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Link to this postPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 6:54 pm    Post subject: Note BVI trip report May 2010

Trip Report 8 May to 22 May 2010 BVI Bareboat charter
The opinions (I have many) expressed in this trip report are humbly submitted to you in hopes of passing on useful tidbits. This endeavor is mostly about allowing me to re-live my wonderful time while in paradise. Feel free to bash down any concepts that you disagree with, the beauty of the Internet. I have thick skin and have been flamed by the best on other topics and boards. I am clearly a hack at writing so I apologize if some of the grammar is annoying to you. I haven’t seen a trip report on Pirates for a while so I thought I’d kick it off again. The act of writing a TR is truly cathartic, try it yourself when you return from paradise, you’ll like it.

Two couples
Conch Charters – 2005 Moorings Cyclades 43

This was our 5th charter to the BVI. We had also previously done a Charter trip to Croatia (Kornati Reserve) and Greece (Cyclades Islands). This one was special as there was a wedding to attend mid holiday in CGB. Overall great weather, a bit more rain than usual but generally awesome. The couple that came with us had solid boating experience on stink pots but zero sailing experience. They proved to be quick learners though and made our journey 3x easier and greatly added to the enjoyment.

Conch Charters was excellent as always (our 5th time with them). Interestingly they noted that this was their best year ever, and the next two weeks busiest of the year. They were slightly less attentive than usual, clearly due to their incredible business. Overall, great service though. Their staff was running very hard to keep up; boats were leaving and coming in at a rate I have never seen before. Our fav Conch staff person has left Conch (Miles) so the staff was down one very experienced operation/dock person, which I am sure also impacted their output. Their low cost model in the current economic environment is obviously a winner. From Fort Burt Marina one could clearly see all the masts over at SunSail/Moorings (lots of them), likely business was off for them. During the chart briefing Conch warned us about overcrowding in the various harbors and that getting mooring balls past 1:30pm might prove difficult due to the increased business. This was NOT the case and obviously the other Charter Boat services were not as busy as Conch was.

Our boat was in excellent condition. This boat was by far the fastest (and a bit squirrely) we have ever had (Jenneau 37, M432, M405, M393(twice) &, Jenneau 42). We mostly sailed with a single reef in the main but still hit 6+ up wind, and up to 8.4 down wind in 15 – 20 knot wind. My wife, who tends to steer 90% of the time, loved it. Admittedly, she does enjoy having the rail in the water much to the chagrin of the crew clinging on. The boat even motored at +6.5 knots @2500rpm, all speeds SOG via GPS output. We did blow out a Main sheet block at the base of the mast, it pretty much disintegrated. Refrigeration was OK, 12 volt constant compressor evaporator, 3.5amps, 20 hours a day. We ate 80% of our meals on-board with the Bar-B-Que so our refrigerator was stuffed to the gills. Consequently we ran the motor often to keep it all cold. We burned 19 gallons of diesel over the two weeks versus the normal 12 or so gallons. It was annoying to run the engine so much but we loved eating on-board. We sailed every leg except one. We also added block ice to the frig whenever we could find it. The Chefs of the boat insisted that we keep the beer in an ice chest, while the beer connoisseurs found this less than optimal, I am sure the frig was colder due to less access. The winds were much much better than expected, 15-20 knots every day. I did bring two one-touch lewmar winch handles with me, yes it is odd and the Conch staff got a hoot out it. Funny enough, Conch now supplies one one-touch winch handle with every boat. Next time, I will only bring one. I HATE bad winch handles, you know, the ones where the lock always sticks and you need to wrestle it out of the winch every figgin time. Clearly you now understand our husband/wife grinder/helmsmen role. One person loves line handling with quality winch handles, the other loves to put the rail into the water, it works for us and it will be a theme throughout this trip report. For navigation we brought a simple black & white Garmin GPS that was mounted in front of the helmsman. I also bring my own charts that have all the way points that we use plotted. Rarely do I ever place position plots on the chart, except for our Anegada leg. All navigation is line of site and easy except for Anegada. Having a GPS is just convenient, not mandatory for 90% of the BVI. At the end of a charter trip I enjoy pulling off the gps trip track from the gps and import it into Google Earth as a memento of our travels. We provisioned through Ample Hamper as we had on every occasion before. They were ok with the alternatives being Bobbies and RiteWay. Ample Hamper has the best ordering website so they always get our business. The other websites are simply classified as BAD.

We’re HERE!

We arrived late, as is normal from the West Coast of the US, so we slept aboard. This seems to work as you can get all your crap sorted out prior to the next morning. We have in the past stayed in a nearby hotel but this actually works the best for us. It is hot hot hot in the harbor but showers are available along with shore power that lets you run your fans on the boat without fear of draining the batteries. It is also nice to get the refrigerator charged and cold before we put food away the next day. Every time though I have to sort out the power cable and figure out the charging system as it never seems to be hooked up when we arrive. There is a great bar/restaurant right in the Fort Burt marina where we caught our first dinner. The restaurant staff is great fun. The morning was busy getting fins, block ice, provisions (brought by Ample Hamper), boat checkout, refill water, ice chest, and chart briefing. It literally takes hours to get all this done. We started at 8 and were out of the harbor at 11:30. There is not a better feeling than when you cast off the final lines, whew!

The Bight was our first stop. A very nice broad reach and we quickly realized that our boat was a speed daemon, wow! I was told it was fast but we went well over 7 knots in a heartbeat. The helmsman was ecstatic. You never really know what your charter boat will do until you get going, regardless of what the charter staff says. The father of the bride’s boat, which came out with us, was soon a spec in the horizon. Their GibSea 43 had a nice layout for many guests but it was a bit on the tuggish side in the speed category. We initially hooked up in front of the caves to do some snorkeling. Many folks take their dingy over there but the chore of trying to get back into a RIB from the water is tough for us who are over 50 and a bit plump. We really thought of taking a portable dingy ladder with us but packing space was tight. We have tried making temp ladders out of line in the past with zero success. The caves were great, nice way to start the trip off. We motored over to the bay and plunked down between Pirates and the WillyT. It was 130pm and there were MANY balls left. Being the first night out in the Islands our enthusiasm for the evening activities was at an all time high. Mix this with the close proximity of the WillyT and the end result was predictable. We had a great time, needless to say.

Cooper Island Beach club was our next destination. +16 knot wind provided for a great trip into the wind. Our goal was to get two days in at Anegada before the wedding so we headed east. I had my first ever $20 hamburger at the Beach Club. (it did include bacon & cheese). The club is brand new and ok. Nothing special IMHO. A nice beach but other than that somewhat milk toast with a very expensive restaurant. Snorkeling is decent.

Leverick Bay on the third day. We had a wonderful sail into the teeth of the wind all day. A solid +18 knot wind with some gusts. We still had the full sail up so we were a bit over powered. I spent the day at the main sheet winch dumping power when needed. We put a reef in the next day which made it much more pleasant. As noted previously, my wife loves the rail in the water so she clearly had the most fun of the day. That boat sure tracked well to wind. We had an occasional 8 foot swell which caused a bit of skittering of bow but otherwise very solid. The entry into the north sound is a significant transition. From the white caps into the greenish calm waters of the sound is always a memorable experience. Oddly enough, we had never been to Leverick and traditionally hung out at Saba or Bitter End. It was a new great find, much more relaxed than the Bitter End. The pool is free for those who take a mooring ball, and includes a free bag of ice and 200 gallons of water. The dock to take on water is very easy to get into and out of, maybe the best of the BVI. The pool is quite refreshing and the staff is very welcoming. There is a great little beach bar cabana that attracts an interesting locals audience at happy hour. We met the nice couple that manages the private resort just north of Leverick. Six rooms, tennis court, private beach, and pool; all for $24K a week, a bargain! We geared up for our trip to Anegada so we had a somewhat muted night. We checked in with Conch and got weather clearance to proceed onto Anegada; we were pumped up and ready to roll.

Anegada, once again, straight into the wind, hey, how did that happen? Uphill on every leg we take? With the reef set in the main we had a great manageable sail, all but one of us found it far more enjoyable. I bought Walker’s Anegada entry chart which was very handy. Having soundings verified just over the last couple of years was reassuring. Well worth the $15 purchased off his site. We had been there twice before but why not reduce the risk. We had an array of waypoints set for the entrance. I plotted a chart position every 4nm just to make sure we were not wondering off east, which would have been really bad. Once we got into the harbor, it got shallow very fast, as expected, but it still takes your breath away. After we hooked up I had the best beer of my life, what a stunning harbor! The day before we arrived I made a call to DW jeep rentals to arrange a jeep for two days to really explore the island. While the taxis are fine it is really nice to move where you please and when you want. The roads are decent and simple, impossible to get lost. Most people go to Cow Wreck or Lob Lolly but the best snorkeling in the BVI is in Flash of Beauty (IMHO). It is a very quiet beach and the sea life and coral are just incredible. We loved it! Flash of Beauty is at the far end of the bay from where Lob Lolly resides. The road is bumpy but not too difficult to manage. There is a restaurant/bar that seems to be open most of the time. If you are looking for a get away from the crowds (figuratively, really no crowds in Anegada) this is the place. We drove though the settlement and bought some outstanding bread at Dotsy’s Bakery. We spent our two days driving from beach to beach and seeing the sights. We were all noodle relaxed at this point and even found excitement in driving into the Anegada Airport, a must see. The best part of Anegada are the people, make every effort to interact with them. Leaving Anegada was gut wrenching, but we looked forward to the upcoming festivities of the CGB wedding.

Cane Garden Bay, finally a downwind sleigh ride. +18 knots of wind, 8 foot swell (neither from the same direction) made for a great ride. We essentially flew the 24nm to CGB in just over 3 hours. The boat was really squirrely at this point of sail with those waves. With the reefed main and jib it was still a bit of a fight. The bow would occasionally make 40 degree swings with certain wind/wave combinations. The helmsman was once again back in her element. Arriving just after 1200 there were balls galore. Actually, the place never did fill up during our two day stay. There were two other boats that were part of the wedding party and it was fantastic to meet up with everyone. Myett’s was the venue for the wedding and they did a great job. The father of the bride decided to purchase a bottle of Callwoods Rum for each person attending the wedding, what a guy! A contingent of us made the trip over to the distillery to ensure that it was quality rum. After much (MUCH) taste testing we deemed it fit for use. Actually, the best rum I have ever consumed but we enjoyed drawing out the quality control process as much as we could. The Distillery is a must see if you are in CGB. The wedding went off perfectly; the bride and groom were glowing. The sit down dinner was outstanding. I had steak and it was easily over 16 oz, didn’t even get close to finishing it. During the wedding festivities we supplied a T-shirt that all could sign as best wishes to the bride and groom. Our plan was to then mount it in Sydney’s Peace and Love restaurant as a permanent pennant of the event. We also spent a significant amount of time at Quito’s because of their great live music. We were extremely fortunate to see Quito Rymer do a live session, absolutely fantastic. Whenever you are in CGB check in with Quito’s to see if he will be playing, not to be missed. Live music in the BVI is a must do experience, seek it out whenever you can. We did a trip out to Bomba’s one night, very dead. CGB is a great place to re-provision although everything must be taken back to the boat via dingy, no nearby dock to tie your sailboat up to. We did get more water at the marina at the north east end of the bay. With the wind and the waves it is a bit of a dodgy landing for tie up.

White Bay JVD – it was a long night so we set the iron genny to carry us the 5nm to one of the most beautiful bays in the world. WB-JVD has a very limited set of mooring balls so one must be prudent and get there early. We latched on to one although a Virgin Traders stink pot (flying an Auburn University flag) cut us off at the entrance buoys. Luckily there were two available. Not to be prejudiced but I have consistently seen really bad boating behavior from people running Virgin Trader motor charter boats. Not sure where they learned their ColRegs, likely from a decoder ring out of a box of Cracker Jacks. They stayed for two hours and left. As they were leaving they nearly got propped on the mooring painter, not surprising at all. Regardless, it was a wonderful spot to land. The father of the bride’s boat was slow to leave CGB but amazingly there was a ball, somewhat hidden by other moored boats, that he latched onto at 1:30pm, “lucky duck” is all I can say. WB is a standard two day stay in our book. Our first day was just kicking back in front of the Soggy Dollar to soak in the atmosphere. The next day we made an early trip to the same spot to beat the day trippers in, again just soaking it in. So our “chore” of the day was to taxi over to Sydney’s, Little Harbor, have lunch and mount the shirt that was signed by the wedding guests. Successfully completed (Bainbridge Island T-shirt, above entry into men’s bathroom) we took a taxi over to Foxy’s, Great Harbor so that the shopping contingent to get their “chores” completed. The best part of Foxy’s is just watching all the interesting groups of people that drop by. The staff is always great fun there. Back to WB mid afternoon and we were greeted by a thundering crowd of day trip partiers, it was absolutely crazy, we beelined back to the boat. A few of us headed over to Ivan’s, to again, kick back. I love Ivan’s and it is commonly overlooked. The bar is self serve and the atmosphere is nearly opposite of the SD. The staff is always around but generally out of site letting the guests free to ramble around one of the most interesting picture laden beach bars in the BVI. Engaging the staff with banter is great sport; they are smart, laid back and always entertaining. You need to draw them out a bit to experience their quick wit.

Marina Cay – into the wind and squalls we go. We took the back side of Tortola route past Monkey point. 70% was a great sail then we hit the mother of all squalls. We had a previously discussed a set procedure just for the occasion.

1. Helmsman start motor, hard into the wind at strong power for control
2. Lots of sail slapping noise, don’t worry
3. Hard sheet in of the Main
4. Roll in the Jib
5. Pull down the Main, likely someone at mast needed
6. Helmsman, reduce power but maintain control into the wind

It became a complete white out with hard hitting rain drops but we knew we had a clear passage into the wind. Winds peaked well above 30 knots. As visibility increased we went back onto the gps waypoint towards Monkey point. The crew was on their game. A suggestion was made to have a set of swim goggles set aside for the helmsman for this situation, good idea. We motored the last bit past Monkey point into Marina Cay. Mooring balls galore so we took the time to top off our water and fuel. Nice dock and well sheltered from the wind and waves. The dock hand was a bit grumpy, unusual for the BVI. As we came in it was impossible to ignore the monstrosity over on Scrub Island. Not sure what architectural review was done but somehow they placed an Italian ski chalet (clock tower and all) in the middle of the BVI, I could smell the grappa from the Marina Cay dock, are you kidding me? ‘nough said on that topic. We had lunch on shore and stopped in at happy hour at the top. A Sun Sail flotilla took over the place so we moved on back to the boat. Sun Sail flotilla groups are usually great fun to be around but our energy level was not up to it. I must note that Sun Sail does a great job with their flotillas. The captain and crew that run these excursions with their guests (we call them goslings btw) handle themselves most professionally. There is a great sense of camaraderie among the goslings which adds to their fun. The goslings get great professional instruction on how to properly handle a boat which rates high in my book. Many look down upon the flotillas, not me. For those who want to learn to sail and have a good time of it in a beautiful location, that is the way to go.

North Sound, Bitter End – 20 knots on the nose the whole way. We spent the sail racing the “father of the bride’s” boat. Nothing serious, just entertaining. Our boat was clearly faster, which was fun, winning is always fun. Had some medium swells and I was hands on with the main sheet all day. I let the helmsman take all the power we had, she was in hog heaven. That boat really does enjoy a good romp into the wind. Towards the end of our run a main sheet block exploded into ity bity pieces. It was easy to see that UV rays had taken a toll on the nylon roller. The sheet line itself was badly scared and would not take another day at tension. The nice folks at Conch allowed me to pull out our second reefing line and block to create a new main sheet system. Slightly smaller gauge line but it was fine for the main sheet. We arrived at Bitter End a bit drained after an exhilarating day of sailing. That first beer after tying up is always the best. The bride and groom’s boat had been over at Saba for the last couple of days and they come over to see us in their dingy. We had a great afternoon on the boat, a couple of beers and re-rigging the main sheet, I love boats! Latter we explored the BE and did a stopover at Saba for PoPo’s. Watching people come in and attempt mooring pickup’s is always great sport while seated at Saba. Usually much yelling and pointing ensues. During our trip we saw seven “unders”. An “under” is where a boat comes in towards a ball WAY too fast, the bow crew quickly strings the line through the pennant, but because the boat is going so fast the ball moves past amidships and with the momentum of the boat the ball gets sucked under the boat and wraps around the back of the keel. The end result is a boat pointing the wrong way with the wind keeping enough pressure on the hull to not allow the ball to unwrap. Worst case is when the ball pops up on the other side of the boat, gaads. A couple of years ago my wife and I invested in a set of headphones that allows the bow person and the helmsman to calmly and competently discuss the act of picking up mooring balls, docking, or setting anchors. They are called “Marriage Savers” and you can get them from the Lats & Atts website. We gave the newlyweds a set as a wedding present, they loved them. The most important command when picking up a ball is “hard reverse”, letting the ball drift past amidships is a recipe for disaster, an easily avoided mess when using headphones. With the help of the Marriage Savers we only missed one ball pickup, tried a short cut by not coming directly into the wind. While we were in Greece we set every anchor the first time and we were sharp at setting in for a med-moor stay. I can’t say enough about headphones, go get them, they dramatically reduce stress. That night we did have an interesting event. BE was providing live music for a few hours. It must be understood that BE is a top end (EXPENSIVE) resort. There was a really interesting odd mix of folks at the bar/restaurant venue for the music. You had buttoned up execs from NY staying at the resort, high-end yachties with their crew, and then those like us, a salt encrusted gaggle with a rather nautical aura (odor) about them. It was dull until a wedding party group shortly took over and made the best of it, they were hilarious actually. The music ended promptly at 1000 as to not disturb the residents up on the hillside. I now understand why Leverick considers themselves the “Better End” as opposed to the ”Bitter End”. I couldn’t agree more. I have no idea why it took thirteen years to discover Leverick Bay as the premier stopover in the North Sound for us types.

A Dog day afternoon – We had plans for another escape to Anegada but the weather became very unsettled, bummer. As the day of sailing proved out, that was a good decision. Our grand plan then was to spend a day snorkeling at the Dogs then head back to Leverick to meet up with all the wedding party boats. Coming out of the Sound we had very low wind and calm seas. It was a nice downwind slide to Great Dog but the increasing variation in the wind speed was obvious. The best part of the BVI’s is the stead constant wind. If the wind varies/increases 3-4 knots it is considered gusty. Today we were seeing 5-7 knot wind variation. We were hoping to get into George Dog but as we rounded the bend there was only one boat in that bay but no mooring balls. Anchoring was prohibited so we slewed west around to Great Dog. One ball left, lucky us. Through the morning, boats were teeming into the bay to find balls. We arrived around 10am but clearly one must get in very early to make sure you get a ball. It was wonderful snorkeling, nearly as entertaining as Flash of Beauty. There was an excellent variety of fish, we had a great time. We planned to hang out there for most the day but with the swarming boats we decided to move on and let others in. Making our way around the northern point of Great Dog we were hit with +24 knows of wind (on the nose, where else would it be) and gusty. Up the sails go and directly proceed by the rail going into the water. We were sailing back up into the Sound but sensibility struck so we dropped the canvas and started motoring. We had great fun with the mother & father of the bride that night at Levrick, big Bar-B-Que meal and Rum on our boat. Many of us went to the same high school; most were in the same class. Our sailing/boating passion goes way back with the father of the bride being the person who taught me how to sail many moons ago. Ah, a good times with best friends!

The Baths & Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor – 16 knots and light seas pushed us downwind to our next stop. Long ago we tried to visit the Baths by catching a mooring ball out in front of Devils Bay. It was far too rough at the time and we could not proceed. The weather was lined up great for us so we gave it another shot. We caught a buoy right out front of Devils Bay, and the weather/swells were cooperating perfectly. Due to the continuous surf in Devils Bay the best practice here is to take the dinghy close to the beach, everyone bails out and grabs their stuff, then the dingy captain ties up the dinghy to the dinghy mooring just 50 feet off the beach and swims in. No dinghies are allowed on shore as they will inevitably get trashed by the incoming surge. The snorkeling was outstanding. There is surge here so fins are a must have. Nearly as good as Flash of Beauty, excellent sea life. We were in early enough that we beat the crowds. It was HOT HOT, you need to reapply sun screen here continuously. We still got a bit burnt. It was the Birthday of one of the crew members so we had dinner planned at the Rock Café in Spanish Town. We took our boat into the Yacht Harbor for the night. The showers are the best in the BVI, and free. The staff running the Marina is top notch; everything is in its place. It was toasty warm on the docks due to the lack of wind that is common there. It is always good for a one night stay though, the showers are worth it. We celebrated the birthday at the Rock Café in fine style, great food, company, and service. The Rock Café is famous for having a decent piano bar/musician. Over the years we have had an excellent time sitting around the Piano. I must say, the musician they had for this evening was…, well, not good. A bit disappointing but we had a great time anyway. We were cooked from the sun of day so we made an early evening of it.

Ocean 7, Peter Island – Our last leg 15 knots on a downhill run, wonderful as usual. There was a temptation on my side to shake out the reef which would have thrilled the helmsman. I just did not have the energy and kept mum. We discovered Ocean 7 on our last trip. It makes for an easy run into Road Town on the last day. Ocean 7 is fairly new and seems to be undiscovered. We love the bay and the snorkeling is top notch. The best mooring spot here is near the ferry dock, along the rock shore. This is where all the great snorkeling is. We rated it #3 in sea life up against Devils Bay (Baths) and Flash of Beauty but better than the Dogs, yes, really. There is a barracuda that hangs out here; we named him Barry the Barracuda. On our last trip he yawned at me, my wife insists Barry was just showing his teeth to ensure I kept a distance. I prefer my version. Two of the crew saw Barry, I missed out, damn. In shore there is a great little bar and a dance floor with disco ball and dance pole ta boot! Last time here I hurt myself on the pole; I will leave out the details on that adventure. They also have a floating climbing wall and trampoline in a closed off swim area, great spot for kids or adults who like to behave as such. I still can’t exactly put my figure on why I like this spot so much, but it is way up there on my list. One of our fav staff members no longer works there, Justin Time. Not sure of the details but sounds like there were issues that could not be discussed by the current staff. The downside here is that the complete staff takes a ferry back to Tortola around 7pm, so everything is shutdown. The name, Ocean 7, comes from the owner who either has 7 kids or the family has 7 members, I can’t remember which. We did see a classic “under” occur in the bay. This one was distinct in that the crew really did not care. With the boat’s ass into the wind and no mooring ball to be seen, they jumped into their dinghy and headed into the bar, which was a crack up, “not my boat” seemed to be the attitude of the day for them. When you have a boat in a classic “under” condition it is like a kid’s puzzle where you see a bunch of boats in a harbor and you need to pick out the one that is different from all the rest. Hint, the one with its rear end into the wind is the winner.

Homeward Bound to Road Town – nice light wind, broad reach all the way. This is always a tough time on the boat as you know your time in paradise is coming to an end. Good advice here is to pack all your bags in the morning prior to leaving your last harbor. Once you get tied up at the Charter Company the temperature in the cabin increases 20 degrees. It is best to get it done while at the mooring ball. This also means you need to take all the bags with you on the boat and not leave them behind at the charter company as is common practice. Conch was busy busy. The staff was running, literally, to deal with all the change over’s. We were able to quickly check out and head to our hotel for the night. As recommended by others, we choose the Tamarind Club. While the view of the hotel from road side gives the impression that it is ramshackle, it is not. It was a great choice, great pool, swim up bar, 10 minutes from the airport, and excellent food. The bride and groom were on our same schedule so we met them there. The pool was just excellent, the whole checkout procedure and lugging your baggage around was a sweat inducing experience and it felt just fantastic to bring down the core body temperature to reasonable levels.

Morning arrived, ugh, and we were off to the airport. The Beef Island Airport is very clean and extremely professionally well run. Security is thorough. A person ahead of us in security line decided to give a little lip to the screeners regarding their propensity for being detail oriented. Whoa, a bad mistake. The staff was nice and pleasant enough but they “randomly” choose him for a rather longish deep body search, twice! And it seems the plane was over booked and I am not sure he actually made the flight as his seats seem to have been given away, seriously! Mind your P’s & Q’s at the Beef Island Airport, lesson learned. People tend to underestimate the BVI locals, as noted previously; they are sharp and smart. Don’t read too much into their laid back nature, they are all on top of their game when the situation dictates.
Post notes – we always try to figure out what stuff we needed but didn’t bring and stuff we could do without. After seven bareboat charter experiences we finally nailed it . Every time we bring far too much. It is best to think of bareboat chartering much like camping in very warm weather.
My cloths packing list
A. (3) pairs of short paints
B. (3) pairs of swim suits
C. Boat shoes, teva’s, hiking/tennis shoes (runners)
D. (4) pairs of socks
E. (7) T-shirts (less if you want to buy some there)
F. (1) button up shirt
G. (6) undies
I essentially lived in my swim suit. Next time I might go with (4) swim suits & (2) short pants. It is really easy to wash stuff out and hang along the safety lines. We bring our own clothes pins but usually the boat has them.

Other stuff
A. Headphones!!!!!
B. Mp3 players, with radio xmt and direct connect cord, depends on boat, bring both
C. Small triplite inverter to charge all your doodads. Sometimes the boat has one
D. Rechargable AA, AAA batteries with charger
E. (3) flashlights AA
F. Cell phone, US phones do work, the Charter company will also give you one
G. Nav charts
H. Gps
I. Other stuff
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Link to this postPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:04 am    

Wow! yikes

I'm gonna have to read that again later!

One a sea-step for gettting in and out of the dink!
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Link to this postPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:20 pm    Post subject: Applause great trip report

Great report -- very helpful and timely for us, since we leave next week for our 2-week charter -- also a 2005 Cylades 43, from Pro Valor. I appreciate the insights about the boat handling and refrigerator, and also the places to visit. With three ravenous teenagers, we will certainly be doing our own cooking most of the time.

Exactly where did you anchor or moor at Anegada? I am a bit concerned about the 6' 3" draft. Did you have any trouble with that?

Thanks for the report!
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Link to this postPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:41 pm    

Thanks for the compliment. This is a very helpful guide for getting into Anegada. There is also a link on that guide for Walker's Anegada chart, you should order it and have them send it two day express to you. Also print out the webpages from the guide and take it with you.

This time of year there will be plenty of mooring balls when you make your last left around the green buoy into the bay. Just try to get the nearer ones and you should have no problem with depth. Validate your depth meter on your first anchorage by diving down to the keel and make an approximation of how much clearance you have versus what the depth meter notes. I took a ball about mid way in and still had 2 feet under my keel.

You should try to leave North Sound by 8am to ensure you will have many balls to choose from.

Enjoy the boat, it is a good one, and perfect for June. Winds will be much lighter now (June) so I would not expect you would need to reef at all. Just make sure you know how to do it before you leave the charter base.
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Link to this postPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:34 pm    

I already have Walker's excellent chart and detailed notes. I've chartered before but this will be my first time to Anegada.

Thanks for the reassurance about the mooring depth. I had read recently about guys "digging furrows" in the sand there. I'll stay to the east side of the mooring field or else anchor if necessary.

The biggest challenge may be getting my teenage crew awake and on deck to leave Leverick by 8!
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Link to this postPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:31 pm    

I normally take a sounding line with me. Basically a heavy line with some washers on it. I have the line marked we different depths on the line. Drop it over side and double check your depth meter.

You also need to know where the depth sounding device is located on the boat. Is it on the bottom of the keel or the hull. and is the depth reading to that reference point or calibrated to the true depth or surface to bottom.

The sounding line will help you find all this out and it is a quick and easy way to do it.

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Link to this postPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:22 am    

I love the idea of a lead line to validate the depth meter, sometimes the simplest ideas are the most elegant:) Adding to my packing list! Mark Twain!

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Link to this postPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:11 pm    

I got one of these back when they were about $60. I thought they were hideously expensive then but it has been handy a number of times.


That said a "flashlight" depth sounder is even more useful.


I use the leadline for gunkholing. I use the flashlight after I've run aground to find my way out.
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Link to this postPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:12 pm    

Sorry the pictures don't work.
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Link to this postPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:50 pm    

The pictures loaded fine over Firefox 3.6.3.

$125 for lead line!

The HawkEye is way cool, a must have gadget, just added it to my Amazon wish list.

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Link to this postPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:56 pm    

kellysails wrote:
$125 for lead line!

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Link to this postPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:52 pm    

I wouldn't pay it myself - didn't even when it was $60 -- was a present.

Seems a bit of copper pipe and some melted lead fish weights would do as well.
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Link to this postPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:28 pm    

Last trip we "validated" the sounder on our Beneteau 505 at Marina Cay; known draft was 6', and when we bumped bottom, it indicated 4.6' - so the transducer was 1.4' below the waterline. When we moored at Anegada, we took one of the more eastern balls and had no trouble, at least with depth! Lead line sounds fantastic, and I'll be fabricating my own.
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Link to this postPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:50 am    

Upon some research, it appears that the HawkEye needs to touch the water in order to get a valid sonar depth reading. That makes it impracticable for larger boats.

I think I will stick with the homemade lead line which was a great idea.

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Link to this postPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:53 am    

Yes - you have to put the tip of the HawkEye into the water for it to read depth. It is what I used to do the survey for the Anegada approach chart.

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