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AMAZING 50th BIRTHDAY WEEK CELEBRATION" for Patricia!!

*****5 Stars

 Date of Stay Apr 16-23, 2017  Thank you for providing the most “AMAZING 50th BIRTHDAY WEEK CELEBRATION” for Patricia that we could ever have imagined…know what, it even fulfilled a lifetime dream for me. Amazing does not begin to capture the experience provided by the Bel Ami with Admiral Bobbie Rae and Captain David Goodman, two of the most “gracious and knowledgeable” people on the entire planet. Since Bobbie Rae was a little under the weather on our first day Patricia helped as a “swabbie” on deck, with her love of water and skill, was quickly promoted to first mate and helped “man the sails” with Captain Dave when the winds shifted. As Dolly Parton once said; “we cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails”. We enjoyed the many options given on a daily, actually at a moment’s notice, to enjoy “paradise” here on earth. Captain Dave’s knowledge is rooted in experience of sailing, snorkeling, hiking, and dinning of every square foot of the Islands since 1977. Yes, we found “paradise” and took the suggestions of Captain Dave seriously as we followed rigorously through trails leading to old sugar mills ruins, grave sites, and many other industrial sites that once provided commerce. We snorkeled the Great Saint James, Christmas Cove, The Bight on Norman Island, Salt Pond Bay, and Hurricane Hole. The sites we saw under water were breathtaking and unbelievable, color that was unimaginable with different kinds of sea life!! Our exquisite taste for food was complimented by great natural prepared snacks, breakfast, lunch, dinner fit for Royalty, as we were made to feel. Captain Dave’s cooking skills must have been earned from the “Institute of Culinary Education” in New York City…and, yes, it was done on the yacht, unbelievable, fresh tropical fruit was always abundantly available. “We really never saw the moon”, but the stars were crystal clear as we looked over the water into the gorgeous sky while listening to Captain Dave and Bobbie Rae sing our favorite songs while playing the accordion! Patricia and I were extremely well informed of what our voyage would entail and how to stay as comfortable as possible with any changing weather conditions. Yes, our entire voyage was planned according to our wishes, not cookie cutter, but a “custom planned” vacation of a lifetime!! We highly recommend the Bel Ami for adventure seekers and romantic getaways, and, "we shall return"!!

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Vacation of a lifetime!!

*****5 Stars

We boarded Bel Ami for a special 25th Anniversary trip. Little did we know the trip would be one of our best ever!! Dave and Bobbie Rae are great hosts and tour guides. We snorkeled , hiked, and partied throughout the US and BVI. The food was outstanding. Dave is a great chef and can play the accordion like a rock star!! For anyone looking for the intimate sailing experience the Bel Ami is for you. We snorkled Great Saint James, Christmas Cove, The Bight on Norman Island, Salt Pond Bay, Hurricane Hole, and Leinster Bay. We took hikes as well on Norman Island, Ramshead at Salt Pond Bay, and the sugar mills ruins on Leinster Bay both on St. John, We returned to end the week at Secret Harbor on St. Thomas. Dave, Bobbie Rae, and ourselves took off for a last night of entertainment. Dave took us to Carigas where he played accordion with Sassafras. Once that gig what was complete we traveled to Latitude 18. The Fiddler was playing and when we arrived they were playing "Rocky Top" which was fittting since we are from Tennessee. Dave quickly joined the band here and we all proceeded to have a great evening. It was a great last night with Dave and Bobbie Rae. For anyone looking for that once in a lifetime trip, the BEL AMI is for you!!  Bob and Michelle, February 2017

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Our Expectations Were Exceeded! Lifetime Memories Made!

*****5 Stars

My wife and I booked this trip for our 25th Wedding Anniversary. We had no real prior sailing experience but my wife wanted to try something adventuristic instead of going to a typical luxury resort in the Caribbean. We had the time of our life on this trip!!! Captain Dave and his wife Bobbie were excellent hosts, and Captain Dave is an extremely knowledgeable sailor. I never worried about our safety, and completely trusted Captain Dave’s knowledge and expertise. In short, Captain Dave and Bobbie allowed our brains to check out from the worry and stress of daily life, and just enjoy the beautiful sights, sounds, and smells of the ocean and the islands we visited. I read the other 5 star reviews before booking this trip, and they are an accurate representation of what we experienced on our amazing trip. We enjoyed our trip so much that my wife and I are now signed up for sailing lessons because we have visions of buying our own sailboat someday so that we can enjoy the life that Captain Dave and Bobbie experience every day!  Jeff and Jeannie, January 2017

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Perfect Birthday Gift!

*****5 Stars

My wife wanted to go sailing for her birthday so we booked a week on Bel Ami for a trip of a lifetime!! Not knowing anything about sailing, we were a little bit apprehensive at first but after a couple of days we felt right at home! It is amazing the amount of knowledge and expertise involved in sailing! Captain Dave and first mate Bobbie Ray really know their stuff! We now have just a little understanding of keeling, tacking, coming about and lots of other nautical terms. We got quite the education from them not to mention being pampered and spoiled with their gourmet meals. We enjoyed eating on the islands as well as there were hospitable open air restaurants or bars everywhere we stopped! The highlight meal was a lobster dinner at the Anegada Reef Hotel. Simply delicious! Captain Dave knows the Islands like the back of his hand. We must have visited at least a dozen of them. The sights were interesting, hiking and views were fabulous and the snorkeling was terrific! My wife had a memorable birthday week and we both are looking forward to coming back soon!  Jane and Kim, New Years 2017

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Unique, amazing, relaxing trip. Great vehicle to celebrate life, love and friendship

*****5 Stars

This was truely a relaxing adventure with world class new friends. My partner and I spent a week aboard the Bel Ami early November. From the time we landed in St.Thomas until we took off, we were pampered by Captain Dave and Admiral Bobby Rae. They anticipated our needs, from suggesting hikes, taking us to beautiful snorkling spots, to cooking gourmet meals, and surprising us with delicious drinks. Although not new to the boating world, our accomadations exceeded our expectations. We had plenty privacy in our relatively spacious quarter, and enjoyed the efficiency of the amenities on board. We often left it up to Captain Dave to decide where to set his sails, and he never took short cuts, and every place we visited was charming, and some were really magical. We were looking at spending a week, reliving some of my boyfriend's early memory, and celbrating our love, and friendship. We wanted a laid back escapade indulging in the beauty of the Carribean. Bel ami, Captain David, and Admiral Bobby Rae delivered this and more.  William and Ghanima, November 2016

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Dream Honeymoon 

*****5 stars!

Sail Into Romance, Perfect for 1 Loving Couple!
My wife and I spent a week aboard the Bel Ami for the week of the July 4th, 2016. From the moment we arrived in St. Thomas it was a dream vacation. Dave picked us up at the airport and wisked us away to a lunch with a view. Soon we were aboard the Bel Ami and set sail. I'm a pretty novice sailor to say the least, and my wife had never even been aboard a sail boat in her life. Its pretty comical to see her face as we set out in to the open winds of the Caribbean and keeled the boat over pretty good the first time. Dave and Bobbie Rae quickly gained trust in our sea legs and we sailed the majority of the USVI's and BVI's over the course of our trip. Each night after dinner, we'd pull out the old map and decide on our adventure for the next day. We snorkeled for hours, toured various beach bars, watched live music, saw the pirate bar on Norman Island, snorkeled in caves, went to the baths at Virgin Gorda, and finished at the most amazing beach at Jost Van Dike. Captain Dave is a modern day renaissance man (Sailor, singer, musician, doctor, cook) and Bobbie Rae is his equal companion. She's literally one of the sweetest ladies I've ever met. If you want a laid back adventure at one of the most beautiful places in the world, look no further than the Bel Ami. The ship itself is a very heavy luxury sail boat. We had plenty of room in our cabin and our own bathroom. We hope to return sometime in the coming years to re-live our amazing experience.  David and Denay, July 2016
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We recently returned from an amazing week-long charter on the Bel Ami with Captain Dave and Bobbie Rae. We booked the vacation almost a year ago to celebrate our 10th anniversary. In the time between booking and arrival, we had several conversations with Dave about our interests, concerns and desires for the trip. Without exception, the vacation lived up to all of our expectations. 

Captain Dave enthusiastically greeted us at the airport, brought us to the Bel Ami and we were off and sailing within an hour or two of landing. The first day was spent orienting ourselves to the boat and seeing how we adjusted to sailing. Captain Dave took great care to gauge our aclimation to sea life (I wore a trans-dermal patch, my wife did not). We spent the remainder of the day snorkeling (with Captain Dave as a fantastic guide), eating and relaxing.
  The rest of the week was spent sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, eating, drinking and enjoying life to its highest potential. We visited twelve different islands in seven days. We indicated several places that we wanted to visit, but based on numerous reviews, we allowed Dave to tailor the trip to our interests using his vast knowledge of the Virgin Islands. We were blessed with fantastic weather and favorable winds. We went to the Baths on Virgin Gorda, but Captain Dave was experienced enough to check the cruise boat schedule to make sure we didn't share the site with hordes of people from the massive boats. It was a special pleasure to jump into the perfect, azure water to swim to shore on Sandy Spit and Sandy Cay, and an even more special experience to then have Captain Dave bring our towels, camera and sandals to shore in the Bel Ami's dinghy. Captain Dave offered advise on hikes to take and was polite enough to ask if we wanted to go on our own or with him as a guide. The same was true of meals. We ate many meals together as a foursome, but we were offered as many private romantic meals as we wanted. And the food! Captain Dave is a fantastic cook. The meals were varied and excellent. He had emailed a detailed food preference questionnaire prior to arrival and he tailored our meals to the information we provided. For instance, my wife made special mention of her love of corn, and there it was in our first meal. The attention to detail is amazing.
If a sailing vacation has ever been on your bucket list, then this the boat to take and these are the people to take you.--Ali and Phil Jensen, July 2016. 

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Amazing....Just Amazing

*****

We can't say enough great things about how amazing and wonderful our trip on Bel Ami was with Captain Dave and Bobbie Rae. From the beauty of the boat, the wonderful meals, the indescribable views, and the enjoyable company, we had an amazing honeymoon. The advantage of the sailboat is the ability to both cruise along and see the beauty of the islands, while being able to drop anchor at some amazing locales (St. Thomas; Tortola; Virgin Gorda; St. John; Water Island). The snorkeling, the hiking, the jaw dropping sunsets from a beach bar, we were able to sample a taste of what USVI/BVI can offer. But the real value add is the guidance and back stories from Dave and Bobbie Rae that made the experience that much better. They were the best travel guides we could have had. The cost was worth every dime and more. We would (and will) do this trip again as it's the best way to experience the islands and all they can offer.--John and Tina, June 18, 2016

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Wonderful honeymoon vacation
  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
My husband and I decided to spend our honeymoon visiting the beautiful caribbean islands. We were lucky enough to find Bel Ami and have the most amazing vacation ever. Captain Dave is very professional and has a boat in excellent conditions. He is also a lot of fun and will take you to the most amazing places in the Virgen British and US islands. Bobbie Rae makes sure all your needs are taken care of and helps Captain Dave cook delicious food. My husband and I were very eager to learn sailing and Captain Dave helped us fulfill that dream, and yes, we were sailing the boat at the end of our trip!!!!--Keith and Lucia, May 9, 2016

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A Warm Thank You!

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Hi Dave, Hope you are doing well and having a wonderful start to the week! Gary and I really wanted to thank you and Bobbie again for such a wonderful, once in a lifetime Honeymoon.....it was simply amazing!!! We can't stop talking about what a great time we had! We have lots of people that we gave your info too, hopefully you get some business from them. We are certainly considering doing a sail each year! I wanted to thank you so much again for everything. What a nice surprise to not only have an unbelievable Honeymoon, but to also come out of it with some new friends. If you are ever in the area, please look us up!!!!--Sandy and Gary, May1 2016


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Quiet Anchorages, Great Snorkeling, Wonderful Vacation

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My husband and I went on an 8 day trip on the Bel Ami. As long as you go into it with the understanding that you'll be sharing a boat with two other people for a week and let Dave and Bobbie Rae know what kind of trip you are looking for, then you should really have an amazing time. My husband and I hadn't been on a trip alone in a few years and were looking for quiet spots, personal space, and a generally very relaxed time, and we let Dave and Bobbie Rae know that upon arrival. Dave and Bobbie Rae made an effort to give us the kind of trip we wanted. They turned in early enough every night that my husband and I were able to have dinner alone, Dave sought out private anchorages and great snorkel spots which we indicated was important to us, we went on hikes alone and adventured by ourselves. When we did need a dinghy guide or advice, Dave and Bobbie Rae were more than happy to oblige. The boat is big enough to find a quiet spot to read during a sail and the living quarters are on opposite sides of the boat, so you feel privacy when you are down below. When we did chat and do activities with Dave and Bobbie Rae, the conversation was easy and they didn't detract from the enjoyment of our vacation at all (which I was worried about, you never know how you'll get along with two strangers sharing a boat for a week). Whether you are looking for privacy/romance or for more of a guided vacation, you can sail Bel Ami and get what you want.--Tara and Kyle, April 2016

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Seven Days of Adventure, A Lifetime of Stories 

 We recently returned from an amazing vacation aboard the beautiful Bel Ami with Captain Dave and Bobbie Rae. Our trip was quite an adventure, unlike any vacation we’ve experienced before. The islands are beautiful; each stop was breathtaking and exciting in it’s own way. The Bel Ami is a very comfortable place to call home for a week. Our stateroom was cozy and private, the common areas were spacious and inviting and Bobbie Rae kept the whole boat so clean and tidy. Captain Dave is a superb sailor, an experienced guide and an amazing chef. It is clear he has decades of sailing experience and a deep understanding and love of the Virgin Islands. He tailored our week to our interests and was willing to change plans to accommodate our unique preferences. When we discovered how much we loved kayaking off the boat and that we weren’t interested in snorkeling (shocker!) Captain Dave spent extra nights in perfect kayaking locations. He guided us on the most amazing hikes that we never would have found on our own. And we were continually amazed by the delicious food and drink Captain Dave and Bobbie Rae provided. The frittata a la Bel Ami, yellow split pea soup, fried grouper and banana daiquiris were some of our favorites. Everything was homemade, fresh and a perfect compliment to our days on the islands. A few of our most memorable experiences include a hike across a forested mountain on St. John in the pouring rain, celebrating life and love with the pirates at Happy Arrr and an accordion serenade under the stars by the Captain himself. And each of these experiences would not have been possible without Captain Dave, Bobbie Rae and the Bel Ami. Thank you all for the stories, the memories and the adventure!--Karen and Tony, March 2016

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We celebrated our upcoming 20th anniversary with a week long sail in the Virgin Islands on the Bel Ami. We flew to St. Thomas where we met our wonderful hosts, Captain Dave and Admiral Bobbie Rae Goodman.  Some of the highlights of our trip include a hike to the Petroglyphs on St. John, snorkeling at The Bight on Norman Island and Waterlemon Cay, visiting The Baths on Virgin Gorda, and enjoying Bushwackers at the Big Bamboo, Loblolly Bay followed by a lobster dinner under the stars at the Anegada Reef Hotel. The winds were favorable and each day brought a new adventure. Captain Dave's sailing experience and knowledge of the area made this is a memorable vacation we will be talking about for a long time.  Also, Admiral Bobbie Rae made us feel right at home from the moment she gave us our welcome aboard orientation. The Bel Ami is perfectly suited for one couple to enjoy a romantic getaway! Captain Dave's culinary skills also deserve a mention. Our meals and snacks were customized to our eating preferences and everything was delicious! From beginning to end, our week on the Bel Ami was more than we could have imagined.--Chris and Wayne, March 2016
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A great introduction to BVI cruising with Captain Dave & Bobbie Rae.
We were sailboat refugees from the frozen north looking for a place to defrost in February. Bel Ami was the perfect prescription for our cold. Capt Dave and Bobbi Rae helped us find the hot spots that we had in mind, and some we had never heard of. The hot tub in the moonlight has to revisited when we return. A hike to Ram' s Head gave us a fantastic view of the playground that would be our's for the week. Bel Ami is an Amel 53 not your everyday charter sailboat that you find in the Virgin islands. The Amel 53 is a boat that can handle anything the ocean can give it Capt Dave and Bobbi Rae know how show you the playground that is the Virgin islands. Our days would start with fresh ground coffee brewed in the galley that is fully equipped. The new day ahead would be full of activities and a new destination. Snorkeling the caves and reefs was unforgettable the variety of fish, coral and feather worms exceeded expectations. Capt Dave guided us to some great sites with local knowledge to maximize the dive experience. Sailing from island to island was filled with fun talking about the next stop and how did we get here. I would highly recommend a stay with Captain Dave and Bobbi Rae to sailors and landlubbers alike.--Greg and Diane, February 2016

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I planned this vacation for my 50th birthday. My husband was initially a bit reluctant because in the past, he has had problems with sea-sickness. That turned out to be no issue at all and we both had a fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime trip. Captain Dave and Admiral Bobbie picked us up at the airport in St. Thomas and we were sailing on the beautiful Bel Ami within an hour of landing! The cabin is quite spacious and there was plenty of room. The first night we anchored at Christmas Cove and had wonderful "delivery pizza" picked up by Cpt. Dave in the dinghy from a local pizza boat! Very fun way to start the trip. Another day, we saw two fisherman spear a Red Snapper and within minutes, Cpt. Dave hopped on the dinghy, negotiated a price for the fish and in a few hours, we were enjoying a perfectly prepared Red Snapper for dinner! Overall, everything was wonderful. The meals cooked by Cpt. Dave were fabulous [much, much better than nearly any meal we had ashore]. Cpt. Dave and Bobbie were so accommodating: each morning, we would look at the map and Dave would give us a few options and then we picked what appealed to us the most. He out did himself by arranging a tour of Oil Nut Bay knowing that we were interested in landscaping and property development. The days were crammed with so many fun things from hiking, lazing around a beach, checking out some beach bars and some beautiful resorts but we never felt rushed and enjoyed sailing from island to island every day. Captain Dave is clearly an extremely experienced captain and we felt extremely safe despite having no real experience sailing previously. Bobbie is a delight and we shared our mutual passion for landscaping and art during the trip. Both Dave and Bobbie were a joy to spend seven days with and we are now blessed to count them among our friends.--Kat and Andy, January 2016

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We could not have asked for a more beautiful honeymoon destination and experience. “Captain” Dave and “Admiral” Bobbie Rae were experienced, engaging, and delightful hosts. They not only accommodated our dietary and beverage requests, but they truly presented our meals in a creative and beautiful way. They were not just our hosts, they became our friends; we played games, enjoyed music together, and danced the night away. Whether we were trading stories, hiking in the pouring rain, or snorkeling through dark caves, it truly was the best experience either of us have ever had. Captain Dave knows the sea and the islands like the back of his hand and Bobbie Rae treats her guests like they were her own family. We will not hesitate to return to the Bel Ami to see our new friends, Dave and Bobbie Rae, for another amazing adventure in the Virgin Islands. Thank you Dave and Bobbie Rae for making our honeymoon more amazing than we could have ever imagined. We look forward to seeing you again someday, and we are sincere in our invitation to you to come to Colorado for a skiing, (killer) hiking, or whitewater rafting trip!--Scott and Michelle, Dec 2015

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From the minute I contacted Captain Dave I knew I was in good hands, I told him this was a surprise trip and he and Bobbie Rae played along with the surprise right up to the moment my husband boarded the Bel Ami. The trip exceeded our expectations as we enjoyed the beaches, drinks, sun, snorkelling, music, and hiking. Captain Dave was excellent at showing my husband the basics of sailing as well. He took us to many islands so that we could enjoy what we liked to do such as relaxing, socialising, a nice meal, drinks at sunset and a massage at the spa. We enjoyed his accordion playing, singing and harmony by Bobbie Rae. The food preparation by Captain Dave was amazing and he provided great insight on food preparation based only on our inquiries. Fantastic holiday and we would recommend this to anyone! Don't forget to try the key lime pie at Willy T's and spend the evening dancing.--Chris and Janene from Canada

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To celebrate our 40th anniversary, we chose Bel Ami for the privacy and flexibility, and got way more than we expected! Dave and Bobbie Rae were excellent hosts, open to our interests and eager to share their favorite destinations. Dave was able to arrange a delightful inn on shore for us at the last minute, and adapt to our travel delay with ease. Then we were off wherever the wind took us on a far-ranging tour of the BVIs, with stops for plenty of beautiful views, excellent snorkeling, and playing our instruments at beach-front bars. Sharing music with Dave and Bobbie Rae was a hoot, especially when it resulted in other patrons buying us rounds! And then there was the night we traded jokes for hours! And the time we played cards in a beach-side shack after snorkeling and laughed even more! When I'd ask where we were going for the day, Dave would reply he didn't know. This through me off at the beginning of the trip, but by the end, I could appreciate that we could go anywhere! Not to mention that Dave provided us with a great photo montage afterward, so we didn't feel any pressure to take lots of shots ourselves. All in all, a grand adventure that we'll remember forever!  --Jo and Phil from Encinitas, California
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Wow, what a great time was had by all... I'll get to the point, captain Dave got my itinerary and we spoke a few times. I knew my itinerary was very ambitious to say the least. I was going to be elated if we accomplished what i had set out for. Well, captain Dave is "THE MAN" !!! He took us further and did it better than we ever expected... you need to do the same. we felt very safe and in the experienced hands the whole way... --Team KK

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Great way to spend our fifth anniversary!

We booked this adventure to celebrate our fifth anniversary and we had a truly memorable trip.
Not being a sailor and never having traveled on a boat of this size I was more than a bit apprehensive as I am prone to seasickness on small craft. I did take Bonine each morning and never had an issue.
Dave and Bobbi-Rae were waiting for us at the airport which was a truly welcome sight after some flight delays and an arrival about 4 hours later than planned.
We had a quick dinner and then were off to spend our first night aboard Bel-Ami. 
The cabin is very comfortable with a very good amount of storage space. We were off to dreamland in no time after a long travel day. We slept very soundly in our cabin and the gentle rocking while at anchor was truly relaxing.
Our cruise departed the next day for St. Johns. The sail over was fun and we enjoyed fabulous scenery.
Once we put into a cove for the evening we quickly settled into a routine of snorkeling and kayaking. Captain Dave located a SUP board we could rent for the week so we had that aboard as well for water fun.
We really enjoyed the snorkeling everywhere we went (St. Johns, Norman Island, Jost Van Dyke and Tortola).
On St. John's we went out on a Captain Dave led hike over the mountain to Cruz Bay where we rescued a baby goat and then we treated ourselves to some great Cheeseburgers and atmosphere at Skinny legs. We also explored the ruins of an old Sugar Mill and had encounters with local Deer and Mongoose.
Captain Dave and Bobbi-Rae prepared very tasty meals for us throughout the cruise. They really do all they can to make your favorites for you during your stay. Captain Dave even located my wayward sunglasses that had blown off my head and sunk!
We truly enjoyed the freedom of no set itinerary and running on island time.
Not having sailing experience was a bit of drawback as I didn't know what to expect and for me personally I did not find sailing to be very relaxing. We did minimize our sailing time as a result and spent as much time engaged in water sports as possible which is what we truly enjoy.
The islands are truly breathtaking and the water is blue and wonderful. We really enjoyed this trip and we were both sad the morning we had to leave for home. We hope to have another sailing adventure as this experience has just provided us with an appetite for more.  Rob and Cori

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The Bucket List:

On my husband’s “bucket” list was sailing on a monohull in the Caribbean. And how unbelievably fortunate we were to find Captain Dave Goodman and “Admiral” Bobbie Rae and their sailboat, the Bel Ami, to allow us to check this off his list. We are senior citizens, were first timers for sailing on a large boat in an ocean, and had only previously experienced the Caribbean through day stops from a couple of large cruise ship travels. So we were unsure, in so many ways, of what to expect, like for instance, what to pack, where would we be going, what would we be doing on and off the boat, safety, being with new acquaintances in “close quarters.” But through phone conversations, emails and completed preference lists with Captain Dave days before our departure and from our initial interaction with him and Bonnie Rae (they picked us up at the airport and gave us a tour of the island before taking us to the B&B we stayed at the night before our sailing), we i nstantly knew we had “scored a home run.” Captain Dave and Bobbie Rae picked us up in their dingy at Secret Harbor Beach, got us and our luggage aboard, and then Bonnie Rae gave us an informational tour of the boat while Dave prepared the boat for “take off.” This was the first example of the many ways they worked so well together as a team. Our room had plenty of storage, well-appointed (bed with multiple pillows and ocean-themed coverlet), TV with over 100 movies available (we had time for only 1), luxurious towels. After we unpacked, Captain Dave reviewed a few options that were possible for the remainder of the day, based on that day’s weather conditions, where we were, and where we could get to, and the possible activities at our destination. This was the procedure he followed each day. But being “newbies,” we generally deferred to his expertise. We appreciated being included on making decisions, but his amazing insight, after only a short amount of time, about our personalities, our interests, ou r physical abilities, led to each day being perfectly designed just for us. Captain Dave and Bobbie Rae were keen on being sure each part of our trip was to our liking. How does Dave create those awesome breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in that tiny galley? It would take me all day just to cook those meals! And where does he store all the ingredients? My husband and I love all kinds of music and we love to dance. Not only did we experience famous island venues for music and dancing, but also Dave’s onboard extensive music selections and his expertise on the accordion, with Bobbie Rae as backup singer, led to dancing and singing on board. As he knew my husband likes to explore historic sites, he made sure onshore time included hikes to amazing ruins. Yes, sailing the US and British Virgin Islands is a trip we finally got checked off our bucket list. But we are so thankful that Captain Dave and “Admiral” Bobbie Rae and the Bel Ami are the creators of that check mark. Whether you are a newbie or seasoned sailor, mature or not so mature traveler (in age, I mean), want to snorkel/hike/swim/dance, or just watch the sails blow in the wind, want to get up at the crack of dawn or sleep to brunch time, love bacon for breakfast (as Dave knew we did and provided it every morning) or you are a vegetarian (which Dave is), your check mark should be by the Bel Ami, Dave, and Bobbie Rae.  Jean and Frank McKeown

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“AMAZING does not fully capture this experience”

Pinch me! We were beyond fortunate to celebrate the end of 2014 and welcome in 2015 among the Bel Ami with Captain Dave and Bobbie Rae. The trip was a gift to my husband and a much needed get-away from the responsibilities of everyday life. A little slice of heaven, for sure, and we could not have asked for more gracious hosts. We had given Captain Dave very broad ideas of what we wanted to do and see, explaining that we needed a rest from decision making and that we trusted him and his decades of experience in the Virgin Islands. He took the ball and ran with it, allowing us to completely relax and taking us to see the perfect sites for our first sailing adventure. We had the opportunity to be as active or as restful as we wanted; we enjoyed days of hiking and snorkeling, as well as days of relaxed reading and reconnecting with one another. Having him provision the boat and prepare meals was a welcome treat, too, as his skills in the galley kept us well fed at all times. (I even attempted to recreate his black bean soup once we were back home!) We must note the additional perks, too, such as pick up/ drop off at the airport, pictures throughout the trip, and Dave’s accordion playing! The Bel Ami is a comfortable boat, there was plenty of space for us and our stuff ~ we had actually packed too much. Captain Dave and Bobbie Rae are a perfect team, who clearly enjoy showing other couples the islands and who made our trip an unforgettable experience that we plan to do again. And again. And again.  Lauren and Patrick Haley, celebrating 25 years of togetherness, and Patrick's 40th birthday.

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“BelAmi = Mi Amor”

If you are looking for a sailing adventure with a modern day renaissance couple book a trip on the BelAmi. Captain Dave and Bobbi Rae are the consummate host and hostess. Whatever your vision or dream is for your sailing vacation, this dynamic duo will work magic to accommodate you. Talk about the ultimate in customization. It would almost appear as if the Captain can wave a wand and make your fantasy happen. An hours sail out of Peter Island, I mentioned to Dave, for the first time, that we were interested in a couples massage and the next thing we knew we were on massage tables in one of the most beautiful setting on the planet. And the music, you must know that you will be sailing with a BVI renowned accordion player, how cool is that? I could go on and on…but that would just cause you to read more and delay booking your dream vacation immediately. BelAmi = Mi Amor!--  Michael Litten and Laura Cordell

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Why Sail with Captain Dave and 1st Mate Bobbie Rae?

You will be treated as royalty.  Being the only couple on board you can choose your ideal balance of sailing, activities ashore, and snorkeling.  Scuba is an option as well.

You will be  greeted at the airport and transport you by private car to the dock.  Return is the same, only much sadder to be leaving. Captain Dave even takes care of your luggage.

You will appreciate the Captain’s and Bobbie's excellent culinary skills.  We ate incredibly good meals and were felt there was not enough to eat.  Drinks and snacks overflowed as well.  His pre-cruise checklist includes foods for you to select and he calls la few days before launch to make absolutely sure he understands just what you want.  

In addition to being a skilled sailor all his life, Dave knows all the best places to anchor.  He considers current, wind, bugs, and diving options. We saw the most unbelievable array of undersea life. Many types of coral, a bevy of sea turtles, a peacock flounder, an octopus, and about 30 different tropical fish – many of which were not in the book.

You will never meet a more gregarious guy than Captain Dave.  He knows everyone around town and on the water and they all are glad to see him.  

Sleep late..,, full breakfast,,,, sail…, dive…,  fancy lunch…, sail…, dive…, elegant supper… your favorite music to aid stargazing of an uncluttered sky…, then let the waves gently rock you to sleep.  Repeat.  What a terrific week.  The only regret will be that the week sails by all too fast.

In summary, a week with Captain Dave and 1st Mate Bobbie Rae will be memorable because his goal is to make you completely happy. 

Paul and Jeanne Eleazor

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We can't say enough good things about Captain Dave and Bobbie Rae and the entire sailing experience. It was fabulous and more. Dave was an excellent sailor and chef. We loved the morning smoothies, the vegan delights, the accomodations, and the boat itself. We felt safe with Dave, even sailing into harbor after dark, which was probably a favorite of the trip. Dave was very accomodating. He made it clear it was our trip and what we did and where we went was up to us. Couldn't have asked for anymore!  Brad and Sheila Crow

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We approached the Captain with the intent on learning more about sailing in the Virgin Islands on our own, so the purpose of our vacation was much different than most charters. With that goal in mind, the Captain taught us many things about chart/GPS reading, navigating, barefoot chartering, weather planning and the actual sailing of the boat. Even though that was the focus of our trip, the Captain and his mate Bobbie Rae additionally made it a great vacation. They served us delicious meals catering to our personal tastes, afternoon cocktails and a variety of activities including snorkeling, kayaking, sightseeing and yes, even accordion playing at night. The nice thing about this trip, it can be personalized in so many ways depending on the individuals' tastes and desires. Regardless, the scenery is great and very relaxing, and the company is very enjoyable. In the short span of 8 days, we feel like we've made a lasting connection with the Captain Dave and Bobbie Rae for a lifelong memory..  Mike and Nancy Herlivich                                        

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Our Week on Bel Ami was the grand finale of our three-week honeymoon, and by far the most memorable time.  Captain Dave's friendly hospitality, ability to recommend things we might want to do or places to see, helped make a tailor-made holiday where every day was simply stunning.  One of us, as a vegan, was particularly pleased to find not only a kindred spirit in Dave but also a great chef who consistently provided beautiful, tasty food (enjoyed by us both!)  We still often was lyrical about the mornings, especially:  nothing beats waking up in a gently swaying cabin, walking on deck to survey the scene, and just jump into the clear turquoise waters for a fresh start to the day - followed by one of Dave's legendary morning smoothies...You can go to really isolated places on a little boat like this:  empty beaches, snorkeling in isolated places to see all kinds of wildlife; or, go to the local hotspots for nightlife to meet interesting people.  This is a wholehearted recommendation.  If you want a holiday that's completely tailored to you, and be waited on hand and foot if that's what you like, go on Bel Ami.  Holiday of a lifetime."   Victor and Suzanne Willdig

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Best vacation ever...in the history of the world 

Any trip where a 16-year-old girl tells her father “you’re a really good dancer” has to be among the best vacations ever…in the history of the world! So was the case with our voyage on the Bel Ami. Captain Dave was amazing on so many levels. He found an alternative charter when our travel dates changed and then made the Bel Ami available when our dates changed back. He was an outstanding cook who not only shared his own fabulous cuisine, but accommodated our quirky menu requests including making chocolate chips cookies at 11:00pm one night. He provided us with both great entertainment and great family time. Although his itinerary of “I’ve got some fun places we can go” initially caused some angst with a dad and mom who are professional planners, we couldn’t have dreamed of a better agenda: swimming with turtles, rays and barracudas was a blast for our 2 teenagers, while the beauty of the Baths wowed mom and dad. And if snorkeling and exploring underwater caves and hiking to breathtaking vistas wasn’t enough, a personal song by Foxy himself in Jost Van Dyke, a lobster dinner in Anegada, a sing-along with accordion accompaniment, and dancing with your daughters–in public no less–really made this the best vacation ever…in the history of the world. And we now have a wonderful new friend as well!!! 

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"Just wanted to thank you for making our time on your beautiful oat so wonderful.  This adventure far exceeded my expectations.  It was a perfect mix of exciting adventure, astounding beauty, perfect weather, great sailing, good company, island magic, crazy fun life, and yummy food and drink.  The accommodations were spectacular!!  Bel Ami is a beautiful girl!!  Thank you again for all you did to make this truly a memorable trip.  We will never forget it."  Lucy and Bill

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“To our new dear friends. How do we begin? This past week wth you aboard beautiful Bel Ami has forever touched our lives. Thank you for making our every wish come true and for sharing all the wonders that are you...We leave feeling content, nspired, delighted, awed and excited about our net adventure with you.”
          - Love Laura and Treva

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“Rainbows, sunsets, riding the waves, exploring the underwater world. We will never forget our great times aboard Bel Ami, and hope to return soon. We were surprised at how comfortable Bel Ami's accommadations were. Dave was a fabulous host, and we felt well cared for during our time onboard. As a sailing vessel, Bel Ami was top notch!”
          - Sandi and Rod Jensen

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“Captain Dave...what a relaxing and romantic adventure. Thank you so much for a most wonderful week in the Virgin Islands. We thought this kind of quixotic trip was only available to the rich and famous. Carol and I greatly enjoyed your warm hospitality, amazing culinary skills, and local knowlege of the islands hot spots. We felt safe and secure leaving the driving to you. Dancing on the beach to the fabulous reggae band (complete with horn section) was a night we will always remember. From snorkeling to scuba your delightful company (including your fabulous rock and roll accordian playing), we hope to come back soon and are already planning our next trip.”
          - Bruce and Carol Winkler

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“We recently took a trip to St. John, USVI. We have been to the USVI several times but our time on the boat by far was our most memorable. Captain Dave put everyones safety first and made the day absolutely enjoyable. Good food, good music and amazing scenery. We spent our time sailing round the island making occasional stops for snorkeling, food and libations (he is a master at making Pain Killers). A lively round of accordion playing was also a highlight. Thank you Captain Dave for a great time at sea. We look forward to our next journey aboard the Bel Ami.”
          - Bryan and Debi Trenholm

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“We enjoyed the fabulous food, wonderful snorkeling, beautiful sunsets, rainbows galore, and plenty of reading and relaxation. It was an amazing trip with beautiful scenery and great friends.”
          - Love, Kevin and Jamie Stack

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"The week we had (us three gals) on the Bel Ami was unforgettable  It felt as if we were children (kinda like Peter Pan) sailing from cove to cove. We never knew what was ahead. The captain knew the seas and the shores. We ventured out to explore places where "no woman has gone before". It was magical to say the least. If we mentioned that we might want to try a cove/inlet to snorkel he was ready to fulfill our wishes. It was a wonderful time....a time to let the child in us let loose and enjoy all that was out there. My memories of the experience will last me a life time though we hope to reconstruct the journey in the future."  Jeanne, Patti and Susan

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"We just returned from a week on the Belami. Captain Dave is an amazing captain. He knows where to go based on what you want to do and see. He has many recommendations and lays them all out and leaves the itinerary up to you to decide (He is very flexible!). In one ambitious day we snorkeled The Indians, The Caves and The RHONE and then set sail sail to our next destination. Another day, we anchored at one spot, went ashore by dingy, found a prettier spot and Captain Dave left us at the bar and MOVED THE BOAT for us! He was a great snorkel guide, pointing out things we would have never seen. Same for hikes! We opted for the full board package and did not regret it. It was fun eating our meals on the boat. Dave makes a tasty vegan cuisine and a mean margarita! If you are lucky if he will take out his Accordian and play you a tune."  Mario and Lynn

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"Sailing aboard Bel Ami with Captain Dave was great. My wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary aboard Bel Ami, sailing into the Spanish Virgin Islands. Dave is a warm, talented, fun host and an expert at sailing. His local knowledge of the islands allowed us to really explore and experience the area. Bel Ami is a wonderfully comfortable boat with all the amenities of home. Dave is a great vegan cook, and our meals were great.  We make our living on the water and we still can't wait to get back aboard Bel Ami and do some more sailing. 7 days just isn't enough!  Sam and Diane