We have gone fishing on charters in the Caribbean, Florida, Great Lakes, and other places around the world. It seems on every fishing charter while waiting for the first bite, the conversation turns to wanting to catch a blue marlin (or big tuna).
I’m sure that everyone has been wondering what’s going on with the British Virgin Islands….Well , right now they stand as CLOSED until at least September 1. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan to get out on the water while you’re here. And one of St. John’s newest boats, The Salt Deck, offers a unique experience in and of itself!
Looking for a day on the water while you’re visiting St. John? Well, Captain Jason Siska and his company, Island Roots Charters, is a great option if you really want to get to know St. John and her surrounding waters!
Captain Jason was born on St. John and has spent most of his life exploring our local waters and the BVI. A VI Fire Fighter and First Responder, as well as a previous contestant on the hit reality TV show, Survivor, we’re confident he’ll make sure you have a safe, informative and exciting day in the VI!
Now, let’s talk about this gorgeous vessel! Island Roots is a 32 foot World Cat with ample, comfortable seating for up to 12 guests. The extended Bimini is perfect for catching some shade on the rear seats while the wrap around bow seating is ideal for upping your daily dose of Vitamin D.
A state of the art Bluetooth stereo system lets you customize your soundtrack for the day. The swim platform and oversized boarding ladder in the back allow for easy re-entry after a perfect snorkel or float.
And as far as unique snorkeling experiences are concerned, Captain Jason and his team has you covered! Island Roots is ONE OF SIX tour operators with permitted access to the Coral Reef National Monument waters. That includes Hurricane Hole on St. John’s East End, voted into the top five places to snorkel in the Virgin Islands in 2020 by “Outside Pursuits.”
Much of the over 18,000 acres of protected, submerged lands within the National Park and Monument’s waters are only accessible by boat. The Island Roots team and Captain Jason’s YEARS of experience in our waters will definitely help you discover some new favorites to explore!
Looking for more than snorkeling? They’ve got you covered there too! Island Roots is home to an array of water toys! If you want to try your hand at kitesurfing, the boat has training kites for the beginners and they know some of the best spots to take you to catch the breeze. Looking to add to your underwater exploration? They carry Subwings for a fast underwater ride and lion fish hunting spears and lobster snares if you want to return from the day with a fresh caught dinner.
Cliff jumping stops and numerous land based excursions further extend adventurous offerings you’ll enjoy on Island Roots. If you’re a first timer at any of this, the crew, backed with years of in and on the water experience, will happily show you the ropes.
If you’re simply in search of a relaxing day of floating and sipping, you can do just that on one of Island Roots’ oversize pool floats. Zip out to Christmas Cove and float the day away with a slice of pizza in your hand. Or, cruise over to Coral Bay to do the same with some tacos and tequila from Lime Out. Between those and MULTIPLE land based bars and restaurants accessible by water, you can experience the fun of a day spent bar hopping on Island Roots without ever leaving the USVI.
Take advantage of their current summer specials! Contact Captain Jason today to customize your perfect day on the water with Island Roots for an unforgettable experience in the USVI.
Check out their website for more information or to book directly online or contact Island Roots Charters directly at 340-643-5000 or[email protected]. Want to keep up on their adventures? Follow them on Instagram and Trip Advisor to see the full guest experience!
Hello everyone and happy Tuesday! One of the top questions we get here at News of St. John is “which boat should I take around St. John” or perhaps for a day trip over to the British Virgin Islands. There are several great ones to choose from, but today we’d like to tell you about one of the top companies on the island – Sunshine Daydream Charters.
We introduced you to Sunshine Daydream Charters several years back when it began operating on the island. Sunshine Daydream Charters is owned and operated by our friend Rob Woodworth. Captain Rob is a Coast Guard licensed, 100-ton captain and also a certified Padi rescue diver. Sunshine Daydream Charters is consistently ranked on TripAdvisor as one of the top boat charter companies on St. John. It offers both half day and full day trips here in the US Virgin Islands, as well as full day trips over in the British Virgin Islands. And even better? It just added a second boat! That means you can bring twice as many friends or family members with you!
One of the great features of Sunshine Daydream Charters – in addition to its great captains of course – is the fact that it can take large groups. Sunshine Daydream 1, the company’s original boat, can carry up to eight passengers. Sunshine Daydream II, the company’s newest addition which just arrived in the USVI, can carry up to 12 passengers. You can rent one of the boats on its own, or both if you have a large group.
Both boats are World Cats which offer a stable and spacious ride. Sunshine Daydream 1 is 28 feet and has twin Yamaha 200 engines. Sunshine Daydream II is a brand new 2020 vessel which measures 32 feet in length and is equipped with twin Yamaha 300 engines. Both boats are sleek, comfortable, and have ample seating in both the sun and shade. Want to hop in and out of the water? Well both come equipped with a sturdy, three-step ladder making it easy to get into and out of the water. Because if you’re in the Caribbean, we know you want to take a dip into our crystal clear waters!
For those of you looking to stay in US waters and forgo the process of clearing through Customs in the BVI while saving some cash, you can check out several great snorkeling spots that can only be accessed by boat. There are a lot of great lunch stops in the USVI including Lime Out, located in Round Bay on St. John’s East End, or Pizza Pi, which is located in Christmas Cove off of St. Thomas.
Prefer to head over to the British side for the day? Well Sunshine Daydream Charters can take you to Jost Van Dyke – home of the popular Soggy Dollar Bar; Norman Island – a beautiful island with a restaurant and the famed Willy T.; Cooper Island, Scrub Island, Virgin Gorda and everywhere in between!
Half day prices start at $500 for Sunshine Daydream 1 and $600 for Sunshine Daydream II. Full day prices start at $750 for Sunshine Daydream 1 and $875 for Sunshine Daydream II.
Back before I was fortunate enough to live on St. John, one of my favorite days while vacationing here was spent out on the water. I would spend hours looking for the perfect boat charter, researching destinations, reading reviews, etc. Well today I’d like to take away some of the legwork for all of you and tell you about our friends over at Love City Excursions.
Love City Excursions is owned and operated by Joe and Katie Zachary. Joe and Katie are no strangers to the island, as they have lived here for more than 10 and 11 years, respectively.
Love City Excursions features a 33-foot World Cat power catamaran – “Catzilla” as they call it – which features high quality snorkeling gear for adults, pool noodles, fresh water shower, two large coolers, plenty of dry storage and can seat up to 12 people. It’s definitely one of the larger, private day charters. They even provide Painkillers, water and ice for each charter. The boat is built to handle the winds that sometimes breeze through here during the winter months, which makes it a very comfortable ride. It also has several comfy bean bag chairs to lounge on and is very spacious and comfortable throughout.
Love City Excursions offers full day trips in both the US and British Virgin Islands. They also offer half day trips in USVI waters only, sunset cruises, a water taxi service, as well as all inclusive private charters.
Not on St. John but want to keep in touch with the happenings of Love City Excursions? Well you can check out their blog in which they highlight stuff like rainy day activities and the top Virgin Islands cocktails. Click here to check out their blog.
I know I’ve said it before, but one of the very best perks of running News of St. John is the amazing excursions I get invited on. Take two Fridays ago – I was invited out on Calichi, a beautiful 53′ SunSeeker Portofino. I grabbed a friend and had a fantastic day over in the British Virgin Islands. And today, I’d like to tell you all about it. 🙂
It was yet another gorgeous day here on island. We met at the National Park dock around 9 a.m. and joined a few other locals on the boat. We were immediately greeted by Captain Ty, Connor and Charlotte, who almost immediately offered us a mimosa … yes, please!
One of the great perks of Calichi is that it includes open bar, a continental breakfast and an afternoon snack. So needless to say, the champagne and drinks were flowing all day.
After indulging in a few cocktails and checking into Customs, we head on over to Pirate’s Bite. After that, we spent a little time over at B Line on Little Jost Van Dyke. One of the great things about Calichi is that no destination in the area is really out of reach. Calichi can comfortably accommodate up to 10 guests, and it has plenty of seating for relaxing in the shade or on its huge forward and aft sun pads, so it’s a great ride wherever you choose to go.
So by now, you’re probably all wondering price… Calichi charges $2,395 for up to six guests. That breaks down to just under $400 per person, but it includes an open bar, breakfast, a snack and fuel. So as far as charters go, it’s a pretty good deal. Additional guests beyond six are charged on a per-person basis. So yes it’s a bit of a splurge, but it’s well worth it.
Some of my favorite days in the Virgin Islands are the days I spend out on the water, so needless to say, I get pretty darn excited when a new charter option pops up. I get even more excited when I have the opportunity to take a cruise around St. John on a brand new boat. Well both of those things happened recently, and I’m stoked to tell you all about it.
BoatDay V.I. is a newly launched charter boat business that’s comprised of two boats – Sol Searchin and Isle Mon. Sol Searchin is a brand new 36-foot vessel that was just completed in December and was designed specifically to accommodate BoatDay V.I.’s guests. At 36-feet in length, Sol Searchin can carry private groups up to 24 passengers, so it’s the ideal option for larger groups who prefer a private charter over a larger, group trip. They can, however, carry less should you prefer that.
Beside the fact that Sol Searchin is brand new and can accommodate a ton of guests, it’s also fast. Sol Searchin can cruise at speeds of 20+ knots comfortably, and I can attest to that personally. I recently took a spin from Cruz Bay over to Maho and it only took us minutes to get there … and I didn’t even spill my beverage along the way. Bonus!
Sol Searchin has plenty of room for both sun and shade, and it features an extra large swim platform and oversized ladder providing easy water access to all guests. Check out these pics and see for yourself:
BoatDay V.I.’s second boat, Isle Mon, is 27-feet long and can take up to eight guests. Like Sol Searchin, it’s also spacious and comfortable. Both boats are captained primarily by Kevin McKinney, who has more than 30 years of experience as a captain on St. John.
Both Sol Searchin and Isle Mon excursions include snorkel gear, and a bottomless cooler of water, soda, beer and Painkillers – yes, please! BoatDay V.I.’s goal is to take its guest “away from everyday.” I think a bottomless cooler of Painkillers can easily do just that…
Rates for Sol Searchin’ start at $1,200 for eight people. The rate increases per additional guest. Rates for Isle Mon start at $695 a day for six guests. That rate also increases per additional guest.
From what we’ve been reading online lately, it’s getting pretty darn chilly up there in the States. So we have to ask (although I’m pretty sure I already know the answer), how many of you’d like to hop on a boat and cruise around the US and British Virgin Islands today? If your answer is yes, and I’m pretty certain it is, then you’re going to want to check out this new boat charter available here on island – Sunshine Daydream Boat Charters.
Sunshine Daydream boat charters is owned and operated by Rob Woodworth, a licensed US Coast Guard 100-ton captain, as well as a certified Padi rescue diver. Rob moved to St. John about two-and-a-half years ago from the mountains of Colorado where he spent 20+ years living the life of a “professional ski bum” in Steamboat Springs and Telluride. In his younger days, Rob lived on Maui where he worked on large sailboats and also in the scuba diving industry. His love of the sea ultimately brought him to St John where he has been captaining boats around the islands for the past few years. In October 2015, he decided it was time to have his own boat, and Sunshine Daydream Boat Charters was born!
Captain Rob’s boat, Sunshine Daydream, is a 2010 World Cat 270SD with fuel efficient twin 2010 Suzuki 225 engines. She has been meticulously maintained with all new upholstery from bow to stern in 2015. Sunshine Daydream’s spacious open bow plan offers lots of seating for sun lovers, along with three comfy bench style seats in the stern covered by a large bimini that extends over half the boat for those of you who prefer the shade. There is a wide and sturdy three-step step swim ladder on the back, making getting in and out of the water very easy for everyone.
The boat has a huge dry storage locker to keep all of your belongings safe and dry throughout the day. Sunshine Daydream has a top of the line Clarion Bluetooth sound system to provide the perfect soundtrack for your memorable day at sea. The cooler will be stocked with ice and water to keep you hydrated throughout the day, and Captain Rob encourages you to bring along any additional snacks or beverages of your choice.
For those of you who’ve lived on or visited St. John for quite some time, you may recognize Joe and Katie Zachary. The couple has lived on St. John for more than seven and nine years respectively, and during their time here have been fixtures out on the water. Well today we’re happy to tell you that Joe and Katie have just launched a new charter boat company, and we’re super excited for the both of them.
Love City Excursions features a 33-foot World Cat power catamaran. “Catzilla” features a fresh water shower, a fully functioning head, plenty of dry storage and can seat up to 12 people. The boat is built to handle the winds that sometimes breeze through here during the winter months,which makes it a comfortable ride. It also has several comfy bean bag chairs to lounge on and is very spacious and comfortable throughout.
Love City Excursions offers full day trips in both the US and British Virgin Islands. They also offer half day trips in USVI waters only. The cost for a full-day charter is $750 and includes a cooler with ice and bottled water.