captain’s log
The boating and tourist season in the BVI is definitely in full swing. By all reports, most of the charter companies are having a busy season with bookings back to pre 9-11 levels. My schedule is looking busy as well as I am taking bookings well into the summer and just yesterday, booked 2008 New Years week!
January was a sailing month for me. I started off the new year with a nine-day charter on a sailing catamaran with a family from Italy. We had a nice time sailing around the BVI. They absolutely loved the Baths at Virgin Gorda, so much so that we spent three days there. Milan, Italy does not see a whole lot of sun, so my Italian guests certainly enjoyed laying in the sun, which is plentiful here year round. Only one of the four guests spoke english, so I made an honorable attempt at learning a little Italian. There are a lot of similarities between Italian and Spanish, and as I am working on learning Spanish, some of it came fairly naturally.
I finished off the month with a charter on another sailing catamaran. Only two guests and myself were onboard. For several days, the weather turned absolutely calm with little wind for sailing, although it did make for clear blue skies and flat calm seas which made the colors of the BVI waters look post-card perfect. Late in the trip, while overnighting in Cane Garden Bay on Tortola’s north side the ground seas picked up in the middle of the night and made for a rather uncomfortable stay, which was compounded by very loud obnoxious music from shore till 3:30 in the morning. At first light we left Cane Garden Bay, having to maneuver around surfers paddling their surf boards out to ride the surf at the entrance to the bay!
When the north swell is running as it most often does this time of year, it is worth visiting the “bubbly pool” at Jost Van Dyke. We moored the boat off Foxy’s Taboo at Diamond Cay and hiked the quarter mile or so wilderness trail to the bubbly pool. The last time I saw waves breaking on shore like they were this day was when I visited Hawaii many years ago. The bubbly pool is a very narrow rocky passage between Jost and Little Jost where the water from the swells surge between the rocks. Quite spectacular to see.
February is going to be more of a power boating month with much of my time booked on Virgin Trader power yachts. However, the month will finish off with another catamaran sailing trip. Speaking of powerboats, this time of year the BVI sees a lot of visiting megayachts. These rather large, expensive boats cater often to the rich and famous. Generally, the crew are not allowed to divulge who is on board these immaculately kept vessels so who knows what movie stars or otherwise famous people are cruising the BVI this season!?  Twice in the past I had Bill O’Rielly from Fox news channel “The O’Rielly Factor” on charter. At the time we were not asked to remain tight-lipped, but recently I heard him on TV calling  in to Fox News by telephone from somewhere out of the USA on vacation. While speaking on air, he said he could not say where he was vacationing for obvious security reasons.
Tune in later for February happenings!
January 2007
Wednesday, January 31, 2007