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post #1 of 4 Old 09-15-2009 Thread Starter
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Caribbean favorites?

Assume that you are in the BVI in late November and you want to arrive in Florida in late May. In general terms how much time would you spend in the various parts of the eastern Caribbean and the route back to Florida (Spanish Virgins, Puerto Rico, Dominican, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas).

Any 'must-see' places or places that are not worth one's time?

Thanks for your thoughts.

After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-15-2009
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In late November, December, January and probably most of February you will have the Christmas Winds and a very good chance for Northern Swells. The winds would most likely give you a nice fast ride in your intended directions depending on how much North or South component is at hand. The swells will probably make your starboard side a tad wet frequently but on some runs could be a following sea which could be uncomfortable. You just have to pick your sailing days and your ashore days with an eye to the weather and seas. Many good INTERNET sites can be the basis of some of the planning but live updates are necessary.

Asking someone about "best" places to spend time between the BVI and Florida is like asking someone which college football team is best. Lots depends on what you want to do and see. BVI has great sailing, almost any water-sport activity and some hiking, USVI - St John has good locations for snorkeling and hiking beside sailing. SVI has more flavor of a distant place (at least for me) since I don't speak Spanish very well, Puerto Rico is not a favorite sailing location of mine but many love it, By Dominican I assume you mean The DR and not actually the island of Dominica. The DR has many interesting location, again not one of my fav's but I only passed by once in a run to the Virgins.

Most people love the Turks and Caicos and for good reason. After leaving the Virgins I would personally spend most of my time here.

The Bahamas are also nice but I've done them and got the t-shirt and would not spend lots of time.

My money would be on the Turks and Caicos for most of the time you have with a look see at each of the others for a few days maybe a week but probably not much more than that... maybe less.

But I prefer the University of Alabama's Football team any time any day over any of the lesser so called schools with football as a sport.... not that I am biased in any way!

RRRoolllllllllLLLLL Tide! ;^P

I prefer a sailboat to a motorboat, and it is my belief that boat sailing is a finer, more difficult, and sturdier art than running a motor.... Jack London
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-21-2009
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My thoughts on this topic are to stay as long as an island holds your interest, and then with an eye on the weather choose your next destination. Don't feel you have to stop everywhere, or be afraid that you're going to miss something. Cruising is an adventure and shouldn't have an itinerary. If you pick up the Doyle Guides you can do some research on line.
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-21-2009
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Favorite Caribbean islands

I would suggest at least two weeks to cruise the Grenadines, a week on Dominica to take in all the island has to offer, several days in the Saintes (part of Guadeloupe). I could easily spend two weeks cruising the Spanish VI. I was disappointed in St. Barts and St. Martin, but others enjoy these islands. I can't comment on the Bahamas, except to say that your draft may limit where you can go in the Turks and Caicos. Oh wait, you said you have a Bristol 45.5, which may have a centerboard like the one I crewed on in 2005 and 2006. If so, then cruise the Bahamas/Turks and Caicos at your leisure.
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