Serious bareboat charter customers and first time Caribbean yacht charter sailors all agree – making frequent checks of the weather is the first step to a safe, multi-day sailing experience. If you are planning a bareboat charter vacation in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), there are several options available for accurate weather updates.
The first option is so basic and simple, but widely overlooked – call your charter base either via cell or VHF. No one has more of a vested interest in your safety – the charter fleet manager wants his Caribbean yacht charter vessel to come home safe and sound at the conclusion of your bareboat charter.
You can also monitor NOAA on WX 5 (out of Culebra) and 6 (out of St. Croix) on your sailing yacht VHF radio. The broadcast are cycled in both Spanish & English. Important note: double-check your sailboat’s VHF, as not all models have a WX channel selector. Some cruisers have reported the NOAA signal does not come in very well at Leverick; this is probably due to the surrounding mountains.
If you have a Blackberry handheld device, by far and away the most accurate information you can retrieve is a text message report directly from NOAA. Here is how it works:
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and paste the following into the body of the message:
After sending the email, wait about 3 to 5 minutes, and you will receive a new mail with the most up-to-date weather info for the British Virgin Islands.
Go ahead…try it now on your home computer!
Finally, if you ask any old salt who has sailed in the BVI, he’ll probably tell you the best way to check the weather is, “Open your eyes, look out your hatch…and smile!”
Tags: bareboat charter, Blackberry, british virgin islands, BVI, Caribbean yacht charter, Culebra, NOAA, Roadtown, St. Croix, text message, Tortola, United States Virgin Islands, VHF radio, weather, weather updates, WX