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Old 30-06-2015, 18:22   #1
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Caneel Bay / Mooring on the windward side

Just got my bareboat cert. Looking to rent out of Tortola, for a week. I have a question around moorings.

A friend is getting married at the Caneel Bay resort in St. John, which is on the west, windward side of the island. I'd like to moor near there most of the week that the wedding is happening. Today, Windalert says it's blowing 18 kts from a point straight off the beach, about 4km out.

(Great for sailing of course!)

But, my question is that when it's blowing 18-20 kts, and you're in a largely unprotected mooring, I'd suppose it gets a little rough. This question is particularly because if my girlfriend feels like she's unable to get out of the wind for a week she might be miserable-- (though she's usually a trooper about such things). Obviously it will die down a bit later in the evening and morning.

For my part, I could care less, and happy to scoot around to the next protected bay if that's the case. But I'm cautious about her.

When I read the tripadvisor reports for the beach they're generally talking about the pleasant water and cool breezes. If it was blown out all the time, I'd assume that wasn't the case.

Sorry if all of this sounds like random newbie BS!

Dan
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Old 30-06-2015, 18:46   #2
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Re: Caneel Bay / Mooring on the windward side

Wind should be from the east or south of east. Should be no storms off the US east coast, so waves should be less than 6 feet out of the east, and you are anchored in the lee of the island. Should be no problem, just get where there is minimal swell
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Old 30-06-2015, 19:28   #3
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Re: Caneel Bay / Mooring on the windward side

Thank you!

Just googled prevailing winds st john and got a very similar answer.

Dan
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Old 30-06-2015, 19:43   #4
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Re: Caneel Bay / Mooring on the windward side

Prevailing Trade Wind is from the East, unless you are very unlucky. During the summer the Trades can break down and I have experienced Southerly wind.


Be sure to clear out of the BVI and into the US at Cruz Bay.
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Old 30-06-2015, 21:55   #5
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Re: Caneel Bay / Mooring on the windward side

You will be fine. You can tuck in close and you will be in the lee of the Hawksnest Peninsula. If you can go one bay to the East, Hawksnest Bay is spectacular.

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Old 01-07-2015, 09:38   #6
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Re: Caneel Bay / Mooring on the windward side

Hawk's Nest is spectacular, but a bit more difficult to get ashore and enjoy the wedding events. Caneel is well protected from the Easterly Trade Winds, and usually from even the northerly swells that prevail in the winter but can happen in the summer, as well. The biggest headache you will have will be from the sometimes violent rocking from ferry boat or sportfishingboat wakes, which happen on an infrequent but recurring basis. You may have to let Caneel Bay know why you are going ashore so regularly and using their dinghy dock.

If you want to take your friends for a lovely day trip, just hook around to Hawk's Nest and the other St. John North Shore snorkeling spots, or, in the opposite direction, take a short trip down to Christmas Cove. If they are open, Pizza Pie, a boat that features a great Pizza Oven, will serve you something delicious. They answer channel 16.

By the way, the pretty vigorous winds of this week are forecast to drop to something very pleasant, toward the end of this weekend.
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:35   #7
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Re: Caneel Bay / Mooring on the windward side

Caneel is a beautiful mooring, there is a floating dock with a drop-box for the mooring fees near the center of the bay.
You will experience more rolling waves from the Ferries that pass by. Also, if you charter out of Tortola, Caneel is in US waters - may need to make a trip into cruz bay for customs... check it out.
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Old 01-07-2015, 12:29   #8
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Re: Caneel Bay / Mooring on the windward side

I don't know about the others, but I find that Caneel Bay is not a pleasant anchorage. I usually will take a mooring ball there in order to head around the corner in the dinghy to clear in at Cruz Bay or in order to do some shopping in town, but the constant boat traffic from private powerboats and the ferries make for a rather uncomfortable daytime location. At night the wakes are fewer, but the Caneel ferry runs pretty late and leaves the boats in the anchorage rocking and rolling. Under engine it is only 10-15 minutes to head up north and then east into some of the nicest anchorages that I know. The first anchorage, Hawksnest, still gets some wakes but only from the big BVI ferries and they don't run after about 4-5pm and the first one doesn't zoom by until after 8AM. I've spent some nights there and getting an open bus/cab to town from there is a breeze. My favorite anchorage is up in the far corner at Maho Bay and it gets no wakes at all and is wonderfully secluded.


There are better options out there that are superior to the moorings at Caneel.
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Old 01-07-2015, 13:13   #9
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Re: Caneel Bay / Mooring on the windward side

Agree with what's already been said. Note that the dock at Caneel Bay requires a stern anchor for your dinghy.
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Old 01-07-2015, 15:49   #10
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Re: Caneel Bay / Mooring on the windward side

Said with tea cup in hand, pinky fingah out and up in the air:

"We Rockefellahs do not take kahndly to seafarin' ragamuffins spoilin' ahr view from ahr estate. Please anchar elsewarh."



IIRC from visits many years ago, they didn't really like anyone hangin' around there.

And since it's so rotten a place to drop the hook, why bother?

In a bb trip in 1986 the topping lift got caught around the spreader (don't ask, even though it wasn't my fault, I'll take the blame! ), and we dropped the hook there. Made it almost impossible to use the boat hook to get it off, but that's the only time I appreciated those kinda wakes!
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Old 01-07-2015, 16:41   #11
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Re: Caneel Bay / Mooring on the windward side

Scott's Beach on St. Thomas side great or Hawksnest on East side (where anchoring scenes from the Alan Alda movie "Four Seasons" filmed I think.) Looks like that will be windward. You can go ashore there, just a longer trek to central part of the resort. Some of weddings are at Turtle Bay which is close by Hawksnest and a memorable spot. Envious here.
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Old 02-07-2015, 15:22   #12
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Re: Caneel Bay / Mooring on the windward side

> Be sure to clear out of the BVI and into the US at Cruz Bay.

Super helpful, I'll be sure to. Glad to know this, would have been highly embarrassing to have been led away in handcuffs!

> If they are open, Pizza Pie, a boat that features a great Pizza Oven, will serve you something delicious. They answer channel 16.

Love it!

> You may have to let Caneel Bay know why you are going ashore so regularly and using their dinghy dock.

Yeah, since the whole wedding party is there, I assume we'll have some leeway. I've had my friend communicate this w/ them, but I'll call too.

> Note that the dock at Caneel Bay requires a stern anchor for your dinghy.

This is quite helpful! Thank you!

> "We Rockefellahs do not take kahndly to seafarin' ragamuffins spoilin' ahr view from ahr estate. Please anchar elsewarh."

I'll brush up on my Rockefellah Yeah, I wouldn't be camping out there except that the all the other folks will be there. We'll definitely be out for a bunch of day trips and some overnights elsewhere.
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