What to bring
The nice thing about these tropical trips is you can pack pretty light (well, most of us anyway).
When selecting clothing think light weight and light colors.
- A collapsible bag or duffel with wheels. The big hard case luggage is a no no. There is nowhere on a boat to store stuff like that so if you bring it, you may end up sleeping with it.
- Shorts and shirts and bathing suits and light clothing for boating in tropical weather.
- Something nicer for evening dining ashore – toned down Hawaiian shirt, khakis or dress shorts for him; a light blouse/skirt/sun dress for her (whatever women wear always seems to be fine) .
- A pullover or light jacket for the odd rain squall.
- Sunblock, sun glasses, hat with strap (shades head and neck a plus), bug spray for dusk ashore.
- Your bathroom stuff. Sheets and one set of towels are provided.
- Sometimes I’ll bring my own snorkel mask but the base provides mask, snorkel and fins.
- I go barefoot aboard and wear flops ashore, light shoes on the planes and in nicer restaurants. Your deck shoes should be non-marking (no black soles).
- Money: for cabs to and from airport, meals ashore, food bought to bring aboard, trinkets, airport departure fee ($20?pp) and your skipper’s drinks … or not.
- Camera, CD’s or MP3 player. There is almost always a jack to plug your player in.
- Your drinking cup for your juice or grog and a Winch Wench to hold it
- Do we all have our passports sorted out? Yours should be good for 6 months after arrival in BVI.
The US dollar is the BVI currency. The airport is tiny. Take any taxi. The rates are standard across the island and you can expect to pay $12 per person, a minimum of $27. A good habit when travelling, confirm the price before closing the cab door. The BVI Yacht Charters is in Joma Marina, Port Purcell, Road Town, Tortola, BVI. Most of the local people will know where we are by saying ‘opposite Fort Garden Centre’.
I will let you know who your skipper is before we head to paradise. I encourage you to find him/her when you arrive at the charter base. We do not board the boats until noon. Your skipper will let you know when we are cleared to board. If you show up early, do not ask the BVIYC staff which boat you are on, their list is old. Can’t find your skipper? You might check the bar.
The provisioning is usually piled onto the saloon table when we get there with the cold stuff in the refer. You help the people who like to cook put stuff away. When all is stowed your skipper will get you underway.
Each boat has an experienced skipper. I have sailed with all of them. They are good humored and competent, what more could you want? Most of the Lats & Atts crew has gathered for this one with skippers Tania Aebi, Bob Bitchin, Eric Stone, Bruce Bowen, Randy Brigdon and myself. Sailing along with us are three other boats including our close friends John and Sandy who have joined us on many an adventure.
Provisioning: ‘Partial’ provisioning is being done by the charter base. Most of us will be eating ashore in the evenings at least. To accommodate all tastes, the food onboard is mostly staples. I suggest that after dropping your stuff at the base, you walk to the store and pick up snax or any other food items you prefer. There are small markets on some of the islands but it is mostly restaurants. We put a a booze starter kit onboard – a case of the local. It rarely makes it out of the harbor. After that you’re on your own so stock accordingly. Rum is cheap in de islands if that’s yer poison. Duty free in Puerto Rico is handy too.
Scuba: No, there’s no room for all your gear. One of the coolest things about the BVI is that the Scuba chase boats will come and fetch you off the yacht. It will bring all the gear you need and take you to a great dive spot, bringing you back after if all goes well. Do not book in advance, we do not adhere to a strict itinerary.
Coral: Please don’t touch it. If you brush the slime off, the coral dies.
Departure: BVI still charges departure tax on your way out. It’s like $20. You pay it at the booth on the left just before you go through security. Need a place to hang before or after flights out of EIS? Walk out the north door and follow the path to the beach on Trellis Bay, easy quick paradise.
More information from the charter base: Click Here