Pictorial review how SAILING the BVI has changed our future vacation plans....

Discussion in 'Universal Studios Trip Reports' started by bubba's mom, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. bubba's mom

    bubba's mom <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

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    You are all troopers for surviving the boring part of this review. But, please remember, I write them for our own memories too. ;)

    Moving on to the next week, the people sailing are:

    me
    Randy --> my wonderful husband
    Ryan --> my awesome son

    Rick --> my brother-in-law
    Michele --> my sister-in-law
    Ricky --> my nephew (Rick's son)
    Corinne --> my niece (Michele's daughter)
    Casey --> my niece (Michele's daughter)

    Ryan is 13
    Ricky & Corinne are 16
    Casey is 14

    (Rick and Ricky are two different people....it can be confusing if you aren't clear one is the adult/captain the other is the teenager :thumbsup2 )

    okay then....let's get underway............... :yay:
     
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  3. bubba's mom

    bubba's mom <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

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    Day 8

    Friday, July 6, 2012

    Destination: Roadtown, Tortola [​IMG]

    Got to bed later than we should have, and of course we don't sleep well before a flight somewhere. [​IMG] I think I remember having a dream we missed our flight? So, we were up early...around 7am or 7:30 and had a light breakfast. Some pastries and danishes were out, nothing fancy. Our goal was to leave at 8am for MCO, but we left Grumpy's more like 8:15. Our flight was scheduled for 10:35. Orlando to Miami and then connecting Miami to St. Thomas. A taxi from St. Thomas airport to the ferry. Ferry from St. Thomas to Tortola. Shuttle from Tortola ferry terminal to the marina. This is going to be one loooong day of travel. [​IMG]

    We headed to the airport and returned our rental car while Grumpy dropped off Rick's group. When we finished returning our car, we went in search of the rest of our group. We found them at curbside check-in, checking in their luggage and two coolers (containing frozen meats).

    We literally had only about 5 minutes before they began boarding at our gate. There was a quick run to Burger King for breakfast sandwiches and drinks before boarding.

    We started to board and my husband was the last of our group to hand in his boarding pass. They took his rolling suitcase at the gate [​IMG] ...they claimed it wouldn't fit in the overhead bin on the plane. Which, is a bunch of crap because it fit on the way down to Florida last week (even though we flew Southwest and not American then, the size couldn't be that different!) Ryan and I were ahead of him during boarding and he told us to go ahead. That was fine with me because I knew he didn't have his wallet on him (it was in MY bag), so he didn't have any cash or a credit card to pay to check it. BUT, by taking it at the gate, we didn't have pay to check it [​IMG].

    We took off from Orlando and a short 45 minutes later, we landed in Miami. We didn't have long (less than an hour) to wait for our connection here either; even with what seemed to be 'the forever' walk to the next gate through the airport, up around the corner.

    After we found our gate, we discussed lunch and potty break. When I came back from the ladies room, I was told we had a table at the restaurant near our gate. I went in and in the back was our table for 8. I asked my husband if we had time to eat here because it was such a short time till boarding began (like 20 minutes). He and I made the decision for all of us to leave because we just didn't have enough time for a sit-down meal like that! Back out on the concourse, we all decided the kids and I would fast walk back to where we passed a Wendy's (way back) and get food for everyone to carry on the plane. And, did we walk fast! I was hurrying the crew along after we got our food. We made it back to the gate area just as they were boarding.[​IMG]

    Boarding began at 12:05pm and since we got back after they began boarding, by the time we got on the plane, there wasn't overhead space for our luggage above us. We ended up stashing our 2 bags up ahead of us. Which, normally would be fine. But of course, not this flight. [​IMG]

    This was a longer flight...a bit less than 3 hours. We were off from Miami...goodbye United States. Here are our nieces: Corinne & Casey. The girls with brother Ricky and Rick & Michele. After we all ate our lunch we brought onboard, some decided to sleep. Some of us read. Some deleted pictures off their phone. [​IMG] Some watched the 'inflight movie' which wasn't really a movie, but back to back commercial free episodes of Parks and Rec (which was okay because we don't watch that show at home). Ryan played some video games and after a while, a game of cards erupted.

    I'm not really sure where we were flying over, maybe the Bahamas?, but the view was beautiful so I took pictures: 1, 2, 3, 4, the clouds were pretty too, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.

    After a long flight, we were finally getting closer to St. Thomas! 1, 2 and 3. We finally touched down at St. Thomas airport. And, turns out, they would deplane at both the front AND the back of the plane. We were in the back of the plane and would get off at the back. Which, normally would be great. However, if you remember, we were late boarding and all the overhead space was taken near our row. Our luggage was ahead of us. So, we had to wait to be able to get to our bags before getting off. Never been one of the last people off a plane before. [​IMG]

    St. Thomas airport is small and very airy and open. No doors. Open luggage carousel area. Weird, but I guess it's an 'island thing'.

    Once off the plane, first stop was the ladies room (usually is). And, as usual, a line. By the time I got through the line and finished up in the restroom, Randy came looking for me. The bag they took from us when we boarded in Orlando didn't make it. They couldn't find it at baggage claim. He needed the claim check.

    Not remembering what I packed in that particular bag, I was upset. I was hoping it wasn't anything too important in there, as I tried to spread clothes and such out throughout the 3 bags. I didn't want to put all one person's clothes in 1 bag in case something like this happened. I waited with the rest of the family and bags while Randy and his brother went into the office to file a report. Shortly, Randy came out to get me to describe the suitcase to the lady in the office (it was the new bag I just purchased and he didn't remember what it looked like). Rick and I were walking toward the office and he spotted a bag sitting on the floor next to the luggage carousel. It looked familiar and when we went to check it out and I said it was our bag! [​IMG] I could not have been more relieved!!!! We grabbed our bag and headed out to find a taxi.

    Rick found a taxi and paid a little extra to leave right away. The taxi driver was trying to get a full van before leaving, but Rick was too impatient for that. He had heard there was a 3:30 fast ferry to Tortola and he wanted to try and make that because the next one wasn't until 4:30. We got the taxi knowing we weren't going to make the 3:30 ferry because it was like 3:15 already! If I hadn't been in the restroom and been out looking for luggage with the guys (like I usually do), we would have gotten our bag and already been on our way! Darn last ones off the plane and being last in the ladies room line! [​IMG]

    The taxi ride was rather exciting. They drive on the wrong side of the road and apply brakes ...frequently! Matter of fact, Rick was in front seat and he and the driver were discussing how being the in brake business there is probably a wise career choice. The driver told us they HAVE to replace their brakes every 4 months there. So, turns out, it IS a good job to have there! And, our driver totally cut off this guy in the red car. Yeah...he was none too happy with him. Even pulled next to us and put his window down, but our driver didn't put his window down. He just kept driving us along..... Nice island, but I think I'll stick near the waters. Gas was $4.89/liter there?! Yikes!

    Before we knew it, we had arrived at the ferry terminal. Each family bought tickets ($55 pp/rt) and we didn't have to wait too long before they were ready to board.

    After we boarded, Michele, Corinne and I filled out our customs forms for the BVI...before the boat started moving. You don't want to try to be writing while the fast ferry is moving!

    The ferry ride was a little over an hour and most of the teens couldn't hold out any longer and took a little nap. Corinne did the best and didn't rest her eyes till about 15 minutes until we were there. We just took in the scenery and enjoyed the ride. There were such beautiful sites to see...a seaplane even flew right over us and landed in the water! A few sites: 1, 2 and 3.

    We arrived at RoadTown, Tortola and stood in line for customs. Once we all cleared through there, we literary began the hunt for our luggage. What a mess...just scattered here, there and everywhere. No rhyme or reason to where they put it. We all finally found all of it and got in line for security. They asked Rick to open the cooler to inspect the meat we'd brought. There was no ice in the coolers and they seemed okay with what was in there. We were good to go. :thumbsup2

    Everyone grabbed a bag (or two or a cooler) and we headed toward the Sunsail shuttle. We loaded up our luggage and were on our way to the marina. It wasn't a far ride now...maybe 10 minutes, if that?

    Rick & Michele checked in at the reception office and we all hauled all our bags to our boat. A Stray Shower. Now, for a vacation like this, the name of that boat has GOT to be sick joke, right? I mean, who would name their boat that? [​IMG] Turns out, the owner of the catamaran's name is William Shower. (It would turn out we'd have excellent luck with the rain this trip...so, maybe it was a good thing to get a boat with a name like that?) A couple marina pix: 1 and 2.

    Yay! We're here!! (finally!) [​IMG]

    A tour of our boat: all aboard! kitchen, the trashcan just inside the door, kitchen again, looking outside from kitchen, eating area w/ control panel and freezer/fridge here and here, eating area again, emptying coolers and filling freezer, (here too), at the helm, an escape hatch in the floor in case of capsize (luckily, we didn't need this ;) ), slowly bringing bags in, the aft eating area here, forward eating area outside here and here , a close up of the control panel , forward trampoline , forward eating area , Ryan laying out front on top of the water, anchor and storage areas.

    Down below were 4 bedrooms, each with it's own bathroom. If you've ever been on a cruiseship and think their bathrooms are small, you are mistaken! These bathrooms are about the size of maybe 2-3 port-a-pottys put together...literally! They are very small and make a cruiseship bathroom seem like an ensuite size! The bathroom was set up with the shower to the left of the sink and the toliet behind the door. See the button at the bottom left of the mirror? When you are finished with your shower, you have to push and hold that button to drain the floor. A closer picture of the shower setup. Also, when you take a shower, don't forget about your roll of toliet paper! You need to be sure to close the cover over the roll of paper so it doesn't get wet!

    Next tour is of the bedrooms. The girls and the boys had the front while the adults had the aft bedrooms. We would come to realize, the kids' bedrooms would be freezing cold from the air conditioning at night, while the adults' bedrooms were cool at best. [​IMG] We even tried closing the kids' vents, but it never really got 'cold' in the back bedrooms. Go figure? But, as tiny as they look, we had room. The beds weren't all that comfortable, but there was enough room. Each bedroom had one tiny little fan over the bed that didn't do much and 1 double outlet. We were suprised at this because we weren't expecting any outlets. It was wonderful to be able to recharge batteries and the laptop overnight. Here is me standing in the boys' bedroom (see their shower to the left?) looking into our bedroom and me in our bedroom taking a picture toward the boys' bedroom.

    Now that the meat we brought was in the freezer and the bags were brought inside and we got to explore the boat (which didn't take long), it was now time to head out for groceries. Corinne & I always seemed to be bringing up the rear. At the entrance to Sunsail were a couple of taxis...just waiting. We got a taxi and "Boots" was our driver. What a nice, helpful gentleman. The ride was only about 5-10 minutes to the store. He took us to One Mart for groceries.

    Now the grocery store...that was interesting! It's like the store was in Cozumel a couple of years ago. They sold washers, car stuff, electronics, groceries, etc... Like a big box discount store combined with a Walmart. Some grocery store pix: 1, 2, important provision, non-alcholic provisions, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and they even had 'generic' Red Solo Cups. [​IMG]

    We grabbed two carts and away we went. My SIL had a list, so we knew right away most of the stuff we needed. What we didn't count on needing was a THIRD shopping cart! [​IMG] Yep...3 carts...FULL!!! There's not too many stores you can buy an individual beer in AND do your shopping while drinking! But, you have to remember, the last thing we ate was Wendy's (on the plane) and that was at least 6 hours ago!

    We started checking out and the manager was helping box our stuff up. Are you kidding? If we'd taken the little plastic shopping bags they give you, we'd been hauling bags for a day! The store manager started condensing and emptying the apples in the produce section and was using the boxes to box up our groceries. Quite a few boxes later and a huge bill, we were headed back to our boat. I think Rick drank more than I thought he did because he looks awful happy? [​IMG]

    Boots helped load our groceries in the back of the van, and we were back at the dock in no time. He also helped unload the van and load up one of the carts. We took our cart full of our boxes of food back to our boat and formed a line and handed stuff down the line to get the groceries onboard. We were just going to put the cold/refrigerated stuff away, but we had so much help, we ended up putting just about everything away. [​IMG] There was no room to store breads or snacks, so they got a spot near the air conditioning vents on either side of the common area/kitchen.

    It was now approaching 9pm and everyone was starving. We asked Boots if any place was open for dinner yet, and he said 'he knew a place'. So, he took us to a restaurant...and we were the only table there eating that late! [​IMG]

    The teens toast the trip. The adults were just happy the long day of travel was over, the boat was stocked and just about ready to go. A very tired us. Bro & Sis and just the bros. There were cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, fried shrimp and a nachos (with hot sauce). That'd be Michele's...she puts hot sauce on everything. [​IMG] I was so tired, that when I ordered my chicken, I didn't think and just ordered an iced tea. That, I think, would turn out to be a bad idea tomorrow. [​IMG]

    We didn't want to keep everyone who worked there late, so we finished up our dinner and Boots (who waited for us...had a drink at the bar), took us back to the marina.

    Back at our boat, we took a few pictures at night. 1, 2, 3 and 4.

    We got back at the boat just after 10pm and we unpacked our bags a little and got settled into our rooms. I found storage at the foot of our bed, and stowed our snorkel gear in the floor at the foot of our bed. Only a couple small shelves in the closet and, like the bathroom, makes a cruiseship closet look huge! After that was finished, we decided to sit outside for bit and just chill out!

    The boys went to their room and were watching something on Ricky's laptop, while the girls were exhausted and went right to bed!

    After a drink sitting outside, we decided to call it a night. We were tired and someone was coming around at 8am to go over our boat with us, so we had to be up and ready for him.

    Just before going to bed, I realized there was no air conditioning on the starboard side of the boat...which, of course, was our side of the boat (and my son and nephew were on the same side across from us). I opened the boys' door and told them we had no AC to leave it open for some air. We tried to figure out why our side didn't have air conditioning, when it just had it not that long ago? [​IMG] Being this late at night, nobody was in the office, so we were on our own. We looked around for a bit, but couldn't figure it out. At least we had 1 tiny fan in our room...that didn't really help my husband because it was so little and he was on the opposite side of the bed from it. It wasn't much after midnight when we gave up and went to bed. Too tired to try and figure it out any longer.

    This was one looooong day, but we are finally here. [​IMG]
     
  4. reelmom

    reelmom DIS Veteran

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    Looking forward to see how this plays out. It looks like fun but I couldn't imagine being on a boat for a week. I am terrified of water and can't make myself go on a cruise.
     
  5. keishashadow

    keishashadow <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=green

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    You made it!:banana:it's a horrible feeling to think luggage has gone missing, phew glad that worked out.

    up until this recent picture i thought Ry favoured you but standing next to his dad - wow.
     
  6. LilKintnerBoy

    LilKintnerBoy Earning My Ears

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    :hourglass Well? Let's get to the :boat:
     
  7. bubba's mom

    bubba's mom <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

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    It was a LOT of fun! A cruise is so very different. You can be on the ship and not even realize you are on the water...this, you know you are on water. Very close to it...and a lot more freedom! Welcome to the story!

    Still think he looks like me...very few think Randy, but he IS his son ;)

    Yes!!! We made it! :banana: ...all the luggage too!


    no patience :rolleyes2

     
  8. bubba's mom

    bubba's mom <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

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    Okay...so you can have a better idea of where we went, this map is numbered where we started (#1) at Roadtown, Tortola, and the next stops (in order) that we made. I thought it might be a good reference for you. [​IMG]
     
  9. bubba's mom

    bubba's mom <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

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    Day 9

    Saturday, July 7, 2012

    Destination: Virgin Gorda

    We slept with no AC that first night. We only had a tiny fan blowing on us. It really didn't make a difference (only later in the week would we discover the fan had 3 different speeds), but it wasn't stifling hot either. I slept okay, Randy on the other hand...not so well. [​IMG]

    We were up around 5:30am because the sun started to rise and it was getting light out and Randy couldn't sleep because he was warm. That little fan just was NOT cutting it for him. (What you don't know is, we had some really hot days at home before we left for vacation and our central air was having issues. We had more than one hot night at home...now here after traveling all day, when we didn't have air, he said it was just a cruel joke at that point).

    My husband is an electronic technician and he is the type of person whose brain keeps working to figure out problems. Not having air conditioning on only one side of the boat (when it WAS there earlier in the evening), he wandered around the boat trying to figure out why it wasn't working.
    Not having our walk-thru on the boat, about the boat, yet, he tried everything and looked everywhere. Eventually, he got off the boat onto the dock and checked our shore line power. That was where he saw the second breaker and that one was what seemed to trip a circuit board on the land power tower and blow out our starboard AC. He flipped it and our air conditioning was restored. At 6:20AM. [​IMG]

    We never went back to sleep. We stayed up and took in the views. Around the marina was quiet this morning, except for the occasional rooster crowing in the background.

    Eventually, the rest of the troops got up and we waited for the Sunsail rep for our walk through. The walk through goes over where everything (or most everything as we'd find out) is on the boat. Important things to know and such. It didn't take very long. There was a point afterwards where Randy and I walked all 4 teenagers out to the front of the boat and actually showed them our water tanks. We told them this was ALL the water we had onboard and told them "if YOU run us out of water, remember YOU won't have water either". I was really surprised, and proud of all of them, when we didn't run out once. (Granted, there are places we can stop to fuel, get water, dump our trash and buy ice and provisions while sailing around the islands.) While we waited for the 9:30am chart meeting (for the captains), Michele and I got some extra blankets and towels and some floats and noodles for the water (you can rent them there). Rick and Randy were in charge of getting us another grill and dinghy (extra dinghy = $35/per day :scared:).

    After their 9:30 chart meeting and after topping off our water tanks, we were ready to leave Roadtown, Tortola. [​IMG]

    Everyone sat outside as we headed out of the marina. Some really beautiful sites on the way out: 1, 2, 3 and 4.

    My husband and nephew worked on bringing our two dinghys from the front of the boat to the aft as we pulled away from dock. Michele & Ricky brought the boat fenders in off the side of the boat (I didn't do any work...I just took pictures and video [​IMG] ) I guess Ricky was hungry from all his work, because as soon as we started getting going, he decided it was a good time to have breakfast? Not the best of ideas...Fruit Loops were flyin' everywhere! :rotfl:

    Everyone else was outside too. The Captain and his Gilligan of course.... And all the family guys. Some were on the sundeck, and after a while, some on the trampoline enjoying the splashes. Later, Rick even thought about giving Ryan a shot at the helm! [​IMG]

    After we hit the more open water, I went below to get sunscreen on. Turns out, that wasn't such a good idea. I started not feeling well.[​IMG] What the heck? I've NEVER been seasick..ever! Turns out, after thinking about it a day or so, I think it was partially because last night at dinner, I wasn't thinking and ordered that iced tea. Most likely made with island water. So, I'm thinking between that and the rough waters did me in. So, I sat in the aft of the boat and eventually laid down on the bench around the table. I must have dozed off (lack of a good night's sleep last night probably didn't hurt) because after a while Randy came over to me and startled me.

    Turns out, we were already at the ONE place I was looking forward to visiting the most. The Baths at Virgin Gorda.

    He took these pictures for me while I was laying down: Corinne excited to be at our first stop. Michele ready to catch the mooring ball and Casey excited we're here! (she's a bit dramatic)

    When we arrived, it was time to make lunch. There were peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ham and cheese and snacks. After lunch, the plan was to dinghy to shore to snorkel and explore. I felt much better and wanted to go. Even if I didn't feel well, I was going.[​IMG] Randy was worried I wouldn't feel well during the dinghy ride to shore, but I was okay. Actually happy to have both feet on dry (steady) land.

    Once on shore, we got our fins and masks on and away we went. The guys, (Randy, Rick, Ryan and Ricky) took off in one direction. I made the mistake of sticking with the girls (Michele & Corinne). Corinne was having issues with her snorkel, but since it was new, her mom was sure it was her and not her snorkel. They took forever, but we somehow made it around some boulders and did do some snorkeling. We lost the guys and ended up going back to where we started...where the guys were already back and waiting for us. Some of the sights from snorkeling: 1, 2, Randy stopping for adjustment, Ryan, 3, a view of our boat from where we were, 4 and 5. There's not much reef to see here, since it's all volcanic rock and boulder, but it's still very beautiful! 6, 7, 8, 9, our boat from where we were, 10, a 'road' of fish, more fish and I think he's following me?

    I felt fine the whole time I was out snorkeling. Randy was concerned how I was feeling and met me in shallow waters. He took my fins off for me, and out of nowhere, I started feeling nauseous again. I went and sat on the dinghy and within about 30 seconds, I felt perfectly fine again. Now c'mon! What the heck was that all about? [​IMG] Luckily, that would be the end of that for the rest of the week!

    Knowing how much I wanted to explore the Baths, Rick didn't mind waiting while the three of us walked around and saw what the Baths are famous for. Michele and Corinne came for a short time too, but they headed back not too far into the walk while we continued on.

    We saw some beautiful sights and we hope to be able to go back someday for a longer period of time than just a quick afternoon. Too much to see, not enough time to see it today [​IMG]

    Our sights: Ryan just being goofy, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, us, 7, just amazing, 8, 9, 10, these ain't 11 no little rocks, 12, 13 and 14.

    We arrived back at the dinghys where Rick was waiting for us. Michele had taken the other dinghy and Corinne back to the boat. We also brought some empty beer bottles back with us . They were in our dinghy when we got back from snorkeling. Really? You're going to leave your trash in OUR boat? [​IMG] Whatever...at least it wasn't left for litter on the beach.

    Back on our boat, Captain Rick started heading north up the coast. Next stop: Bitter End & Saba Rock. I decided not to chance feeling sick again, so I laid down and rested. Apparently some others had the same idea while Ryan and Casey headed to the sundeck to enjoy the ride.

    Along the way, we saw Richard Branson's island: Necker Island along the way. Private island...invite only. And his catamaran.

    Beautiful sites of Virgin Gorda as we sailed up the coast: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

    We arrived and moored. We went ashore to have drinks (this is a big thing with Rick & Michele...they stop for 'drinks' everywhere! I couldn't be part of that family full-time...my poor bladder wouldn't be able to handle it!) and buy a flag. We let Ricky be our dinghy captain this time. Welcome to the Bitter End. Rick always buys a flag each sailing trip they go on. Everyone gets a 'boat' name and signs the flag. Then, they hoist the flag up the mast. I will admit, it DOES make it easier to spot your boat among all the other boats when you're moored up and coming back in your dinghy. We had drinks at Saba Rock till after sunset. Ryan. With all this family, you wouldn't think he'd drink alone, wouldja? Nope...he didn't.:thumbsup2

    While we were sitting having drinks, we saw Richard Branson's catamaran moored at Bitter End Yacht Club. Lemme tell ya...it is one HUGE catamaran!! You do know who Richard Branson is, right? [​IMG] Founder of Virgin Air and record label.... Randy told me he thought you could rent his catamaran for like $88,000 a week! No thanks...buy something else instead!

    So, we stayed briefly, talking, petting a kittycat and having a drink. As it was getting dark, we headed back to boat to eat dinner. The first of many pretty sunsets. Another sunset pic.

    The dinner menu tonite consisted of: pasta salad, shredded chicken bbq and garden salad.

    While we were outside eating dinner, we put the air conditioning on inside the boat to cool it for the evening. This would be our every day routine: open windows and doors during the day and while making dinner, and while eating dinner, put the AC on for the night. Worked perfectly.[​IMG]

    The deal was, Rick & Michele cook (they brought all the meat and knew what they had), kids cleared the table and Randy & I did dishes. I've never done dishes in just inches of water before. I find myself still conserving water at home!

    After everything was cleaned up, we decided to plot our next move for tomorrow. Rick came up with a good plan.

    It was about 9pm when we had showers and called it a night.
     
  10. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    OOPs! I got way behind! You type too fast!!! :rotfl2:

    A few comments (through Day 6)- great family pictures of dad and Joyce and the three of you on your way out to dinner.

    Love all the pool pictures and snorkeling pictures. Bummer that the only solo picture of you, the usual photographer, is blurry!

    I can't believe how much time Randy spends working on the computer computer. Actually, I can! My DH has to do the same thing for my Dad.

    I feel your pain on the Phillies season! (I am a Red Sox fan)

    Great couples picture and brothers picture in the pool.

    Looks like once again, you had a really nice visit with family with a fun birthday celebration.

    I'm excited that your journey to the BVI is starting soon, but I'll have to come back and check that out a little later.
     
  11. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    OK- I read up on your travel day!!! Wow, that was certainly a full one!

    I was amused by your checked bag story. Same thing happened to us when we were headed home from the Bahamas in April. Plane was too full so they offered to gate check our bag for free. Well, it didn't make it to Boston with us!

    But the airline found it, and had delivered it to our house by 4 the next morning. I'm glad it was on the RETURN flight, and not on our way to the destination. I do the same thing packing as you- spread everyone's clothes into separate suitcases.

    Love your pictures from the plane- especially the amazing blues and greens in the water. I think you are right about those being different islands of the Bahamas you were flying over.

    Really nice and detailed pictures of the boat!

    So, I guess I missed the info about the meat- was that packed from home- frozen for the trip?

    It didn't even occur to me about electronics on the boat! Glad you had some outlets. Generator? Plugged in when you were in port?

    That was quite a shopping trip! I would have loved going to the store there! I'm a big fan of Ting, a Jamaican Grapefruit beverage that I can usually only get in the islands. Bet there was some there! That would have been a 4th shopping cart for me!

    Your meal after the shopping trip looked amazing. You must have been STARVING!!!

    Looking forward to setting sail!
     
  12. bubba's mom

    bubba's mom <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

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    BIL sez you don't want to buy meat there in the islands...it's questionable. So, they bought a bunch of chicken, some steak, hotdogs, burgers, meatballs, etc and froze them and brought that meat with us in 2 coolers. Good thing...can't imagine how much more it would have been to buy it. And, you don't want to get sick, so better safe than sorry ;)

    Older boats don't have outlets. We were told that and prepared for it (even tho this boat we rented was only about 1 yr old). Most have a 12 volt plug and that's it. So, we had sort of like a power strip of regular outlets, but the whole thing plugged into 12 volt (round plugs like in cars for those unfamiliar). We were thrilled to have 1 double regular outlet in each cabin.

    We used the AC/generator in the evenings and overnight while we slept. The generator runs on gas from the starboard tank... it (and the engine) recharge the batteries while running so you can use things like the radio and navigation equiptment while sailing. CANNOT use generator and engines at the same time...overheats engines. Don't ask how I know that :rolleyes1
     
  13. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a nice first day sailing. The Baths are beautiful!!!

    We spent a couple of hours there about 15 years ago, one day BVI tour from St. John.

    It certainly did not look like there were many other people there. Well, except for the stealth trash dumpers.

    Glad you got the airconditioning straightened out. Bet everyone sleeps really well that night!
     
  14. jenseib

    jenseib Mommy to Claire

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    I am, just catching up too.

    Nice relaxing times with Dad. You may think you are boring us, but you aren't...and they are wonderful memories for all of you.

    That travel day was so long. I don't know how the heck you all could still go shopping after all that...but you probably needed to stretch and move. I am cracking up with how much food you bought, but then again, you do need to feed a lot of people.

    This looks like such a fun adventure, but I don't think I could do it. I think I would feel to ocramped...and I tend to get sea sick on smaller boats too.

    The islands are just gorgeous though. You have some amazing pictures. I plan to snorkle in Sept and it's been about 10 years since I last did it. I hope I don't drown. :)

    I can't wait to see what else you do.
    So I am being nosey, Are the girls Michele's (from a previous relationship) and Ricky is Ricks...so none acutally between the 2? I noticed you said 2 were 16, so I am guessing that is how it works. They are all good looking kids though.

    I think Ryan looks like you too. But "Dad" and the Bros sure do look a lot like each other.
     
  15. keishashadow

    keishashadow <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=green

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    lol smart dude, they probably would've tried to pass off that four-legged chicken:lmao:
    [​IMG]
     
  16. bubba's mom

    bubba's mom <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

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    The only place it was 'crowded' was Jost Van Dyke...and even that I wouldn't consider "crowded"...just the most people we ever ran into. Just how we like it tho :thumbsup2


    eh....I know that the visit to Dad's isn't exciting, but I include it for the memory for us ;)

    As for the long travel day...it was a lot of sitting, yes, but we were excited to arrive. We knew we had to eat...a 16 yo boy and 13 yo boy...oh yeah...we needed food! :rotfl: You do what you have to I guess....

    You wouldn't believe it, but even with all 8 of us on that 44' catamaran, we NEVER felt cramped...ever. There was just so much room and space to go to....and each cabin (4 of 'em) had it's own head (bathroom), so that was 2 people per bathroom. It didn't feel crowded at all...I know, surprising. I think you'd be surprised you weren't seasick. You mostly sail in the Sir Francis Drake channel...and the waters aren't bad there. The only time waters are a bit dicey are when you are going to and from Anegada...because it's so far out from the other islands. I took a Bonine that first day (and the kids take one leaving Anegada) and then were fine.

    Remember when you snorkel: RELAX and just breathe. It takes a few minutes to get used to again, but that's the key :thumbsup2

    You figured it out right: girls are from Michele's first marriage, Ricky from Rick's first marriage...none 'together'.


    Thanx for that...wouldn't have thought of it till you said so :eek:
     
  17. bubba's mom

    bubba's mom <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

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    Day 10

    Sunday, July 8, 2012

    The 'good plan' we came up with last night? Destination: Anegada. HAS to be the most beautiful place on Earth! :goodvibes

    Good morning Virgin Gorda. The day started about 7am. No surprise that only the 'adult' half of the boat was up this early. Not many up this early, but the people on this boat must not have had AC on their boat. We saw them jump in for a really early morning dip. After a little morning chat of the plans for the day and a wash down of the back deck, we decided not to wait on the teens to head out.

    Around 7:45am we pulled off our mooring ball and headed toward the dock to top off our fuel and water and to get more water, soda and anything else we might need. The plan was to head to Anegada for the next 2 days, and it's waaaay out there (appx. 14 miles from the nearest island) and you can't get fuel, water or provisions at Anegada.

    We pulled up to the dock right about 8am when the gas station and stores opened. While the guys fueled and watered up, Michele & I grabbed the trash and headed ashore in search of dumping our trash and finding our last minute provisions. 1, 2 and 3.

    While we were walking along, we spotted Richard Branson's catamaran docked there. The Necker Belle. Such a HUGE boat...just amazing! We took many pictures of it too.

    We dumped the trash and got some drinks and bread at the store. As Michele was paying, Randy showed up and it was a good thing! We were wondering how we were going to carry all that stuff back to the boat!:confused3

    Back onboard, we pulled away from Virgin Gorda and headed toward Anegada. While pulling out, I just HAD to take pictures of Branson's catamaran, because ya know, how often do you see 'rich'?: 1, 2, 3 and 4.

    It's a pretty far ride and we DID decide to raise the sail. Rick decided we had a good wind, so he got ready to hoist the sail. I don't have many pictures of the sail because I took video of it, but here is a picture of the sail up thru the hatch window in the aft of the boat. We got the jib up and then the sail and we were cruising at good 7-8 knots...a good wind! Simply a beautiful morning!

    Wouldn't you know, the sail went up and THEN the troops got up! The kids had missed the whole thing [​IMG] They were bummed, but we told them it wouldn't be the only time we had the sail up during the week. Then we teased them they shouldn't sleep all morning and they wouldn't miss stuff like that! (my theory is you can always sleep at home!)

    Once the sail was up, it was about a three hour ride to Anegada. It was a beautiful sail and nobody felt sick. Corinne read after her breakfast. I took a nap. Michele cleaned up the rope (wench duties) and then sat out front to relax.

    We all enjoyed the long ride and eventually we were on 'buoy lookout'. One red. One green. Michele & I determined they should be changed to hot pink and neon yellow to be easier to see from a distance! [​IMG] Random pix: Ryan, Corinne with an ominous cloud over her and a very FLAT Anegada in the background, Ryan & Casey relaxin' and just pretty.

    This is where we were goin. Anegada. It is the only British Virgin Island that is completely flat. All the others are mountainous. Anegada's highest point is only 28' high. It's made up from a coral reef, not volcanic rock, so there is a LOT of reef around it and it's very shallow very far out. It's a tricky island to sail into.

    These two are pretty happy and excited to be here. I was too! [​IMG]

    We moored just before noon and Rick wanted to make sure we had reservations for dinner that night at Anegada Reef Hotel. If you don't have them in by 4pm, you won't get in...especially if you want lobster for dinner. A local specialty, it's caught fresh. Oh, and they didn't take long to come collect the mooring fee either.[​IMG]

    After we had moored and made dinner reservations (7:30pm), we all had lunch and then the boys decided on a quick swim. Ricky was always first in at any stop we made. After lunch was cleaned up, we loaded everyone into the dinghys to head around to the other side of the island (near Cow Wreck Beach) for some snorkeling. It was quite a ride, so the guys took turns 'driving'. Ryan and Ricky.

    It was so beautiful on our ride out there. The water got so shallow in some spots, we could walk next to the dinghy. We went near Cow Wreck Beach where there is good snorkeling although some shallow spots, Rick says it's good stuff to see. We didn't get any rain from this cloud, but it looked cool.

    Sites along the way: 1, 2, 3, Ryan again and Randy doing what he does. These rental properties not in such good shape...altho, rented? 4, 5 and 6.

    We finally arrived at our spot. The water was beautiful. Clear and warm! Absolutely perfect! Not sure if you noticed in the pictures, but we were the only ones on this part of the island and beach. That is always nice. :teeth:

    Ryan had not planned to do shallow snorkeling, as we understood it to be rocky. Not his thing. Since he wasn't going to go, I wasn't going to go because he's my kid and I'd stay behind with him. Well, our 2 nieces weren't going either, so Michele offered her shirt and gloves to me to go (since I hadn't brought mine because I had planned to stay with Ryan). I wasn't going to, but I decided to go for it. After all, how often do you get to snorkel in Anegada? So, Rick and Ricky were 'buddies' and Randy & I were "buddies" (ALWAYS swim with a buddie).[​IMG]

    While the 4 of us were out snorkeling, Ryan, Michele, Corinne & Casey went for a walk along the beach.

    In the meantime, we had a great time snorkeling. We saw lots of fish and lots of shallow grassy areas. That was the first time I'd ever snorkeled in about a foot of water! What an experience. I was bummed Ryan had decided not to come. It wasn't rocky at all and he would've been fine. We had a strong current that kept pushing us back, but we ended up out further than we thought. Easy swim back in though [​IMG]

    Scenes from snorkeling: 1, definitely shallow...but grassy, not rocky. We never did get any of that rain, deeper, more shallow, it did get deeper in spots, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, we were pretty far out there, and yet only this deep.[​IMG]

    We started going parallel to the shoreline and the little current there was, was strong. Even if I was standing up! I was having a hard time maintaining my balance! Randy sitting making an adjustment.

    More scenes from under the sea: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16.

    Later, we arrived back on shore and the shore-group showed us their findings: a TV from Japan, or maybe China? Ryan thought this was funny to find a tv on the beach! AND Ryan's pride find: a beautiful conch shell. After I said how beautiful it was, the next question out of my mouth was "did you find it in the water?" He told me not only was it NOT IN the water, it was behind the beach in the grassy area. I made sure he was certain and he said he was; and it was dry.... I asked him if he was keeping it, and he wanted to. Then we told him "then YOU are hauling it home...not us...we are not carrying it". He was fine with that. Corinne was happy with her coral collection from her walk.

    After Rick & Ricky came back in, and some pictures, we all loaded into the dinghys and headed back to our boat.

    Here would be those pictures we took: Our crew, Ryan & Dad, ocean 1, ocean 2 and a picture every married couple should take.

    See.... I was there. Corinne was with us on the way back, and we had a good time on the ride back. And no...it never did rain on us. [​IMG]

    Along the way, Ricky jumped out of their dinghy and ran to shore, picked something up, and hopped back in the dinghy. Turns out, he had spotted a coconut. I'm not sure whatever happened to it because we left it with Rick & Michele when we left.

    Once there, we cleaned up and got ready for dinner at the Anegada Reef Hotel, while Rick and Michele ran over in the dinghy to make sure we had a oceanside table. She came back with a menu in case anyone wanted to change their order from lobster or chicken to something else (2 takers). We were enjoying watching the sun begin to set but, before we left for dinner, we had to fly our flag. You can't sail around flagless! [​IMG] So, once everyone had a 'name' and signed the flag, we raised our colors. The family flag of: Skipper, Wench, Gibbs, Calypso, Sniper, Skippy, Nemo & Blonde Colada was officially flying. [​IMG] (My husband was also dubbed "Big S.H.I.T." which stood for: Skipper's Helper In Training.)

    I have a jillion pictures of the sun setting, so I won't bore you with all of them. Just a select few: 1, 2, 3, a "moment", 4, 5 and 6. Sun setting and flag officially flying, it was time to head ashore for dinner. Oh, and our flag wasn't the only thing flying in the wind all week [​IMG]

    We left our boat and headed ashore. We arrived just after dark and had two tables on the beach; one for the teens and one for the adults. The boys. And the girls.

    Of course we took some pix: our family, their family, brothers and 'sisters'.

    They cook fresh lobsters right there on the beach. There were lobsters for Rick, Randy, Ricky and Corinne. Chicken for Michele and I, ribs for Ryan and steak for Casey. Generous portions and the food was delicious. I believe the lobsters were in the 2 - 2.5 pound range. Definitely worth the money and not a morsel left! Of course, we took lots of pictures and enjoyed a great meal and awesome company.

    When it was time to head back to the boat, somehow it was decided to race back in the dinghys. Teens vs adults. It was pretty close, but we edged the kids out (we had the better/faster dinghy boat). [​IMG]

    Back onboard, we gathered everyone up to relax outside and watched the stars. There were jillions of them as it was a clear night. Not too long out there, I called it a night. It was chilly out and I was tired anyway. Mornings are too early to stay up too late (unlike the kids)!!

    At least we were staying put tomorrow and not sailing away to anywhere else. Total 'relax' day tomorrow...that means 'sleep in' [​IMG]

     
  18. jenseib

    jenseib Mommy to Claire

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    Wow!!!!! What a wonderful island. that lobster looks so yummy!

    I love how you al ladapted to sea life so fat and looks so natural.
     
  19. keishashadow

    keishashadow <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=green

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    cool - very clear water here...can't say i've ever heard of the island assume it's not well developed?

    laughing re ry's finds, at least he didn't want to tote the broken tv home
     
  20. bubba's mom

    bubba's mom <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

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    Beautiful island...and no, doesn't take long to adjust to pure relaxation :rotfl:

    I don't think it's very developed...I mean anyplace that has cattle just wandering around the roads and such... We had paved road at the beginning of the taxi ride...turned into sand/unpaved road :confused3 It's a 'way far out there' island....not many people fly there for a visit and nobody arrives via cruise ship (too far).... I think it's more of a place people who have boats visit for a day or two. BUT, that is what keeps the crowds down too :thumbsup2

    Ryan and SIL toted that tv back from somewhere on the beach...they didn't find it near where we were. They both were telling us how heavy that little tv was! Told them it was their fault...they didn't HAVE to haul it back! Wonder if it's still there? :scratchin
     
  21. Worfiedoodles

    Worfiedoodles DIS Veteran

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    Wow, I'm loving this TR! It's fun to read about something so different than my usual vacation -- and the photos are gorgeous!

    Thx, Barb!

    Maria :upsidedow
     

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