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Boating Advice???

Hartford...
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525 posts
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Boating Advice???

We are a family of 4 (two sons ages 13 and 9) traveling to the Westin in St. John in April, 2006. We're interested in visiting Jost Van Dyke (we spent our honeymoon there many years ago) and doing some snokerkling. We are novice snorkelers and may need some hand holding. I like the idea of a private charter and have checked the web sites of the following based on other posts: Calypso, a catamaran, White Wing out of Coral Bay, Wayward Sailor, or a Nauti Nymph power boat rental with captain (may be too pricey). Does any one have recommendations based on what we are looking for.

Also, since the poster is prone to sea sickness - any tips that might beat my usual Dramamine (non-drowsey pills)???? Thanks!

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Parker, Colorado
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for St. John
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7 reviews
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1. Re: Boating Advice???

I've heard Ginger is helpful. My friend took Ginger tablets when she chartered with us once. There are also wrist band thingies you can buy as well as some type of patch worn behind one ear. I don't have a seasickness issue, so I can't give you brand names, unfortunately. I hope someone with seaseckness experiences will chime in here and give you more specific advice.

I also know that you should not go below deck, and that you should keep your eyes trained on solid land while enroute.

Incidentally, the only other option I can think of that would take you only to Jost would be the ferry. Other excursions seem to go to more than one island, like New Horizons 2, for example.

Hartford...
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525 posts
13 reviews
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2. Re: Boating Advice???

Thanks tethered! Will investigate the seasick remedies. A neighbor said the patch worked wonders on their crusie when 70% of the ship was ill.

New Horizons has good reviews and they really seem to packa lot into a day (maybe too much for us). However, I think they do leave from the Westin, which is very convenient. I'm torn between the ability of New Horizens to see the Baths and Jost (do a lot) and the ability of a private day sail where we can make up the itinerary and learn from the captain.

Parker, Colorado
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for St. John
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3. Re: Boating Advice???

Yep. It's a dilemma to be sure. But, a nice one, right? We have 2 boys: 13 and 16. Been going down there since they were about 4 and 6 or almost 7. Yours seem old enough to deal with most anything a day brings. Follow your gut. If it'll be years and years before you take such an adventure again, I'd say fill your days full! If this is one of many future vacations, then take the slower route.

From experience, I CAN tell you that your 9 and 13 year olds will suddenly be within spitting distance from college!!! Something about my second one heading to middle school and my oldest one having a license and beginning his junior year has freaked me out!!! Sorry. Good for you to be taking them to where you honeymooned. They'll act like it's nothing, but I bet they'll remember it for their lifetimes.

(By the way, we've used Nauti Nymph and have been very pleased...although it WAS about 7 years ago.)

Happy planning!!

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Boating Advice???

we just came back after living down there and have had our array of bvi excursions! check out pirate's penny and new horizons II also. the problem with nauti nymph is the ride is pretty bumpy b/c of the lack of seating and the small size of the boat. it may be cheaper, though, to go with a private charter because they charge per person on new horizons types excursions. out of coral bay is flyaway charters. there boats have great seating and it was well worth the money!! provide drinks/ sodas the whole day.... and captain george was THE best!

Mobile, AL
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5. Re: Boating Advice???

I understand the seasickness. Have had several bouts while on fishing excursions down here on the Gulf with my husband. I have used the patches in the past. They are great. My doc gave me a perscription for 4, but you only really have to use a half a patch. I have tried Dramamine but promptly threw it up. The patch has been my best remedy yet.

That all being said, I have never really gotten sea sick on the car ferry to St. John, the people ferry, or the boat trips we have taken in the islands.

We have done the New Horizons II about 6 times now. It is a great trip. Your 9 and 13 y/o would love it. The boat is smaller (holds 16 people). We have usually gone out with a group of about 12 at the most. The captains (we have had 2 different) both were very knowledgeable about the islands and gave us the history of the islands as we travelled. They tell pirate stories about Dead Man's chest and how the virgins got their names. I have never felt the slightest bit quesy on the boat. As far as being a novice snorkeler, they have kick boards for people with not as much experience and they watch out for you pretty good.

All of that being said, this is a pretty expensive trip. You can check out their website. I believe that it is well worth the money though. Also your customs fees and lunch is on your own. They do serve sodas and drinks and a light breakfast (pastry). Of course if you take the ferry over, you have to pay these things as well. You may also be limited on the days and times that you can visit. I have copied a ferry schedule and prices for you below:

British Virgin Islands Ferry: Red Hook and Cruz Bay - Virgin Gorda

Inter Island Boat Service (340)776-6597

Rates: Adults $55 roundtrip. Children 1-11 years old $40 roundtrip. Toddlers under 1 year old free. (Departure tax is $5 a person regardless of age.)

Time: About 1 hour 30 minutes from St. John

Note: Trips may take longer as stop at immigration is required. Proof of citizenship is required for travel between the USVI and the BVI.

Leaving Red Hook,

St. Thomas

Leaving Cruz Bay,

St. John

Leaving Virgin Gorda

Thursday & Sunday Only

at 8:00 am

Thursday & Sunday Only

at 8:30 am

Thursday & Sunday Only

at 3:00 pm

http://newhorizonscharters.com/

Hope you have a great trip!

Melanie

Mentioned in this post
Cruz Bay
Cruz Bay
St. John
Virgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda
British Virgin Islands
Mobile, AL
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74 posts
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6. Re: Boating Advice???

I forgot in my above post, NHII also takes you on a pretty neat tour of the Baths pointing out several rock formations and their names. There also seems to be adequate time for rest in between snorkle sites so you don't tire out too quickly.

Hartford...
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525 posts
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7. Re: Boating Advice???

Thanks everyone for all the information and your advice. Keep it coming!

I'm going to investigate the patch. I got sea sick whale watching years ago and wanted to jump out and swim to shore.

I know we'll have a great day on the water. It's a splurge but should be a great experience. Still haven't decided which....but will let you know.

Tethered - I realize how quickly the boys are growing. That's why I put so much time into planning these trips. St. John will be hard to top!

Parker, Colorado
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for St. John
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8. Re: Boating Advice???

You got THAT right!

I think I always thought they'd be around. Then, when my oldest got to high school, suddenly (and that was 2 years ago), I freaked out. So much still to see and learn. So little time... You're a step ahead of me if you get it at 9 and 13!

Richmond, VA, USA
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32 posts
5 reviews
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9. Re: Boating Advice???

We did the Daydreamer catamaran to Jost w/ snorkelling along the way. it was a full day sail on the cat. I much prefer sailing to tour the VIs. I'm not a big fan of motor boats - the noise kinda kills the relaxation part. Plus on the catamaran, it's a smoother ride - not as bumpy - maybe better for your seaskickness? Daydreamer was really wonderful -very peaceful and nice all around. Great staff too. Only thing is that they won't pick you up on St J. But it's an easy ferry ride to Red Hook and then a 5 min taxi to Sapphire Marina. They will drop you off in St. J (Cruz Bay) at the end of the day b/c you have to go thru customs there anyway. here's the daydreamer website: http://daydreamervi.com/ Good luck!

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Cruz Bay
Cruz Bay
St. John
Hartford...
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525 posts
13 reviews
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10. Re: Boating Advice???

Thanks wahoowa. The catmaran sound great but I think I'd prefer to leave from St. John. We're not real morning people and getting up to catch the ferry to St. Thomas first means getting up even earlier.

I think I've narrowed it down to New Horizonz II (they will pick you up on St. John) and Wayward Sailor. I like the fact that NH II also goes to Guana Island, where we spent the second part of are honeymoon as well as Jost. Wayward Sailor is smaller, sounds more relaxing (as long as I

m not sea sick) and we'd have a great captain to learn from. This was voted the "best day sail in St. John in 2005". Will have a family vote - of course the boys will go for the speed boat!

I hope this information helps others looking to get out on the water. I also have seen "Stormy Petrol", speed boat, and Scubadu, a luxury catamaran, http://www.sailvi.com/html/contact.htm get good reviews on other forums. Scubadu looks wonderful but is the most expensive, $150 per person.

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