Beginning Jan. 1, 2008 all U.S. citizens will no longer be able to cruise the Caribbean and then re-enter the United States with only a driver's license or voter's registration card as identification. A passport will be required. This doesn't apply if you're only making stops in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These islands fly the U.S. flag, thus no passport is needed. However, if you cruise over to the British Virgin Islands or down to Saint Maarten, for example, U.S. immigration officials will insist on seeing a passport before they'll let you back in the country. Visitors from some countries may also need a visa - if in doubt ask us to check with the BVI Immigration Office for you.
These should be brought with you. There are pharmacies on the islands but your particular prescription may be impossible to obtain. "Billy Jean" does carry a basic medical kit.
Rarely do our guests suffer from sea sickness. The many islands that make up the BVI offer wonderful protection from the ocean beyond. You get ideal sailing winds without rough seas. If you are susceptible to motion sickness we recommend you bring over the counter medication - but we don't expect you will need it after the first day.
Bring soft sided luggage only (roll on luggage is not soft sided) that can be stored in your stateroom. Whatever you bring in the way of clothes will undoubtedly be too much. Our repeat guests always pack much lighter the second time around!
We are a "no shoes" boat, so please don't go running out to buy some expensive pair of yachting shoes. You probably won't use them. We suggest you bring along sandals, sneakers and maybe reef shoes. If you prefer to wear shoes on deck then we ask that your deck shoes have not been used to walk anywhere but a boat and are different from the ones you wear ashore.
Modern day sunscreens are very effective. You should come well stocked up. No oil based sunscreen is allowed on any yacht for safety reasons.
Bring plenty of film for your camera and maybe some spare batteries as well. Many guests bring their own video cameras and it's fun watching the footage at the end of the day!
We encourage you to bring a selection of your own CDs with you or an ipod.
Bed linens and towels are changed midway through the charter. Beach towels are provided on deck and for going ashore.
We have a phone and internet access (US waters only) on the boat. So, if you need to keep in touch with your family, please let them know that you will call them on the first day and give them our number aboard the yacht. This is a courtesy to you, please keep it short as possible.
Fire hazard dictates that we strictly adhere to a rule of no smoking below deck. This is common among most yachts. After all it makes sense. Everyone is entitled to at least one vice and if yours is smoking, then we simply ask that you do so on the deck (ashtrays are provided).
We have no restrictions regarding children on our " whole yacht" charters. In fact we encourage you to bring them as long as they are water safe.
We are not unlike a small hotel or restaurant and gratuities are very much appreciated. A 15% tip will be added automatically at booking.
About the weather:
Lying just over 1000 miles from the equator the BVI enjoys a balmy sub-tropical climate, plied by constant trade winds. Temperatures rarely drop below 77F in the winter or rise above 90F in the summer. The night temperatures vary by only 10F. Hurricanes are very rare and are most likely to occur from late August to the end of September.
Our year is characterized as follows:
While the US Mainland and much of Europe is locked in the icy grip of winter the BVI enjoys fresh trade winds and abundant sunshine. Daytime temperatures average 80 - 85F dropping to 75 - 80F at night. Winds average 10 - 20 knots providing exciting sailing conditions and cool night ventilation. Short localized rain showers may pass over us but these rarely last for more than 30 minutes.
Xmas and New Year are the busiest weeks of the season and the BVI high season is January - April.
From the middle of April the winter trade winds begin to moderate and we experience a slow increase in daytime temperatures. Daytime highs average 90F, nighttime lows 80F and there is a 20% chance of short showers. The islands take on a fresh green lushness that heralds the arrival of a new season. In Fall it is the reverse pattern, except that we are prone to more rain showers.
Spring represents excellent value to visitors. Anticipating the summer, most prices drop on May 1st and there is a gradual reduction in the number of visitors to the islands. Finding a quiet anchorage gets easier and the snorkeling and diving are fabulous with reduced wave action.
July, August and September are the quietest months in the BVI. It is the warmest time of year with daytime highs of 95F but nights remain comfortable at 80F. We enjoy the tranquil anchorages and lazy sailing days.