Step aboard sailing catamaran LAYSAN and you will be immediately impressed by the beauty of the design, immense amount of living space and pervasive atmosphere of calm. But there’s so much more than meets the eye. Once you´re under sail the thrill begins. LAYSAN was custom-designed by Bill Dixon of Dixon Yacht Design, one of the world’s leading yacht design studios, with input from the Owner, himself a superyacht captain. The goal was to build a perfect charter yacht. The result is a yacht ideally suited to active charter clients that want to ride the waves on the trampoline, be cooled by salt spray and laugh at the wind. LAYSAN is super fun under sail. From cutting-edge hull design to high-tech, efficient engineering systems, to sophisticated styling, LAYSAN is in a class of her own. LAYSAN has a layout with social spaces that are designed to accommodate large parties. The yacht is an excellent option for groups of friends and extended families keen to share the yachting adventure without ever feeling cramped. The innovative design allows for flexibility; be together, or find an intimate nook. Charter LAYSAN if you love to sail. This is a yacht built for sport. She can reach speeds of over 13 knots, which will make you feel as though you are flying over water! Watch the surf rush underneath the trampolines. Soak in the sun on luxurious sun pads. Dive or snorkel right off the deck. Immerse yourself in paradise.
LED reading lights in cabins
4 Queens and 1 Twin cabin. The two aft cabins are oversized Queens. The Twin is an oversized upper and lower bunk berth. Rain Shower heads with glass door in port aft /fwd and starboard fwd bathrooms. Midship bunk cabin has enclosed shower head with glass door.
All cabins have dimmable and reading lights as well as blackout shades, USB ports and independent A/C controls.
Salon Headroom - 7ft
Cabin Headroom - 6ft 5in
2 Deck showers
Guest pets allowed with a security deposit
50´ UHD Samsung flat screen TV
Sonos Surround Sound (salon and cockpit) Laysan LAN
2 8-person life rafts
Underwater lights at the stern
2 x Stand Up Paddleboards
Laysan Crew Profile
CAPTAIN NEIL ROCK
Neil was raised in Lancashire, Northern England, on the azure waters of the River Mersey. By six years of age, he was already out boating on the Irish Sea. As a youth he sailed classic yachts on the River Mersey, venturing all the way to Scotland, Wales, and to the Isle of Man for the motorcycle racing, his second great passion. In addition to sailing, he was also a fishing and scuba enthusiast. He credits his maritime skills to mentoring by the fishermen of the Irish Sea.
Neil has always been an active sports enthusiast, participating in both team and individual sports. His passion and hobby as a youngster was going to Anfield to watch the mighty Reds. He was also a long-distance runner participating in 13 marathons. He has won awards and trophies too numerous to mention. To this day, he enjoys demanding, high-energy activities. When he has spare time for indulging in hobbies, they include; soccer, squash, rugby, golf, tennis, fishing, hiking and ice climbing.
The yachting destination he enjoys the most is rugged and challenging: Port St. Mary, Isle of Man. With 10-meter tides and matching currents, short weather windows, and unpredictable seas, it’s an accomplished coast to sail and perfectly suited to this high achiever. Neil has had a full career at sea, from commercial fishing vessels and luxury charter yachts to lobster fishing in the North Atlantic, and he has intimate knowledge of the Caribbean from his years chartering and sailing there. Guests aboard LAYSAN could not be in more skilled hands.
CHEF KAREN ROCK
Karen was born in Toronto, Canada and had her first marine experiences on the Great Lakes of Ontario. She launched her culinary career just out of high school, working in an authentic English tea house, baking scones and cooking traditional English lunches. She went on to complete college medical school and worked as a urology lab technician conducting clinical trials. She also worked in patient care and volunteered with the cancer society and with animal welfare.
However, this natural-born caregiver was also passionate about good food and making people very happy serving them delicious meals. So, she made the decision to attend culinary school to refine her techniques and expand her repertoire. It was the right choice. Karen has thoroughly enjoyed her ten-year career as a yacht chef. Her favorite dishes to prepare for guests are those local to the cruising region. Guests aboard LAYSAN will have the pleasure of sampling recipes using a variety of Caribbean spices, fresh fish and produce, for a truly authentic culinary experience.
Neil and Karen have been married for over 30 years, spending many of those at sea. When not sailing, they call Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, home. They are seasoned veterans of the yachting industry, with over 150 weeks of charter and many sea miles sailing in the Atlantic, the Caribbean, and the US Eastern Seaboard all the way to Canada.
LAYSAN is a 2017, performance sailing catamaran with luxurious accommodations and lots of toys and gear. You decide the pace and activities of your holiday; the crew makes it all happen beautifully. Welcome aboard LAYSAN, your vacation of a lifetime.
Stew/Deckhand - Gema Martínez Domingo
Gema, originally from Spain, where she lived until she got 21, moved to Norway to finish her studies as a primary school teacher. After that university year, she decided to stay in Oslo to work in schools there and learn more about the Scandinavian prime quality education.
She ended up living in Norway for six years, in this time she worked as a kindergarten teacher, but also as a waitress in one of the highest level Asiatic restaurants in Akker Brygge, the harbour of Oslo. There she acquired professional service skills and also her passion for boats.
Then in November 2017 she first joined a boat, which was to cross the Atlantic with some Norwegian friends in a 42ft monohull. After that experience, she sailed around every island in the Caribbean with different boats until she arrived in the Virgin Islands. Gema falls in love with these islands and decided that she wanted to work in the Yacht industry.
In the last year, she’s obtained different certificates that makes her an experienced and professional deckhand, and more important than that, she loves what she does.
|Start Date||End Date||Details (Holds can be challenged)|
|Jan 19, 2019||Jan 26, 2019||Booked: Yacht Haven Grand to Yacht Haven Grand|
|Feb 15, 2019||Feb 18, 2019||Booked: British Virgin Islands* to British Virgin Islands*|
|Mar 03, 2019||Mar 10, 2019||Booked: Saint Marten, West Indies to Saint . Kitts*|
|Jun 29, 2019||Jul 06, 2019||Booked: Tortola - Nanny Cay to Tortola - Nanny Cay|
Laysan Rates / week
|Season||2-4 Pax||5 Pax||6 Pax||7 Pax|
|Season||8 Pax||9 Pax||10 Pax|
Yacht terms: All Inclusive
Laysan Rates / week
|Season||2-4 Pax||5 Pax||6 Pax||7 Pax|
|Season||8 Pax||9 Pax||10 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, premium beverages or scuba activities. Those details will be addressed during the booking process. Inquire for more information.
Get more information about All Inclusive or send us an inquiry to get specific pricing for Laysan.
Laysan Guest Reviews
Guest Comments from Neil & Karen´s Previous Yacht Charter
Thank you & your crew for a wonderful week on Zingara. Jim & I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Where do we begin with the praise?
The British Virgin Islands are such a beautiful backdrop for a holiday. You, your crew & Zingara make it a perfect holiday. Although we had been to the Virgin Islands before it was great to see some new places with terrific sailing mixed in. The snorkeling was also fabulous with beautiful fish to see. Your itinerary packed in lots of good fun. There were water sports for the active crowd & peaceful relaxation & reading for us lazy folk.
Now for the food & service… we were so well taken care of. The meals were all delicious. The variety & flavors were fabulous & we were convinced we were eating healthier than we ever do at home. Karen is an excellent chef! The whole crew made us feel so welcome & pampered.
As I said, it was a perfect holiday. My only regret is that I can’t visit you every month. Thank you, again & again.
Lisa Chase B.
I just wanted to take a moment and thank you, Karen and your staff for providing us with an absolutely unforgettable experience. Your attention to detail, your care for us, your pride in Zingara and your gentle way of communicating, all combined to make our week together one of the most memorable of my life.
As I think back on the week I remember your calm command of the boat at all times. I saw the dedication to safety as your number one priority but you did it without impacting our experience or sacrificing our enjoyment. You knew what experiences we would enjoy and you communicated that with a quiet professionalism that left us united in our desire to follow your direction.
Karen’s meals were simply over the top. Each one was different and special. We remarked over and over that the meal planning was balanced yet just wonderful. Karen handled my special dietary need with professionalism and an understatement that allowed me to enjoy the trip without having undue attention focused on it.
Both Darren and Frankie were there for us at every turn without being intrusive. Both showed genuine concern for us and made us feel welcome and at home throughout the entire trip. I told you at the beginning of the week, this trip was the first of its kind for me. You and your staff made it truly a “trip of a lifetime”. Thank you.
Dana and Debbi D
Glad to hear from you: We have all had a very hectic time since we returned from Zingara . The gratuity was all of our pleasure, yourself Karen, Reita & Gys made the whole trip wonderful.
The boat “Zingara” was itself a dream as were the other facilities, the diving, the”hobie cat” etc, and of course the wonderful scenery and location. Not to mention great food and copious wines.
The thing that made the trip for Judith & I, was the huge effort that you all made to make us welcome and happy on board. Nothing was too much trouble for you, you were all so professional, smiling and willing to help with the slightest whim. Never a sharp word, just a lovely calm happy and ultra helpful smiling approach. You were brilliant with Mike`s boys.. We all had a great time.
So what more can I say except…hope to see you again soon and, most sincerely, very many thanks to you all for a superb trip.
Though we travel a lot, this was our first charter, and the headline cost of Zingara was originally a little daunting. Now however, with the benefit of hindsight, it seems tremendously good value for what we did and the enjoyment had. The boat was stunning, the attention to detail and “shipshape” presentation extraordinary, and you and your crew were tirelessly welcoming and attentive. The “Grenadines Trip” was the highlight of our year; we are sold, and I cannot count the number of people to whom we have recommended the experience. We are going to try and charter something in the Ionian this summer, but hope to be back with you to cruise the BVI in 2014.
Thank you again for a brilliant holiday.
Have a happy Christmas and a plain sailing year ahead
Mike, Susan and the H. Boys.
Gail and I are just packing to return home today from little Dix. Thank you for a wonderful adventure aboard Zingara. She was wonderful as were you and the crew. You all made sure our every need was met and truly know how to treat your guests. We will remember this trip forever. Again thanks from us both for a wonderful excursion.
Julie and I had a great time with you, Karen, David, and Thryn. We have been talking about the trip ever since we left, it was fantastic. We have been to the BVI’s several times now and are looking forward to catching up with you and crew in Grenada either next year with just our family or in a couple of years with the Bs, Ss, Ss, and Ds. Thanks again for a great trip!
Brice and Julie
Ps. The dolphins on the second to last sail were spectacular, thanks for organizing that show!
Thank you for making our week aboard Zingara a relaxing and memorable experience. Please pass on our compliments to your terrific crew as well. They all worked hard to make our vacation special. till we meet again,
Geoff and Sandie
First let me apologize for being so slow in writing to say thank you for the superb job that you did as captain and mate on our November British Virgin Islands yacht charter . My wife and I, and our friends, could not have been more pleased.
You and Karen have the ability to work together so seamlessly to make the vacation relaxing and free of stress and responsibility. Your seamanship was outstanding. Having done some boating and sailing in the past, I was impressed with your attention to detail and safety. Your planning of the daily itinerary and activities made our trip most enjoyable—we saw all the “sights” but avoided all the crowds; never before on six trips to the BVI had I been able to visit Virgin Gorda and the caves of Norman island and have the sites essentially to ourselves. The special snorkeling sites were great.
The mechanical skills you demonstrated in maintaining an uninterrupted schedule while dealing with bad generators, frozen control cables, etc. and never letting the guests have any interruption to their vacation was amazing. You and Karen always appeared relaxed, never showing the stress of the day—or the stress from the guests!
Karen’s galley skills were amazing—each meal was a culinary delight, excellently prepared and skillfully presented—and always done with the appearance of ease.
The pleasant and engaging demeanor that you both demonstrated was a key element in making our vacation so memorable. Even rainy days were enjoyable. Thank you both again for an excellent vacation!!
Allan B. H., MD
Mr B. who was just aboard the catamaran is the CEO of one of the most popular hotels in Boston and owns a few restaurants in the city. He is a huge person in the hospitality industry and is fairly picky about food, accommodations etc.
I was blown away by his comment to me quoting “this was hands down the best trip ever. It beat out all of the five star hotels I have stayed in over the past 40 years.”
He was thrilled with Karen’s cooking and thought Neil´s personality and knowledge were a prefect fit for a captain. He is already wants to book again for next winter.
Thank you Neil and Karen ! (Broker)
Our most sincere thanks for creating a wonderful ´getaway form it all´ which was much needed and appreciated by us both.
The weather, sailing, snorkeling, swimming, beautiful anchorages, laughter and of course, THE FOOD, THE FOOD, THE FOOD! Way beyond expectation! Thank you Karen!
It is so relaxing being able to turn ourselves over to the yacht and you both. Your quiet confidence just knew where to take us and what to feed us.
Walking a few hundred feet from the airport and climbing aboard for a week was a joy we will remember forever.
We truly hope to see you both in Newport this summer! Please!
I will try to send you some pictures next week. There are some good ones in my camera.
Thank you for being the most consummate hosts, skipper and cook! The yacht was beautifully maintained! The quiet, thoughtful way you planned our day, our wonderfully presented and superb meals, the great sailing, and your most enjoyable company was like sharing a sailing trip with good friends! Time went by so quickly, yet it seemed like a much longer, happier time together than it was!
Bernard had some travel delays (flight cancelled in San Juan) and lost luggage (now found and delivered), but we made it back to our respective destinations safely. He truly enjoyed your recommendation for a hotel—El San Juan Hotel Waldorf-Astoria! Beautiful setting and wonderful sushi!
Our invitation to come and visit or use our homes was sincere. We hope you will find time to do so. We usually return to New Brunswick in August or September to visit family. Do let us know your travel plans and hopefully we may get to see you there!
Thank you again for a marvelous voyage!!
Terry and Bernard
Thanks again, Neil and Karen, for a great. This was Lora and my second sailing vacation to the BVI. This is also our seventh crewed charter in multiple locations. After talking with Lora, we believe this trip to the BVI was our best experience. We saw more on this trip than last time in the BVI, and we appreciated both the variety of stops during the sail, and the arrangement of time. We were kept busy, but not overly so.
The meals were exquisite. Both Lora and I noted that each breakfast had some protein (meat or eggs), which was a first for our experience. The lunches and dinners were marvelous, and Karen did an outstanding job of the variety of the meals, the presentation of the food, and taste was amazing. She also did a great job with one guest who was vegetarian/vegan.
There was also extra care given to our cabin, with daily checks on the restroom facility and the bedding. This was in addition to the customary Wednesday changing of bed linens.
All in all, the “little extras” were a notch above our previous experiences, and a very pleasant experience. Thanks again so much for making our sailing vacation a wonderful time in the British Virgin Islands. Thanks,
My husband Sam and I had the pleasure of a sailing excursion in the BVI, Captain by Neil and Karen Rock. We would highly recommend this experience to anyone who enjoys adventure, boating and fine dining.
Neil´s extensive experience and knowledge of the sea and surrounding area is second to none, from the sailing through all the various islands, to finding small coves and caves in spectacular reefs for snorkelling, to the quaint beaches and bars ,not to mention his endless knowledge of the history of the area both on land and sea.
Karen´s culinary abilities far surpassed any of our expectations. Her perfect presentation and balanced meals were enthusiastically awaited everyday from three meals daily, to snacks, and the much awaited deadly desserts served after every dinner. Hard to believe that anyone could prepare such 5 star cuisine while using a small galley on a boat.
Neil and Karen made us feel very secure and at home at sea, and were always very attentive in taking care of us and insuring we saw everything we wanted and more. No detail was left undone. They are an amazing couple who work very well as a team together. Always very positive, happy and excited to share each days adventure.
We would not hesitate in recommending Neil and Karen as host on any boating adventure that anyone wants or cares to experience.
Sam and Sandie D.
Neil and Karen,
I hope you enjoyed a relaxing week off after your week with us. We keep singing the praises of our trip to our friends and neighbors.
I have written a few paragraphs about the trip as follows:
´I recently enjoyed a fun filled week sailing the islands of the BVI ´.
Our party of five boarded in Tortola where we were graciously greeted by our Captain, Neil Rock and Karen, his wife and crew. After Neil´s orientation about the boat and his experience, it was very apparent we were in good hands.
Karen served us a scrumptious gourmet dinner the first night and continued to do so at every meal, including appetizers. We couldn´t believe the magic she performed in a galley kitchen. She readily accommodated one of our group who has an aversion to fish. All this while handily performing her many other crew duties.
Each evening Neil would discuss the plan/destinations for the next day, ever flexible to our wishes. He knew all the great snorkel spots and ferried us by tender to beaches, island bars and shopping. He tutored those of us wishing to sail with a turn at the helm.
I believe the trip was memorable because of Neil and Karen. They were very professional and genuinely caring of their guests. I highly recommend this catamaran sailing vacation.´
Wishing you fair winds and following seas.
Thank you for the note. Michelle is making dinner while I draft our response. We really enjoyed the entire week spent on the yacht. There are so many things we enjoyed about the experience it’s hard to put it all in words, but I’ll try to note some of the best parts.
We enjoyed the variety of attractions to which you brought us. The tempo of the itinerary was perfect for our group. The stops also allowed the group to split up and do independent activities whether on shore, in the water or on the boat. We never felt confined with the other guests or that there wasn’t enough space.
The food was perfect. Karen did an amazing job with the menu variety and flavors. We anticipated every meal and left the table happy.
I enjoyed the British humor that Karen downloaded on her IPod and that you played for us.
I enjoyed your sailing and seamanship instruction. I hope to learn more in the years to come. It was nice to wake up in the morning, emerge topside and see where the boat was headed each morning. Your experience and foresight was obvious in how we beat the other boats and tourists to the attractions.
We enjoyed getting to know the other guests and we all got along so well. It was a great pairing.
The best part was you and Karen. You guys made the week a success and we appreciate your hospitality, thoughtfulness and professionalism. Michelle and I are kicking ourselves for not getting a photo with you guys. We returned home smiling and reminiscing about the previous week on the yacht. We’d do another charter in the future and can only hope it’s as great of an experience as a charter by Capt Rocky and Karen.
Please feel free to use any of our comments as you see fit. Also, We live in a navigable harbor on the ICW a couple miles south of the Beaufort, NC inlet and we’ll be here until about June. If you are ever passing through the area and need anything including a place to stay or wheels please let us know. All the best to you and Karen.
Regards, Bill and Michelle B.
We just returned from an amazing vacation sailing in the BVIs. We were onboard a sailing catamaran for a week with Neil and Karen as our crew. We could not have planned for a better time. This was our first sailing experience so we did not know what to expect. We knew the two other couples on the boat, which happen to be our good friends; and that added to our great time there. But what we didn´t expect was how wonderful our captain and chef turned out to be. From the first night´s dinner to the very last breakfast, the menus and food that Karen prepared was impressive, especially considering the small galley she had to work in. From steaks to fresh fish with delicious salsa at dinnertime to seared tuna for lunch, each gourmet meal had spectacular flavor and was delivered in such a way to look and feel like we were dining in a 5 star restaurant. The only hard part was watching Karen in the kitchen prepping and cleaning all of the time and not helping her (we offered but she insisted it was our vacation….we did get used to it pretty quickly, however) We appreciated that the menu, including the appetizers, were not only tasty, but healthy too. We also were grateful for the mid week linen change and the daily cleaning of our bathrooms; which kept our rooms smelling great, something that our friends had not experienced in the previous sailing vacations they had been on.
Our captain, Neil, was a spectacular seaman whose many years of experience showed by the way he handled the yacht. He would always get close to shore or where we wanted to go so we did not have far to swim or cruise with the dinghy. We also could people watch then too, which was interesting considering it was difficult for vacationers who attempted to keep themselves dry by taking a dinghy into shore with large waves.
Neil would make sure we got to the popular destinations, like the Baths, early enough when there was nobody else there. By time the crowds came we had done our exploring and were ready to leave. Our captain would get our input and then share his plan with us each day. We only had one bad weather day and our captain planned our journey so we still were able to get to the destinations that he knew we would enjoy. We really loved all of the beautiful places that Neil took us to snorkel. He was always looking for ways to make our vacation more exciting. Even when our friends left us on the boat while they went scuba diving, Neil planned for us to have a delightful walk about on an Island and a snorkel. Our captain would always make sure our boat was meticulously clean, taking garbage off it whenever he could. We had every imaginable liquor on board but Neil, halfway through our trip and much to our delight, went ashore and bought the beer that he heard we liked. He was always going ashore for ice to make sure our drinks and beer in the coolers were ice cold also.
We always felt safe and spoiled in Neil and Karen´s hands. We would highly recommend sailing anywhere with these two anytime. Big thank you, Neil and Karen, for making our vacation one of the most memorable ones that we have ever done!!!
Dan and Bonita H.
Neil and Karen,
We hope that this finds you well, afloat and enjoying fair winds. We have experienced a snow storm and cold temperatures. Rose says Hi.
Our sailing vacation was a fantastic time. We had planned it for several months and our expectations were high. We were so pleased that the vacation not only met our expectations it exceeded them. The combination of gorgeous weather, breath taking scenery and our own private space to tour the islands was fantastic. Neil and Karen were excellent hosts for our adventure.
Each day Neil would go over the plan for the day and each evening he would tell us the next day would be better-and it actually was. Karen was able to make wonderful meals within the confines of the kitchen she had at hand.
They were genuine, real and friendly. When, not if, we go again we plan on requesting them for our journey.
Scott and Rose S.
We recently returned from a delightful seven day sailing vacation in the British Virgin Islands. Our Captain Neil Rock and First Mate Karen Rock were first rate!
It was always apparent that Captain Neil Rock made safety a top priority. This did not deter him from scheduling fun filled days and evenings. Numerous daily stops were made for snorkeling, swimming, beachcombing, sightseeing, cocktails and meals ashore. Neil was masterful at scheduling our stops to popular attractions at less crowded times. Captain Neil has a wealth of information about the Islands and was enthusiastic about each stop along the journey.
In addition to her duties assisting the Captain, Karen found time to keep our cabins and bathrooms sparkling! She prepared delicious and nutritious meals that were beautifully presented. One of us adheres to a medically restricted diet and Karen graciously prepared separate meals that met these guidelines and were also delicious, creative, and nutritious. Karen was always helpful, positive and made every task seem effortless.
This was our first sailing vacation and the positive experience we had makes us eager to plan future trips. Neil and Karen Rock have certainly set the standards high for future crews! We will always have wonderful memories of a special week.
Bill and Janet R.
John and I went on our BVI cruise with my three children, aged 19, 21 and 22. It was, without a doubt, the trip of a lifetime. This trip was John’s idea—he had gone before. Personally, I was a little nervous about the family spending six days living on a boat together. But after only a few hours, my worries were eased.
Neil and Karen Rock, our captain and first mate, along with five yummy alcoholic drinks greeted my family when we arrived in Tortola on our first night. Neil and Karen gave us a run down of some important rules and some equally important plans for the week, which included snorkeling, hiking, and sailing around one of the most beautiful places I had ever seen.
We did all of this and more. I must admit that we did our share of imbibing at beach-front bars. There is nothing like having a cold beer or an island rum drink with your bare feet resting in the sand. Neil and Karen were the best of hosts—they took care of everything. Found us wonderful entertainment, guided us through underwater caves, and cooked fabulous 5 star meals three times a day. Not to mention preparing delicious appetizers accompanied by exotic drinks every afternoon when we returned from our ever-changing adventures.
In addition to a change to see all the beauty in the BVI, the vacation was an amazing bonding experience for the family. My kids always snorkeled ahead and find wonderful fish- sting rays, squid, even barracuda- and took great delight in pointing them out to us all. We spent the whole week living together on the boat—just us—and never had one disagreement or fight.
The key to this great trip was without a doubt, our captain and first mate, who soon became friends. Neil and Karen could not have been more fun or welcoming. We were definitely spoiled and we would all love to have the opportunity to do this trip again – but only with Neil and Karen Rock!
Judge Lisa L.
We had such a fantastic time sailing with you - thank you both for all you did to make it an awesome experience! Truly the best vacation. Neil, your expertise made the snorkeling, sailing, and on-shore activities very special. I loved the fact that you knew when to be in a given place when others wouldn´t be there, which really gave us a unique opportunity to explore without crowds and see the true beauty of the BVI.
Karen, your meals were outstanding. You made us feel like royalty! I am amazed at what you can do in that limited kitchen and you do it so gracefully and with wonderful presentation.
The two of you make a great crew and if ever we have the opportunity, we hope to sail with you again.
I still feel like I am on the catamaran, my mind and body have not fully adjusted to being on land. Sure is an odd sensation! It is also a challenge to jump back into reality after a week like that. I keep thinking about what we were doing last week at this time. Certainly way more fun than grad school, house cleaning, laundry, and running the kids around!
Again, thank you and I hope you are enjoying your break! Take care.
Now that we are back home we have had a chance to reflect on our recent vacation. We cannot say enough about our trip with you. You both went beyond our expectations to ensure that this holiday was even more memorable and special than we had ever expected and we feel very fortunate that you were chosen to be our Captain and crew. I think that we saw twice as many beautiful anchorages than the average boat, thus we did not miss a thing on this trip.
Neil, your knowledge of the geography and history of the islands teamed with your knowledge and experience of sailing made our trip even more enjoyable as at no time did we feel unsafe or insecure. Your confidence in everything that you did made it very relaxing for us.
Karen, you performed all of your tasks with enthusiasm and knowledge. Your skills in the kitchen were admired by all. You had the ability to make us all feel special and we know that your cooking abilities were only a part of the job that you had to perform.
This was our “bucket list trip” for the past 45 years and so we want to sincerely thank you both for making it “the best trip ever”.
Michael and Linda K. (Mikie and Mumsie)
Like a kid in Disney Land, we were little kids being led around to see all the wonders of the BVIs.
Karen spoiled us w all our favorite foods and even a few surprises that became our new favorites. Karen’s cooking was fine dining quality w fantastic presentation. Our beverage of choice was always ready, even before we realized we wanted it -from morning coffee to after dinner whiskeys. Happy hour hors d´oeuvres & drinks were waiting our return after afternoon outings.
Captain Neil considered the weather, the area & our preferences and with perfect intuition, took us to all the best beaches, aligning our dives and snorkels as well as our sailing. We saw fantastic things we didn´t know we wanted to see and then he took us ashore for the most amusing entertainment. We really felt like we only got the best of the best and, therefore, made the most of our precious vacation time. Above that, they were caring professionals of us, as well as the boat, caring for it as if it was their own. Such fun sitting next to them at the helm, with Neil explaining why they do what they do, and watching them sail!
Our vacation was all about us and what we liked to do at our pace. Neil & Karen were the perfect guides that already knew the area to make that happen. Everything was just ´taken care of´. What an amazing vacation. Thank you!!
Our trip to the British Virgin Islands is hands down the best vacation that myself or anyone in my group said they had ever taken. We could not have asked for a more professional, knowledgeable and friendly crew in Neil and Karen Rock. None of us had any idea of what to expect with this trip and our captain and host did a wonderful job of creating an itinerary that allowed us to see more of the BVI than any of us ever could of on our own. It was quite obvious after a few conversations with Neil what an experienced captain he is, so we knew we were in safe hands the whole trip. We enjoyed learning about their sailing experiences together, about the BVI´s and sailing in general. They always kept us informed of our upcoming stops, so we knew what to expect and Neil had our schedule down perfectly. For the popular snorkeling spots, Neil made sure we arrived at the best times as to avoid the crowds. Every stop we made was great, whether it featured great snorkeling, shopping, happy hour at a beach bar or just a view so beautiful it felt like we´d stepped into a post card, I am confident we saw the best of the BVI.
None of us had any huge expectations of food, after all, the kitchen on the boat was small, what kind of huge productions could possibly be made? But with every meal, Karen never ceased to amaze us with her culinary genius. Not only was the food delicious, but the plating and presentation was also beautiful as well. The running joke amongst our group was that each dinner was ´our favorite meal yet.´ Breakfast, lunch and dinner were always perfectly timed with our various stops of the day and in between, just as we were starting to think it might be time for a snack, as if she read our minds, Karen would produce trays of goodies for us. It sure was hard going back to the real world without Karen and Neil taking care of us. :)
We had already decided after the first full day that we would be making a return trip and began talking about what we would do ´the next time.´ I think my entire group is confident in saying that our first sailing vacations would not have been the same without Neil and Karen.
It is with great pleasure we write this to sincerely thank you both for providing us with what was possibly the best travel experience we could have imagined. The time we spent sailing with you could not have been more amazing. From the moment we shook hands with you and boarded the catamaran, we knew we were lucky to have you two as our crew. You did not disappoint at any point during the vacation
We appreciated the care you took to really listen to what our expectations were, the way you planned out each day according to our wishes, the knowledge of sailing you shared with all of us - it was more than apparent how passionate you are about what you do. Your team work was brilliant. And Karen, can we possible say enough about your fabulous meal preparation? We have never dined so deliciously in our lives! Your amazing menu, preparation, and presentation sent us home weighing several more pounds than when we left.
We always felt attended to, we felt very safe, we could relax and enjoy ourselves with ease during the entire trip. We simply cannot speak with anything but absolute praise for your outstanding customer service. You provided us with a dream vacation and we will always treasure the memories we gained from traveling with you both. Thank you so very much.
Butch A. & Misty S.
I just wanted to write this letter to express how wonderful you made our experience on our vacation. I have been on a couple of crewed sailing vacations, and you both are hands down the best captain/chef we have ever had.
It is very comforting to know that Neil has had many years experience in chartering boats, and he demonstrated his expertise throughout the week that we sailed with you. You took us out of the storms and into calmer seas, and you had a great knack for getting us to our destinations before the crowds arrived. We never had to fight any crowds at any of the favourite destinations that people like to go to.
Karen the food that you prepared for us morning, noon, and night was without a doubt to die for. It was simply amazing, and you catered to everyone’s food like and dislikes. The only down side to your delicious cooking was that I put on about ten pounds. You accomplished this is such a small galley, and had limited storage for all your food. You always had our rooms tidied, and bathrooms cleaned on a daily basis. I’m not sure how you found the time to get all this done for us. My hat goes off to you.
You both were there for us no matter what the need may be. It was a pleasure having both of you as our captain /chef. I would highly recommend you both, and would love to sail with you again one day.
Penny & Rob Mc.
When Ryan and I returned home from our trip to the British Virgin Islands we both realized that it was the best trip that we had ever been on. We have traveled quite extensively so that is really saying a lot! The beauty of the islands is undeniable and somewhat expected. However what certainly exceeded our expectations was what Neil and Karen were able to add to the enjoyment of our trip.
Neil is the consummate captains He is utterly competent with his knowledge of sailing, the local as well as international waters but also knows where and even more importantly WHEN to get the most out of the BVI´s. He took us to the best hiking, snorkeling, diving spots, restaurants and beach bars the islands had to offer.
Karen is the consummate chef! She never ceased to amaze us with what she could produce out of such compact kitchen. There was just one gourmet meal after the next! All 6 of us on the charter agreed that the dining could not have been any better.
Aside from Neil and Karen´s talents they are an absolute pleasure to be with. It was a joy to be around them each and every day and we cannot imagine the trip without them. Thank you for making our trip the best it could possibly be, we will enjoy our memories of that week for the rest of our lives.
My husband and I are still talking about what a wonderful time we had sailing the BVI´s with Neil and Karen. We could not have asked for a better captain than Neil. He listened to our requests and set the mood of our week absolutely perfect. Both Karen and Neil were a wealth of information and we all enjoyed hearing about their past experiences in the BVI. My husband and I had taken a sail trip in 2007 to the BVI and were amazed how much more we saw and learned on this trip. Neil and Karen truly go overboard and work very hard to make your week delightful. They reminded us that this was ´OUR´ vacation.
The food was some of the best I have ever had. What Karen can whip up in that small kitchen galley is incredible. She catered to our dietary needs very kindly and served us quite a variety of food, one delicious meal after another. This woman can really cook and her presentation is gorgeous.
We thank Neil and Karen for a perfect week but, more importantly for their kindness, grace and hospitality.
Scott and Amy M
Speaking for Michael and myself we had wanted to do this trip for years and when the opportunity came up, we jumped at it.
As we were sitting at the 2nd floor bar in Hodges Creek Marina, I heard someone from below on the dock calling our names. I looked over the wall and there was our Captain for the next week, Neil/Rocky, with the luggage cart. We got our things together and hurried down to meet him. We all went back to the office to identify our luggage, which was loaded in the cart and we all proceeded back down the dock and out to the slip where our yacht for the week, the yacht was docked. Luggage on board, we had an introduction to the boat, the guidelines and the lovely chef, Neil/Rocky´s wife Karen. I believe we then had drinks and snacks. We chose cabins, stowed our luggage and before sunset got underway to moor near Buck Island for the night (great to be out of the Marina the 1st night). We had drinks, dinner, desert, chatted and discussed the things/places we wanted to see and do and what the weather was going to be like. There were going to be swells coming in for the next 2 days so we adapted the route to make it more comfortable. We went to so many islands that I don´t think I can remember the names of all of them. We sailed into Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda and a taxi was arranged to take to the Baths, something all of us really wanted to see, we had a great time even though the red flag was out and you couldn´t swim, the caves are amazing, we all agreed we would like to stay on Virgin Gorda sometime. While we waited for the taxi to pick us up we had a drink at the bar at the top of the baths, fantastic view. We got back on board and sailed to the Bitter End, looked around, I even shopped (Bitter End t-shirt). Next stop may have been Eustasia Island for snorkeling, since I´m not a snorkeler I can´t remember, I do remember having a Happy Hour drink on Saba Rock. We stopped at Leverick Bay and walked around took a Jumbie picture, looks like another nice place to stay. I lost track of days and when we were where. We did a Happy hour with snacks and bubbly on the beach of Guana Island. We had dinner ashore at Myett´s in Cane Garden Bay, good service, good food just like Neil/Rocky said. Got to White Bay on Jost Van Dyke in the morning, I stayed here at SandCastle in Oct. of 2000 by myself and loved it and all of us did a day trip from Red Hook in 2002 or 2003 and wanted to come back, some things changed, some are the same, we had fun, I shopped again (hat and a decal). We sailed to Soper´s Hole, needed fuel and water. Many interesting shops and a bar and restaurant and food market. Of course I shopped again (t-shirt, calendar & rum). Back on the boat and off to Norman Island and good snorkeling for those of us who snorkel, they had a great time and were in so long that my sister-in-law was shivering when she got out, my husband, her brother is like a fish himself and stayed in a bit longer. The next morning we went to the Indians early and they were in snorkeling again, weren´t sure we would be able to get my husband out. Later we went to Peter Island and spent time on the beach, also went to Cooper Island and checked it out, I shopped again (t-shirt & hat) and got a drink from the bar while my husband and his sister fell asleep sitting in chairs on the beach, worn out from all that snorkeling. Sadly this was our final full day and we were heading back to the marina. The good thing was we got to take longer showers.
FOOD: Karen was really a chef not a cook. Everything was excellent and plentiful, no one went hungry. Something for everyone, fish, steak, chicken, pasta, pork, fantastic desserts, my husband couldn´t stop talking about the meringue Karen made in her ´Easy Bake oven´, huge and wonderful. Breakfast, lunch (more like dinner) and dinner all ´simply stunning´ and Karen made it all seem effortless.
Captain Neil/Rocky covered the bases for everyone. My husband, Michael, is a sailor without a boat and he got to man the helm a couple of times for a good period of time with Neil/Rocky giving encouragement. Neil/Rocky and Karen manned the lines/sheets while Michael steered, I know that made Michael happy. Michael, his sister Monica and her husband Skip love to snorkel and they got to do a good bit of that. I like to see and be on islands I haven´t been to yet : Peter, Cooper, Virgin Gorda, Guana, and we did that. All and all something to please everyone. The only disappointment was that we had to leave. Sailing with Neil/Rocky and Karen was like being with friends or family (that you like). If you are lucky enough to be on the boat with Neil/Rocky and Karen you will have a great time and be in very good hands.
Neil/Rocky, I know you don´t believe in destiny but I do, we were meant to be on your boat! Thank you both so much.
SHARON M. C.
This was my first trip in the BVI´s and my expectations were wide open as to what kind of vacation I was going to have.
Now that I am back home and reflecting on my time with Neil and Karen....hands down this was the best vacation I have ever had. I can honestly say that Neil and Karen´s experience with the islands, sailing and all-around-attentiveness contributed to my overall enjoyment of my time in the BVI´s.
When you start on an island hopping adventure...you don´t know what you don´t know. Having an experienced guide like Neil who listens to the type of vacation you want and then tailors the schedule of where you stop, when your day starts and what activities you´ll do led to me having a vacation of a lifetime tailored to all of the fun things I wanted to do every day....all day. And no one could be luckier to have Karen on their boat.
My mind is still wondering how she could possibly be spinning five-star cuisine out of such a small galley and after being at sea for three days. The food was sensational, the service was excellent. For being on such a small boat, Karen and Neil had the presence to be there when you needed them and somehow let you feel like you had all the space to yourself when you wanted that, too.
All in all, I hope they want Krissy and I back as guests because when we return, they´ll be stuck with us. We don´t feel we could get any luckier with any other captain/crew teams.
Brian & Krissy
First let me say, thank you both for making this one of the most enjoyable and memorable vacations we have ever taken. You and Karen truly have a gift for making your guests feel completely comfortable and for making sure everyone is enjoying their time on the boat. Your knowledge of the islands coupled with your daily travel recommendations made each day better than the day before.
The snorkeling was incredible. The scenery was fantastic. We loved the sailing. However, the camaraderie and fun, interesting conversations with you and Karen were definitely a high point of the trip as were those absolutely delicious meals prepared by Karen.
We will be talking about this trip for some time but the one thing we will always remember is how enjoyable it was to sail with you and Karen. Thank you once again for making it a great and unforgettable vacation.
We wish you the best in your future endeavors.
Don & Nancy D.
Extra features of Laysan
There is a huge sun awning for the foredeck with big sun pads. It’s an oasis up there with the breeze coming up the trampolines.
Guest Comments from previous crew
Below are the guest comments for the previous crew Will & Nicole
July 2018 - Comments to the broker
The captain was kind, warm hearted, an expert in his field, safety first, a great sense of humor. The food was absolutely amazing! Nicole exceeded all expectations of cooking for all of us! Remi is kind and on top of things. He’s also smart and what a great swimmer! The crew became our friends and we had a magnificent time! Everything was fantastic! Immaculate and clean, spacious, great decor. We had so much fun planning each day with our team. Our kids had a ball and my husband really enjoyed the diving! What a fantastic chef!
This was an absolutely unforgettable trip! Not only was the boat amazing, the food out of this world, the team amazing, and the views breathtaking; we learned so much about the BVIs, different cultures and the team we were with.
Laysan is simply a fantastic experience that we will do again with the most fantastic crew ever! Thank you so much Will, Nicole, and Remi!!
The ´G´ Family
12-19 July, 2018 ~ Exceptional Virgins ~
We had the most amazing time on Laysan with Captain Will, the most amazing Chef Nicole and the Remigator. Thank you for always showing us the “better side” of the islands, secret snorkel spots, catching lobsters, fun on the paddle boards, dancing all night on the Anegada, amazing dinners, etc. This was a trip of a lifetime! And the crew made it even better. It was really something special. My favorite beach was White Ba and my favorite island was Anegada.
Thank you! Until we meet again.
The best trip of my life!! In my 18 years I have never had so much fun with such exceptional people. The cooking is to die for!
The “G” Family
2-9 June, 2018 - Spectacular!!
This was our first family vacation on a boat and also in the BVI. Hands down everyone had a wonderful time. The boat was just perfect. We had a party of 8 that fit very comfortably. The awning upfront with the nets and chairs was just lovely. The cabins were spacious with compartments for everything. You can tell this boat was expertly custom built and appointed. It has a comfortable elegant feel. Sailing in the open water is almost like gliding. Awesome.
As much as we all liked the boat, it doesn’t compare to the crew. Will, Nicole and Remi absolutely made the trip magical. Will made sure we were taken care of from the moment we left for the boat. He gave us detailed instructions on how to navigate from the airport to the taxi’s and boat ferry to get to the boat. When we arrived, he swept us away to a secluded cove and the adventure began. At the beginning, Will and crew discussed options for the week and most importantly they listened to our interests for the vacation. After that, they took us on a journey of a lifetime.
Will’s knowledge and experience was most impressive. We all enjoyed watching him maneuver the boat with ease. His knowledge and stories of the islands were spectacular. It’s like he knew every cove and seaway in the whole BVI including the history. The amazing part was he has that knowledge all over the world. It was fun just hearing him talk about other places.
Nicole kept us all very well feed and happy. From meals to snacks to drinks, it was all first class. Her attention to detail made the trip. She obviously scoured over our preferences to ensure we were all well taken care of. It is a luxury to eat her meals and share her stories. She is full of life and a pleasure to be around.
Remi. What can I say. He is basically the kindest person I have ever met. He genuinely cares about everyone on the boat. Crew members included. He was always there ready to explore, help and have fun.
The Laysan is simply the whole package: service, amenities, food, friendliness, experience and knowledge. Everything you want for a vacation. Spectacular!!!
Shane, Julie and family
24-31 March, 2018 – BVIs – Precious Memories!
Will & Nicole,
Thank you for an amazing voyage!! Your attention to detail was incredible and made everyone feel right at home. This was truly an experience to remember with our children and friends. Laysan is a beautiful vessel, but it was both of you that made the difference!
Thank you for making this one of, if not, the best adventure we’ve every taken! From swimming to hiking, to dancing and water sports! Everything was awesome. We loved making precious memories with our family and special friends that have become family. The laughter we shared will love on forever. We appreciate all the little details. Celebrating a special anniversary & graduation could not have been better. You are both beautiful human beings, thank you! If you are ever in Miami, let us know, our home is always open to you!
The “V” Family
P.S. Thanks so very much for being so awesome with the kids!!
September 2017 ~ Absolutely Amazing!
I wanted to take a few moments to share with you my appreciation and joy spending a week aboard Laysan last week with David, my husband, Lars and other siblings. We had an amazing vacation on your beautiful boat! The design of the interior (spacious, inviting, but efficient) and exterior of the boat was perfect for a guest. The beds were comfortable, bathrooms were easy to move around in and the shower water was hot, and the common space in and outside of the boat accommodated all of our activities so well. We enjoyed taking advantage of all of the toys on the boat as well - scuba diving, paddle boating, swimming, sunbathing, yoga, and eating and drinking yummy food.
The icing on this journey was the crew. They were absolutely amazing!
We feel very fortunate to have spent a week on your the wonderful Laysan! Thank you for sharing your dream boat with us!
Linda and Lee
July 2017 ~ Merci mes Amis!
LAYSAN is a beautiful, new and very comfortable sailing catamaran. The crew was the consummate hosts! We enjoyed every moment on board and our week ended much too soon! The meals were delicious and so beautifully presented! We look forward to sailing with you again in the Caribbean. Merci mes amis, àbientôt! - July 2017
Hanging out on the Dock in Paradise!