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not-so-old salt
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Discussion Starter #1
If anyone has personal experience cruising in the SVI's and is willing to share some knowledge, please PM me. We booked a trip for December and I'd like to get some local/first hand experience.

Thanks!


tags : Culebra, Vieques, Culebrita
 

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not-so-old salt
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the links and the recommendations. I'd already looked at the links (pitty the fool that doesn't read SD's tag line!) and we've booked with Sail Caribe. The wife has purchased a few guide books, but I don't think Don Street's was one of them.

The "Spanish Virgins anyone" thread give some good info on anchorages - one of the photos will come with me to help avoid the reef.

@arisatx and @gtod25 - I may PM you for some more details as we get closer to December if you don't mind. I'm mainly interested in some nitty gritty details about anchorages, where the bombs are, mosquito bay (we're there over the new moon), diving and provisioning.
 

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We went up into the southern anchorage of Culebra, and it was well protected. From there we went onto El Fajardo. As we left Fajardo we passsed by a group of small islands to strboard. From what we could see in the binoculars it was a raging beach party with the minimum of cloth involved........i2f
 

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My post in one of the earlier threads on Culebra didn't mention one of the highlights of being there in late December --- and that is the New Year's Eve celebration at the Dewey town square. Not to be missed!!!! The entire island shows up -- all ages, everyone dressed to the nines, several bands, lots of rum......a good time to be had by all. Make sure your boat in on the main harbor side so you don't have too far a ride when you give up on the dancing.
 

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Freedom 39
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I first visited Culebra for a weekend in April to race in the Heineken Culebra Regatta. My wife and I spent a week in Vieques and Culebra about a month ago on our boat. I'll be going back next Tuesday to spend 10 days there. We already have plans to go back again on our boat with friends in November. It is much easier to sail to the BVIs and then sail back to St Thomas for us. I can't wait to get back to the SVIs. Need I say more?????
 

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Esperanza was our stop while delivering a big cat from US. On the list to "gotta go back". Never did bio bay but will this time. Favorite bar, "billy bar" had their own version of spiced rum, best ever. Tried to make some when i got back...still tying.
 

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I first visited Culebra for a weekend in April to race in the Heineken Culebra Regatta. My wife and I spent a week in Vieques and Culebra about a month ago on our boat. I'll be going back next Tuesday to spend 10 days there. We already have plans to go back again on our boat with friends in November. It is much easier to sail to the BVIs and then sail back to St Thomas for us. I can't wait to get back to the SVIs. Need I say more?????
FarCry What was your departure point and BVI target point? I assume you went North of St. Thomas.

I've been told it was an easier trip to St. Croix then back up to BVI via the cut between Norman and St. John and you could pick up an additional island few ever visit. I'm considering both on my next trip down this winter. Last year the seas and winds were just too much as I may be single handling part or most of the way.
 

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thinking of this...
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I first visited Culebra for a weekend in April to race in the Heineken Culebra Regatta. My wife and I spent a week in Vieques and Culebra about a month ago on our boat. I'll be going back next Tuesday to spend 10 days there. We already have plans to go back again on our boat with friends in November. It is much easier to sail to the BVIs and then sail back to St Thomas for us. I can't wait to get back to the SVIs. Need I say more?????
FarCry (or others)
To pick up on RealityCheck's question or perhaps ask a similar question in a different way, we are chartering from SailCaribe in Feb 2010 and are considering a leg up to St. Croix (preferably) or St. Thomas depending on wind. Generally speaking in the winter months which would be an easier sail from the SVI's - St. Croix or St. Thomas?
 

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Don Radcliffe
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Depends a lot on how much wind/waves there are, and whether the wind is north or south of east. January this year it was 20k from E so we sailed from Culebra upwind to St Thomas (anchored at Water Island), then it was a nice reach to St Croix the next day.
 

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Freedom 39
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RealityCheck,
I articulated my point poorly. I live on St Thomas and it is much easier for us to sail to the BVI and back than it is to sail to the SVI and back (to St Thomas). With the added time and effort in mind, we find it worth it to go to the SVIs.

To directly answer your question, the BVI was not part of the intinerary for us.

It may or may not be an easier trip to St Croix from the SVIs. When we sailed from Culebrita to St Thomas at the end of June we were able to sail on one tack to the western edge of STT and then up the north side. There was a large swell running from the south east and the winds were nearly straight out of the east. Frequently the winds vary from the east to the south much of the year. That could put the wind on your nose to get to STX from the SVI. In the winter months frequently the winds will be between N and E but that also can build some tall N swells making the open portion of the trip rough between SVI and either STT or STX. But I would agree that "normally" the trip from STX to either STT or the BVIs is ususally a nice fast reach. Along with the common winter northeasterly winds are the dreaded Christmas winds. I wouldn't be making too many plans until a few days before you are actually ready to depart and then let the weather dictate your sail plan.

Have fun.
 

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Freedom 39
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JSL3,

Generally your question can't be answered as to which would be easier. I would say that generally around Dec and Jan neither will proabably be a comfortable trip. Frequently the seas are over 5' and the winds are 20+ with small craft warnings being the norm. That time of year I personally would not plan to make that open water crossing unless I had a really compelling reason. Perhaps I am spoiled in being able to pick and choose weather windows but we have either greatly shortened or canceled nearly every planned trip the past few years around the Xmas and New Year's because of adverse weather. The rough weather can extend through Jan, Feb and many times the regattas that start in March still have stiff winds and high seas. There is a lot to see and explore in very protected waters around the SVIs that I think is superior to what you will experience in the USVIs unless you need to tour a rum factory, see the largest refinery in the western hemisphere or buy jewelry. :) I humbly suggest you stay in the SVIs for this trip and then, if you choose to come back, charter a boat out of St Thomas or the BVI and explore those areas.
 

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thinking of this...
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JSL3,

Generally your question can't be answered as to which would be easier. I would say that generally around Dec and Jan neither will proabably be a comfortable trip. Frequently the seas are over 5' and the winds are 20+ with small craft warnings being the norm. That time of year I personally would not plan to make that open water crossing unless I had a really compelling reason. Perhaps I am spoiled in being able to pick and choose weather windows but we have either greatly shortened or canceled nearly every planned trip the past few years around the Xmas and New Year's because of adverse weather. The rough weather can extend through Jan, Feb and many times the regattas that start in March still have stiff winds and high seas. There is a lot to see and explore in very protected waters around the SVIs that I think is superior to what you will experience in the USVIs unless you need to tour a rum factory, see the largest refinery in the western hemisphere or buy jewelry. :) I humbly suggest you stay in the SVIs for this trip and then, if you choose to come back, charter a boat out of St Thomas or the BVI and explore those areas.
Great advice, thanks for taking the time.
We have been to the BVI and the USVI (all except for St. Croix) so that was my reasoning for the question. As always, we will make the call based on the weather at the time. If we end up just exploring the SVIs on this trip, from what I read, I'm sure we'll be more than satisfied.
 

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Capt Rich
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Sea Devil Charters

Remember, no matter who you charter from, it is a sailboat. Look at everything, plan for St Thomas, St Croix and BVI and check weather that week...............everything changes decide when you get here

Rich
 

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RealityCheck,
I articulated my point poorly. I live on St Thomas and it is much easier for us to sail to the BVI and back than it is to sail to the SVI and back (to St Thomas). With the added time and effort in mind, we find it worth it to go to the SVIs.

To directly answer your question, the BVI was not part of the intinerary for us.

It may or may not be an easier trip to St Croix from the SVIs. When we sailed from Culebrita to St Thomas at the end of June we were able to sail on one tack to the western edge of STT and then up the north side. There was a large swell running from the south east and the winds were nearly straight out of the east. Frequently the winds vary from the east to the south much of the year. That could put the wind on your nose to get to STX from the SVI. In the winter months frequently the winds will be between N and E but that also can build some tall N swells making the open portion of the trip rough between SVI and either STT or STX. But I would agree that "normally" the trip from STX to either STT or the BVIs is ususally a nice fast reach. Along with the common winter northeasterly winds are the dreaded Christmas winds. I wouldn't be making too many plans until a few days before you are actually ready to depart and then let the weather dictate your sail plan.

Have fun.

Thanks for the info FarCry,..

I'm typically down for the season at least two trips of two months or more each. However I'm typically more free to go where I want between Dec and Feb but that is of course when the Christmas Winds and Northern Swells are at their worst for the trip returning from SVI which I would probably be doing single handed.... main reason I had to cancel the planed trip 3 times.

I know the trip even from Charlotte Amalie to BVI can be upchuck alley on any given day in that time frame but on that run at least I have Christmas Cove to duck into for a day or two. Good thing is I normally don't ever have firm schedules I have to keep. About the only one I have is when friends fly down and I'm to meet them on STT but then if it look rough I just have them ferry over to West End and save everyone a pounding at the start of the sail.

I've also never been to STX and that is one of the reasons I asked the question. Would not mind picking it up as a stop over way point on my return from SVI. Next year (DEC 2010) I'll be heading down Islands so this may be the last season to pick up SVI and STX for a while.
 

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I used to move boats for Sunsail between PR and BVI..

From SVIs' go South of St. Thomas as it is more sheltered. Christmas cove on St. James is a nice anchorage and then on to the BVI's. If going to St. Croix do so from as far E. on the BVI's as possible and then on to Vieques. When going E. try and stay in the wind shadow of the islands unless you like bouncing to windward.
 
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