New Hat (2016-2017)

Capt Wilson of Island Wilson Excursions

Capt Wilson of Island Wilson Excursions

Ahoy crew! Your captain here with an end of the season (beginning of the season) recap-what-all. This is in no particular order, so bear with me.

We are officially into the 2016-2017 season and I would love to say it started without a hitch but it ain’t so. Minor stuff and everyone left with big smiles at the end of the day. (Except for Joe who, I’m told, doesn’t smile.) Next week the Crazy Texans return, as the beginning of the season requires, and they have booked almost everyday. So it starts with a bang. (figuratively please! )

Despite starting last season 2015-2016 under a bit of a dark cloud we had an awesome season. Met some awesome people. Saw some awesome friends revisit. And had quite a few awesome experiences. Many awesome trips. So, if I had to sum up the last season in one word, it would, of course, be “super!” (insert smiley face)

One thing that the 2014-2015 crisis taught me is that we are not really prepared for emergencies and if you all hadn’t pitched in to save the bacon, things would have gone much differently. That is why 2016-2017 is seeing a price increase. Half Days are up by $40 and Full Days have increased by $70. Now, don’t get all moody on me. This is the first price increase we’ve had in 8 years and the R.O. dis is still in effect.

Scubapro Twin Jets

Scubapro Twin Jets

 

There was a memorial service for my Scubapro Twin-Jets. As it seems they were only built to last 16 years. These puppies were given to me by my OWSI Instructor in 2000 and have seen many places on the globe. So of course they got replaced another pair if the same. Different color.

Ok. On to more positive things. I have started what I can only refer to as “the project.” “The project” will take all season to complete and will involve everyone who takes a trip in the coming year. AND . . . it will be really cool. Everyone who has already participated in “the project” is very excited (read mildly amused) by “the project.” But the first rule of “the project” is that we don’t talk about “the project”, until you are in “the project.” And even then, only in whispers. But again, really cool stuff.

I don’t normally single out anyone (besides Margy and the Texans) because there are so many of you out there that make the year special for me (and Blue) in your own way. And If I started a list It would be long and I would probably leave someone out and I might even mist up. So I want to avoid that slippery slope. But this once . . .  ok. Shawn S. is my hero. Enough said.

Beautiful Blue.  Blue was on the hard in June this year for her yearly maintenance and bottom paint and she got a top-side make over as well. An awlgrip paint job on the aluminum and new cushions. And she looks fantastic. Some of you R.O.s who visited post June have seen the difference. We may implement a biodegradable sun screen only policy to keep her looking nice. Hmmm, I just came up with that, but I like it.

And finally, the edits are complete on this years Snorkeling Video for 2016 and we included it in this post. Hope you like it. (I mean) Like it!

And as always, Thanks to all of you for finding us, for being R.O.s  and for being part it even when you’re not here. Safe travels, everyone. Hope to see you back soon!

-Capt Wilson

St Thomas snorkeling at its best! (2016 style)

-More great [videos]
-Photos of sea turtles, common fish seen snorkeling and other reef stuff.

Deja Blue & New Hat

We are officially into the 2015-2016 season and I must say, we couldn’t have had a better start. (Margy, of course, was missed as our lead off trip, but Brad’s Texans surely shined in her place.)

So first off let’s talk about Blue. I have been reluctant to share the good news with all of you because I didn’t want to have to post a retraction a few days later. So, I’ve been monitoring the situation with pressed thumbs. But, with 5 awesome trips under our belt, I am confident to say Deja Blue is back and in great form. “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” Special thanks to everyone who helped out and made this possible. And there are quite a few of you. We really appreciate your support.

Except for that little hiccup in August where Blue wanted a vacation before it was scheduled, I have to say 2014-2015 was another amazing season. More people are finding us. More guests are having great trips and the repeat offender list keeps growing. And it always great to see familiar faces when pulling up to the dock. Always. It means we’re doing something right or maybe that the discount is too good to pass up.  Hopefully the first one.

Looking forward to another great season. Thanks to all of you who make the greatest job in the world even better.

Capt Wilson

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Capt Wilson and Deja Blue Crew

Capt Wilson and Deja Blue Crew

Capt Wilson and Deja Blue Crew

Capt Wilson and Deja Blue Crew

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A Season in Review

Capt Wilson's Hat

Capt Wilson’s Hat

It’s time to break out a brand new hat. Tomorrow’s trip is officially the first of the 2014-2015 season. The beginning of a new chapter for IWE. And the closing of another.

Capt Wilson Reflecting

Capt Wilson Reflecting

I shall now take a few moments to reflect on whatever pops into my captain’s head regarding 13/14. If we could have a moment of silence while I concentrate. Thank you.

-13/14 Island Wilson Excursion’s second season was by far a success. Deja Blue has done another outstanding job of running smoothly and taking us to and from our destinations in comfort and style with only a few bumps in the road so to speak. As I head out into the Virgin Islands with guests and see the other boats doing day charters, I have yet to see a more perfect boat for doing what we are doing, none of the others even come close and I can not imagine driving anything else. Blue is fast, roomy, comfortable, stable, smooth, dry and great to snorkel from. Blue is the other half of IWE. (Someone pointed out once that I use a lot of ‘WE’s in my emails ‘We are glad you called,’ ‘We have availability,’ etc. Capt Wilson, if it’s just you doing the bookings, emails and captaining the trips, why all the ‘WE’s? Well, now you know.) (of course this usually leads into But Capt Wilson, you do realize your boat is an inanimate object. Nothing could be further from the truth.) 

-13/14 has set the record for Whale Encounters for IWE. A total of 20 sightings this season. By far better than any of the other years either IWE or BBE saw, where we never crossed out of single digits.

-13/14 has been a season of back to snorkeling. I am not really sure how this swing took place but we have seen far more snorkeling enthusiasts this year than ever before. It has been the greatest experience showing some of you the undersea world for the very first time. It is such a magical place and wonderful to see so many beginner and advanced snorkelers on board.

Capt Wilson & Deja Blue

Capt Wilson & Deja Blue

-Maybe we saw so many domestic snorkelers this year because of the BVIs fee hike. 13/14 witnessed the BVI departure tax rise by $15 and the US Port Authority rise by $5. Making it now $20 more expensive per person to visit the BVIs. As of this writing, customs and immigration fees for our trips into the British Virgin Islands are at $45 per person. Ouch!

-13/14 we sort of skidded into the habit of posting photos and just photos. That is the fault of our new Instagram account @islandwilsonexcursions. Seriously. They make it so easy to just toss up a photo and so hard to type on those tiny little keyboards. Especially in the bright sun. However we will attempt to toss up something with a little more substance now and then. But Blue doesn’t type, so . . .

-13/14 Brought some changes to the number of passengers we take out. It is very involved and a hot topic down here and I am going to gloss over a large portion of the details but here are the basics. Those of you who know us from way back (BBE) know that we started by taking out only 6 at a time. In 2013 the USCG said all charters could carry more than 6.  Right around the beginning of 2014 they started pulling boats carrying more than 6. We don’t want to get pulled during our trips so are back to 6 as our limit.

-13/14 We added the Secret Spot to some of your itineraries. Hope you enjoyed that. You are still sworn to secrecy. And some of you that have been with us a number of times actually went to the corners of the map this time as we showed you places a little bit harder to get to.

-And of course in 13/14 we saw you. Our guests. The most important thing of all because let’s face it, without you we are not Island Wilson Excursions. We are just Island Wilson Waiting at the Dock Sitting on Our Thumbs. So Thanks. 13/14 brought us a bunch of great people. We were reunited with past guests whom we’d lost touch with and met some new heroes. I know some of you couldn’t make it down this year and your absence was noticed. But we also had a good number of ‘Repeat Offenders’ which is really nice to see. Thanks for finding us. Thanks for choosing us. Thanks for staying with us. Thanks for being great. Just Thanks.

I'm working here

“I’m working here.”

So here is the recap for 2013-2014 season. In a nut shell: Awesome trips, awesome guests. Just an awesome season.

-Capt Wilson

P.S. Don’t forget, next Saturday – Wax Party at Blue. Bring your “Wax on Wax off” attitude.

 

 

Island Wilson Excursions is Recommended on Tripadvisor

Recommended on Tripadvisor: Island Wilson Excursions

Recommended on Tripadvisor: Island Wilson Excursions

Woohoo!

We just received this in the email. It is a milestone of sorts but we have our sights on the Tripadvisor “Certificate of Excellence” which I suppose is a long way off.

Anyway, again special thanks to all of you who took the time to review your trips and say kind words. We really appreciate it.

-Capt Wilson