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Old 11-12-2015, 01:58   #1
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St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

Hi,

I am a newbie to this site so forgive me if I am in the wrong section etc. ... I can use some help.

2 mates and I are planning to spend two weeks in April (1-15, 2016) sailing the northern Leewards.

We pick up and return the boat (Moorings) in St. Maarten.

Can you suggest the "easiest" route (i.e.: clockwise or counter clockwise) sights and prospective anchorages along the way?

Many thanks

Jackfish
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Old 11-12-2015, 03:59   #2
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Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jackfish.

You might get a better response posting under "Destinations - Atlantic & Caribbean"
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f19/
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Old 11-12-2015, 04:10   #3
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Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

By April the trades are SE so heading to Antigua is upwind 100nms. But as the charter companies don't let you sail overnight you can't really go direct to Antigua so you can drift back.
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Old 11-12-2015, 08:10   #4
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Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

We did about that a few years ago.. St. Marten, Bart's, Eustacia, Nevis, Kitts, Antigua, then back to Bart's, St. marten.

It was good to Statia but direct from Nevis to Antigua was at 25-30 deg apparent (I take that back.. maybe it was more like 15-20 apparent) into messed up flat faced waves that had their own waves.. 10 hours of no fun. We motor sailed with the main.. Couldn't keep the jib quiet. We were awful tempted to go to Montserat.. That would have been a good sail.
The ride from Antigua to Bart's was fantastic, I think we did it in about 9 hours.
We weren't impressed at all with Statia or Nevis and I don't think we'd return there. But we really didn't do much for land excursions... Really liked Antigua and of course, Barts. Couldn't afford anything on Barts, but it was nice.

I thnk Barbuda and Antigua would get my vote next time, skip Eustacia, Nevis, Kitts
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Old 11-12-2015, 10:28   #5
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Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jackfish.

You might get a better response posting under "Destinations - Atlantic & Caribbean"
Atlantic & the Caribbean - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

Thanks.

I'll do that now!
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Old 11-12-2015, 11:25   #6
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Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

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Originally Posted by Privleoplag View Post
We did about that a few years ago.. St. Marten, Bart's, Eustacia, Nevis, Kitts, Antigua, then back to Bart's, St. marten.

It was good to Statia but direct from Nevis to Antigua was at 25-30 deg apparent (I take that back.. maybe it was more like 15-20 apparent) into messed up flat faced waves that had their own waves.. 10 hours of no fun. We motor sailed with the main.. Couldn't keep the jib quiet. We were awful tempted to go to Montserat.. That would have been a good sail.
The ride from Antigua to Bart's was fantastic, I think we did it in about 9 hours.
We weren't impressed at all with Statia or Nevis and I don't think we'd return there. But we really didn't do much for land excursions... Really liked Antigua and of course, Barts. Couldn't afford anything on Barts, but it was nice.

I thnk Barbuda and Antigua would get my vote next time, skip Eustacia, Nevis, Kitts
Took my RYA Day Skipper in Antigua...I would say you could spend a week just on Barbuda and Antigua anchoring out. There's plenty to see and you can go from the "typical" Caribbean marina/townhouse blend of Jolly Harbour to a more traditional English Harbour all the way to the endless beaches, lagoons and low population of Barbuda, with manageable and appealing sails at all points.

I'm going back in March, actually.
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Old 11-12-2015, 11:39   #7
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Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

Antigua is basically a drinking island with lots of sailboats. A bottle of water costs more than a bottle of beer.
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Old 11-12-2015, 12:08   #8
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Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

There are a lot of good beaches and restaurants on St Maarten, and a cruiser might spend two weeks there, but a charterer wants to sail and see different places. So, weather, and the prohibition against night sailing will determine your itinerary.
From Phillipsburg you will probably be able to lay St Kitts or Nevis on one tack, and get that far in one day. You could stop at Stacia on the way, but it takes precious time to check in and out with customs, and you will have to clear in at St Kitts or Nevis, anyway. We think Basseterre is worth a visit, and there are nice land excursions open to you on Nevis, if you are interested in that.
From Nevis you can probably lay Montserrat in one tack. Touring the volcano-devastated area is fascinating. You need a guide for that.
From Montserrat you can lay Antigua and Barbuda. You could spend a month in Antigua and not see everything, so you have to pick and choose.
Barbuda is spectacular. Spend a couple of days there. Phone ashore for someone to meet you on the beach, take you to the town, and give you a tour of the frigate bird rookery.
From Barbuda the return trip to St Maarten is downwind, so bob's your uncle. If you leave at the first hint of dawn, you can probably make it during the hours of daylight. You have do do your own calculations on that. If your boat won't go fast enough to get there with daylight to spare, then you will have to stop at Nevis or somewhere. Sounds like a great trip. We really enjoy those islands.
In really settled weather, a trip to Saba is a delight, but there is no protected anchorage there, so it would be an exceptional circumstance that would take you to Saba.
There is no dishonor in motorsailing to weather. If bashing into the waves cuts your speed too much, the diesel really makes the day go better.
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Old 11-12-2015, 17:00   #9
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Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

Nevis is one of our very favorite islands. Incredible natural beauty, amazingly friendly people. Don't miss it!
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Old 11-12-2015, 17:15   #10
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Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

Quote:
Originally Posted by doublewide View Post
There are a lot of good beaches and restaurants on St Maarten, and a cruiser might spend two weeks there, but a charterer wants to sail and see different places. So, weather, and the ....
From Nevis you can probably lay Montserrat in one tack. Touring the volcano-devastated area is fascinating. You need a guide for that.
.......
In really settled weather, a trip to Saba is a delight, but there is no protected anchorage there, so it would be an exceptional circumstance that would take you to Saba.
There is no dishonor in motorsailing to weather. If bashing into the waves cuts your speed too much, the diesel really makes the day go better.
I think The Moorings have Saba and Montserrat on the "Do not go to" list..
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