2018 Runner Up for Best Multihull under 57ft in the Annual BVI Charter Yacht Show
Gambit is a Lagoon 500, owned and operated by Doug and Val Fairfield, who have been offering charters in the Caribbean since 2014. Flagged and based in the BVI, this means that despite the closed entry ports, Covid protocols, and travel restrictions, we are able to continue offering BVI charters. There has never been a better time to vacation in the BVI, uncrowded and peaceful, like it was thirty years ago. Yes, the testing and retesting is tedious, but once vaccinated, one test on arrival and two days quarantine aboard is all it takes to visit. The following brochure is a sample of what Gambit has to offer ~ please feel free to ask questions and chat to your broker about options. As owner operators, we can be flexible and accommodating. Gambit relocates to the southern Caribbean during the summer (hurricane) months and is available for charter in the Grenadines in August and November. We look forward to welcoming you aboard!
Cruising Area of Gambit
Gambit offers sleeping accommodations in 3 queen size cabins and 1 twin bunk room. All offer AC and ensuite head and shower.
NOTE: If charter is for 4 couples crew can take bunk room. Please inquire for rate.
3 free dives included in Gambits rate for 7 night charters only.
Maximum amount divers is 6.
Maximum dives per day is 1.
Extra dives at a cost of $55
Diving is for certified and current divers only.
3 Dives per week included in the rate for certified divers based on 7 night charter. Extra dives at a cost of $55.
Guests rent or bring their own wet suits, specialized gear and dive computers.
Diving only offered in the Virgins.
Rendezvous diving in the Grenadines at guest expense.
Gambit Crew Profile
YOUR SKIPPER AND HOSTESS
To ease you into life at a slower pace are Doug and Val Fairfield, an English speaking, husband and wife team from South Africa, with many years combined cruising, travel and charter experience.
Doug holds a Yachtmaster Offshore Qualification, reinforced with many ocean crossings and coastal voyages, not least those accomplished with his family aboard. Doug started sailing in his mid twenties, based off the east coast of South Africa, where sailing and weather conditions are notoriously unpredictable and the coastline hazardous. Having grown up on the ocean with surfing as his main sport, sailing was a natural progression for him. Weekends were occupied with local and coastal racing as well as family sailing with the children. In 1995, in pursuit of our joint ambition to travel to remote places, we left on an extended 6 year cruise aboard our 30 foot monohull, (later upgraded to a 43 foot monohull), together with our two children, then 4 and 6 years old. This adventure took us across the Indian Ocean and back to South Africa, and then across the Atlantic to the USA, finally returning to South Africa at the end of 2000 for a period of regular land based life. During our cruising years we explored remote archipelagos, traveled by yacht many miles up the Amazon River, visited new and unique places, experienced diverse cultures and were exposed to many and varied challenges and opportunities. In 2012, the urge to move on again resulted in the acquisition of Katlyn, our first catamaran, and once again we set off across the Atlantic from Cape Town, spending a year en route, before establishing ourselves in the charter industry in the Caribbean. Along the way we have developed an awareness, appreciation and respect for the ocean, the sky and the weather in all its diversity. Most recently, we have been reminded of the majesty of mother nature as we have sailed Gambit the 4500nm from Italy to the Caribbean, to replace Katlyn, destroyed by hurricane Irma.
Doug has been an avid adventure sport enthusiast throughout his life. He is an advanced skydiver with 2500 jumps, and was the chief instructor at the local skydive club prior to his involvement with sailing; he is an experienced paraglider, loves scuba and free diving, as well as water and snow skiing and has completed a number of arduous long distance marathons. He is a natural storyteller and entertainer with a great sense of humor, a charismatic and attentive host, willing to go the extra mile to ensure you get the most out of your vacation.
Val grew up on a vast dairy farm in the Drakensberg farming district of South Africa, and attended boarding school, before qualifying as a private secretary and then a primary school teacher. She traded horse riding and hiking for sailing, and was perfectly positioned to home school the children while cruising. She is a qualified scuba diver, and enjoys snorkeling, skiing and hiking, and living the island life. She takes pride and pleasure in creating inviting spaces through tasteful choice and use of fabrics and decor, and is an accomplished seamstress. This is evident in the decor aboard Gambit, redecorated since arriving in the BVI a few months ago. Many years of challenging galley responsibilities have enabled her to become a competent and creative chef aboard, fine tuned by various short courses in culinary arts.
Doug and Val have a passion for traveling and a special affinity for the African bush, it´s wildlife, beauty, solitude and wide open spaces, and have been fortunate to do an extended three month 4x4 camping safari with roof top tent through some of the most unspoiled and rugged areas of Southern Africa. The freedom of traveling without boundaries inspired a six week camper van tour of New Zealand last year, wild camping without the constraints of official campsites in the winter wonderland of mountains and fjords. During this time we took the opportunity to try our hand at dog sledding, abseiling and caving. We have spent a month touring Sri Lanka traveling by train and staying in local B&B´s, visited Egypt and driven off the beaten track through the Western Desert, camping in the splendor of the White Desert en route. We have driven across the USA and would love to follow this up with a longer RV trip in the not to distant future.
After many years sailing together, (mostly with children aboard), and in excess of 70 completed charters, we team up on deck to offer you a fun filled sailing vacation, and when the anchor is down, a companionable, relaxed yet attentive atmosphere is created for you to escape your normal routine and create memories which will live with you forever.
We would love the opportunity to extend a warm welcome to you in the BVI, offer you our hospitality aboard Gambit, and show you around some of our lovely anchorages and must see spots that we´ve come to call home.
Crew are fully vaccinated for Covid 19.
Gambit CalendarAvailableBookedHold (can be challenged)Unavailable
Gambit Reservations & Port Locations
|Start Date||End Date||Details (Holds can be challenged)|
|Nov 28, 2021||Dec 09, 2021||Booked: Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI to Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI|
|Dec 10, 2021||Dec 17, 2021||Booked: Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI to Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI|
|Dec 19, 2021||Dec 26, 2021||Booked: Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI to Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI|
|Dec 27, 2021||Jan 03, 2022||Booked: Yacht Haven Grand to Yacht Haven Grand|
|Jan 05, 2022||Jan 12, 2022||Hold: Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI to Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI|
|Jan 18, 2022||Jan 27, 2022||Booked: Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI to Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI|
|Jan 28, 2022||Jan 31, 2022||Unavailable: Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI to Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI|
|Feb 02, 2022||Feb 11, 2022||Booked: British Virgin Islands* to British Virgin Islands*|
|Feb 13, 2022||Feb 22, 2022||Booked: British Virgin Islands* to British Virgin Islands*|
|Feb 25, 2022||Mar 05, 2022||Booked: Yacht Haven Grand to Yacht Haven Grand|
|Mar 06, 2022||Mar 12, 2022||Booked: Yacht Haven Grand to Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI|
|Mar 13, 2022||Mar 20, 2022||Booked: Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI to Yacht Haven Grand|
|Mar 21, 2022||Mar 25, 2022||Unavailable: Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI to Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI|
|Mar 26, 2022||Apr 02, 2022||Booked: Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI to Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI|
|Apr 03, 2022||Apr 08, 2022||Unavailable: Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI to Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI|
|Apr 09, 2022||Apr 23, 2022||Booked: Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI to Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI|
|Apr 27, 2022||May 04, 2022||Booked: Tortola - Nanny Cay to Tortola - Nanny Cay|
|May 09, 2022||May 19, 2022||Booked: Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI to Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI|
|May 20, 2022||May 27, 2022||Booked: Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI to Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI|
|May 28, 2022||Jun 04, 2022||Booked: Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI to Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI|
|Jun 05, 2022||Jun 18, 2022||Booked: Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI to Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI|
|Jun 19, 2022||Jun 26, 2022||Booked: British Virgin Islands* to British Virgin Islands*|
|Jun 29, 2022||Jul 06, 2022||Booked: British Virgin Islands* to British Virgin Islands*|
|Jul 07, 2022||Jul 14, 2022||Booked: Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI to Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI|
|Jul 15, 2022||Nov 18, 2022||Unavailable: Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI to Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI|
|Dec 03, 2022||Dec 10, 2022||Booked: Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI to Tortola, Nanny Cay, BVI|
Gambit Rates / weekThe prices shown are for the entire yacht for a week-long (7 nights) charter.
Low price: $17,000
High price: $22,750
|Season||2 Pax||3 Pax||4 Pax||5 Pax||6 Pax||7 Pax||8 Pax|
Yacht terms: All Inclusive
An all-inclusive charter covers all provisioning and running expenses. This includes a captain and crew that is fully trained and committed to your safety and enjoyment of your trip. A chef will provide the kind of exceptional, personalized meal preparation that you would expect of a five-star restaurant. The listed rate may not include all local taxes, cruising permits, premium beverages and scuba activities. Inquire for more information.
Send us an inquiry to get specific pricing for Gambit.
Gambit Guest Reviews
A puzzle building family
Thank you for providing us with a vacation that will be part of our family memories forever. The time with you was incredible, even with having to deal with Covid protocols. Your hospitality, guidance and friendship were so appreciated. You felt like family from the beginning and we look forward to seeing you in the not too distant future! - Barry and Linda
4th Wedding Anniversary
Thank you for such an amazing trip, you both are an awesome team. We made so many memories that we will always cherish. We hope to cross paths with you again soon - Kayci & Jeremy
The Gerbers visit - A South African element!
I can´t imagine any way that this trip could have been better without the two of you being part of it. Your friendliness, knowledge and flexibility are part of what made my time here as amazing as it was. Thank you for all you´ve done and for helping me make these memories that will last a lifetime - Ben
Thank you for everything you did for us and for being such amazing hosts. We all had a fantastic time and will cherish all the memories. It was truly an honor to meet you and hopefully we will see each other again in the near future. All the very best to you! - Mike and Lynn
Elise and Jeff
We are ever so grateful our lives have intersected - your gracious hospitality speaks wonders to who you are. We have thoroughly enjoyed the ride - beyond our expectations, and look forward to meeting again sometime. Our very best to you always.
Thank you for an amazing trip!So guys were so attentive to every detail and were exceptional hosts. I must say this was the best trip of my life and I look forward to a return visit. We loved all the jokes, stories and knowledge of the area, and Val, your cooking and presentation was fabulous.
Jamey and Denise
Thank you for a wonderful week fun of adventure, activity, laughter, delicious meals and great company! Your two are so simpatico! It was a total pleasure being with you and feeling safe in your capable hands. Thanks
Zinkl Voelkel McGlynn Visit
WOW! what an amazing vacation. We really appreciate you welcoming us into your home and taking us to the best places in the BVI. We will never forget the yellow flag of honor being the only boat in each bay and having two islands to ourselves. You are the best! - Sherri and Steve
Thank you for a wonderful, wonderful, tremendous charter! It was a challenge to get here (1 year delayed)but well worth the wait. So fun to stay at anchorages that we have never seen before - thank you for that! We can´t wait for our next charter with you..... Grenadines?? Susan & Ray
From two non boat people, we had an amazing time. We can not say enough about our fantastic charter. The food, hospitality, knowledge of the area and everything else, truly spectacular. Thank you for an awesome trip of a lifetime - Tracy and Chris
Our Missouri friends
We had a wonderful time! I didn´t think it would be better than the first time ´cos that was so amazing....but it was! The dives, the food, the games - everything was perfect! Can´t wait ´til next time - D & Vi
I have enjoyed getting to spend these nine days with you. Thank you so much for the stories and laughs. Doug, I appreciate the time taken to take us on dives, and Val for the chats and amazing food. You two are one of a kind and such a joy to be around, thank you so much for allowing us into your home - Andy
Emerging from Covid - first charter after a year! The Andy Clan
Thank you for an amazing adventure! Top notch accommodation and fantastic meals. Thank you for the journey, memories and knowledge will stay forever, ´bad luck zone´, ´rummikub lessons´ - we look forward to another voyage in the future. This was one of the most relaxing vacations we have ever had - Scott and Whitney
Another sail is on the books, thanks for celebrating my 45th with me - Andy and Kristie
Thank you for a fabulous vacation and so many memories we will enjoy forever! Not to mention the fabulous food! - Dan and Wendy
A Gra´n´d trip by the Grad family
Letter to the broker ~ ´We could not be happier with your recommendation of team Gambit/Doug and Val. Early on in our selection process, you stated that I should first find a crew with bio´s that seemed to be a fit with what we were looking for, and then secondly, see if we liked the boat. That was absolutely the best travel advice ever. When I selected Doug and Val at your suggestion, I really didn´t yet understand how excellent your guidance was.
They are the ultimate hosts/experts to host a yacht vacation. Their easy warm style, great conversation and communication, sense of humor, world travel experience, nautical knowledge, bartending and culinary skills were all truly exceptional and exceeded our expectations. My family was just blown away every day of this trip.
Doug did a great job manuevering bad weather and managed to find the perfect and interesting anchorages every single day. He´s happy to share his marine knowledge both above and below sea level and always has a great story to tell. What an interesting guy! We could have talked with him non-stop for weeks!
Val is a gem. While she comes across as quiet and unassuming, she was quick to get in on our family jokes and humor and truly helped take things to a whole other level that our gang will not soon forget. She works hard in the tiniest galley preparing thoughtful, well presented gourment food without it being too fancy. It was a real treat to be surprised everyday with the question and answer of ´Gee.....What do you think she´s making for lunch or dinner?´ My family and I are real foodies and truly appreciated the labor of love she put into each meal. The whole food and dining experience was simply sophisticated and far exceeded our expectations.
I could go on and on raving about this trip. Simply a perfect 10. We can´t wait to sail with Doug and Val again, and thanks for your terrific guidance and answering my dozens of questions. It was the most memorable birthday for me! ~ Marc
What a fabulous & unforgettable trip ~ certainly made turning ´60´ a lot easier. We will treasure the memories we´ve made until we meet again! Much love, Myriam, Marc, Max, Mara, Stuie & Judy
You guys were the most fun ever - both are you are now part of the memories that will last forever ~ Stuie
Family Renunion Charter
Excellent trip - fantastic attention to detail made it all so wonderful. With many thanks, and see you soon! ~ Raymond
Leaving Gambit this morning after 8 nights aboard being spoiled by the best hosts ever: Doug & Val. Took hundreds of pictures with my brother, Raymond who invited me all the way from London! ~ Joyce
The Lovell Couple
What a great adventure with you guys! Thanks so much for offering to let us crew the rest of the season so we don´t have to go back to Iowa!!! The stories of your adventures are awe-inspiring....the places you´ve been paint a vivid picture.
Thank you so much for sharing with us. Sharing your love of this place, sharing your kindness and laughter and sharing these memories ~ Mick and Rhonda
A Second Visit
Another wonderful trip, we cannot thank you enough for your kindness and hospitality. Enojoyed every second. Beautiful beaches, gorgeous sunrises and sunsets...until next time ~ Jill and Bill
The only problem on Gambit is the time passes too quickly. We loved every speedy, sun filled minute. Thank you for another week of extraordinary hospitality, laughs, puzzles, delicious food, and left, right, centre. Much love until next time ~ Frank and Meg
New Year 2020!
Thanks for an amazing week ~ pain killers, red wine, panic attacks, square hair, Fred the barracuda (bigger than my sister!), epic snorkeling, left, right, centre.....Ginny, Kath, Lori, Connor, Jason
Christmas Cruise 2019!
Thank you so much for making our Christmas unforgettable! So many fun adventures with Doug, fueled by fun and delicious food from Val. Didn´t quite finish that Woodford, but loved the ´bubbles´ above and below the water
I had the best snorkel trip I have ever done, at The Indians! The water was beautiful and so is the boat. Thank you so much Gambit. We come from Sioux Falls and we don´t get this kind of weather ...it is amazing. PS - Thank you Gambit Santa for the Christmas presents
Thank you so much for spending your Christmas with us. Thanks for the amazing activities we´ve done.Thank you for the outstanding food. Thanks for treating us like family
This was planned as a special family event. The crew made it an especially GREAT event ~ 60th Anniversary with all 7 family members enjoying the whole experience from 80 year old senior to 20 year old grandson. I´m sure this trip will remain in our conversations for a long time. Thanks for a great trip.
Food fantastic, route amazing, crew ...was the bonding feature!!! ~ Ed
Thanksgiving week November 2019
Your hospitality , knowledge and great comradery made this a trip of a lifetime. Our family will be re-living all the experiences you two have granted us for years to come. I personally will cherish every anchorage and story you two let us be a part of.
Soooo many thanks. Now back to life in the rat race …….. may our wakes cross again !!!
E.W. and Family
The Richards return
Once again you have raised the bar for any future vacations we take! Sailing in the Grenadines was fabulous, the anchorages beautiful and the food delicious. Above all that, is the hospitality and friendship you so easily share with us. Thank you for the opportunity to scuba again... that and the snorkeling was glorious - so many beautiful fish and coral reefs..... I could go on and on ~ Ken and Jean
This 2nd vacation with the tow of you and Gambit has been simply marvelous. We always feel welcome and cared for every single minute. Your desire to make our experiences personal and fun were apparent and appreciated. Thank you for being you! Until we meet again.... ~ Mark and Cheryl
You two sure make things look easy! However, we know the work you do is far from easy! You truly have made this week in the Grenadines the trip of a lifetime. We have made so many memories and experienced new things (scuba diving) thanks to you. Thank you for teaching us to truly enjoy life and to take the opportunity to do new things. We will see you both soon ~ Dory and Josh
Friends from South Africa ~ tandem with Slivochka
Thanks so much for having our whole family on Gambit. This was really an experience of a lifetime. Thanks for showing us the beauty of the islands and sharing your world with us. We really appreciate all the effort put into every single moment spent on Gambit. Your meals are to die for and you and Doug make a great team. We are so looking forward to seeing you in SA soon ~ Elmarie
Dit was ´n groot voorreg om hiertoe week saam met julle te kon spandeer op Gambit. Baie dankie vir jul gasvryheid en al die moeite wat julle gedoen het om hierdie ervaring spesiaal te maak. By verre ´n hoogtepunt in ons lewens ~ Byron & Franky
Ongelooflijk baie dankie vir die vakansie van ons lewens. Elke oorblik was ´n avontuur en iets wat ons sal nooit vergeet nie. Dankie vir all die bederf en moeite, hoop julle kan ook bietjie rus. ~ Janique & Bennie
2nd time around
What another amazing adventure we had again this year! Thank you for the love, laughter, beautiful views, stories and amazing food. And thanks for adding on the special dive trips for the boys. We love you and con not wait until our next adventure ~ Frank and Valorie
Hard to believe this is our fourth time on board. Words can never express how happy my heart is with my family and you both here in the BVI. The beauty of the islands, the laughter, delicious meals, under water adventures.....the list goes on and on!Thank you for spoiling us up! Thank you for all the fun island hopping to make sure everyone gets ´their experience´! From quiet coves to Soggy´s, we covered it all! Thank you! Thank you!
Three generations aboard
You two are such an inspiration to me, the way you live and enjoy the beauty of nature and the world is enlightening. I love meeting people like you who have adventurous souls and genuine hearts. The last 8 days have been calming, healing and brought my connection to the ocean closer. Val, thank you for the nourishing food and treating us like family. Dougie, thanks for taking me back under the sea and being patient with me diving. I hope we meet again someday. Obrigada, Thank you, Danke.
The Athertons return
It was so amazing to sail with you again and though we miss Katlyn, we love Gambit now too! The food, hospitality and friendships feel like we are one big family. Thank you for putting up with us and we will see you again without kids! (PS - we left the kids in the locker with the scuba gear - train your new deck hands well!)
The M0-rons celebration of life
Thank you so much for an amazing week! You exceeded all expectations - the food, the sailing, all the laughs. You are both wonderful people and I will always be grateful to Carol for introducing us - Mo
Cruising through the BVI´s was a truly wonderful experience especially having you to take such good care of us. Your warmth and genuine interest in making sure we were never left wanting for a single thing was very much noted and appreciated! Val - the food! On my, you can create wonders in that kitchen! I´m still thinking of the grilled tuna! Captain ´Ron´ - you managed to keep one step ahead of us with the beer and wine cooler - not an easy feat with us Canadians. Until we meet again... - Kim
Thank you Val and Doug for your heart-felt hospitality. So many great memories with our buddies and with you. Great boat, great food, thank you so much - Karen & Lonnie
Game for anything
What an amazing trip! You both have such a warm and welcoming way. Any nervousness about a week at sea were quickly washed away from the get go. The many adventures will stay in our hearts for years to come. All meals were delicious - even with one of the most picky children - Val made wonderful meals and snacks. You both have such patience and experience that Mike and I truly appreciate! Thanks for helping make this our best spring vacation.
Danielle´s 50th Birthday Bash
Thank you so much for welcoming us into your home and showing us an amazing week! We had the best time! We appreciate the co-ordination with Starfish so we could enjoy our holidays with all our family and friends. The food was awesome, the sailing fantastic, the stories unforgettable. We feel we have made friends for life and hope to return soon for more adventures on Gambit.
All the Vance gang
- We had an amazing time! thank you so much for everything - your planning and replanning was excellent and we got to do everything that was important to us. The dives were wonderful! We love the BVI´s, Gambit, and you guys - we didn´t know that we would make new friends. Hopefully Val creates a cookbook - we would be the first in line to purchase! The games and visiting were so much fun, thank you for everything
- Thank you so much for the amazing food, the amazing dives (loved seeing the sharks!), and the amazing birthday cake. We enjoyed the jokes and learning new games. Thank you for opening up your home to us - we cannot thank you enough for going above and beyond!
The Reef Shark spotting crew - John, Damara, Sara and Molly
Words cannot describe our sailing experience. We have just experienced one of our best holidays ever. This is our first sailing adventure and we are so grateful that we were able to share it on Gambit. Doug and Val, you could not be more kind and generous sharing your home with our family. We could not imagine a better crew. Val, thank you so much for the wonderful food. Who would think that you could prepare such excellent meals in a small kitchen on a boat. We hope to see you again soon.
The Awesome Owens
***Many thanks for sharing your lovely home with us on Thanksgiving Holiday. The charter was magnificent and the memories will last forever.
***Thank you so much for an amazing vacation. Getting to know you and meeting your children was a treat. Thank you for all the great memories.
***Thank you for such a fantastic charter. The wake boarding, snorkeling and sightseeing were beyond my expectations. But most of all the food was out of this world. I can´t wait to sail with you again.
***Thank you both so much 4 your hospitality and having so much fun with us. We won´t forget y´all.
Mate´s Log - Loren
Thank you for such a memorable trip. You have opened our eyes to appreciate life and all the things it has to offer. Thank you for sharing this moment with us and making it special. Til next time.
Thanks for such an awesome trip! The food and sights were amazing, but best of all you shared in making great memories that will last a life time. thanks for all you do! ~ Valorie and Frank
Vicki and Dan´s Grenadines adventure
Cape Doug and Admiral Val! What an incredible journey you led us through. Thank you for the hospitality, the stories and the delicious meals. We will never forget the turtles, the sunsets and the island hopping! You made the adventure on the Gambit. We have had the fortune of some really fun and adventurous vacations, but this is right up there as one of the best. Thanks for the memories, they will be shared!!
Paul, Annika, Bill & Jen explore the Grenadines
We have had an absolutely fantastic four days on your lovely boat. A big big thank you from each of us for fabulous food, sailing, snorkeling, fun, knowledge and games. We´ve really appreciated your attention to detail, gracious hosting and the wealth of knowledge you have passed on.
The boat is extremely luxurious and beautifully outfitted and decorated. Bedrooms are roomy and peaceful, bathrooms modern and pretty. The boat is beautiful under sail. The communal areas are huge - plenty of space to relax without crowding and so much deck space for everyone to choose their favorite nook.
The meals were truly restaurant quality-delicious and beautifully presented - with wines to compliment. Afternoon cocktails would appear miraculously after a day of snorkeling and exploring little bays and coves.
But by far the best part of chartering Gambit was the wonderful duo of captain/first mate- Doug and Val. Two fine sailors and hosts who really care about the sort of vacation their guests have.
They listened to our needs and wants and tailored the most wonderful week of watery fun filled activities and sights- knowing that we wanted to do nothing more than relax with our families and have lots of new experiences.
They planned each day with us the night before - and gave us the time to do nothing if that´s what we wanted - plus their stories of life on the sea were entrancing and we shared many a laugh with these wonderfully easy going South Africans.
My family and I would vacation on the Gambit again - and plan to !
´The sea, once it casts its´ spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever´ - Jacques Cousteau
Just a quote to let you both know how much wonderment you brought to the Pursell and Keane families. thank you for taking such an interest each day in educating us, exploring with us, and becoming our friends. Val and Doug, You made this a trip we will never forget! Loved the food, the games and the time getting to know you! God bless. The Pursells
The Aussie Keanes
We go back 10lbs heavier - thanks to Val
100 times wiser - thanks to Doug
and 100 000 times happier - thanks to you both!
This was our best vacation ever! Thank you so so much for all your care and attention, love and laughter, and friendship during our vacation. You helped us make memories we will never forget!
Robyn and Barry
Until next time! We leave with the fondest memories! And of course we also leave 10lbs heavier because of Val´s cooking. We truly love you like family and have no words to express our gratitude! Have a wonderful holiday off together, and Lord willing we will see you next season!
The Bond family
Third time was a charm! After two previous boat cancelled, you saved the day, and how lucky we are that you did! We could not have asked for a more perfect week - delicious beautifully served meals, gorgeous anchorages, a multitude of fun activities, rummikub, snorkeling adventures, and best of all....giving Daniel the ongoing good-natured ribbing. You are the best. So glad to now count you both as friends. Until next time! - The Bonds
Thank you for always going the extra mile, like taking me to the Belgium soccer game, teaching me new card games, and overall giving me an amazing time - Emily
The Richards and Bergmans
To say we had a wonderful trip is an understatement! There are no words to describe how amazing our week in the BVI was and Doug and Val were absolutely phenomenal! Life changing trip with so many wise words shared with Doug and Val - Dory
Doug and Val - fate brought us together for our very first visit to the BVI. We are blessed to come away from this trip knowing you as ´crew´ but as friends too. We wish you the very best - you have your life priorities in perfect alignment. Until we meet again - the Bergmans
It was providence that brought you to us....a perfect combination for fun and relaxation. We had a great week with fabulous food and wonderful snorkeling. Thank you so much for EVERYTHING!! - the Richards
Thank you for a wonderful experience and for putting up with all our shenanigans. We will always remember it, and your gracious hospitality. We wish you the best.
The Stilwell Group
We enjoyed your gracious hospitality and kindness, delicious meals and entertainment. Gambit is beautiful and we were made to feel right at home - Loved it all!! Hope to return in the near future - the Stilwells
What a wonderful an memorable trip this was. Doug and Val, you both were great. Safe sailing to you and hope we meet again - Marilyn
You have secured a place in our hearts and in our memory. Your hospitality and smiles we will take with us a cherish - Randy and Carol
You are a blessing - Thank you - Candy
The Cooper collection
Thank you so much for an amazing trip; it exceeded our expectations! We made so many memories and felt so blessed to have this family time together. Doug provided wonderful entertainment and Val´s cooking was absolutely fantastic. We hope to be back with you again in the future - Shelley
You guys are very good at what you do...really the ultimate guides to the Caribbean! We were blown away at how much time we gained by doing this. We hope to repeat soon, and when we do, you guys will be who we choose. Thanks for your efforts to make this trip so special - Taz
Edwards and Tate Family Adventures
Thank you so much for sharing your home with us for the week! We had such an amazing trip. Our kids are already asking us to plan our next trip - Kristie & Andy
This was an amazing trip! Thanks for the hospitality and being so sweet and patient with the girls! Your boat is so beautiful! - Stephanie & Bill
I had an absolutely amazing time, the best trip ever! Mrs Val was the best cook and thank you for teaching us Rummikub. And thank you Doug for teaching us card tricks and all the other cool stuff about the islands, water and more! And for having so much fun with us! This trip was AWESOME, I will never forget it! - Bailey
The Pickard family
Sadly our vacation came to an end and it´s back to work for us tomorrow. We had such a wonderful time on the Katlyn and with the two of you. I wasn´t kidding that we need to do this exact vacation again. I wouldn´t change a thing.
Kurt, Angela, Addie and Lilly
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in the BVI aboard Katlyn! The scenery was beautiful, but Doug and Val made the trip fantastic. We definitely felt like we had made new friends by the end of the week and were a little teary eyed saying goodbye. We loved the bays they chose for us to stay in, offered us lots of hiking opportunities and snorkeling in some beautiful areas. We had great conversations and lots of adventures. Val made every meal feel gourmet. The food was excellent. She was very attentive to our preferences. We had a wonderful time.Definitely one of our favorite vacations. Hopefully we will have to opportunity to cross paths again with Doug and Val.
The Pettyjohn family
I would like to begin by saying that our charter with Katlyn and it’s captain and mate was absolutely the very best experience we have had to date with our family of five. The biggest problem that we encountered and for which no one prepared us was the depression we felt at having to return to the real world and the demands of day to day living. Our lives aboard the Katlyn so far exceeded our expectations, that I’m afraid we have been spoiled for every other vacation we will take. We developed such a great relationship with Doug and Val that I would hesitate to charter with anyone else for fear that it would pale in comparison. They became part of our family. From the first contact we had with Doug, until our last hug goodbye, we felt such a great connection to both Val and Doug. Doug was like a favorite Uncle who was always eager to teach, share, explore, lead, and pamper while Val assumed a more nurturing role with her calm, quiet, kind, and sincere demeanor. The two of them together make a great team and compliment each other beautifully. We felt well cared for from the moment we stepped on the boat. Doug’s confidence put all five of us at ease and Val’s delicious meals kept everyone well fed. Between the two of them, we wanted for nothing. From the minute we stepped aboard the Katlyn, we were treated with kindness and consideration. Doug and Val made every effort to ensure that all of our needs were met. They reiterated that should there be anything we desired, we need only ask. While I like to think of our family as relatively laid back and easy going, I feel certain that if I had asked for the moon to be brought down a little closer to the boat, Doug would have climbed the mast to try to lasso it closer for us! There was never a time that anyone in our family wanted for anything. The beverages were always stocked and cold, the food was always plentiful, the boat was always maintained with care and precision, and Doug’s sailing was always smooth. We loved the way Val helped him with buoys and anchorages. Truly they fit together like a hand in a glove.
Barbara and Fabian, Andy and Sylvia
When we thought about returning to Katlyn in March 2017 to explore the new area Doug and Val are sailing - the BVIs - we all agreed that this time we´d have to stay longer and hence booked without a minute of hesitation a two-weeks cruise with them. And again, and even more, we felt at home the moment Doug picked us up at the airport. Again, we spent the most wonderful and relaxed days on board - being active with swimming, snorkling, stand-up paddling and going for hikes, but also being lazy on board, having drinks together and of course enjoying again all the awesome meals that lovely Val prepared for us. We loved to sit together in the evenings to chat and listen to the stories Doug and Val could tell from their long sailing and travelling experience and truly felt like staying with friends. After two weeks it was even harder to say goodbye than the first time, but we´ll always cherish the wonderful memories of this amazing time and keep all of it deep in our hearts.
Sailing the Caribbean with Doug and Val is a great holiday experience that is impossible to match!
The Bradley family
Doug and Val did a tremendous job of making us feel welcome and comfortable throughout our trip. They are warm and friendly, have wonderful stories,expressed a great sense of safety and knowledge coupled with kindness and enthusiasm that made our family feel instantly comfortable sharing space with them onboard. They both are extremely hard-working, without showing us an instant of stress. This gave the charter a sense of ease, though we are well aware that there was great forethought and labor involved in creating
an atmosphere of relaxed adventure. Doug did a great job of presenting many options to us and then doing whatever he could to make them happen! We felt that he did a wonderful job of listening to us, and being attentive and responsive to each and every one of our preferences. This gave the whole trip a very personal and catered feel. It was exactly perfect for our family! We enjoyed their happy and playful nature, their philosophical approach to life, the way they showed respect and kindness to all, and their intuitive and natural read of how to best be of service. They were delightful in every way!! The meals and beverages
were beyond our expectations!! We had no idea how delicious the food would be on our vacation, and felt like each time we sat down at the table it was like unwrapping a new Christmas gift! Val set the table differently and creatively for every meal, and the food was divine and created with so much care. We felt nourished inside and out by Val´s talent and devotion in the galley. And she did it all with a generous and warm disposition the whole
As an almost full-time traveler, this has been a trip of a lifetime for me! It was made so by the excellent personalities of the crew - Val and Doug Fairfield. They are self motivated to make your charter a very successful one! You cannot find better people to work with!
Doug emphasizes safety measures, leads various hikes, and keeps up on various ships maintenance work. Val´s meals are done from scratch and are very tasty. The boat is in outstanding shape.
Stacey, Ronnie, Maggie and Parker
Thank you for the most amazing experience ever. We absolutely loved every aspect (except the beets!). The hikes were wonderful and the snorkels were beautiful – all to work off the amazing food Val cooked. I think we will never be so full of good food. Will y’all please come visit in Mississippi one day and we will give you almost as good as an experience. Be safe! Y’all will be missed as y’all are now family.
Captain Doug – The life lessons you graciously taught our children made this vacation one we will carry with us throughout life. To me, this week was not about vacationing in the most beautiful waters, but about time spent together laughing and sharing. You made this bigger than reality. I could not have dreamt of it better. For that I love you and you will be part of us forever.
Admiral Val – You are by far the most beautiful woman I have ever met. Your smile and laughter are your gifts (cooking a close second) and God has blessed my family with them not only this past week but forever in our souls. Without you, this week would have only been a great vacation. You made it a home and a family. You are now loved deeply in Mississippi – please visit and bring your laughter with you. It will be missed ~ Stacey
I cannot express my gratitude for sharing your home with us! I had the best time this week! Definitely the best vacation ever! ~ Maggie
Barry, Robyn, Brooklyn and Weston
We boarded your beautiful Katlyn as strangers and instantly became friends and family! We are so thankful God chose for our paths to cross! You are both beautiful and there are no words to express our thanks for such an incredible vacation. You exceeded our expectations in every way! Please keep in touch!
Art and Val
Thanks for turning Art’s vision of my “Part 11, the next 50 years” into reality. Sailing with you, learning about the boat, the various islands, beaches, coves, bars, local sea creatures and all your past adventures was both captivating and a bit magical. We loved every moment of our week with you sailing through the BVI. We equally loved the many moments when we looked at each other and Art and Ifelt amazed by how perfect our days on Katlyn were. Thank you for filling our tummies, Val, with such healthy delicious food, and to you both for filling our hearts with a week of memories that will last forever. Thank you for everything, I could not have imagined a more enjoyable way to turn 50! Looking forward to the net adventure with you guys.
Lee and girls
Thank you for a fantastic trip! It was everything I hoped for and more. The girls couldn’t think of a favorite part – “the whole time was incredible”. Hopefully we will be back!
Jay and Shawna, with Sierra, Laiken and Carsen
Where to begin?! Thank you both for everything. So much thought and consideration was put towards making sure our trip was perfect. We can’t thank you enough for the ‘hands on’ experience. The sailing, snorkeling, the food and overall hospitality was top notch. As a stated in our thank you card to you both, we thank you for the wonderful family memories that will last a lifetime. Please contact us should you ever be in our state. You always have a place to stay. Hugs
Ray and Pam, Nawanda and Dean
Thank you for making our 50th Wedding Anniversary so amazing! Katlyn is such a special boat and we will always remember our time with you. From quiet times to sundowners and Val’s amazing meals – all I can say is WOW! We loved watching your teamwork, Captain Doug and Val’s skills at guiding us to a buoy. Please come to south Carolina – free golf! ~ Ray and Pam
“Beautiful waters, great sailing days, super snorkeling, baths, bubbly pool, 5 star breakfast, lunch and dinners, snacks, refreshing drinks, sweet Katlyn, and the manner in which you served us….all well beyond measure!! And yet you offered us even more! Your love for your country, the love of your family, your desire to treat all with dignity and honor, and the obvious commitment, respect and love for each other! We feel fortunate and blessed to have crossed paths with you two! Our hope is to see you again. If you are ever near Texas…..(golf included)! ~ Nawanda and Dean
Roger and Debbie, Al and Darla, Marianne
Thank you for a wonderful trip. Roger has enjoyed playing first mate and I see a sailboat in our future. You have gone out of your way to make this a perfect week of sailing. We have enjoyed learning the basics of the sea from someone who loves it. Your love of the sea and family shines with every word and action. For that we thank you. Don’t forget your friends in Dallas. I will second Darla’s motion, if you plan a trip to the States you are welcomed with open arms (and a place to stay). Take care and be safe ~ Roger and Debbie
Thank you for the most wonderful time of our life. Al’s dream of sailing has really brought him such pleasure. I have loved my time learning about the ocean. Your love of life and family will be remembered in a very special way. You and Val have become part of the family. Thank you! If you ever come our way, please come and stay and we will show you some of Texas ~ Al and Darla
WOW! AUSGEZEICHNET! Chef, Boss Lady, Captain, Bar Tender, Personalities PLUS!
This has been the BEST vacation! Your boat is great and you are so personable...so fun to chat, share stories and get to know you. Val – what wonderful meals..every one a big hit! And thank you for taking me under your wing to snorkel with me and enjoy time with us. Doug as well! What a captain you are! So efficient, you made us feel safe…but we also loved the adventure. Both of you showed us how determined you are to put us first, and tend to our needs and wants and make our trip first class! We are happy, happy sailors and have come away with new friends! DANKE! Hope our paths cross again at some point. Hugs ~ Marianne
Dana, Chris and Andrea, Jesselyn - the guests who horsed around
Incredible sights, amazing memories and 10lbs extra…..all this we gained on this trip! Thank you so much for your hospitality! Your yacht is delightful, your stories were so entertaining, and the food superb! Always remember the tramps on the tramp and the horse on the bow! We will never forget the great times we had on this trip and look forward to doing it again in the Grenadines someday soon!
Dana – The tramp on the tramp
Jesselyn – The best hooker (buoy!) on the tramp
Chris – The Horse
Andrea – the one who didn’t know a lamb was a sheep
Bob and Rose, Jordan and Jimmy - The SUP Acrobats
Words cannot begin to express what a beautiful, marvelous time we had aboard Katlyn! Despite rough seas, lost airline luggage and the appearance of ‘Murphy’ a few times, you made our voyage unforgettable! The food was superb (thank you Val), the drinks were always flowing (thank you Doug). Our conversations meant a lot – you are truly the models for the best hostess and captain – I am sure you taught your 2 beautiful children the same. I am happy we shared our card games – that was such fun! Thank you, God bless you both and your family – have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year – I am sure we will be back ~ Bob and Rose
Amazing trip! It was a time to remember for sure! I loved the stories you guys have. You are amazing people and I am positive you will have a delightful life counting backwards from 80. Thank you for introducing me to new foods and drinks, and completely superb places like the pools. I learned a lot within these few short days and experienced such beautiful things with great people. Thank you so so much ~ Jordan
Barbara and Fabian, Andy and Sylvia
All of us were for the first time on a catamaran cruise and for the first time in the Caribbean when we first boarded Katlyn in April 2015 - and we were completely and utterly overwhelmed. Not only by the outstanding natural beauty of the Grenadine islands, but also by the kind, personal and in every respect exceptional hospitality of our lovely hosts Doug and Val, who made us feel at home from the very first minute and made every day another day in paradise! Each day, Doug untiringly selected most beautiful islands and beaches for us to explore, took us to mindblowing snorkling spots (we´ll never, never forget Tobago Cays!), and Val spoiled us with the most amazing meals she produced with a lot of love and creativity in the tiny galley on board Katlyn.
The week we spent on board exceeded all (already high) expectations, and we were literally in tears when we had to leave much too soon.
Arturas and Galina
Thank you very much for your care and all the unforgettable moments we spent with you. We hope we can sail together again soon for new adventures. And we have experienced the best food in all of Guadeloupe!!!
Lothar and Geli
Thank you very much for these wonderful few days. It was our first sailing trip on a catamaran and we enjoyed it every day. You showed us very nice places in the Grenadines. Val, you are a great cook and your meals were always delicious. Doug, you told us many stories, sometimes such funny things. It was really a pleasure to stay on your Katlyn and to spend the time together with you.
Jan and Julia
What a huge pleasure it has been for us to spend these 5 days with you on your lovely yacht!! It was perfect all throughout….the sailing, diving, snorkelling, power boating with the dinghy, and of course the excellent food at any given time of the day (or night!) We truly enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere you have on your boat; it was just such a beautiful experience for us. Again, we will most certainly tell all our people and friends about this and will warmly recommend you to all who are planning a similar trip (and of course to those who are not yet…) For sure, WE will be back to see you again and spend another charter with you – somewhere in the Caribbean or elsewhere in the world…Thank you for everything.
Matthias and Kathi
Thank you so much for the awesome trip through the Caribbean Sea! Even though I spent most of my time in my “sailing position” it was a great experience for Matthias and me to spend these days on a sailing boat. Despite my panic of fish, I discovered my love for turtles and iguanas. So lovely! We also want thank Val for all the delicious food she prepared every day and Doug for his superb sailing skills that brought us safely through the rough Caribbean Sea. You are such a lovely and funny couple and we wish you all the best for your sailing future.
Eva, Matthias, and Felix
Thanks so much for an incredible honeymoon journey across the Tobago Cays. You showed us some of the most beautiful places on earth. We caught a young barracuda and a small yellow fin tuna just by putting our lines in the water while sailing. Unbelievable! That was by far the freshest fish we have ever eaten! In the horseshoe reef we saw turtles, stingrays and plenty of other exotic fish. Felix even saw a shark! Thank you so much for this wonderful experience, you are both definitely role models for living ‘the other lifestyle’ and Matthias and I are grateful that we got the chance to meet you and learn from you. Hope we can stay in contact and one day we hope our paths can cross again - Eva
Sunburn, sand in the shoes, salt water in the stomach and scratches from rocks, cactus and thorns from the island where Doug was paragliding. But it was all worth it!! It was definitely one of the best times I have had and will always be one of the greatest experiences I have had a chance for. So dear Val and Doug, thanks for this sailing trip and great and funny time we spent with you. I hope we will meet again in the future - Felix
Steffen and Silke
Many thanks for the hearty welcome on board! We felt good and really relaxed. Doug has shown us fantastic places and taught us how to snorkel. Val’s kitchen was the best one every time. It was “lekker”. Thanks for the nice conversation, all things were perfect. Our first trip to the Caribbean and our first stay on a catamaran are unforgettable.
Andrea, Andreas, Hannes and Felix - a talented family
You made our dreams come true – sailing in the Caribbean, snorkelling with turtles in crystal clear water, visiting the “sweets that dropped out of God’s hands” (Tobago Cays), making two boys think for a short moment that they are “Jack Sparrow”…It was such a pleasure to share your home, the wonderful “Katlyn”, with you. Thanks for fulfilling every wish we had and offering so many adventures to Hannes and Felix (fishing, diving, dinghy racing, playing piano on PSV…). And of course, thank you so much for the wonderful food. It couldn’t have been better. We hope we can give this back to you were you to come and sail in the Baltic Sea. Happy that you are our new friends, hope to see you again soon.
Aaron and Charlotte - A proposal!
Thanks for an amazing time. We have shared a very special moment with you. Thanks for making it so unique.
Jutta and Rolf
Thank you so much for this great holiday time in the Grenadines. Thank you for all the little things you did to make us feel so welcome and comfortable. Val, you are a real good, great cook and Doug, you are the best skipper we have ever known! We enjoyed these days so very much and we hope we will be able to come back some day and have some more happy days together with you.
Michael and Martina
We really enjoyed the time with you onboard and were very pleased to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary with you. You showed us the Caribbean as we expected it. The special surprize was the small island near PSV and the wake up at Salt Whistle Bay was the dream we had. Val’s meals beat every restaurant.
Melanie and Christoph
Thank you so much for the last terrific days sailing through the most beautiful places in between Grenada and Bequia. You have been the best hosts we have ever had. The trip was more than we could have imagined in everything ~ the best above all is the two of you! Thank you for everything!
Angela and Andrea
Thank you very, very much for this wonderful holiday, we enjoyed it very much! Thank you for your warm and attentive support, we always had the impression that we were a part of the ‘Katlyn’ family! And…it won’t be a threat, we would like to meet you again all over the world!
Conny and Helge
We thank you for the wonderful time we had with you on-board, especially for
~ not going by motor but really sailing
~ your meals, that beats every restaurant
~ the nice places you showed us
~ and most of all for treating us as friends.
We would be glad to see you again soon and maybe for a longer time than we had now!
Bergit and Dennis
Thank you for the awesome sailing trip through the Grenadines. We enjoyed the private atmosphere on your home SY Katlyn. Your service was great and so much better than in some hotel. Val, your meals were soooo delicious. Thank you for showing us the beautiful spots. We loved to snorkel with the turtles and the thousand fishes at the reefs in Sandy Island and the Tobago Cays. Your trampoline is a nice place to relax and watch the coastlines and the stars at night. We will never forget our time with you! This is the highlight of our three week vacation. We feel like Pirates of the Caribbean!
Raimund and Burgi
We had a great time with you. It felt like we were at home! We will be back!!
Dave and Christine - 60th birthday celebration of life
We´ve enjoyed our sailing holiday with you very much. The food has been delicious, healthy and nutritious as well as very attractively presented. I have particularly appreciated your patience and kindness in helping me to be more adventurous than I usually am. You have introduced us to a wonderful world of colour and beautiful islands. We will remember this holiday forever and will definitely recommend it to our friends and relatives. (Christine)
Thank you for your time and patience with us ‘land lubbers’. You certainly made us feel very welcome on-board your home. It has been up there with one of the best experiences of my life. Your attention to detail in accommodating our wishes has been fantastic ~ Val’s wonderful meals and helping Doug with his sailing ~ Doug who went beyond the call of duty to buddy me on the dive. To see the sea life up close, to swim with the turtles on Tobago Cays is something I will never forget. It will all be a paradise dream when we return to wintery, dark, dark Scotland in a couple of days. Thank you for the wonderful memories. (Dave)
Bàrbel and Patrick
Blue sky, a beautiful boat, Caribbean Sea, shells, turtles, beaches like postcards, iguanas and islands, islands islands…..and last but not least the two of you made this trip so beautiful. We really enjoyed it. (Bàrbel)
It was an experience of a life time. Many thanks to you for making our first sailing journey such an amazing thing. You’ve been so helpful and nice to show us the Caribbean as it is. (Patrick)
Daniela and Sasha
Oh what a wonderful time! Good weather, always a cold beer, delicious food with nice wine and interesting conversations with lovely people! A journey we will never forget. Thank you for this amazing holiday.