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Old 27-01-2014, 17:55   #1
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BVI Sailing - Help Wanted

Long time reader, first time poster - hello.

I will be with an experienced sailor this coming March doing a 7 day bareboat charter around the BVIs.

We will be with a group that loves to have a good time, party, and hit the beach. I would really love some suggestions and info on the following:

1. Best route to take/itinerary - leaving from Soper's Hole
2. Suggestions for bars/restaurants to hit along the way
3. A list of suggested items to bring to make life easier
4. Mooring info/suggestions - what time do you really have to be places, where are the busiest areas, and suggested alternatives

Anything else would be great!

Thanks a ton!
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Old 27-01-2014, 18:27   #2
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Re: BVI Sailing - Help Wanted

For starters, I'd suggest picking up the cruising guide to the BVI - great book with lots of info and it will help you make a lot of decisions on stops.

1. You can go clockwise or counter clockwise. Doesn't really matter. Likely stops you'd want to make could be: JVD (Jost Van Dyke), Cane Garden Bay, Marina Cay, North Sound (two nights maybe - two at Leverick Bay on a dock is a great way to go and you can rent a car and tour the island stopping at the Baths, Copper Mine, Savannah Bay and Hog Heaven), Cooper and end at Norman before heading back. Anegada could be a good stop as well, although you'd certainly want two nights there so you'd have to skip something else. You simply can't fit it all in with 7 days.

2. Plenty of bars and restaurants along the above route at each stop. My wifes favorite is Coco Maya on Virgin gorda. If you do two nights at Leverick, you could pick up a rental car at 5pm the day you arrive and have it until 5pm the following day so you can go out for dinner that first night. Then you could do dinner at Leverick 2nd night - they have great food as well and a great buffet Friday night if you can make it then.

3. Bring as little as you need. Most of the day, you'll just be in a bathing suit and t-shirt. Bring lots of sunscreen. A lot of people will try to pack carry on only, but we bring too much with our dive gear to do that and don't have an issue with it. If you are on a cat, you'll have room to stow bags anyway.

4. In March, it will be busier, but many places have lots of room. Cooper Island is one spot that fills up - best to get there before 2pm. White Bay on JVD can get busy too - hard to say on time as it can be full for lunch as well. There's a number of harbors on JVD to choose from though. This is where the guide can be very helpful as you can look at the map and places surrounding and come up with a back up plan as needed.

I'd also suggest visiting Traveltalkonline. Members can get a discount at certain places and it's a site devoted to talking about travel with the BVI as the busiest section.
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Old 27-01-2014, 18:27   #3
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Re: BVI Sailing - Help Wanted

Here is a guy on you tube, Backstage BVI's - Part 1 of 9, Interview with Foxy, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean - YouTube its a 9 part documentary. each about 15 minuets long. this will be vary helpful. cheers, Jimmy
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Old 27-01-2014, 18:49   #4
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Re: BVI Sailing - Help Wanted

Since you mentioned partying ... I assume you're coming from Boston - if you're taking the Jet Blue flight in via Puerto Rico, load up on rum from the duty free. Ron del Barilito three-star is my favorite. Willy T's hasn't been mentioned but someone will if I don't. If you're into a good time, try to get the whole bar to go skinny dipping off the top. There's a sign saying it's prohibited but that never seems to stop anyone. Last time I was down I had a good 40-person rush going and everyone had a good time. Bartender even comped some drinks in appreciation though I'm sure they see it all the time. Can't recommend any specific beaches as I don't have my log book with me, but numerous small beaches with bars that are a good time. A Cruising Guide will sort you out.

Regarding getting a mooring, we were able to fit an anchor in everywhere we went, but when we wanted a mooring everything seemed full up by four to five. We tried tying a dinghy once (bad etiquette, I know, but we were with three boats full of friends and wanted balls next to each other and out of the way so we didn't keep everyone up with late-night music, and rafting was not preferred) and going back out sailing for the rest of the day, but upon returning found our friends had had to 'verbally deter' another boat from casting off our dinghy and occupying the spot. Don't know if that's common, Bostonians familiar with space-savers will understand the perils ...

It's a great time, I'm going back in April to get away from this terrible Polar Vortex!
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Old 27-01-2014, 18:54   #5
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Re: BVI Sailing - Help Wanted

Technically speaking, there's nothing wrong with leaving a dinghy on a mooring - so long as you've already paid for it. But you do face the risk of someone messing with it. If I was going to leave it, I'd probably lock it.
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Old 27-01-2014, 18:57   #6
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Re: BVI Sailing - Help Wanted

Yup - paid in full, approved by the guys managing the field; but still had an issue. Not sure if there's an accepted standard, but a lock would have been nice!
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Old 27-01-2014, 19:00   #7
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Re: BVI Sailing - Help Wanted

It's always a risk as others aren't always respectful. One reason we never do it. We always make sure we have a cable and lock provided regardless and lock the dinghy everywhere we go - better safe then sorry.
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Old 27-01-2014, 19:32   #8
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Re: BVI Sailing - Help Wanted

1) Stock-up, the night before, on light fares meals and snacks...no time to cook anything major; 2) Start your island hopping around 7:00 AM, as to arrive at your destination NO LATER than 1:00 PM; 3) Snorkel/SCUBA around 2:00 PM; 4) Dine around 5-6 PM; 4) If you're anchoring in a crowded place, set a second anchor.

Bring with you: 1) Suntan lotion SPF 15 or higher; 2) Band-aid/gauze of different sizes; 3) Iodine/betadine solution; 4) Sun glasses; 5) Bayer aspirin/fever relief from too much sun; 6) Anti diarrhea medication; 7) Scissors; 8) Cipro antibiotic. This is the minimum, I'd carry with me when chartering.

Have fun!

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Old 29-01-2014, 14:53   #9
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Re: BVI Sailing - Help Wanted

Great tips, thanks!

I'll be staying on STT for a few nights before taking a ferry over. What is the rule on bring cheap booze from STT to the BVIs? Any issue with that or is the rum just as inexpenisve in Sopers Hole/Road town too?

As for space savers - dont get me started - it is a South Boston tradition

Quote:
Originally Posted by brownoarsman View Post
Since you mentioned partying ... I assume you're coming from Boston - if you're taking the Jet Blue flight in via Puerto Rico, load up on rum from the duty free. Ron del Barilito three-star is my favorite. Willy T's hasn't been mentioned but someone will if I don't. If you're into a good time, try to get the whole bar to go skinny dipping off the top. There's a sign saying it's prohibited but that never seems to stop anyone. Last time I was down I had a good 40-person rush going and everyone had a good time. Bartender even comped some drinks in appreciation though I'm sure they see it all the time. Can't recommend any specific beaches as I don't have my log book with me, but numerous small beaches with bars that are a good time. A Cruising Guide will sort you out.

Regarding getting a mooring, we were able to fit an anchor in everywhere we went, but when we wanted a mooring everything seemed full up by four to five. We tried tying a dinghy once (bad etiquette, I know, but we were with three boats full of friends and wanted balls next to each other and out of the way so we didn't keep everyone up with late-night music, and rafting was not preferred) and going back out sailing for the rest of the day, but upon returning found our friends had had to 'verbally deter' another boat from casting off our dinghy and occupying the spot. Don't know if that's common, Bostonians familiar with space-savers will understand the perils ...

It's a great time, I'm going back in April to get away from this terrible Polar Vortex!
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Old 30-01-2014, 06:30   #10
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Re: BVI Sailing - Help Wanted

I didn't compare booze prices in STT to the BVI, but have been warned by everyone that the BVI is more expensive, including some family that retired there. Maybe Pussers makes it up in quality?

The customs process at Roadtown was not very intensive. The ferry pulls up (actually the Ptown ferry if you're homesick), a hundred people get off, and at that point the customs officers are swamped and try to hurry everyone through the process. In my recollection there is one dog (I assume for drugs) and two xRay machines. We brought in a bunch of bottles in our carryon (some of our carryons were actually bottle holders) and our main luggage, and didn't have a problem. Out of 20 people no had a single bag checked. Have fun!
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Old 31-01-2014, 11:35   #11
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Re: BVI Sailing - Help Wanted

If you have a good size group, it may be worth looking in to a private water taxi. A bit more expensive, but not too bad with a larger group and the convenience and time saving is well worth it from what I've heard.
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Old 27-02-2014, 12:43   #12
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Re: BVI Sailing - Help Wanted

Rum is much cheaper in BVI than in duty free San Juan. I think Cruzan dark is $7 in the grocery stores.
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Old 27-02-2014, 13:22   #13
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Re: BVI Sailing - Help Wanted

You'll find that the best place to buy liquor in the Caribbean, is in St. Thomas - USVI. The best selection and prices are at A. H. Riise, 37 Main St. (4 blocks away from St. John's Ferry dock, downtown Charlotte Amalie - St. Thomas); duty free too. Have fun!

Mauritz
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