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Advanced beginner
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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone here have suggestions for a winter getaway for newbie sailors? I'm planning a vacation in late winter, and ideally, would like something with some access to sailing, or is on a sailboat itself for part of the trip.

Some more information that might help: we aren't looking to charter a boat (our sailing experience isn't sufficient really for this) or take a sailing certification course in an exotic location (we're looking for something more relaxing after a tough year). Our sailing experience: just bought our first cruiser boat this year after a few years of sailing Flying Scots. We're fairly adventurous but would like a location relatively safe for female travelers, warm in the mid-Atlantic winter months, hopefully with a sailboat thrown in somewhere, and not outrageously expensive.

Has anyone been on such a trip/resort/adventure and can make a suggestion?

Many thanks in advance,
E.
 

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I'm also interested in such a list, but adding in good scuba diving. We also prefer a location with small locally owned beach-front hotels, not massive international resorts.

It seems to be a lot harder to find beach cats for rent anymore. Being able to rent one of those for a couple of hours per day multiple days per tropical vacation would really improve our vacations.
 

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E. the only suggestion that you might not have thought of is Madeira though I'm not sure of the availibility for you to sail. If available the wind shadow makes the water more sailable. The island itself is fantastic and has numerous micro-climates. I would think the temperature would be in the low 70's. If interested look for a flight to Portugal and then look for a package holiday from where you land. Package holidays are fairly inexpensive. Likely less then $1000 for 2 and should include board.

Alex, though it is now the cyclone season, I would suggest Vava'u, Tonga. There is a place there that hires out a 'folk boat' for about $200 a day. I was considering it for my wife and I to stay on while there. Great diving and if you go in the fall you can do a guided swim with the whales. The area is fairly confined and sheltered. Another thought, though sub-tropical, would be the Bay of Isands, NZ. A place called Great Escapes hires out smaller boats and they are fairly laid back. For diving you could take a trip out to Poor Knight's Island which is quite popular. But I got to warn you NZ is not cheap.

Any questions let me know.
 

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We've spent two months of our lives (pre-sailing) in NZ. It is somewhere that we are likely to return to, but it isn't likely to be on the top of our list right now. Able Tasman and Bay of Islands are two areas that I've wondered about sailing in.

Tonga is more likely to be on our list. We also spent a week in the Cook Islands (Aitutaki) pre-sailing and scuba and liked it a lot.

Bonaire was also great for scuba, but we couldn't find small sailboats to rent there.
 

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Broad Reachin'
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How about renting a beach house/condo that includes a sailboat for use? We've thought about the Key Lime Sailing Club in the Florida Keys as a laid back winter vacation, but haven't made it happen yet. I think they include a Catalina 22 (or similar) for use while you stay.

You could also take a cruise on a tall ship or try a captained charter.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Madeira is a lovely suggestion, and although I've been to Portugal twice, I've never been there. But getting to Portugal from the U.S. is expensive, for reasons that seem to have less to do with distance than the oddities of airline pricing, which for some reason make flights to Istanbul cheaper than the closer destinations of Iceland or Portugal.

I'll keep it in mind, though. If I can find a cheap way across the pond that will still allow me a connection to Madeira, it's a perfect thought.
 

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Tundra Down
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Probably not what you are thinking of but come March I need some exercise, too. Last year, in March, I was skiing in the rain on Sugarloaf! Not this winter.

The last week of Feb.The Admiral and I are heading down to St. Pete. We are sailors, and paddlers. Canoe paddlers. We have a couple of "old" 18' Kevlar WW racing canoes we paddle in the ocean. They have Cook's Custom Covers and I installed foot operated rudders. We will meet a friend in St. Pete who sells sail rigs that should fit and test one out. Not sure how it will go. Our outside hope is to camp our way (inside and outside) to Key Largo. We may decide to paddle instead of sail depending on what the sailing rig is like to manage. Should be interesting. The first WW downriver race is the last weekend in March so we will have had some time to "Warm Up"!

Down
 

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Freedom 39
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Come on down here for a week. Charter a small boat from CYOA, like their 36' monohull, and I will sail you around and arrange for as many rendezvous dives as you want.

Or stay at a small local hotel like the Best Western Emerald Beach or the Island Beachcomber, rent a car to take over to St John and take a Hobie out for the day from Cinnamon Bay or from the Westin Resort. You could also rent a Hobie or a IC24 (modified J24) from the Ritz here on St Thomas.

The Bitter End has a fantastic selection of water toys but that will not be inexpensive either.
 

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I'll keep it in mind, though. If I can find a cheap way across the pond that will still allow me a connection to Madeira, it's a perfect thought.
If you can find a package holiday the flight would be included from Portugal. If you go it alone you might try Ryanair or similar. Cheap flights but they charge for checked luggage.
 

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Does anyone here have suggestions for a winter getaway for newbie sailors? I'm planning a vacation in late winter, and ideally, would like something with some access to sailing, or is on a sailboat itself for part of the trip.

Some more information that might help: we aren't looking to charter a boat (our sailing experience isn't sufficient really for this) or take a sailing certification course in an exotic location (we're looking for something more relaxing after a tough year). Our sailing experience: just bought our first cruiser boat this year after a few years of sailing Flying Scots. We're fairly adventurous but would like a location relatively safe for female travelers, warm in the mid-Atlantic winter months, hopefully with a sailboat thrown in somewhere, and not outrageously expensive.

Has anyone been on such a trip/resort/adventure and can make a suggestion?

Many thanks in advance,
E.
Take a jet plane 1600 miles southeast.
 

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Think about Fiji! Dick's last resort has small boats for hire in the lagoon. Excellent diving a few miles away. The famous "cloudbreak" surf spot close by too. Loved the Fijian hospitality and the big smiles. BULA!

The resort is called Musket Cove. There is also a cruiser's "FUN" rally as well in the Summer months. Boy we had a blast there!
 

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old guy :)
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Well - looking at the original post, they want:
  • small resort
  • beach front (again small)
  • SCUBA
  • the use of a sailboat (maybe - but not a deal breaker)
  • I presume "all inclusive"
  • won't break the bank
We did 14 days in a place like that last March and are going back again this March. Our price this coming March is $1484.00 CND per person. All inclusive, includes sailing on a Hobi, great snorkelling and SCUBA was $40.00 a dive.











Rik
 

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Deale, MD? The season is year-round. Just had a very nice sail yesterday.

"There is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothes."
 

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This is my first year sailing, and I've been going a lot. I was hoping to spend some time in warmer climes this winter, but I'm finding that my love of sailing is stronger than my hatred of cold weather, so I keep sailing. I think good gloves and a warm hat are key.
 
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