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Old 08-29-2007
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what to expect: St. Lucia to SVG?

Hi all:
My husband and I chartered a Moorings 4200 with skipper (we can't sail) for 6 nights in early December. We've never done this before, so I have some silly questions...
We start in St. Lucia (never been there before) and end in Canouan (we're familiar with SVG). We'd like to get to the Tobago Cays ASAP. How long should the journey take, and what sort of passage can we expect from St. Lucia to SVG (slow going, high winds, etc.) on a catamaran at this time of year?
Also, while we fully hope and expect to learn a lot on this trip by participating in sailing the boat, should we be nervous about having a cat of this size with only one knowledgable sailor aboard?
Thanks in advance for your input.
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wannabe....
First ...relax...it ain't tough!! We did Carriacou to Martinique in one overnight sail so your distances are shorter than that and if I remember right, you will be leavng from Marigot Bay in St. Lucia. I would tell you to explore St. Lucia a bit and take a land tour...you can also easily bop over to LeMarin in Martinique for a bitof good French cooking and topless beaches!! (G)
You may expect typical sailing weather to be 15-25 knots out of the East/SE in December to it is a bit boisterous but nothing too heavy and you are sailing in the lee of the islands most of the time. It is the passages between the large islands that can catch you if you don't shorten sail a bit before coming out of the lee.
If you can sail overnight on your charter, you can be in the Tobago keys in about 18 hours.
I think one experienced sailor is fine for the trip as long as the other charter members include one or two that are in good health and can follow orders!
Have fun...the Tobago Cays are great. AVOID mainland St. Vincent if possible. Cariacou and Bequia are nice stops. The Doyle guide to he Windward Islands is worth getting.
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I haven't sailed this for over a decade so don't rely on my comments... but here goes.

If you start up in Rodney Bay do a stop in Marigot in St Lucia, it's one of the most delightful places in the Caribe. It's a relatively short sail from Rodney Bay and makes a perfect lunch stop.

You may need to sail west a bit to escape the lee of the Island and get some decent breezes. If you stay in closer you can have a delightful sail in flatter water and more moderate winds.

Drop in by the Pitons... they're cool.

Castries in also a funky Caribbean city.

Defintely get Chris Doyle's Cruising to the Windwards. He'll tell you everything you want to know.. current information and who knows... you might run into him down there.

Your skipper is all you need if he is competent as I am sure he is.

I don't recall the conditions between St Lucia and St Vincent other than it being a day's sail in the trades.

jef
sv shiva

There's some interesting things to see ON St Lucia
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Wife and I vacationed in St. Lucia a few years ago and chartered a sailing excursion up and down it's Caribbean coastline, but - we didn't sail to other islands from there. We spent 10 days exploring this beautiful island though and become very familiar with the locals and their customs.

If we were to return to just one place among all the Caribbean Islands we've been to, St. Lucia would definitely be it. If possible try to spend at least a couple days there.

In addition to Cam and jef's very good recommendations - stop in the eclectic town of Soufriere, at the base of the Pitons, for some unique dining and local color.





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Thanks to you both for the reassurance on sailing conditions -- I'm a bit of a worrier. Perhaps we will spend a day in St. Lucia, although having lived on Grenada and mainland St. Vincent for a total of 3 years (albeit 4 years ago), we're more excited about cruising around the smaller islands as the "yachties" (of whom we were so jealous back then) do!
BTW -- what's the concern with mainland St. Vinny these days?
(thanks again!)
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True Blue -- beautiful pictures! I think I'm convinced...
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wannabe...concern is crime...some violent. Grenada med school pulled all their students out last year mid-term due to this.
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This past February we did Le Marin - Pitons one day, Pitons-to a small bay on St V (petit Bayeau?) the next. It was an easy few hours sail to Bequia from there.

Spent 3 enjoyable days in Bequia - do some walking!

Bequia to Mayreau another day, the next morning to the Tobago Cays for snorkeling, then off to the lee of a nearby island for the night.

Snorkeled a reef off Petit St V next, anchored nearby for the night. Next day was to Union Island to check out of SVG, then on to Carriacou (caught a 4 foot Mahi Mahi along the way!!)

Carriacou very low key, laid back, great locals and quiet (near deserted) beaches. Spent another 3 days here. The local buses are must-dos!

An easy daysail to St Georges from Tyrell Bay where we unfortunately had to catch a flight home. St Georges hot hot hot, busy esp after Carriacou's quiet scene. Y.C. Marina was hospitable.

All these trips were day trips, in a Bene 36.7 usually in 15-20 knot reaching breezes. Couldn't get much better!
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WOW Faster.. you nailed it... I'm there.

Bequia is lovely... thanks for jogging my memory.

jef
sv shiva
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
wannabe...concern is crime...some violent. Grenada med school pulled all their students out last year mid-term due to this.

wow -- I had no idea that Kingstown Med. College had closed! What a shame. Thanks for the heads-up. Have conditions deteriorated elsewhere in the region?
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