A positive event and a lot of goodwill from the whole community based on the fact that ALL of the people involved went through a lot just getting back on their feet after Hurricane Irma and Maria.
The US VI charter yacht show has 65 boats on its roster this year with 55 currently in the Yacht Haven Grande marina. The show runs through Nov. 13. It is sponsored by the Virgin Islands Professional Charter Association, a non-profit that is working very hard at establishing more ease of movement for yachts wanting to charter in the Spanish Virgin Islands, as well as spearheading more moorings for yachts in virgin locations throughout the US VI.
Bernd and the crew serving us an incredible gourmet lunch.
Capt. Bernd and his wife Daniela are an Austrian couple who are operating their 53-foot catamaran, Shangri La, built by Lagoon in France. Daniela is a gourmet chef and Bernd is an experienced captain and diver. They met at medical school in Austria and although they migrated toward the charter trade shortly afterward, their medical training is a unique aspect of their story, and they offer a wellness/lifestyle trip, complete with blood pressure readings each day! This team has truly created a five-star experience with photos showing just a few samples of their talents in the kitchen. They also purchase a variety of French wines and serve champagne throughout the day. In order to recharge their own batteries, they take a one-month break mid-winter to do what Austrians do best – ski the Alps!.
Capt. Brian Saupe is a retired police officer from Los Angeles and Colorado and used his retirement savings to purchase his 44’ catamaran Altitude Adjustment. He lost his first vessel in Hurricanes Irma and Maria and using his savings he bought his current yacht. He is a captain only operation which he feels keeps his rates lower and he wants to cater to the middle-income sailor or guests. Brian is seated at his nav station with a replica of the volleyball “Wilson” which was a gift from the police force in Colorado upon his retirement. Brian said “I always wanted to do this and I keep my rates low and keep things simple because this is part of my dream and my retirement. Some people die with their dreams and I didn’t want to do that.”
Blue Gryphon which just pulled into the show early yesterday after a really rough trip from Portland Maine. The 83-foot catamaran Blue Gryphon will be plying the Virgin Islands all season and ultimately will be in the Bahamas and then Tahiti!
The US Virgin Islands charter yacht show featured yet another great opportunity to meet a couple who are bringing their expertise in yachting and cooking to the brand new 60-foot catamaran yacht Blue Pepper. The team features chef and certified Capt. Denise Melton and her husband Capt. Taylor Melton. The couple treated a group of yacht brokers not only to a gourmet lunch but helped celebrate the 50th birthday for Susan Restauri, who is from Annapolis, MD and is the charter sales manager for Waypoints. She was joined by other yacht brokers including Donna Romasco (seated) of Charter Yacht Solutions who is based in St. Thomas. The brokers all gave the lunch and its great team an enthusiastic thumbs up!