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Old 25-12-2009, 21:09   #1
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An Island a Day...

I fell in love with sailing about 2 years ago and finished my ASA 101 class about 6 months ago, but still have a long way to go before I would consider myself a sea-worthy sailor.

That being said, my wife and I have a future goal of one day sailing into the sunset. In the mean time, we have been sailing 3-4hrs at a time in Corpus Christi Bay, TX, as time permits. We've booked a Cruise Line cruise so we can do a little island hopping at a rate we can afford.

We will be spending the first week in January (3rd - 9th, 2009) bouncing between islands and wanted to see what the best way to meet up with you "locals", hang out, share a beer and if weather and other things permit find a way to get a couple hours on the water.

Schedule:

Jan 2rd: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Jan 4th: St. Thomas
Jan 5th: Dominica
Jan 6th: Barbados
Jan 7th: St. Lucia
Jan 8th: St. Kitts
Jan 9th: St. Maarten

If anyone has info to point me in the right direction or wants to drink a beer with a couple of dreamers, please ping me.

Merry Xmas all,

-Travis, Olga & Natalie
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Old 26-12-2009, 06:59   #2
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Travis, Olga & Natalie.

That seems like a great way to preview a few islands, which will be in your future “sunset” plans.

Hope you get to meet some of our members, or other cruisers.
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Old 26-12-2009, 08:07   #3
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This is a question that has been asked several times.... the only real answer is that it will be very difficult.

Most cruisers do not spend much time around the ports where the large ships come in. Even at both of the St. Thomas ports with some limited private mooring/ anchorages around it would be difficult as it would be in the others you mentioned.

Cruisers typically are in these area for a very limited time to pick up supplies, pick up guest, do any "official" business needed then we get the hell out of them and go to the locations better suited to what we are down here for. Your best chance is to walk over to one of the private marinas and find out which bar/ restaurant we happen to be collecting in. Buy someone a beer and have a talk. The chance that you could arrange a sail with your constricted schedule just isn't very likely. Once we leave these locations we don't come back for weeks/ months... it cost too much and these are not places we want to be for any length of time.

You would have a better chance if you took a house/ room on a island of interest and frequent the hang outs cruisers congregate in. Then you have a reasonable chance of meeting people and getting to know the place and possibly a really good sail.

An Island a Day is just a snap shot and you miss almost everything about the island itself. To know any of the islands it can takes weeks/ months or years depending on if you just want to hit the tourist spots or the real island locations.... they are almost always never the same place.
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Old 26-12-2009, 08:19   #4
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try to find the hangout places for cruisers. with limited port times on cruise ships you may not be able to spend much time with them but it would be a bit of a taste. better to go to a particular island for a few days - saint martin comes to mind.
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Old 26-12-2009, 08:53   #5
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I have spent about a year and a half collectively in Jamaica since the 1970s. I am still learning new things about the island and people. About everyone that I have spoken with who stopped at Jamaica on a cruise ship hated it (pushy salespeople, drug dealers, etc.) but those who stay on the island a while grow to love the island and the people.

You can't get the flavor of a place in a few hours. A few days or a week maybe. If you try an island a day, it will just be a blur of palm trees with the same (Made in China) hats at each island. Slow it down. JMHO.
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Old 26-12-2009, 10:44   #6
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Thanks everyone for taking the time to answer. This is pretty much in line with what I figured would be the case. Getting any time on the water was a pretty slim chance, but I will continue to hold out hope for a Christmas Miracle. We typically have 10hrs in each port, which gives me hope of at least having lunch and a beer or five with some of the salts while hearing your stories and sharing our dreams.

This is defiantly a rushed schedule and is quite the antithesis of what I hope island life is all about. Typically we spend two weeks at a time on the island rather than this "assembly line vacation". In the last few years St. Lucia and Dominican Republic are are our two most common hang outs.

We've made this same cruise previously as a means of diving a lot of different islands. Since we have become more serious about actually making the southern carribean our home, this trip will hopefully serve a couple of new purposes.

We really wanted to get some real life stories from people and start to make friends in the community. Are there any cruise line ports on the list that are within 1hr to 1.5hrs drive from where you guys anchor?

Thanks again and we really hope to talk with you!

-Travis, Olga & Natalie
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Old 26-12-2009, 12:57   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmelhiser View Post
We will be spending the first week in January (3rd - 9th, 2009) bouncing between islands and wanted to see what the best way to meet up with you "locals", hang out, share a beer and if weather and other things permit find a way to get a couple hours on the water.

Schedule:

Jan 2rd: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Jan 4th: St. Thomas
Jan 5th: Dominica
Jan 6th: Barbados
Jan 7th: St. Lucia
Jan 8th: St. Kitts
Jan 9th: St. Maarten

If anyone has info to point me in the right direction or wants to drink a beer with a couple of dreamers, please ping me.

Merry Xmas all,

-Travis, Olga & Natalie
Wow, what a great idea, sort of a long shot, like the kind my wife hates that I would try. (she would hate it, because to date, it has not worked!)

Allow me to add this to my dream list (hopefull itenerary).

7 islands, how many members of this board activly cruising?

My kind of odds!
(and Travis, Olga & Natalie are springing for a beer, not just a rum drink!)

Even just to talk to one of you out doing it (future goals in mind here) would be worth the drink.

The chance of a tour of the boat would be worth the dinner price on further aquantance acceptance.

Come on, people out there doing it... some/one of you could make time from your "busy" schedule to step these people closer to the ultimate goal.

T/O/N... may some "barred/weather'd" in "unfortunate" meet you on a random dock with a sign "will talk for beer"!

BFG
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Old 26-12-2009, 13:33   #8
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As others have said you won't find too many cruisers or sailing opportunities (other than party boats) where the cruise ships take you. However, in St. Thomas you could book a half day charter with Omar and Jan on Slo Dancin - 36' Catalina sailing out of Red Hook (you're leaving it to the last minute though). Your ship probably docks in Charlotte Amalie, but Red Hook is only about a half hour over the mountain by cab:

St. Thomas day sails, snorkeling & Yacht Charters

Barbados is beautiful, but you probably dock in Bridgetown - I would plan on doing some kind of excursion out of town.

St. Lucia is spectacular, but you probably dock in Castries - again I would do an excursion, zip lines through the jungle, horse back riding on the beach, party boat to Soufriere and the Pitons, etc.

Unlike many people here, I like cruise ships. But part of the reason is that I enjoy being pampered, having no responsibility, and pretending to read while I sip my drink and watch the world go by. I like days at sea and I would probably need a vacation after your itinerary. But the other cool thing about cruise ships is that you can do whatever you want including nothing at all.

Fair Winds
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Old 26-12-2009, 13:38   #9
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Sounds like ya will be rushin it, but rum does lossen the tongue...............hee hee and then the sea stories abound. St Lucia is one of my favorites. Paradise is out there...............it is where the people aint
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Old 26-12-2009, 17:10   #10
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Which cruise line will you be on?

I sent you a PM with some suggestions as to where you might possibly cross paths with some cruisers.

Enjoy your trip and spend lots of money on St Thomas!!!!!
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Old 30-12-2009, 17:26   #11
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I just finished a cruise with my family-last time. I would rather be their cook, captain and room attendant on a yacht than to have someone take me to ports I do not want to go to and skip the ones I want. If i just can remember that next time I want the kids to walk the plank....
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