Business Spotlight:  Sail into the Season on Asante!

Business Spotlight: Sail into the Season on Asante!

Good Morning, Good Morning!  How is everyone’s holiday season shaping up?   We are in full-on Christmas cheer mode here in Love City with tons of extra special seasonal activities for all ages happening here on island this week (I’m tired AND overjoyed just thinking about it!).  Slim Man’s Christmas lights are up and better than ever and the parking lot across from the post-office is literally overflowing with last minute gift senders and receivers.  You know what other seasonally specific natural occurrence happens at just about this time of year?  You guessed it…The Christmas Winds!  These seasonally high winds (sometimes between 20 and 30 knots) traditionally blow into the Caribbean through the month of December, marking the true beginnings of sailing season.  Which brings me to the main topic of this story…Sailing Asante!

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Sometimes, when guests board the boat for the first time, they are astonished at the fact that we actually turn the engine off and sail!  We ABSOLUTELY let the wind guide our days which is precisely why this time of year, with steady Christmas winds blowing through, is the perfect time of year to SAIL with us!  And we are so grateful for these high winds during the winter months so that we can move more quickly from place to place, ensuring a spectacular time for our guests.

Sailing Asante

Speaking of gratitude…The previous owners of this 44-foot classic sailing vessel named her Asante, which means “Thank You” in Swahili.   And, when Captain Teddy bought it in 2017, he thought the name suited his attitude of gratitude at the time of achieving his dream of owning a live-aboard monohull sailboat.  So, he kept the name.  And that gratitude kept on going through the years.  We are so very thankful to all of you who have sailed with us.  Supported us.  And spent a day of your coveted vacation with us while visiting our home on St. John.

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THANK YOU- for sailing with us!

Today, I wanted to let you know about some updates we have made for this season, remind you of the all-inclusive offerings while on board and provide you with a few sample itineraries so you can plan accordingly for your next day on the water with us!

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We offer full day trips for up to six guests with two different time slots:  You can opt for either 10AM-4PM or Noon-Sunset for your six-hour sailing adventure.  Throughout the day, we sail (sporty like at this time of year!) from anywhere between Little St. James and Dog Island to Waterlemon Cay, depending on what your preferences are.  Every trip is private and fully customizable (weather and wind dependent) but not ALL of these destinations can be included in one day.  We SAIL the boat.  Which oftentimes means moving slowly and silently through the waves, enjoying the journey as much as the destination.

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On a typical full day trip, we offer a “One Day, Three Islands” itinerary.  To start the day, we pick you up via dinghy at one of four locations:

  • Cruz Bay Beach in front of High Tide
  • The Westin Beach (if you are a guest at the resort)
  • Red Hook
  • Lovango Resort + Beach Club

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Our FUR-st mate, Chewy, will greet you as you board while our actual first mate gets you situated in the cockpit where you’ll find a tasty fruit plate waiting for you.  She will take care of your bags and gear and grab you a cocktail, or some water or juice if you’re not ready for a Painkiller or Rum Punch quite yet. 😉 Then Captain Teddy gives a brief safety speech, with a few ice breakers involved, before raising a sail and leaving the harbor for a full day of fun!

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Snack time with the Captain and FUR-st mate!

Our typical trip begins with a brisk sail from St. John to Lovango Cay for a snorkel where you are bound to see some beautiful corals, tons of reef fish and maybe a few other special under water friends.  Here, the University of the Virgin Islands and Reef Response VI have teamed up with the Lovango Resort +Beach Club to create an underwater coral nursery in an effort to help our restore and regenerate our reefs.  Captain Teddy will be sure to point you in the right direction to take a closer look at these efforts before you hop in for your first swim of the day!

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Lunch stop with these views at Lovango Resort + Beach Club

After your snorkel, we head to your pre-selected lunch stop.  If you chose the fast-casual lunch option at the Sandpit on Lovango Cay, we’ll take you in to shore for a lovely meal in a beautiful setting.  If you opted for Pizza Pi, a steady downwind sail to Christmas Cove at Great St. James is next on the docket for the day.

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Enjoy a cocktail in the bean bags on the sail to Christmas Cove!

The new owners of Pizza Pi have added some amazing floats and a stern deck bar.  So now you can enjoy a “dine-in” experience at the iconic pizza boat!

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The new dine-in experience at Pizza Pi!

Or opt for Captain Teddy to dinghy over and pick up your pies so you can enjoy it on Asante.  A favorite lunch spot for our guests are the hammock chairs on the back of the boat.  Perfect for swinging with your feet in the water while you enjoy a slice of pizza and the view!

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The BEST place to enjoy a drink or lunch is the hammock chairs!

While at Christmas Cove, another snorkel is absolutely in order for those who love to explore the underwater world.  Starfish are generally plentiful on the sandy bottom at this beautiful location and you’re likely to also encounter sting rays and a variety of Caribbean reef fish as you swim along.

Here’s the thing about Asante…You don’t have to be all about the snorkeling to enjoy a day on the water with us!  Many times, some guests in a party will be enthusiastic about snorkeling while others would rather lounge on the Ocean-Tamer bean bag chairs on the bow of the boat.  A lot of times, the kiddos would rather stay and play with Chewy while mom and dad snorkel.  And sometimes, relaxing in those hammock chairs is just what the doctor ordered after a delicious lunch and a few Painkillers or Rum Punches.  Either way, there is a way for everyone in the family to fully enjoy their day!

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If you want one more snorkel excursion, the next stop is typically Little St. James where the reef is generally vibrant and teeming with life.  Upon re-boarding Asante, you’ll find a delicious charcuterie board waiting for you to enjoy on the ride home.

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If you have opted for the noon-sunset full day, after this stop we will sail through the sound into the golden hour and watch the sunset as we make our way back to your preferred drop off location.  Relaxed, recharged and ready for the rest of your memorable St. John vacation, we hope that you’ll look back on this day on Asante as the best one of your trip!

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Here, I want to mention a few things about Teddy, myself and the way we operate.  Captain Teddy has thousands of miles of off-shore experience under his belt on both Asante and other sailing vessels.  He has captained luxurious catamarans, water taxis and power boats and prides himself on keeping his guests safe and happy.  I have been on St. John for eleven years and have spent the last twenty-five years in the hospitality industry.  Between the two of us, we have a vast knowledge of St. John, the surrounding waters, service standards and the policies and procedures regarding preserving our island home and the marine life surrounding it.

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In short, on a day trip with us you will have fun.  You will learn a ton of amazing things on board while being pampered and waited on hand and foot.  And you will likely leave the day feeling like you have gained some new friends.  Often times, our guests disembark (with hugs!) feeling more like family than paying customers.  And they join us again for a day at sea each time they return to Love City.

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Additionally, we pride ourselves on supporting the programs and the organizations that dedicate themselves to preserving our precious marine environment and the creatures that inhabit it.  We donate sunset sails to Friends of Virgin Islands National Park and Island Green Living‘s annual fundraisers.  We recycle our plastic and our aluminum, sorting and cleaning it on the boat before taking it to shore.  And we lean heavily into the reef safe sunscreen mandates and will happily check the ingredients on yours to make sure it is safe for you and our underwater friends.  If not, we have some on board for you to use and will happily make recommendations for your future purchase.

The beauty of these islands and the surrounding waters and wildlife are reliant upon us to act as stewards and the Asante crew takes that very seriously.  If you’re new to visiting, we will make sure you leave your trip with us with all of the knowledge you need to be a responsible guest while enjoying the underwater life and the islands.  We want to make sure that the beauty we see now is here for many, many years to come!

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On to the last order of business…Pricing!  We have altered our pricing structure a bit this season to make private trips more accessible for smaller groups.  Our full day trips for two guests are just $700 (plus $100 for each additional guest)!  That’s six hours of snorkeling, sailing, snacking and sipping with fuel, gear, snacks and drinks all included on a private boat with impeccable service and complete customization (wind, weather and location dependent).  Gratuity for your crew and your lunch of choice are the only additional costs for the day.   You can take a look (and book) the pricing for full day, half day and sunset sails here.

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We truly hope that many of you will join us for an incredibly fun and informative day of relaxation and adventure with the sails up, the engine off and the best day of your vacation underway.  Head on over to the website to book your trip or text 404-408-9077 to find out more!

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Sailing into Cruz Bay at the end of a fun-filled day!

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