TIM BARRIE: Hi Robert. I think the first thing
to do before we even start playing the video, is for you to tell us about yourself. I understand
you have a yacht or you skipper one. ROBERT: As a charter yacht captain, I’ve
been in the Virgin Islands for 13 years, and I’ve been chartering for 10 of those. Previous
to that, I did day sailing, but ever since I’ve been in the Virgin Islands, I’ve
been on boats, living and working. TIM BARRIE: Well I’m very jealous what do
you have to do to not have to work for a for living and do something fun like that.
ROBERT: Well, it ended up being a lot more work than I anticipated. It looks great from
the outside but there’s an awful lot that goes on behind the sales and just being the
real challenge. Taking people out for a vacation is kind of a fun part. The time where I don’t
have guest’s on board is where the work seems to really happen.
TIM BARRIE: Myself and anybody listening to this is going to be thinking, yeah, our hearts
bleed for you. ROBERT: Well, I’m not asking for any sympathy.
I made some good choices and they can do the same if they want. It does take a little bit
of sacrifice but it’s been worth it. TIM BARRIE: So in the in between periods your
out there, scrubbing the deck and cleaning out of the hull and doing stuff like that.
ROBERT: Exactly, yeah. All the maintenance and cleaning, and prepping and doing all kinds
of stuff, but that’s been a good learning curve as well. A lot of people could probably
go sailing but then, what’s required to keep the boat running is where the real learning
and challenges occur. TIM BARRIE: Yeah. I imagine their fairly high
maintenance aren’t they? ROBERT: They sure are TIM BARRIE: I have a motorhome and that’s
bad enough introduce salt water and that’s another dimension entirely.
ROBERT: It is. Kelly: Ignore that man behind the curtain.
TIM BARRIE: What does that mean? Kelly: The great Oz from the Wizard of Oz…
just like people going on charter they don’t need to know how sausage is made
TIM BARRIE: Oh, yeah. This particular video and vacation is just one experience of one
of your clients, is that right? ROBERT: It is. They were on their honeymoon.
He had a lot of go pro footage that he wanted to share, and so it was a pretty representation
of what a week is like, and a kind of ended up some kind of pretty good stuff. I don’t
have time to do it myself and my chef usually doesn’t either. So, what a guest can provide
us with is kind a bonus. TIM BARRIE: You mean, taking the video you
don’t have time to sit around and just playing video cameras and taking pictures.
ROBERT: Right, yeah. I’m on the job, I’m doing stuff so, you know he had plenty of
time and with only had two passengers. It gave us a lot of opportunities, so I was excited
by the way a lot of it turned out. TIM BARRIE: I got to say, it’s just like
what an awesome type of vacation, I mean honeymoons in a Caribbean yacht charter are always, I
think, a little bit traumatic because you want to do something special and it just seems
like an awesome type of holiday or vacation for a honeymoon.
ROBERT: Yeah. It’s ideal and they had a great time, lot of opportunity to relax and
then be active at the same time. You can mix it however you want, and they did a good job
of doing both. You know, she got any time to read, he loves to sail, then they both
would do things together. We went diving with the husband. It was cool. And it’s nice
to be reminded sometime just today, we were walking the dogs and some guests came by and
said: “Do you live here?”. I said : “Yeah.” They said, “Wow, it must be amazing.”
_It nice to be reminded of that sometimes, and I think this you know does that for me.
TIM BARRIE: Yeah. You can end up taking almost anything for granted I suppose. What time
of the year was it when, this week that they had.
ROBERT: This was the beginning of November. TIM BARRIE: Right. Is it kind of a good time
to do this? ROBERT: It is. There isn’t really a bad
time between the 1st of June and the end of November is considered a hurricane season,
but we’re very consistent in our weather and temperatures here. So, water temperatures
generally in the low 80s almost year round. Air temperature at the hottest is 95 in the
summer and 85 in the winter. So, it’s only about 10 degrees different from summer-winter.
There’s hardly any change other than the winds. Sometimes, it’s a little lighter
in the summer. Although this summer we had terrific wind, all summer. So, it’s very
consistent, which makes it part of why it’s such a popular cruising ground is because
you do have plenty of wind to sail on, and plenty of warm water all around, year round.
We don’t have what’s considered a rainy season at all
TIM BARRIE: I’m going to play the video a bit. So, just tell us what’s going on
and what the location is, you know anything that’s kind of relevant. Here we go. They’re
obviously in a canoe of some kind. ROBERT: Here, we’re in a kayak right outside
of the Babs right outside of Virgin Gordo which is a special geographical rock formation
with the natural trail around through it. And little pools, it’s a highlight of any
charter in Virgin Gorda. The Babs it’s very spectacular. It’s very hard to describe
each has to come and see house sized boulders with a natural beach trail that runs through
it and little pools of crystal water, and framed photographic images and stuff. It’s
a spectacular place, so only one of two places like it on Earth that has a geological makeup.
So, that’s always a highlight to go through there. I kinda save that until the middle
or near the end. After that, it’s kind of hard to top that it’s a really special place.
TIM BARRIE: Is it something you would typically just spend the day at, and hang out in, or
what would you typically be doing? ROBERT: For our purposes, because we have
the flexibility with the live aboard, we tend to go in the afternoon after 3 pm. It’s
kind of a small area and it’s a very popular destination. So, we wait until the day trippers
are out of there and then I bring my guests on and the light is better for photography
and so, from about 3 to 6 pm is what I found this sweet spot to enjoy that area, so that’s
usually when I try to go, and I follow that up with a sunset, a cruise for the rest of
the evening up to a different point on Virgin Gorda.
Kelly: you’re going to get at a part in this video where they’re walking through
the Babs and exploring the Babs. You’ll see a lot of the Babs in this video. TIM BARRIE: Awesome. Is this you? or…
ROBERT: No, that’s the guest and he is hauling in on the jib sheet. We’re underneath the
fly bridge, which is a very popular feature on the boat. Now, instead of just a small
covering we had a hard top, it’s lighted and it has
speakers in it, with music and stuff, so, and on top of the solar panels. You can’t
see it, now there it is. You can just see the underneath part of it there. So there’s
shade, and everything, and that’s under full sail there.
This is a 44-lagoon, is the make its a French made boat. Forty-four is the length, 44 feet.
It is an owner’s edition, so on one pontoon, those are also called amers .
TIM BARRIE: So, it’s a catamaran? ROBERT: Yes, it’s a catamaran. And one full
amer, it’s called an owner’s edition, so that is a suite with a head and couch and
a navigation station and a bed and that takes up one whole side of the catamaran and then
the other side is split into two cabins and two heads, a lot of catamarans have four cabins
and this one is sort of special, because the owner’s edition features an extended cabin
on one side. It has 2 in-board diesel, 55 horse Volvo engines, it’s got a fully battened
main sail and oversized genoa jib sail. Full galley and refrigeration freezer, solar
powered extensive house batteries, air conditions. TIM BARRIE: So, this is guy is getting stuck
in from the look of it. Was he an experienced sailor, or was he just having a go?
ROEBRT: He had been down as a teenager with his parents, and was an avid sailor. He was
looking forward to coming back, and help them sail the boat, so he really wanted to be involved.
The boat is set up so that you can do everything from the helm. I could single-handed if I
wanted to. But it makes it really easy for the guests to pitch in, if they want to. I
always offer, you know, you want to drive? You want to raise sail? Whatever you want
to do, I’m happy to teach you, or if you already know what you’re doing, then just
follow my command. TIM BARRIE: Yeah I do! If it was me I would
I would want to get stuck in. ROBERT: I’ll yell at you and tell you what
to do. Despite that opportunity, a lot of people are just content to sit back and watch
me do it. There’ll ask questions and stuff but he liked to stay busy.
TIM BARRIE: I can relate. I’m one of those people when, I go on a vacation, I’ll get
bored if I sit around too long, so I’m going to be doing something, so Caribbean sailing
vacation for me, is ideal because there’s plenty to do when you want to.
ROBERT: There is, yeah. And that kept him busy and he’s super happy doing that the
wife was more than content to read a book, so it worked out. I think it was a good choice
for them. They were kind of opposites in their approach to a day.
TIM BARRIE: I’m sure most people understand that. So, what are we looking at there?
ROBERT: This It looks like a place called The Fall in Jerusalem, which is right outside
the Virgin Gorda. It’s kind of a mini version of the baths, It’s also a dove location
and what I tend to do is set up there and wait until that at 3 o’clock hour, and then
zip over to the baths . It’s a totally isolated anchored, there’s only two mooring balls
in it. And so the most boats can never get there are two. I usually post up there and
we do a kayak beach, swim, snorkel, while we wait for all the tourists to leave the
baths. So, it’s a very convenient stop and it’s gorgeous. In some ways, it has an appeal
over the baths. There isn’t really a trail, so we have to
get over to the baths after that, but I always try and stop there on the way because it’s
a nice introduction to the kind of experience you’re going to have when you reach the
baths. TIM BARRIE: SO, is that the lazy bones wife
there just sitting back enjoying the view? ROBERT: Yeah staying in the shade again underneath
that hard top bimini, which is a newly added feature and a lot of boats don’t have that,
so it provides a lot of shade, it also has lights, and speakers in it for a stereo, so
that really functions as 11:42, extending our seating, and then you can sit without
getting all burned up and watch the action if you want to, so we’re really happy with
that, that feature there. It did not come with the boat, it was added on later.
TIM BARRIE: So, is that you at the wheel there? What do you call it? Do you call it the wheel?
1 ROBERT: Yeah, the wheel and the helm is the
technical term and that is me so we are driving along
TIM BARRIE: Oh that looks like fun. Oh, she’s doing some work, she’s doing something!
ROBERT: Oh, she is! She’s getting ready to help tack the sail over. No, we’re rolling
it up. She’s using that line, as you see the front sail, it’s starting to twist up
into a rolling furling. TIM BARRIE: It doesn’t look like she’s
working that hard. ROBERT: Now, this is, we’re coming in, and
my chef is out there with the wife, and we’re coming into an anchorage to grab a mooring
ball, so they’ve got a boat hooked in the front, and they grabbed a mooring line, and
then we clipped it to the front of the boat, and it’s like a quick way to anchor, without
having to use the actual anchor. TIM BARRIE: The thing to get over with this
camera is just so much room for them compared to monohulls.
ROBERT: Monohulls kind of living in a hallway and the catamaran is just a great platform.
There’s room for everybody and everything, so it’s really big advantage.
TIM BARRIE: Okay, so we’re now on a beach. TIM BARRIE: Oh, what was that? Some kind of
alien flying there. What was that? Oh, it’s a kite. No, no, no. I see what it is. It’s
somebody actually pulling it…pass.. ROBERT: It’s the kite surfer ..yup. This
is the beach at Anegada beach, and that is extremely beautiful place where you can see..there’s
not many places here in the Virgin Islands where you actually see the water breaking
like in a certain way and this is a surfable on a surf board, but it is very picturesque
because it’s surrounded by a reef. Anegada is a coral island, as opposed to a volcanic
island, so it’s totally flat, it’s pretty much at sea level, and then around it is the
world’s second largest barrier reef. And so, this makes for a really stunning view
from the beach where the water breaks, and just gorgeous. The sand is like sugar, it’s
white sand, very fine. Every bit is good as it looks, really. It
can improve. These are not digitally doctored images, that’s the way it looks.
TIM BARRIE: I’m so glad, I’m in Utah right now and it’s cold and it’s grey and it
miserable and I’m watching these pictures ugh!
ROBERT: I’m sorry. TIM BARRIE: Funny. So it’s a bit more of
an action shot here again. ROBERT: Yeah, this is a bit of a time-lapse.
It was kind of a stormy so I didn’t have any sails up, so we’re just motoring along
now through this kind of inclement little period. But it doesn’t last for long, as
you can see, it’s very isolated, if we do get rain, it comes and goes very much like
Florida here, why we rarely have to get inside and out of the rain for more than a couple
of minutes and then you’re back to the sun. TIM BARRIE: Ah, so the guys a bit of a diver
then. ROBERT: Yeah, we offer scuba diving on board
with no extra charge. Got a couple of favorite sites that we like to go to. This one is called
the Chimney and its dramatic swim through over up a great Dog Island. At this point,
I’m just telling him to go ahead because I’d rather have him get the shot without
me in it and so he’s going to swim ahead of me and go through this canyon, it’s called
the Chimney and it’s like entering an underground room. It’s really fantastic. The sun breaks
through like that and you get really down in there.
It’s a swim through. It’s not considered a cave, but you get the feeling of being completely
enclosed and the gap at the end is fairly tight, to get through but after swimming through
that, we usually go through a couple of times because the first time people are so excited
that it’s over before they even know what they did.
TIM BARRIE: The colors are really coming across well aren’t they?
ROBERT: Yeah, he has a red filter, which makes all the difference in the world underwater.
TIM BARRIE: Yeah. ROBERT: If you don’t have that red filter,
you’re not going to see very much. This is the trail that’s leading through the
baths, and this is the approach and the you get these boulders and this pool.
TIM BARRIE: Can you share their names, your guests?
ROBERT: My chief’s name is Maya and M-A-Y-A. and then the guests are Michael and Lindsay.
TIM BARRIE: Mike and Lindsay. So there’s two women out there.
ROBERT: The darker skin woman is the chef, my chef called Maya. And this is a little
rope banister that you can use to walk through the baths that rock’s a little wet, slippery.
And then here comes Lindsay. This room is the most famous part of the baths it’s called
the Cathedral room, because of the sloped ceiling right there.
TIM BARRIE: It’s just so clean, it’s one thing that jumps out of me.
ROBERT: Oh, I agree, yes. There’s not a speck of litter anywhere.
TIM BARRIE: There are just natural garbage from the sea.
ROBERT: Yes, stuff like that. There’s very good flow and drainage there, keeps it really
pristine. TIM BARRIE: SO, what do you call this room?
ROBERT: Now, this is the main salon and this is where the galley is and the main dining
room table which we moved inside for this time. Generally, that table is out in the
cockpit, out where you can sit outside underneath the roof. Today, it looks like we’re having
a meal or appetizers. It looks like champagne toast inside today.
TIM BARRIE: It’s very nice. ROBERT: It’s a nice day. I think we just
put this little table out because we just had two guests, and that makes that outside
seating area in the cockpit easier to get around. But those tables can switch out to
where there’s just a little cocktail table inside and then we can put a big table outside
if we have six diners or eight. TIM BARRIE: Again, I have observed how roomy
it is, having down a bit sailing on a monohull, I mean that really jumps out of me. Just seems
so luxurious by comparison. ROBERT: Yeah it is. You know, for a 44ft boat
that’s not a ___18:52, particularly long by any stretch. You know compared monohulls
and stuff, but because of the cat design, it just …
TIM BARRIE: Oh yeah the boat that I mostly sailed on was a 45-foot monohull compared
to this, it was cramped. ROBERT: Yeah, they are narrow, the beam across
on here is probably 24 feet and on most monohulls half of that or less I would think.
There’s a little barbeque back there by the cooler. So we grill out when the menu
dictates. We’re doing a little bit of trolling here, for wahoo or mahi-mahi. Doing little
fishing, trying to catch some dinner. TIM BARRIE: Why do you call it trolling?
ROBERT: You’re set to lure out and then you drive the boat so you’re not casting
and reeling it in all the time. You’re just dragging bait 19:45 behind the boat that’s
called trolling. TIM BARRIE: Okay. Did you catch anything?
ROBERT: We do. We catch Mahi-mahi’s popular local fish, will catch dolphin. Well actually
dolphin is another name for Mahi-mahi so most people don’t like to say you’re catching
dolphin. TIM BARRIE: Yeah. You don’t literally mean
you’re fishing dolphin? ROBERT: Oh, no, no! It’s just a dolphin
fish, so Mahi-mahi is the preferred term for that. The fish is so nice they named it twice.
There’s also wahoo. We catch Barracuda sometimes, we don’t eat those, but as a sport fish,
you can catch Barracuda also mackerel. Yes, we catch mackerel too.
TIM BARRIE: When we were sailing, we went diving and caught some octopus, can you do
that there? ROBERT: they’re really rare here and the
fishing licenses are very restricted, you have to stick with fish, you can’t do anything
like lobsters or octopus that those are highly restricted and protected. This looks like
the White Bay at Jost Van Dyke and it’s used to be a party beach. And that’s White
Beach Bay, probably the prettiest water in the entire British Virgin Islands.
TIM BARRIE: Looks like some kind of meal going down here.
ROBERT: I think this is a roasted chicken. They’re having an early Thanksgiving. That
looks like just appetizer, There’s some baked brie, homemade crostini fruit, and that
I think is over at the Great Dog..I think that’s a shot where we did the Chimney,
the underwater dive portion. That’s what it looks like on the surface. That’s White
Bay again Jost Van Dyke. Lindsay and Michael, I love that shot of him jumping off the back
into the water there. That’s cool too. Crystal clear water.
TIM BARRIE: Snorkeling? ROBERT: Well, there’s a sea turtle here.
TIM BARRIE: Awesome! Are they common or is that quite unusual to see that?
ROBERT: WE see a lot of those and he had all of these just with the snorkel, this wasn’t
with the scuba tank. It’s really shallow over a White Bay.
TIM BARRIE: That’s the video. ROBERT: I think that once you’re bored,
you don’t have to think anymore. You know all the meals are provided, all the activities,
you’re given a choice of what you want to do, how you and your day to go, what you want
with your coffee, what do you want for after dinner drinks, I mean, so it’s nice that
you have input in how this Caribbean vacation goes. Not regimented, but I make a lot of
recommendations and after a couple of days, usually I get a vibe for what people expect
and what they prefer. Some people really like beaches, and there’s plenty of those, some
people really want to be active in scuba diving, kayaking, aspects, so it’s a way to sort
of tailor your vacation without being locked in.
TIM BARRIE: When I went on a sailing vacation something along the lines, one of the things
I remember, that I guess is very hard to get on film, is at night. There are pretty lights
and you can see the sky, you can see the stars and it’s just a different experience, especially
living in a city. ROBERT: Oh, it’s terrific. You can lay there
and just…we have shooting star contest, how many we can get in an hour, It’s absolutely
gorgeous. TIM BARRIE: There’s light pollution there
or you get good deal with the sky? ROBERT: There’s zero light pollution here.
The sky is just a bowl of stars, I mean, from horizon to horizon, it’s fantastic.
TIM BARRIE: And if you’ve always lived in a city, you probably never appreciate, just
how spectacular it is. ROBERT: Yeah. That’s a big surprise to a
lot of people when they get out here, and they’re like, ah I’ve never seen this
skyline before. TIM BARRIE: That will really be stacked in
my mind. In the evenings, do you typically, would you ever moor somewhere when you’re
actually in the marina or anything where there is star? Or you typically just off the shore
a little bit. How does that work? What do you typically do?
ROBERT: In most cases, there’s a choice. We can either do an isolated anchorage or
we can go where there are other boats and bars and sure action. So it’s kind of up
to the guests but the others always got availability to get to shore and have some nightlife, some
dancing or if they prefer, we can go where there’s very few boats around and you wouldn’t
even know that there’s any other boats unless you were looking for them. So, it’s a nice
itinerary where you can do either thing or you can do both, some nights on shore, and
then other nights, they just want to relax and eat with their own group.
TIM BARRIE: That’s what I remember is just some nights she spent where there’s lot
of activity and then another night you want to have a really quiet totally pitch black
kind of a night and that’s kind of awesome experience as well.
ROBERT: Yeah, it’s fun when we turn off the lights out on a boat at night, and just
say hey let’s do a little stargazing and head up to the front with a cocktail and enjoy
that. It just doesn’t happen day to day with your life in the States, and your jobs
and stuff like that. Those events I think become really unique without a lot of effort.
TIM BARRIE: So you get the phosphorescence there? If You jump in the water at night?
ROBERT: We do. And that’s been looking pretty good, It’s very unpredictable, so it kind
of depends on the anchorage, and the time of the year. That is something that we do
at night, snorkel at the cave, in Norman Island and that’s my favorite time to look at that.
At other times, you can just drop your foot off the boat and swish it around and see that
glow as well. You have to experience it. You can also turn up the lights in your bathroom
and flush the toilet and see it that way too. TIM BARRIE: That’s awesome! Have we just
have covered everything now? ROBERT: I think we have. Terrific, well…
TIM BARRIE: Very, very, very good. Say thanks to Robert for me. Good job.
KELLY: Robert, good job.