In the weeks leading up to your trip, the excitement grows. For us, the weather around Seattle and Anacortes cooperated. It was cold and we even had snow! Perfect weather to inspire the packing of bathing suits, shorts, and t-shirts.
In Cruising to the Virgin Islands, Part 2, it’s important to square away the details via a pre-trip phone call with the entire crew at least TEN days before departure.
If you missed Cruising the Virgin Islands, Part 1 – Preparing to Go, read it here.

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Cruising the Virgin Islands: Part 2 – Pre-Trip Phone Call

Our MarineMax Vacations charter base was located in Hodges Creek, about a 20-minute ride to the east towards the Beef Island (Tortola) airport.

Phone call discussion checklist:

  • Determine special food needs for shopping.
  • Work through a meal plan and create a shopping list. (We made plans to have beverages and other heavy items, such as beer and water, delivered directly to the boat prior to departure. We decided to go shopping for our own fresh meat and fish, vegetables and fruit in Tortola and bring it down to the boat by taxi and dock cart once we arrived. There is a large Riteway supermarket, just outside of Tortola where vans and taxis are standing by to take you to your charter base.)
  • Talk about what water toys would you like to rent? (For our crew we rented 2 stand-up paddle boards from an operator right in the Hodges Creek Marina. They delivered the boards and paddles directly to the boat. They also had kayaks and scuba gear they can drop off.)

Tip: Arrange to have heavy items delivered to the boat like water and beer. Water is a personal choice. Some people do not like boat water. Our MarineMax 443 boat was fairly new and had a water maker onboard, but we still carried some bottled water.

  • Coordinate arrival times.

Tip: We got in early and were able to check out the boat, shop, and provision and get everything ready. After the rest of our crew arrived we were ready to leave.

  • Have everyone look through the cruising guide and encourage everyone to be involved in choosing destinations.
    • If you have chartered a sailboat, see who wants to spend some time sailing in the beautiful trade winds.
  • Plan and discuss an itinerary.
    • What are the special places people want to see?
      • Angela for the lobster and beautiful beaches?
      • The Bitter End for a resort with a pool?
      • Saba Rock for the Tarpon Feed or Monkey Point for snorkeling?
    • Do you want to spend 2 nights in some places to enjoy relaxing?
    • How many nights out for dinners. (In our case, it worked out for 5 nights of meals on board and we divided up the meal duties so we did not have a galley slave.

Cruising the Virgin Islands, Part 2

Anticipation and planning are all part of the fun. Keep it fun. Don’t fret or worry. Rest up for the flight and if you are arriving from the West Coast, make the best of a red-eye flight. When you hit a rough spot think about how nice it will be to be floating in the 84-degree Virgin Island weather and sipping a cold beer or rum drink. That thought should solve all problems and worries.


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