Our family vacation this summer was a sailing trip through the British Virgin Islands. My husband’s oldest brother, Mike and his family invited us to share a boat charter and set sail with them. They have two daughters the same age as our two teen children, so it was a good time to take this once in a lifetime trip with them.
For nine days we shared a 40′ catamaran with their family for a family adventure, exploring the BVIs, mooring at different places along the way. I wouldn’t say it was luxury by any means, but instead more similar to RV camping on the water. Although for me, being on that water in any shape or form is certainly a luxury.
Mike and his wife, Eydie, had sailed quite a bit before they had children, but soon that hobby had to take a back seat to beginning a family. When the girls got older they decided after some yearly trips to the Virgin Islands that they wanted to take up sailing again, eventually to sail the Virgin Islands.
The British Virgin Islands, among other wonderful places across the globe, offer boat charters (rentals) with or without a captain, as well as a chef, if needed. A couple of years ago, Mike and Eydie chartered a cabin on a catamaran with a trained captain and mate to see if it was something they really wanted to invest their time in. They were hooked.
Mike soon began the process of getting certified to be able to confidently captain a boat on his own. I’m glad he did. We were able to take advantage of a family member in the best kind of way. We split the costs of chartering a catamaran without the extra costs of a captain and mate.
In addition to our chartered boat we rented other water toys, including a paddle board that each of us took our turn with. Fun stuff! My son, Hank mastered it right away, and was paddling all around coves where we moored.
My brother-in-law, Captain Pumpkin Pants, checking our anchor.
We hung towels and other wet clothes out to dry. The best clothesline ever!
Our taxi during the trip was a dingy that we pulled along behind the catamaran. It gave us freedom to moor or anchor and then dingy in to land for dinner or more supplies.
A fun shower at one of the marinas.
The brilliant waters of the Caribbean always amaze me. Pictures never quite do it justice.
If you’re interested in the blue waters of the Caribbean, and have reliable sea legs, consider chartering a boat. As I mentioned before, boats of many sizes can be chartered with or without a captain, but I’d suggest if you don’t hire a captain, you or someone else you know become one like my brother-in-law did. Knowing the ins and outs of boating as well as the waters you’ll be cruising can make your trip a whole lot more enjoyable.
There are many companies that offer boat charters with boats of many different sizes available, but we chartered through Horizon Yacht Charters in the British Virgin Islands. If you have any questions about planning a trip like this, please let me know. I’ll be glad to answer what I can, or pass them along to my brother-in-law, Captain Pumpkin Pants.
Wishing you clear seas ahead!