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Caribbean Tandem Yacht Charter Itinerary

10th Oct 2012
Photo of Caribbean Tandem Yacht Charter Itinerary 1/6 by Andrew Buys
Motor Yacht Miracle
Photo of Caribbean Tandem Yacht Charter Itinerary 2/6 by Andrew Buys
Underwater Wonderland
Photo of Caribbean Tandem Yacht Charter Itinerary 3/6 by Andrew Buys
Yacht Charters on Miracle
Photo of Caribbean Tandem Yacht Charter Itinerary 4/6 by Andrew Buys
The Caves in BVI
Photo of Caribbean Tandem Yacht Charter Itinerary 5/6 by Andrew Buys
Take me here!
Photo of Caribbean Tandem Yacht Charter Itinerary 6/6 by Andrew Buys
Caribbean Diving Vacations

Have you ever heard of a 'tandem charter'? It is when 2 or more private yachts are chartered by the same group of people but have too many people to fit onto one vessel.

As a yacht charter broker I have had the pleasure of arranging this type of charter vacation many, many times over the last 20 years and have assisted the clients with creating their own custom itineraries. Yet, it was not until last year was I invited to go on the tandem charter with my clients! So not only did I get to arrange the tandem charters and help in planning the itinerary I got to experience it first hand, too. The story below not only describes a wonderful yacht vacation, it is a perfect real life example of a yacht charter itinerary, one that we helped our client create.

I've put together our itinerary for our last yacht charter on board the super yacht Miracle. We are often asked if their are set itineraries that the yachts must follow and we always answer with a resounding NO!

A private yacht charter is so unlike the commercial cruises in that you have total control of what you want to do, where you go, when you go there, how long you want to stay, what you want your chef to cook for you and what you like to drink.  And, you are not sharing a vacation with 4,000 other people, too.

Let's start at the very beginning when our client first called to inquire about 'something special' for his wife.

This particular power boat yacht rental started 3 months prior to the actual charter dates. The client, Patrick Proctor and I have been friends for many years and he called to tell me that he wanted to spoil his wife Priscilla for her birthday. He had been considering a sailing vacation in the Caribbean Islands. It was one of their bucket list items and to take a British Virgin Islands sailing vacation did not seem to sit well with his idea of 'spoiling her'.

"What about a Caribbean catamaran vacation?" I asked.  You know, one of those modern luxury fly bridge catamarans for the trip; but that too did not seem special enough.

"No, no", he replied. "I want something bigger and grander, like one of those power yachts I've read about". Is this a charter you can arrange for us?  Of course, I replied. We are agents for charter boats of all types, sizes and destinations around the world.  OK, so we were set; it was to be a high-end luxury power yacht, and the rental would be handled by our firm, Barrington-Hall Yacht Charters.

So we are off to the races and after much consideration, Patrick chose a magnificent 115' yacht called 'Miracle' for his Caribbean charter vacation for him and his wife.

What he said next just about knocked out of my chair. "Andrew, I would like you and your wife Gaile to go on this vacation with us". Wow! Every time I think back on that day I am still floored by the invitation and his generosity.  So, if you accept, then you two will be on board Miracle with us.

During the planning stage, Patrick decided that he wanted to invite additional friends and family along on the trip.

As it also happened, it was going to be his son Julian’s birthday, so this was to be a double celebration. It was Priscilla and Julian’s birthday, so Patrick wanted to do something very special to commemorate the occasions.

He said "Here is what I plan to do. It will be Priscilla, me, her mother and dad, who were both 87 at the time and you and Gaile, all on board Miracle". But, I do have 3 dear couples that have all been our friends forever, and I wish also to spoil them, too.

I know that we are out of cabins on Miracle so it looks like we are going to need a second 110-foot luxury power boat. This group will includes 6 people - Julian and Marian (our son and his girlfriend), Hector and Ruth, and Jim and Marlene.

Now we needed to find another yacht to accommodate these six additional guests. There had been several boats that Patrick had considered prior to his selecting Miracle, so we just went back and looked at the other ones he liked. We discovered that the boat he wanted (Insatiable) was available and he immediately booked her for the same week.

So we were now set to do a tandem charter with Insatiable, a luxurious 100-foot power boat, and with Miracle, a 115' beauty. Patrick decided that we would take turns dining on the yachts with various meals taken on board Miracle and Insatiable. Both boats have their own private chefs as part of their crews and it was going to be a contest between the 2 chefs to create sumptuous meals to out do each other. I must admit that all meals were exceptional no matter where we ate them!

Priscilla and Patrick Proctor are an exceptionally charming couple and did not want any one of their guests to spend any amount of money on the trip; but all of the guests had to find their own way to and from the British Virgin Islands, a fair request.

So, we are all set. Yachts are reserved, all guests have filled out their preference questionnaire for foods, drinks and activities, flights are booked and now all there is to do is to look forward to the trip.

As an aside, it was quite a coincidence that I met the man who was the captain on Miracle while I was attending a yacht broker conference here in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The charter yacht broker industry was sponsoring a one-day seminar on October 14, 2012 and was for captains and yacht charter brokers alike.

It was while we were attending this seminar that we met our future captain.

At 12.30pm, a lunch recess was underway, and I was standing in line waiting to make my selections from the large buffet that was setup for the attendees. Standing in front of me was a man and his wife who I did not know.

I struck up a conversation by introducing myself and we chatted while getting our food. As it were, their names were Phillip and Carol Beamish. “Oh, what do you do for a living, Phillip?” was one of my my first questions. “I am a captain of a charter yacht named Miracle”, he replied.

Really?  “My wife and I are due to take a private yacht charter on board Miracle in just a few weeks time.”

What?  What a great coincidence and so began an excited talk around our up coming trip together.  I explained that one of my charming charter guests had asked my wife and me to join him for his wife’s birthday on board Miracle.

It was a good sign for the great trip that was to come.

 Finally, the day had come. We were off to take a charter vacation in the British Virgin Islands. We knew what a marvelous adventure this was going to be because Gaile and I had been charter captains on our own catamaran sailboat for 5 years prior to our starting the charter business.

Here's our itinerary and we had a blast. Every day was filled with friends, fun, fabulous food, tropical drinks and miles and miles of turquoise water and white sandy beaches.

Why your private yacht charter will be the ULTIMATE experience of your life?

Whether you enjoy a private BVI catamaran yacht charter, a sailing yacht, or mega yacht charter, these vacations give guests the following unique experiences:

1.  No other vacation can provide this ultimate privacy; guests can get lost in the islands.

2.  No other vacation can provide the freedom, no traffic officers here, no meter maids, no big city rules, no mandatory 9-5, no phones, no clocks!

3.  The ultimate place to bond with your children and your wife, family and friends. The children cannot go off for 3 hours with an instructor to do exercise, all water sports and island exploring are done with your children, and this breeds family bonding.

4.  Ultimate hospitality, fine wines from Europe, international cuisine, polite professionals to serve you and beds in cabins with silk sheets.

5.  Exclusivity. This entire vacation is set up exclusively for you, where you wish to go and what you wish to do

To enjoy the “ULTIMATE“ vacation or your corporate experience, you need the best professional yacht charter company. We would be proud to work for you. A private motor yacht charter vacation is one of the most adventure filled, yet relaxing vacation you will have in your lifetime. We are ready to guide you in undertaking this wonderful vacation.

A private motor yacht charter vacation is one of the most adventure filled, yet relaxing vacation you will have in your lifetime. We are ready to guide you in undertaking this wonderful vacation.

We have yachts available in the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mediterranean, Greece and all other charter destinations. Not sure where you want to go or you are not familiar with the best charter locations, then contact me via the trip enquiry form on Tripoto

Day One. Leaving the Fort Lauderdale Airport at about 8:00 am, Gaile and I landed at Beef Island Airport in Tortola, British Virgin Islands right at 12 noon, and eager to see both Caribbean power yachts. We knew that everyone was already on board their respective yachts at the Village Cay Marina dock. I had told the captain not to send any of his crew to meet us, because we actually lived there for 5 years doing yacht charters ourselves, getting to Village Cay Marina was easy for us to do. Gaile and I landed at the airport on time and walked to stand in the line at customs. I expected to know the customs lady, but 12 years had passed since I lived there, and new faces smiled at us. Getting through customs was easy; we did not wait long for our bags. We walked outside to look for a taxi and walked into Captain Phillip beaming with pride at coming to personally meet Gaile and me at the airport. “Hey, Phillip, how are you my good man? You know you did not have to do this.” “Yes, Andrew, but it is my pleasure to do this for both of you. Everyone is waiting for us to enjoy our first meal together. Blimey, mate; the entire party are very nice people.” Many captains who do power yacht charters are from Australia, and Phillip is a damn good one. The normal taxi trip went well from the airport to Village Cay Marina. Phillip told me the plan was to have a short lunch meal and then set cruise for Marina Cay. Wow, Marina Cay is my all-time favorite Caribbean Island. Yahoo! a luxurious power yacht for rent just for us; the excitement was really building now. As we got out of the taxi, the first mate arrived to pick up our bags, even our hand-held bag. “You are now with us, Andrew, so relax and enjoy the fresh Caribbean air.” We turned the corner, and I could see our friends waiting for us with huge smiles on their faces. With smiles all around and hugs and handshakes galore, we were all ready for our first Caribbean crewed yacht charter meal that was prepared
Photo of Marina Cay, Other Islands, British Virgin Islands by Andrew Buys
Day Two Waking up to very soft enjoyable movement in the soft queen-sized bed, my wife close and asleep as well, it was a little light outside, and I could hear the hooded seagulls calling in the distance. We were in paradise doing one of many gorgeous luxurious motor yacht charters, with friends. Let’s get up and start the day. My wife Gaile had also slept exceptionally well; I love this bed. I am up and wobble into the high-gloss timber bathroom with its silver and gold touches. I brush my teeth, wash my face, brush my hair and dress in a swimsuit with a T-shirt and go upstairs to breakfast, egg, bacon, coffee, and fetch my camera for shots when we go ashore at Marina Cay. We board the dinghy and dock back at Marina Cay. We wander into the Pusser’s Company Store and then follow the path to the top of the hill. The view from up there is awesome. Pictures taken at various places, we go back to Miracle and Insatiable for lunch, our majestic charter motor yachts moored side by side. Here we go; lunch is served. Mexican nachos plus all the sides: avocado, Mexican cheese, tomatoes and onions. Milk is requested to complete another good meal on board. Guests can ask for anything that jumps to mind; some have coffee, one lady loves tea, and all of us settle down to relax after lunch. Captain Phillip tells us he plans to cruise down to Sandy Cay, which is a small tropical uninhabited island in the sun, but it is a typical island full of coconut palms on a white beach, surrounded by gin-clear water and a small 100-foot volcanic outcropping. We took a charming walk through the dense undergrowth up to the top of a small cliff face, which looks directly down to the coral below. This 36o-degree view is a very good one to see, so bringing cameras are important just for that one shot alone. The walk back is just as gorgeous, but guests always need to take flip-flops, bug spray, and their cameras, which all of us had. Of course, snorkeling at every spot is something
Photo of Sandy Cay, Other Islands, British Virgin Islands by Andrew Buys
Day Three AAAH, another perfect night's sleep in paradise! At breakfast, the captain plans the day and the plan he has to meet the clients’ expectations. Small squalls are moving westward, and the cloud formation of the night will be gone between 10AM and 11AM. The warm day sun will evaporate all the clouds, and we will enjoy Painkillers at the Soggy Dollar Bar today. Two of the guests swim before breakfast then meet the rest of us at breakfast. After another wonderful breakfast, we are whisked off by tender to White Bay and the Soggy Dollar Bar. We wade ashore with our wet soggy dollars, so we'd better enjoy a painkiller at the Soggy Dollar Bar. While there we learned how the name Soggy Dollar Bar got her name. As the story goes - often the cruise ships would drop off guests here, but there is no docking, so all guests would have to wade in 2-3 feet of water, and that soft swell would wash up to their midsections, wetting swimsuits and any money carried by the guests; hence the name Soggy Dollar Bar. Whoops, then a short snorkel after their famous Painkillers. Back on board our power yachts, we change plans because of clouds, a few squalls and wet winds from the northeast. Captain says it is best to head directly to the Bitter End Yacht Club and its super calm protected waters. While traveling, the winds subside, and those winds did not affect us in any way either. We arrive at the Bitter End Yacht Club, drop the front anchor and tie up the rear to the dock. Insatiable rafts against us with fenders and ties up to the dock as well. Happy hour treats are served, with dinner being served afterwards. We are invited to a steel band “jump up” ashore. The band stops playing at 12 midnight; Gaile and I left at 10.30pm after a wonderful day in the Caribbean. The captain always has one crew member wait up until every guest is back on board both Miracle and Insatiable, so soon after midnight everyone is back on board Miracle, our beautiful crewed motor yacht
Photo of Bitter End Yacht Club, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands by Andrew Buys
Day Four Living on board these gorgeous and luxurious yachts is easy. We simply wake up the next day to a full breakfast being served, and then everyone heads to the barrier reef to snorkel. A good-sized nurse shark is seen nesting on the sandy bottom next to a large coral outcropping. Then we find 2 ancient cannons on the sea bottom! I get to pick up a mature conch with the animal still in its shell. I take many underwater pictures. We head back to the yacht for an early lunch so that we are ready in time for our helicopter ride at 3PM. Oh, here we go. We hear the flick-flick of the helicopter before we see a big dragonfly. The helicopter arrives and lands, sandblasting all of us until the big rotors stop. A smiling captain walked up to us and introduced himself to us, “Hi, I am Chris; let me assist all of you into the helicopter, which has 6 seats for guests.” Chris (the pilot) and I discussed a plan. As we took off, the gorgeous turquoise water and coral reefs began to show us how even more stunning they are from the air. It is very different looking down at the green islands and deep blue water, and the ability to rise higher above them is marvelous. Many pictures were taken, and I can see the buoy we docked at when we were at Marina Cay. As we landed and everyone was safely on land, I could see the excitement in everyone’s eyes and happiness in their smiles. They were so very delighted. “Now I can die and go to heaven” is what Ruth said. "Priscilla, now that you have enjoyed your helicopter ride, did that make up for not carirying one on board all the time?” When we got back from the helicopter flight, we all went to shower and dress for one special evening at the famous Biras Creek Resort. The resort’s ferry picked us up at our yachts and took 12 of us to their private dock. Crystal Clear (a private sailing charter yacht) was there, but no time was available to spend time with the captain and chef on board who are dear friends of Gaile and mine,
Photo of Biras Creek Resort, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands by Andrew Buys
Day Five Today, the yachts split up and headed in different directions, meeting later that day at Sprat Harbor, Peter Island, at about 1PM. Miracle went directly to Peter Island Resort for the ladies to relax by The beauty of BVI yacht charters when two vessels travel in tandem gives guests many more options, and here is a perfect example. The ladies wanted to do their thing and the men wanted to go to Deadman's Bay. Well, this is easy to do with a tandem yacht charter. The tandem charter is also perfect for the corporate yacht charter for corporate events. Insatiable had everyone on board who wanted to go see the famous Baths. They arrived at The Baths at 10AM and immediately set anchor. Nick and Cassandra (crew on board Insatiable) took the guests into Devil’s Bay, where the dinghy was attached to a mooring buoy. Everyone put on fins and masks, then all swam ashore, snorkeling as they went. Jim picked up 2 sand dollars 16 feet below, and then beached his body, taking off the fins and masks. Cassandra remained on the beach looking after the fins and masks while Nick took the group on a tour of the Baths. They all walked up a path to a restaurant to look at the views. Then everyone walked back through the dense undergrowth and back through the Baths to Devil’s Bay, where Cassandra was waiting. All (5 of the guests and 2 guides) snorkeled back to the 22-foot tender and dragged themselves into the tender. Jim picked up 2 more sand dollars, then boarded the tender. All of them cruised back to Insatiable, then they headed for Sprat Bay, Peter Island. We went to Deadman’s Bay, where everyone had lunch…wow. A special table was set up just for us on the band’s cabana stage (where the steel band plays). This cabana is on the beach between rows of coconut palms, with the turquoise water as a backdrop. The food and service was superb. The ladies and gents were all whisked away on a tour of the island. Many more pictures were taken. We get back for happy hour a
Photo of Peter Island Resort and Spa, Other Islands, British Virgin Islands by Andrew Buys
Day Eight Our last ½ day, so a hearty breakfast is served, and we are off to snorkel the famous Indians. This is a pinnacle which sticks out of the water from 55 feet below, and we circumnavigate this gorgeous coral garden, noting the different varieties of colored fish, the soft fan corals, plate coral, staghorn and brain coral. Visibility is 80 feet in all directions. The skeleton of a small sea urchin is found on the sea bed and now has a place on our display cabinet in our home. We tender back to Miracle, where lunch is served, and then we head to Village Cay Marina, our final marina. A few tears are shed saying goodbye, and we transfer to our taxi, which takes us to the airport for our flight home. Gaile says to me, “Do you know that was the most exotic vacation we have ever enjoyed?” Yes, it was the very best Virgin Island power boat rental we ever did. Thank you, Patrick and Priscilla!
Photo of Village Cay Resort, Nibbs St, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands by Andrew Buys