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  #11  
Old 09-27-2011
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For Med sailing, keep Turkey in mind.

The historical sites can be almost overwhelming. Anchoring among ruins is not unusual.

Great tavernas, good sailing, clear waters, less crowded.

Haven't been back since 88, but still have great memories of three trips.
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  #12  
Old 09-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
For Med sailing, keep Turkey in mind......
I could sell that idea to the Admiral in a heartbeat !! We've both wanted to visit.

All politics and adventurous desires aside, is it a good idea for US citizens to travel there at the moment? The State Dept currently suggests that US citizens exercise extreme caution and maintain a low profile and register their presence with the local embassy.

Everyone will make their own determinations, but Turkey certainly boarders some very unstable countries at the moment.

If any respondent to the question would be willing to hike on the boarder of Iraq and Iran, please disclose that prior to your remarks. If those kids weren't CIA, they were just plain stupid...... IMHO.
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  #13  
Old 09-27-2011
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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post

Everyone will make their own determinations, but Turkey certainly boarders some very unstable countries at the moment.
The cruising areas are a good distance from any trouble areas. When we were there the Greeks and Turks were a little testy with each other. We got buzzed one time by a Turkish fighter, and followed out of a harbour by a gun boat. The locals were fabulous. One even identified me as a Canadian by my pronunciation of "water" as "wadder."
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  #14  
Old 09-28-2011
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Since the OP asked about SVG: We chartered out of St. Vincent last June. We were on a TMM boat on owner time. TMM was excellent to deal with, and put our experiences with the Moorings (in Tortola and Marsh Harbor) to shame. We enjoyed Bequia, and Mustique, but Mayreau and the Tobago Cays were the best--the Tobago Cays are probably the most beautiful place we've ever been, land or sea. If you get to Mayreau, make a point to visit Dennis at Dennis's Hideaway.

Union Island was very interesting. Canouon, OTOH, was a bit weird--parts are really upscale, and parts are really down-scale. The hotel there had nice facilities, but the adjoining Moorings base seemed nigh abandoned.

The actual sailing pushed our envelope a bit that time of year. We were getting the beginning of tropical weather. Nothing big, but we did run into a few squalls that took us to a level of seamanship we hadn't dealt with before. (We had previously chartered in the BVI and Abacos) Nothing you shouldn't be able to handle with reasonable care. In retrospect, we feel very good about it, but it was scary at the time. And of course, it was hot and humid.
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  #15  
Old 09-28-2011
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we spent a month cruising SVG last winter. Easily our favorite place in the Caribbean - we went down the chain from BVI's. We are not major night life types but Bequia had plenty. St. Vincent itself was OK as a place to fly into and start a charter but I wouldnt stay there any longer than that. Yes, the Bequia channel is rough depending on the state of the tide but it is only 7 miles wide (I think).
It is true that it is easier to sail south than north if the wind is from where it usually is in the winter so why not do a one-way charter? You have to pay an additional fee but it isn't all that bad.

And what somebody above said about the wind is true - In January and February it is often 20 knots or more and makes the BVI look pretty tame. But it is pretty steady and predictable - good sailing, just put a couple of reefs in before you head out. And the Tobago Cays have what must be the best snorkelling and diving in the hemisphere. Not to mention swimming with the sea turtles that live there. We also saw pilot whales and dolphins - Lots of reports of other kinds of whales too.
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Old 10-01-2011
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My wife and I went to French Polynesia in May (Lats and Atts Share the sail). Sunsail, Moorings, Tahiti Yacht Charters and DreamYacht are all on Raiatea. Went to Tahaa and Bora Bora. It was fantastic.
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Old 10-02-2011
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thought of Antigua or Guadeloupe?

I have chartered out of both. Antigua has so many uncrowded options to drop anchor at night, good provisioning in Jolly Harbour and many excursions to other islands - Barbuda, Guadeloupe, Nevis, St Martin.
Guadeloupe is interesting - the french culture means great food and little beach front restaurants in Isle d Saintes, a cluster of small islands west of Guadeloupe.
No shortage of wind but also protected areas and gentler breezes on the lee sides. If you have 10 - 14 days consider a one way drop off from Antigua to St Martin.
I don't think you can go wrong no matter what you choose!
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Old 10-02-2011
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I am onside with the Grenadines supporters. Probably the best spot we have visited in the last 20k miles of cruising. Tobago Keys are fabulous. Going from Bequia to St Vincent can be a trial though. Helps to stay right along the coast of Bequia as far east as possible before heading across the channel. It is not far but it can be very nasty.
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Old 10-12-2011
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It's all good, but next time...

We have done five charters to the BVI, one to Croatia, and one to Greece (June). By far, by a mile, Greece (Cyclades) was the best. It is spendy but awesome. One way charter from Athens to Paros Island, did 300 miles in two weeks. Big wind and water and the most incredibly rich cultural experience. Greece was a life changing experience, really! As an example, to sail past the Poseiden Monument under a stiff breeze is something I will never forget.

Challenges for Greece
* very short sailing season, July/August are crowded and the meltemi winds that run during that time period can be downright dangerous. June is fantastic, really the best/only month to go. I hear Sept is good also but essentially the end of their season.
* The boats will be nearly 2x the cost of the BVI (Euro)
* A heck of a trip just to get there
* Need experience, anchor or med-moor only (although free), and expect big water/wind at times, even in June. We did some interesting surfing downwind at 10 knots

My wife has laid down the law, it is either SVG or back to Greece as she is a bit worn from the BVI. I love the BVI and you can't beat the cost/fun ratio. So it is likely SVG unless I hit the lottery. I would give my left *&% to go back to Greece though.
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Old 10-13-2011
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If you liked the BVI and and don't mind backing off the night life a little, you might consider the USVI. You can get to St. Thomas on a real airplane and pick up a charter in Charlotte Amalie, Benner Bay, or Red Hook.

You can stay in the USVI, exploring St. John, including land side. The north and south shores have a number of beautiful anchorages. If you want to go the distance, you might sail to Christiansted on St. Croix and visit Buck Island enroute. Alternatively, you could split your time between the USVI and the BVI, which will require planning short stops to check into the BVI and back into the USVI. Another option is to sail to the Spanish Virgins, either from St. Thomas or from the eastern end of Puerto Rico. The Spanish Virgins are more like the BVI was 30 years ago, so they say--with less crowded anchorages.

In any case, you will find the cost/fun ratio favorable in the US and Spanish Virgin Islands and it will be a lot less hassle getting to St. Thomas than Tortola, SVG, or--for sure--Greece.
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