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Discussion Starter #1
Have sailed already from St Vincent to Grenada with Sunsail. Now thinking to go in opposite direction, starting in St. Lucia and visiting Martinique and Dominica en route to Guadeloupe. Would appreciate advice on the time necessary to make the journey, the quality of sailing, points of interest, etc.

Many thanks in advance!
 

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Haven't spent much time in St Lucia (only anchored below the Pitons.. actually snagged one of the mooring buoys there.. pretty cool) and if you're picking up the boat in Rodney Bay the Pitons are a wrong-way diversion.

Martinique has some interesting bays and seriously good marinas, but you're unlikely to need/want a major marina stay in the first day or so?? or maybe so?.. Anyhow Le Marin is impressive, anchoring at the small village just south of the bay proper (St Annes?) is charming.

Domineca is a visit that's worth renting a vehicle and driving around.. dramatic landscape, contrasts between the windward and leeward sides, waterfalls and hikes inland, fascinating (and sometimes scary - driving, that is - guided tours are likely available) There only one real good anchorage at the north end, Prince Rupert bay. There's a real nice bay at the south end with a dramatic peninsula but it's a park and anchoring is forbidden.

Be sure to allot a couple/three days at Iles des Saintes, just south of Guadeloupe at the end of your time.. absolutely must-see.. go ashore and wander about, interesting airport, snorkeling bay on the windward side, Euro beaches ;) A good hike up to Ft Napolean.. keep in mind no construction cranes or heavy equipment were involved in the construction of these massive forts..

If you're turning in the boat at Guadeloupe, you're likely going to Pt a Pitre... if you have time the snorkeling's good at "Pidgeon Island" a short way up the leeward side, and the village of Des Haise is another charming spot with a decent bay, but again 'out of your way'.. all depends on how much time you're allowing and how much 'shore' time vs passage time you want to arrange.

Whatever, its all good!
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks so much.

I will have more questions for you shortly! You've given me alot to think about.
 

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I am retired out here and Guadeloupe Dominica and Martinique are among my favourites.

Added to the above advice hiring a car in Guadeloupe for a day or two and visiting the botanical gardens at Deshaies [ A MUST ] the rain forests [ 4 types ] and the Chutes de Carbet. If the road up to the caldera is open that is worth a visit. But it was closed a couple of years ago and so was the volcano museum/observation center.

Trois islets in the Bay of Fort de France Martinique is a nice spot too. Visit the birth place of the Empress Josephine and learn her story. She was quite a girl!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks to both of you. Having sailed south in that region (St. Vincent to Grenada), I am wondering of the wind conditions heading north. Are they comparable in that direction? Also, Sunsail does not likely offer a one-way charter to Guadeloupe (if they do, it will cost a fortune), so wondering if there are other companies you might recommend? I fear a round trip would take too long for my family to endure (I have two young kids, aged 8 and 11).:)
 

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In our experience the strongest winds you're likely to endure along the chain are at the top of St Vincent.. you're starting north of there. Beyond that it's the typical trades, if Dec Jan you may have considerably more pressure for a week or two if the "Christmas trades" roll in. Feb/March seems a good compromise with more moderate winds maybe 15-25. Heading north up the chain can get a bit tight if the trades favour the northern quadrant, trips between islands are usually a fetch (close or beam reach) but at times we've been 'close hauled' (but not beating) travelling in a northerly direction.

Keep in mind squalls are possible at any time, anywhere... but they are generally short lived.

One way charters will be a definite challenge.. we are lucky to join friends who winter there and they were flexible about destinations and timing..

If you have to return the boat to the starting point, that's a big difference in the time you need or the time you can take to do/go wherever....
 

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Ditto what faster said about the strongest winds (and most unsettled seas) between St. Vincent and St. Lucia. From St. Lucia to Martinique is not all that far. We liked Portsmouth in Dominica way better than Roseau which had lots of tourists and some shady characters hanging around. Portsmouth at the north end was nice. Guadeloupe isnt that much farther along but Deshaies is as far north as you can get on Guadeloupe and so would add a longish motoring day to the trip since the wind gets blocked by the island.
 
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