Sailing in the BVI has many facets—from bareboat and crewed charter yachts, racing boats, small cruisers, all the way up to mega yachts—but one type of sailing that takes place nearly every day during the season is that of the day sail boats. Captain Robin Pinfold of the yacht Kuralu has been in the industry for 20 years, taking guests and locals numbering over 17,000, so far, between Sopers Hole and the nearby islands of Jost Van Dyke and Norman Island. He delivers what visitors long for and long remember: days spent on the water sailing, snorkeling, and just plain relaxing.
"Just bring a towel and sun screen" I hear Robin tell a customer over his cell phone. He then turns to me and says, "That was a guy that has been coming out with me for 18 years. The first trip I took him on, he told me when he gets married, it will be on the Kuralu—and here he’s coming next month"! That is pure loyalty and a true gauge of the day sail trip that Robin prides himself on providing.
A typical day with all the guests aboard the Kuralu means leaving the dock at 9:30 in the morning and returning back to Sopers Hole near 5 p.m. The captain usually makes the decision where to go for the day by a look at the weather, picking the most favorable side of Tortola to keep his guests comfortable. The first stop is a snorkel dive, then it’s off to another calm anchorage for a swim and snorkel followed by a gourmet homemade lunch served in the main salon. Up comes the anchor after lunch, and it’s off to the next snorkel spot culminating in a relaxing sail back to the base with Robin and his crew, 19 year-old daughter Tasha and five year-old golden retriever Ceilidh, ever by his side.
When Robin is asked how he got into the day sailing business he says, "I was in the advertising business in London for many years and just didn’t want do it any more, so I packed it in and moved to the island of Ibiza in 1969. That’s where I learned to sail at age 30.” From there, after 10 years, Robin made a crossing over to the BVI in 1984, sailed in some regattas around the Caribbean, and finally made the BVI his home in 1987. He has been there since, sailing and participating in community organizations such as the Loyal West End Yacht Club, the KATS program, and several other marine-oriented endeavors. If there is a sailing pillar in the BVI, Captain Robin Pinfold of the yacht Kuralu surely holds that distinction.