Originally Posted by kiwinz1
Thanks for the comments to date.
423 is currently in Turkey
. We leave there early July heading out of the Mediterranean. We join the Jimmy Cornelle Odyssey mid November arriving the Caribbean around mid December. We are from New Zealand
so once we leave the boat in the caribbean we will fly to Miami then back to Auckland
. We would like to leave the boat in a marina, somewhere safe and preferably easy to fly to miami. we have spent the last 6 years in the Mediterranean during NZs winters.
As yet we have not visited the Caribbean and have no charts
, pilots etc. and
No idea where we should be going so input welcome. We will have Christmas back in nz then return to the boat March 1st to spend time sailing before putting the boat up on the hard prior to the hurricane
season. Had thought might put her on the hard at Coral
Cove Marina - thoughts?
If you are leaving the boat in the water I would recommend Jolly Harbour. Zero wake, zero swell, well managed in general. Many boats get left there in the water fairly long term. Also a good place or hurricane season, as they have good hardstanding with full steel
cradles available. However of course it remains within the hurricane zone, so if you want that particular risk pretty much zeroed, then yes Trinidad makes sense.
I would personally advise strongly against any idea of cruising Venezuelan waters at present. There remains a high risk of piracy/armed robbery in that area and deaths have occurred among sailors on a regular basis in recent years. There have been attacks at sea as far North as the waters just off the South side of Grenada (Triton a few years back, with a pirogue full of 7 men
armed with automatic weapons, to name at least one). Just so you are aware of this. Other higher risk areas for burglary/boarding and violence are: the Grenadines, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and certain areas of Dominica
. There are others of course and all should be treated with some suspicion and care until otherwise proven. In the latter case the main problem area is off the main town at Portsmouth, though the yacht mooring field to the North of the bay there is the best place to go for that superb island, which is my favourite of all the Eastern Antilles and is a must see
if in that area. Lush, full of freshwater pools and waterfalls often with hot and cold running water side by side, repleat with fruit and spice trees, it is truly a "paradise" island. Don't miss the Carib settlement (last in the Antilles), Trafalgar and Victoria falls (the former go only after 3:30 pm to avoid the crowds), and the many hot springs and waterfalls. Ignore the "emerald pool", which is crowded and not worth it. But at the end of the day, and only at night, DO NOT MISS "Screw". It is a bar and spa up the valley from Roseau towards Trafalgar and slightly South… you will not forget it, or "Screw" himself for that matter! The mooring field in the North is maintained and run by the local "boat boys" (Alexis, Cobra, James Bond etc., one of whose services you will be 'obliged' to use, but this is fine, just choose one and let the others know that is your choice: they will come to you and the system is generally to 'choose' whoever gets to you first) and while I recommend diving
ANY mooring you pick up anywhere, has good equipment
(as of a couple of years ago), being sand screws with good thimbled warps and seized shackles, and is protected by a 24 hour boat guard. There is constant vigilance by the boat boys in the daylight hours, and at night a patrolman in a dinghy
with a powerful torch. Do not however anchor
off the town to the South of this, where the check in is. I personally know two people who have been beaten and in one case stabbed there. The same applies to the main towns in the Caribbean generally, though in Barbados
and some others you have no choice and indeed there is no problem in many, but a good rule
of thumb. Particularly avoid anchoring
alone near populated areas.
This is not to scare you, I have spent a good number of years in the Eastern Antilles with no incidents whatsoever, and indeed became quite lazy about security
. But this is partly because I knew the areas where I was were safe.
I also highly recommend Barbuda. It is less visited and has the feel of a still remote
island, with what I consider to be the best beaches and finest, softest sand anywhere in the world, and the best and most accessible Frigate Bird colony anywhere. Be aware, however, that there as in most areas of the Eastern Antilles the charts are poor, out of date, and innaccurate. Whatever chart set you acquire, Admiralty, CMap, Navionics
or whatever you will be running with inadequate hydrographic data. In particular do not trust charted positions of reefs or even channels.
For example "Spithead channel" to the North of the popular anchorage of Green Island off the East of Antigua is at least 50m off its charted position, and an attempt to navigate it at night using chartplotter
will end up in the loss of your vessel or a very expensive call out of the local pirate, the Sea Pony! Assume in any general area of reef that the whole area is full of random bommies and coral heads and navigate during the main hours of daylight ONLY, with a watch kept forward at all times. Eyeball navigation
is the key and time your arrivals for daylight. I regularly would come into VERY FAMILIAR anchorages
at night, but this is only through long experience. It is a fools errand to try this in the EC without extreme familiarity with the local hydrographic situation borne from long experience. Neither the depths, positions of reefs
or rocks, nor positions and characteristics of lights (a joke that last one!) may be trusted in any way.
I could write a book about it, but also on the recommended list are the Grenadines, Nevis
, St. Eustatius, Saba
, and the unmissable St. Barthelemy, for that uber elegant sartorial/dining/lifestyle experience. At the latter you will be anchoring
among a mess of uberyachts. The anchorage is poor there and tricky as very very crowded, expensive (it is charged) but so worth it for a few days.