The Barleys are a pretty neat family. They’re originally from Florida where they farmed cows, peanuts and grass seed – a pretty unique combination if you ask us. They first set foot on the rock back in May when they came to check out a local business for sale. Since then, they’ve taken the plunge and are now full time island residents. They also happen to be the new owners of Sail Safaris.
“We had never been to St. John until the end of May of this year to look at Sail Safaris,” said Kellie Jo Barley. “We decided to make a life change towards a more simplistic lifestyle and embrace our dream of sailing and water sports when we came across Sail Safaris. We moved here at the end of June this year and took over Sail Safairs, making it our own.”
Located right on the beach in Cruz Bay, Sail Safaris offers sailing and snorkeling tours both around St. John and over in the British Virgin Islands. It specializes in taking small groups to out of the way places for unique experiences while its nature guides entertain and educate on species both above and below the water.
The Barleys arrived in St. John after searching for a business in the Caribbean that they could purchase for their oldest son Trey, 17. Both Trey and Kellie’s husband Eric love sailing, Kellie said, as well the outdoors, boating, diving and fishing. Everyone in the family plays a major part in the business, including Kelly and Eric’s two younger children, Colton, 16, and Amanda, 14.
“All of the children are learning every aspect of the business,” Kellie said. “We home school and feel it is important in addition to their learning to learn life skills such as marketing, advertising and web design, retail, business management, people management and boat maintenance. In addition to all that, they are learning sailing and snorkeling.”
The Sail Safaris’ fleet consists of The Dell Rose, a 40-foot benatau with state rooms and two heads, a beautiful teak saloon and a roomy cockpit; The Fly Girl which is a 27-foot stiletto a racing catamaran, the only one of its kind in St. John; and a variety of hobie cats. Sail Safaris has varying price points so to accommodate every budget.