Sunday, January 12, 2020

Puerto Rico & Virgin Islands Yacht Charter

A bit of a twist to your typical Virgin Islands yacht charter.
Explore St Croix, Cuelbra, & Puerto Rico

Captain Justin Smith from the charter yacht KAI, a 70-foot Wellington sloop that accommodates up to 6 guests in 3 cabins, wrote to us this morning about chartering a different area in the Virgin Islands.

For the last few years, 2017 to current, I have been exploring the Spanish Virgin Islands, St Croix and Puerto Rico. I have enjoyed its less travel waters, secluded anchorages, gorgeous white sandy beaches with no foot prints, and awesome culture.

I have spent some time in Culebra. I have had the chance to meet with the dive groups, and spent time diving, and exploring the rarely travelled reefs full of life and color. Culebra, has one of the world's top ten beaches. Flamenco Beach is a long white sandy beach lined with palm trees and old military relics. The town is a little Spanish setting full of color and very lush. There is a small canal traveling from one side of the island to the other.  The canal is lined with fishing shacks, an old lifting bridge, and cute little bars tucked off in a lush mix of palm trees and mangroves. There are great hikes, and sights all over the island.

Culebrita is an amazing little island just next to Culebra. With yet again more five-star beaches, bubbly pools, and a nice hike up to a old brick lighthouse. The hike isn't very hard, and takes about 30 minutes. The view from the top is breathtaking.

St. Croix, is one of my all time favorite spots. Of the four years sailing the Caribbean, I think St Croix is my favorite island and anchorage in this region. When you come into St Croix you sail from 16,000 feet of water directly into 20 feet of water, and quickly turn behind a reef. The anchorage is normally crystal clear, with a sandy bottom. You can hear the surf breaking while laying in your bunk just a few hundred feet in front of the boat. It's usually very calm behind the reef. The town is sleepy, full of great restaurants, bars, and gift shops. A day can easily been spent touring the fort, visiting beer-drinking pigs, snorkeling the reef, getting lost in the rain forest, or driving around checking out the views. Some attractions are, the most eastern point of the USA territory monument, a huge satellite that listens to space, beaches, and more.

St Croix main harbor looking off the stern of Kai. This is amazing swimming and snorkeling.

Puerto Rico has endless adventures. I spent a month sailing the west, south, and east coasts of Puerto Rico 20 miles at a time. I am open to charters on the west, and south side of Puerto Rico, but I want to focus right now on the east coast.

I find Fajardo a unique, and sweet little spot. Marina Puerto Del Ray is comparable to Yacht Haven Grande in St Thomas. It’s one of the largest marinas in the Caribbean. There are rental cars right on property. It’s a 30-minute drive to San Juan airport, which for guests is an extremely cheap exit to a main hub. There's easy provisions for the yachts, and marine stores. 15 minutes down the road is El Hippy, a local waterfall with rocks toppled all over like the baths in Virgin Gorda, a swimming hole and trails. Rock climbing, sky diving, amazing beaches, and just about anything you can think of doing is close by.

This is a trip that requires an adventurous group. Groups that like to enjoy peace and quiet, more than four hours of sailing, and want to be active. The trips between the islands are longer than St Thomas,  to Anegada, or North Sound. It’s also exposed waters... “Real Sailing”. Kai is a large vessel of 70’ and a very able yacht for all the conditions. Guests must want sailing to be part of the experience.

Itinerary . . .

I believe for the best experience and the most dependable trip, would be to do this.

Day 1
Fly into St Thomas. Yacht Haven Grande marina to Water Island, Honeymoon Beach.

Day 2
Water Island, to Christiansted St Croix. This can be four hours or more of sailing, and fishing. Anchor off town in St Croix for the evening.

Day 3
St. Croix, exploring all day.

Day 4
St. Croix to Culebra. This is more then four hours of sailing, and fishing. Arriving late afternoon. Anchoring behind a beautiful reef just inside the bay.

Day 5
Culebra exploring.

Day 6
Culebrita exploring.

Day 7
Sailing to Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

Day 8
Fajardo, this day you would wake up in the marina with a pre-arranged car. I suggest a late flight, or maybe a local Airbnb. Many explorations in the area.

Thanks, Justin!

Charter Yacht Kai sails in the Virgin Islands during the winter and in the summer she heads north to charter in New England.

View Kai's online brochure
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