Thursday, April 26, 2012

About Traveling with Boat - Some experiences from BVI

Piaw's blog about visiting BVI ( caught a lot of attention from his friends. Sometime, people even come to ask me about the experiences to verify if it is really great and worthwhile for a visit.  Most time people show interests and passion to go but are afraid of being bored on a boat all the time.

For me, one week is pretty doable.  For the longer stay, I would like to plan well in advance to spend more time on land during the day. It may sound a little crazy to stay on a boat for one week or longer, but the truth is that one don't really stay on the boat that long during the trip.

For example, an aggressive schedule of a day could look like:
7am: get up, prepare breakfast, and have breakfast while the boat is moving to the next site.
around 9am or 10am: get to the site that could be a beach or a diving place, do some swimming, snorkeling, diving, walking around beach. After these activities, it is near noon.
around noon: have a light lunch, prepare to go to the next site.
2pm: arrive a new site, if one still feels energetic, go swimming, etc. if not, have a tea or drink on the beach, do some reading, or just lie on the beach bathing in the sun, or do leisurely walking. If it is a seasonable size island, one also can hang out around the bar, shops,  do some grocery shopping, laundry etc.
6pm: start to prepare dinner on the boat and have dinner while watching terrific sunsets.
8pm: while watching the moon rising,  have some fun talking at the starry night.This ends of the day.

For a more leisurely and family-oriented day, one can plan to visit one island a day or spend two days on one island. It will still be a lot of fun by doing swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, board paddling, bathing in the sun on the beach, walking on the beach to see the sunset. The good thing to visit with a boat instead of a cruise ship is that you will have the feeling that the whole beach is just yours. It is so tranquil, that is the vacation one dreams. As the cruise ship doesn't go to those small islands or small beaches. Even going to a popular place, with a boat you can plan well to arrive earlier to avoid the big crowd.

While traveling with the boat, the feeling of on the boat is just the time while sailing that is just 2 or 4 hours a day. At night, at least for me, I don't have any trouble to fall asleep at all. The bed is cozy, but I like it as it is firm. Also as I have done so much activities during the day, I have a sound sleep every night.

One thing that really bothers me is the bad smell of the toilet on the boat. The shower space is small too. I hate to do push up and down to clean the toilet. I like to have hot water for showers. On the boat one needs to be cautious about the water usage and the electricity usage. Sometimes we have shortage on hot water. But if one plans well, like scheduling filling water tank every two days, it should be no problem with the water.

So, I will say, abstractly, doing islands hopping with a boat is more like traveling with RV. If you don't mind to sacrifice just a little comfort of the modern world, you will have a great experience to explore the nature with the ancient art.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hiking Trails in Bayarea

Russian Ridge Trails: it has more flexibilities here. The road is well maintained, not difficult at all. One can take an easy hiking for 3-4 miles or take longer ones, like 10/22 miles. The view is fantastic in a sunny day. Highly recommended. Stevenson beach trail: it has nice view of stevenson beach. Most of areas are shaded and well maintained. If you come at the right time, it could have wild flowers and creeks, small water falls. The view of stevenson beach is unbeatable. Moderate difficulty. During rain season, the some of the road could be muddy. Diablo Hike: it is difficult just as the name. Most of the trails have sharp up/downs, but still doable with right shoes. Some part of the view is pretty nice.