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Old 16-09-2014, 12:20   #1
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Antiugua to St Lucia

Hi Al- I am taking a boat from Antigua down to St Lucia next May and I only have 1 week as swapping crew in St Lucia. So that means Guadeloupe, Dominica, Des Saintes and maybe Martinique. Where should I definitely go or avoid? Also would appreciate any good on-line resources. Thanks!
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Old 16-09-2014, 13:06   #2
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Re: Antiugua to St Lucia

I would avoid Dominica due to the short time and boat boy hassles

Deshaies Guadeloupe is pretty and Fort de France in Martinique is great too.
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Old 16-09-2014, 13:19   #3
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Re: Antiugua to St Lucia

Thanks Mark...I will check out those spots!
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Old 17-09-2014, 04:45   #4
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Re: Antiugua to St Lucia

Did the same trip in June, and Dominica was the highlight. No hassles, wonderful ecotourism, great people.loved Rosseau.


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Old 17-09-2014, 05:43   #5
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Re: Antiugua to St Lucia

If you like Nature, Dominica is tops--the best in the eastern Caribbean. I've stopped there, in the north near Portsmouth, maybe nine times on our cruises. I never found the "boat boys" to be an issue. They have an organization called the Indian River Guides, and are very business-like. One of the Guides will come out in his skiff to greet you when you're approaching Prince Rupert Bay. They take turns, so cruisers won't be overwhelmed by boat boys, as is the case on some other islands.

We became friends with Martin Carrierre (Call sign "Providence" on the VHF), and met his lovely wife and two daughters. He will run you down to Customs in his skiff to clear in for a small fee ($10EC or $3.70US when we were there). He gave us a real education in the natural history of the island, and we always came back to the boat with a pile of fresh fruit and vegetables that he would pick off the plants in the forest.

The Guides take courses and are licensed. They will take you on a rowing tour of Indian River, a hike through the wildest rain forest in the Antilles, or a van sight-seeing tour including the only Carib Indian reservation in the Caribbean. Martin introduced us to a Carib medicine man, who showed us the plants he uses for healing.

You might not really have time to enjoy Dominica on a week's run from Antigua down to St Lucia, but it would be well worth it if you can fit it in.

The other don't miss in my opinion is Les Isles des Saintes. Very unique in the islands, as it is said to resemble the villages in Britanny in France.

Here are a couple of links from Chris Doyles sailing guide website...

Dominica

the Saintes

Here's Martin with a few bananas he picked for us.

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Old 17-09-2014, 07:46   #6
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Re: Antiugua to St Lucia

Funy because in all my years going up and down in the island chain never have a problema in dominica and got lots of problems in Rodney bay st lucia, like 10 no brain Puerto Ricans zooming around my boat in jet skis or when they stole my dingy with my Brand new Yamaha 4stroke on it,
Dominica and Guadaloupe are really nice, Martinique to , stick really well to Inmigration rules in Dominica, Y flag and check in check out in order...
Avoid the anchor zone in rodney bay outside of the lagoon in fron of the hotels , better spot at Pigeon island ...... Good luck.
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Old 17-09-2014, 09:12   #7
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Re: Antiugua to St Lucia

In Dominica last year we got hassled 5 times in the first hour!

First time when i was trying to drop the sails, he kept on getting in front of me. Second was when I was trying to drop the pick, he got in front of us and then when I had to tell him to move he hung onto the side of the boat and kept giving me "instructions"... And then the last three in the next 45 minutes.

My guests then said "Can we please just GO?"

So we left without clearing in.

This was only last year.

Maybe the OP likes that sort of stuff... But for me if its only 1 week I would be doing the historical/cultural/pleasant places... And not forgetting English Harbour if he picks the boat up from Jolly H.
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Old 18-09-2014, 07:14   #8
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Re: Antiugua to St Lucia

The thieves (aka customs and immigration officers) in Antigua will try and charge you a departure tax. This is only payable by charter boats with passengers.

Don't miss Isles de Saintes and Dominica.
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Old 18-09-2014, 07:22   #9
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Re: Antiugua to St Lucia

Sounds like Mark had a pretty bad experience recently. I haven't been there for 5 years but Dominica was the highlight of those locations for me. I ended up staying there for a month and loved every minute. We did have someone come out and try to tell us what to do but we politely declined his assistance and we never saw him again after that.
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Old 18-09-2014, 16:19   #10
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Re: Antiugua to St Lucia

Deshaies in northern Guadeloupe is a good anchorage and you can clear customs (pretty relaxed). Pointe à Pitre if you have time but nothing special here. Les Saintes, yes. Relaxed and fun ashore.

No, I would not stop in Dominica. Nothing but hassles with customs and boat boys and thieves.

In Martinique choice anchorages are St Pierre (can be difficult in a strong northwesterly), Pointe du Bout on the south side of Fort de France bay, Grande Anse d'Arlet (beautiful setting and fairly good anchorage, Ste Anne or deep inside at Le Marin (an all weather anchorage and fine inexpensive marina with excellent restaurants). You can rent a car at a reasonable cost and drive on the right side on fine roads.

At St Lucia: Rodney Bay, Anse Cochon, Marigot bay, Soufrière. Rodney Bay Marina is an excellent stop with nice restaurants etc. and excellent weather protection in the lagoon. Same for Marigot marina at a smaller scale.

This should be a fun week with easy sailing, good speeds, ok customs clearings, fun ashore and beautiful anchorages.

Michel

PS I have been sailing these waters since 1995, living aboard.
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