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Old 09-06-2010, 15:33   #1
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Bareboat Chartering in the Grenadines with Kids ?

My wife, two daughters (ages 5 and 7) and another couple with their son (age 5) are planning a bareboat charter in either the BVI or Grenadines, February of 2011. We have been to the BVI several times (once with kids) and once in 2004 to the Grenadines (without kids).

Does anyone have any experience sailing with children in the Grenadines? Is it best to sail out of Canouan or St. Vincent and do a one way? What about flights - are there direct flights? Is Moorings the best organization to use? As you can see I am looking for any information and advice on whether it would be a good area for children.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 09-06-2010, 15:55   #2
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My grandson, aged 5, when asked, "what was your favorite place we visited in the Grenadines?" answered, "Tobago Key and the tree Iguanas ...Union Island...Pirate's cave in Bequia...Happy Island...I can't decide I loved everywhere!"
Tobago Key is lovely...

Union Island has some secondary charter companies and is very central.
Canouan and the Moorings would be very convenient and they have a very professional set-up and must know how to fly you there.

After 25 yrs of cruising and chartering with kids and grandkids, as young as two, I think the Grenadines are the best place in the Caribbean to take kids!

Enjoy
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Old 09-06-2010, 16:31   #3
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The Grenadines are magical. You and the kids will love them (Tobago Cay was where a scene in Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed.)

Don't know where you're coming from but St. Vincent seems to have more convenient flights. The beat back from Bequia can be a bit nasty if the Trades are blowing, but flying into Canouan isn't all that convenient these days.
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Old 09-06-2010, 16:55   #4
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Flights & Charter Cos

Barbados (BGI) is largest gateway airport for the Grenadines with connecting service to St. Vincent(SVD), Canouan(CIW), etc
Grenada(GND) is another option

Many carriers fly large jets into Barbados - so just a matter of shopping.
Barbados is a nice & newer airport with comfortable waiting areas & pretty easy to move through.

Liat (prop) is the primary player for short hop to other islands. SVGair also offers service. With such a large group you might want to research a charter flight from/to Barbados

Charter Cos
St. Vincent = Sunsail, TMM, Barefoot
Canouan = Moorings
Union + Grenada = Horizon

Hud's point is well taken about sailing conditions. As You know already the Grenadines has some open water sailing + your target charter in Feb has the potential for stronger/rougher conditions

Have a great time no matter where you go
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Old 11-06-2010, 07:52   #5
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The Grenadines are magical. You and the kids will love them (Tobago Cay was where a scene in Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed.)

Don't know where you're coming from but St. Vincent seems to have more convenient flights. The beat back from Bequia can be a bit nasty if the Trades are blowing, but flying into Canouan isn't all that convenient these days.
Hud, Liat now fly into Canouan from Barbados. They are a bit more reasonable than Mustique Airways pricewise.
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Old 28-06-2010, 08:31   #6
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Most flights to the Southern Carribean go through San Juan. Except for Barbados there are no airports south of St. Martin that can handle big planes. I bet you will find cheaper flights if you go through San Juan as opposed to Barbados.

There are yacht charter companies in St. Vincent, but you might also consider St. Lucia, just north of St. Vincent. There are plenty of charter companies there as well, and I'm told that there is better provisioning in St. Lucia.

The Grenadines is a great area for all ages. From Bequia down to Genada it's all good, and St. Vincent is pretty interesting too, if you are a history buff or if you like volcanoes. See the posts by Moondancer and Hud3 above.
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Old 28-06-2010, 13:32   #7
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... Except for Barbados there are no airports south of St. Martin that can handle big planes ...
Grenada
Maurice Bishop International Airport (IATA: GND, ~or~ ICAO: TGPY)
The Runway System consist of two runways (10, 28) on one strip with both being LCN 86 asphalt surface.
The runways are equipped with airfield lighting systems for night operations.
They have a length of 2743 metres and 45 metres wide, an elevation of 12 metres situated within reference points:
* Latitude 12̊ 00' 15"
* Longitude 61̊ 47' 17"
It is constructed based on a design to accommodate Boeing 747- 400.

Main Airline Services
Schedule services: American Airlines/American Eagle, Air Jamaica, British Airways, Condor, Conviasa, Delta Airlines, Liat (1974), Monarch Airlines, Saint Vincent Grenada Air, Virgin Atlantic.
Charter services: Air Canada, Air Transat, Caribbean Airways,
Cargo services: Amerijet International
Air Courier: FedEx, DHL
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Old 28-06-2010, 13:56   #8
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And More

Antigua - also another airport south of SXM that handles 747s & other heavy jets - take offs (and landings) are fun to watch as they roll down hill.

V. C. Bird Intl Airport (ANU) Details - Antigua And Barbuda

Which airlines use this airport? A big number of airlines uses Antigua, V.C. Bird Intl. In total 11 airlines have activity here. The biggest airline is LIAT with 32% of the airport destinations. Other airlines operating in this airport are Virgin Atlantic Airways, Winair, Germanwings, British Airways, Canjet Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Air Canada, Continental Airlines and US Airways


ANU is also a major hub for Liat as you can see.

You can also jet non-stop from some US cities to St. Lucia. But sailing from there will give you even more open water sailing which may not work best with little crew members

SJU certainly is an option but AA which was the #1 player there pulled back many flights to MIA due to a fee dispute. So You have to check the schedules & fares closely for your departure city & airline preference.

You will jet to SJU but many connecting flights are smaller turbo-props.

I would rather "jet" to the closest airport & do a short last hop unless there was a significant $$$ difference.

To each his/her own - still sailing in the end.
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Old 28-06-2010, 16:59   #9
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Yes, I had forgotten about Grenada but did not know about Antigua.

I hear they are trying to build a bigger airport on St. Vincent too, by extending the existing runways.

The sail from St. Lucia to St. Vincent is not nearly as long as the one from Barbados to St. Vincent.
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Old 28-06-2010, 19:54   #10
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Grenada has a major international Airport with good connections to the Grenadines. American Airlines has non-stops from the USA and connecting flights through San Juan. Connecting flights to the Grenadines is very easy.
- - Horizon Yacht Charters is located in True Blue Bay Grenada and is a small operation. Unfortunately it takes a whole day to sail to Carriacou and the Grenadines so most folks targeting the Grenadines either use the Moorings in Canuoan or one of the other bareboat charter outfits in Blue Lagoon, St. Vincent.
- - Currently gunkholing the main island of St Vincent is pretty much off-limits to any charter boats, you have to stay in the Grenadines. But there is too much to do in the Grenadines from Bequia to Carriacou and one week just isn't enough. So those coming from the Blue Lagoon bases usually range south to Bequia and Tobago Cays and maybe even as far down as Union Island before heading north to return the boat. From Canuoan you can choose to go north as far as Bequia to south to Carriacou.
- - There aren't any significant open water passages between Blue Lagoon and Carriacou that would impede your choices of places. At most an hour of moderate conditions before you are in the lee of the string of islands. The Grenadines are strung out ENE to SSW and with the normal trades being from the east varying from ENE to ESE you will be on a great point of sail whichever way you head. All in all it is a very enjoyable area to both enjoy the sailing and to enjoy the little islands.
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:07   #11
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I have spent a lot of time in Bequia and would highly recommend it as a destination to spend time with kids. if you were to consider staying on Bequia you could indulge your family in numerous activities from exploring the island to daychartering to the keys or Mustique, Union, falls of Baleine or any other of the fabulous places within reach of a day charter. That would enable you to spend a day relaxing at "De Reef" in Low Bay and doing what you probably need to do if you have kids. Fly to Bequia from Barbados on Air Mustique or use numerous options to St.Vincent and utilize the many ferries from there to Bequia. I don't know of anyone off hand but it used to be very easy to hire a boat with capt. and cook to take you anywhere you wanted for a day or overnight.
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:20   #12
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Don't forget to take the kids to the Turtle Sanctuary (rescue center) while in Bequia.
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