Happy New Year to everyone. This forum has been incredibly helpful on our bareboat trips to BVI/USVI. I wanted to provide some possible helpful notes to give back to the community.
This year we rented a 46' CAT from the moorings. We had our family of 5, 3 friends we brought with, plus our amazing captain Pedro who has become like family.
Something interesting.. This year we had Pedro check out of the BVI, sail to Caneel Bay, St Johns, secure a mooring ball, check in at Cruz Bay. We landed and had Captain Christopher (who is truly fantastic) drop us off directly at the boat at Caneel Bay. We have three kids 10 - 13 and this significantly reduced the hassle. The folks at Bobbies, DigiCell, Last Stop Sports, all delivered on time in the morning. It worked beautifully.. I may try to reverse this process when we check the boat back in. It was much more relaxing. We got an extra night on the boat on the water.
Thank you for all the advice on Digicell router. The folks were fantastic and it worked very well.
The seas in December were much rougher than late March. We were on a slip on Peter Island one night and we took a pounding. We ended up moving around midnight to the other side of the dock - Pedro, our Captain, and I couldn't take the beating any longer. He worked magic moving our boat at midnight. Lesson learned - if you are traveling in rougher times - you may want to moor. We had challenges at Scrub Island as well with the rubber bumpers squeaking all night. I ended up loosening one side of the boat, pulling it over towards the other side of the dock and throwing extra lines. We learned our kids could sleep through anything:)
We had a blast fishing with our fly rods for different fish. It was a lot of fun. We were using gummi minnows.
We learned our friends at Caneel Bay are particular about where you tie your dingy up and that bringing some groceries through is a severn no-no. I am embarrassed that I thought this would be okay. Just a heads up. They were very gracious.
The generators on the leopards are crazy noisy. Seriously.. There is an opportunity to create a sea worthy generator that doesn't sound like a 747.
It would be interesting to check in to the BVI and check out at the same time. Then have our captain drop off us off at Cruz Bay or Red Hook early in the morning. He would then motor back to roadtown, check in, and check in at moorings. This would allow us to get on the boat as discussed above and leave the boat without the craziness of customs, moorings, ferries, etc.. Not sure if anyone has tried this but we may give a whirl next time.
We loved our time on St Johns (different bays), Peter Island, Scrub Island. We enjoyed paradise while we were getting snow in Minnesota. Christmas was a little different but we didn't complain:)
We can not say enough good things about our Captain, Pedro Samuel. He has become family. We have been truly blessed by all the wonderful people in BVI and USVI.