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Old 27-08-2012, 11:45   #16
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Re: Advice please! Next Visit After the BVI

I vote Abacos. Fun sailing in mostly sheltered water with lots of little towns and anchorages close together. Friendly people, safe, nice little restaurants.
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Old 23-09-2012, 12:11   #17
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We spent three months in the Abacos, and I HIGHLY recommend it. Advantages:

easy to fly in to Marsh Harbour, and the airport is a ten minute taxi ride to the docks
lots of boats to choose from
decent provisioning in Marsh Harbour
lots of places to anchor in solitude
but also some very nice marinas - Green Turtle,Treasure Cay, Hope Town, several in Marsh Harbour
you can be as cautious or as adventurous as your comfort level allows, as you plan your route (allowing for weather, of course)
lots of good cruising guides and the explorer charts so you will know what's going on if you study up a little
Some VERY fun party places (Nippers on Great Guana comes immediately to mind, of course!)
Some fancy-pants restaurants (Wally's or the one at Abaco Beach Resort, both in Marsh - or the Green Turtle Club - or the big resort on Elbow Cay, I forget the name)
Some unique-in-the-world, not to be missed experiences - Pete's Pub and Gallery in Little Harbour - read the book about Ran Johnston before you go! - blue holes, wild horses, abaco parrots, the lighthouse and the wreckers museum in Hope Town....
great snorkeling and diving and fishing
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Old 23-09-2012, 13:53   #18
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Re: Advice please! Next Visit After the BVI

For a cultural experience, I would suggest St. Martin (including Anguilla and St. Barths), but is is more open that the BVIs.

For more protected charter cruising, I also suggest the Abacos. What I love about the Abacos is the diversity. It has several small towns, and small resorts, but you can also get away from it all if you wish. Often you can choose between a small town and an anchorage and maybe even a whole islands to yourself, only a few miles apart.

On my last charter cruise there, we all wanted to be to ourselves and out nine nights, we never once shared an anchorage with another boat. There are not many charter destinations one can do that.
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Old 23-09-2012, 14:18   #19
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Re: Advice please! Next Visit After the BVI

The Grenadines are nice - Tobago Keys are very much like the Bahamian water.
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Old 23-09-2012, 16:45   #20
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Re: Advice please! Next Visit After the BVI

Re Grenadines - Absolutely the most spectacular diving in the Caribe at the Tobago Cays. But if you dont want open water sailing then you really dont want to go there because it can get quite rough between islands in the winter when the trades are really blowing. Crime was a problem in St. Vincent itself but you dont need to go to any of those places. You can charter out of Blue Lagoon which is 10 minutes from the airport and head south immediately to Bequia which is one of my favorite places in the Caribe. Once in Bequia or south of there we saw lots of boat boys but never felt unsafe or encountered anyone who had a problem apart from those who didnt lock their dinghy.

If you are really wanting something more protected then definitely the Abacos are the most protected around. Also spectacular diving and snorkelling. Much higher percentage of Americans there than in the Caribe. Easy sailing and no real open water at all.

We loved Belize but Placencia was really not the place to go if you want entertainment on shore anywhere outside of Placencia itself (not counting the cays further north which would be out of range of most weeklong charters). It definitely IS the place for deserted anchorages and beautiful little islands. We didnt have a captain and were fine. But be SURE to get Freya Rauscher's cruising guide. We would have been aground without it I think.
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Old 24-09-2012, 18:45   #21
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Re: Advice please! Next Visit After the BVI

I echo the Grenadines. We've done about a dozen charters. Best place ever, but you WILL be sailing!
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Old 29-09-2012, 12:48   #22
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Re: Advice please! Next Visit After the BVI

If you really want similar sailing conditions to the BVI to get added experience and also see different places, why not go back to the BVI?

I'm sure you didn't visit every possible spot and you could spend more time in the USVI. St. John is great. You could even charter right from the USVI and spend the time there - lots to see and do.

Can't speak to the other areas yet as our 7 charters have all been BVI, but next one is St. Lucia in November.
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Old 29-09-2012, 13:03   #23
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Re: Advice please! Next Visit After the BVI

Be just a ,LITTLE more adventurous, Pop down to the Venezuelan islands. The snorkeling is the best in the WORLD. Los Roques,/ Aves Barlovento ,/ Aves Sotovento. O.K. So you're not Sooo adventurous, then how about Aves island due south of St Maarten.? Do it.!
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Old 29-09-2012, 14:34   #24
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Re: Advice please! Next Visit After the BVI

Quote:
Originally Posted by holmek View Post
Be just a ,LITTLE more adventurous, Pop down to the Venezuelan islands. The snorkeling is the best in the WORLD. Los Roques,/ Aves Barlovento ,/ Aves Sotovento.
OP has chartered twice in the BVI - this suggestion is not just a LITTLE more ADVENTUROUS.
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Old 29-09-2012, 15:02   #25
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Re: Advice please! Next Visit After the BVI

You have a few choices. Have you considered buying used Crusing Guides to those areas? Many folks also set up blogs and you might find blogs of folks who have been there and give daily reports of their trips. I just finished reading one of a couple who did the Abacos. Not to hard to find with some creative Googling.
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Old 29-09-2012, 20:29   #26
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Re: Advice please! Next Visit After the BVI

You could try CYOA out of St. Thomas and head to the Spanish Virgins. Or around St. John and St. Thomas. That way you don't have to deal with any customs or immigration.

I spent two years sailing around St. Maarten, Anguilla, and St. Bart's. It's ok but not as nice as the BVI's, IMO. My favorite water vacation spot in NA so far has been the Abaco's but we powerboated and had a villa as a base on Green Turtle Cay. What a beautiful and friendly place. I think that would be my suggestion but I'm not as well traveled as many here.
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Old 30-09-2012, 13:49   #27
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Re: Advice please! Next Visit After the BVI

Try the Abacos. Have cruised both and the Abacos has more marine life, better restaurants and even more prestine water.
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Old 23-10-2012, 15:52   #28
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Re: Advice please! Next Visit After the BVI

We bareboated SVX and the Grenadines after tiring of the crowds in the BVI and loved it. There are some long sails and it's a bit more challanging but we loved it.
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