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Old 25-11-2011, 14:20   #1
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Barbados to Leeward Islands ?

My wife and I want to sail (38ft Catamaran) from Martinique or St Lucia to Barbados and back. We are looking for some advice on the best sailing routes and what experiences others have had making this crossing.
it is only 100 miles but winds are from the east so the sail is on the nose.

Any advise would be great. Don't want to be doing this

our trip will be early may of 2012.
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Old 25-11-2011, 14:41   #2
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Re: Barbados to Leeward Islands ?

I'm sure it sounds trite, but the old saw holds - wait for your window, and go. This time of year you could catch a front...

Or, since it's so short a sail, tack it - one long one up or down, and the other the opposite. Couple of days max, and the trip back is a piece of cake.

Heck, going from Trinidad to Columbia is best done via either PR or DR, so, why not??

L8R

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Old 25-11-2011, 14:47   #3
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Re: Barbados to Leeward Islands ?

Maybe i should of noted, our trip is in early May of 2012.
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Old 25-11-2011, 15:26   #4
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Re: Barbados to Leeward Islands ?

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Originally Posted by myles1 View Post
Maybe i should of noted, our trip is in early May of 2012.
Ah...

I smell a charterer, vs a cruiser. That changes matters. We full-timers don't have schedules, which can get you killed.

That said, I wasn't always one, and chartered. To maximize our time, we went where we could, not fixing our destinations, but rather our directions.

The EC is pretty much a north-south run other than Bequia and Barbados; if it's important to get there as quickly as possible, you may have to motor.

However, May should be (generally) benign, so if you did have to go to windward, it wouldn't be miserable...

L8R

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Old 26-11-2011, 00:14   #5
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Re: Barbados to Leeward Islands ?

Beating/motoring to weather in a cruising cat is hard work. Cruisers in the Caribbean go where the wind allows.

Unless you have favorable winds you are better sailing on a reach to the Grenadines.

I have been to Barbados and there is nothing there that would induce me to pound 100 miles to weather especially if I was on a sailing vacation!

Good luck
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Old 26-11-2011, 04:47   #6
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Re: Barbados to Leeward Islands ?

Barbados was one of the three islands we never visited in our two years of cruising the West Indies, for the reasons you mentioned--it's against wind, waves and current. In May, there's a slightly better chance of a southerly component in the wind, so would favor departing from a more southerly location than Martinique or St Lucia. If you sail it, I wouldn't count on making more than 2 kts VMG, and it would likely be a very unpleasant beat. Why not just sail down to the Grenadines and enjoy Bequia and the Tobago Cays?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
I'm sure it sounds trite, but the old saw holds - wait for your window, and go. This time of year you could catch a front...
Fronts don't reach that far south, ever. In over seven years down here, we've only seen maybe three reach as far as Nevis (17 North), and they were stalled out and only produced squalls, no westerly winds. To get any kind of west winds you need a tropical storm.
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Old 26-11-2011, 08:10   #7
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Re: Barbados to Leeward Islands ?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, myles1.
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Old 26-11-2011, 14:57   #8
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Re: Barbados to Leeward Islands ?

this is the second time we are making the Grenadians trip. this time we have 21 days from martinique to grenada one way. we were thinking of making an overnight sail (first time) so Barbados or Trinada were the answers, any thoughts???
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Old 26-11-2011, 20:37   #9
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Re: Barbados to Leeward Islands ?

Just did the reverse. 10 day trip. Grenada, Carricou, Union, Tobago Cay, Bequia, then across to St Thomas. I would avoid Trinidad. Not worth it just for a stop in. Was there in ’09. Skip Barbados for all the reasons noted above. Give Grenada a couple of days if you can. Had a great time there. Nice people. Great food. Nice anchorages.

You have some wonderful places to stop on your way down.

Regards,

Mike
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