Faster is right on the money. We made landfall last Nov after crossing from Las palmas Grand Canaria at Rodney Bay St. Lucia. It was great there and we will return this summer but the drug war is real.
We spent a year in the Caribbean before heading to the Med., (2008-9). Between then and now there have been about 4 or 5 violent attacks on boats or crew. One in St. Maarten, two in Antigua, one in Tabago, one St. Vincent. Adjusted for number of cruising boats and island populations the incidence of attack in very low.
The economics mirror the US for the most part. What you spend varies widely on where in the chain you spend most your time. The Leewards cost more than the windwards, but there are more facilities. Most expensive, are BVI, St. Maarten, St. Barts, Nevis, and Antigua. I would say cost for normal things such as provisions and shore activities are about 15-20% more then say Miami.
The range of costs from cruiser to cruiser is great. Our costs including repairs, maintenance, insurance (health and boat), food,entertainment, and misc. has averaged $5,000/mo. Now mind you we have been in the Med. for two years and it is much more expensive there. We have cruising friends on a smaller simpler boat that average (all things) about $1,000/mo in the Caribbean.
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