The British Virgin Islands: Third Time's a Charm

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February 20th, 2017 at 12:47:08 PM permalink
Face
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I very nearly did not make this trip, and I had very little desire to write about it going into it. The run-up was pretty stressful, and at least twice I "officially" bowed out of consideration. Acquiring a $25k dental bill and puking a tranny both nearly shut it down, and even if they never occurred, I just wasn't in the mood. But looking back at the failure of Summer '16 and looking dead down the barrel of another USPS holiday season, I threw caution to the wind and signed up for good. I figured I'd need the end-of-winter boost to stave of a homicide, so a few weeks back, I was packed and ready to go. And as it happened, it was still good/unique enough to make a write up worthwhile, so here we are.

I've got most of the media in and am editing what I think will be the last bit, so I suppose I'll begin shortly. Y'all should know what to expect from me by now, so if there's anything outside of my norm you wish to hear, now would be the time to request it.

Travelogue incoming, hope you enjoy it! =)
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
February 20th, 2017 at 1:19:36 PM permalink
DRich
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 18
Posts: 621
I hope this is another yacht charter. If so, I am still very jealous of you. I just can't seem to get enough adventurous friends together to do it again. I will be heading back to my favorite island of St. Maarten shortly.

February 20th, 2017 at 1:24:05 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: DRich


Beautiful shot.

Alas, KLM hardly flies the 747, and no longer to St . Maarten.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
February 20th, 2017 at 1:31:28 PM permalink
Face
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Day 1.

Though I've often lauded my travel style, it really is a very stupid thing to do. The packing right before you leave it still OK, and something I still suggest, but the whole leave-just-in-time-to-walk-right-onto-the-plane is a gamble I am almost sure to lose one of these days and really ruin a trip. Funny how I never think of this until I'm in the car on the way to the airport. Sure enough I rolled that way again, screaming through the small hours of a Buffalo morning at speeds certain to draw attention. Fortunately said attention was never drawn, and I skidded into BUF with, again, just enough time to chuck bags and skip onto the already boarding plane. My guest was so frazzled from the experience that a TSA agent holding up a hand signaling her to stop caused her to administer a high five, for reasons that neither of us can yet explain. But stupid as it was, neither of us missed our flights.

I packed disastrously light, both my bags combined coming in under the 50lb weight restriction, and that's considering all the cameras and fishing gear. As such, it was a small bill at the airport, and as the puked tranny dropped my fun money to just $700 for the whole trip, that started my day off pretty OK. My first leg to JFK featured me having the entire aisle of seats to myself, and the big leg to the islands found me paired with a 5' 8", 160lb good ol boy. So far, so great. I buried my head into "Mr Mercedes" and yet again, it seemed like I blinked and I was there.

Now the stress came. The Fed's sailing B-i-L and S-i-L were not in for this trip, so they invited a TSA couple he knew from work (who I had never met) and their sister and B-i-L (who neither of us had ever met). And due to their coming from Wyoming, they had already came in days before and shacked up in a local hotel, leaving me and my new guest to make all the ferries and cabs and customs on my memory. I was relatively confident but stressed nonetheless, so began the "feet dry" portion as if we were storming Normandy. Worked out pretty well; the lone "mistake" is I did not get the direct ferry from St Thomas to Road Town, and had one stop at Soper's Hole. The only problem with that was the ferry lost a bag, leaving us to bake in the sun for 45min instead of the 10min stop and plop it should have been. All things considered, it was no big deal, and after the requisite eternity spent in customs, we were set free and kicked out onto the streets of Tortola. Not wanting to deal with one bit further of public transport, we humped our bags and started walking to the charter.

Our steed was familiar; a 43' foot Leopard christened "Outta Space". It had upgraded nav and a slightly different electric panel, but it took no time or help at all to familiarize oneself. Really the only difference is we had a dinghy retrieval system on the rear, allowing us to hook and scoot as opposed to dragging it. It looked like work without benefit to me, but as some are bothered by the dinghy banging into the boat at night, it was mostly appreciated.



The Fed and Mrs were much the same except for the large goatee The Fed sported, looking odd on a face that I've only ever known to be "Sheriff-issue". His TSA friends were Frank and Laurie. Frank was a huntin' and fishin' good ol' boy of about 56 and I took to him immediately. Their fam was Cody and Becky, Cody being an ex-submariner with stories for days. 10 minutes in and the introductions were over, with an air of "this is alright!" lingering over us all. That settled, I had to do something about the heat and began shaving my face, a task that has not happened since back in mid-September. Clean shaven and momentarily forgetting the 'fro on my head, I set about unpacking.

Unpacking pretty much ended the day. Some awkward milling about finished up the night, as folks came to know each other and find their place in the group, but there was very little of it before people were tucking in, eager to sleep so that we may awake and kick off the latest in life's adventures. At around 2100, with the AC blasting out a setting of "meat locker" all of us did just that. The Travel Day just came to an end.
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
February 20th, 2017 at 1:40:09 PM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 105
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Outta Space looks about big enough for
me and my dog. How do 4 adults spend
a day on it without killing each other.
Never been a fan of cramped quarters.
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
February 20th, 2017 at 1:40:12 PM permalink
Face
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Quote: DRich
I hope this is another yacht charter. If so, I am still very jealous of you. I just can't seem to get enough adventurous friends together to do it again. I will be heading back to my favorite island of St. Maarten shortly.


Oh, it is =D

I may have a cure for that. The missing B-i-L and S-i-L are only "temporarily missing", and not a single passenger on the S.S. Sloppy Drunk denied a return invitation. As such, much of the second half of the trip featured talks of "fleeting", ie renting multiple boats and going down as a whole flotilla of mayhem. So, you know, maybe keep late Jan / early Feb clear on ye olde itinerary ;)

PS: Crazy pic. I can't imagine that being pleasurable for beach goers. The wash must sandblast people to the bone ><
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
February 20th, 2017 at 1:48:19 PM permalink
Face
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Quote: Evenbob
Outta Space looks about big enough for
me and my dog. How do 4 adults spend
a day on it without killing each other.
Never been a fan of cramped quarters.


Screening =)

I'm pretty misanthropic, but even I haven't yet had a problem. There are plenty of times, I'd even say the majority, where if I wanted to talk to someone, I can't. Don't even know where they are. The back deck is probably the most public, allowing you sight and voice lines into the kitchen and back to the swim deck. But every other area is only "connected" to one other area. I find it very easy to get my alone time, though I've not really ever needed it.

For sure, if there was one of those people you didn't even want looking at you, yeah, it'd be cramped and uncomfortable. That's why we only invite who we do. Some people would be tons more fun, but those are usually the types you need a break from and that isn't easily done on these boats. I would suspect the non-smokers might also have a beef. But other than getting to rooms on the kitchen side, or to the swim deck, rarely do I find others "in my way".

PS: It's 4 adult couples ;)
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
February 20th, 2017 at 1:51:19 PM permalink
Ayecarumba
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 79
Posts: 1232
Alright Face! I am looking forward to it.

Also, wondering about the mysterious "guest" who made the trip with you to the boat but disappeared when the introductions started?
February 20th, 2017 at 2:01:45 PM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 105
Posts: 10171
Quote: Face
PS: It's 4 adult couples ;)


EIGHT PEOPLE?

Please, never ever invite me.
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
February 20th, 2017 at 2:18:04 PM permalink
Face
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Quote: Ayecarumba
Alright Face! I am looking forward to it.

Also, wondering about the mysterious "guest" who made the trip with you to the boat but disappeared when the introductions started?


That would be my guest, Lana, who was later dubbed "Snack Shack" for reasons that will become apparent. She'll definitely have her moment in the sun in this thread =)

Glad to have you along for the thread =)

Quote: Evenbob
Quote: Face
PS: It's 4 adult couples ;)


EIGHT PEOPLE?

Please, never ever invite me.


8 indeed. It's seriously not bad. Though a boat that we ran into on the last day, with at least 12 people at least 5 of which were kids 6 and younger, yeah... that'd set me off something terrible.

If we make the flotilla happen, you can get the quiet boat. Doggo more than welcome =)
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
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