Nov. 4, 2007 — A new boat on the boardwalk — the 45-foot sailing catamaran Kindred Spirit — is attracting a lot of attention. Julie Barron, who owns the boat with her husband, Dan, says the boat is a dream come true for the couple, who've lived on St. Croix for eight years.
"We really don't have any competition," she says. "What we offer is not being offered by anyone else."
Kindred Spirit can be chartered by up to eight people to make self-designed trips from St. Croix to the British Virgin Islands.
The couple also offers many shorter alternatives for customers who can't spend five to seven days under the sails watching the ocean skim by.
People can spend the day aboard, with a light lunch provided, as Captain Dan and crew takes them to Annaly Bay for some snorkeling. They also offer a half-day sail to Columbus Landing.
For people who have just an evening available, they can go on the Kindred Spirit sunset hors d'oeuvre cruise or its sunset dinner cruise. Those cruises generally sail to an anchorage off Green Cay or Shoys, where the quiet ocean setting can be enjoyed with food.
Describing a recent cruise to Green Cay that her husband, Steve, took her on for her birthday, Pat Dicks said, "It was a perfect day." The Dicks, who have lived on St. Croix for seven years, said they plan to take their son on the cruise. "You can take someone out to dinner on a cruise instead of a restaurant," Dicks said.
The cruises leave the boardwalk close to the nearly renovated Kings Alley Hotel. The Barrons have an office for another business that they recently opened there: International Yacht Brokerage. The brokerage opened Feb. 16. The Barrons closed on Kindred Spirit on April 7.
They found the boat on St. Martin. Dan, his three brothers and his father sailed it from there to St. Croix, taking the long way, staying on the water for two weeks. It had been 15 years since all of them had been together.
Though this is the first catamaran the couple has owned, Julie says they have always been near water. The couple previously owned two sailboats on St. Croix.
This is the couple's first business on St. Croix, but owning their own business is not new to them. In the Ozarks, Dan owned and operated a restaurant and body shop with Julie, who also owned a bed and breakfast. They sold their business in Arkansas and came to live on St. Croix after Dan was offered a job at Caribbean Auto Mart, where he still works.
The boat has four tastefully decorated staterooms with private heads and a roomy dining area. There is also plenty of room on deck for passengers to move around or even lay back and take a nap under blues skies or under a canopy.
The cruise is for people all ages.
"I had a lot of fun jumping off the boat," said Anastasia Palin, a young girl on the cruise. She was excited about seeing a turtle while sailing.
On the longer cruises, Dan — who is also a chef — stops at the Norman Island caves, the Virgin Gorda Baths and a dive at the Rhone wreck off Salt Island.
For prices or more information, call 340-771-6451 or email Kindred Spirit Cruises.
"We want to make your dreams come true," Julie says.
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