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Old 14-10-2008, 20:02   #1
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VI Itinerary Planning

Alright, I'm taking all the previous advice and crossing St. Croix off the list.

Now, we're planning a 10 day charter out of Red Hook and would like to explore the Spanish VIs before heading into the BVIs. We'd really appreciate any suggestions / thoughts as we try to come up with an idea for starting the voyage, knowing full well that we'll probably make changes along the way!

We take off from Red Hook on Monday and hear that the Spanish VI's get crowded and noisy on the weekends. So we're thinking of a few days in the Spanish Vi's and then either heading back over and circumnavigating St John or going to the BVIs for few days.

Would really be open to any ideas/suggestions as we've always gone out of Tortola on previous trips and stayed in the BVI's.

Anyone down there around Omar's path, be safe and know that you're in our thoughts and prayers.

thanks in advance,
craig
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Old 15-10-2008, 06:24   #2
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Ditto my previous post on the Spanish Virgins http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f19/vis-in-december-18696-2.html They're worth the effort required to get back upwind to the USVI.

Now I'm off to put up the hurricane shutters...
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Old 15-10-2008, 11:22   #3
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Really hard to do the Virgins in only 10 days... really each location needs a few days to really get the feel and find the really good spots. If you plan on going from Spanish to British... you will really need to have time to pick your conditions or you will find bashing into wind and seas a slow go.

Should change your trip plans to last 2.5 to 24 months!!! That would allow you to get the job done right or at least start doing it.
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Old 15-10-2008, 12:56   #4
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Good luck Hud, my shutters where done early this AM. I had to laugh a few times this morning watching the Weather Channel weather guy rattling off all of the islands that could be effected. He kept referring to your home as St Nevis.
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Old 15-10-2008, 13:18   #5
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Good luck Hud ... I had to laugh a few times this morning watching the Weather Channel weather guy rattling off all of the islands that could be effected. He kept referring to your home as St Nevis.
Indeed - good luck to all in harm's way!
It's only properly referred to as St. Nevis, when Hud is resident.
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Old 15-10-2008, 15:00   #6
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Reality Check,

Great idea! Unfortunately we still have those pesky jobs and have a few more years (hoping it remains only a few more with this frickin' economy!) before we can take such trips. I'm thinking we'll head over to the Spanish VIs, explore them and then decide where to head depending on how much time we have making sure we get back to Red Hook on time (they probably frown when you don't bring the boat back!).

Hud and others in the area,
Be safe.

thanks,
craig in cloudy seattle
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Old 15-10-2008, 15:13   #7
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Did a quickie to the Spanish Virgins last summer as part of a ten day charter out of Charlotte Amalie. While we found the snorkeling to be disappointing compared to St. John and some BVI spots, the sailing was great and the anchorages beautiful. We were very lucky with the weather and were able to sail back along the south side of St.Thomas all the way to Christmas Cove on Great St. James on a fairly comfortable and fast close reach, thanks to a helpful hurricane passing north of the islands and clocking the winds around. We spent a couple of nights on the south side of Vieques, a side trip to the bioluminescent bay on a new moon night was a real highlight, before heading to Culebra, then Culebrita. We were there over the July 4 weekend so there was a veritable navy of impressive sportsfishing boats on the north side of Vieques and Dakity on Culebra and all around Culebrita but we had no trouble finding an anchorage or a mooring ball. Take the effort to get the sticker and register your boat before you go. Checking into Puerto Rico just required a phone call. I don't have the details of the process because one of my boatmates did the paperwork. We didn't have time to do half what I wanted to do, especially around Culebra. So, don't count on going west then coming back east to do the BVI's. The winds we encountered on our return are not the norm and many people motor back. Good luck and have fun.
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Old 19-10-2008, 15:02   #8
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Hello Craig and those helping him.

My wife and I will also be visiting the area. Have chartered a 32 ft monohull for two weeks. We will be leaving Tortolla on December 5th.

we were planning on heading for St. Cruix, then Viaques, the west Puerto Rico Coast, and Culebra before returning to Tortola. We are planning to spend little or no time in BVI. After putting some stuff down on paper and reading the responses to Craig's previous post, I know something has to be dropped.

When I told my wife several of you had recommended that Craig not bother with St. Croix, her comment was WHY? So I guess I have to ask the question, why drop St. Croix?

A couple questions I could use some help with.

How is provisioning in Vieques?
Can I obtain water and diesel fuel anywhere on Vieques or Culebra?
I have read not to try to sail straight from Vieques to culebra due to prevailing wind and currents. True?

We have sailed from St. John to Culebra before. Craig, it is a wonderful trip and if you and your wife are looking for a little solitude, you guys will love it. We stayed in one anchorage for 2 days and nights and saw 2 boats the whole time, neither of which joined us for the evening. Provisioning in Dewey on Culebra is very adaquate. We did have to motor almost the entire way back to St Johns, but it was definately worth the effort.

Larry
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Old 19-10-2008, 18:40   #9
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Larry,

We decided to skip St Croix mostly due to time. The more we've read and learned about the Spanish VI's the decision was to make sure we had all the time we wanted to explore this area. We've done the BVI's (Moorings and had to stay there) a few times in years past and wanted to explore something new. We head from Red Hook to Culebra and hang there in the SVIs as long as we want then head either to St John or into the BVIs. As this is our first time, I'm not the one to answer your questions.

fair winds & good boat drinks:cubalibre,
craig
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Old 19-10-2008, 18:46   #10
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one more thing....
I got Stephen Pavlidis Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands. A friend highly recommended it as they used his Windward Guide and found it very accurate.

c
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Old 20-10-2008, 06:04   #11
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lcd,

We spent about nine days in the Spanish Virgins three years ago. We didn't need to do any provisioning, so I can't help you there. We did need to re-supply our water, but were very lucky to be sailing in company with friends who had a very prolific water maker. They traded us 40 gallons of water for a bottle of wine--not a bad deal! If you need water there, you'll have to jerry-jug it. There are no dockside watering holes, as far as I know.

We spent three days on St. Croix, renting a car for a couple of days to see the island. Toured the Cruzan rum distillery, which was interesting, saw the rain forest (small), bought some cheap booze at the KMart. Enjoyed the hospitality of the St. Croix Yacht Club. The best part of the visit was anchoring and snorkeling at Buck Island.

Hud

p.s. legally you will be required to clear out of the BVI, clear in at Christiansted, St. Croix, and then clear in again in Puerto Rico (over the phone), then clear back in to the BVI when you return your boat. U.S. citizens don't need to clear out of U.S. soil. You're required to clear in to PR from the USVI soley because of the duty-free status of the USVI.
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Old 20-10-2008, 16:17   #12
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I visited the SVI this past June on a 2-week cruise from Tortola and did not feel rushed, but of course more time is always preferred. Upon arriving at Culebra, we were told that if we had filled out some paperwork ahead of time called something like the local boaters form, we could have cleared in by phone from the BVIS if everyone aboard was an american citizen. We received mixed messages when stopping at St. Johns afterwards. When we called customs, they told use we needed to stop to clear in. When we actually stopped we were told we didn't have to and they waived us out without looking at any of our paperwork. I was very glad we made the effort to head down that way, especially to Culibrita.
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