Author Topic: Back from sailing in the Caribbean  (Read 2709 times)

fsr

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Re: Back from sailing in the Caribbean
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2015, 01:12:06 AM »
Kind of envious - I've wanted to do a charter, but never sailed.

But we've been to various islands for snorkeling a lot - most recently St Croix. Followed a couple spotted eagle rays around for a bit by a very deserted east end beach. Very cool!

Flights? - meh - necessary evil.

I saw a number of powered catamarans for charter.  They are trying to get to the "I'd like to do this, but never sailed" crowd.  In reality, the actual sailing is a small part of it.  The main things are being able to anchor or pick up mooring balls; and understanding how to run the boats systems: electrical, plumbing, etc.   Not unlike an oversized, overbuilt, RV.  Navigation in the BVI is about as easy as it gets.  All the boats in charter have GPS/chartplotters, and you can hop island to island and see where you are going (not out of sight of land.)

This trip kind of reignited my desire to move where I can have a sailboat in the ocean.  (Without flying to get to the boat.)  Along with becoming eligible to retire in May. 

BTW, I put up pictures on my FB page.  (Rich Reavis)
Over Christmas one year we did a cruise on a tall masted ship, not a big boat, just a 120 or so. It was all BVI, so, yeah, it would be pretty simple. I had a memorable day at Ivan's Stress Free Bar on Jost Van Dyke.  I think the trick for us at this point would be finding compatible couples, possibly somebody who had a bit more experience. Or a couple for hire as captain/cook.

One day we'll do it.

RichR

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Re: Back from sailing in the Caribbean
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2015, 05:41:16 PM »
Kind of envious - I've wanted to do a charter, but never sailed.

But we've been to various islands for snorkeling a lot - most recently St Croix. Followed a couple spotted eagle rays around for a bit by a very deserted east end beach. Very cool!

Flights? - meh - necessary evil.

I saw a number of powered catamarans for charter.  They are trying to get to the "I'd like to do this, but never sailed" crowd.  In reality, the actual sailing is a small part of it.  The main things are being able to anchor or pick up mooring balls; and understanding how to run the boats systems: electrical, plumbing, etc.   Not unlike an oversized, overbuilt, RV.  Navigation in the BVI is about as easy as it gets.  All the boats in charter have GPS/chartplotters, and you can hop island to island and see where you are going (not out of sight of land.)

This trip kind of reignited my desire to move where I can have a sailboat in the ocean.  (Without flying to get to the boat.)  Along with becoming eligible to retire in May. 

BTW, I put up pictures on my FB page.  (Rich Reavis)
Over Christmas one year we did a cruise on a tall masted ship, not a big boat, just a 120 or so. It was all BVI, so, yeah, it would be pretty simple. I had a memorable day at Ivan's Stress Free Bar on Jost Van Dyke.  I think the trick for us at this point would be finding compatible couples, possibly somebody who had a bit more experience. Or a couple for hire as captain/cook.

One day we'll do it.

Yeah, compatible people are a must!  Captain or captain/cook are an option with most charter companies.  There are also private individuals that like to do crewed-only charters with their own boat.  In addition to having the boat expertise, you get local knowledge and the freedom to do as much or as little as you like.  Professional people people.

I know some couples from a neighborhood dinner party rotation deal, who wanted me to do a charter with them.  I was kind of intrigued by the idea.  They would cover my share of the boat, airfare, and food.  But I knew there were some extremely heavy drinkers among them, that often take it to excess till there is stupidity, things broken, etc.  I knew enough about the people, that I did not want to be their babysitter, or be held responsible for damages they might cause.  So, I kind of put them off about it.  And suggested they could always go with a crewed charter.  They are all pretty well off, and the cost was not a factor for them.   Well, they did pull the trigger and do a crewed charter.  I heard the stories after they returned.  Mornings stated with bloody marys and went down hill from there.  Just a contest to see who could get the drunkest, fastest.  The capt/crew had to start telling them to not touch things, as they were just getting wasted and acting like jackasses.  And they were getting snippy back at the crew because "you are working for me."  And, these capt/crew folks are used to dealing with difficult people; but I think these guys were probably over and above.  When I heard about their trip, I was so glad I didn't go on their trip as capt/crew.

I've had pretty good luck with the friends I've done trips with.  The worst I've had to deal with was a couple (with sailing and boat-owning experience), who are just extremely wimpy about everything.  Oh, the weather looks threatening; Oh, we shouldn't go there, this might happen, that might happen.  Don't know if you know where Anegada is, but is kind of an outlying island north of Virgin Gorda.  My first trip going up to Anegada, we were half way on the 16 mile trip.  Bob's continual nagging about the weather, the swells, etc. finally drove me to say: Fine, F it.  We won't go to Anegada (been there several times since.)  And turned the boat around and headed towards Jost.  And the same trip, approaching our last night on the boat, there was some weather that came in.  A tropical wave low pressure system.  Winds were hitting 25+ knots with constant 6-8' rollers; occasional bigger rollers.  Bob's wife started freaking out.  Boat was fine and under control, but it was a wild ride.  (I was having fun, except for dealing with whiners.)   Waves washing over the bow.   Kim wanted to get out the lifejackets (the clumsy orange kapok things).   We were in no danger and I had sailed conditions like this and worse.  But,  Kim was insisting we go into the marina and spend the last night at the dock (hot, dirty, and sucks compared to being out in an anchorage.)   This time I persisted and got the boat into a protected anchorage.  And fed Kim hot toddys.  We haven't been on another trip with them since.  We are still friends, but don't do trips together.