hours and all was well and they didn't charge me for the grate.


Life involves risks, take some prudent ones (NOT with the BVI ferries)!
Re: Trip Report, Nautilust, 7/16 - 8/1. [Re: beerMe] #63947
08/07/2015 06:18 PM
08/07/2015 06:18 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 397
jbuch02 Offline OP
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jbuch02  Offline OP
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Re DYC size. I did know about DYC's world wide operations but did not know they are the second largest company in the BVI.

Just curious. What are you basing that on? The "size" definition as a criteria for selecting a charter company has the potential of being misleading.

From my perspective, I don't like the apparent chaos of the Moorings/Sunsail operation caused by the sheer volume of charterers on typical departure days. That may not be entirely fair as I've not chartered from them, just observed the operations a couple of times. I know there are posters here who either have boats on charter service with or just love their operation.

For me, I just like small. DYC lists 11 monos and 41 cats. Bigger than Horizon, probably about the same as BVIYC but not close to the combined fleet of Moorings/Sunsail. Not knocking either operation. In fact, Russell Bertrand, the Captain that accompanied us on our latest charter, likes Sunsail a lot but it's because of how they run their race fleet for the various big Regattas in the area. He did say that they do this very well suggests they do regular chartering well too and Beerme seems to think they do.

Re: Trip Report, Nautilust, 7/16 - 8/1. [Re: jbuch02] #63948
08/08/2015 09:25 AM
08/08/2015 09:25 AM
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Posts: 745
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Cleobeach Offline
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At the risk of sounding like a salesman for polar bear, those coolers are awesome. We had trips more than 36+ hours door to door and things were still frozen solid.

We use our 48er as overflow fridge storage at our cabin and it keeps beer icy cold all weekend if we keep it out of the sun.

Re: Trip Report, Nautilust, 7/16 - 8/1. [Re: Cleobeach] #63949
08/08/2015 09:41 AM
08/08/2015 09:41 AM
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Posts: 5,900
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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I was considering the Moorings and Sunsail as one company since for all intents and purposes that is what they are. DYC is huge worldwide and making a big push to grow in the Caribbean. They have some very good people working for them and I suspect will do very well.
G

Re: Trip Report, Nautilust, 7/16 - 8/1. [Re: GeorgeC1] #63950
08/08/2015 12:29 PM
08/08/2015 12:29 PM
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Posts: 164
SouthEastern Pennsylvania
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I have used the Mooorings three times and have no complaints. Our last trip we got to the dock at about 5:30 for sleep aboard we went right on the boat and were told the boat checkout was scheduled for 7:30 the next morning. They were there at 7:15 and we were ready to leave the dock about an hour later. Everything went real smooth. No crowds or confusion at all

Re: Trip Report, Nautilust, 7/16 - 8/1. [Re: WayneC] #63951
08/11/2015 02:15 PM
08/11/2015 02:15 PM
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Posts: 397
jbuch02 Offline OP
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Finally got around to downloading some pictures. So this part of the report (Part III) will have pictures.

Going back, wanted to post a few pictures of Tamarind Club and Nautilust as we first saw her on Friday before our Saturday Charter started. Thereís a few other pictures of our first two days in RT too.

Hereís what you see when you pull up in front of the Tamarind ÖÖ itís enough to make you turn around but itís very nice, warm and friendly inside.

[Linked Image]

Inside views:

[Linked Image]

Clint (left) and his Dad (the owner). Nice folk.

[Linked Image]

Pussers in RT. We ate there for lunch on Friday. Itís really very good. Nothing special but prices are reasonable and food good.

[Linked Image]

Nautilust, 2015 Beneteau, Oceanis 41, 3c/2h getting prepped for our charter at DYC.

[Linked Image]

Forward cabin, home sweet home for two weeks.
[Linked Image].

I'm sorry, Mal. I had 3 pictures of our group that dined at Frenchman's on Friday night before our charter. All of them were too dark to post. Had a great meal there with Manpot (Malcom) and his wife Candice.

First night: Great Harbor, Peter Island. 45 minute sail (a reach) or motor from Hodges Creek, good holding if you want to anchor, in front of the first line of balls to the far east corner of the anchorage, go to about 20 feet of depth under the keel in a sandy spot (about 100 yards from a nice PRIVATE beach belonging to Peter Island Resort) or just take a ball which is what we did. The breeze can be pretty strong coming through a gap at that end of Peter. If you anchor, watch your turning room to the West but you can put out 150+ feet of chain and get a good bite.

[Linked Image]

There's a nice looking bar at the West side of the anchorage that is a pretty good dinghy ride away. We tried it. We were the only folks there. Less than friendly and welcoming. Suspect staff was ready to close up.

Surprising good snorkeling along this Southern side of the anchorage. You can dinghy down to the western end and just drift back to the east. Lots of good sized fish.

[Linked Image]

Doug takes the helm enroute to Norman and the Caves.

[Linked Image]

Following a morning swim and snorkeling at the Caves, we moved to Cooper Island where we pulled in for lunch at Manchioneel Bay. The water here is spectacularly clear. Enjoyed the day on a ball and ate dinner at the Cooper Island Resort.

No pictures. We were enjoying the great meal and excellent service. $18-35 plates (and a less expensive Tapas menu w/plates in the $6-8 range). Reasonable wines $32 and up. Had the Ahi Tuna at $32. Excellent. Iíd put this high on my list of spots to visit for any BVI Charter.

Sunrise at Cooper Island

[Linked Image]

Ann, my wife, and Terri, Dougís wife.

[img]http://i186.photobucket.com/al...50720_18_50_55_Pro_zpsplvk1jo9.jpg[/img]

Following our night at Cooper, we headed to Monkey Point for some snorkeling and then to Marina Cay for the night. Pictures later because after this initial stop, we took a ball there once more and anchored there one more time. Itís a very good spot, nice breeze and up close/protected by the reef that runs NE to SW it is flat. It is also very convenient to a lot of BVI features/anchorages, fuel, ice, water and provisions all close by either at Marina Cay or just across the way at Trellis.

From Marina Cay we set out for the Dogs to snorkel and have lunch. This is the only place we saw Jellies and, yes, the lee shore of Great Dog was full of them. I snorkeled, it was OK not great, Jellies didnít bother me at all. From there we headed to North Sound.

This routing including the short sail from Marina Cay to Great Dog is really nice as it cuts what is about a 2-3h sail, into the Trades, direct to North Sound from Marina Cay into two short segments...... something we wanted to do to keep our crew happy.

There were no slips at Leverick (or BEYC) due to the Puerto Rican Navy there for Christmas in July. Thatís not a dig on these boaters. They are super friendly folks with nice kids and they are all, it appeared, good seaman. We ran in to a lot of them, same ones, again and again. Hard not to! If youíre chartering in the last two weeks of July, consider this and make your slip reservations at Leverick WAY early.

We took a ball at Saba Rock. This turned out to be an excellent choice. Free bag of ice and free water. We did the VG Island tour from there but picked up a rental from L&S at Leverick (arranged by Leverick Resort staff). $65 for the day. Cabs are an option and there are plenty of them but a rental is far and away cheaper for parties of 4 or more.

Went to the Baths before 11a as planned. Parking lot was empty and boats were just starting to arrive in the anchorage. Filled up fast! The restaurant there was packed when weíd finished up exploring. Opted for another place but it is a good place to eat.

Only have two pictures worth posting. One of the Baths (another view) and one of my favorite spots on VG for the cooling breezes in July (it is really hot in any place without a breeze), views and the food. Hog Heaven. It's probably up there about 1500 feet from sea level, maybe a bit more, the temperature difference in the shade is astounding. Still hot in the sun. Eat the ribs, drink Pain Killers. Excellent!

[img]http://i186.photobucket.com/al...50724_12_45_48_Pro_zpsuu1w5gwh.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i186.photobucket.com/al...50724_14_33_15_Pro_zpsgwqrqud7.jpg[/img]

After two great days in North Sound which included a tour of BEYC, we were off to Anegada. BEYC is very nice but pricy as far as I am concerned. The accommodations along the beach are showing some age. Did not look at the rooms. They offer a terrific sailing school for kids and the place is family oriented. Everything you might need there is present including a decent store for provisions.

[img]http://i186.photobucket.com/al...50725_10_07_16_Pro_zpsk5ssdanx.jpg[/img]

I wish I had some Saba Rock photos. Really liked this spot with the same characteristics as Marina Cay but with a more active bar. Packed with visiting folks from PR. We all had a good time. Good overnight spot too. Good breeze and flat.

Here's our crew from L to R :Doug Dillon at the helm, Sound Engineer for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (and others), me, retired, USMC and mostly retired Physician Assistant, my wife, Ann, Terri Dillon, Doug's wife and Fund Raiser for Northwestern University in Chicago.

[img]http://i186.photobucket.com/al...50727_11_13_45_Pro_zps18td5hvj.jpg[/img]

Finally and with great respect, the guy who I hired on as crew but taught me more about running a boat in 2 weeks than I had previously learned in my lifetime, Captain Russell Bertrand. Yes, that Bertrand ..... his Uncle, John, was the first skipper of an America's Cup yacht to rest the Cup from the Americans Aboard Australia I.

[img]http://i186.photobucket.com/al...50727_12_24_51_Pro_zps0mq7pr1t.jpg[/img]

More in Part IV

Re: Trip Report, Nautilust, 7/16 - 8/1. [Re: jbuch02] #63952
08/12/2015 11:03 AM
08/12/2015 11:03 AM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 961
Petoskey, MI
CottageGirl Offline
Traveler
CottageGirl  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 961
Petoskey, MI
Great photos - thanks for sharing!!
We love our polar bear cooler too! At our small airport up north here they don't have X-ray machines for checked luggage. So if you check a bag they open it , rifle thru it and use that swab/wand thing in it. When we travelled last spring with our polar bear full of frozen meat etc they opened it and took their time inspecting it - I wanted to say "Hey! Zip that sucker up would ya! That's my dinners for next week!" Ha ha!

Re: Trip Report, Nautilust, 7/16 - 8/1. [Re: CottageGirl] #63953
08/13/2015 09:38 PM
08/13/2015 09:38 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 397
jbuch02 Offline OP
Traveler
jbuch02  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 397
Off to Anegada. Part IV.

Ö.. and yes, itís the open ocean.
[Linked Image]

I wonít say there is nothing to this. Our ďcrewĒ Russell Bertrand remarked upon getting there, ďwell, and this was the big bad trip to Anegada.Ē The sail is certainly a nice one. All a reach and a fast one if you get the typical Trade that day of 15+ true 17-19 apparent.

Itís the channel in a mono that can be problematic. In a Cat, you still have to watch out but 4 foot of draft is a lot different than 5-7 feet and we sailed the 5í draft kind.

The channel is well marked (at least this time all the buoys were there) but, as Russell constantly reminded me, the BVI charts, even the updated ones are notoriously inaccurate. Approaching, you donít see squat. The first thing you see is some trees, then maybe an exiting boat mast and, yeah he must be in the channel. Russell again with good input said, donít trust that. Who knows if they know what they are doing! Great point.

But finally, youíll see the outer marks. Steer to keep some water under your keel, mostly in the middle of the channel and youíll be fine. The outer end of the anchorage (the eastern most side) has decent depth if you consider 6-7 feet ďdecent.Ē As you go deeper into the anchorage, it gets very shallow and quickly. It looks like a great expanse. Be watchful. We took a ball in the eastern most line.

[Linked Image]>>>>>>

If you like solitude, Anageda is it. There is NOTHING to do there except relax, eat drink and enjoy. Thatís the point. You need a couple of days here just to soak that up.

[Linked Image]

Iíll have to defer to others regarding the eateries there. We did pick up a Key Lime Pie at the bakery at Neptunes on the recommendation of others. It was the real deal ($30) and worth every penny.

We did not partake of other restaurantschoosing instead to cook aboard and yes, we didÖ..

The preparation:

[Linked Image]

The product: This is one of Terri and Dougís tail gate specials. Itís time to tell their story. Aside from both of them being gourmands, they do this competition tail gate thing. This is one of their award winning dishes: Corned Beef Hash. Sounds simple right? It is but the key ingredient is the savory corned beef. The mystery butcher is ďHankĒ from Indianapolis. He supplies the corned beef, all vacuum packed, heat and serve. Wow!
[Linked Image]

I highly recommend a day trip around the island in a rental ($65). We were first given a wreck of a Dodge Caravan. The air blew hot. I asked if the AC worked. She said just open the doors! Thatís your AC. OK. We waited for a Mitsubishi wagon. Blew lots of cold air. Every warning light was on the dash was on. No problem, it ran fine. Remember, this is Anegada!

Cow Wreck Beach had a few locals that day, we did not stay.
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Loblolly Bay is terrific. Nice facilities, nice bar and restaurant, great snorkeling. There are two beaches there. Just ask and someone will tell you where the snorkeling is best that day. Thereís a dive shop and fresh water showers ($3). We chose the Western area (to your left as you walk onto the premises). There is a hefty current. Just walk up current then drift snorkel down to the western most point Ö. about a quarter mile. Lots of fish and lots of variety. Coral reefs are as they are supposed to be Ö. ALIVE.

[Linked Image]

I donít have any pictures but we booked a room at Anegada Beach Club for one night (about $250). We sent the girls up there for real toilets, long showers and soft beds Ö. not to mention a good restaurant serving a great Eggs Benedict Breakfast. They were happy campers!

Hereís a link. The highlight is the beach cabana rooms. Unbelievable. Check them out at the web site. They are in person exactly as you see them in the pictures. Pricey at $350/night but Iíd think seriously about doing this:

http://anegadabeachclub.com/

Hated to leave Anageda but, OK, Iím spoiled, on to Scrub Island Resort. You can see why we liked this place:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[img]http://i186.photobucket.com/al...50727_18_40_32_Pro_zps7yezgzha.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i186.photobucket.com/al...50729_08_49_16_Pro_zpsqqpecne6.jpg[/img]>>>>>>

Just ask for the TTOL discount, show your flag and itís yours. $1.50 per foot instead of $3 and a $25 credit. Thatís a net $35/night. You get full access to the resort. We did not eat at the Restaurants although they are not unreasonably priced. Thereís a casual spot and a more formal one Ö. Sun dresses, shorts or pants and collared shirts here.

We ran up a pretty impressive bar bill drinking endlessly at the upper pool/swim up bar but, of course, Marrriot knows youíll do that so giving you a slip at a discount is not big deal. It was worth it. Good Dark and Stormies and Pain Killers. They have happy hour pricing but only two kinds of drinks, none of which I liked. Forget it. Nice showers too. There is also a store with limited provisions.

Russell is at the end of his wits with us and ready to leave to take guests on his own boat out of Sint Martin. Next up, in Part V, Russell decides we wonít kill ourselves or sink this beautiful boat and leaves us at trellis Bay for two days on our own.

[img]http://i186.photobucket.com/al...50729_16_13_36_Pro_zpsnirzee4p.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i186.photobucket.com/al...50729_18_52_01_Pro_zpstxvyfzdp.jpg[/img]

....... and Doug and I have proven we are able skippers but not Captains!

[img]http://i186.photobucket.com/al...50729_11_35_21_Pro_zpssjsbjtbg.jpg[/img]

....... and I am highly satisfied!

[img]http://i186.photobucket.com/al...50729_18_52_21_Pro_zpsogjvgnn3.jpg[/img]

Last edited by jbuch02; 08/13/2015 09:42 PM.
Re: Trip Report, Nautilust, 7/16 - 8/1. [Re: RickinAtlanta] #63954
08/15/2015 09:21 AM
08/15/2015 09:21 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,327
Bucks County, Pa.
toast Offline
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toast  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,327
Bucks County, Pa.
Wonderful play by play, thank you for taking us along on your adventure!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" />


Toast.......to Life; White Bay...heaven on earth.
Diane

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