Back in March, only days before the COVID-19 pandemic set the US on its side, we were doing our final preparations getting Island Girl ready to be loaded on a freighter and shipped to Tortola. Our ship was delayed indefinitely and a state of emergency was declared in our home state of Massachusetts. Island Girl wasn't going anywhere any time soon. With so much uncertainty, we made the difficult decision to delay shipping our boat until the fall, after hurricane season. With travel restricted and so many people having to cancel their Virgin Islands vacations, we knew it was only a matter of time before people would start re-booking their trips. This was our motivation to finalize our plan with regard to on-line booking. We decided to partner with Peek, and in very little time, on-line booking capabilities were added to our site.
So here we are, a few months later, and the US Virgin Islands are open for visitors once again. In late July, we plan to make a trip down to the islands to meet with several people who have and will continue to play key roles in the formation and growth of our new business:
- our insurance agent
- our resident agent who has been helping with the formation of the business, licenses, permits, etc.
- the manager of the marina where we plan to keep Island Girl
- our captains
Also this summer, perhaps after our trip to the USVI, we plan to travel to Florida for a few days of testing and sea trials that were postponed in early March. Basically, we're going to go cruise around in Island Girl and spend some time breaking in the new motors and getting familiar with all of the new systems on the boat. We did some sea trials in February, but at that time, the boat was not finished and not all systems were installed. So, we haven't even seen the completely finished, shiny new Island Girl in person in all of her glory. Sure, we've seen pictures and have done many, many FaceTime calls with our friends at Twin Screws Marine Service in Ft Myers, but that's just not the same as seeing with your own eyes in person. So for now, Island Girl is safe and all buttoned up in a secure boatyard.
While we are disappointed with our current situation, we plan to take advantage of the extra time afforded to us and do everything we can to best position Shades of Blue Charters for a successful first season. Stay tuned...