St. Thomas, USVI
MHG - London Marine
Eco Friendly Toiletries Reef Safe Sunscreen, Etc.
Kayaks 1 Pax:
Kayaks 2 Pax:
Water Skis Adult:
Yes, Starboard Aft
Water Skis Kids:
Joe is a US Coast Guard certified captain. Joe loves hosting families and sharing his love of adventure and water activities. Joe is always willing to share his knowledge of sailing if you want to learn the basics while aboard Knot 5280. Joe is CPR and First Aid Certified.
Like any good story, Joe's interest in sailing started with a few drinks and a good friend. Dave Ciesla and Joe attended a boat show in Denver in 1991, and signed up for sailing lessons. After completing the beginning ASA courses, Dave bought a sailboat and the two of them started spending their nights and weekends racing on the various mountain reservoirs around Colorado.
In 1993 in need of a vacation and some beach time, Joe booked his first trip through SunSail/Moorings to the British Virgin Islands. During that trip Joe fell in love with the beautiful islands and for the next 27 years he sailed as often as possible and amassed a knowledge of the Virgin Islands not available with most local charter captains.
Joe was born in Minneapolis, MN but Colorado will always be home. His family moved to Aurora, Colorado in 1970. Joe graduated from CU Boulder in 1989 with a degree in economics, but had no real career plans. He spent the next few years taking odd jobs in Vail, Maui, Martha's Vineyard and Chicago. Eventually, he moved back to Denver and settled down. In 1991, he started his career in commercial real estate and spent 29 years specializing in leasing office buildings.
Joe's first love is Colorado, and you can always find him outside. From hiking, camping, fishing, concerts, etc. Colorado was a great place to raise a family and a special place to call home. When he's not sailing you will most likely find Joe on two-wheels; mountain biking, road biking, dirt biking or cruising around on his Harley. Joe loves his toys and is always finding a new way to explore the outdoors.
Joe and Holly met in 2003 when holly started working at the same commercial real estate company as Joe. Eventually a friendship developed and they started dating in 2010 and married in 2014.
Holly was born in Las Vegas, Nevada and spent her childhood in Pahrump, Nevada a very small town on the California/Nevada border. Her formative years went by in southern Utah before her parents moved to Denver, Colorado in 1999. Holly has called Denver home ever since; her family has since moved back to Pahrump, and she visits them as often as possible. Holly's grandmother was a professional chef and her mom has a passion for baking; Holly spend her childhood in the kitchen learning family recipes infused with southwest flavor. Her home was the place where everyone gathered, and Sunday dinners became a large affair filled with friends and family.
Holly is a competent crew member and partner to Joe during charters. To prepare for her role as chef, Holly studied privately and online to take her cooking skills to the next level for charter guests. Holly understands how valuable your time off is and takes her job creating a vacation experience for your family seriously. Holly is CPR and First Aid Certified, she also holds her STCW.
Holly loves to hike, she has always lived near the mountains and enjoys the quiet time in nature a long trail can provide. Holly's background is in marketing, graphic design and administration in commercial real estate; like Joe she is a licensed agent but spent her time coming up with marketing strategies and designs for investment listings. This crazy dream to buy a sailboat and move to the Caribbean was always Joe's idea but Holly would follow Joe anywhere and if she's honest... it beats working a desk job.
In 2020 we were at a bit of a crossroads. Joe's oldest daughter Ally had graduated from college and his son Tom was starting his sophomore year of college. We decided to sell our house in central Denver, it was basically empty, and we were tired of the noise and growth in Denver. We spent some time planning and discussing our next move. Joe had always wanted to get his captains license and run sailing charters in the Virgin Islands and it seemed like we were at a now or never moment in our life, we had the perfect window of opportunity to walk away, take a sabbatical and pursue Joe's dream. But we were scared and nervous. In the fall of 2020 Holly's dad died unexpectedly, there is something about a 61-year-old dying in a freak accident that makes you realize just how short life really is. That sealed the deal for us, and we made the move down to St Thomas in December of 2020.
Although this was originally "Joe's Dream" it's an amazing opportunity that Holly has fully embraced. Spend any amount of time with us and you will see us fall into a natural, comfortable rhythm with a fair amount of laughter. We know each others strengths and we naturally work really well together. Knot 5280 is a comfortable, family-friendly boat that will instantly make you feel at home. Holly is a caretaker and compulsively organized; she takes care of the interior of the boat making sure everyone is fed, comfortable and happy. Joe's love for sailing and the ocean is contagious; when Joe takes the helm he ensures safety, entertainment and a well-timed scheduled. But both of us will pitch hit for the other when needed.
Our experience in the Virgin Islands was a blanket in comfort and a daily dip into decadence thanks to Joe and Holly. The boat was spacious, fully equipped, and a haven on the water.
Joe’s thorough knowledge of the marine conditions and command of his craft provided smooth sailing around the islands and to easily accommodate the comfort of everyone in our group. He is also intimate with the boat and is prepared for nearly any contingency. Joe, being not only our competent skipper on the boat, but also our guide to the best below water bringing us to beautiful and safe snorkeling locations.
Holly, in short, allowed us to leave our tired brains at home; we barely had to think about what we might want at any time and she was there to provide snacks, drinks, or any accoutrement to enjoy any part of the day. Holly created the perfect menu for every day, skillfully strategizing the small kitchen to make beautiful, bright, diverse meals that always seemed to be perfect for the time of day. Particularly impressive was her insistence to include fresh greens and vegetables day after day out on the water.
The USVI was astoundingly gorgeous on SV Knot5280 and we thoroughly, enthusiastically recommend Joe and Holly to experience the islands with them.
Joe and Holly,
Cannot thank you enough for the hospitality. Everything was amazing. We got to explore areas we would never have seen by land. The food was amazing. The relaxation on the boat was something you would never have at a resort. Awesome trip. Thanks for everything. The Goff charter – Browns Summit, NC.
Joe & Holly, Thank you for the best vacation anyone could imagine! You guys are the best – can't imagine any hosts more fun, accommodating, caring, or better chefs or bartenders, Lol! Everything was perfect we would love to do it again!
Joe & Holly,
Thanks so much for such a great week! You 2 are the best!
Holly & Joe, Thanks so much for the amazing memories. I knew coming back to the USVI would be wonderful, but you two made the trip perfect! I hope our trails cross again!
Holly & Joe, To say you are amazing is an understatement. We truly enjoyed ourselves and your fun personalities put our experience over the top! We hope our paths cross again!
My wife and I just finished a 7 day charter. I didn’t know what to expect since I never did it this before. From the second we boarded, the unbelievable over the top experience began. The crew/hosts are some of the most friendly people you will ever meet. The accommodations were fantastic. They had a full open bar catering to our favorites. Every breakfast, lunch and dinner was so over the top with creativity, variety and craftsmanship, it was too pretty to even eat. They thought of everything. Boat activities were top notch, including paddle boarding, snorkeling and my favorite, kayaking. If you want to relax on a float in the water, they have that too. This boat is big with plenty of room to roam and relax. Did I mention the food? OMG! Worth every penny. More in my opinion. Thank you Joe and Holly for an unforgettable experience.
Happy New Year! What a great start! We had the best time thanks to you both. We will cherish the memories we made with good friends on Knot 5280. We can’t wait to be back! Pura Vida!
We can’t even begin to describe what an amazing experience Knot 5280 was! Holly and Joe - you are the absolute best in every way possible! Thank you so much for showing your dream with us - we will never forget the absolute paradise we had for a week! We will be back whether you want us or not! :)
Thank you for a wonderful New Years charter! Your hospitality was fabulous. We did and saw all the things we wanted to and had a fabulous down time with a spectacular view. Your attention to detail in our preference sheet was wonderful. Thank you for all the advice and lessons on sailing in the islands. Happy New Year! Sara, Scott, Margaret
Rating of Yacht & Crew: 5
Was the yacht comfortable and clean?
Was the yacht well ventilated?
Was the crew friendly and accommodating?
Yes, Holly and Joe were fabulous. They had clearly paid attention to our preference sheet and were very attentive to our requests and any changes we had.
Was the food good and well presented?
Yes indeed. Holly was a fabulous chef!
8. Additional comments about the yacht and crew?
Holly and Joe were friendly, inspired great confidence and made our vacation all we hoped for. We were eager to learn about sailing in the VI. Holly and Joe were very patient with all our questions and provided great tips and insight into the possibility of bareboating. If we decide to go with a crew again - Knot 5280 would be our choice.
Did you like the area you chartered in?
There are so many wonderful things that we can say about our trip aboard Knot 5280. Let us start by saying that Captain Joe and First Mate Holly were exceptional hosts, their yacht is extremely well equipped and very comfortable, and the food and beverages were fantastic!
For just a bit more detail, our journey did not begin when we boarded, but many weeks earlier. Joe and Holly exchanged several emails focused on our food choices, itineraries, and more. Of greatest concern for us was our son’s fatal food allergies. While they are always very busy with their charters, they made time to speak with us on the phone more than once to go over what would be needed to keep him safe but well fed. Holly was incredibly gracious and went out of her way to find foods and even new recipes that were safe for him.
Throughout the journey, meals were abundant, delicious and very attractively plated and served. Every afternoon, Holly would prepare an amazing appetizer, always beautifully arranged. And she would offer cocktails from the well-stocked bar. Breakfast always began with fresh cut fruit, melon and berries, and followed with something hearty. And Joe makes a mean pot of coffee.
The cabins and heads were comfortable and nicely appointed. Having ensuite bedrooms with bathrooms was amazing and felt luxurious!
The boat is equipped with lots of toys. Snorkeling was by far our favorite activity – lots of rocks and reefs, fish and other aquatic life, and by far our favorite – the sea turtles were everywhere. There are also two paddleboards, a 2-person kayak, Sunchill (a very large floatation ring that lets you lie in the water), and of course, Tiffany, the huge inflatable pink flamingo. There were usually nice hikes at each anchorage, but given the heat of the day, we chose to stay in the water most days.
The decks have plenty of comfortable places to sit or lie down, in full sun or in the shade. We almost always anchored or moored near a very nice beach, so a quick trip with the dinghy and the beach chairs and you could spend all day with a book in your hand and sand between your toes. And Joe and Holly were always nearby and eager to bring drinks and food as needed.
Bottom line – we would not hesitate for a moment to book a trip on this wonderful boat with such a great crew.
We cannot describe in words how wonderful this entire trip has been. The food, drinks, hikes – all of it was beyond our expectations! Joe and Holly are the perfect hosts that add an extra special touch to every detail! We hope to be able to sail again soon!
We could not have enjoyed this trip of a lifetime more. It was perfect and has us wishing for more. Thank you for the great food, sunsets, snorkeling, hikes, beautiful sails and friendship. It could not have been better. - Mike & Colleen Murray
It has been a privilege to spend a week seeing St. Thomas and St. John aboard the wonderful Knot 5280! Each day was filled with beautiful bays, wonderful food and lovely memories. Joe and Holly, you are gracious hosts and the best crew ever! - Sue & Ralph
I did not think that it was possible, but everyday on Knot 5280 kept getting better and better You exceeded expectations. Knot 5280 is paradise in paradise! It wasn't the ship but the crew (and Tiffany!). Joe and Holly you were amazing and we cant wait to sail with you again soon! - Mike Murray
An amazing trip with Queen Holly, Captain Joe and Tiffany. The weather was spectacular, the food was well round, abundant and an amazing variety. Our favorite spot was Salt Pond where the people were fun and turtles abundant. All in all we loved it. 4 teens 15-18 and 4 adults. We all came out alive and still friends – thank you Holly and Joe – we loved our time!
We had a last minute switch from our planned charter due to an engine issue, and honestly, we could have been luckier! Holly and Joe were so warm and welcoming – we felt at home immediately. Joe did a great job finding calm spots for us to anchor and Holly did a great job making delicious meals and drinks (you have to try her painkillers!). Thank you both for an awesome week!
An amazing trip with Queen Holly – Captain Joe and Tiffany. The weather was spectacular, the food was well loved, abundant and an amazing variety. Our favorite spot was Salt Pond where the people were fun and turtles abundant. All in all we loved it. 4 teens 15-18 and 2 adults. We all came out alive and still friends – Thank you Joe and Holly. We loved our time!
We had a last minute switch from our planned carter due to an engine issue, and honestly, we could not have been more lucky. Holly and Joe were so warm and welcoming – we felt at home immediately. Joe did a great job finding us calm spots for us to anchor and Holly did a great job making delicious meals and drinks (you have to try her painkillers!!) Thank you both for an awesome week!
Holly and Joe were so fun! They took great care of our family on our day charter. Even though I sprung a last-minute dietary restriction; Holly still managed to make an incredible lunch! We can’t wait to come back and spend a few nights on Knot 5280.The Ball Family
What an amazing experience on Knot 5280. Holly and Joe were incredible hosts that found the perfect balance between relaxation and activity for our active family of 4. The happy, energetic personalities were contagious to everyone on the boat. They knew the islands so well and had great suggestions for hiking, snorkeling and exploring. Joe’s knowledge of sailing was beyond what I expected – he was a patient and kind teacher and we all left with a new love for sailing. Thank you so much for a great family vacation!The Glass Family
After a week on Knot 5280, the hardest part was saying good. You made our big Caribbean Thanksgiving dream come true. We were so impressed by your calm, non-stop attention to detail and customer service. You never stopped working hard for us so that our vacation would be tremendous. Holly was an amazing host that planned meals that fit our tastes and planned the days around our wants and gave some great suggestions. As owner/operators I felt like Joe and Holly went above and beyond to make sure everything was absolutely wonderful.The Cornelius Family
Joe and Holly, thank you so much for making such an amazing place even better with your company, enthusiasm, knowledge, and expertise. We couldn’t have asked for better people to take us around the US Virgin Islands. It was our first trip down here and our first time on a catamaran. Captain Joe made us feel so safe and the boat was amazing – clean, spacious, and so well-cared for. The trip was absolutely amazing! Way more than we ever expected!The Foy Family