Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: NE & Windwards
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Re: Caribbean Planning
MSL’s “one week” is a bit optimistic imho. We’ve spent 6 years at it so far and still don’t know what the hell we’re doing.
Would avoid the French islands during carnival. Would start in the leewards as the sailing is much easier and due to the higher numbers of charter boats services easier to find. For local knowledge and questions the vhf cruising nets are often quite helpful.
My list of islands is different
Bequia, Dominica, Grenada, French side of st.martin for cruising. For buying you need to decide if you are looking for an ex charter boat, a new charter boat or a cruising boat. For prior cruisers Grenada’s southern bays, Trinidad and Rodney Bay would lead the list. For ex charter BVI would be #1 then anyplace there’s a Moorings.
Boat hopping through the islands is done but usually by 20 somethings. We had a very bad experience with a young polish man so will never offer a ride again. Customs frowns on you just giving a ride. The hitchhiker needs to have hardcore proof he/she has lined up transfer to another cruising boat or has paid for airplane ticket and housing until then or they remain your responsibility. They don’t want indigents left on their island. This makes island hopping difficult as cruising boats usually don’t want that responsibility for someone they don’t know well.
Cruisers are set up to be self sufficient. They only need crew for passage.