Sailing the USVI’s

Day 1: After we land we grab a taxi amidst the chaos at the aiport and head to Compass Point Marina where Chris and Calla start organizing the boat and I head to the store for provisions ($750 later and we are set)! It is almost 1730 so we cast off the lines and motor around the corner to Secret Harbor beach for the evening and enjoy our first dinner on the boat. After just a few prompts Calla used the facilities (AKA: astro turf pee pad) we bought her on the back of the boat. The next morning we are up bright and early excited to start our day.

 

Day 2: The winds are howling (30 knots) as we head to Water Island and Honeymoon beach. It was a spirited sail as Chris would say as we had 10-12 foot waves and we were beating into the wind for the entire 1-1.5 hours to St. Thomas. Once we arrived we found a crowded anchorage with live music playing. We headed into shore for some playtime on the beach with Calla and shared a pain killer and a bushwacker drink (very boozy) before heading back to the boat for dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Calla’s First Sailing Adventure

 

My husband’s lifelong dream was to have our labradoodle (Calla) join us on a sailing vacation on our new boat. This sounded like a daunting task given my countless hours of research and the lack of clear guidance available, which is why I wanted to take the time to share the intricacies of importing your furry friend. The BVI vet was very responsive from the get-go and was probably tired of my emails by the time we arrived in the islands.

The number one thing I would recommend is to plan in advance as you will need to complete FAVN testing prior to your arrival (the results are sent directly to the BVI and your vet will receive a copy of the results). You will also need to make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date to include not just Lyme disease testing, but a two part vaccination (something we were not aware of until the last minute). The biggest hassle was having to mail the health certificate overnight to a USDA veterinarian along with all of your ORIGINAL proof of vaccinations for endorsement and ensure you have it back prior to travel. The USDA takes 24-48 hours from time of receipt, so plan on at least three days minimum before it arrives back to you. Also, don’t forget to include a pre-paid overnight envelope in the package you send or else it will be sent back “snail mail” and you could end up missing your trip after spending a lot of time and money. 

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Our Itinerary and Experience

Day1:

Left DC early in the morning and had a layover in the Orlando airport… Arrived in Marsh Harbor around 1330 and asked the taxi driver to stop at the grocery store and were happy with the wide selection of provisions (over an hour later we were finally ready to head to the liquor stConch Cowderore). The power was out at the liquor store and we had groceries in the back of the taxi so we quickly grabbed a few bottles of wine and a case of Kalik. Chris was encouraged by our taxi driver to try a beer so he grabbed one for the road and I was not a huge fan so on to the next liquor store for a case of Sands for me… We arrived at the boat and were greeted by Angie from Cruise Abacos who helped us unload our luggage and provisions onto the boat and we all agreed to meet back up at 0900 for our check out. Next stop the Abacos Beach Bar for our first vacation libation (I ordered a goombay smash and Chris had a rum punch). Shortly thereafter we headed down the road to Snappas for our first taste of Bahamian food and my love affair with conch began! We had conch fritters to start and I tried the special minced fish (amazing grouper chopped up with peppers, onions and a spicy sauce), while Chris had a grouper sandwich.