Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 20-07-2015, 12:39   #16
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,359
Re: Antigua to St. Martin Charter?

To me April is perfect in the Caribe. However, Much of the trip is in the lee of the islands... you will likely motor a lot April or June... then get hammered in the island gaps!
__________________

__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-09-2015, 15:12   #17
Registered User
 
MondayNever's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Cruising the Caribbean
Boat: CS 36 Merlin
Posts: 69
Re: Antigua to St. Martin Charter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by capnmatt View Post
Just circling back to this thread. My wife and I are working on our travel plans for the upcoming year and I think the Antigua to St. Martin trip is a go. However, dates have shifted to either early April or the last two weeks of June. From a logistics point of view June would be preferable with very reasonable charter rates and the kids wouldn't have to miss any school. However, I always get nervous about what conditions will be like. Not so much about a hurricane coming through as the odds of something hitting that early are quite slim. More concerned about getting skunked. We were in the BVIs this past June and first week of July and had plenty of wind during the last two weeks of the trip, and nice wind during the first week. However, I don't think it was the norm and I don't know if we should expect similar conditions during late June between Antigua and St. Martin. I just don't want to get stuck motor-sailing for 200 miles in the summer heat of the Caribbean. Anyone care to comment? I know it's impossible to predict conditions eleven months out, but what is the norm? Any other reasons to favor one time over the other (June vs. April)?

Thanks,

Matt
I'm coming in to this thread a bit late, but I thought I'd leave my thoughts on summer sailing in the Leeward Islands. I spent the summer months of 2011 and 2012 skippering catamarans for a company that does liveaboard sail/scuba trips for high school students. In both those years, I was only ever motor sailed because I was either being lazy or close in the lee of one of the big islands (St. Kitts, Guadeloupe). I always saw the pretty typical 10-25 knot winds, with the exception of very late summer. I borrowed a boat during the last week of August 2012 to take some friends sailing and we had <10kts. 2011 was really squally - one or two short 30-45 kt squalls every day of June and July. 2012, didn't get hit with a single one. Go figure.

I think that June and July is the sweet spot of sailing in the Leewards, particularly if it's a charter boat (not your problem if a hurricane comes). Still plenty of wind to romp around, anchorages are much more open, restaurants and bars haven't closed down yet for the season, and rates are much lower.
__________________

__________________
We quit our jobs to go sailing for a year or two on a boat we bought sight unseen. What could go wrong? www.mondaynever.com
MondayNever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-09-2015, 10:21   #18
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 66
Re: Antigua to St. Martin Charter?

Thanks MondayNever - appreciate the reply and your insight. Good to hear that you like June and July because we booked our trip for the last two weeks of June. We are going to be on a Lagoon 400 S2 through Dream Yacht Charters. We looked into Horizon, but Dream had the boat that was right for us. We've previously chartered and been happy with both companies in the BVIs. Now it's time to work on logistics of where and when customs is required, anchorages and places we want to visit, where mooring balls are available, etc...

One challenge we are going to face is that my son and I are going to bring kiteboarding gear so we will want to carve out some time for that. It is going to require finding anchorages that are protected from the swell, but not necessarily the wind (or at least a short walk to open wind). I've got some ideas, but I need to make sure they are accommodative to the wife and daughters as well. We might look into setting up a process to launch and land from the boat, but we need to be very cautious in doing so. Oh well, plenty of time to work all that out.

Customs seems like it is going to be a bit tricky. On many islands it appears that we will have to sail past some of the beaches that we want to stop at to do customs and then backtrack to those beaches. Also, I am hoping that I will be able to check in and out at the same time on some of the islands, otherwise we will have to do even more backtracking. I think I'm going to have to put together a list of all customs locations for each island so that I can plan our routes accordingly.

If anyone has any additional information feel free to pass it along. With the longer offshore passages and customs requirements this charter is going to be a bit of a departure from our previous trips. But we are ready and looking for to it!

Thanks,

Matt
__________________
capnmatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-09-2015, 11:03   #19
Registered User
 
MondayNever's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Cruising the Caribbean
Boat: CS 36 Merlin
Posts: 69
Re: Antigua to St. Martin Charter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by capnmatt View Post
Thanks MondayNever - appreciate the reply and your insight. Good to hear that you like June and July because we booked our trip for the last two weeks of June. We are going to be on a Lagoon 400 S2 through Dream Yacht Charters. We looked into Horizon, but Dream had the boat that was right for us. We've previously chartered and been happy with both companies in the BVIs. Now it's time to work on logistics of where and when customs is required, anchorages and places we want to visit, where mooring balls are available, etc...

One challenge we are going to face is that my son and I are going to bring kiteboarding gear so we will want to carve out some time for that. It is going to require finding anchorages that are protected from the swell, but not necessarily the wind (or at least a short walk to open wind). I've got some ideas, but I need to make sure they are accommodative to the wife and daughters as well. We might look into setting up a process to launch and land from the boat, but we need to be very cautious in doing so. Oh well, plenty of time to work all that out.

Customs seems like it is going to be a bit tricky. On many islands it appears that we will have to sail past some of the beaches that we want to stop at to do customs and then backtrack to those beaches. Also, I am hoping that I will be able to check in and out at the same time on some of the islands, otherwise we will have to do even more backtracking. I think I'm going to have to put together a list of all customs locations for each island so that I can plan our routes accordingly.

If anyone has any additional information feel free to pass it along. With the longer offshore passages and customs requirements this charter is going to be a bit of a departure from our previous trips. But we are ready and looking for to it!

Thanks,

Matt
Not familiar with Antigua, but well versed in SXM, St. Barths, Saba, Statia, St. Kitts, and Nevis.

Very general thoughts about customs/immigration:

Dutch territories - Totally streamlined, no run-around. They operate as you would expect in a Northern European or N. American country.

French - Very easy and a bit more casual at times than the Dutch.

Former English colonies - god awful. Multiple offices to visit. May or may not get an attitude. Pricing can be arbitrary. Come armed with information, expect to wait, try to remain as pleasant and polite as possible or your life will only become more difficult.

Given the route you are taking, from Antigua over to Nevis, you might be able to both check in and check out in Charlestown, Nevis. That would be vastly preferable to having to check in at Port Zante on St. Kitts then back track south to the good anchorages. The mooring field just north of Charlestown would probably be a gem for kite surfing, too. Wide open, flat water, but still gets a decent breeze.

Saba and Statia - They have fantastic diving and are very interesting on-shore, but the anchorages can be unpleasant. You're on a cat, though, so rolling isn't an issue. Saba basically doesn't have an anchorage - you're on a mooring in 70' of water off to the side of a giant towering volcano. The wind can come screaming around the north side of the island, so maybe good for windsurfing? Long, wet dinghy rides to get town on Saba but worth it when you do.

St. Barth's is paradise. Easy check-in at the harbourmaster office in Gustavia. The outer anchorage is crowded, rolly and deep (but still doable), but in June you might be able to get a spot inside the harbor on the sea wall. Gustavia is a beautiful and I've never had more fun than racing against my friends around the island on rented mopeds. Columbier is a fantastic anchorage/mooring field a couple miles north of Gustavia if you want to get away. Don't miss at least a lunch stop or a night at the island of Ille Fourche when you head up to SXM. Great views when you hike to the top.

SXM - lots of good, wide open anchorages that are probably conducive to kite surfing. Tintamarre is a neat little island with a mooring field and a small tug boat wreck at 35'. Ille Pinel is as idyllic as a place can be and easy to get in there with the draft of a Lagoon 400. Grand Case is wide open, has the best (and cheapest) restaurants on SXM, and has a good dive spot at the rock on the outside of the anchorage. Depending on where you're dropping the boat off and what route you'll take around the island, you could check in at Anse Marcel. That's where I always went in and never had a problem in 15+ times. Very sleepy little marina. I don't particularly care for Marigot or Phillipsburg. They are good anchorages, but don't have the charm of some of the other spots.

I could write for days about that part of the world, but I'll stop here.

-Will
__________________
We quit our jobs to go sailing for a year or two on a boat we bought sight unseen. What could go wrong? www.mondaynever.com
MondayNever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-09-2015, 11:29   #20
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Boat: Bruce Roberts 44' Steel Mauritius
Posts: 577
Re: Antigua to St. Martin Charter?

Great trip but I hope you have your sea legs. Open ocean and seasickness is miserable.
Have fun.
__________________
Mithril Bham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-09-2015, 15:48   #21
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 66
Re: Antigua to St. Martin Charter?

Thanks once again for all the great info MondayNever. I think I'll print that out as my unofficial guide to the Leward Islands.

Concerning the offshore sailing megallen, I'm sure there will probably be some queasiness going around, but I'm hoping not much full fledged seasickness. No one in my family is particularly prone, but the biggest swells we've personally experienced is 8 -10' while sailing from the USVI to SVIs. Don't imagine it will get much bigger than that in June unless a storm is coming through, but we will adjust plans accordingly if we feel we are in over our heads. Part of the reason I want to do this charter is to see if we're cut out for offshore sailing. Like many sailors, it's my dream to buy a boat and cruise for a couple years. This seems like the next step up from the Virgin Islands to test out mettle. In any case, we are locked and loaded at this point.
__________________
capnmatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-09-2015, 16:16   #22
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Boat: Bruce Roberts 44' Steel Mauritius
Posts: 577
Re: Antigua to St. Martin Charter?

Almost everyone gets seasick in ocean swells. My wife is one of the few exceptions. I was 10 at the time of my first Pacific crossing. I was sick for two days and then got my sea legs. Taking week long sailing students off of St. Vincent it was common for that to happen as well. That means sick two or three days out of seven. On long crossings you get sick and then over it for the rest of the trip if you are like most people.
Don't mean to throw wet water on what I'm sure will be a great adventure. Just be aware and know that it will end.
Have a great time.
__________________

__________________
Mithril Bham is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
Antigua, charter, St Martin

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Antigua, St. Martin or Bahamas for Winter Charter ? RaggioVerde Atlantic & the Caribbean 29 28-10-2011 00:37
Passage from St Martin to Antigua luv2 Atlantic & the Caribbean 33 17-11-2010 14:27
Crew Wanted: Maxi 80 - Arrives Antigua Race Week - Need One Crew Antigua > Azores > Netherlands BrendanChandler Crew Archives 2 18-05-2010 00:48
Best Dinghy Repair Station - St. Martin / Guadelupe / Antigua lagoon100 Auxiliary Equipment & Dinghy 1 03-01-2010 17:38
Antigua - Nevis - Saba - St. Martin - Anchor in North Swells west coaster Atlantic & the Caribbean 12 01-03-2009 21:22



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 21:44.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.