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Old 27-06-2014, 08:11   #16
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Re: Advice on Chartering in Tortola

If you can extend, here's what I'd recommend for your first few days..

Assuming you can be on the boat at Noon and depart that afternoon you can head to Marina Cay. Spend the night there Thursday the 8th. Friday, have a stop at the Dogs for a snorkel and then move on to Leverick Bay for Fri and Sat night. Stay on the dock (again, visit Traveltalkonline PM there once registered..) and enjoy the BBQ at Leverick that night. It's a huge buffet with the Jumbies after which are stilt dancers and a lot of fun! Saturday morning (earlier the better) get the rental car and head to the Baths. Have a nice breakfast and then enjoy the baths. Tour other parts of the island and have a mid afternoon stop at Hog Heaven before heading back to Leverick - clean up, relax and had to dinner at Coco Maya that night.

We've done this at least 3 times now (dinners only once at Coco Maya so far, but we'll be eating there in July) with different groups and everyone loves it. It's a highlight for many - Between the views driving around, The Baths and then Hog Heaven (Or Piggy Heaven as our friend refers to it).

After that, you could head back out to see the rest of the islands. Maybe head to Cooper, then from there to Jost Van Dyke, maybe Cane Garden Bay and then the last night over to Norman Island. This keeps the distances reasonable allow you island time and water time.

Only way I think you could get on the boat by noon would be to fly into EIS. We love the JetBlue red eye - gets in at 4am. We grab a hotel at the airport for about 3-4 hours of sleep and then take the first Cape Air flight that morning. This gets us to the boat just about at 12/12:30pm. Going via St. Thomas, you'd end up spending that first night sleeping aboard. On the return, we also fly out of EIS, but you could see if going via ferry and out of STT is cheaper. It wouldn't matter quite as much for the return if you can do a late flight out of STT.
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Old 27-06-2014, 10:23   #17
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Re: Advice on Chartering in Tortola

We haven't been for a few years, but when we chartered from the Moorings, you could come check the boat out the evening before, stay aboard overnight and get an early morning start. Not only does that give you a much longer first day (if you're looking for mooring balls, you want to be at your destination by early to mid-afternoon), you get to figure the boat out for a few hours before taking off. If this is a first time on a bigger boat, that's a nice stress reducer. Also, it's nice to spend a night on the boat at the dock. Everything looks different in the dark. Good to know that the boat's noises don't require your attention like they will the following nights.

As to the route, you've got lots of good advice. We love Anegada, but wouldn't recommend given your time constraints.

Norman Island can be pretty crowded, but there are some moorings in a little cove at the NW end of the bight that are quiet, still let you dinghy across to the caves and have good snorkeling right along the shore.

On Jost, we prefer the bays to the East and West of Great Bay (Little Jost and White Bay) to Great Bay, but, if you need to get a Foxy's t-shirt, you'll need to go to Great Bay.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:32   #18
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Re: Advice on Chartering in Tortola

All this advice is wonderful! Thank you! Based on your input, I chartered a 32-ft Beneteau for 7 days!! BVI Yacht Charters was the cheapest deal I could find, and the people I spoke with seemed very helpful.

Any suggestions for landside places to stay after the charter while we decompress for two days before flying home?
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Old 10-07-2014, 14:10   #19
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Re: Advice on Chartering in Tortola

Don't over provision. Shy on the side of light provisioning. You will probably eat out most dinners and maybe most lunches in 5 days, which means you only need some breakfast stuff and snacks. And beer.
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Old 10-07-2014, 15:05   #20
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Re: Advice on Chartering in Tortola

As to places to stay afterward- depends if you are flying out of EIS or STT. For EIS- the high end place would be Scrub Island. Low end with variety of things to do would be somewhere in Cane Garden Bay. In between- Sebastians or Long Bay Resort.
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Old 12-08-2014, 06:46   #21
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Re: Advice on Chartering in Tortola

Hi DennisM. Been reading with interest the great feedback you have been getting to your query. I'm in the same situation as you - planning BVI's for 25th wedding anniversary in January next - approved by my wife! So thanks for posting the question.

Have you - or anyone reading - any advice regarding the winds in the BVI's in January - the charter sites and pilot book seem to give a potentially high 'Christmas Winds' warning, and that exposed bays might be v uncomfortable. My wife, though having approved in principle, doesn't like the bigger winds or swells (we have cruised in the Med up to this in benign conditions) - so I am anxious not to put her off cruising in the BVI's now she has agreed to go!

Sorry to ask a question on your thread, but any answers might be helpful to both of us!!
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:01   #22
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Re: Advice on Chartering in Tortola

DennisM,
You are getting really good tips and advice from this group! One thing to consider for your trip is provisioning. Both times I have chartered (Moorings and Sunsail) we had them provision the boat. It was not the best food (frozen lasagne, canned and processed food and over ripened fruit), and most of it went to waste. Within close walking distance from the Marina is a great market where you have lots of variety, and fresh healthy choices. Also, half way between the market and marina is a great french deli where you can get sliced meats, cheeses and fresh baked baguettes.
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Old 21-08-2014, 09:11   #23
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Re: Advice on Chartering in Tortola

When will you be there, exactly? Maybe we should all celebrate our anniversaries together...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDK View Post
Hi DennisM. Been reading with interest the great feedback you have been getting to your query. I'm in the same situation as you - planning BVI's for 25th wedding anniversary in January next - approved by my wife! So thanks for posting the question.

Have you - or anyone reading - any advice regarding the winds in the BVI's in January - the charter sites and pilot book seem to give a potentially high 'Christmas Winds' warning, and that exposed bays might be v uncomfortable. My wife, though having approved in principle, doesn't like the bigger winds or swells (we have cruised in the Med up to this in benign conditions) - so I am anxious not to put her off cruising in the BVI's now she has agreed to go!

Sorry to ask a question on your thread, but any answers might be helpful to both of us!!
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Old 21-08-2014, 09:12   #24
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Re: Advice on Chartering in Tortola

VERY helpful tip. Thank you! My wife had asked specifically about that.


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DennisM,
You are getting really good tips and advice from this group! One thing to consider for your trip is provisioning. Both times I have chartered (Moorings and Sunsail) we had them provision the boat. It was not the best food (frozen lasagne, canned and processed food and over ripened fruit), and most of it went to waste. Within close walking distance from the Marina is a great market where you have lots of variety, and fresh healthy choices. Also, half way between the market and marina is a great french deli where you can get sliced meats, cheeses and fresh baked baguettes.
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Old 21-08-2014, 09:47   #25
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Re: Advice on Chartering in Tortola

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDK View Post
Hi DennisM. Been reading with interest the great feedback you have been getting to your query. I'm in the same situation as you - planning BVI's for 25th wedding anniversary in January next - approved by my wife! So thanks for posting the question.

Have you - or anyone reading - any advice regarding the winds in the BVI's in January - the charter sites and pilot book seem to give a potentially high 'Christmas Winds' warning, and that exposed bays might be v uncomfortable. My wife, though having approved in principle, doesn't like the bigger winds or swells (we have cruised in the Med up to this in benign conditions) - so I am anxious not to put her off cruising in the BVI's now she has agreed to go!

Sorry to ask a question on your thread, but any answers might be helpful to both of us!!

Don't worry about the Christmas Winds, there are plenty of places to go that have very flat water if it starts to blow (The Bight at Norman Island, Soper's Hole, and most all of Gorda Sound just to name a few). The thing you have to keep an eye on is the north swell that rolls in every three or four days in the winter. Just make sure you check passageweather.com or magicseaweed.com (find their 'Cane Garden Bay Surf Report') so you know a few days in advance which anchorages to avoid. The north swell is not related to the easterly trade winds (including the Christmas winds) - it is a component of distant storms in the North Atlantic, so it is not really obvious when they are about to roll in.
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Old 21-08-2014, 10:08   #26
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Re: Advice on Chartering in Tortola

How big does that roll tend to be, Yukon?

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Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
Don't worry about the Christmas Winds, there are plenty of places to go that have very flat water if it starts to blow (The Bight at Norman Island, Soper's Hole, and most all of Gorda Sound just to name a few). The thing you have to keep an eye on is the north swell that rolls in every three or four days in the winter. Just make sure you check passageweather.com or magicseaweed.com (find their 'Cane Garden Bay Surf Report') so you know a few days in advance which anchorages to avoid. The north swell is not related to the easterly trade winds (including the Christmas winds) - it is a component of distant storms in the North Atlantic, so it is not really obvious when they are about to roll in.
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Old 21-08-2014, 10:12   #27
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Re: Advice on Chartering in Tortola

Hi DennisM,

Others here have posted very good advice, but we have a couple of additions:

Horizon yacht charters in Nanny Cay have had some good reports.

We concur with the Anegada side-trip...given more time, it could be an option.

If you fly into/out of St. Thomas, be aware of the ferry schedule to/from Tortola. Many arrival and departure flight times in STT will not coincide with travel on the ferries, so you could lose a day waiting for the morning schedules.

Here's a question for the weather-wise on the forum:

Is there a correlation between El Nino and the "Christmas Winds?"

Sandy
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Old 21-08-2014, 10:57   #28
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Re: Advice on Chartering in Tortola

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How big does that roll tend to be, Yukon?
Well, it's not by accident that Cane Garden Bay is featured on a surfing website...

But seriously, it's not an issue. You'll know at least three or four days in advance. It only affects a few anchorages -you can't even tell in the Sir Fr.Drake Channel where you'll do most of your sailing. If you don't like the big rollers you it might not want to sail to Anegada, and sometimes they close the Baths because of it, but there are plenty of other places to go that are unaffected ( I could spend a whole week in Gorda Sound alone, that place is like one big flat lake).
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Old 21-08-2014, 11:35   #29
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Re: Advice on Chartering in Tortola

If BVI Yacht Charters is still at Village Cay Marina, then there is a full grocery store about 2 blocks away. This marina also has a nice pool next to the open-air bar and dock. Short walk to Pussers and other places to eat. We really like hearing Quito perform at his beach bar and restaurant in Cane Garden Bay, which is another great stop.

Quito's Reggae Express video: Reggae Express on Vimeo
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Old 21-08-2014, 12:27   #30
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Re: Advice on Chartering in Tortola

Get these two books and you'll be all set:

Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands

Virgin Anchorages
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