Why sail to Buck Island Reef National Monument with Llewellyn’s Charter?


Sailing to Buck Island with Llewellyn’s Charter is a unique experience.  Charis+ is an all sail powered, six-passenger, custom built 37′ trimaran that’s as strikingly beautiful as it is fast.

Llewellyn’s Charter is owned and operated by Llewellyn Westerman, a sailor with over 50 years of experience sailing to Buck Island.  His understanding of the wind, weather, currents and other condition factors is sure to enrich your Buck Island sailing experience, as is his awareness of aquatic life, flora and fauna of Buck Island.

You’ll meet him at the small dock in Teague Bay on the east end of St. Croix.  Before you head to Buck Island, you’ll take a  seat in a the dinghy boat and experience a hand-rowed trip out to Charis+.  As you stow your things and get settled in the spacious, six-passenger cockpit, Llewellyn and his first mate will prepare to set sail for Buck Island.  Within minutes, the boat will be silently underway.

It’s a great day to enjoy a brown bag lunch or something from your favorite deli.  Llewellyn provides fresh water and snorkeling equipment.

What’s special about Buck Island?

Buck Island is a National Park that has one of only three U.S. underwater National Park trails.  In addition to the island itself, the surrounding water and coral reefs are also a protected part of the park.  On the eastern tip of the island, you can snorkel among hundreds of species of fish and other marine life that make their home among the protected coral.  While the reef has been significantly damaged by hurricanes,  this underwater ecosystem still teems with life and resembles a colorful playground. On Buck Island’s west end you can enjoy your brown bag lunch on the beach, a walk on powdery white sand or a leisurely swim through the crystal clear blue water.  The average temperature is 79 degrees Fahrenheit.

Buck Island is a favored destination of visitors and residents alike.  The beach hosts a number of boats and quite a crowd on Sunday afternoons.  But during the week you’re likely to share the beach with only a couple of other boats, if any at all, depending on the time of year and the time of day. Not that you’ll be thinking about the clock when you’re at Buck Island.  The rest of the world will seem eons away.  Time will stand still as you slow down and tune in to the life of this unique sanctuary.

What’s Llewellyn’s background?

Llewellyn Westerman was born to Nevisian parents Doris Lawrence and Aurthur Ivan Westerman on the island of Nevis – a small island that is part of the inner arc of the Leeward Islands chain of the West Indies.  Together with the nearby island of St. Kitts, it forms the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis.  The island is perhaps best known for being the birthplace and early childhood home of Alexander Hamilton.  In fact, Llewellyn lived on the very site where Hamilton’s house had stood, and play-sailed on steps remaining from that structure.

It is in Nevis that Llewellyn first spent time on boats as a child, sailing and fishing with his brother Inglore and their father, Aurthur.  Aurthur was a boat captain and fisherman in Nevis.  Llewellyn’s grandfather, Richard Westerman, was also a boat captain and sailed cargo vessels between St. Kitts and Nevis.  You can learn more about his birth island at www.nevisisland.com.

Llewellyn came to St. Croix in January 1960.  He lived and worked at Grapetree Bay Hotel for twenty years.  At night, he performed music at the hotel.  By day, he sailed guests to Buck Island.  He sailed a Rhodes 19, a Pearson 28 and eventually a 36′ Dick Newick Trimaran named Trice.

In 1979 he purchased a 36′ Dick Newick Trimaran named Charis and started Llewellyn’s Charter.  All these years, he has continued to embark from Teague Bay, where you’ll meet him when you book your Buck Island trip.

Where is there more info about Buck Island?

You can read about Buck Island and other protected areas of St. Croix by going to the National Park Service website – www.nps.gov – and searching “virgin islands” or “Buck Island”.