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.
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.
-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.
So here is the recap for 2013-2014 season. In a nut shell: Awesome trips, awesome guests. Just an awesome season.
P.S. Don’t forget, next Saturday – Wax Party at Blue. Bring your “Wax on Wax off” attitude.