What to bring
The nice thing about these tropical trips is you can pack pretty light. 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 wonderful) .
- 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, MP3 player. There is almost always a jack to plug your player in.
- Chargers … the boat nav station has 12v so bring your car chargers.
- Your drinking cup for your juice, water or grog.
- Do we all have our passports sorted out? Yours should be good for 6 months after arrival in BVI.
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. The boats may not be ready to board until 5pm. Your skipper will let you know when your boat is ready. If you show up early, do not ask the Dream staff which boat you are on, the list I provide them is purposely inaccurate. We prefer the base focuses on prepping our boats. Can’t find your skipper? You might check the bar.
The provisioning arrives and is placed on the saloon table, cold stuff in the refer. You help the people who like to cook put stuff away.
Each boat has an experienced skipper. I have sailed with all of them. They are good humored and competent, what more could you want? At this writing we have circumnavigator Tania Aebi, industry expert Zuzana Prochazka and my own, lessor renowned self, Capt. Woody. Sailing along with us are local cruising boats, they’ll come and go.
Provisioning: ‘Partial’ provisioning is being done by the charter base. Most of us will be eating ashore most afternoons or evenings. To accommodate all tastes, the food onboard is mostly staples. I suggest that after dropping your stuff at the base, you check the little store and pick up snax or other food items you prefer. There are small markets on some of the islands but it is mostly restaurants. We put a starter kit onboard – a case of the local brew. 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. More exotic bottles are available duty free as you depart Puerto Rico or the states.
Scuba: No, there’s no room for Scuba 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 forever.
Departure: BVI still charges departure tax on your way out. It’s like $25. 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.