If you kept up with me on Instagram, you may have seen that I was island hopping in the British Virgin Islands. Well, I am back now, with tan lines, sun-bleached hair, and lots of memories of living life on a boat for 7 days with family + my boyfriend. During the trip, I received a lot of messages about the experience and wanting to know more details behind the scenes.
We picked up a 45.3 ft Monohull sailboat and sailed it ourselves to 5 different islands around Tortola! When decideding which yacht charter company to pick, we went with The Moorings. When my Dad started sailing in the Caribbean during the 80's, he selected The Moorings and he still feels today that they are the best option for value, quality, and capabilities.
Picking up our Moorings Boat, Crowe’s Nest, was so convenient to get to in Tortola from the ferry. Once we got to the Moorings marina, we were greeted by friendly staff, was able to explore the marina stores, food spots and spa as our boat was being prepared for onboarding. When we were ready to board our sailboat, Crowe’s Nest, we had Captain Morgan do our walk-thru, and he made it fun and painless. Also, love that he was a Captain named Morgan, so awesome.
This trip was a great team bonding experience. Since moving away for college and living in NYC, I am not around my family as much as I was growing up. Being all back together, in a confined area, boasted our ability to work together and minimize conflict on the boat.
At the start of the trip, we had to keep reminding each other of the tasks we needed to get done before pulling up our mooring ball to set sail, but after a few days, everyone knew exactly what was expected of them to be able to depart. Before we knew it, we had our routine down!
DINING: ON BOAT
Every day was filled with a new adventure and experience. We would wake up with the sun and relax, eat breakfast, prepare lunch and get ready for the day before departing for a new location. We picked out easy options for cooking our meals, such as cereal, eggs, bacon, etc. For lunches, we had some of our favorite classic meals as a family, like beans & hotdogs, tuna fish sandwiches, and other cold cut sandwiches. The meals we cooked were affordable, quick and easy for us preparing and enjoying on a moving boat.
Once we released the lines from the mooring balls, we went off to sail for a few hours and see a new island! While sailing, it was fun to just relax on the boat and listen to music. To stream music and stay connected for work, we used Renport. Renport offers onboard and offshore 4G LTE WiFi packages, and we used the Surf 4G Router pak and didn't experience any issues. I am happy we picked the bigger Internet package on board because it made it easier to stream music and keep up with work.
We all took turns sailing the boat, but my Dad definitely was our Captain, leading us each day. Here are some shots of sailing around and catching candid moments together:
After sailing for awhile, we would go swimming, snorkeling or chill on the boat for the afternoon. One of the days, we went to The Baths in Virgin Gorda. This is my absolute FAVORITE spot we visited on the trip because of the natural boulders. We were able to swim to shore and walk all round the beach and to the boulders. The boulders lay on top of each other and have formed beautiful caves and small tidal pools for fish to swim in.
Also, during the day, there were lots of opportunity to read a book, tan on the boat, jump off the side of the boat, explore the beaches, and capture scenic photography. Since we were bareboating it ourselves, we could create our own itinerary and decide what we felt like doing each day.
FOOD: DINING OFF BOAT
Every night, we would go out to dinner near where we connected to our mooring ball. Our favorite spots were Pirate's Bite on Norman Island, Pussers at Myetts on Cane Garden Bay in Tortola and Hog Heaven Bar on Leverick Bay in Virgin Gorda. Each spot had different vibes, with amazing seafood offerings.
Pirate's Bite on Norman Island
Pusser's on Myetts at Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
Hogs Heaven Bar in Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda
As much as I love using points to enjoy hotel experiences, this was definitely the most unique, adventurous, bonding vacation I've ever been on. Living on a boat for 7 days is not always as glamorous as staying at a 5 star resort, but it's thrilling. Working together, finding new hidden gems on islands you can only get to by boat is exhilarating and inspiring.
If you're thinking of booking a vacation with The Moorings company, mention code "MDRN" to take advantage of current offers when you call or book your charter.
Have you ever gone on an adventurous vacation? Leave me a comment below! :)