Caribbean Sailing Chapter One

 

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This time of year my thoughts turn to the Caribbean. Enough of the cold wind, snow, ice, and winter misery. I have decided it’s time to take a trip south and I’m taking you with me! So, get your sunglasses, swim suit, and suntan lotion and let’s go. 

First stop – www.travelguy.info for the latest travel advice, money-saving tips, and purchase our airline tickets, check our passports, obtain travel insurance, and make our hotel reservations.

 

We will be visiting St. Thomas, USVI, Tortola, BVI, Virgin Gorda BVI, Jost Van Dyke, BVI, Norman Island, BVI, Peter Island, BVI and Saba Rock, BVI. These islands are east of Puerto Rico, the red dot on the map below.

Caribe

We will start on the island of Virgin Gorda (the Fat Virgin) in the British West Indies (BVI). We purchase our airline tickets for St. Thomas in the USVI and, from there, we buy airline tickets aboard a single engine prop plane to Virgin Gorda, that’s where the adventure gets exciting!

 The airport in Virgin Gorda is right on the water and as we begin our descent, over the water, there isn’t any land below us, but you see the water coming closer and closer. Then, at the last moment, we feel the impact and we see a dirt runway as the tires hit the ground. Welcome to Virgin Gorda.

 

Saba Rock and Virgin Gorda 2The customs and immigration area consist of a small building that will accommodate, maybe, ten to twelve people at a time. Once our passports are stamped we proceed outside to obtain transportation to the dock at Baker’s Bay, Gun Creek Landing. If we are lucky, there will be a pickup or two waiting for passengers, if not, we wait until a local needing some cash arrives in his car or pickup. As far as I know, there aren’t any “real” taxis. Keep telling yourselves “this is an adventure”.

We then proceed to Gun Creek Landing (about 20-30 minutes from the airport) down a winding, bumpy road. Once arriving at the landing we phone Saba Rock, our first destination, and request the ferry. Saba Rock is a tiny island off the coast of Virgin Gorda and has only one hotel. The island is only large enough our hotel.

Free shuttle boat from Gun Creek to Saba Rock - Picture of Saba Rock, Virgin GordaPhotos of Saba Rock Resort, Virgin Gorda

We will spend a day or two here. Saba Rock is a quaint little hotel used mostly by small yacht owners who want to get off the boat awhile before sailing off to another exotic location. We have dinner there our first evening and the next morning we have coffee and watch the boats as they prepare for another excursion in the Caribbean. After coffee, we catch the ferry to the Bitter End Yacht Club (just across the channel from Saba Rock, 5 min.) to enjoy a day of relaxing and soaking up the warm Caribbean sun.

 

After returning to Saba Rock and getting dressed for the evening (long pants and a casual shirt) we once again catch the ferry bound for Biras Creek Resort (pronounced “beer us”). We arrive before sundown and have a drink on their large outdoor patio overlooking the bay. There are hundreds of small sailing yachts in the bay with their bright white masts standing tall in the late afternoon sun. As the sun begins its descent into the sea, we witness the bay turning many shades of red, gold, purple and orange, beautiful)…then a 5 star dinner and return to Saba Rock for a nightcap, hammock, and the glorious Caribbean moon overhead. It is a gorgeous full moon (more on the “full moon” later in the trip!)

 

The next day our captain arrives with his 40′ Beneteau sailing yacht. This yacht is equipped with two queen size staterooms with their own head (bathroom to the landlubbers), galley, and two dining areas! Our captain is with his First Mate (his wife) who will, over the next several days, prepare the most delicious, eye-pleasing gourmet meals!

We load our gear, mostly swimsuit, t-shirts, flip-flops, and a toothbrush and off we sail on our Caribbean adventure. An adventure that will take us to unoccupied, warm, white sand beaches, beach bars made from driftwood, water activities, and a nightlife you might not expect!

Check back next week for Chapter Two of our adventure.

 

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Airlines and airports look to take the pain out of boarding planes

indexDo you hear “mooing” when you get in the boarding line?  Do you look for the guy with the cattle prod?  FINALLY, a chance to feel less “bovine” and more “human!  The airlines are looking to board passengers more efficiently.  This CNN article explains the current research being done to solve that problem.  What’s the most efficient way to board a plane? Rear to front, randomly or by adapting scientifically calculated methods?

Over the years airlines have experimented with ways to get passengers seated as quickly as possible, but only with recent technology have some real alternatives been made possible.

Research by Boeing showed that the pace at which passengers board a plane has slowed by 50% since 1970. Reasons might include a longer list of priority boarders and more carry-on baggage blocking the aisles.

Quicker boarding time means airlines save money; $30 for every minute saved, according to studies.

images“Planes make money in the air, not on the ground,” Jan van Helden, project leader for KLM’s “Smarter Boarding” program told CNN.

So, is there an ultimate boarding method? Not yet, but here are some of the efforts that have been made by airports, airlines and even one astrophysicist.

Read the complete article here.

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Create an Air Travel “Emergency” Kit to Survive Common Airplane Woes

Stuck1On a good day, you’ll get to the airport, breeze through security, get on your plane, and take off and land on time. Most of us know how often that actually happens, however, and have come to expect delays of some kind. While you can’t make the trip go any faster, you can put together a kit so you don’t get bored, hungry, or too uncomfortable when your plane gets grounded.

Let’s be honest: this is a first-world “emergency” kit. Most of us can imagine far worse scenarios than getting stuck on an airplane for an extra few hours. That said, discomfort is not required just because it’s the default option. With the right considerations and a small amount of preparation, you can make sure you’re good to go on most flights—both good and bad. Let’s take a look at each problem you can encounter and how a small change in what you pack can solve the issue.Stuck2

Lifehacker has some great ideas to pass on to you here.

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How to survive holiday travel

imagesThere’s not much good news for fliers this Thanksgiving. Airports will be packed, planes will have few — if any — empty seats and you might sit apart from a loved one, unless you pay extra.

During the 12-day Thanksgiving travel period, 25.1 million people are projected to fly, an increase of 1.5 percent from last year, according to Airlines for America, the industry’s trade and lobbying group.

That would make this the busiest year since 2007, when an estimated 26 million people flew over the holiday period.

The busiest travel day will be Sunday, Dec. 1, with an estimated 2.56 million passengers, followed by Wednesday, Nov. 27, with 2.42 million passengers. In case you were wondering, the slowest travel day is Thanksgiving itself, with just 1.44 million people expected to fly.

But don’t fret, there are some things you can do — in some cases paying a little extra — to make your trip more pleasant, or to at least buffer the damage if something goes wrong.

Follow this helpful story here

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Avoid jet lag: Getting a workout at the airport

exercise02c

There are many ways to avoid jet lag, from setting your watch to the destination time before you leave, giving you time to adjust healthy eating prior to  your trip, avoid alcohol during the trip.  I think the best way is exercise.  If you get your heart beating you can beat jet lag.  Here is an article focused on the subject:

It’s far too easy to become a slug when you’re on the road. But staying active offers business travelers an edge: the benefits of working out while traveling include stress reduction and an increased ability to combat jet lag.

Travelers passing through Canada’s largest airport, Toronto Pearson International, now have an extra advantage: an airport health club.

GoodLife Fitness, which has over 300 locations across Canada, has opened a branch in the Terminal 1 Arrivals area (presecurity), offering a 10,000-square-foot workout area, changing rooms with showers, towel service and luggage storage. No workout clothing? No excuse: Workout clothing and sneakers are available for rent. A daily pass is CND $15, or US $14.58. Hours: 4:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

“From personal experience I know what a tremendous difference it makes to my travel experience when I workout before I get on the plane, as well as my productivity and alertness when I land,” GoodLife founder and CEO David “Patch” Patchell-Evans said in a statement. “We want to make it easier for all travelers, coming in and out of Toronto Pearson, to be able to experience the same great benefits as I have.”

Click here to read the full article.

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Traveler’s Rights!

Travelers Rights

You’ve planned your vacation carefully, packed only the essentials, and double-locked the front door, only to find out that … your flight is canceled, the airline lost your luggage and your hotel room is not exactly what you expected. I found this article to be very helpful and informative! You do have rights. 

We have put together the best tips to protect your rights as a traveler, including how to get your luggage back, how to get your flight re booked and how to negotiate compensation when things go really, really wrong.

If you get bumped from a flight
Airlines are legally allowed to sell more seats than they have, to hedge against no-shows. Most passengers give up seats willingly in exchange for cash or travel. Because this is a problem that just won’t go away, the Department of Transportation has raised the compensation for passengers who are bumped, or, in DOT parlance, “involuntarily denied boarding,” and requires an airline offer cash on the spot to victims — not just a travel voucher.

But some passengers are bumped from their flights before they even get to the gate. You’re more likely to be bumped if:

Check it out by clicking here.

 

 

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How to Fit Two Weeks Worth of Luggage Under the Airplane Seat in Front of You

Luggage

OK, OK, I get it!  It seems impossible to pack for a trip in just one bag.  I found this article that has several ideas to help you “consolidate” and, perhaps, help you have at least one less bag to lug around.

Back in the day, checking your bag on a trip only cost you 20 minutes of your time after a flight. Now you’re lucky if it only costs you $20. With rampant theft, high bag check costs, and overhead bins filled to the brim, learning how to pack efficiently matters more than ever. With the right strategy, you can fit everything you actually need into the seat in front of you.

I hate checking bags. I really hate checking bags. I’ve had luggage lost, items stolen, property destroyed, and a myriad of other issues. After an incredibly degrading experience with checked luggage, I decided to approach every future flight as a challenge. I tested new ways to ensure I get my bags on the plane and, more recently, that they can fit underneath the seat in front of me if necessary. After four years of practice, I can pack for a two week week trip and fit everything into a tiny space. In this post, we’ll look at how.

Try it, and don’t forget to comment on the article.

 

http://lifehacker.com/5990659/?post=58357374

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Travel Secrets!

can't-keep-a-Secret

This book could save you hundreds of dollars on your next trip.  Here is what author James Steubing has to say about his book: ” I get so mad when I try to book a flight or plan a vacation. I don’t know about you, but the cost of a decent vacation is a lot more than I can usually afford, but I know we need vacations to recharge our batteries and enjoy one on one time with our family.

In addition to the outrageous hotel, airfare and cruise prices, you still have to wade through a sea of bogus claims, confusing package deals and tons of travel sites just to find a price you can live with. It’s enough to make you pull your hair out!
Well, after three years of exhaustive research, I have compiled a “tell all” guide that will show you, in great detail, how to travel for much less than normal (up to 50% to 90% off, sometimes even for free) and get more bang for your hard-earned buck.”

 Click on this link to find out more.

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Cheap Airfare

How to Get Cheap FlightsCheap-Airline-Tickets

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Airline ticket prices vary considerably day-to-day, from airline to airline. Where and when you purchase your ticket also affects the price you pay. Ticket prices sometimes vary so much that some people claim no two seats on the flight cost the same amount unless they are purchased together by the same person. Save money on airline tickets and find cheap flights by being a smart consumer.

Steps

  1. Look for deals online. Some will be offered through online auction sites, others through the sites for airlines themselves. It is a good idea to sign up to email alerts for deals that are happening.
  • Search online travel sites like travelocity.com, cheapflights.com, expedia.com, hotwire.com, farecast.com, kayak.com, and bestfares.com, etc. (there are also many more, new ones appear regularly online). Check at least three before making your selection, since fares can vary by hundreds of dollars.
  • Check the airline’s website. Before making a purchase on a travel site, head to the actual airline’s website. Sometimes, booking through the airline itself can snag you a cheaper seat.
  • Look closely at online auction deals. Some of these will offer very cheap flights because people can’t take a trip they’ve paid for and cannot get a refund. Just be sure to check that it is possible to change the ticket from their name to yours before purchasing though (there is usually a fee involved for doing this).
  • If you have them, use frequent flier miles when you can. Try not to be boxed into one airline, but take advantage of miles when you can.

Compare Rates Among Airlines

  1. Check out airlines known for offering cheap flight deals. They will often outdo their competitors but be careful to read the fine print. Many cheap flights mean no cargo baggage and lots of conditions on missing the flight (usually meaning you lose the flight if you miss it, and you have to pay again). Sometimes really cheap flights aren’t worth the hassles incorporated into them, so be very careful.
  2. Call the airlines directly as soon as you know your travel frame to find their cheapest rate.
    • Most airlines only offer a limited number of seats on each flight at their lowest rates and those seats usually sell out quickly.
    • Time frames and rate terms vary for each airline, but many advance booking discounts and offers are good until a week or two before the flight.
  3. Look to travel at the lowest class possible. This means no first class, business class, or economy premium class travel. You bargain-hunter, are stuck at the back in economy “fifth class”. But hey, if you still get there in one piece, a bargain is a bargain!
  4. Stay flexible on your departure days and times to take advantage of the cheapest flights. If your trip is less than a week, you may need to travel mid-week to mid-week. Many ticket deals require a Saturday stay.
  5. Book your flight well in advance of your travel time, after getting quotes from multiple airlines, if you find a cheap flight through a lowest-rate offer.
  6. Find a better price before booking your flight if the initial quotes are too high. Consider flying out of or into a different airport, as ticket rates may vary widely depending on where you depart and arrive. When comparing savings, be sure to factor in costs you will incur if you change airports.
    • Sometimes taking a bus or train for part of the trip and then taking a flight for the remainder of the journey is the cheapest way to travel.
    • If your plans include a car rental, rates at the alternate airport could provide a savings or an expense increase. You can usually find rental rates online by going to the airport’s website and following its links to local rental companies.
  7. In the United States, call the airline’s 800 number and ask for their lowest fare—without giving specific travel dates. Service representatives often don’t tell you about lower fares that are just a day or two before or after your target date.
    • When calling airlines, always be polite and friendly. Studies show service people will go the extra mile for you if you’re nice to them.

Find Last-Minute Cheap Flights

  1. Check the airline’s websites to see what deals they are offering.
    • When advance booking of a plane doesn’t lead to expected capacity, airlines often discount the remaining seats.
    • Last-minute discount rates might be available up to 10 days in advance of flights. However, the cheapest rates are often days before a flight is scheduled to depart.
  2. Look in the classified section of your local newspaper. Many airlines run ads that give prices on cheap flights out of local airports available that week.
  3. Call surrounding airports to inquire whether cancellations have made cheap tickets available. Ask to put your name on a stand-by list for future cancellations if the price is cheap but no seats are open.

Video

Tips

  • Explore various flight options. Sometimes taking connecting flights where you have to change planes, or one-stop flights where the plane make a stop along the way can be cheaper than a nonstop flight.
  • Cheap flights may be available if you redeem frequent flier point or participate in other promotional programs airlines offer.
  • Travel during slow seasons when airlines are offering cheap flights trying to fill seats on planes that are taking off under capacity. Cheap flight deals are commonly available in the fall and right after the first of the year.
  • Discount carriers like Southwest and JetBlue don’t always show up on travel sites, so search their websites directly.
  • For the UK, check out RyanAir and EasyJet. For Australia check out Tiger Airlines.
  • For New Zealand, Air New Zealand has regular deals such as “grab-a-seat” online; you can sign up to regular email alerts.

Warnings

  • If you have to be at your destination by a particular time, be careful about waiting too close to your departure time before purchasing your ticket. If you do not have your seat reserved a week before, you need to be there you run the risk of not being able to get a flight. This is especially true of flights to popular destinations and during peak travel season.
  • Always factor in the cost of getting to the airport and to your destination sites from the airport. Suddenly a cheap fare becomes very expensive when a very long taxi or train fare is added in some places!
  • Never forget taxes, departure taxes, GSTs/VATs and incidentals. And always read the fine print.
  • Be careful of midnight tick-overs when booking. If you wait too long to book your flight, prices can change as soon as midnight in your region or in the airline’s region ticks over. Bear this in mind when hesitating; nasty surprises in price increases are not unusual when delaying making a decision!

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Get Cheap Flights. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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United Airlines to install “skinny” seats

Airline-seats-on-United-Airline-Flights

It’s not what you think. The seats will not get “less wide”. According to the Los Angeles Times article United Airlines is installing seats not as “deep”, made of a lighter material, and would enable them to add an extra row.

Read the entire article here

 

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