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  #1  
Old 02-02-2011
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Smile Living Aboard in the Caribbean

Hi all,

I am new to this site- already love it.

My husband and I are planning on retiring in 6 years to live and sail through the Caribbean- I am very open to any and all information that experienced live aboards can share.

I have heard that it is not very safe- is this true?

Thanks in advance.

Shelly
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Old 02-02-2011
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There are pockets that are not always safe.. lately St Vincent has been noted for some problems. Cruiser radio nets and grapevines usually warn you of the 'trouble spots'.

Not a good idea to plan to stay year-round.. most people we know of spend November to April down south and return home for the rest of the year. Most haul out for the 'summer' away from the Hurricane belt..
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Old 02-03-2011
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have just started our 4th year in the Caribbean and have not felt threatened or had a single thing stolen...Safety is 99% prevention...you need to make yourself the hardest target in the anchorage.

We have bars on the hatches, lock ourselves in at night, have remote lights, always lift and lock the dinghy, never anchor in remote locations, never anchor alone and we have sailed past St Vincent 8 times.

We did not visit Venezuela and kept 50 miles off-shore for most of Columbia and all Nicaragua but in Mexico we feel safer than in our Miami home.

However, you need to be out of the hurricane belt July, August, Sept and Oct..so far we have sailed to Nova Scotia, a lovely place...spent 3 months in Trinidad, a terible and unsafe place...and last year we were in Bonaire, Curacao, Cartagena and the San Blas Islands,an experience we plan to repeat

Good luck Phil
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When you guys talk about getting out of the hurricane belt for the summer... is it feasible to pass the Panama cannel for the summer, and spend the summer on the Pacific side, then come back when its over?

OR Maybe I am way off on this...
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The northern hemisphere hurricane season is the same on both sides of the Panama Canal.
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The northern hemisphere hurricane season is the same on both sides of the Panama Canal.
I agree, however, dont the hurricanes on the Pacific side generally start around Panama area and then build as the head out into the open ocean of the Pacific? thus head to Hawaii or Cabo San Lucas?
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Old 02-03-2011
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Originally Posted by Yorksailor View Post
never anchor in remote locations, never anchor alone and we have sailed past St Vincent 8 times.
Phil, I'm curious where in the Carribean did you not want to anchor whilst alone or "remote"?

My experience is somewhat limited (one charter down there and several deliveries back and forth but no extended cruising so I was wondering...
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Old 02-03-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riversandbar View Post
When you guys talk about getting out of the hurricane belt for the summer... is it feasible to pass the Panama cannel for the summer, and spend the summer on the Pacific side, then come back when its over?

OR Maybe I am way off on this...
"Nipping over to Panama" and through for the summer is harder to do than to type! This is a pretty major undertaking in its own. It's a looong way from the Caribbean chain to Panama, and even longer trying to get back against the trades. And, as mentioned, the storms can be both sides of the continent.

Much easier to head south or north to get to safer waters
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Old 02-03-2011
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Never mind the delays and costs of doing a Panama Canal transit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
"Nipping over to Panama" and through for the summer is harder to do than to type! This is a pretty major undertaking in its own. It's a looong way from the Caribbean chain to Panama, and even longer trying to get back against the trades. And, as mentioned, the storms can be both sides of the continent.

Much easier to head south or north to get to safer waters
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Cost of living in caribbean

Hi York Sailor

Thanks very much for your comments. If there is anything else you can share that you had to learn the hard way- we would really appreciate it.

What do you estimate your monthly costs are? Do you dock or anchor?

Thanks
Shelly
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