We chartered Jalapeno after the boat we initially booked fell through, and we hit the jackpot! Everything about our trip could not have been better. We had never done a charter before and Ray was very friendly and easy to work with. Since we had already booked our flights, Ray offered us the option to stay on board the night before we left the marina and on the last night. We arrived back in port just in time to catch a ride (that Ray arranged) to the airport.
Jalapeno is a beautiful boat! She is comfortable, spacious and full of character. Jalapeno is well-loved by her owners, Ray and Jennifer, and well equipped and provisioned. Anything you could want or need is on board. I believe there is a tremendous advantage to chartering from someone who owns the boat. Ray and Jennifer know all the nuances of Jalapeno and every day flowed seamlessly into the next. Safety was a priority and we always belt VERY safe and secure even on "windy" (for us!) days.
Our itinerary was "loosely" discussed before we started. We did hit all our "must see" locations. Being flexible enabled us to discover some amazing spots that were off the beaten path. Ray has some "secret" spots that included one night with not another boat in sight! We stargazed in one of the darkest places I've every been, saw the water glow with phosphorescent creatures, did a little hiking, paddle boarding, scootering on Anegagda and lots of snorkeling (which was amazing). We saw brilliant coral gardens, and Ray showed us sea creatures that we never knew existed. We held furry (and slimy) sea cucumbers, sea biscuits, sand dollars, conch and more. Ray found lobsters, rays and turtles and took amazing underwater pictures for us. I could go on and on about the snorkeling, it made us all want to get SCUBA certified. Ray is very familiar with the islands and when there were too many boats at one place, he always had a plan B (or C or D...)!
Ray and Jennifer are really fun and interesting hosts. We learned about the history of the islands and heard great stories about the locals and islands. Speaking of locals, it seems like Ray and Jennifer know them all--restaurant owners, bartenders, and various other island characters. Food and drink on the boat was wonderful and plentiful, and we had some very nice French wine every night. Afternoons we were treated to rum punch, margaritas and painkillers (or painkiller juice only for our 16 year old daughter).