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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello community. In March I'm renewing my sailing adventure. The boat is currently at Puerto Plata in the DR, and I have to move it in March due to visas expiring. I plan on leaving the boat in the Caribbean for the foreseeable future because it seems to make the most sense to leave the boat where I enjoy using it, and make one or two trips a year.

Where would be some good places to leave the boat in the summer (hurricane season)? I'm thinking of a 2 month sail from DR East to Trinidad, or west to Belize, would either place make a relatively safe spot for the boat through June-November? Can you provide any information regarding marina prices? The priority is having a place safe from most hurricanes and thieves/ pirates, followed closely by a place that is cheap. Besides those two priorities, I'd like a full service marina (gas/diesel, showers, pumpout, etc), an island with some culture and night life, and great diving nearby. Please help me find a good cheap place to hide the boat through hurricane season.
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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Grenada.

Bonaire is OK except that it is an upwind and upcurrent trip back to the Windward and Leeward islands.

You might want to check the small print on your insurance if you plan to keep the boat in the water and unattended. Some insist that it is dry stored and tied down to screwed in anchor points.

If you are happy with keeping it in the water there are several small marinas on the south coast of Grenada. Many will offer a deal for a long term store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Tim R.-I've just started researching and Grenada looks affordable and nice, but I'd be concerned about hurricanes.

York- Can you estimate how much the marina costs on a monthly basis? Also, the cheap diving sounds great, I like going out with a DM when I'm in a new place, but we have all the gear, tanks and an air compressor on board, so can and have been leading our own dives right off the boat. Grant, the sail boat makes a poor dive boat, but we manage. Best spot was jumping down the West coast of Provo, we hoped from mooring to morning for two days of great wall dives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
TQA- If I was in Bonaire would it just make more sense to loop along the North coast of South America, up the East coast of Central America, around Cuba, East to Turks then South back to Bonaire. Granted its a long passage, but if split into a fall and spring trip I could see making the loop to be back in Bonaire before hurricane season kicks up again. Grenada seems like it would be frequented by hurricanes, at least more so than Bonaire, is this true?
 

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An alternative to Grenada is the boatyard at Tyrell Bay in Carriacou.
 

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- Grenada is the fifth safest Caribbean island based on hurricane track record
- Only 11 hurricanes In 155 years (1851 – 2006) came withing 69 miles of Grenada.
- Of those 11 hurricanes in 155 years only 3 hurricanes cause substantial damage
- Hurricane Free for 49 years from 1956 through 2003

There are safer islands but you also wanted cheap.
 

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If you are on the boat the moorings, right on top of a good dive site, are $10/day and 5 mins by dinghy to the dive shop and the bar. There are dive balls on 30+ dive sites within 20 mins in a dinghy. If the sailboat is less than 42 ft you can pick up the dive balls. No anchoring allowed

Marina, not sure of prices, call or write direct. However, Bonaire is so superior to Grenada it is no contest...We have been to both. Most good marinas in the Caribbean have similar prices.

Phil

The one recent hurricane in Grenada was a Cat 4 and many boats were lost.
 

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For great night life, a good culture and less than trinidads 10 murders in the first ten days of 2014, then you cant beat Grenada.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So basically Grenada or Bonaire. So, how about places to stop between DR and Bonaire? I was thinking stops at Puerto Rico, Anguilla, Guadelope, Dominica, Grenada, Venezuela?, Bonaire. What places are not on my itinerary that should be, and what places are best avoided? sounds like Trinidad could/should be skipped, is Venezuela relatively safe? Is there a good stop between Grenada and Bonaire were I to continue on?
 

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We avoid mainland Venezuela and Marguerita but Los Roches and the Aves have been safe and we know many people who have been there in the last year

Culebra, St John, St Barts, The Saintes are always on our stop list. The Grenadines used to be our favorite but there have been two serious boat invasions in the last two years, however we would still return.

Diving not very good, compared to the Turks or Bonaire, in any of them and in Dominica you have to go with a local guide.

We spent 2 months in Grenada but the diving is poor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes I agree when diving a new place its best to go out with a local guide, what worked beautifully for us in the Turks, where we've been multiple times, definitely would not work in Cozumel because of the strong current. For my purpose, Bonaire would be a safer place to leave the boat than Grenada, at least as a hurricane hole. Grenada is traditionally a safe place, but with storms in 04 and 05 it seems times are changing. I'm not sure how this community feels about climate change, but I see logic to claims that weather patterns are more erratic and severe than in years past, so I'd take historical data with a grain of salt. Seems wise to invest in a marina in Bonaire, even if more expensive than Grenada, it is a better hurricane hole. Replacing a trashed boat would be more expensive then storing it in Bonaire, it seems kind of like self-insurance, i.e. are you willing to pay a higher premium upfront for better protection later.
 

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Moody 46
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I would (and have) go to Nanny Cay Tortola. Very safe, good security and it keeps you up north. The insurance premium goes up a bit but Nanny is recognized as a safe hole so the rates don't jump that much
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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Hmmm Tortola

Hugo Sept. 18 - 19 1989
Luis Sept. 5 - 6 1995
Marilyn Sept. 14 - 15 1995
Bertha July 8 1996
Georges Sept. 20 - 21 1998
Lenny Nov. 17 - 18 1999
Frances Aug. 30 - 31 2004

I am not sure I like this as a place for my much loved boat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yea Nanny Cay doesn't work for two reasons. 1. Does not significantly improve the hurricane safety of my boats current location. 2. I'm planning a 2 month cruise this spring and Nanny Cay would take no more than 4 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Another quick question, In making the hop from Grenada to Bonaire is Isla Margarita, Venezuela a safe place to stop for a few days? I really don't know much about Venezuela, but I have heard some reports of boats cruising from the Grenadines confronting pirates along the way to Isla Margarita.
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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Another quick question, In making the hop from Grenada to Bonaire is Isla Margarita, Venezuela a safe place to stop for a few days? I really don't know much about Venezuela, but I have heard some reports of boats cruising from the Grenadines confronting pirates along the way to Isla Margarita.
DEFINITELY NOT

Cruise ship passenger killed very recently as the latest example.

More details here https://www.facebook.com/groups/547046078683243/permalink/590042521050265/
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yea the more I looked into it the dumber it seems. So basically its 400 miles to Bonaire, with no places to stop other than say the uninhabited island of Blanquilla. Being uninhabited means it won't have a marina with diesel, ice, or water, so in order to make the jump to Bonaire I'd have to plan my trip so I had at least 200 miles of good sailing wind.
 
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