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The Grand Oasis sailboat
Having spent three wonderful days on Tortolla acclimating ourselves to the warm tropical Sun Sunday finally arrived and we prepared to board the Grand Oasis, our chartered sailboat. The Grand Oasis is a 63' tri-marine owned and operated by Jeff Hurd and with a crew of two, Lisa the first mate and Mary our cook. Daisy, a black and white Cocker Spaniel, the boat's official mascot. At Noon, with our bags packed and Ronald waiting with his taxi, we headed to the yacht club to meet Captain Jeff and board the Grand Oasis.

Diagram of the Grand Oasis
Layout of the
Grand Oasis
The Grand Oasis at 63' is spacious and well appointed. As seen in the diagram (left) there were five staterooms, two located between the main hull and the outside hull on each side and one at the rear of the main cabin. Anne and I took the front stateroom (if you can call it a stateroom) on the port side. While it was comfortable it was not spacious. There was barely enough room to sit up in bed and sudden movements without thinking quite often resulted in bumping your head against the ceiling. The stateroom, located between the two hulls and over the water, was accessed by climbing in from the main cabin over the sofa or through the narrow outside hull. It was definitely easier getting in from the main cabin. Once you were tucked into bed a partition could be lowered to block off the main cabin area and provide some semblance of privacy. The two staterooms on the outside shared a bath located in the outer hull between the two staterooms. Jim and Cheryl took the main cabin, a more roomy stateroom, as a reward for Cheryl's hard work in arranging the charter.
The Grand Oasis at anchor
Grand Oasis at anchor
Stern of the Grand Oasis
Stern of the Grand Oasis
The gang clamoring aboard the Grand Oasis
Boarding the Grand Oasis
With the gear stored and everyone on board we prepared to set sail. It was an exciting time for all as we had anxiously awaited this moment for such a long time. Daisy added to our enjoyment by pitching in and helping set the sails. She was cute to watch in action. She barked whenever something was changed concerning the sails and often grabbed a line to hold it or pull it.
Anne and Janet enjoying a cool drink
Anne and Janet enjoying a drink while
waiting to leave the harbor
Anyone considering taking such a vacation needs to consider several things before committing to such a trip. First, a sailboat is a relatively confined space ... so you better make sure that you are very good friends with those you choose to accompany you. Second, you need to understand that there will be times when there is much to do, the choices almost endless, and there will be times where things are quiet and there is nothing to do but sit back and enjoy the world that surrounds you. This is what I called the quiet time and, believe it or not, it was very enjoyable.

The Grand Oasis, being a good size, was complimented by having the space to carry additional toys to keep us busy for the week. There was a small two-man kayak, a small sailboat, scuba tanks for diving, snorkeling equipment, the dingy and, of course, lots of space to just sit back and relax, soak up the Sun or just enjoy the wonderful views. Of course, there is also the drinking to be considered. Our charter included all food (except for nights we had designated that we wanted to eat in restaurants) and drinks. Being on vacation and having a good time while being exposed to free and plentiful drinks is something you need to come to terms with. The rocking and rolling of the seas while under sail does not necessarily bode well for the heavy drinker.
Activities to Enjoy
Enjoy the scenery of the islands
Enjoy the scenery of the islands
while sailing
Leave your footsteps in the sand
Leave your footsteps
in the sand
Have a fishing tournament
Have a fishing tournament
Go kayaking
Go kayaking
Relax in a hammock
Enjoy a hammock now and then
Chug a bottle of champagne
Enjoy a drink from the bottle
Go scuba diving
Do some scuba diving
Enjoy scrumtious meals
Enjoy a good dinner
Experience dinghy bottom for yourself
Experience "Dinghy Bottom"
Watch magnificent sunsets
Watch the Sun slip below the horizon
Do some rock climbing
Do some rock climbing
Visit histroric places
Visit historic places
Soak up the rays
Soak up the rays
Get wet
Get wet
As you can see from the above picture list, there are plenty of things to do. Boredom is not an option, however, there will be that welcomed quiet time, especially at night. What could be more fulfilling than sitting outside on a beautiful cloudless night and watching the stars. Being anchored on the side of an island where there is no light to obscure the night sky the view is beautiful and you are sure to see a falling star.

I failed to mention that the Grand Oasis was equipped with a radio, stereo, telephone, TV and VCR. I'm happy to report that we listened to the stereo occasionally but never turned the TV on. What a wonderful vacation we had!

With all our geared stored and everyone accounted for Captain Jeff began to set sail for the first leg of our journey, a short sail across the Sir Francis Drake channel to Norman Island. The day was beautiful and to finally find ourselves sailing the open waters of the British Virgin Islands was a treat.

Join us for the quick sail across the Sir Francis Drake channel to Norman Island ...
Map of day 1 sailing route
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Direct Links To Page

Introducing the "Merry Wanderers" | Tortolla, Prospect Reef Hotel and Cane Garden Bay | Full Moon Party | TheGrand Oasis
Sailing Road Town To Norman Island | Diving The Indians and Jost Van Dyke | Jost Van Dyke | Sandy Cay, Green Cay and Cane Garden Bay
Cane Garden Bay, West End and Brewer's Bay | Brewer's Bay and Puntinday Bay | The Dogs, Mosquito Island and Virgin Gorda
Diving The Chimney at the Dogs | Virgin Gorda | The Baths | Surprise For Everyone | Diving The RMS Rhone and Our Last Full Day Aboard The Grand Oasis
Getting Ready | A Special Time | The Party | The Party After | Our Last Morning