First Season in the BVI

Posted on Mar 06, 2016 by

We just completed another successful charter in the BVI’s and are resting in a superb bay, well protected from the trade winds and from the swell.

By the end of this month (March 2016), Anne and I will have completed one full year on-board Curanta Cridhe. So much has happened since we started working in Ardrossan, Scotland! A first charter season in the Hebrides, with breath taking sceneries, amazing wild life, challenging navigation and fantastic Scottish people. We really love Scotland! Then we started the boat preparation for a demanding delivery to the Caribbean. The voyage itself was quite a journey, especially the first half, from Scotland to Madeira.

After the crossing, we landed in Antigua and prepared the boat for the Antigua Charter Yacht Show: a very important ‘’rendez-vous’’ for the charter industry.

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We met many charter brokers and started to build a serious business relationship with several of them. We had a very positive show and continued our voyage toward our final destination: Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands.

We stopped in St-Barth which is the St-Tropez of the Caribbean. This beautiful island is clean and elegant. We also made a technical pit stop in St-Marteen where we purchased our toys, food, wine and diesel. The last time I had purchased diesel was in the Canary Islands. It tells a lot on the long range capacity of the boat…

Then we had a fantastic ride from St-Marteen to the BVI’s. When we left St-Marteen, we had to take the Simpson Bay Bridge to exit the lagoon and enter into the Caribbean Sea. There are always many boats waiting to enter or exit the lagoon and everyone needs to be patient and courteous. There was a 62’ catamaran that showed some excess of impatience and aggressiveness. This boat arrived late and tried to sneak in among the first boats that were waiting for the bridge to open. While we were passing the bridge, the 62’ cat was behind us and almost hit us as it’s Captain was going way too fast for the bridge passage. The crew on the forward deck was yelling at us trying to put pressure on me to accelerate. As we were all in line, one behind each other, I had nowhere to go. Accelerating would have made me collide with the boat in front of me. Once the bridge was passed and while navigating in Simpson Bay, the 62’ catamaran increased it’s speed and passed me very close on my port side, both Captain and crew (a couple) staring at me in a very arrogant way. Anne - who knows me well - begged me to ignore the nasty comments made by the crew, which I did. I had a plan to respond to this lack of chivalry. As soon as we cleared the traffic of Simpson Bay, Anne and I prepared the sails. The 62’ cat was heading in the same direction as us and was under engines at around 9 knots. The strong wind allowed us to go faster and it did not take long for us to catch up with the desperate skipper on the 62’ catamaran, asking too much from it’s engines, but without success… We passed them surfing the waves with elegance and style. I had a large smile on my face and choose not to say a word. Our seamanship spoke for itself and I could read the frustration and anger on the body language of the crew that were way too aggressive when passing the bridge but could not hoist their sails in 20 knots of wind…

We arrived in Virgin Gorda around 03:00 a.m. and dropped our anchor in front of a magnificent beach, near The Baths.

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Once in the BVI’s, we prepared the boat for the coming charter season, worked with our Central

Agent to promote our charters and performed some maintenance tasks after over 6 000 nautical miles of navigation.

Recently, Anne and I have been contacted by the founder of Discovery Yachts, John Charnley. Discovery Yachts sold several new catamarans, similar to Curanta Cridhe and John Charnley invited us to offer our comments on how to improve certain aspects of the boat while integratingnew ideas on the next generation of boats to be built. We are pleased and honoured to collaborate with this boat builder and offer our experience as there is always room for improvement, even on an already good design. Anne is in the process of redesigning the starboard side of the cockpit where we’ll integrate a new generator, a bar counter, sink, cold fresh water dispenser, fridge and ice maker. All these items are required by the charter activity in the warm waters of the Caribbean.

Before our next charter, we’ll take Curanta Cridhe out of the water to perform a series of preventive maintenance tasks. The warm tropical water has favoured the growth of marine life on the hull below the water line. Seaweed and barnacles are developing and we need to re-activate our antifouling paint with a high pressure water cleaning. We’ll also replace several anodes and do an inspection on our rudders, keels and seacocks.12509697_502142019958445_3925907946272835394_n.jpg

The several charters wehave had recently in the BVI’s confirmed this area to be one of the best sailing spots in the world. People are coming here to relax and enjoy the amazing weather, swim in pristine warm water, snorkel and dive exploring amazing bays in a multitude of islands. Sailing in the protected waters of Sir Francis Drake’s Channel makes a big difference in the comfort of our guests as they are not all die-hard sailors. It is not fun to fight constant sea sickness when you are on vacation. This area offers the best sailing conditions money can buy. Short sailing trips every day that lead you to new destinations for your preferred activities as well as great food, fantastic wine and a safe luxurious boat on which to rejuvenate. Wind, sun and fun with friendly people and beautiful sceneries to contemplate. These are the ingredients of a successful charter on board Curanta Cridhe. What more could you ask for?

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Cheers!

Association of Scottish Yacht Charterers

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