The boat is extremely luxurious and beautifully outfitted and decorated. Bedrooms are roomy and peaceful, bathrooms modern and pretty. The boat is beautiful under sail. The communal areas are huge - plenty of space to relax without crowding and so much deck space for everyone to choose their favorite nook.
The meals were truly restaurant quality-delicious and beautifully presented - with wines to compliment. Afternoon cocktails would appear miraculously after a day of snorkeling and exploring little bays and coves.
But by far the best part of chartering Gambit was the wonderful duo of captain/first mate- Doug and Val. Two fine sailors and hosts who really care about the sort of vacation their guests have.
They listened to our needs and wants and tailored the most wonderful week of watery fun filled activities and sights- knowing that we wanted to do nothing more than relax with our families and have lots of new experiences.
They planned each day with us the night before - and gave us the time to do nothing if that's what we wanted - plus their stories of life on the sea were entrancing and we shared many a laugh with these wonderfully easy going South Africans.
My family and I would vacation on the Gambit again - and plan to !
'The sea, once it casts its' spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever' - Jacques Cousteau
Just a quote to let you both know how much wonderment you brought to the Pursell and Keane families. thank you for taking such an interest each day in educating us, exploring with us, and becoming our friends. Val and Doug, You made this a trip we will never forget! Loved the food, the games and the time getting to know you! God bless. The Pursells
The Aussie Keanes
We go back 10lbs heavier - thanks to Val
100 times wiser - thanks to Doug
and 100 000 times happier - thanks to you both!
This was our best vacation ever! Thank you so so much for all your care and attention, love and laughter, and friendship during our vacation. You helped us make memories we will never forget!
Robyn and Barry
Until next time! We leave with the fondest memories! And of course we also leave 10lbs heavier because of Val's cooking. We truly love you like family and have no words to express our gratitude! Have a wonderful holiday off together, and Lord willing we will see you next season!
The Bond family
Third time was a charm! After two previous boat cancelled, you saved the day, and how lucky we are that you did! We could not have asked for a more perfect week - delicious beautifully served meals, gorgeous anchorages, a multitude of fun activities, rummikub, snorkeling adventures, and best of all....giving Daniel the ongoing good-natured ribbing. You are the best. So glad to now count you both as friends. Until next time! - The Bonds
Thank you for always going the extra mile, like taking me to the Belgium soccer game, teaching me new card games, and overall giving me an amazing time - Emily
The Richards and Bergmans
To say we had a wonderful trip is an understatement! There are no words to describe how amazing our week in the BVI was and Doug and Val were absolutely phenomenal! Life changing trip with so many wise words shared with Doug and Val - Dory
Doug and Val - fate brought us together for our very first visit to the BVI. We are blessed to come away from this trip knowing you as 'crew' but as friends too. We wish you the very best - you have your life priorities in perfect alignment. Until we meet again - the Bergmans
It was providence that brought you to us....a perfect combination for fun and relaxation. We had a great week with fabulous food and wonderful snorkeling. Thank you so much for EVERYTHING!! - the Richards
Thank you for a wonderful experience and for putting up with all our shenanigans. We will always remember it, and your gracious hospitality. We wish you the best.
The Stilwell Group
We enjoyed your gracious hospitality and kindness, delicious meals and entertainment. Gambit is beautiful and we were made to feel right at home - Loved it all!! Hope to return in the near future - the Stilwells
What a wonderful an memorable trip this was. Doug and Val, you both were great. Safe sailing to you and hope we meet again - Marilyn
You have secured a place in our hearts and in our memory. Your hospitality and smiles we will take with us a cherish - Randy and Carol
You are a blessing - Thank you - Candy
The Cooper collection
Thank you so much for an amazing trip; it exceeded our expectations! We made so many memories and felt so blessed to have this family time together. Doug provided wonderful entertainment and Val's cooking was absolutely fantastic. We hope to be back with you again in the future - Shelley
You guys are very good at what you do...really the ultimate guides to the Caribbean! We were blown away at how much time we gained by doing this. We hope to repeat soon, and when we do, you guys will be who we choose. Thanks for your efforts to make this trip so special - Taz
Edwards and Tate Family Adventures
Thank you so much for sharing your home with us for the week! We had such an amazing trip. Our kids are already asking us to plan our next trip - Kristie & Andy
This was an amazing trip! Thanks for the hospitality and being so sweet and patient with the girls! Your boat is so beautiful! - Stephanie & Bill
I had an absolutely amazing time, the best trip ever! Mrs Val was the best cook and thank you for teaching us Rummikub. And thank you Doug for teaching us card tricks and all the other cool stuff about the islands, water and more! And for having so much fun with us! This trip was AWESOME, I will never forget it! - Bailey
The Pickard family
Sadly our vacation came to an end and it's back to work for us tomorrow. We had such a wonderful time on the Katlyn and with the two of you. I wasn't kidding that we need to do this exact vacation again. I wouldn't change a thing.
Kurt, Angela, Addie and Lilly
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in the BVI aboard Katlyn! The scenery was beautiful, but Doug and Val made the trip fantastic. We definitely felt like we had made new friends by the end of the week and were a little teary eyed saying goodbye. We loved the bays they chose for us to stay in, offered us lots of hiking opportunities and snorkeling in some beautiful areas. We had great conversations and lots of adventures. Val made every meal feel gourmet. The food was excellent. She was very attentive to our preferences. We had a wonderful time.Definitely one of our favorite vacations. Hopefully we will have to opportunity to cross paths again with Doug and Val.
The Pettyjohn family
I would like to begin by saying that our charter with Katlyn and it’s captain and mate was absolutely the very best experience we have had to date with our family of five. The biggest problem that we encountered and for which no one prepared us was the depression we felt at having to return to the real world and the demands of day to day living. Our lives aboard the Katlyn so far exceeded our expectations, that I’m afraid we have been spoiled for every other vacation we will take. We developed such a great relationship with Doug and Val that I would hesitate to charter with anyone else for fear that it would pale in comparison. They became part of our family. From the first contact we had with Doug, until our last hug goodbye, we felt such a great connection to both Val and Doug. Doug was like a favorite Uncle who was always eager to teach, share, explore, lead, and pamper while Val assumed a more nurturing role with her calm, quiet, kind, and sincere demeanor. The two of them together make a great team and compliment each other beautifully. We felt well cared for from the moment we stepped on the boat. Doug’s confidence put all five of us at ease and Val’s delicious meals kept everyone well fed. Between the two of them, we wanted for nothing. From the minute we stepped aboard the Katlyn, we were treated with kindness and consideration. Doug and Val made every effort to ensure that all of our needs were met. They reiterated that should there be anything we desired, we need only ask. While I like to think of our family as relatively laid back and easy going, I feel certain that if I had asked for the moon to be brought down a little closer to the boat, Doug would have climbed the mast to try to lasso it closer for us! There was never a time that anyone in our family wanted for anything. The beverages were always stocked and cold, the food was always plentiful, the boat was always maintained with care and precision, and Doug’s sailing was always smooth. We loved the way Val helped him with buoys and anchorages. Truly they fit together like a hand in a glove.
Barbara and Fabian, Andy and Sylvia
When we thought about returning to Katlyn in March 2017 to explore the new area Doug and Val are sailing - the BVIs - we all agreed that this time we'd have to stay longer and hence booked without a minute of hesitation a two-weeks cruise with them. And again, and even more, we felt at home the moment Doug picked us up at the airport. Again, we spent the most wonderful and relaxed days on board - being active with swimming, snorkling, stand-up paddling and going for hikes, but also being lazy on board, having drinks together and of course enjoying again all the awesome meals that lovely Val prepared for us. We loved to sit together in the evenings to chat and listen to the stories Doug and Val could tell from their long sailing and travelling experience and truly felt like staying with friends. After two weeks it was even harder to say goodbye than the first time, but we'll always cherish the wonderful memories of this amazing time and keep all of it deep in our hearts.
Sailing the Caribbean with Doug and Val is a great holiday experience that is impossible to match!
The Bradley family
Doug and Val did a tremendous job of making us feel welcome and comfortable throughout our trip. They are warm and friendly, have wonderful stories,expressed a great sense of safety and knowledge coupled with kindness and enthusiasm that made our family feel instantly comfortable sharing space with them onboard. They both are extremely hard-working, without showing us an instant of stress. This gave the charter a sense of ease, though we are well aware that there was great forethought and labor involved in creating
an atmosphere of relaxed adventure. Doug did a great job of presenting many options to us and then doing whatever he could to make them happen! We felt that he did a wonderful job of listening to us, and being attentive and responsive to each and every one of our preferences. This gave the whole trip a very personal and catered feel. It was exactly perfect for our family! We enjoyed their happy and playful nature, their philosophical approach to life, the way they showed respect and kindness to all, and their intuitive and natural read of how to best be of service. They were delightful in every way!! The meals and beverages
were beyond our expectations!! We had no idea how delicious the food would be on our vacation, and felt like each time we sat down at the table it was like unwrapping a new Christmas gift! Val set the table differently and creatively for every meal, and the food was divine and created with so much care. We felt nourished inside and out by Val's talent and devotion in the galley. And she did it all with a generous and warm disposition the whole
As an almost full-time traveler, this has been a trip of a lifetime for me! It was made so by the excellent personalities of the crew - Val and Doug Fairfield. They are self motivated to make your charter a very successful one! You cannot find better people to work with!
Doug emphasizes safety measures, leads various hikes, and keeps up on various ships maintenance work. Val's meals are done from scratch and are very tasty. The boat is in outstanding shape.
Stacey, Ronnie, Maggie and Parker
Thank you for the most amazing experience ever. We absolutely loved every aspect (except the beets!). The hikes were wonderful and the snorkels were beautiful – all to work off the amazing food Val cooked. I think we will never be so full of good food. Will y’all please come visit in Mississippi one day and we will give you almost as good as an experience. Be safe! Y’all will be missed as y’all are now family.
Captain Doug – The life lessons you graciously taught our children made this vacation one we will carry with us throughout life. To me, this week was not about vacationing in the most beautiful waters, but about time spent together laughing and sharing. You made this bigger than reality. I could not have dreamt of it better. For that I love you and you will be part of us forever.
Admiral Val – You are by far the most beautiful woman I have ever met. Your smile and laughter are your gifts (cooking a close second) and God has blessed my family with them not only this past week but forever in our souls. Without you, this week would have only been a great vacation. You made it a home and a family. You are now loved deeply in Mississippi – please visit and bring your laughter with you. It will be missed ~ Stacey
I cannot express my gratitude for sharing your home with us! I had the best time this week! Definitely the best vacation ever! ~ Maggie
Barry, Robyn, Brooklyn and Weston
We boarded your beautiful Katlyn as strangers and instantly became friends and family! We are so thankful God chose for our paths to cross! You are both beautiful and there are no words to express our thanks for such an incredible vacation. You exceeded our expectations in every way! Please keep in touch!
Art and Val
Thanks for turning Art’s vision of my “Part 11, the next 50 years” into reality. Sailing with you, learning about the boat, the various islands, beaches, coves, bars, local sea creatures and all your past adventures was both captivating and a bit magical. We loved every moment of our week with you sailing through the BVI. We equally loved the many moments when we looked at each other and Art and Ifelt amazed by how perfect our days on Katlyn were. Thank you for filling our tummies, Val, with such healthy delicious food, and to you both for filling our hearts with a week of memories that will last forever. Thank you for everything, I could not have imagined a more enjoyable way to turn 50! Looking forward to the net adventure with you guys.
Lee and girls
Thank you for a fantastic trip! It was everything I hoped for and more. The girls couldn’t think of a favorite part – “the whole time was incredible”. Hopefully we will be back!
Jay and Shawna, with Sierra, Laiken and Carsen
Where to begin?! Thank you both for everything. So much thought and consideration was put towards making sure our trip was perfect. We can’t thank you enough for the ‘hands on’ experience. The sailing, snorkeling, the food and overall hospitality was top notch. As a stated in our thank you card to you both, we thank you for the wonderful family memories that will last a lifetime. Please contact us should you ever be in our state. You always have a place to stay. Hugs
Ray and Pam, Nawanda and Dean
Thank you for making our 50th Wedding Anniversary so amazing! Katlyn is such a special boat and we will always remember our time with you. From quiet times to sundowners and Val’s amazing meals – all I can say is WOW! We loved watching your teamwork, Captain Doug and Val’s skills at guiding us to a buoy. Please come to south Carolina – free golf! ~ Ray and Pam
“Beautiful waters, great sailing days, super snorkeling, baths, bubbly pool, 5 star breakfast, lunch and dinners, snacks, refreshing drinks, sweet Katlyn, and the manner in which you served us….all well beyond measure!! And yet you offered us even more! Your love for your country, the love of your family, your desire to treat all with dignity and honor, and the obvious commitment, respect and love for each other! We feel fortunate and blessed to have crossed paths with you two! Our hope is to see you again. If you are ever near Texas…..(golf included)! ~ Nawanda and Dean
Roger and Debbie, Al and Darla, Marianne
Thank you for a wonderful trip. Roger has enjoyed playing first mate and I see a sailboat in our future. You have gone out of your way to make this a perfect week of sailing. We have enjoyed learning the basics of the sea from someone who loves it. Your love of the sea and family shines with every word and action. For that we thank you. Don’t forget your friends in Dallas. I will second Darla’s motion, if you plan a trip to the States you are welcomed with open arms (and a place to stay). Take care and be safe ~ Roger and Debbie
Thank you for the most wonderful time of our life. Al’s dream of sailing has really brought him such pleasure. I have loved my time learning about the ocean. Your love of life and family will be remembered in a very special way. You and Val have become part of the family. Thank you! If you ever come our way, please come and stay and we will show you some of Texas ~ Al and Darla
WOW! AUSGEZEICHNET! Chef, Boss Lady, Captain, Bar Tender, Personalities PLUS!
This has been the BEST vacation! Your boat is great and you are so personable...so fun to chat, share stories and get to know you. Val – what wonderful meals..every one a big hit! And thank you for taking me under your wing to snorkel with me and enjoy time with us. Doug as well! What a captain you are! So efficient, you made us feel safe…but we also loved the adventure. Both of you showed us how determined you are to put us first, and tend to our needs and wants and make our trip first class! We are happy, happy sailors and have come away with new friends! DANKE! Hope our paths cross again at some point. Hugs ~ Marianne
Dana, Chris and Andrea, Jesselyn - the guests who horsed around
Incredible sights, amazing memories and 10lbs extra…..all this we gained on this trip! Thank you so much for your hospitality! Your yacht is delightful, your stories were so entertaining, and the food superb! Always remember the tramps on the tramp and the horse on the bow! We will never forget the great times we had on this trip and look forward to doing it again in the Grenadines someday soon!
Dana – The tramp on the tramp
Jesselyn – The best hooker (buoy!) on the tramp
Chris – The Horse
Andrea – the one who didn’t know a lamb was a sheep
Bob and Rose, Jordan and Jimmy - The SUP Acrobats
Words cannot begin to express what a beautiful, marvelous time we had aboard Katlyn! Despite rough seas, lost airline luggage and the appearance of ‘Murphy’ a few times, you made our voyage unforgettable! The food was superb (thank you Val), the drinks were always flowing (thank you Doug). Our conversations meant a lot – you are truly the models for the best hostess and captain – I am sure you taught your 2 beautiful children the same. I am happy we shared our card games – that was such fun! Thank you, God bless you both and your family – have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year – I am sure we will be back ~ Bob and Rose
Amazing trip! It was a time to remember for sure! I loved the stories you guys have. You are amazing people and I am positive you will have a delightful life counting backwards from 80. Thank you for introducing me to new foods and drinks, and completely superb places like the pools. I learned a lot within these few short days and experienced such beautiful things with great people. Thank you so so much ~ Jordan
Barbara and Fabian, Andy and Sylvia
All of us were for the first time on a catamaran cruise and for the first time in the Caribbean when we first boarded Katlyn in April 2015 - and we were completely and utterly overwhelmed. Not only by the outstanding natural beauty of the Grenadine islands, but also by the kind, personal and in every respect exceptional hospitality of our lovely hosts Doug and Val, who made us feel at home from the very first minute and made every day another day in paradise! Each day, Doug untiringly selected most beautiful islands and beaches for us to explore, took us to mindblowing snorkling spots (we'll never, never forget Tobago Cays!), and Val spoiled us with the most amazing meals she produced with a lot of love and creativity in the tiny galley on board Katlyn.
The week we spent on board exceeded all (already high) expectations, and we were literally in tears when we had to leave much too soon.
Arturas and Galina
Thank you very much for your care and all the unforgettable moments we spent with you. We hope we can sail together again soon for new adventures. And we have experienced the best food in all of Guadeloupe!!!
Lothar and Geli
Thank you very much for these wonderful few days. It was our first sailing trip on a catamaran and we enjoyed it every day. You showed us very nice places in the Grenadines. Val, you are a great cook and your meals were always delicious. Doug, you told us many stories, sometimes such funny things. It was really a pleasure to stay on your Katlyn and to spend the time together with you.
Jan and Julia
What a huge pleasure it has been for us to spend these 5 days with you on your lovely yacht!! It was perfect all throughout….the sailing, diving, snorkelling, power boating with the dinghy, and of course the excellent food at any given time of the day (or night!) We truly enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere you have on your boat; it was just such a beautiful experience for us. Again, we will most certainly tell all our people and friends about this and will warmly recommend you to all who are planning a similar trip (and of course to those who are not yet…) For sure, WE will be back to see you again and spend another charter with you – somewhere in the Caribbean or elsewhere in the world…Thank you for everything.
Matthias and Kathi
Thank you so much for the awesome trip through the Caribbean Sea! Even though I spent most of my time in my “sailing position” it was a great experience for Matthias and me to spend these days on a sailing boat. Despite my panic of fish, I discovered my love for turtles and iguanas. So lovely! We also want thank Val for all the delicious food she prepared every day and Doug for his superb sailing skills that brought us safely through the rough Caribbean Sea. You are such a lovely and funny couple and we wish you all the best for your sailing future.
Eva, Matthias, and Felix
Thanks so much for an incredible honeymoon journey across the Tobago Cays. You showed us some of the most beautiful places on earth. We caught a young barracuda and a small yellow fin tuna just by putting our lines in the water while sailing. Unbelievable! That was by far the freshest fish we have ever eaten! In the horseshoe reef we saw turtles, stingrays and plenty of other exotic fish. Felix even saw a shark! Thank you so much for this wonderful experience, you are both definitely role models for living ‘the other lifestyle’ and Matthias and I are grateful that we got the chance to meet you and learn from you. Hope we can stay in contact and one day we hope our paths can cross again - Eva
Sunburn, sand in the shoes, salt water in the stomach and scratches from rocks, cactus and thorns from the island where Doug was paragliding. But it was all worth it!! It was definitely one of the best times I have had and will always be one of the greatest experiences I have had a chance for. So dear Val and Doug, thanks for this sailing trip and great and funny time we spent with you. I hope we will meet again in the future - Felix
Steffen and Silke
Many thanks for the hearty welcome on board! We felt good and really relaxed. Doug has shown us fantastic places and taught us how to snorkel. Val’s kitchen was the best one every time. It was “lekker”. Thanks for the nice conversation, all things were perfect. Our first trip to the Caribbean and our first stay on a catamaran are unforgettable.
Andrea, Andreas, Hannes and Felix - a talented family
You made our dreams come true – sailing in the Caribbean, snorkelling with turtles in crystal clear water, visiting the “sweets that dropped out of God’s hands” (Tobago Cays), making two boys think for a short moment that they are “Jack Sparrow”…It was such a pleasure to share your home, the wonderful “Katlyn”, with you. Thanks for fulfilling every wish we had and offering so many adventures to Hannes and Felix (fishing, diving, dinghy racing, playing piano on PSV…). And of course, thank you so much for the wonderful food. It couldn’t have been better. We hope we can give this back to you were you to come and sail in the Baltic Sea. Happy that you are our new friends, hope to see you again soon.
Aaron and Charlotte - A proposal!
Thanks for an amazing time. We have shared a very special moment with you. Thanks for making it so unique.
Jutta and Rolf
Thank you so much for this great holiday time in the Grenadines. Thank you for all the little things you did to make us feel so welcome and comfortable. Val, you are a real good, great cook and Doug, you are the best skipper we have ever known! We enjoyed these days so very much and we hope we will be able to come back some day and have some more happy days together with you.
Michael and Martina
We really enjoyed the time with you onboard and were very pleased to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary with you. You showed us the Caribbean as we expected it. The special surprize was the small island near PSV and the wake up at Salt Whistle Bay was the dream we had. Val’s meals beat every restaurant.
Melanie and Christoph
Thank you so much for the last terrific days sailing through the most beautiful places in between Grenada and Bequia. You have been the best hosts we have ever had. The trip was more than we could have imagined in everything ~ the best above all is the two of you! Thank you for everything!
Angela and Andrea
Thank you very, very much for this wonderful holiday, we enjoyed it very much! Thank you for your warm and attentive support, we always had the impression that we were a part of the ‘Katlyn’ family! And…it won’t be a threat, we would like to meet you again all over the world!
Conny and Helge
We thank you for the wonderful time we had with you on-board, especially for
~ not going by motor but really sailing
~ your meals, that beats every restaurant
~ the nice places you showed us
~ and most of all for treating us as friends.
We would be glad to see you again soon and maybe for a longer time than we had now!
Bergit and Dennis
Thank you for the awesome sailing trip through the Grenadines. We enjoyed the private atmosphere on your home SY Katlyn. Your service was great and so much better than in some hotel. Val, your meals were soooo delicious. Thank you for showing us the beautiful spots. We loved to snorkel with the turtles and the thousand fishes at the reefs in Sandy Island and the Tobago Cays. Your trampoline is a nice place to relax and watch the coastlines and the stars at night. We will never forget our time with you! This is the highlight of our three week vacation. We feel like Pirates of the Caribbean!
Raimund and Burgi
We had a great time with you. It felt like we were at home! We will be back!!
Dave and Christine - 60th birthday celebration of life
We've enjoyed our sailing holiday with you very much. The food has been delicious, healthy and nutritious as well as very attractively presented. I have particularly appreciated your patience and kindness in helping me to be more adventurous than I usually am. You have introduced us to a wonderful world of colour and beautiful islands. We will remember this holiday forever and will definitely recommend it to our friends and relatives. (Christine)
Thank you for your time and patience with us ‘land lubbers’. You certainly made us feel very welcome on-board your home. It has been up there with one of the best experiences of my life. Your attention to detail in accommodating our wishes has been fantastic ~ Val’s wonderful meals and helping Doug with his sailing ~ Doug who went beyond the call of duty to buddy me on the dive. To see the sea life up close, to swim with the turtles on Tobago Cays is something I will never forget. It will all be a paradise dream when we return to wintery, dark, dark Scotland in a couple of days. Thank you for the wonderful memories. (Dave)
Bàrbel and Patrick
Blue sky, a beautiful boat, Caribbean Sea, shells, turtles, beaches like postcards, iguanas and islands, islands islands…..and last but not least the two of you made this trip so beautiful. We really enjoyed it. (Bàrbel)
It was an experience of a life time. Many thanks to you for making our first sailing journey such an amazing thing. You’ve been so helpful and nice to show us the Caribbean as it is. (Patrick)
Daniela and Sasha
Oh what a wonderful time! Good weather, always a cold beer, delicious food with nice wine and interesting conversations with lovely people! A journey we will never forget. Thank you for this amazing holiday.