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Old 25-05-2008, 19:59   #1
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Newbies Going to BVI with Moorings

John and Sue here from West Tx. We are empty nesters off to the BVI on a great adventure

Looks like this is a great source for info ! hope to learn a few things here before we go make all the usual mistakes for ourselves. LOL
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Old 25-05-2008, 23:16   #2
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Hi John & Sue,
Are you going to go to The US Virgin Islands? There is a boat for sale in St. Thomas that I would like to look at. Is that something that you would be interested in doing?
Jerry
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Old 26-05-2008, 03:30   #3
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You'll have a ball. There are other charter companies in BVI but going to Moorings the first time is a good move. They have everything you need right at the Moorings base, so provisioning, renting SCUBA gear, etc. is easy.

Have fun.

George
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Old 26-05-2008, 04:03   #4
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Old 26-05-2008, 05:16   #5
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Hi John and Sue...

The BVI are paradise....Great Choice...how long are staying?

What kind of information are you looking for? What do you like to do?
Do you rise early and suck in every ounce of sunshine, or do you stay up late and howl at the moon? or both?..lol

Do you think you'll want to cook dinners aboard, or go out to eat every night?...
Breakfast? Lunch?.....what's your pocketbook like?...
For example, I like to bring some dry goods like coffee, sugar, Mayo, the unrefrigerated milk in a box, canned tuna or chunk chicken in a can, pasta etc and buy fresh veggies as I go. Or, you can have the moorings provision everything.

For instance, If you are hikers/walkers at home...I'd suggest that you hike the trails up to the top of Norman Island, walk up the hill to the tiki bar at the baths. Take a hike up Jost Van Dyke. You can't miss Foxy's

Get one of those plastic, waterproof money holders, large enough to fit a credit card.
You'll have to swim ashore at the baths. They come in handy everywhere.

As far as Beaches go, I think the beach at Cane Garden Bay is superb, if the wind is right and it's not too crowded you can't go wrong stopping there. Myett's (sp) makes a great Pain Killer!

Buy a BVI cruising guide before you go...it will give you great information imo.
Have a tentative sail plan/itinery ..by the time you get there.

Do you dive? Scuba?

Everyone will have their favorite things to do, and not to do...it would help to know what your style is. In either case, it's hard too go to far astray in paradise.

We like doing a circular route around the islands ( not backtracking)


Sample trip:

Roadtown to the baths for a few hours, then on to the bitter end for the night, Take a hike...Dinner at the English Pub ..

Anagada if you're feeling adventurous ( great Lobster) for dinner... you can take an open truck ride to loblolly bay...for an afternoon

Cane Garden Bay,

Jost Van Dyke

Sophers Hole for Lunch, fuel, water, shopping, supplies

Norman Island and the indians, the Willy T we usually spend our last night here and cross over to the moorings in the morning
Back to road town.

Cooper island is nice..

Depending on how crowded the islands are, I'd suggest getting on your evening mooring...buy 2 or 3....or your dinghy ride ashore could be long....you have to feel this out.

Have Fun!

Tempest.
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Old 26-05-2008, 05:57   #6
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Life is Good!

Moorings is tops! We did a trip to Belize on a 42 Cat and it was like a floating condo. Two things learned...be careful of the fresh water salt water faucets. We boiled potatoes in saltwater... and be sure to have a good light for grilling at night. Its difficult to gage how well the meat is cooked with starlight. Have Fun!
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Old 26-05-2008, 08:59   #7
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Newbies going to BVI with Moorings

WOW ! Thanks for the warm welcome.

Cowboy Sailer,
There are 7 of us renting a 51.5' monohull for 7 days so I doubt if I could convince all to go looking at a boat with me. Unless it was really close to where we are getting on board our boat.

Here's the plan so far, at least as I understand it

Fly into St. Thomas then take the ferry over to Tortola, spend the 1st night in the harbor and leave early the next day, refreshed and ready for ???

Tempest245, Thanks for all the great info. Hope you are not a 2 fingered typist like myself LOL

I guess my 1st bunch of questions will be ...

1. will my cell phone work down there? Will the roaming charges be astronomical?

2. What is the biggest offense most newbies make in the BVI area.
Public drunk ? Drugs ? enviromental screw up like damage to coral, tossing trash ?
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Old 26-05-2008, 09:25   #8
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You can activate your cell phone on their network while there. There used to be a healthy deposit required that they took a long time to refund. If you put the deposit on a credit card, you can then "dispute" it when you get home and never really be out of pocket.

Drunk in public is a popular past time with the Willy T (William Thornton) at Normans being the epitome. I hear you are no longer allowed to dive naked off the upper deck. I don't encourage opening the booze locker until you are well anchored or tied up at night.

If you leave the boat at night, take a light. There are more dinghies running at speed, full of crew and grog, and no light than you can imagine. It can be hard to find your boat among the crowded mooring field than you think. Maybe take your hand held GPS and mark the location before leaving the boat.

Drugs? Don't even think it.

The charter guys tell lots of stories about newbies but just use common sense and you will have no problem.

Lots of boats lose their dinghy and that will cost you big time. Tie it well if it is not in davits. A simple method is to secure the painter to a cleat, then tie the bitter end around a stanchion or something to prevent an oops.

Charterers failing to use the marine head correctly is fairly common. Listen carefully during the briefing and then stress proper use with the crew.

There are some places a cat can go you can't with the monohull so don't follow one into areas where you aren't sure of the depth. There is for instance an entry into Virgin Gorda that has only about 5'. Read the charts and, again, listen up at the captains meeting and the crew briefing.

It seems most charterers to BVI pick up a mooring or dock instead of anchoring. If you do anchor make sure you are well set, have plenty of scope, and won't swing into another boat.

Listen to weather every day. Don't get surprised.

Having said all this, it has been 7 years since I chartered so things, I am sure, have evolved.

George
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Old 30-05-2008, 17:12   #9
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Aloha John and Sue,
Welcome aboard! Let us know how your cruise in the BVI goes. I'd like to hear about it. I've been those places you've mentioned but not since the 80s. I wouldn't know how any of it is now.
Kind regards,
JohnL
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Old 31-05-2008, 12:13   #10
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Cowboy Jerry, feel free to send me a PM about the boat you are interested in. I should be able to take a look at it and send you some "non-seller motivated" photos.
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Old 31-05-2008, 12:23   #11
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The info Sunspot provided is valid, even after 7 years. Officially it is not permiited to jump off the Willy T's upper deck sans clothing. Rarely to people in the VI follow rules which infringe upon their fun. Two weekends ago some young people were using the NO JUMPING sign for balance to jump off, naked. Mind you this was mid afternoon not late at night. If you have young children I would advise caution if going there.

One other thing to monitor would be water usage. I have overheard many a charterer discussing running out of water.

Have a great time.
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Old 31-05-2008, 18:30   #12
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What about Bugs ?

Thanks to all for the great info and encouragement

What about bugs ? like biting flies, mosquitos, gnats, etc.
I assume there will be insects. can you recommend some repellent that works ? I read somehwere to spray Listerene mouth wash around for a biteless evening.

How far offshore do we need to be to avoid the little critters ?
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Old 01-06-2008, 04:43   #13
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There’s no practical mosquito-safe distance offshore (except when ocean passagemaking).

Most*[*1] mosquitoes typically fly a few hundred yards up to two or three miles from the place they emerge, depending on species and environmental factors[*2]. Some common mosquitoes are known to fly 10 miles or more, and salt marsh breeders have been known to migrate up to 100 miles in exceptional circumstances.

[1] There are about 2,700 species of mosquito.
[2] When caught up in updrafts that direct them into winds high above the ground, mosquitoes can be carried great distances.

The most effective insect repellants contain “DEET” (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, also known as N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide).

Two botanical repellents which performed particularly well in a Florida study were Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Lotion Insect Repellent ( also marketed as FiteBite Plant Based Insect Repellent) which protected for 120 minutes, and Bite Blocker for Kids, a 2% soybean oil formula, which was effective for 95 minutes. Citronella products in the study provided about 30-40 minutes of protection.

See the Snopes article:
snopes.com: Mosquito Repel Lore
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:34   #14
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There's a litte bar at the ferry dock, on St Thomas, where you can get your 1st pain Killer!

I honestly don't remember ever being bothered by insects, maybe it was the pain killers?.....or the fact that I don't wear perfume??...

Lose the cell phone! You're on Vacation. ha....my cell phone didn't work, but I have nextel, no surprise...

If you're going with 7 people, you might consider bringing a few small walkie talkies, and flashlights, unless you plan on towing several dinks, there will probably be a need to communicate ship to shore. ( come pick us up! ) You're never very far offshore in the BVI, other than Anegada you're always in sight of land.

Check out the 47 foot catamarans while you're there, see what you think for your next trip. The trampolines make a great place to sun yourself and relax.

We had a couple with us on one trip, who spent the 1st two days in their bunk hungover. I thought that was a newbie mistake!

A Bad Sunburn can make a trip miserable, remember to protect your skin.

Rubicoops advice on water usage is a good one! there are not many places to fill up your tanks. Plan this.....no 20 minute showers!!

We usually fill up in Sopers Hole....I'm not sure who else has fuel and water...maybe Beef island? Trellis Bay..

I'm jealous!!..I want a BVI Vacation!....
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:53   #15
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There was a marina near the bitter end that had free water if you stayed on a mooring there. Again, that was 7 years ago. I don't remember the name. That being said, offering free water and having room at the dock to fill are two different things.

During your crew briefing, give them all the water conservation instruction. Basically, use the water you need but don't waste a drop.

We did OK with 6 people for water for a week on a 41' Beneteau one trip and a 37 Privilege on another. At the end of the week, we had to pick up crew at the charter base anyway and we refilled there.

We didn't have much trouble with bugs. If there is a good breeze it keeps them down.

There are some wipey type bug repellents that are more pleasant to apply than the spray, especially around the face. Get a repellent with DEET as the active ingredient. We have had decent results with both Off and Cutters.

Lots of folks swear by Avon Skin So Soft as a bug repellent and in some areas it seems to work well. I don't remember how effective it was in BVI.

We have some little Sunbeam sonic insect repellers on the boat. They take a single AA battery and we put them at the head of our bed at night. While maybe not perfect, they make a noticeable difference in how many mosquitoes are in the cabin.

Funny, the most aggressive and hard to repel insects we encounter are right here at home in Eastern North Carolina. The biting flies and mosquitoes are murder.

George
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