Chartering With Kids

Kids Jumping

Chartering with kids is an amazing way for families to enjoy time together, learn new skills, and play! With a crewed charter yacht mom and dad no longer have to worry about the days itinerary, transportation, sailing the yacht, or meals. The experienced crew aboard your yacht will take care of everything while you are on board allowing you to truly savor quality time with your friends and family. Here are a few things to make sure you bring along to enhance the charter experience.

  1. Journal. A journal is a fun way for your kids to be able to draw the fish, animals, the landscape they see each day, and write about their favorite experiences. By everyone getting involved and leaving spaces for photographs, a journal can be a great memento to put in the family scrap book.
  2. UPF sun shirt/rash guard. The sun is hot in the Caribbean and everyone is in and out of the water so often that a sun shirt or rash guard with SPF protection is a great alternative to lathering up with sunscreen every 2 hours.
  3. Toys. I am talking about a small toy that can keep your kids entertained while sailing from place to place. Each yacht will have an assortment of books, games, cards, and music but if there is something your kids specifically enjoy and it is east to travel with bring it along.
  4. Books. If your kids enjoy fish, pirates, clouds, or stars get your kids reading before the trip to get them excited about the trip. Bring along a fish ID book and Treasure Island (Normand Island in the BVI is the real life inspiration for this classic) to read each night after dinner.
  5. Sunglasses. Kids often don’t wear sunglasses at home but in the Caribbean they are important to keep their eyes protected. Additionally, with polarized sunglasses the colors will be enriched allowing them to differentiate between water depth and sea floor makeup.

Plantains! : Banana’s Starchy Cousin

sweetplantains1A banana is a banana. It’s sweet, portable and healthy. Not much more. A plantain, on the other hand, is a shape-shifter, its usage changing with every gradation from green to yellow to black.

To the untrained eye a plantain could easily be mistaken for a banana. It looks and smells like a banana, but if you ever bite into a raw plantain you’ll know it’s not!

Sweet plantains are a staple food of the Caribbean West Indies.  They are a common thread that is deliciously shared amongst almost every Caribbean Island nation.

So, why are they so popular in Caribbean cuisine? Plantains are versatile and very abundant. They are always ready for cooking no matter what stage of ripeness and are used in all different dishes from appetizers to desserts. It is a versatile fruit that eats like a vegetable.  Plantains can be prepared fried, mashed, boiled, stewed, stuffed, poached, grilled, roasted or baked.

These jumbo cousins to the banana are good for you too. Plantains are low in fat and sodium with no cholesterol. They’re high in carbohydrates and are a great source of potassium, magnesium, fiber and vitamin C.

So, what do you do with them?caribbean-twice-fried-plantains-recipe-photo-420-FF0309LATINA05

*Unripe plantain—can be boiled and mashed with a little butter like potatoes; or slice them thin and fry them up for plantain chips, grate them and make are nice for incrusting pan fried fish.

*In between stage—Steam and eat with poached fish. Or try a Puerto Rican favorite and make some tostones: slice them thick, fry them, smash them and fry them again… yum!

*Sweet ripe plantains—Fry, or boil and mash.

*Over ripe—the sugars are concentrated and fruity tasting; great for desserts and caramelizing or as the key ingredient in a  fritter or pancake.

*Plantain Leaves. Plantain and banana leaves are used interchangeably. The leaves are used to wrap around poach, steamed or boiled foods.

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Intrigued? Next time you are grocery shopping take another look at the giant tropical fruits, usually poised and waiting for purchase right next to their one-trick cousins. Because despite the fact the banana is a staple in most shopping carts, its starchy cousin is the family’s winner of the genetic lottery as far as the kitchen is concerned.

S/Y Green Flash

Green FlashWe recently sent the Pemberton family out on the yacht Green Flash and here is what they had to say. So happy that they had a great time and fit well with the crew!
“Leigh Ann – I hope that you are well. We have made it back safely to London. Our week on Green Flash was EXCEPTIONAL!! Arthur and Sherri McNary are owner operators and we felt like guests in their home. The boat was lovely and the food was literally 5-star quality. I cannot overstate how good the food was. Sheri could be a chef in a Michelin starred restaurant. We loved every single meal.
The boat had plenty of toys for our kids and the hosts were very patient and accommodating with them. Finally, Arthur is a great musician and entertained us with his lovely guitar playing.
We highly recommend Green Flash for your other clients. It is best suited for a family of 4 or 5, or one, or perhaps 2, couples. The master cabin is very spacious and the second cabin can accommodate another couple or 3 kids. It would be an ideal yacht to charter for a honeymoon or special occasion.
Thanks again for your assistance. We will be back in touch to discuss our next charter.”
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S/V Happy Time

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When it’s time for sun and fun, when it’s time for sailing and playing in the azure blue waters and balmy breezes of the Caribbean, when it’s time to be pampered in luxury by your own private crew, it’s Happy Time!

HT - BoatNew to the BVI charter scene for the 2011-2012 season, Happy Time, a 2010 Vision 450 catamaran, built in Cape Town, South Africa by Matrix Yachts, is an innovative, thoroughly modern, performance design and has been finished to mega yacht standards in keeping with Matrix Yachts’ reputation established by her larger cousin, the highly successful Silhouette 760. The genius and passion of her designer and builder is apparent in all facets of the yacht down to the smallest detail.

HT - Crew

Captain Bryan Roach and Mate Devin Silverthorne-Lillie are fresh new faces joining “Happy Time” in her second season and bring upbeat personalities, youthful enthusiasm and a great skill set to please and entertain their guests.

 Come find out more about this beautiful yacht and her crew here:

HAPPY TIME 45 Feet.
Sleeps 6 Guests in 1 King(s), 2 Queen(s)
Online brochure and Rates

We were highly impressed with this boat and her crew during the Tortola boat show and would love to put a group with them because you are guaranteed a “happy” time!

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Christmas in the Virgin Islands!

There is no snow, sleigh rides or pines waiting to be chopped down and decorated in the Virgin Islands. Yet, there is a wealth of Christmas traditions. Like many locales around the globe, these customs center on food, festivities and faith. Here’s a sampling of some of the most special.

Foxy’s Christmas 

To celebrate this most wonderful time of the year, we prepare a Christmas Eve Dinner and a traditional Christmas Day Feast. As is our customs, there’ll be entertainment, music, dancing and Holiday songs, both traditional and Caribbean.

 

 

 

 

North Sound, Virgin Gorda, BVI

Join the 11th Annual Holiday Lighted Boat Parade, starting at 5:45pm on December 24 at the head of the Bitter End Yacht Club (BEYC) channel. “Santa and his merry elves on the steel drums will be aboard Ponce de Leon leading the parade,”

says John Glynn, the BEYC’s vice president. Great prizes will be awarded ashore afterwards at the Christmas Eve Celebration for well-lit and creatively-decorated boats. This year they are adding an ‘anchored yacht’ category for large yachts. Sail, power, crewed charter boats, plus private boats all welcome.

 

 

St. John Music Festival & Children’s Parade

Celebrating its 4th anniversary, the St. John Children’s Christmas Parade has become a tradition with many of our island’s groups participating. It is truly a parade for all ages.

Starting in front of Mongoose Junction at 6pm, December 6th, Santa leads the torch lit parade through Cruz Bay, around the ferry dock and then up to Winston Wells Ball Field. Live Christmas music fills the air with our own children’s steel pan band and plenty of Reggae sounds. The parade route is filled with Christmas spirit as locals and visitors line both sides of

the street.

Upon reaching Winston Wells Ball Field, Santa will be giving every child in attendance a free Christmas gift.

A glorious night of free concerts under the stars in the heart of Cruz Bay at Winston Wells Ball Field

will follow immediately after the parade. The concert is starring 13 year old Jazz piano prodigy Matt Wigler and his trio, 13 year old Jazz trumpet sensation Tyler Lindsay and his band, and ‘the Diva of all Divas’ Ms. Maryel Epps.
So start a new tradition with some old customs here in the Virgin Islands. We’ll let your crew know exactly how you’d like to celebrate with your close ones.

Flow – Luxury Catamaran

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FLOW is one of our favorite new yachts in the Virgin Islands. She is large and spacious for large charter groups without jeopardizing quality or experience. If you’d like to share an amazing experience with your family or a group of friends, I’d highly recommend FLOW and her crew!

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5 spacious and modern staterooms all with en-suite bathrooms and separate shower space.

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FLOW‘s crew is a dynamic and welcoming team who instantly helps you feel relaxed and right at home. Donald and Audrey, married for 15 years, met in South Africa and have spent the last 4 years sailing in the Caribbean. Their great sense of humor, excellent hosting skills and vibrant zest for life promises to make your vacation an unforgettable experience.

If you are interested in chartering FLOW and would like more information please contact us for availability. Below are some links to her rates and scuba information.

FLOW 59 Feet.
Sleeps 10 Guests in 5 Queen(s)
Online brochure and Rates http://www.cyabrochure.com/eb/1450/xcayX/3548/1
SCUBA: http://www.cyabrochure.com/scuba/1450/xcay/3548

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The Wreck of the Rhone

Whether you are a diver, a snorkeler, a history buff or just along for the ride; the 145 year old Wreck of the Rhone is one of the rare treasures of the British Virgin Islands and should not be passed by! The RMS Rhone was built in 1865 and was one of the first iron hulled vessels powered by both sail and steam. She was the 310 foot Royal Mail Steam Packet Company’s flagship that carried cargo and passengers between England, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Similar to the Titanic 45 years later, The British Navy deemed her “unsinkable”, a ship that embodied the new marine technology of it’s time.

The Rhone met her demise in October 1867. The ship had just picked up it’s passengers and it was estimated there were around 300 people onboard, she was anchored off of Peter Island in the British Virgin Islands when a dark storm rolled in. Without the technology we have today the captain and crew were quickly caught off guard by a hurricane. They rode out the first half of the storm on their anchor. As the storm grew more fierce the captain was faced with a difficult decision: stay put or head for open seas. The decision was made to run for it as the eye of the storm passed over. This proved to be more difficult then they had anticipated as the anchor had become deeply embedded in the coral. Wasting precious time they struggled to pull up the large anchor and ended up cutting the chain. Finally, they raced for the Salt Island Passage. Valuable time wasted, the storm hit them at full force right as they approached the passage. The waves were estimated to be 70-100 feet tall and pushed them up against the rocks on Salt Island. The rocks pierced the hull of the ship allowing the cool seawater to rush onto the red hot boiler in the bowels of the ship. The unsinkable Rhone exploded into two pieces and found her final resting place on the sea floor. Only 23 people survived the wreck, all of which were crew members.

Today the Rhone is considered one of the best wreck dives in the Caribbean. The wreck is best done in two dives, one on the bow, one on the stern. The bow section is 80 ft. deep and still relatively intact. As you drop down the first thing you will notice is the beautifully encrusted bowsprit of the ship. Although most of the wooden decks have rotted away the iron skeleton remains, providing roomy swim-throughs for divers. The stern section ranges from 20-50 ft. deep due to the fact that it is broke up in many pieces and is a great dive as well as snorkel. The stern also provides a great swim-through into the huge propeller shaft.
The iron ship’s frame has become encrusted with all sorts of tube sponges, wire, brain and encrusting coral, anemones and more. You will find all sorts of critters hiding in the cracks and crevices such as crabs, green morays, huge lobsters (one locally known as “lobzilla”) and octopus. The Rhone is also teeming with squirrelfish and legions of snappers that love to hide in the shadows. Angel fish galore and turtles who love to stop and pose for the camera. Along with all of the amazing marine life that flourishes on the Rhone there are still vestiges from the era that can be spotted throughout the wreckage. A canon lies next to the hull, there is the drive shaft and huge brass propeller, a piece of tile from the dance floor, one single remaining brass porthole known as the lucky porthole which you rub for good luck, and finally a silver teaspoon perfectly encrusted in the coral which is said to belong to the captain himself!
In 1967 the Rhone was turned into a National Park and has been beautifully preserved and protected. If you would like a preview of the wreck you can watch the movie The Deep, which was filmed on the Rhone in 1977. So set your heading to Salt Island – it’s safe to say that the Rhone is the single most beautifully decorated wreck in the British Virgin Islands, a masterpiece of 145 years and still in the making.
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