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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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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Ask in Advance to Have Hotel Safe and Parking Fees Taken Off Your Bill

I’ve had this happen to me before and it can add up!  This article, from Lifehacker, helps to bring items to mind for traveling.Hotel fees

We’ve railed against outrageous hotel fees before, but if you don’t have the luxury of switching hotels, ask the desk a couple of questions as soon as you check in to make sure you’re not charged for service you won’t use, like an in-room safe, or hotel parking if you’ve flown in, for example.

Staying in a hotel comes with its own array of fees and taxes, some of which make sense, but others can be tacked on with no thought to whether or not you’re actually using the service you’re paying for. More than once I’ve seen people review their folio well after they’ve returned home from vacation only to find that a hotel they flew in and took a cab to had then charged them a daily parking fee. Ask the desk when you check in if parking is automatically added to your bill, and ask them to remove it if you’re not using it.

Similarly, many hotels charge fees for the in-room safe, regardless of whether you actually use the safe or not. You can debate this one after the fact with or without success (since after you’ve checked out, there’s no way to prove you’ll use the safe), but it’s better dealt with up front.Hotel safe According to Wise Bread:

In most modern hotel rooms you’ll probably find a safe bolted to the floor in the closet or near the entryway. This safe is available to guests if they notice it, if they have something to put in it, and if they choose to use it. For most guests, I assume the safe becomes just part of the visual landscape in the room — like the dressers that no one really uses or the tiny coffee makers that make really bad coffee. But the safe is quite different from all of those other objects. Why? Because you’re being charged for it every single day of your stay. Typically, the in-room safe fee runs about $1–$3 per day, and it’s added to your bill whether you use the safe or not.

Avoiding getting hit with the safe charge is relatively simple if you act promptly. Upon check-in, scout around quickly for a safe. If you find one, but don’t plan on using it to stash your pearls, call the front desk. Tell them you won’t be using the safe and request that they deduct the fee from your bill (and then make sure they’ve actually done it when it’s time to check out).

 

Click here to read the entire article.

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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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