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Old 18-04-2016, 12:59   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Atlanta, GA
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BVI 1-month cruise w Kids - multi-topic advice seeker

Hello Cruisers!
I am brand new to this Forum so please forgive any newbie protocol missteps

Having bareboat chartered the BVI a handful of times (for a week each time), I finally decided it was time for a longer trip, and am taking my family of 4 for a month long bareboat charter out of Tortola, BVI from June 15 - July 15, 2016. I have a 2010 Lagoon 400 catamaran reserved for the month (have chartered a Lagoon previously and enjoyed it), and intend to have some other family and visitors join us periodically for portions of the cruise.

At first glance, this seems to be a very helpful and active community, so I figured I'd reach out to you lovely folks for some expert advice.
Understanding that planning for a 1 month trip may be significantly different than planning the prior 1-week trips, and also keeping budget and crew ages in mind (myself 39, wife 37, son 7, son 5),

Here are the topics I could use some assistance with:

In the past I have always used Riteway Food Markets (Riteway Food Markets), and have pre-ordered my entire trip's provisions which were delivered to the slip on our departure date. I've learned more each time, but normally tend to over-provision. My questions are:
a) for a 1-month trip, how much initial provisioning is recommended (full month? 2 weeks? 1 week?),
b)should I utilize this (or other) delivery services, or is there a substantial enough cost savings to warrant going provision shopping myself for the initial batch?
c) what other BVI islands, aside from Tortola, should I consider as a destination for re-provisioning (esp. perishables ie. fresh produce) ?

2. Mooring / Anchoring
Some basic math and common sense tells me I could save $ by anchoring vs. mooring. On 1-week trips I normally pick up mooring balls, but for a month living aboard that really starts to add up. questions:
a) are there anchoring fees if I anchor in a mooring field?
b) any general opinions on doing more anchoring than mooring, aside from the obvious avoidance of dragging anchor in more inclement weather?
c) any particular overnight spots where anchoring is NOT suggested?

3. Water / Trash / Ice
My prior trips have all been on SVs with water makers and ice machines. This vessel will not have either. Also, I'm used to buying Ice, and disposing of trash, via the vendors who dinghy up to your mooring. So a few questions:
a) Where are the best spots to refill water? any free water (not including rain!)? if not, what can I expect to pay?
b) Any suggestions on Ice pickup & trash drop-off, aside from paying a vendor in a dinghy?

4. Communications
a) what is the best/most reliable sources/vendors for purchasing internet connection and suggestions for having wifi on the boat?
b) Same question for cell phone service? (perhaps these are one and the same?)

5. Family / Kids
My prior trips have been all-adult trips. Any advice on:
a) family-friendly areas or family centric must-do activities?
b) suggestions on where my kids might meet other cruising kids? or we might meet other cruising families w/ kids?

6. Other
Any other tips from those of you who have spent several weeks at a time cruising the BVI? Or families w/ kids doing the same?

I realize there is no single 'right answer' to these, but any guidance from your experience and knowledge would be greatly helpful!!
Thanks in advance for replies !!!!!
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Old 21-04-2016, 07:33   #2
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Location: Florida
Boat: Island Packet 460
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Re: BVI 1-month cruise w Kids - multi-topic advice seeker

You'll probably get more replies at My opinions on a few of your questions:

I've done 4-week owner's time trips - I would recommend getting 4 weeks of the heavy drinks at the start, but about 2 weeks of other provisions, and plan to do a reprovision later. We always over-provision that stuff. While under way, my favorites for reprovision are Sopers Hole and Leverick Bay.

(Spell check though Leverick Bay was Lovesick Bay; maybe it knows something).

No anchor fees, but anchor outside the mooring fields, not inside. Look for cruisers, they know where to anchor. A notably bad place to anchor is Cooper Is.

Free water if you pay to moor at Leverick and a few other spots.

For long 'charters', we avoid moving the boat more than 3 days in a row, and like to find a couple spots to hang out for 4-5 days. Our favorite hangout is Anegada. But we're older with no small kids.
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Old 21-04-2016, 07:36   #3
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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Re: BVI 1-month cruise w Kids - multi-topic advice seeker

FLJim thanks so much for the thoughtful response and tips. Very helpful! I'll also check out the travel talk website you recommended as well. Much appreciated!
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