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Old 07-02-2009, 18:49   #1
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Antigua - Nevis - Saba - St. Martin - Anchor in North Swells

Hi

last week of march and first week of april we're chartering a 40' bavaria from Horizon one way antigua - st martin and planning on stopping at Nevis and then statia and/or saba on the way.

I have read the doyle and pavlidis books and i understand saba anchorages generally not tenable in northerly swells.

i was wondering three things:

1. are nevis and statia anchorages ok in northerly swells?

2. does anyone have suggestions for particularly good anchorages that time of year? was planning on pinneys beach at nevis (which i understand to be entirely mooring balls now - can this be confirmed?) and wells bay/ladder bay at saba.
&
3. how common are northerly swells this time of year (march/april).

thanks muchly in advance.
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Old 07-02-2009, 21:15   #2
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Hopefully Hud will weigh in here. Hud and his wife now live on Nevis. It's more like their back yard.
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Old 07-02-2009, 21:22   #3
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Hey west coaster, maybe we'll see you at horizon's docks. Were chartering Droory, a FP cat starting on the 4th of April. Can't count the days fast enough.
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Old 07-02-2009, 22:43   #4
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Hi West Coaster,
yeah, Hud is the knowledge in that area.

We were on St Martin last year in March/April during one northerly. There you can always come into the lagoon if it gets too rolly.

The big one hit hefore we were on the water, but another smaller northerly we found Grand Case and Margot my better than people made us believe.
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Old 08-02-2009, 04:06   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by west coaster View Post
Hi

last week of march and first week of april we're chartering a 40' bavaria from Horizon one way antigua - st martin and planning on stopping at Nevis and then statia and/or saba on the way.

I have read the doyle and pavlidis books and i understand saba anchorages generally not tenable in northerly swells.

i was wondering three things:

1. are nevis and statia anchorages ok in northerly swells?

2. does anyone have suggestions for particularly good anchorages that time of year? was planning on pinneys beach at nevis (which i understand to be entirely mooring balls now - can this be confirmed?) and wells bay/ladder bay at saba.
&
3. how common are northerly swells this time of year (march/april).

thanks muchly in advance.
Hi, WC.

You're coming a long way to sail--hope you have great weather and gentle swells!

The big northerly swells that cause the open roadstead anchorages to be uncomfortable are caused by big storms up north, off the east coast of the U.S. Those storms are still happening in March, not so much in April, so it's going to be the luck of the draw. We're experiencing 2.5 meter northerly swells today, from a big storm that blew off the Virginia Capes earlier this week. Here's a good website to monitor to see what's coming: Windfinder.com

Pinney's Beach on Nevis is an open roadstead, and can be rolly. If it gets too uncomfortable, you can head over to Majors Bay on St. Kitts, which is more protected. It has a nice beach, and the Reggae Beach Bar and restaurant is in the next bay east, a short dinghy ride or walk away.

Ladder Bay in Saba is even more exposed and is almost always rolly when the Trades are blowing strong. Wouldn't want to be there in a northerly swell. It's really worth a stop if conditions allow. The snorkeling and diving are great, and the island itself is beautiful. If you come to Nevis from Antigua, you can decide about Saba before you depart. It's only a bit closer than St. Maarten, so it's not like you have to sail there first in order to get to St. Maarten.

I assume you're chartering out of Jolly Harbour. Nevis is a nice downwind sail from there, maybe nine hours to Charlestown. Hope you have a great trip. Let me know if I can help with any more info.
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Old 09-02-2009, 18:23   #6
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thanks

thanks for all of the info guys! that's exactly what i was looking for. i'll keep major's bay in st kitts in mind and check out that link. we'll keep an eye out for you rigamarole.
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:22   #7
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My 2sense. Skip Saba (no good anchorages) and go to the French side of St.Marten, anchor in Gran Case or in the lagoon (free on French side) it's pretty much flat and you will sleep. Skip the bridge and the hassels and fees on the Dutch side. When you get to STMarten monitor VHF CH14 at 7:30AM EST and ask any questions of the cruisers there. Take a plane ride one day to Saba if you want to see it - it's an E ticket ride.
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Old 10-02-2009, 13:14   #8
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Carib WX - Caribbean Weather Information is another good weather source for wind, swell heights,etc..
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Old 10-02-2009, 13:27   #9
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I agree on the Saba anchorage - deep and rolly. However, IMO Saba is not to be missed if for no other reason than it is one of those rare impossible places that exists anyway. There is a ferry from St. Maarten to Saba running from Simpson Bay and Phillipsburg. The airstrip claims to be the shortest commercial strip in the world:

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Old 10-02-2009, 15:31   #10
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There are a great anchorage or two around the corner from English Harbor, (Northeast-ish) Protected and interesting exploring. Cant remember the names, if they even had any.... but headed up toward Wilikies (sp?) Easy to bypass with the desire to "move along" and discovered them the last time through. One had our own private beach about 150 ft long in a cove. Stayed there with the kids /grandkids for days....
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Old 11-02-2009, 06:23   #11
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Cheechako, That is not on Saba but Antigua. Yes Saba is quaint on the surface but a boiling cauldren of gossip and back biting under the surface. Nevertheless it is a pleasant place to visit for a day. Go have lunch at the ecolodge. I would not consider the ferry when you can experience a once in a lifetime flight from St. Maarten on Winair. Be forwarned however the Winair staff is difficult to deal with.
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Old 11-02-2009, 09:45   #12
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Yes, Antigua. Maybe a 3 hour jaunt from English harbor if I remember right....
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Old 01-03-2009, 21:22   #13
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St. Kitts is good on a N swell. White House bay is very quiet and does not roll much at all. We were just there for a 10' N swell and it was fine. The Basseterre town anchorage rolls. The marina is good and 75 cents/ft/nt. St. Kitts has a lot of very interesting history and very nice people.

Nevis: Yes, moorings in Piney's beach now. No anchoring. $20/week is a great deal. Lots of moorings. Be sure to call before clearing and ask what they want you to do. They appreciate the coutesy. The process is: tie to yellow quaretine buoy off ferry dock, meet harbormaster on dock, clear customs in dock complex, clear immigration across the streat in police station, pay for moorings in port authority office. All very efficient. Great people on Nevis. Lunch at Golden Rock Plantation was really nice.

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