Frequent charter guests with The Moorings Jonathan Gration and Patrick Pearson took a well-deserved time-out from the cold Alaskan winter this January and brought their families down to the British Virgin Islands. Semi-active F22 fighter pilots, also flying for FEDEX and UPS, Jonathan and Patrick, along with their wives and children spent 10 days sailing the BVI and shared their thoughts on their recent charter vacation with us in their testimonial below:
Getting through the BVI protocols, while daunting on the surface, is really not that bad. And certainly, without a doubt, once you are sailing in the beautiful British Virgin Islands it was totally worth the extra steps.
Working through all our changes and BVI entry protocols with The Moorings was very easy. As usual, their customer service was impeccable and every time I called, The Moorings team was super helpful and knowledgeable of the changing situation related to COVID-19. The Moorings is the only charter service I will ever use.
The boat was provisioned and ready to go when we arrived. After a quick sleep aboard in the marina and pre-departure briefing with Julian, we were off the dock and into the beauty.
Honestly, we felt like we had the BVI to ourselves. Most days, we only saw one or two other boats sailing and in ten days, we only shared the anchorage a couple of times. It is truly a magical time down there right now and we feel blessed to have experienced the British Virgin Islands in this way.
We especially enjoyed the quarantine time—more tranquil. We viewed it as a time to enjoy the raw beauty of the BVI without any other people or developed areas. It was majestic to be in an anchorage and have the whole place to yourself. Truly magical.
The Day 4 testing process was quick and easy. 45 minutes round trip from Nanny Cay and we were back out sailing. Kudos to the BVI government and the people of the BVI. Everybody was so friendly and helpful every step of the way. (Note: For Day 4 testing you now return to The Moorings marina. The staff will arrange transport from there.)
Once released from quarantine, we took full advantage of our newfound freedom (haha). We enjoyed a great meal around the pool at Leverick Bay and the kids worked off some energy playing in the pool. We explored The Baths and had the entire place to ourselves. Literally, we did not see another human. And the conditions were perfect—Devils Bay was like a bathtub.
We sailed to Anegada and spent two days exploring there. Cow Wreck Beach is our favorite place in the BVI and Belle prepared an amazing meal for us. We all enjoyed a perfect day on the beach with delicious food and cold drinks. We even got to hang our shirts from the rafters next to the bar! The next day was spent exploring the island with a picnic lunch on Loblolly Beach (again we had it to ourselves) and then a fabulous sunset lobster dinner at Anegada Reef. Just wonderful.
We went to Jost Van Dyke next because no trip to the BVI is complete without a Painkiller from The Soggy Dollar. We anchored in White Bay and the entire crew (4 adults and 4 kids) swam ashore. My 7-year-old son even had a one dollar bill in his pocket because of course he wanted to fulfill the namesake. The staff even pinned his ‘soggy dollar’ to the wall. – Next to the Sandy Spit which we had all to ourselves. In years past, we were unable to get into the Sandy Spit because there was no room. Not a factor!
Final day was in The Bight after getting permission to transit the exclusion zone. We went to Willy T’s for lunch with the crew because we figured that was a better time of day to go with the kiddos (wink wink)… again, we were the only ones there and it was a beautiful day. Of course, we all jumped off the back deck platform—even the kids, who wanted to do it over and over.
Our last meal was at Pirates Bight and was absolutely gourmet and we had the best Bushwackers of the trip there too. Highly recommend Pirates. Seemed like most restaurants are open in the BVI and the food everywhere we went was superb as usual.
Overall, we had a magical time in the BVI. 10 days sailing and exploring on a Moorings yacht in the most amazing and beautiful cruising grounds in the world. Navigating the entry protocols can seem daunting, but there is a ton of information available from The Moorings, online, and social media to help you figure it out. It’s worth it! Right now is a special time to visit the British Virgin Islands and experience the magic and beauty with very few other tourists. Go for it!!
Jonathan and Julie Gration & Patrick and Noel Pearson
While sailing the British Virgin Islands Jonathan Gration took time to talk to Josie Tucci, VP of Sales & Marketing for The Moorings, that happened to be on her recent trip to the BVI at the same time. Watch the interview on sailing the BVI with children for the first time:
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