Chartering

I have mentioned how much Marie and I loved chartering in the British Virgin Islands. I would like to expand on that a little. One of the reasons we loved it so much was the islands. They are breathtakingly beautiful. This has to be one of the greatest cruising grounds in the world! Well, possibly some of those islands way out in the Pacific can rival them; I wouldn’t know.

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Another thing making it so pleasant, at least for us, was the fact that our charter parties were so darn nice—really great people. For most of them, it was their first visit to the Virgin Islands. And, not being familiar with the islands, they usually left their itinerary up to us.

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We took them to see our favorites, such as the caves on Norman island, and the Bathes on Virgin Gorda. It has been rumored that many years ago some lucky chap found a small treasure chest that had been secreted in a niche in the wall of this cave. I wouldn’t doubt it. I’ve read that the area was infested with pirates back in those days.

But, back to Virgin Gorda—how did those house-size boulders wind up on the shore of that island? Hmm. This stumps the imagination. Could glaciers, during the Ice Age, have deposited them there? I can’t think of another solution. Can any of you?

And Road Town, Tortola was always a popular stop. Marie usually treated our guests to lunch at Hank Milstray’s bar and grill while I did some low-key maintenance on Water Lily.

Hank’s was well known with all the charter boats for his delicious fish and chips, and his outstanding hamburgers. Even the locals flocked to his place at lunchtime.

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After lunch, Marie usually took our guests strolling through the quaint town. I don’t recall a single time that they didn’t come back laden with souvenirs. Occasionally, someone even lugged back a charcoal goose! Any questions about that one? If so, just ask me—or better yet—buy the book.

One couple, in the entertainment business, came with a friend. She was a dancer; her husband played the piano. One evening the couple performed for us. She danced to the music on our stereo while he mimicked the stereo music on his imaginary piano. It was excellent impromptu entertainment

George and his wife, Marie, sailed professionally, chartering boats in the Bahamas, then in the Virgin Islands. They then leased an uninhabited island, Little Thatch, in the British Virgin Islands, and turned it into a small hotel. After six years, they left the island and bought a lovely beachfront property on Jost Van Dyke (BVI) where they built Sandcastle Hotel and the original Soggy Dollar Bar. George is now the author of Incredible Virgin Island Adventure: A True Story.

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