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Amazing snorkeling excursion from Tortola! (Cooper Island, Norman Island & More!)

Patouche Charters connected us to a fantastic boat captain "Captain D" (Devon) who took us to some... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Selena S
,
Collierville, Tennessee
The BEST Charter Captain and an Unforgettable BVI experience!

I shared an experience of a lifetime with my brother's family and my own. We chose a bareboat... read more

Reviewed 27 August 2018
SamTara88
,
San Antonio, Texas
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All reviews captain joe cooper island virgin gorda day trip cruise ship great trip jost van dyke incredible snorkeling visiting norman snorkel stop private charter great stories power catamaran great guy hodges creek soggy dollar beef island
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Patouche Charters connected us to a fantastic boat captain "Captain D" (Devon) who took us to some incredible snorkeling areas! Our October trip had some very choppy waters and rain on and off again, so he gave us some options. Since we had two children with us and not strong swimmers overall, we opted to skip The Baths due to weather conditions, and he took us to some very calm beaches with great snorkeling. We went to Cooper Island first, then he took us around an island sight-seeing tour and we went past Salt Island, The Indians (water too choppy for us to stop there!) but he found a very calm spot with some cool caves (we did NOT go in for fear of bats, but the snorkeling just off that area was INCREDIBLE!) ... then we finished off our excursion on Norman Island with some cocktails and grilled Mahi (restrooms there too!) We loved every minute of it and Captain Devon was very knowledgeable and gracious! He gave us a little history and it was the highlight of our trip! We were on the Disney Fantasy and booked this for just a half day tour around the islands, and we were so happy we did! Joe was great to work with by phone and email and connected us with our Captain. It all went very smoothly. Note: For meeting the captain, we walked past the Tortola shopping area to where the open air cabs/trucks are to take guests to beaches. Just ask around, as everyone seems to know everyone there (the drivers, captains, etc.) We found him immediately. I'd suggest that captains hold up a sign with the last name of the passengers or something or hold up "Patouche Charters" on a paper. No biggie though, we were able to locate our captain fairly quickly. Just a suggestion! We paid Patouche by Paypal with deposit and final amount 7 days before the trip (and cash tip for the Captain on the day of the event of course!)

I would book this same excursion again in the future! We hope to come back! If the waters are smoother, we'll visit The Baths next time. Friends rented a different charter and said it was VERY tiring swimming into The Baths from the boat (the water current and conditions weren't great there), so I think our Captain did a good job steering us in the right direction for clear skies and sunny, calm areas to snorkel. That was our priority!

Thank Selena S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2018

I shared an experience of a lifetime with my brother's family and my own. We chose a bareboat catamaran through Captain Joe Standish (Patouche Charters) after a mutual friend highly recommended him and his services.

First, I have been in the Hospitality (hotels/resorts) industry for over 25 years. So, my level of expectation and scrutiny is higher than most. My first impression to my last impression with Captain Joe was outstanding! Captain Joe loves what he does, and it shows in his passion for sailing in the BVI’s. Captain Joe’s extensive knowledge of the BVI is only surpassed by his friendly and hospitable demeanor to his guest but also with everyone he comes in contact.

Being a first timers to the BVI, we left the itinerary to Captain Joe. We were not disappointed and if anything overwhelmed with scenic beauty and the variety he chose for us to experience. We not only hit the major highlights/destinations within the BVI but the not so familiar to the tourist unless you’ve spent over 18 years in the BVI (like Captain Joe). He shared his experiences with each us and showed us bays with varied colors of blue water that I have never experienced.

Every port/island we visited included a warm instant welcome when the resort/restaurant/bar/vendor owners recognized Captain Joe as our guide. Captain Joe not only knew the owners and their specialties but was also known and welcomed by the locals (Belongers). In such a tight knit community this helps the whole experience become a relaxing and memorable one.

One of my favorite routines on our Charter was waking up early with Captain Joe and sharing a cup of coffee as the sun would rise above the water and mountainous islands. Sharing the tasks of picking up and dropping anchor and setting off for the next island was a task I would like to repeat daily! The greater part of the experience is how he would get our children involved with the daily tasks of operating the catamaran.

I have traveled to some of the best beaches and islands in the world. However, I have learned in my travels that the best trips/excursions were with a Charter service/Captain who has superior knowledge of the beaches, waterways and islands being explored. Captain Joe delivers in every category.

Our voyage started from Hodges Creek Marina on Tortola to Cooper Island (with a little excitement mixed in from Hurricane Beryl) then sailed to Virgin Gorda and the long run out to Anegada. Then we had the longest sail from Anegada to Cane Garden Bay on Tortola before making the short trip to Jost Van Dyke and then across to Norman Island and finishing at Peter Island…all in 7-days.

We were able to see the traditional stops in a less crowded high season environment. The Rum Bar at Cooper Island (go see JJ) is second to none that I have experienced, and the Cooper Island Club/Restaurant food was outstanding. However, the Bush Whackers we had in Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda were so delicious and we got whacked good! The Caribbean Lobster at the Wonky Dog on Anegada was a definite culinary highlight! The starry nights out on Anegada were unlike any I have seen with the milyway bright with star dust! Then we were off on the longest sail, open seas and smooth sailing to Cane Garden Bay. The rum we had in Cane Garden Bay (Callwood Rum) was some of the best rum I have ever drank. Then to add to the rum fest we visited the Soggy Dollar on JVD and did our best to drink all the Painkillers and played the ring game only to finish the day at Foxy’s with a very good dinner. I am amazed at the snorkeling throughout our trip, but it was the Norman Island experience (face to face with a Barracuda) at The Caves that was the highlight along with the short stop but needed in The Bight Bay. Then there is the last day on Peter Island and the 2 trips to Willy T’s. I am grateful for Captain Joe’s recommendation that we finish with Soggy Dollar and Willy T’s…we may have never sobered up!?!

All things considered, Captain Joe is more than the requisite Captain on a bare boat. He is part tour guide, snorkel instructor, cook, barista, mariner, and dingy shuttle driver. Captain Joe’s motto is “Come as Guest…Leave as Friends”, nothing could be truer and greatly appreciated by my family and my brother’s family. We would rebook in a NY minute with Captain Joe!

Highly Recommend!!!

Thank SamTara88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joe S, Owner at Patouche Charters, responded to this reviewResponded 31 August 2018

Thank You Thank You Thank You!
You are way too kind, this charter being my first "post Irma" I could not have asked for a finer group of passengers. I tell myself all the time how lucky I am to be able to share "my home" with visitors to the BVI, but you and your family make it even more special. You guys were awesome, the epitome of the perfect charter client. Thank you for making my return to my business a truly memorable one, i so look fwd to your next visit.
Capt Joe

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2018

We recently returned from our "best vacation ever" sailing through the BVI. Patouche Charters and Captain Joe made our experience one we will never forget. Having been in the BVI for many years, he knows all about the history and interesting details about all of the islands. He provided top notch service to our entire group of nine...including me, the non swimmer. :) He planned our detailed itinerary and gave us many tips even before we arrived in the islands. Joe catered to everyone on the boat, making sure we all were having a great time. He knows all of the best spots for snorkeling, eating and relaxing in the BVI. He was always planning the next adventure, making dinner reservations, helping with snorkel gear, paddle boards and rafts all while educating and entertaining our crew! I cannot say enough about how much we enjoyed this trip and how much we cannot wait to plan the next one with Joe and Patouche. It was perfect!

1  Thank jcueva2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joe S, Owner at Patouche Charters, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2018

Thanks so much, you guys were great absolutely my pleasure taking y'all out and helping "continue" Jimmys 50th bday!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2017 via mobile

I have taken it’s of charts in USVI and BVI. Joe is the best hands down. Friendly. Knowledgeable. Flexible. He is simply the best. If he is available, use him

1  Thank Barry F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2017

I'm so thankful the shore excursion for The Baths at Virgin Gorda was sold out on my Disney Cruise, because if it hadn't been, then I never would have found Capt. Joe at Patouche Charters. After reading the reviews from cruise passengers pertaining to their shore excursions, I knew visiting The Baths was a definite must...yet I didn't want to spend my time on a hot bus for hours with dozens of other people only to see it for a short time.

After researching other charter companies, I chose Patouche Charters based on their excellent reviews and modest pricing. Joe met us on the pier and then escorted all of the passengers (only 10 people total) to his boat. We then headed to a quiet, serene spot for snorkeling followed by another location for lunch and then ended the day with more snorkeling and exploration at The Baths. Joe purposely planned the tour so that we wouldn't be at The Baths when hundreds of other cruise passengers would be there...it was altogether a PERFECT excursion! Plus Joe provided us with a wealth of knowledge about the islands and FREE beverages while aboard his boat.

We HIGHLY RECOMMEND Capt. Joe...you WILL NOT be disappointed!

1  Thank Tina P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2017

We booked the Baths charter for our day in Tortola during our Disney Cruise. Captain Joe took us snorkeling in the morning, to the Loose Mongoose for lunch (def get the chicken roti it was amazing) and then on to the Baths. Captain Joe gives you a good feel for the history of BVI and Tortola, but where he really shines is the individual attention he gave to every passenger on his charter. From the youngest to the oldest, he was looking out for all of us and making sure we were having an enjoyable experience. For me, the best part of the Baths was what was under the water rather than what was above the water, which we would not have experienced thru the cruise ship. We highly recommend Captain Joe and would book with him again for one of his other excursions when we return to Tortola.

1  Thank Michele D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2017

We booked Joe's charter tour off a Disney cruise on Aug. 1 for my family of 5 (wife and three boys (11, 7, 5). Throughout the ride, Joe offered up interesting facts/stories and was always aware of his passengers and showed genuine caring that everyone was having a good time. It was nice to go to the Baths in the afternoon, as it was much less crowded. Also, the charter was scheduled to go from 8:30 to 3:30, but it lasted until almost 5. Great times. Nothing all that surprising or new based on the other reviews, but something else Joe did should also be noted.
When my oldest son got to the boat, he realized he left his backpack (with his brand new iPhone) on the boat. I emailed Joe when we got on the boat, and he responded quickly that he had found it and will ship it back to us in CA. That made my son so happy. Great service Joe! Thanks for everything.

2  Thank cdmtom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2017

On the recommendation from the owners of the villa, we chartered Patouche for our party of 4 adults and 4 teenagers. They were spot on. We have chartered multiple times in the BVI and we have had good experiences and not so good experiences; however, Patouche, a power catamaran, was the perfect boat for us -- plenty of shade, strong motor, really nice snorkeling equipment, bluetooth music system, and spacious. Cpt. Joe was interesting, funny, engaging, knowledgable, prompt, professional, and patient. After picking us up in VG we snorkeled en route to Jost and then drinks at Cooper on the way back -- spectacular.

We had such a good time we chartered with Joe again two days later with snorkel stops including the Indians and jumping off the Willy T followed by another stop at Cooper. These trips were the highlight of our vacation and we highly recommend you charter with Joe and Patouche. You will be happy you did.

1  Thank TJinMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2017

As I have an aversion to cruise ship excursions (and the throngs of people who partake), I decided to book a day sail for my family and two other families we were cruising with. While I was a little nervous about this, once we boarded the the catamaran, all my fears were allayed as my family friends loved the boat and our captain! Awesome experience... better than the cruise ship excursion... and with three families was actually a bit cheaper. Highly recommended this trip!

1  Thank Stephen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2017

We had a fantastic time on the trip to the Baths and snorkeling. We got there and snorkeled to shore and walked through the baths with ease - so fun. Our captain told us to go the perfect way - no crowd or traffic. There was literally 150-200 people in line to go through the opposite direction and it would have been miserable if we had gone that way. Then the snorkeling back to the boat was amazing, so fun around all the rocks. The lunch on the beach at the end was great too. Would definitely do it again.

1  Thank Scott U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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