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Old 22-06-2016, 10:36   #1
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Some BVI charter questions....

I am chartering a 40 Cat in the BVI from Sunsail in July. You all were most helpful in my decision making with all your information. Thank You!!!!

So now that the decision is made and everything is booked a couple of questions as to how life on board during this charter goes.

1) If you pick up a mooring and pay for it can you leave it and come back?? Or are you stuck to that mooring until you need to leave the next day? I'm thinking that because I actually like to sail, a nice evening sail after dinner might be kind of cool, then come back and tie up for the night. Is this acceptable practice or is it a leave it and lose it situation?

2) I have been told to provision for two- three days and then pick up items along the way. It is too easy to over provision.

I may have a couple other questions but if I could get some answers on these it would help.

Thanks,

Jim
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Old 22-06-2016, 11:01   #2
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Re: Some BVI charter questions....

Charter boats are prohibited from sailing at night. Don't think about doing that. You will be un-insured in case of a mishap.

Get to your mooring mid-afternoon, relax, swim, have a rum punch, grill de fish, and watch the sunset.

======

Three full-course dinners is a good place to start. We like to alternate dining out and cooking on board, so this lasts maybe a week. The beach bars are part of the fun, but so is grilling out with a nice sundowner in hand.

Provisioning in the BVI, away from Road Town, is very limited around the typical anchorages. Sopers Hole and North Sound have a decent grocery store, but more limited choices and higher prices.

Best to get the expensive main course food items (fish, meat, etc) in Road Town before leaving. Frozen is a good way to go beyond your first cooked dinner. Then restock for perishables and liquids along the way.

There is a very good US-style supermarket in St. John, USVI. If you, say, have 10-12 days of charter, it is well worth clearing into Trunk Bay, and taxiing to this super market. Real American steaks and other items are available. The difference is remarkable.

You can then cruise St John north shore, where there are very few boats, lots of moorings, and nice hiking on shore. Be sure to clear out of BVI first, then clear into the US at Trunk Bay, and then clear back into BVI. Takes maybe 1 hr each time. It is a good skill to develop.


We used to fly in with our own frozen steaks for Day One dinner on the boat. The market in Road Town has mostly stringy cuts of beef from S. America. ... not sure if it is still ok in the BVI to bring in fresh food, but no one ever checked.
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Old 22-06-2016, 11:35   #3
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Re: Some BVI charter questions....

Quote:
Originally Posted by derfy View Post
Charter boats are prohibited from sailing at night.
We used to fly in with our own frozen steaks for Day One dinner on the boat. The market in Road Town has mostly stringy cuts of beef from S. America. ... not sure if it is still ok in the BVI to bring in fresh food, but no one ever checked.
It helps if you develop some sort of meal plan, but for these kind of trips I always try to pre package as much of the consumables as I can. Spices, salt, ketchup, sauces, etc. Put the amounts you expect to need into travel size containers to bring with. Stuff that is better fresh I will buy when I get there, fruit veggies butter eggs etc.

I try to bring my meat frozen, although I have not done it into the BVI's before. It appears if you are coming from North America you should be OK, but you might need to pay import tax.

Entry Requirements

Quote:
Importation of Food
Yacht owners, charter guests and visitors may bring food into the British Virgin Islands. For the time being, however, because of the worldwide threat of Hoof and Mouth and Mad Cow Disease, a law is in effect which bans the importation of any meat products unless an application is submitted to the Department of Agriculture for approval. Approved permits cost $25.00. For more information, please call the Department of Agriculture at 284-495-2532. Visitors coming from the North America with meat products for consumption during their stay will not have to fill out the application if they are bringing less than 40 lbs. of meat.

Good quality, fresh foods are available in the British Virgin Islands from several grocery stores and provisioners on a year-round basis. BVI import duties charged on food products range between 5% and 15% of the invoice value. For more information on import regulations and tariffs, please contact the BVI Customs Department Phone: (284-494-3475). Open from 8:30am to 6:30pm.
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Old 22-06-2016, 11:55   #4
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Re: Some BVI charter questions....

Let me add a few things:::

I am from Kansas City so I would not dream of trying to find decent beef or any sort of BBQ in the BVI.....Not what I am looking for anyway. Seafood of any kind is welcome, fish, shellfish ect. Do any of these places have local type fish markets that would have a "Catch of the Day" for purchase to grill/ cook on the boat? I plan to provision from the grocery store but just wondering if they have any fresh fish out and about while cruising. I don't hear many people talking about it.

My question isn't about sailing at night. I understand why that's not a good idea in unfamiliar waters and have no inkling of trying it. My thought was get somewhere early, pay for a mooring ball, then cruise around and tie back up later. Is that possible or if you leave your ball, is it gone?

Jim
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Old 22-06-2016, 12:03   #5
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Re: Some BVI charter questions....

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimfj View Post
I am chartering a 40 Cat in the BVI from Sunsail in July. You all were most helpful in my decision making with all your information. Thank You!!!!

So now that the decision is made and everything is booked a couple of questions as to how life on board during this charter goes.

1) If you pick up a mooring and pay for it can you leave it and come back?? Or are you stuck to that mooring until you need to leave the next day? I'm thinking that because I actually like to sail, a nice evening sail after dinner might be kind of cool, then come back and tie up for the night. Is this acceptable practice or is it a leave it and lose it situation?

2) I have been told to provision for two- three days and then pick up items along the way. It is too easy to over provision.

I may have a couple other questions but if I could get some answers on these it would help.

Thanks,

Jim
You can tie your dinghy to the mooring and come back but I wouldn't leave it for more than an hour or two and as stated, don't sail at night. I always enjoy the early morning sails.

Provisioning really depends on the number of people you have going. It's really not that hard but I do plan for the meals I will have aboard and bring a lot from home. I would suggest trying to provision what you think you will eat during the week and then if you have to pick up a few things, you can. For just my wife and I, it's easy but a large group is going to be more difficult. The last charter we did we went with 2 other couples on a 7 day charter. Each couple had two nights they were responsible for dinner. We just had sandwiches for lunch and we ate out one night. Also due to disparity in our drinking habits. Each couple bought their own booze. No disrespect to the restaurants in the BVI but there is not one single meal I have had out that we couldn't have fixed something better on the boat.

I had them go online, decide what they wanted and I ordered it all. They just reimbursed me. We also had some pre-trip planning parties that were fun.

If you do need to pick up some stuff, Leverick in the NS is good. There is a good store in Cane Garden Bay. Anegada is limited but there is a store there too. None are inexpensive but really who cares...you are on vacation.
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Old 22-06-2016, 12:53   #6
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Re: Some BVI charter questions....

OK, some thoughts from the perspective of a BVI charter captain: Yes, everything is more expensive here, but clearly there is way more stuff available than many charterers realize! And, since our tourism segment is quite high end - many luxury villas in addition to the yachts, of which many of the crewed yachts serve gourmet fare - you just need to know where to look. Heck, the BVI even has an award winning culinary team, but you probably don't know that!

If you want excellent beef, get Omaha and Angus beef at Riteway. Also Mexican grass fed beef. Don't know about "stringy South American cuts"! Good fruits and vegetables can be had from Riteway, One Mart, and Bobby's on Tortola, and from Buck's, Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda. Beverages can be had from the above mentioned supermarkets, and also from speciality stores: Caribbean Cellars and Tico's would be the top choices. Lots of yummy things at Deli France, a short walk from Moorings/Sunsail.

RiteWay's main store is five minutes from Sunsail. One Mart is about fifteen minutes in one direction, and Bobby's is about the same distance, in the other. Riteway has five other stores on Tortola, but they aren't that convenient except the one at Soper's Hole. Buck's Supermarket, in Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, is a good sized store and very convenient. They have a smaller branch at Gun Creek at North Sound. It's a free ferry trip from Bitter End Yacht Club to get there. All the resort stores, such as the ones at Leverick or Bitter End, are much smaller, have fewer choices, and are pretty pricey. None of us who live here shop in those places! RiteWay also has a store in Spanish Town, but it's a cab ride away.

For provisioning, if you want to spend your charter time doing it, take a cab and ask him to wait for you while you shop. They will be happy to do it. Or, shop at the afforementioned stores online and have the provisions delivered to your boat for a small fee. That's what I usually do for my charters. And my plans are usually to get as much as I can in Road Town and then do one "top-up" at Buck's in Spanish Town.

I don't know how good the chefs on HoosierSailor's boat are, but most folks really enjoy some of the restaurants here, both for the food, and also for the ambiance and the chance to avoid having to cook. An incomplete, but reliable, list would include Charley's (right at the Sunsail Base), The Rock Cafe in Spanish Town, The Fat Virgin, in North Sound (small, very homey and reasonable place with excellent food), the Pub at Bitter End (specifically for pizza out of their brick oven), Anegada Reef Hotel, Cow Wreck Beach Bar on Anegada (beach bar food with the best French Fries in the BVI), The Last Resort in Trellis Bay, Myett's in Cane Garden Bay on Tortola, Audriana's in Sea Cow's Bay on Tortola, and Red Rock Restaurant in East End on Tortola. Also, Pirate's Bight, in the Bight at Norman Island, is pretty good...try their lobster salad. Tasty and huge. This is just a short list and doesn't include some great places on the waterfronts and, of course, there are lots of mediocre places as well. Avoid Pusser's, for example.

As for mooring buoys, you can leave your dinghy, as has been mentioned, but you aren't really supposed to and they sometimes get removed. But, no worries. They don't charge you unless you stay overnight, so why not tell the mooring fee collector that you are leaving for an evening sail and may be returning to another buoy, which you will happily pay for. Or pay when they first come, and when you return, if you have to take another buoy, show them the receipt, which they will have already given you. It includes your name and the boat's name, so you are covered, just maybe on a different buoy. But you said you are coming in July, and things have already started to thin out pretty well so the mooring fields should be far from full.

If you go to St. John, you have to check in and there is only one place and it's NOT Trunk Bay, but Cruz Bay. You could take a cab from Trunk Bay. But it might be easier to just take the boat since the supermarket is in Cruz Bay. Not big, but a nice selection.

Hope this helps and that you have an awesome trip in an awesome place. And enjoy the food! :-)!
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Old 22-06-2016, 13:46   #7
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Re: Some BVI charter questions....

Oops...wrong island. It is most definitely Cruz Bay.

(I just got back from Antigua ... where there happens to be a Trunk Bay)

Lots of detailed advice from previous responder re beach bars and shopping.

Have fun in the BVI. I love it there.
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Old 22-06-2016, 15:24   #8
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Re: Some BVI charter questions....

Contrail,

Thanks for the reply!!!! Very much appreciate the info!!!
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Old 23-06-2016, 10:31   #9
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Re: Some BVI charter questions....

Sailing in the BVIs ( moorings) is one of my family 's preferred vacation.

My personal perspective:

Question 1 - No, that's not going to work.

2 - Marina Cay, Norman Island, Cooper, all have very nice restaurants. Cooper now has a brewery that's kind of cool. We get most of our provisions in the market in front of the base. Last time we took some frozen grandma made dishes in a portable high quality ice bag and it was just awesome. Dry ice creates extra hassle we didn't use it. Medium 22 in ,I believe, aluminum trays do fit the boat oven.

Nowadays I always have 2 boat hooks and ask for extra towels.

Have fun !!!!!
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