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Old 22-12-2014, 08:39   #1
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November Charter Virgin Islands

Hi, long time reader, first time poster.

I'm a fairly new sailer, had a 16' O'Day daysailer II for about 4 years, crewed a Moorings 50.5 from St. Lucia to the Grenadines and back, many hoby-cat sails while on caribbean vacations and most recently have completed my CYA basic cruising course. I am in the process of completing the coastal navigation course and plan on doing my CYA Intermediate cruising standard/IYT bareboat skipper course this summer.

Also late last summer I purchased a Paceship PY26 with my sailing buddies(3 couples) as an experience building boat that we sail on the St. Lawrence seaway between Quebec and Ontario(lake St. Francis) but so far only have a couple of months of experience under our belt. Next summer will be hopefully every weekend.

My sailing buddies/co-owners are all going to be taking their CYA Basic cruising course and hopefully the intermediate as well this summer.

So now that my experience is out there, we are looking at doing our first bareboat charter where I am the captain. one couple in our group also crewed on the St.Lucia trip. But due to the fact that our spouses are not there for the sailing but for a Caribbean vacation we are looking at a Cat in the Virgin Islands so the ladies can be a little more relaxed, have more room to lounge about and more beaches to visit. They also want shorter sailing days then our St. Lucia trip so Virgin Islands sounds like the place to be.

So my 50th Birthday is coming up in Nov. 2015 and I am thinking what better way to spend it then sailing the virgin islands but everyone is concerned about November weather. The ladies won't be happy if we get stuck with a week of rain or the conditions are more then our experience can enjoy.

I've done a fair amount of reading and it does sound like November can be a mixed bag of weather with probably the highest rainfall statistics so I am turning to the community for advise and November virgin islands experience on this one.

Do I risk a November trip or hold off until a more reliable weather month? Whadya think.

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Old 22-12-2014, 08:46   #2
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Re: November Charter Virgin Islands

November is a descent time in the Virgins. It can be wet. Not too many charter boats around.

THE very best cruising weather in the E Carib, IMHO, is May and June. This is also "off season" as far as charter rates are concerned - like November.

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Old 22-12-2014, 08:55   #3
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Re: November Charter Virgin Islands

I'll add that there are risks for late season storms well into November. This is a crap shoot....

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Old 22-12-2014, 10:54   #4
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Re: November Charter Virgin Islands

One our our best BVI charters ever was in Nov-early Dec. Thanksgiving week and the following week.

Uncrowded, but quite breezy. I think the Christmas Winds came early that year. Blew 25 kts for most of the week, harder on occasion. Made the sail to North Sound, and the crossing to Anegada, a bit more exciting. The Baths landing beach was closed a few days due to surf, but we eventually got in the obligatory visit there. But, generally, breezy is good: no bugs or heat when at anchor. Sailing is very lively...just tuck in a reef and leave it.

Rigging sang pretty loud one or two nights. Be sure to double up on mooring lines and have lots of chafe protection. Have an anchor handy in case the mooring anchor/rode fails.

For us, it was the best trip ever (including trips in May, June, and August). Really nice.
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Old 22-12-2014, 12:15   #5
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Re: November Charter Virgin Islands

I've been there twice in November, for a week each time, and it's been perfect both times, I don't remember any rain, there was a typical breeze. I would not hesitate, personally. pete
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Old 23-12-2014, 11:46   #6
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Re: November Charter Virgin Islands

We have gone the first week of December on several occasions. Still a little rainy off and on. Last year I swore I was sleeping through a blizzard by the way it sounded - this year, a few days with no wind. Still very quiet down there in early December but that is how we like it. Busier this year than last - are others catching on? Contact Bob Diamond at spinnakersailing in California - he has been there 27 years in a row and more than 27 times. Fair Winds!!
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Old 24-12-2014, 09:19   #7
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Re: November Charter Virgin Islands

My wife and I have chartered in the BVI in November and had a great time. It would sprinkle a little bit most nights, and a couple of times in the afternoon. No massive downpours, though, and nothing that lasted very long.

Of course, you can never count on the weather. It is what it is. As an example, we once did a vacation in Hawaii during what was supposed to be the dry season. Yep, it rained every day--hours and hours worth. When the weather is bad you just have to accept that it happens some times and find a way to enjoy yourself anyway.

That said, I would not hesitate to charter again in the BVI during November.
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Old 24-12-2014, 15:46   #8
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Re: November Charter Virgin Islands

I've been about a dozen times over the last 4 years. 3 of those trips in November. 1 in October. All we're great. In fact, I guess we are very lucky as we've had great weather all our trips.

Any time of year you go there's always a risk of weather being less than ideal. This past november, temp was great, rain was overnight for the most part and winds were 15-20 knots. We had a great time. With the winds, did come some swells, but you can avoid them usually by remaining in the channel. We didn't always and had some great sailing.

If you want to go in November, do it. I'd just suggest going prior to Thanksgiving week. Less crowded and likely a bit less expensive as well. We did our trip this past year the week before Thanksgiving and it was great.
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:31   #9
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Re: November Charter Virgin Islands

We were in the BVI for Thanksgiving this year. Winds ranged from 6 to 28 kts during our 8-day charter. Rain was scattered and did not last long. (We take bets on how long it will last - winner is usually under 15 minutes.) The islands were just readying for the high season so there was plenty going on, but still room in most anchorages at night. A pleasant "merry-go-round" sail.

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Old 10-01-2015, 06:49   #10
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Re: November Charter Virgin Islands

I've been there a few times in November. If those are the best dates for you, book it!

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