Group Travel/2009-Caribbean

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Date/Time Flight Who Hotel
2009/01/31 18:34 CapeAir1415 SJU-EIS April and Brady None, direct to boat on Saturday
2009/01/30 15:35 AA775 MIA-STT Ben and Candace Hotel Mafolie, Charlotte-Amalie
2009/01/30 22:30 AA795 MIA-STT Dean and Yareli Bunker Hill, Charlotte-Amalie
2009/01/28 22:30 AA795 MIA-STT Leigh and Philip Hotel Mafolie


I've put together a strawman itinerary. This takes a counterclockwise route around the BVIs. After going through all of this, it turns out that I came up with an itinerary almost identical to that proposed by the Moorings. I debated on whether to add Anegada to the list. It's a longer sail than most of the BVI, and has a tricky approach. I'm confident we could handle getting there, but as things fall together it's just hard to fit it in on a 7 day trip without missing something else, so maybe next trip. If anyone cares about visiting Anegada, we can shuffle things around.

Current cruise ship schedules show Monday as a light day, and Thursday as a circus. We have more flexibility than they do, so we can work around them.

Depending on the prevailing winds, we may choose to reverse this and take a clockwise route. Winter winds are typically from the NE, which would work better for a clockwise rotation. We will be on the later side of the winter season there, so we could get an east wind, which would work better for counterclockwise. If on the other hand it moves SE, then either direction is about the same. If we do reverse, we would probably re-reverse the order between CGB and JVD to try to get to CGB on a night that Quito normally plays.

<googlemap version="0.9" lat="18.407958" lon="-64.588623" zoom="11" icons="{label}.png" scale="yes"> (airport) 18.337222, -64.973333, STT Cyril E King Airport Virgin Islands (airport) 18.444764, -64.540386, EIS Beef Island Airport (marina) 18.421802, -64.609909, RT- Pick up/return boat (A) 18.387597, -64.50983, Cooper Island (B) 18.429945, -64.445114, Virgin Gorda Baths (C) 18.461373, -64.527168, Marina Cay (D) 18.441019, -64.764748, Jost Van Dyke (E) 18.425873, -64.662094, Cane Garden Bay (F) 18.317048, -64.619865, Norman Island (marina) 18.446718, -64.530945, Trellis Bay (marina) 18.503378, -64.381599, Virgin Gorda North Sound </googlemap>

Date/Time Location Events
2009/01/31 ??:?? RT Provision boat with supplies.
2009/01/31 18:00+ RT Pick up boat 2009/01/31 any time after 6PM
2009/02/01 (Sunday) Cooper Island (~5 nm reach) Leave dock mid-to-late morning. Sail to Cooper Island (~5 nm reach). Moor at Machioneel Bay. Allegedly nice beach, snorkeling opportunities in area. Dinner at Cooper Island Beach Club.

This one is iffy, as the CIBC is reported to be in the middle of an acquisition--but this is well placed to stage a trip to VG the next day. I will watch for developing news. The contingent overnight would be Marina Cay or Trellis Bay

2009/02/02 (Monday) Virgin Gorda/Baths (~5 nm to the Baths, ~10 nm to North Sound, mostly upwind) Early departure for VG (~5 nm to the Baths, ~10 nm to North Sound). We have some options here, depending on the crowds and the conditions. We will sail close by the Baths. There are day moorings here, but they fill up early. No dinghies allowed to stay on beach, so if we go ashore from a mooring here at least someone gets to swim ashore. Also, the day moorings are not recommended if there is non-trivial northern swell. OTOH The Baths are a must-see item. This is probably the number one attraction in the BVI. If we stop here, we would sail on to the North Sound to overnight.

Other option (which I lean toward) is to sail directly to the North Sound (making a close pass by the Baths for pictures) and dock at Leverick Bay. They have a very good dock discount for TTOL members. Then, taxi back to the Baths, dinner at Leverick Bay upstairs restaurant. Maybe drinks on Saba Rock. This option also will help avoid any cruise ship crowds at the Baths, who will typically bail by early afternoon.

2009/02/03 (Tuesday) Marina Cay/Trellis Bay (~10 nm broad reach) Sail to Trellis Bay area. Short stop at the Dogs for snorkeling if there's not too much swell. Moor at Marina Cay if available, else Trellis Bay. Lunch at De Loose Mongoose or Cybercafe, dinner at Pusser's Marina Cay or at the Last Resort. See if we can find some local music for the evening.

If we decide not to go to Cooper island, we can split Marina Cay and Trellis Bay into two stops (en route to and from Gorda Sound).

2009/02/04 (Wednesday) Jost Van Dyke (~12 nm broad reach) Early sail to Jost Van Dyke. We have some harbor options here: White Bay, Great Harbor, or Little Harbor. White Harbor is one of the prettiest beaches in the area, and home to the famous Soggy Dollar. But it's small, and can get rolly if there is much of a northern swell. Great Harbor is anchor only, and does not have the best holding unless you know where is best. (I have some ideas where.) Foxy's is in Great Harbor. Little Harbor is probably the best harbor, but it's further away from the more popular spots. Great Harbor and White Bay are within a reasonable if vigorous hiking distance. Little harbor is further away. My current thoughts is to attempt White Bay if conditions and crowding permits, and use Great Harbor as a fallback.
2009/02/05 (Thursday) Cane Garden Bay, Tortola (~2 NM reach) Short sail to CGB. This is a nice beach with lots of beach bars and a rum distillery. This is a big cruise ship excursion destination, so there's no need to get there very early. They should clear out by early afternoon. (I understand watching the crowd from your boat can be fun.) It would have been shorter (and missed the cruise ship circus day) if we switched days between JVD and CGB--but Quito plays at his bar in CGB on Thursday nights but not Wednesdays. Lunch at Stanley's (or on board if the cruise ship people are too heavy), Dinner at Myett's.

If that nasty northern swell is up, CGB can get uncomfortably rolly. Use Soper's Hole as a fall-back. (We can always come back to see Quito on Saturday night after the cruise).

2009/02/06 (Friday) Norman Island (~7 nm reach) Sail to Norman Island. Snorkel stop at the Indians if conditions and mooring space permits. Moor in the Bight. Possible snorkeling excursion to the Caves. Dinner at the Pirate's Bight, party after at the William Thorton (aka Willie T's.)
2009/02/07 (Saturday) Road Harbor, Tortola (~7 nm reach) Return boat to the Moorings base by noon. (Target 1100 to give us some breathing room. Pack, clean up boat, debrief, then on to various lodgings for the night. Maybe get together for dinner, drinks, band somewhere, etc--assuming we can stand each other's company by then, given that the boat will get progressively smaller as the week goes on :-)


Date/Time Flight Who Hotel
2009/02/07 17:00 CapeAir1416 EIS-SJU April and Brady None, direct to airport
2009/02/10 16:20 AA672 STT-MIA Ben and Candace Beef Island Guest House, Trellis Bay
2009/02/08 16:20 AA672 MIA-STT Dean and Yareli Maria's By the Sea, Roadtown, Tortola conf. 53222
2009/02/08 08:45 AA846 STT-MIA Leigh and Philip Hotel Mafolie



(All ordered from Bobby's)

1 case 16oz Poland Spring Water

18 gallons Drinking Water

1.5 case Ting

1.5 case Ginger Beer

2 cases Diet Pepsi

12 cans regular Coke

6 Amstel Light bottles (10oz I suspect)

1 case Carib

1.75 liter Cruzan Gold

4 12oz Pineapple Juice

3 12 oz Guava Juice

2 12 oz Mango Juice

1 15 oz Coco Lopez

1 8 oz Real Lime

Concha & Toro Merlot

Carte Vieja Cab

Marques de Caceras Red

Rene Barbier Mediterranean Red

Concha & Toro Sauvignon Blanc

KWV Shiraz


Pre-Order from Bobby's[edit]

8 oz red wine vinaigrette dressing

250 g Ginger Snaps (good for snacks, and might help motion sickness--or at least you can use it for an excuse to eat cookies)

24 oz Canadian bacon

8 oz Extra-sharp cheddar cheese

17 oz Mango Jam

200g Weetabix

7 oz Corn Flakes

2 lt Long life 2% milk

16 oz White vinegar

16 oz Baking soda

Shop when we get there[edit]

This is a good opportunity to get fresher items that we would want to select ourselves. This can be at Bobby's, Ample Hamper, Riteway, or OneMart. Bobby's seems most popular. Ample Hamper gets rave reviews for fresh and gourmet foods. Riteway and OneMart are walking distance to the boat. Also, in the first couple of days, we can assess what we have, and make additional purchases in Leverick Bay.




Salami, pepperoni, or summer sausage for snacks

Another breakfast meat

Fresh pastries/bagel

Meat tenderizer

Already Purchased Through Moorings[edit]

This is Brady's estimate of items included with the Moorings Provisioning Package. Remember this is only 3 days of breakfast and lunch. (Technically the order was for 4 people for 6 days.) The Shepherd's Pie might make a 4th lunch.

2 doz eggs 2 lb streaky bacon 4 Strawberry Yogurt 4 Peach Yogurt
1 loaf White Bread 1 loaf Wheat Bread 4 Cinnamon Raisin Bagels 12 serv. Fruit
1 box Raisin Bran or 4 ind. serv. 15 bag Lipton Tea 15 bag “Herbal” Tea Sugar Packets (200?)
3lt to 1gal 2% Milk 2 - 64 oz Orange Juice (or 46oz) 12 oz jar Strawberry Jam 1 lb Turkey Slices
1 lb Roast Beef Slices 8 oz American Cheese Slices 8 oz Swiss Cheese Slices 16 serv. salad lettuce (4 romaine?)
Misc. Salad Fixins (Cucumber, Tomato) 4 serv. Salad Chicken (1 lb?) 8 oz Caesar Dressing (or 4 – 1 oz packs) 8 serv. quiche lorraine
4 Wheat Pita Pocket 4 serv. Tuna Salad (1 lb?) 1 lb salted butter 7 oz Dijon Mustard
16 oz Miracle Whip 16 oz Blue Cheese Dressing 4 oz Cheddar Cheese 8 oz Brie
8 oz Gouda 12 oz Crackers 8 oz Dried Fruit 8 Granola Bars
8 oz Plantain Chips 12oz Potato Chips 4 oz Pretzels 4 oz Peanuts
4 small apples 2 trays Shepherd's Pie (4 -6 servings) 4 serv. Key lime Pie

Additional Rental Items[edit]

  1. Kayak: A 2-seater inflatable kayak and kit with transparent bottom has been booked with Island Surf and Sail, Nanny Cay, Tortola Tel:(284) 494-0123 Cell: (284) 541-1404. They will meet our rep at The Moorings front desk Sunday at 0830.

Things to Bring[edit]


Pack light. However much you think you need, you probably need less (unless you are Dean, who will probably bring 3 weeks of MREs and a piece of string ;-) )

Swim suits are fine for on board--in fact, if one needs to dive to verify the anchor is set, it's helpful to already be dressed for the water. OTOH, the locals can be pretty conservative (small-town US conservative, not mid-east conservative), so uncovered swim suits and extremely short shorts aren't so good off the boat or beach. I like to use nylon water shorts that can double as normal shorts. Lightweight fast drying stuff is good. I will probably bring 2 pairs water shorts, maybe 2 other pairs of shorts, some tee-shirts and maybe 3 Hawaiian shirts. Bring whatever you like to sleep in, although keep in mind that in the rare event of a late night emergency, we might have to scramble everyone on deck pretty quickly.

It's doubtful we will ever need long pants, although it doesn't hurt to have one pair for the guys and either slacks or a sundress for the ladies. If anything, this might be useful if you are staying before or after, and want to go somewhere nice. I may try to hunt down one pair of convertible pants, where the legs zip off.

Temperatures will probably range from highs in the upper 70s to lower 80s, and lows in the lower 70s to upper 60s. It can be pretty windy, and 68 with a wind coming off the water may be chilly to some. I suggest one windbreaker, light, fleece jacket, or whatever non-bulky you like for those conditions. Those sensitive to cold might want light-weight long pants or capris for evenings spent on or near the beach. A water-proof windbreaker or shell can be handy in case of rain or spray--but otherwise there is no need for foul weather gear in the BVIs.


Bring something you can walk in comfortably, and something you can get wet. There will be multiple opportunities to walk through wet areas in which you probably don't want to go barefoot. Extra points if one pair can handle both--although keep in mind things take a while to dry out in the islands.

On board, please wear something rubber soled, and either light-colored or otherwise designed for boat use. Or go barefoot--but be advised that bare feet slip on wet surfaces more than boat shoes. Broken toes are one of the most common cruising injuries. (Also, the deck can get pretty hot, so if you have sensitive feet, going barefoot might not work for you.) That being said, we will be on a catamaran, so you don't have to worry about steeply slanting decks. I will probably go barefoot some or all of the time on board, but I don't promise much sympathy for anyone who follows my example to their own detriment. Flip-flops, or other sandals without heel-straps can be dangerous when underway--they tend to slip off when you most need traction.

Socks are generally not needed, unless you just want them.


The boat will have linens, towels, and soap. Bring a beach towel, if you want something larger. A compact microfiber towel you can carry with you can be useful to dry your dinghy seat, etc.

Personal medications. It's best to keep these in originally labeled containers, particularly for prescription items or anything that BVI or US customs might raise an eyebrow at.

Bring lots of the sunscreen of your choice. If you are not absolutely sure you never get motion sickness, bring your preferred remedy. (I have really good luck with Bonine.) I don't usually have problems, but in our class I had issues at anchor, of all things. Probably because we were trying to actually study lessons and stuff. And I highly recommend using something for the high-speed ferries. (Ask Candace or me about our ferry ride to St. Croix, if you haven't heard it.) Also bring bug repellant--the BVIs have occasional mild outbreaks of dengue. DEET is generally recommended, although we had good luck with picaridin-based repellents, which I find much more pleasant. Picaridin worked for us in Costa Rica, where the piranhasquitos regularly carry off small children.

Snorkel gear is available for free from the Moorings. It was better quality than I expected. If you have a mask and snorkel you like, bring them. Fins are up to you--I will probably use the loaners since they can be bulky to travel with. A personal flashlight is useful--preferably water-proof. Bring a dry bag for carrying any things you can't stand to get wet. Also, a day pack or tote bag for carrying things shoreside can be helpful.

You will want a hat, and a way to attach it to yourself in the wind. Baseball caps are popular, although I prefer bucket or Tilley style hat. Sunglasses are critical, along with some sort of sunglasses retainer. Polarized sunglasses are best for on the water. They really help see the bottom conditions when in shallows. A small pair of binoculars can be handy.

Please avoid hard-sided luggage, as it can be hard to store on board. Roller-bags can be almost as bad. Soft duffle bags are best. We found a mesh or nylon bag for dirty clothes to be extremely useful.

Sailing gloves can help avoid rope burns and other hand injuries.


GSM phones work through most of the BVI, although roaming rates can be higher than usual. There is CDMA service from Road-Town to Beef Island, but other locations are not certain. During a good part of the trip, we may be in range of St. John, where you can get non-roaming service.

A FRS/GMRS radio can be useful to avoid too many roaming minutes on your phone. Candace and I will bring a pair, and I think Dean mentioned bringing some (3). WiFi is available in a lot of the more built up areas, but there may be a charge. Renport (on the Moorings base) rents a wireless modem (I think evdo, but am not sure) USB modem for both PCs and Macs. It costs about $200 a week with air-time included, which might actually be worth it for this crowd, if we can share one. Dean also plans to bring an Iridium satellite phone.

The Moorings will supply a cell-phone for the boat, but it's only good for incoming unless we prepay some minutes on it.

As far as emergency supplies go, we will not be that far from civilization. Moorings promises a 4 hour chase-boat response for any serious issues, and we have several redundant ways of communicating with them. So, short of a major regional disaster, we don't need things we wouldn't need for driving around interstate highways in the more populous parts of Texas.

For the Boat[edit]

Here's a table of the "for the boat" items, so we can make sure we have everything, but don't load ourselves down with lots of duplicates:

Item Quantity Who Comments
Coffee and brewing apparatus ? Leigh French press pot, Individual drip filter, 2.5lbs ground coffee, several varieties of tea, individual tea bags
Splenda 100 packets Candace
Inverters Dean Ben: small 100W inverter Dean: small 150W.
12V multitap 1 Philip 12V "power strip" with USB power
110 Extension cord or multitap 1 or 2 Leigh To hook multiple things to an inverter (Leigh to bring 4-port travel power strip)
Handheld VHF 2 Dean and Philip Ben has one, but 3 sounds like overkill. Phil's is a GMRS/VHF hybrid
1 set Ben parallel rule, dividers, protactor
Charts ? Moorings CYC Eastern Caribbean? Prolly marked up to show Moorings no-go zones
Anegada Approach Chart 1 Ben Just in case we decide to go to Anegada after all.
Handheld GPSr 1 Ben Garmin Oregon with local charts. Other's have commented that they will bring GPSr--prolly not neccessary unless you just wanna
Hand bearing compass 1 Ben Dean also bring lensatic compass
Binoculars 1 Ben 7x50 with compass
Bandaids Lots, assorted Ben and Dean Ben to bring sports/water resistant type. Not sure what dean had (assorted)
Large bandage pads and/or gauze box Dean
Bandage tape 1 Dean
Antibiotic ointment 1 Dean Dean, have you confirmed expiration on this sort of stuff? (Seldom look at dates, but it LOOKS fresh enough)
Hydrocort ointment 1 Dean
Benedryl topical 1 Ben
Benedryl internal bottle of 50 Dean Candace and Ben will have some as part of normal traveling kit
Ibuprofen 1 largeish bottle Ben
Aspirin ? Candace
Alka-Seltzer ? Candace
Aloe Gel 1 large bottle Candace 12 oz. bottle, about 1/2 full, so prob. about 6 oz. remaining
Aloe Gel with anesthetic (lidocaine) 1 Candace 8 oz. bottle, mostly full, prob. about 7 oz. remaining
Baking Soda 1 provisions or local shopping
White vinegar 1 provisions or local shopping
Meat Tenderizor 1 provision or local shop Not a big deal if we miss this one
Antibiotics ? Dean zithromicin, 4 day (1 zpack)
Suture kits ? Dean run away!
Ziplock Bags - Gallon ? Yareli
Ziplock Bags - Sandwich box Candace Maybe some snack sized, too.
Ziplock Bags - quart a few Candace
Duct Tape 1 Dean actually Gorilla Tape
Masking Tape 1 Ben
Clothes Pins way too many Sounds like everybody
Paracord ? ?

Coffee and Other Consumables[edit]

Good coffee, tea, and a brewing apparatus: Leigh

Splenda: Candace


A previous Moorings 4000 sailor report confirms that there is no genset, that they believe the boat has 2 12 volt outlet, one at the nav station and one at the helm.

I expect that outlet to be in high demand as people want to charge various things. I have no idea what its fuse rating will be, although I expect battery depletion to be our biggest issue here. We will want a small inverter. It looks like one with multiple outlets (or a multitap) might be nice. Also, a 12 volt outlet splitter might be nice. If you have 12 volt chargers for devices, using them will likely be more efficient than using the AC charger on an inverter.

Update: Word is, the DC outlets are commonly fused at 15A.

I will bring a handheld VHF radio, and I think Dean also plans to do so.


Ben will bring navigation tools (hand-bearing compass, parallel rule, dividers, protractor), a handheld GPS with local charts (Garmin Oregon with Bluechart G2 Vision charts for the eastern Caribbean.) There should be a CYC (paper) Eastern Caribbean chart supplied by Moorings. They should also provide navigation tools, and the boat should have a GPS chartplotter, but spares never hurt.

First Aid[edit]

The boat had a first aid kit on our last cruise, but it was not well provisioned. Ben had to buy bandaids ashore to use on some footwear related blisters. I suggest at least the following: Box of bandaids, box of large pad bandages, gauze, tape.Hydrogen Peroxide, antibiotic ointment. hydrocortisone ointment, Benedryl (Both pills and topical.) Sunburn medication (solarcaine, aloe gel). Baking soda, white vinegar, meat tenderizer. Aspirin, Tylenol, and/or ibuprofen. ( I assume people will have personal supplies of any meds they need, as well as their choice of analgesic products.) Don't forget to bring your favorite hangover remedy if you think you might need it. (Or your favorite "I drank too much rum and can't sleep" remedy, ex. Alka Seltzer, etc.)


Between us, some quart and gallon ziplock bags could be useful. Maybe sandwich sized. (Yareli - gallon ziplocks)

We can probably get those on-site. Duct tape is good. Wooden clothes pins are useful for hanging things on the lifelines to dry.

A good supply of cord could be helpful--maybe 50 ft (or more) of parachute cord (type II or better.). There are always things that need tying, and the dock lines they will give us are too heavy for many applications. Not to mention they never give you enough.

Packing Lists[edit]

  1. Dean's Packing List

Contact Information[edit]


Name Type Number
Dean Willis Cell +1-214-282-1376
Dean Willis Satellite +1-480-775-5953
Yareli Esteban Cell +1-972-948-3781
Ben Campbell Cell +1-214-783-6665
Candace Griffin Cell +1-214-223-5960
Phillip Kizer Cell +1-979-492-8813
Brady Cleaver Cell +1-512-627-9234
April Cleaver Cell +1-512-569-9234

Emergency Contacts Back Home[edit]

For Name Relation Home Number Cell Number Email
Dean Clara Willis Mother +1-432-371-2438 +1-214-538 -6293
Yareli Jose Esteban Father +1-972-570-9064 +1-214-223-5643
Yareli Yenisey Esteban Sister TBD +1-214-228-8278
April Rita Powers Sister +1-903-479-3862 +1-903-880-8183
Brady Eaules Cleaver Father N/A +1-512-663-1374
Candace Sara Castillo Sister N/A +1-512-423-6917
Ben Earl or Elaine Campbell Parents +1-254-939-3927 +1-254-718-2648

Last Ditch Way for People to Reach Us via The Moorings[edit]

In event of an emergency back home, people's best bet would be to try cellphones, SMS, email, etc. In a time-critical emergency, or when all else fails, the Moorings should be able to hail us on VHF or call us on the provided boat phone. We won't know the boat phone number until arrival. Phone numbers are North American Dialing Plan.

The Moorings LTD
PO Box 139
Road Town, Tortola, BVI
Fax 284-494-2226


BVI Chart with Distances

Moorings Interactive Chart and Itinerary Notes

Cost tracking spreadsheet