Caribbean advice - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Caribbean > Caribbean Islands
 Not a Member? 


Like Tree5Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-10-2013
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Hood River
Posts: 310
Thanks: 1
Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 3
hannah2 is on a distinguished road
Caribbean advice

We have never been to the Caribbean before. We have always sailed the Pacific and I easily get lost trying to obtain information on the Caribbean as there are so many places to visit and I get information overload.

Next season we will be crossing the pond to the Caribbean like most from the Verdes in late November. My question is what would you advise if we were only going to spend 5 or 6 weeks there before heading to Pannama. I would love some ideas on first island port which would be an easy place to have the grand kids come visit from the states. A good place that I can day sail, has plenty of great anchorages where the kids can fish and swim. They are from Wyoming and have never spent any time in a warm water destination. The three grand kids will be 7, 10 and 13 and may have to come without an adult so easy air travel to the island would be important.

Any ideas?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 01-10-2013
Faster's Avatar
Just another Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Posts: 15,354
Thanks: 88
Thanked 243 Times in 234 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about
Re: Caribbean advice

From across the pond I'd probably have to say Antigua is a good candidate, esp if you want visitors from the US.. English Harbour/Falmouth are good anchorages/marinas, good rates, decent facilities.. and if you're spending some time there and want a weekend diversion it's a pleasant sail around to Nonsuch Bay, Green Island area for great snorkeling on the reefs. Another easy sail back to port afterwards. Going the other way offers some nice sailing behind the reef to Jolly Harbour.

For a more Euro feel, then the French islands are south... Guadaloupe, Martinique have good marinas, and each has similar less busy 'destinations'... Iles des Saintes is a must see.. another nice daysail from a major centre (Pointe a Pitre). We know people that spend months here alone.

Further on in the SVGs I'd say that Tobago Cays should be on your list.. as should Bequia. If you get this far south, then Carriacou is a totally laid back, non cruise-ship-destination place where you can wander pristine beaches for miles all to yourself. The bus rides here are worth the trip alone!!

Panama bound and short on time might call for a diversion towards Nevis/St Kitts, then on to Saba, yet another totally different experience though weather and swell conditions are huge factors in stopping there... no good anchorage but a handful of buoys.. more interesting cab rides and an island night and day from your average sandy reef protected haven.. but worth it in its own way...

Pretty much can't go wrong.. it's all good!
__________________
Ron

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)

Last edited by Faster; 01-10-2013 at 05:40 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 01-10-2013
MarkofSeaLife's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,549
Thanks: 33
Thanked 95 Times in 78 Posts
Rep Power: 5
MarkofSeaLife is on a distinguished road
Re: Caribbean advice

Well, that would be St Martin.

Three reasons:
The best refitting port in the world and you are between a long passage and another.
Great easy airport with dinghy dock direct flights from Miami and Ft Lauderdale (and Europe)
Kid friendly cruisng, beaches, fun

The other reason which we shouldn't allude to is its great for adults too! Restaurants on the French Side are superb, like,Grand Case a bay side village that is full of restaurants ( take the boat and go on Tuesdays nights when the parade is on). Bars, clubs and nightlife on the Dutch side.

Get there and work out your cruise plan to get to Panama. I would suggest definitly St Barths, and Antigua and anywhere else you have time.

It's all good.
__________________
Sea Life
Notes on a Circumnavigation:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 01-11-2013
TQA's Avatar
TQA TQA is offline
Bombay Explorer 44
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,702
Thanks: 0
Thanked 59 Times in 55 Posts
Rep Power: 6
TQA is on a distinguished road
Re: Caribbean advice

The best place for you is going to be Antigua. Lots to do and see, Montserrat is an easy day sail if you want to get close to a volcano and Guadeloupe is there if you want a French touch to your Caribbean sailing.

I try to include Guadeloupe when I have visitors.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 01-11-2013
denverd0n's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 915
Thanks: 0
Thanked 19 Times in 19 Posts
Rep Power: 7
denverd0n is on a distinguished road
Re: Caribbean advice

If easy air travel from the U.S. is a top priority, then I would suggest Puerto Rico as the best, USVI second, and Antigua third.

First off, it appears that if they fly from a Wyoming airport they will have to connect through Denver, so it might be best if they catch the flight in Denver. My relatives in Cheyenne pretty much always drive to Denver before flying anywhere, but then I also have lots of relatives in Denver, so the Cheyenne contingent can always find family to visit and stay with if they want.

There are lots of flights to Puerto Rico from Denver with only one change, usually in Miami. St. Thomas, USVI can also be gotten to with only one change, but there aren't as many flights and they're a little more expensive. Antigua can also be gotten to with only one change, but there are even fewer flights than for STT and they are even more expensive.

The other suggestions are beautiful places to visit, but they will all require the grandkids to make even more plane changes, in small airports, where I, personally, would be concerned about the assistance and attention they would get from the airport personnel.
hannah2 likes this.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 01-11-2013
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Hood River
Posts: 310
Thanks: 1
Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 3
hannah2 is on a distinguished road
Re: Caribbean advice

Thanks for all the advice. Last night I did my home work and everyones ideas look good.

Lot can change in a years time but thinking of making land fall in Martinique then moving up to Antigua.

I noticed that the windward side of Martinique has a lot of bays inside the barrier reef. Looks a lot like the S. Pacific Islands. our SV is aluminum centerboard and we draw 1 meter. Have any of you spent time on the windward side of Martinique? I read it can be done if you know what you are getting into.

Cheers
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 01-11-2013
Faster's Avatar
Just another Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Posts: 15,354
Thanks: 88
Thanked 243 Times in 234 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about
Re: Caribbean advice

The boat we've cruised on down there had a 7 foot draft.. the windward side of Martinique never came up.....
__________________
Ron

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 01-11-2013
billyruffn's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,285
Thanks: 5
Thanked 27 Times in 18 Posts
Rep Power: 11
billyruffn will become famous soon enough
Re: Caribbean advice

I've spent 4 winters in the Eastern Caribbean and have seen most of it. Faster and Mark in their posts above offer good suggestions. Antigua is a great island with the best parts IMO being English Harbor (home of Nelson's Shipyard) and Nonsuch Bay, a fairly remote spot on the windward side sheltered behind a reef. The French islands are nice and very cosmopolitan by Carib standards. Our favorite spots in the French islands include Iles de Saintes and some of the bays south of Fort de France on Marintique. If you're looking for some city life Fort de France (Martinique) and Point-a-Pitre (Guadeloupe) are good choices, but are lacking somewhat in "island" atmosphere. Sint Maarten (Dutch)/St. Maritin (FR) is a good stop and as mentioned the marine trades available there are very good. The Dutch side offers easier anchoring (Simpson Bay Lagoon) and is a bit over-developed IMO having much less charm than the French side. There are places in Sint Maarten where you think you're in the US.

Re routing for young travelers from Wyoming -- they will have to change planes somewhere. They can probably get direct flights to many major islands from Chicago and many more islands from Miami / Ft. Lauderdale. Flying through San Juan presents even more island destination options with the major US airlines and is an easy connection to places like the US and BVI. Islands where it might be difficult for you to get to the airport to pick them up would be anywhere in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, the airport on the south side of St Lucia, anywhere in Martinique except Marin and Fort de France, anywhere in Guadeloupe except Point-a-Pitre and anchorages on the east and south coasts of Puerto Rico. Among the easiest places in the Caribbean for meeting arriving crew are St. Thomas, BVI (Beef Island), Sint Maarten, Antigua, Point-a-Pitre, Fort de France and Castries in St. Lucia.

Although probably not your first stop in the Caribbean, I encourage you not to overlook the US Virgins, which are a great place to have kids visit -- and especially St. John. If I were picking one place for grandkids to visit and I wanted to be sure they had a nice tropical experience, it would be St. John. You'll will find very few places in the Caribbean prettier and more restful than the bays on the north side of St. John and few places as unspoiled as those on the south side of the island. All the major bays on St. John are in the national park, all have high quality moorings at reasonable prices ($15/night), most have great sandy beaches, there are great walks to take ashore and, best of all, much of the island is still in a natural state. On the other hand, St. John is American, tropo-American yes, but you know you're in the US. If it's the true Caribbean cultural experience you want them to experience you can hop over to the BVI. Downside of the BVI is all the charter boats. Connections into and out of the US/BVI easy via the San Juan and there are more and probably better opportunities for varied day sailing in the US and BVI than you'll find anywhere else (except perhaps the Grenadines).

Stopping in the VI also sets you up nicely for the trip to Panama. The passage from the VI or eastern Puerto Rico to Colon is not difficult -- 6-7 days in the trades. Starting from there (vs the Windwards) shortens the passage somewhat and gives you an opportunity to avoid the windy zone usually found 25-150 miles off the Columbian coast. This is an area where the winds are sometimes near gale force and the seas are among the largest in the entire basin. (See the Caribbean pilot chart). If you were to take a course that runs from the USVI to about 14N 77 30W and from there direct Colon you can avoid the area mentioned above.

Good luck and have fun with the grands.

Last edited by billyruffn; 01-11-2013 at 04:29 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 01-11-2013
-OvO-'s Avatar
Owl
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 219
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 3
-OvO- is on a distinguished road
Re: Caribbean advice

If the kids have to travel without an adult, there aren't many reasonable options. I think St Thomas is your best bet, with Puerto Rico a close second. But I would check with the airlines to see if they would allow unaccompanied minors on international flights, and if STT and SJU qualify as international for these purposes. I certainly wouldn't expect a 13-year-old to be able to shepherd two younger siblings through immigration coming and going, if anything, anything at all, went screwy.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 01-11-2013
billyruffn's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,285
Thanks: 5
Thanked 27 Times in 18 Posts
Rep Power: 11
billyruffn will become famous soon enough
Re: Caribbean advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by hannah2 View Post
I noticed that the windward side of Martinique has a lot of bays inside the barrier reef. Looks a lot like the S. Pacific Islands. our SV is aluminum centerboard and we draw 1 meter. Have any of you spent time on the windward side of Martinique? I read it can be done if you know what you are getting into.
Never been there and don't know anyone who has -- and as I said in an earlier post I've spent 4 seasons in the Eastern Carib. From my overland trips to the windward side of several islands my guess is that most of these bays probably aren't suitable for cruising boats and are accessible only by exposing yourself to a bash to windward in getting there. Bear in mind that in Carib sailing the windward side of islands routinely experience trades of 20-25 kts. It's one thing to sail in the trades with the wind on or abaft the beam, but bashing into them to get to the windward side of an island and then finding your way through a reef to shelter in a spot that probably has the look and feel of a similar bay on the leeward side of the same island......well, it's probably not worth the effort. In short, there are lots of places on the leeward side of islands or in areas that don't require a big beat to windward. In my experience most cruisers in the Carib stick to the leeward side of islands.

One of the issues you'll deal with moving up or down the island chain in the Caribbean is the acceleration of wind velocity when moving between islands. This is especially true with islands with big mountains near their N and S coasts. The islands create a Venturi effect between the headlands on the north and south coasts of two islands. To get to the windward side of an island you often need to beat into 25 or more knots of wind in seas created over a 2000+ mile fetch. Not a lot of fun, believe me.

If you want to see the windward side of Martinique, rent a car.
Faster likes this.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Caribbean cruisers: Advice please? sgraves Boat Review and Purchase Forum 15 06-22-2012 02:38 AM
Advice for Caribbean Flotilla? dwareham General Discussion (sailing related) 4 01-14-2012 09:24 PM
advice for caribbean? Lux Caribbean 2 07-02-2010 11:21 AM
U.S. Couple on Ultimate Caribbean Sailing Escape Aboard Hand-built Boat: Seven-month Caribbean sailing voyage takes Jan ... (PR Web) NewsReader News Feeds 0 03-08-2007 05:15 AM
Caribbean Routing Advice SailNet Cruising Articles 0 05-05-2001 09:00 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:07 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.