Quitting Corporate Life To Sail Crewed Charters In The BVI
Charter Luna, our 45ft Lagoon 450S, which arrived in the British Virgin Islands in March 2019. Luna’s captain and hostess, Nim and Fabiola share why they love entertaining guest on board their yacht on crewed charters in the BVI and are experts in the islands’ uncrowded beaches, quiet anchorages and premium dive locations. Luna sleeps six guests in three full-sized queen cabins and you can book now.
We chatted to them about their connection with the Caribbean, sailing epiphanies and why it’s all about the detail…
From diving to skipper qualifications
Nim is a United States Coast Guard certified captain and an experienced PADI divemaster. He worked in the IT industry before sailing full time. He’s been on boats since a young boy and is passionate about life at sea, sailing extensively in Europe and the Caribbean, including the BVIs. He’s experienced in open water and has crossed the Mediterranean, Aegean, Adriatic and Andaman Sea, as well as sailing transatlantic from Europe to the US. He has endless stories and is naturally hospitable and welcoming.
Nim said: “I grew up next to the sea and was always on boats as a child. I travelled to Thailand as a young man, got my diving certificates and worked for a year as a divemaster sailing the Similan Islands.
“One afternoon I was resting on deck, enjoying the atmosphere and magic of nature when a beautiful yacht appeared with a couple on board. I had an epiphany and realised that sailing my own yacht is what I wanted to do. When I returned home I got a job in the IT industry to fund my sailing passion and resumed my highly demanding offshore skipper certification.”
When your heart tells you to sail
“In 2005, I got my own boat and I keenly remember the maiden voyage and the feeling of untying the lines and sailing by myself to Greece and Turkey. Of course, I had sailed many times on a charter with friends and was also a member of a sailing club, but this was the first time on my own boat. I sailed in the Mediterranean often, down to the Suez Canal and into the Red Sea.
“The time came when I realised I had to do what I love, which was sailing and diving. We only live once, so I quit 25 years in the IT industry and went sailing. Two years ago, I picked up a boat in Europe, sailed across the Mediterranean and the Atlantic to St. Lucia to find adventure.
“I continued to Puerto Rico where I met my wife and Luna’s hostess, Fabiola, and we sailed together to Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas. We spent seven months sailing the Caribbean, including two months in the BVIs, USVIs and Spanish VIs. We have been doing crewed charters for a while on our sailing yacht and we enjoy it very much. We love hosting, entertaining, travelling and sailing so why not do this full time? We decided to buy a newer and bigger luxury yacht and we named her Luna.”
An authentic connection to the BVIs
Fabiola was raised among a family of serious cooks in the Caribbean and she began cooking from the age of eight when she was given her first recipe book. She loves to combine fresh, local produce with international cuisine she has experienced while travelling the world. Her catering experience includes exclusive parties and corporate events. Fluent in English and Spanish and even some French, she grew up on sailboats and holds a Master Captain license from the United States Coast Guard. Creating the perfect atmosphere on board is something she excels at.
Fabiola said: “My dad and uncles had sailboats and I sailed with them around the Caribbean from the age of four. At weekends and in the summer, we’d head to BVIs, St. Thomas and St. John. As an adult, I would sail over to BVIs with friends, it is a very popular holiday destination for boaters and a personal favourite.
“My family has a strong connection to the BVIs and we’ve supported and watched the islanders work hard to bring tourism back this year. Local people are happy again and the islands are as spectacular as ever, the beautiful nature is still there. You’ve got the white sandy beaches, gorgeous water and the islanders are amazing. No other place beats the island vibe you get there, especially for charter guests.”
Expect to feast on pain perdu, frittata, pancakes, huevos rancheros or shakshuka and fresh challah for breakfast. For lunch, enjoy grilled Mediterranean chicken, salmon burgers, fish tacos and ceviche before dining on Spanish Paella, steaks, fresh fish, seafood and Cuban-style grilled pork, marinated in citrus juices.
Fabiola said: “My menu reflects our heritage with a mix of the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Spanish-influenced food from my family roots. It also includes dishes I have learned while cooking with some of the islands’ finest chefs. I’m a keen traveller and always take cooking classes wherever I go. I shop at local markets for the freshest ingredients. I’d also like to hear about guest preferences so I can tailor the menu to suit their tastes. We’ll be offering homemade bread and ice cream. After all, what’s better than waking up in a beautiful location with the smell of freshly baked bread or chill out and cool down with homemade ice cream made just for you?”
Life on Luna
This wonderful catamaran features a hammock, towing tube, paddleboards, underwater camera, fishing gear, water skis, snorkel gear, kayak, underwater wings, swim floats and water loungers, tablets and bluetooth speakers. It’s kitted out with atmospheric lights underwater so guests can enjoy seeing the fish at night. It’s also the only boat with a subwing which enables you to swim like a dolphin and gives you a feeling of flying under the water.
Luna has three cabins with full-sized queen beds with good storage spaces. There’s a separate shower with a glass door and toilet, which gives that home-away-from-home feel. The teak floor feels luxurious and Luna’s crew is taking their time planning the fine details to create a warm, cozy atmosphere with quality robes, linen and towels.
The Lagoon 450S has many shared, big spaces, which offer many opportunities for relaxing. The saloon is nice and wide, while the cockpit is spacious. There is also a sitting and lounging area in front of the nets. Lounging bean bags will be available for the nets too and there is a lounge area on the roof.
Get expert advice
Talk to our team on 02380 455527 or email us today.