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Old 11-22-2013
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St. Lucia to Grenada versus Antigua to St. Martin

Hello,

I'm considering a one-way bareboat charter from St. Lucia to Grenada or from Antigua to St. Martin and am looking for advice on the pros and cons of those two trips. I've chartered a number of times in the BVIs and sail my own boat up north. Since the crew this time will consist solely of experienced sailors, we figured we would take advantage and try something that provides longer distance, more open water sailing. Our goals are long open water sails (5+ hours) with a relatively low-key harbor at the end of the day. We will be coming down in early March. We will only have 5 or 6 days of sailing (hence the one-way charter). Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, particularly on the sailing conditions, harbors, customs issues, etc... We aren't really going to have time to see much of the islands this time around, so that doesn't matter as much. Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Matt
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Old 11-22-2013
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Re: St. Lucia to Grenada versus Antigua to St. Martin

Hi

i did one way Antigua - St martin a few years ago in late march with Horizon out of Jolly Harbour, Antigua and had an amazing time. I'm doing one way St Lucia to grenada (also with Horizon) late march of this coming year.

we took a full 8 or 9 days to do Antigua to St Martin. I would think 5-6 days pushing it a bit (and might raise some eyebrows with the chartering company), but you've obviously thought about it and want to do multiple days of long sails and dont care about the on-land activities, so maybe it would be fine as long as you didnt get stuck by weather (i would think unlikely that time of year) or any problems with the boat. i would say that it would be a shame not to see a bit of the islands, though, and checking in and out can take some of your valuable time as well. we encountered no real problems apart from a couple of days of northerly big swells which limited our choice of anchorages and if we had wanted we probably could have made it in 5-6 days. we really wanted to see Saba Is which was a highlight of our trip. still, i would think you'd want at least a week or preferably more to do it right and make the one way drop off fee worth it. i suppose you could do Antigua - nevis, then Nevis-Saba or St Barths, then Saba or St Barths to St Martin and that's only three days leaving you 2 or 3 days to play with, not counting the first day which is usually a write-off.

although i havent done it yet, i have been planning the st lucia to grenada trip for a 9 day charter. to my eyes it seems maybe a bit more straightforward and i would think easier to guarantee making it in 5-6 days, if you absolutely must. also dont have to worry about bridge opening times, as you must to Simpson lagoon if that's where you're returning the boat (i think sunsail does not have their base in the lagoon, so i suppose you could go with them, but i think its farther up and around the NW side of the island).

have fun!
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Old 11-23-2013
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Re: St. Lucia to Grenada versus Antigua to St. Martin

Both great runs.. We have done Jolly to Nevis to St Kitts (least fave), then Saba and St Martin.. even got lucky as the wind backed and had a beam reach Saba to St Martin. Saba is amazing, very different and hard to visit, as no good anchorage exists, the few moorings near Diamond Rock can be rolly, and the beach landing 'interesting'.. but if conditions pan out it's a fascinating stop. We bypassed Statia but have since seen some pics that make me wish we hadn't. We also missed St Barts given our route via Saba.

Lots good to say about the St Lucia - Grenada run too.. there's a discussion on this plan in Argle's thread from last week:

St. Lucia - Grenada in March/April

Enjoy!
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