5 Reasons to Book a Virgin Islands Sailing Vacation

Have you been dreaming of exploring the gorgeous Virgin Islands? Have you ever thought of a sailing vacation on a beautiful catamaran in the Virgin Islands? Well, here are 5 great reasons to book a sailing vacation in the Virgin Islands now!


1. You can experience a sailing vacation without knowing a thing about sailing!

The internet is full of gorgeous photos of sailboats and catamarans skimming the beautiful blue water of the Caribbean… Have you ever wished you could experience that but don’t know a thing about sailing? Well you can! There are several options available when chartering a sailing vacation, including a full charter with a captain and cook, a half-board, which includes a captain and cook and half of your meals (for those that want to enjoy more of the local cuisine) or a captain only charter, in which the guests provision the boat and do their own cooking. Your charter broker can discuss the options and help you decide what is best for your group!


2. You get to experience multiple islands

There are literally hundreds of locations to visit in the Virgin Islands. Exploring this area on a sailing vacation means that everyday you will get to see something new, beautiful and exciting!

You will probably visit at least one new island a day which gives you the chance to see more than a land only vacation.


3. You can go where bigger ships can’t go

On a chartered sailing vacation, you can get to places you won’t be able to reach by a much larger vessel, which means you can see many of the best attractions minus the cruise ship crowds.


You can enjoy your own private beach or cove for the day, snorkel an isolated reef – or, start your own party at a secluded beach bar!


4. Flexibility

A sailing vacation offers a lot in terms of flexibility. Need a catamaran that sleeps 4 or 20? Do you want to snorkel everyday? Do you like to sleep in or get up early? Do you want to check out as many beautiful beaches as possible? Do you have special dietary needs? Do you really want to try a Roti, or a Painkiller?


Are there certain locations you’ve been reading about (perhaps on the Rum Therapy website!) that you’d really like to experience? Are you looking for a quiet family vacation or do you have a group of close friends that likes to find a party? Your charter broker will help to match you with the perfect crew and vessel to maximize your sailing vacation experience.

5. It’s a good vacation value

Regardless of which charter option you choose, a sailing vacation offers a lot in terms of vacation value.


Many things are covered in the price of a charter, including mooring fees, fuel, and cruising permits, as well as meals & beverages (depending on your charter choice), water toys and a crew with extensive knowledge of the area so that you will get to sample the best of the islands!

Ready to go sailing?


This article was sponsored by Certified Charter Broker Laura Jagielski of Denison Yacht Charters. There are many advantages to using Laura as your charter broker.  Because Laura lives in St.Thomas, she can provide an extra level of concierge service.  She knows all the must see spots throughout the Virgin Islands and will arrange your transportation to and from your yacht.  She will be there to personally greet you at the  dock when you begin your charter, ensuring a great send-off.  In addition,  she will meet you at the end of your charter to answer any questions and assist you with your departure. NO detail is too small. She is dedicated to ensuring that your trip exceeds your expectations.

Contact Laura to help you set up your Virgin Islands Sailing Vacation!
Email: [email protected].com Office Phone: 340-473-0073

The Denison family has been trusted in the yachting community since 1948 when Frank Denison founded Broward Marine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Mr. Denison landed a United States Navy contract, with the first flight of four, 144′ wooden minesweepers, for the Royal Dutch Navy under a NATO contract.  Since then the Denison family has manufactured and sold more yachts over 70 feet than any family in the industry.  The Denison company is not only a powerhouse when it comes to yacht brokerage but also a trusted name in the charter yacht world.  With offices all over the world from Hong Kong to California to Florida to the Virgin Islands, the crew at Denison would be honored to show you how three generations of yachting expertise can be an asset to your yachting experience.

This is a sponsored post. Although we were compensated by the company who sponsored it, the views are solely our own and we only recommend products or services we believe our readers will enjoy.

Homemade Ginger Beer at Cloggy’s, Antigua

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Recently, while in Antigua, we found ourselves exploring the dock, shops, amazing boats and sailing vessels around Falmouth Harbour in the Antigua Yacht Club Marina, and came across this sign.

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Homemade Ginger Beer? Yes, please. We entered the second floor waterside establishment that also had an incredible view of the harbor, mega-yachts, sailing vessels and racing boats. The bar/restaurant’s name was Cloggy’s, and we were determined to sample the homemade ginger beer, even though it was only 10:00 in the morning.

We pulled up a stool at the bar and began chatting with the bartender, who was a bit distracted, trying to set up for the  day, but pleasant and informative. We asked about the Homemade Ginger Beer and she mentioned that it was best sampled in a Dark ‘N Stormy. We agreed and ordered two.

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We asked for a seat on the deck so we could check out the view of the harbour, but without a lunch reservation we were our of luck! So – they sent us to a small lounge on the deck where we could enjoy our beverage while checking out the…yachts.

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How was the homemade ginger beer? Excellent! Such a strong gingery flavor and so different than the canned version we were used to. Reluctantly we paid our tab and moved on, determined to make a reservation to sample a meal at this on-the-water establishment the next time around. If you’re in the area – we recommend you at least sample the homemade ginger beer at Cloggy’s and check out the view of the mega-yachts and imagine racing on a boat like this…

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Have you ever tried Homemade Ginger Beer? Have you ever been to Cloggy’s? Tell us about it!

Find Cloggy’s on our Antigua Map

To see more posts on Antigua and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Tony and Gail King of Boat BVI


Tony King fell in love with sailing at the age of 7. It was his first sail and he was hooked. He later went on to a naval school in the UK and eventually earned his USCG 100 ton Masters license.

Today, Tony, along with his wife Gail, have put their love and knowledge of sailing, sailing vessels and yachts to good use by helping match individuals wanting to book a sailing vacation together with a boat and crew that best fits their needs. The Kings started their company, Boat BVI as a way to stay in the sailing industry and to help others experience the joy of a sailing vacation.

Gail-and-Tony-at-Village-Cay-OTony and Gail King

Tony and Gail know the Caribbean and Bahamas well. They have sailed all over the region and have lived in St. Thomas, Tortola, Puerto Rico, and the Florida Keys, both aboard their Hatteras yacht and on land. When I asked Tony what his favorite sailing destination was, he said, ” The BVI has to remain my favorite place of all. I’ve been there countless times but it still remains fresh and enjoyable every time. I’m a fair weather sailor (unless I’m racing) and love the protected waters and gentle trade winds that practically guarantee you a great vacation!”

In 1998, the King’s founded the company American Yacht, the parent company of Boat BVI. That same year, they decided to try their hand at chartering and being the crew of their own boat. Knowing nothing yet about the crewed charter industry and not having a clue what to expect, they took their boat down to the USVI from Florida,  joined a clearing house and bingo, they were suddenly in the business. Quite scary. Thankfully everyone in the industry was incredibly helpful and they’ll eternally be grateful to their early colleagues in St. Thomas and Tortola who acted as mentors.

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After about 4 years of learning the business from the ground up by working in the role of captain, mate, chef, and engineer, they decided to sell the boat and head to Miami where they set up shop,  first as a clearing house (Flagship Florida) and later as charter brokers with two websites: boatmiami.com and boatbvi.com.

The King’s company, Boat BVI, specializes in crewed charters in the BVI, but can also assist in finding a charter in other Caribbean destinations. Tony and Gail decide which boats and crews to represent by attending charter shows in St. Thomas, Tortola and Antigua to check out all the charter vessels and talk with the crews. An online industry database is used that has the pictures, specs and availability nicely laid out so they can present beautiful color brochures to their clients. As a norm they only present yachts that they know personally. If they need to go outside of their network during very busy seasons like Christmas or Spring Break, they make sure to get recommendations from their industry colleagues.

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Tony and Gail mentioned that there are many things to consider when choosing a crewed charter,  from destination, boat type, and type of crew; fully crewed, captain only or bareboat, and the King’s expertise can help individuals navigate the charter waters to find just the right fit. Boats available in their database include sailing catamarans (the most popular), single hull sailing vessels and motor-yachts. There are some motor catamarans available as well.

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As we know from our experience with crewed charters, it’s important to get matched with a boat and crew that have complimentary interests and personalities. Tony and Gail excel at getting to know their clients and finding a good match from their extensive database. As part of the booking process, they interview their clients by phone or via email. It’s important to find out what their interests are and what type of vacation their looking for. Once they have a sense of clients personalities and expectations, they are able to match them with a boat and crew that compliments their needs.

And lastly, said Tony and Gail, when deciding upon a sailing vacation, it’s important to find a reputable charter company that you can trust with your vacation. Boat BVI has been in business for nearly 15 years and will take care of all of the technical aspects of setting up your charter so that you can sit back, relax and enjoy.

Have you always dreamed about taking a sailing vacation in the BVI or other areas of the Caribbean? Tony, Gail and Boat BVI can answer your questions and help you find just the right boat and crew for the vacation of your dreams!


Contact them to find out more!

Phone: (305)758-2500
Email: [email protected]
Website: BoatBVI
Boat BVI Facebook

This is a sponsored post. Although we were compensated by the company who sponsored it, the views are solely our own and we only recommend products or services we believe our readers will enjoy.

Sunday Serenity: A Boat Nap

We recently were going through some photos of past travels and ran across a pic we had taken of a young man thoroughly enjoying an afternoon nap on a boat in Anegada.

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That got us to thinking about one of our favorite things to do during a sailing vacation.
Take a nap.

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The gentle rock of the sea, the warm sun on your skin and a fresh sea breeze all combine to make a perfect recipe for some zzzz’s, and we try to enjoy that as often as possible while on a boat.

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Can’t wait to go sailing again and take a nap…

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What about you? Would you enjoy a little boat nap?

Find more Sunday Serenity posts here:
Tropical Tips & More

To see more island posts, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Sunday Serenity: Morning in Green Turtle Cay

Recently we spent a week sailing the out islands of The Abacos, Bahamas. Well, actually it was more motoring than sailing as during our visit, the Sea of Abaco happened to be unusually calm.

One of the cays we were able to explore was Green Turtle Cay. About mid-way down the chain of cays that fringe the larger island of Abaco, Green Turtle Cay measures about 3 miles long and 1/2 mile wide. Exploring Green Turtle Cay is done easily by golf cart or bike.

During our sail, we’d awake each morning and snap a quick picture of the scenery through our porthole. The morning we awoke on Green Turtle Cay, the morning “porthole pic” was well, amazing! The water was so still that it created a perfect reflection of the colorful morning sky.

We’ll be writing more soon about our explorations on Green Turtle, but for now we’ll leave you with the Green Turtle Cay Morning Porthole Pic…

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Have you explored Green Turtle Cay? Tell us about it!

Find Green Turtle Cay on our Bahamas Map

To see more island posts, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Sailing the British Virgin Islands on a Crewed Charter, Part 4

We awoke to yet another spectacular morning view through our porthole.

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Morning view of the water around Anegada

We were reluctant to leave this island with the electric blue water, but were anxious for the adventures ahead.

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Leaving Anegada

The sail out of Anegada was nearly as beautiful as the sail in – except for one thing.
We were leaving!

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Sailing from Anegada to Virgin Gorda

Before getting back to Virgin Gorda, our captain planned to make a snorkeling stop at The Dogs, a small group of uninhabited islands just off the coast of Virgin Gorda. The four Dogs Islands, called George, Great, West and Seal, have a number of coral ridges that are great for snorkeling and diving.

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Sailing Itinerary – Day 6

We stopped at George Dog, anchored, spent some time checking out the coral and fish in the clear blue water, and then found a place to lounge and relax in the sunshine.

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Snorkeling at George Dog

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Interesting sea creatures

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Chillaxin’ on deck

From there we had a short motor over to check out the spectacular Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda.

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Little Dix Bay Resort, Virgin Gorda

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Hobie Cat in Little Dix Bay

Next stop – The Baths!

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Huge boulders of The Baths

Even though we’ve been lucky enough to visit The Baths several times, we were nonetheless excited to explore them again AND show our boatmates this amazing area. The Baths National Park is found on the southwestern tip of Virgin Gorda and is comprised of massive granite boulders, white sand beaches and sparkling shallow blue pools which can be explored via a trail that winds through the rocks, sand and pools.

Find out what it’s like to take the path through the boulders of The Baths here: Exploring The Baths, Virgin Gorda

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The beauty of The Baths

See more pictures of The Baths here: The Baths, Virgin Gorda

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Beautiful sandy beaches and boulders

After a great afternoon of exploring, we swam back to our boat, where we were greeted with the drink of the day and a delicious dinner! At this point in the trip, we’d gotten used to such pampering and were trying to figure out how to take our crew home with us…

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Drink of the Day – fruity Sangria

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Delicious dinner on-board

But alas, our sailing trip was nearing the end. That night we anchored in Spanish Town and dinghied in for a  drink and the view at CocoMaya.

In the morning, we began the last day of our vacation….. :(

We spent the early hours enjoying Cooper Island and Cooper Island Beach Club.

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Cooper Island Beach Club

A short hop over to to Salt Island for a snorkel of the Wreck of the Rhone – and then our final stop of the trip – Peter Island. 

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View of Deadman’s Beach, Peter Island

 Read more about Little Deadman’s Beach, Peter Island

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Hammock at Peter Island Resort

After dinner ashore at Deadman’s Beach Bar & Grill (part of the Peter Island Resort) we reflected on the great week we had just experienced. In 7 days we were able to to see so much of the BVI, including visits to the following islands:
Tortola
Norman Island
Sandy Island
Little Jost Van Dyke
Jost Van Dyke
Anegada
Virgin Gorda
Cooper Island
Peter Island

We were also treated to some excellent sailing through the beautiful islands, pampered with great food and drinks, and we got to experience all of this with a wonderful group of friends.

Sun-tanned, relaxed and refreshed, we were completely ready to go again!

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Our awesome crew

Thanks to our wonderful crew and the folks at Festiva for another really great sailing vacation!

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The sun goes down on anther great sail

 In case you missed them:
Sailing the British Virgin Islands on a Crewed Charter Part 1
Sailing the British Virgin Islands on a Crewed Charter Part 2
Sailing in the British Virgin Islands on a Crewed Charter Part 3

 Looks like it’s time to check out another sailing itinerary! Perhaps the Grenadines again, or St. Maarten/Anguilla/St. Barths? Or maybe Greece?…..

 

To find out more about a Crewed Charter Sailing Vacation with Festiva including the itineraries they offer, contact them through their website:
Festiva Sailing Vacations

And follow them on Facebook:
Festiva Sailing Vacations

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 Copyright©Rum Therapy 2014
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Sailing the British Virgin Islands on a Crewed Charter, Part 3

Wow – we were already 4 days in to our sailing vacation. How time flies when you’re having so much fun – well, and a little rum!

We woke this morning to this view of Great Harbour from our porthole…

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Morning view of Great Harbour from our porthole

After a delicious breakfast of eggs, fresh pastries and fresh fruit prepared by our lovely cook, we dinghied to Great Harbour to explore just a little more. We then set sail for our next destination, Guana Island, and passed stunning Sandy Cay along the way.

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Sandy Cay, British Virgin Islands

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Sailing itinerary Day 4

 After Sandy Cay, we enjoyed a very nice sail around Tortola, passing by some of the harder to reach beaches on Tortola’s North side such as Trunk Bay, Josiah’s Bay and Lambert Bay.

Passing beautiful White Bay on Guana Island, we pulled into Monkey Point, where we spent a few hours snorkeling at one of the best spots on the trip. Here we saw very large tarpon (at least 3 ft!) and schools and schools of small brightly colored minnows.

Next stop – North Sound, Virgin Gorda.

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Leverick Bay, Resort & Marina

We docked that night at colorful Leverick Bay (see more about Leverick Bay here), which allowed us to easily get off the boat and explore the area.

We’d been to Leverick several times in the past, but were never there to enjoy the “singing pirate”, Michael Bean at Jumbiesthat is until this time!

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Michael Bean at Happy Arrr!

It was a fun show – lots of singing, pirate shenanigans and rum punch and we enjoyed Jumbies until the sun went down.

We were welcomed back on the boat with a delicious Happy Arrr of our own. Every evening our crew would prepare a delicious round of lite hors d’oeuvres and a “drink of the day”. Tonight’s drink? A strawberry daiquiri with fresh mint…yum…

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Drink of the Day

Day 5 we awoke with anticipation of a sail to  “the drowned island” – Anegada.

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Day 5 itinerary

Lying approximately 15 miles north of Virgin Gorda, this island just doesn’t look like the others in the BVI chain. Only 28 ft at it’s highest point, it’s flat topography is far different from the other islands. Anegada is surrounded by coral reefs and hundreds of shipwrecks and it takes an experienced captain to safely navigate the sail in – and we were very happy to leave this task in our capable captains hands (another benefit of a crewed charter!)

At about 2 hours, the sail to Anegada was the longest of the trip. It was a gorgeous sunny day with enough wind for a decent sail, but smooth enough that we could do this….

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Enjoying a relaxing sail to Anegada

And a little more of this…

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Making sure the tan is even…

Until we started to get close to Anegada and the water looked like this.

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The shallow, blue water around Anegada

Once safely anchored in Setting Point, we dinghied to shore, rented an open cab truck for the day and set off exploring.

If you’ve yet to visit Anegada, let me tell you, it should be called “Ahhh”negada! The beaches, although devoid of a lot of foliage or palm trees, are simply spectacular. It’s almost hard to describe the water color – electric maybe? First stop – the beach north of Pomato Point.

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Beach north of Pomato Point by Anegada Beach Cottages

And not another soul around….

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Cow Wreck Beach and Beach Bar

We drove on a short way to Cow Wreck Beach and Beach Bar. We could have easily spent a few days here. Great beach – fun beach bar! Find out more about our visit to Cow Wreck here. After an hour or two we pressed on – intent on seeing as much as possible and landed on Loblolly Bay.

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Loblolly Bay

Here we enjoyed some good snorkeling and a beverage at the Big Bamboo Beach Bar.
Read more about our visit to Loblolly here.

Totally sun and salt water drenched, we made our way back to Setting Point and then our boat to enjoy our “drink of the day”, while watching yet another amazing sunset.

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Sunset from our boat in Setting Point

And to top this excellent day off, we cleaned up and went ashore for a Lobster dinner at Potter’s by the Sea. Man, I could get really used to this!

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Dinner at Potter’s by the Sea

Stay tuned for Sailing the British Virgin Islands on a Crewed Charter Part 4, the last couple of days, where we visit The Baths, snorkel The Rhone and spend time on Peter Island.

In case you missed them:
Sailing the British Virgin Islands on a Crewed Charter Part 1
Sailing the British Virgin Islands on a Crewed Charter Part 2

 

To find out more about a Crewed Charter Sailing Vacation with Festiva, contact them through their website:
Festiva Sailing Vacations

And follow them on Facebook:
Festiva Sailing Vacations

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Sailing the British Virgin Islands on a Crewed Charter, Part 2

One of the best things about a crewed charter is that you can just sit back , relax and enjoy the experience. No cooking, no cleaning – just sailing, enjoying the view and soaking in the sunshine…

We awoke the first morning in the Bight of Norman Island to the smell of fresh coffee prepared by our wonderful crew. I threw on a swimsuit and cover-up (pretty much the attire for the week!), grabbed a book and made my way to the deck. It was 8:00am and the day was already gorgeous – the water sparkled in the sunshine and there was just a slight warm breeze. I grabbed a cup of coffee and settled in to a comfy seat in the sun on the front of the boat, attempting to get into the story in front of me – but my eyes kept wandering to the beautiful view around me.

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View of The Bight Bay, Norman Island from in front of Pirate’s Bight Bar/Restaurant

Map of our crewed charter sailing route Day 1-3

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Our sailing route through the BVI Day 1 – 3

The black line indicates our approximate sailing route and the white lines point out just a few of the places we stopped along the way.

Day 2
After a light breakfast, we motored around to The Caves of Norman Island where we spent some time snorkeling (check out that crystal clear water!) kayaking and attempting good form (or just to stand up) on the stand up paddle board. The Festiva catamarans come equipped with a SUP board, a kayak and snorkeling equipment – so you can try it all!

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Snorkeling at The Caves, Norman Island

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SUP-ping at The Caves

A delicious lunch on board the boat…

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Lunch on board our boat

…and then we made our way to The Indians for another great snorkel.

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The Indians, BVI

We’d had a full morning of playing in the water and were sun and salt-water drenched, and really enjoyed relaxing on the beautiful sail around Tortola to Cane Garden Bay where we anchored for the night.

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Sailing around Tortola to Cane Garden Bay

The rest of Day 2 was spent exploring beautiful Cane Garden Bay (See What to See and Do in Cane Garden Bay) until sunset,

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Sunset in Cane Garden Bay, Tortola

…then back on board we spent the evening sipping on some really tasty rum punch while listening to the sound of music from Quito’s waft over the calm bay.

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Enjoying a rum punch and a beautiful evening in Cane Garden Bay

Day 3
Day 3 started our with a visit to one of my favorite little islands, Sandy Spit, where we snorkeled, swam and walked the entire island (it takes approximately 10 minutes if you walk slow!)
(Find out more about Sandy Spit)

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Sandy Spit

Then, just around the corner, we made a stop at the new B-Line Beach Bar on Little Jost to check it out, play a little cornhole in the sand and try one of their specialties – the Passion Confusion.

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Jerry the bartender mixing up a Passion Confusion

From there we sailed over to the fabulous White, Bay, Jost Van Dyke where our captain anchored for the afternoon.

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Getting our dollars soggy in White Bay

After a graceful entry into the waters of White Bay, we swam to shore with our soggy dollars to check out as many of the beach bars on White Bay as possible, including One Love, Soggy Dollar and Ivan’s.

(See Barhopping on Jost Van Dyke)

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Painkillers at Soggy Dollar

Later that evening we motored over to Great Harbour for the night, enjoyed a sunset dinner on board, then dinghied to shore for some music and dancing at Foxy’s.

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Live music and dancing at Foxy’s, Great Harbour

Once again exhausted from a great day of exploring Jost Van Dyke, we retired to the nets to chat with our boatmates and relive the experiences of the day.

In case you missed it: Sailing the British Virgin Islands on a Crewed Charter Part 1

Stay tuned for Sailing the British Virgin Islands on a Crewed Charter Part 3, where we’ll cover our stops at Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda, a sail to Anegada and much more!

 

To find out more about a Crewed Charter Sailing Vacation with Festiva, contact them through their website:
Festiva Sailing Vacations

And follow them on Facebook:
Festiva Sailing Vacations

Festiva-Logo-(300)-O

 

Copyright©Rum Therapy 2014
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Sailing the British Virgin Islands on a Crewed Charter

Ever wondered what it’s like to take a crewed sailing vacation through the beautiful British Virgin Islands? Follow along in this series as we describe our boat, the experience and the places we visited along the way!

Imagine…

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Sailing in the beautiful British Virgin Islands

Skimming over the Caribbean waters watching the colors change from deep blue to turquoise then back in your own private catamaran charter. Water so clear you feel like could just reach down to the bottom of the sea and touch the sand. Spending a week exploring some of the prettiest islands in the Caribbean while being pampered by your very own captain and cook…

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Sandy Cay, British Virgin Islands

We began our love affair with sailing in the Caribbean in 2006 when we embarked on our first sail with our friend Guy, who had his own sailboat and spent months at a time sailing through the islands. Prior to this trip we’d only navigated the waters of the Caribbean on a cruise liner, and had not yet been to the BVI. As you can imagine, by the end of the first day on that first sail trip, we were hooked.

We got home from that trip already longing to do it again. Unfortunately, being landlocked most of our lives, we have not learned to sail our own vessel – yet. So, we began looking at crewed charter options. After much research, we found a company that offered a fully crewed charter (captain and a cook) and pricing that included almost everything, including food and beverage. We talked some good friends into coming with us and booked our sail. The company we booked with was Festiva Sailing Vacations.

Fast forward a few years and we recently completed our 4th sail with Festiva – the latest one in the British Virgin Islands. Each one has been very different depending on itinerary, crew and the guests on the boat, yet each one has been wonderful in its own way.

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Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda

For this sail, we elected to book one of Festiva’s new Lagoon 450 catamarans. Our prior Festiva sails were on the just slightly smaller 440 catamaran which offered plenty of room for 3 couples, but we had 4 couples this time and opted for the 450 because it has one additional guest cabin. There are a few other differences as well, such as slightly bigger bathrooms in each cabin – complete with  small shower stalls.

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Lounge area in front of the steering wheel

The front lounge area by the nets is a little more spacious; there is a lounge area (cushions – kind of like a day bed) just in front of the steering wheel and a few changes including more room in the outdoor dining area. See boat configuration here:

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Configuration of the Lagoon 450

We were to board our Festiva catamaran at 5:00p.m. Saturday in Hodges Creek Marina on Tortola (see our Tortola Map for location). Hodges Creek is not far from Beef Island Airport (EIS), and although we have flown in to Beef Island in the past, this time we got a much lower fare flying into St. Thomas (STT) and took the ferry to Road Town, Tortola. Note: when determining the best price for your flight into the BVI, be sure to take into account the taxi and ferry fees from St. Thomas to Tortola, which can add up and, and whether or not you will have to book a hotel room the night before you sail.

After a day of playing on Water Island, we caught a 3:30p.m. ferry over to Road Town where a Festiva van was waiting to shuttle us and others to our boats in Hodges Creek. Upon arrival at Hodges, Festiva dock crew helped us move our luggage to our beautiful sailing home for the week.

Once boarded, we were introduced to our lovely crew, ushered to our respective cabins, given a quick introduction on where everything was and how to use it (especially the bathroom!) and then we all met up top for a welcome drink prepared by our wonderful cook.

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Our Welcome Aboard Drink – one of many delicious drinks enjoyed that week!

We were given the choice of spending that first night in the marina, relaxing, enjoying drinks and conversation as we had done on past sails, or to get the party started and head to Norman Island before it got dark.

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Pre-sail net lounging

The vote was a unanimous “Sail to Norman”!

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Sunset sail to Norman Island

We had a lovely sunset sail, anchored that first night in The Bight at Norman Island, enjoyed a delicious dinner on board and spent the remainder of our first evening at Willy T’s for a shot-ski or two and a little rambunctiousness.

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Enjoying the “shot-ski” at Willy T’s

We returned to our boat, laid in the nets up front for a while admiring the million stars twinkling in the skies overhead, then made our way to our cabins. Totally spent, we slept like babies that night, gently rocked to the rhythm of the ocean…

 

 Stay tuned for Sailing the British Virgin Islands on a Crewed Charter Part 2, where we’ll cover our stops at Cane Garden Bay, Jost Van Dyke and much more!

 

To find out more about a sailing vacation with Festiva, contact them through their website:
Festiva Sailing Vacations

And follow them on Facebook:
Festiva Sailing Vacations

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Rum Therapy/Rum Gallery British Virgin Islands Flotilla

Have you always wanted to try sailing? Have you ever dreamed of visiting the British Virgin Islands and getting to see what those beautiful islands have to offer?

Well, now may be your chance!

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We’d love for you to join us on the 1st Annual Rum Therapy/Rum Gallery Flotilla!!

Destination: British Virgin Islands
Date: April 5 – 12, 2014

We are teaming up with rum expert Dave Russell of Rum Gallery to provide you with an
itinerary that will include some of the prettiest beaches and best beach bars that the BVI has to
offer. In addition to the great stops and sailing adventure, Dave will also be holding a rum
tasting to learn more about different rums of the region! We have a limited number of boats and
cabins available and will fill them on a first come, first served basis, so if you’re interested, let us know right away!

Boat Options

A Fully Crewed Charter on a Catamaran
Why a crewed charter?
This option is probably the best for you if you have never sailed before and just want to sit back, relax and enjoy the experience. We have 21 crewed charter cabins (6 boats total) available and they are through Festiva Sailing Vacations.

What’s included in the price?
Festiva is giving us a discount off of their normal Spring price per cabin (see pricing below) and the deposit and booking of these cabins will be through them. Check their website (http://www.festivasailingvacations.com/) to see the Lagoon 450 and Lagoon 440 and how the cabins are configured. Each cabin on either vessel has it’s own bathroom and each cabin sleeps 2 in a queen size bed.

The rate below includes: Captain, Chef, 5 dinners, 6 lunches, 7 breakfasts, appetizers, snacks, standard bar, snorkel gear, sea kayak, and taxes. That’s right – it even includes your beverages (standard bar – premium liquor can be purchased and brought aboard or furnished by them for an additional fee). AND this rate will include  a Rum Therapy goodie bag per cabin which will contain 2 Rum Therapy Flotilla Tees, 2 Rum Therapy Caps, 2 RumHuggers, and lots of other surprises! The rate does not include the crew gratuity and a cruising permit fee of $39 per cabin.

Crewed Charter Cabin Rates:

Lagoon 450: 4 cabins per boat $3, 951 per cabin

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Lagoon 440: 3 cabins per boat $3, 921 per cabin

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How do we reserve a cabin?

Contact Pamela ([email protected]) to let her know if you’d be interested in a cabin on the 450 or the 440. She will provide you with the Festiva contact information to put down your deposit. If you have friends that would like to come as well, let us know so that we can put you on the same boat. If you have either 3 or 4 couples and would like to have an entire boat to yourselves, that can be arranged. Solo couples will be given a cabin based on a preference for the Lagoon 450 or Lagoon 440.

What’s the deposit and when is it due?
A deposit of 50% of the cabin rate will be due by August 22 to reserve your cabin with the balance due 60 days before our sail. Upon booking, Festiva will send you a questionnaire about food allergies, likes and dislikes.

We have sailed 3 times with Festiva and it’s been a great, relaxing experience. If you have specific questions about the boats or itinerary, please let me know. Contact me to let me know if you would like to reserve a cabin on one of the crewed charters!
[email protected]

 

A Catamaran with a Skipper
Dave Russell will be the Skipper on this “sure to be a blast” catamaran and this is what he has to say about the experience.

Thank you for expressing interest in sailing in the BVI’s with Skipper Dave.  The Rum Gallery and Rum Therapy would love to welcome you to the Flotilla.  You probably have many questions, so let’s tackle the biggest ones first to see if this boat is the right one for you.

How much will this cost, and what is included in the price?
46-foor Sunsail 464 catamaran – $3700 per cabin.  Each cabin has a queen size bed, a door that closes, private head (toilet) and shower.  The price is fully inclusive of all breakfasts and lunches onboard, one dinner aboard, beverages and refreshments aboard.  Meals ashore and beverages ashore are paid by the passenger.  No tipping is required.  A $925 (25%) non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your cabin.

Do we have to sail?
Yes:  A boat functions best as a team.  Active participation in the sailing, raising and trimming the sails, steering the boat, mooring, stocking the cooler with beverages and ice, managing the dinghy, etc is highly desired.  The vacation will be what we make it.  If you are new to sailing, this will be an experience in which you’ll have a blast learning what makes your boat  go.  If you’re an experienced sailor, even better!  My motto is “Safety First.”
What else do we do?
We will sail 3-5 hours each day, arriving at a different island paradise.  The sailing conditions during April in the BVI are usually perfect, with just the right amount of wind and relatively calm seas.  At each destination, we will have plenty of daylight left for island exploring, swimming, snorkeling, island-style shopping, lounging around, reading a book or doing pretty much nothing. There will be a beach, a restaurant and bar (or several) at each destination.
Who is Skipper Dave?
I’m a certified sailing instructor.  I sail all over the world, about five-six trips each year.  I’ve sailed the BVI so many time I’ve lost count.  Sailing is my passion, and with every new sail I’m as excited as my very first time.  At home I sail in San Francisco Bay.
What about the Rum?
I have a rum review website called rumgallery.com.  I judge rum at tasting competitions and tour rum distilleries all over the world several times each year.  My taste for rum was acquired while sailing in the Caribbean over 20 year ago.  A glass of rum has been known to be in my hand after the sailing is finished for the day and we’re safely moored somewhere for the night.  I am a half-decent bartender, so we’ll have plenty of nice sundowners.  We sail and drink responsibly.
Other stuff
Meals – We are the chef.  We will have plenty of food for breakfasts and most lunches aboard.  We will probably eat ashore every night except one, but cook one dinner onboard.  Dietary Needs – Before submitting the food and beverage provisioning request, I will ask each of you about your food preferences so that the boat is provisioned with things you like.
Smoking – This is a boat for non-smokers.

[email protected]


Bareboat

If you are qualified to sail a vessel on your own, there are several catamarans and monohulls
available and we can hook you up with some information on chartering. You will be responsible for setting up the charter and then you can meet up with the rest of the group for an exciting week of rum adventure! Contact Pamela for more information.
[email protected]

Are you ready to set sail? We hope so and hope to welcome you aboard soon!

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