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Catamaran Day Sail in Tortola or in St. Thomas


DIScruisin'

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We are looking at booking a private day sail on a catamaran (there are 7 of us in our group so we cannot do many of the other boats). After researching, there are 2 options that would work in St. Thomas and 2 options that would work in Tortola.

 

For those of you who have been to both ports, is there one that would be better for this experience? We are trying to decide if it would be better to charter the boat in St. Thomas or Tortola based on:

1. Is snorkeling better in on location than the other?

2. Are the sailing sights better in one or the other?

 

The boats we are looking at in Tortola include: Kuralu or Bolongo Bay Beach Resort Charter.

 

The boats we are looking at in St. Thomas include: Scubadu or Oh Be Joyful Sailing.

 

Any feedback that would help us make a decision would be appreciated. It is a lot of money to do this type of excursion but we think if we find the right company and location, it would be something really special for the family.

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Oops - you are right about Bolongo Bay Resort being on our St Thomas list.

 

The other boat we would look at in Tortola is the White Squall II. I had looked at Patouche, but their schedule shows that on Tuesdays (the day we are there), they only do 1/2 day sails.

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One of my "don't miss" things about Tortolla is visiting the Soggy Dollar Bar on White Bay Beach (we're taking the Ferry over!)

It seems to me that there are many more "shore" activities on St. Thomas, and I don't know if it's convenient to get to Jost Van Dyke Island (where Soggy Dollar is!) from St. Thomas; therefore, I would vote for taking the private charter from Tortolla and DEFINITELY tell the Captain that you NEED a Painkiller from the Soggy Dollar for a "Been there, done that" moment. Jost Van Dyke is one of the Top Beaches in the World & the Soggy Dollar is one of the Top 10 Bars in the World!

Just my .02 cents to try to help!

Have fun!

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We did the day trip with Gary on the Kuralu. Jost Van Dyke and the Soggy Dollar Bar were great and the trip was a lot of fun. The snorkeling was OK but nothing great.

We have done a few snorkeling trips out of St. Thomas that were very good. I think the snorkeling is better there. But it may depend on the weather, etc.

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jost van dyke is better because of the beaches and soggy dollar bar, but if you are really just looking for good snorkeling then you should go to norman island (home of the caves, the indians, angel fish reef etc.)

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  • 1 month later...

We signed up for a catamaran sail with Patouche Charters at the last minute before out May 15th visit on Caribbean Princess. As it turned out, only one other couple had signed up, so there were only 4 of us on the 48' Shamwari.

 

We were shuttled to the east end by a Carlson, a driver sent by Patouche to meet us. Julie, the owner and first mate, and Captain Branson met us at the marina, and we boarded Shamwari. Drinks were served, and we headed out under sail through the BVI. Cushions and a trampoline were available on bow of the ship, so we relaxed and enjoyed the weather and the scenery.

 

Branson and Julie pointed out the islands, giving us history and commentary as we sailed by. We eventually moored near the caves at Norman Island, and Branson joined us for a guided snorkel tour of the caves and the nearby reef. Rather than steps off the rear, Shamwari has a hatch leading to a dive ladder.

 

Branson was great, pointing out sea life and answering questions for us. We finished up just as a larger excursion, the White Squall II, pulled in.

 

We sailed around the point to a spot in the Bight (possibly Miner's Hole?) for some more snorkeling. Snorkeling conditions were great!

 

Next, we motored over to the William T. Thornton, a floating restaurant, for lunch. Lunch was not included in our excursion price, and the Willy T. was pretty quiet while we were there, but the burgers and fries were hot & tasty.

 

After lunch, we started our sail back, but unfortunately the weather was uncooperative, as some rain squalls started to chase us. We wound up motoring back rather than sailing for much of the way. Carlson met us at the dock, and we paid our own way back to Road Town.

 

It was a fun excursion, with great snorkeling. Branson did a great job guiding us, and both Julie and Branson were good hosts. Shamwari itself is a retired racing catamaran, so it is a little cramped in spots and doesn't have the expansive open areas I've seen on other cats. The cockpit area is also kind of crowded, as we found during the rain squalls, and I don't know how comfortable we would have been if the craft had more guests on that day. If it matters, it didn't have a standard marine toilet, making due with a little plastic camp toilet behind a curtain instead.

 

All in all, it was a fine excursion, and we had a good time.

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I totally agree with burnstracy as far as choosing Tortola for your port for this type of excursion. We went with Gary from Kuralu and he was a fantastic host. I have not snorkeled off of St. Thomas, but I have attached a picture we took snorkeling off Little Jost. Soggy Dollar is not to be missed...and the painkillers are soooo good!

1666650104_U007.jpg.1e152f3d3f7d4c53aed94f7703a14934.jpg

633759233_U019.jpg.d9049fd315abb97d436a30dd78c227a2.jpg

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  • 2 months later...

We chartered Kuralu for our family when we were in Tortola on July 23rd. Gary and his first mate, Will, were amazing! Our whole family agreed that this was the best day of the entire cruise. We were only 5 so having the entire boat to ourselves was fabulous and luxurious! Will is a young guy and was so nice to our two sons and he even went swimming with us at White Bay! We made two stops, one to snorkel and the other at White Bay where we had lunch and then just played in the water. Sadly we were only in Tortola from 7 ti 3:30 so we only had about 6 hours with Gary and Will. We all wished it had been longer! It was my husbands birthday and Gary's wife even baked a cake for us to give him while we were on board (Gary had candles too!). They really made this day special and if we ever go back to Tortola we will sail with Gary on Kuralu again! Happy to answer any questions!

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We chartered Kuralu for our family when we were in Tortola on July 23rd. Gary and his first mate, Will, were amazing! Our whole family agreed that this was the best day of the entire cruise. We were only 5 so having the entire boat to ourselves was fabulous and luxurious! Will is a young guy and was so nice to our two sons and he even went swimming with us at White Bay! We made two stops, one to snorkel and the other at White Bay where we had lunch and then just played in the water. Sadly we were only in Tortola from 7 ti 3:30 so we only had about 6 hours with Gary and Will. We all wished it had been longer! It was my husbands birthday and Gary's wife even baked a cake for us to give him while we were on board (Gary had candles too!). They really made this day special and if we ever go back to Tortola we will sail with Gary on Kuralu again! Happy to answer any questions!

So glad to read this review! My family will also be going with Gary when we're there in November on the NCL Pearl. My only concern was about the timing and making sure we have plenty of time to do the "fun" stuff and still make it back to the ship without rushing.

 

Can you please tell me what time you were picked up and what time you returned? Also, did Gary arrange for a cab in advance (he said he would do this for us) or did you just find one when you got there?

 

Thanks!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I know this is late per the dates on this thread... but wondering about a half day sail for Dec 6th? and wondering if anyone might be interested in "Sharing". I almost think the more the better, as otherwise this could be too expensive, don't know. At my end, there would only be two of us ( my wife & I). arriving via Serenade of the Seas December 6th (8:00 to 5:00)

 

A friend of a friend owns the Golden Spirit Charter (they are from northern Indiana too)

http://www.********************/british-virgin-islands/tortola/tortola-yacht-charter.shtml

just search Golden Spirit Charters / Tortola and you'll find it.

and right now the link from the link above page doesn't work.

www.chartergoldenspirit.com So I've no idea of cost, whether they even would consider a half-day sail, already be booked, etc...

And I'd love to find a way to the Soggy Dollar as part of this....

 

ksaha (at) comcast (dot) net

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  • 1 year later...

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