Picture this….warm turquoise water, white sand beaches, coral and tropical aquarium underwater views through my snorkeling mask.
Or how about this…. the sails filled with wind on a beam reach as the catamaran sailboat glides effortlessly through the water towards the island shore.
That will be our reality shortly when we bareboat charter a catamaran in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) again. Joe, Ethan and I will be flying to St. Thomas, in the US Virgin Islands, then boarding a ferry to the island of Tortola in the BVI. A cab ride from the ferry dock to the east side of Tortola, and we will board the Lagoon 380 catamaran, which is a double-hulled sailboat (see picture, above). Here is the layout of the boat, shown right:
As sailboats go, it is quite spacious, especially when compared to a monohull sailboat. You have a main salon, consisting of a kitchen, dining table, and navigation station.
You also have several staterooms, here is a typical view of one, shown below.
I have lost count of how many bareboat charters we have done. A charter is considered a “bareboat” when you act in the capacity as captain and crew. In this case, that would be Joe and I. Ethan will be wearing a special offshore Personal Floatation Device (PFD) and tether for safety while underway. You would be surprised how often we get asked about how we keep 3 year old Ethan safe while sailing, especially when we are both busy at the helm and raising sails, anchoring or picking up a mooring ball.
This trip will be our way of introducing Ethan to a more extended sailing. Previously, he has only experienced day sails on our current sailboat, SV Sea Glass, an O’Day 23. We will soon be selling our O’Day 23 and purchasing a much larger sailboat in early 2015, a bluewater cruiser sailboat about 42-49 feet in size.
Chartering in the BVI is fun, relaxing, and there is lots to do and see. You wake up in the morning and decide where you want to sail and do that day. Above is a map of the island group that makes up the BVI. I plan to do a lot of snorkeling, sailing, beachcombing, and swimming during our trip. Watch for my trip report when I get back! Fair Winds, Carla