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Old 02-04-2019, 03:59   #1
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Advice for 3 weeks charter: Martinique or Bahamas

Hello all,

I'm looking for some advice regarding the Caribbean. We want to charter for a longer vacation in the Europe winter time (January next year) for about 3 weeks. We read quite a bit already, and currently our favorites are either a charter based on Martinique and then go south (explore the many islands on Grenadines and of course the way there / back), or start from Nassau and explore the Bahamas (unclear route - looks quite big).

Sailing experience is, from own judgement, "medium", and mostly gathered by me - my GF has done only 2 trips with me so far, both in Europe (Greece and Sardinia). I never sailed outside of Europe so far, but within Europe I have 2000 NM+, knowing how to anchor etc. Have also all needed licenses.

The main target of the 3 weeks is a nice vacation, sailing should be mostly the way of transportation, but there is not "sportive challenge" here. we look for nice anchorages, no stress, easy going. Marinas aren't a must, we just want to be able to re-fill water every now and then.

Who can share some experiences about the two destinations and give us a recommendation of which one to chose and why, or maybe have a even different suggestion for us? The BVI looked quite crowed, expensive and rather small for 3 weeks to me, that's why I've not put them into our top-list. The winds might be stronger, of what I read, in the windward islands, compared to the Bahamas - but not sure on that one.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Philipp
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:19   #2
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Re: Advice for 3 weeks charter: Martinique or Bahamas

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Phillip.
I think either option could be a good choice. I'll be interested to read what others advise.
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Old 03-04-2019, 13:01   #3
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Re: Advice for 3 weeks charter: Martinique or Bahamas

If I had three weeks and limited knowledge of sailing I might consider a rental in a place like Bequia and consider any number of options using a skippered charter boat of which there are many day or overnight options in many different directions. Mustique for a day, tabago keys for an overnight, mayreau, union, or north up to the falls of Baleine, or st. lucia for a grand sail back. Other than that with three weeks I would pick the boat up in St. Lucia, visit Martinique and Ille Des Saints if you wish but certainly spend the bulk of the time heading South(easy) and pay the penalty for the boat return to St. Lucia
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Old 03-04-2019, 13:14   #4
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Re: Advice for 3 weeks charter: Martinique or Bahamas

I would normally say the Bahamas, but not in January. Could be windy and cool. Martinique and the Grenadines should be fun.
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Old 03-04-2019, 14:25   #5
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Re: Advice for 3 weeks charter: Martinique or Bahamas

Getting to the actual Caribbean will be a lot nicer in January than sticking in the Bahamas. That said, flying into Nassau and heading south into the Exumas is VERY beautiful and protected cruising, with lots of gorgeous little islands to visit :-) If you are willing to wear a thin "shortie" wetsuit or even just a diveskin, it's also fabulous snorkeling in most places. The Grenadines will probably be more expensive, but they are certainly also gorgeous, and despite greater depths, near-shore will be warmer waters.
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Old 08-04-2019, 06:19   #6
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Re: Advice for 3 weeks charter: Martinique or Bahamas

Thanks guys, much appreciate the input. In the meanwhile we also put in the option of starting Grenada, simply because then we can spend some days in Miami before and then fly directly there. Should not make a big difference, except we'll have to go north in the beginning...
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Old 09-04-2019, 14:25   #7
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Re: Advice for 3 weeks charter: Martinique or Bahamas

Bahamas in January can be cold and not so great weather.
Bahamas are not the Caribbeans.
Great places to start would be Martinique, St-Vincent and Grenada.
Sailing north is harder. Keep it in mind.
I do like the Grenadines a lot. Lots to do lots to see.
Great sailing.
Harder to fly to, but US airways has direct flights. If not fly to Barbados and the to St-Vincent with Liat.
Martinique could be fun has you can get your sea legs there before crosing to St-Lucia then St-Vincent.
Lots of boats to chose from there.
Grenada is easy to fly to but what you gain you loose sailing up north because there is not much to do there.
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Old 11-04-2019, 03:30   #8
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Re: Advice for 3 weeks charter: Martinique or Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flagman101 View Post
Bahamas in January can be cold and not so great weather.
Yeah, we cut them out of the equation, now it's windward islands - just the question where (depending on boat offers we will find).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flagman101 View Post
Sailing north is harder. Keep it in mind.
Can you quickly state why that is? Looking at the usual trade wind, to me it's more or less the same 90° angle north and south?
Once we have to go north anyway, either in the first week, or in the second, as we do not plan to pay extra fees for a one-way trip (except you say that's a must-to-do)

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I do like the Grenadines a lot. Lots to do lots to see.
Great sailing.
Enough for 2 weeks, right?
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Old 11-04-2019, 06:13   #9
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Re: Advice for 3 weeks charter: Martinique or Bahamas

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Originally Posted by sailing-philipp View Post


Can you quickly state why that is? Looking at the usual trade wind, to me it's more or less the same 90° angle north and south?
Once we have to go north anyway, either in the first week, or in the second, as we do not plan to pay extra fees for a one-way trip (except you say that's a must-to-do)

Trade winds are usually ENE.
And the Islands are a bit angled to the ENE too.
So going north you will be more clause hauled then when you sail South. Unless your are Lucky and get ESE winds. It does happen but not alot.




Enough for 2 weeks, right?
If you want to take time and really explore the Island, yes enough for 2 weeks.
If not sail to Carriacou for a few days. You can check out of the Grenadines in Clifton and Check in at Carriacou. If you need to fill the water tanks up stop at Petit Martinique. It's much easier to dock there then Clifton and less expensive.
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