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ScubaDrew
Link to this postPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 3:49 pm    Post subject: Note BYOF

Has anyone brought there own (non-meat) foods with them by checking a box on the airline? I'm headed to the island a few days before my charter and was thinking since I'm not checking anything else that I'd throw a bunch of food items in a box.

I guess the questions are:

-Problems brining canned, boxed food through customs from STT to Tortola
-Problems bringing a medium sized box or two on the ferry
-Worth the hassle? Possible we'd get exactly the items we want, slightly less expensive I guess.
-Something else I'm not thinking of

I grew up on st. thomas and have a friend who will give me a ride from airport to ferry etc, so I'm not worried about that aspect of it.

Thanks for any advice!

Drew
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walker
Link to this postPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:12 pm    

We did that once many, many years ago. There are no real problems. You will need to declare the food items and pay import duty on them.

We did it once because after that, we did not think it was worth the trouble of doing.

Also - we enjoy shopping on Tortola for food. You find some really interesting things that you would miss if you brought your own. Expand that comfort zone!

Since you are arriving a few days before your charter, you should have plenty of time for local shopping. Go to the Riteway in Pasea and the Bobby's in town.

And - if I was not checking anything else, then I would stay carryon-only.
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ScubaDrew
Link to this postPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:17 pm    

Sounds like solid advice, we'll just bring maple syrup for our pancakes from up here in VT.

Thanks for the quick reply Walker!

Drew
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MrBombastic
Link to this postPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:49 pm    

Unless you are very particular about a brand, or maybe you like a a particular item that is specific to your part of the US, you should be able to find everything you need at Riteway or Bobby's. Check out there website (if they don't show an item e-mail them and ask if they carry it or can get it). IMHO, it's not worth the hassle checking a bag with food items (or provisioning in STT) and dragging it all over creation to save a couple of bucks. Bobby's/Ritway delivers to your boat generally hassle free.

Of course Saildoggie will disagree. He "borrows" packets of mustard, ketchup, heinze 57 etc...from Chick Fil A and loads his suitcase and hauls it down (poor guy has lived in a trailer park way to long).
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HillsideView
Link to this postPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:55 pm    

Was in Harbour Market at Sopers Friday and I couldn't believe I actually saw a sale... 1/2 gallon of milk 99 cents regular $6.99 Even the expiration date had a ways to go,so it wasn't like they were going to toss it tomorrow, looks like the markets may actually start a little "loss leader" advertising and sales to pick up business.
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ScubaDrew
Link to this postPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:05 pm    

I am not picky what so ever. I guess I was thinking it could be a) a time saver once on the island if most my items were already packed and ready to go - minimal shopping. b) a money saver

But like walker said - I'm sure we'll find some interesting things that my vermont based crew doesn't typically see, so thats worth it alone.

Drew
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MrBombastic
Link to this postPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:42 am    

While you may find certain unique items in the store, I would do the bulk of my provisioning for the staple goods online and have them delivered to the boat. Then if you wish to visit the store and browse the aisles for a few items, it will be less time consuming.

We normally just initially provision for three or four days and just restock as we go along. We always seem to eat out more than we plan (usually a result of to many late afternoon painkillers) and have ended up tossing a bunch of food at the end of the charter. You'll never starve, plenty of restaurants and grocery stores on the ilons.
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Guest
Link to this postPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:33 pm    

Dec '06 we checked a hard sided cooler. Had 2 luggage straps around it both ways with the buckles "locked" with zip ties after clearing USA customs in Toronto. I also included things like my Leatherman and binoculars in the cooler. Flew YYZ -PHL-STT. The cooler arrived with all straps gone and the cover sitting loose but all of the contents were intact. This was also my 1st venture with Techni-Ice. The T-I was great. Even with an overnight stay in STT we arrived at our boat with everything still rock hard.

Now with 1st, 2nd and 3rd bag fees I would not bother. Do as suggested by Mr B. get a few days aboard and eat out alot.
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Guest
Link to this postPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:23 pm    

ScubaDrew wrote:
...I guess I was thinking it could be a) a time saver once on the island if most my items were already packed and ready to go - minimal shopping. b) a money saver

Yes and yes. We started packing a box like you're suggesting when our kids were little and we'd often spend too much time going from market to market looking for specific items (baby food, formula, diapers, etc.), or they were often out of stock everywhere, or they were very expensive. Granted, at that time we were more fussy about certain things than we are now and the stores in the BVI have gotten much better, but we got in the habit and we still pack a box with some things that we know we'll want and/or that might be hard to find. We've always declared what we've brought in and have never been asked to pay duty.
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HillsideView
Link to this postPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:38 pm    

With the number of armed robberies of the supermarkets, definitely worth while doing your provisioning online and have it delivered......unless you have a bullet proof vest to go shopping in!
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Guest
Link to this postPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:32 am    

HillsideView wrote:
With the number of armed robberies of the supermarkets, definitely worth while doing your provisioning online and have it delivered......unless you have a bullet proof vest to go shopping in!

For years it never occurred to us, but online provisioning/delivery isn't just for charterers -- works great, too, if you're going to be land-based on Tortola. Saves time and schlepping, and at least Bobby's give a discount for orders over a certain amount.
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highlandman
Link to this postPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:25 pm    

Our family uses a packaged dietary supplement that we'd like to bring along for a 10-day charter out of Tortola. We'll be flying in to STT and ferrying over. The stuff is commercially packaged and labeled (powder in a can). It won't be a burden to carry, as we know how to pack light otherwise, but should we expect any issues at any of the customs points? Would it be better to bring sealed packages for label purposes or will bringing opened packages let us avoid duty? Anything else you can think of would be appreciated.
Thanks
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sgmharvard1
Link to this postPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:53 pm    

HillsideView wrote:
With the number of armed robberies of the supermarkets, definitely worth while doing your provisioning online and have it delivered......unless you have a bullet proof vest to go shopping in!


Not sure of the accuracy of this statement. I check in on BVI news quite often and have not noticed an uptick in robberies in supermarkets. Hmmm...
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JasonHelmbrecht
Link to this postPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:05 pm    

That comment was from 2008 when there was a lot of discussion of robberies occurring at that time.
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sgmharvard1
Link to this postPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:06 pm    

Thanks Jason. BVI was not as tight on my radar in 2008 as it is now.
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