While in the Virgin Islands we split our time fairly evenly between the US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. We have a hard time playing favorites, but we equally LOVE St. John and Virgin Gorda and basically go back and forth between the two stopping along the way.
A quick geography lesson (that I am totally googling while writing!):
USVI: St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix
BVI: Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda along with over 50 other smaller islands and cays (Norman, Peter, Cooper, etc…)
Whenever we are in the BVI we are visiting another country, thus we have to check in to a main port with passports, cruising permits, etc…The BVI is gracious enough to give us a 30 day cruising permit and we are free to explore as we please. At the end of our 30 days we are required to check back out and return to the USVI.
The US has a nifty little system that allows residents to check-in/out via computer that attempts to make life a little easier. It can take the better part of a day to check out of the BVI, sail to the USVI and check back in – so in theory the computer system should be a bit of a time saver. It is a fabulous idea, but the implementation and customer experience leaves a little to be desired and we spend a significant amount of time grumpy at their online system. Nevertheless, it does help if we can get it working properly. 🙂
Last week we were checking out of the BVI to return to St. Thomas for a flight to Mississippi. The harbor is a little crowded where the BVI customs dock is located so we ended up just launching the dinghy and I ran in to check out at customs while Bo did donuts in the harbor waiting to pick me up.
ps. Yes, my backpack is as awesome in real life as it appears in this video. If only someone would start manufacturing attractive, waterproof purses!!!