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Old 22-08-2014, 11:20   #1
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Bareboat -- Horizon in Grenada

Just booked with Horizon for a trip over Thanksgiving. Starting at their base in Grenada and planning to head up into the Grenadines. We are scuba divers and like to dive on our own where possible. Any comments on the following?

1. Horizon in Grenada. They've been great to deal with so far. Incredibly professional and attentive -- not getting frustrated at all with my thousand questions. We're taking the Bavaria 39. I think it's a 2008, so it's not new but not ancient either. Anyone know it?

2. Possibly itineraries/must-sees.

3. Things to avoid or not bother with.

4. Diving advice. We like to be independent, but I get the feeling that most of the dive sites will not be easily done off the charter boat, so we will likely go with some shops too. Recommendations? We're picking up some tanks from Aquanauts.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 22-08-2014, 22:05   #2
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Re: Bareboat -- Horizon in Grenada

I'll leave itineraries to others, it's been a while since I've sailed there but I'm sure the guide books all say the same thing. There is a deep dive on the Bianca C off St George's. I did it with a group 20 years ago. I think it's the biggest wreck in the Caribbean. Around 100 feet to the top of the ship.


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Old 23-08-2014, 10:14   #3
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Re: Bareboat -- Horizon in Grenada

Grenada does not offer many well protected anchorages. All are on the south shore and many subject to rolling during a southeasterly.

To sail north to the Grenadines two options the windward side after hard motoring to get to. Or motor and sail the lee side staying close to shore well to the north if the Trades are from the northeast (as they often are). Count on more than 6 hours from the south bays to reach Tyrell on Carriacou. Sail (and motor if necessary) north of Kickem Jenny.

The return will be much faster and easier. You might consider taking delivery in Carriacou? Once at Carriacou sailing will be more fun, easier and no too rough on those who are adepts of sea sickness.

This should be a great sailing experience with fun anchorages, pretty good food and nice folks.
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Old 26-08-2014, 05:32   #4
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Re: Bareboat -- Horizon in Grenada

Thanks for the replies. I had read about the Bianca C and it seems like something we should do. Also, the sculpture garden seems unique.

As for itineraries, I think we will spend most of our time north of Grenada. Probably would make sense to start or stop in Carriacou. I will consider that, though I actually am interested in doing the passage at least one way. Neither of us get seasick -- perhaps this will change that? Done the Gulf Stream and some island hopping the South Pacific that should have shaken that loose, so I'm still hopeful.

Thanks again.
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Old 26-08-2014, 06:56   #5
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Re: Bareboat -- Horizon in Grenada

Also I suggest you provision well in Grenada before leaving as it will be difficult and expensive in the Grenadines. There is a good supermarket at Spiceland Mall il Grenada but the next island would be St Vincent. You will find some on Union Island and on Bequia and you can buy fresh fish and lobster at Petite Martinique for a reasonable price.

Yes you should plan to visit Grenada. It is beautiful and the folks are very nice. To sail south from the Grenadines to Grenada is a snap. It's sailing north in a northeasterly that could be a challenge. The NW current is fairly strong so with the wind from 045 or 050 you will motor very close to the wind and sea. Should you decide to take delivery at Carriacou have the boat provisioned in Grenada. I am not sure your crew would appreciate chicken backs, chicken feet and pigs tails etc. You find Angus beef at Grenada and fresh fish (tuna etc.) at the fish market in St George.

You chose a good period to sail the Grenadines. It may rain a little more than in December but the sailing conditions should be great and there are few visitors at that time.
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Old 27-08-2014, 06:21   #6
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Re: Bareboat -- Horizon in Grenada

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Also I suggest you provision well in Grenada before leaving as it will be difficult and expensive in the Grenadines. There is a good supermarket at Spiceland Mall il Grenada but the next island would be St Vincent. You will find some on Union Island and on Bequia and you can buy fresh fish and lobster at Petite Martinique for a reasonable price.

Yes you should plan to visit Grenada. It is beautiful and the folks are very nice. To sail south from the Grenadines to Grenada is a snap. It's sailing north in a northeasterly that could be a challenge. The NW current is fairly strong so with the wind from 045 or 050 you will motor very close to the wind and sea. Should you decide to take delivery at Carriacou have the boat provisioned in Grenada. I am not sure your crew would appreciate chicken backs, chicken feet and pigs tails etc. You find Angus beef at Grenada and fresh fish (tuna etc.) at the fish market in St George.

You chose a good period to sail the Grenadines. It may rain a little more than in December but the sailing conditions should be great and there are few visitors at that time.
Thanks, Salty Tanned. Good advice. Not much on miscellaneous chicken parts, so we'll definitely provision well in Grenada. Part of the attraction is missing the crowds -- a little rain is far preferable to a crowded anchorage.
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Old 27-08-2014, 10:12   #7
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Re: Bareboat -- Horizon in Grenada

I have been reading this forum for about a year and finally joined today because I feel I finally have something to contribute. My wife and I spent our honeymoon last October bareboating on this same boat from the same charter company. The Bavaria 39, named "New Horizon", was a great boat for the two of us. We started our charter out of Grenada for 10 nights. We visited Grenada, Carricou, Mayreau, Tobago Cays, Bequia, Mustique, and Petit St. Vincent. We had only ever chartered once before in the BVI so the biggest hurdle for us to overcome was anchoring every night instead of using mooring balls. We LOVED Grenada and the Grenadines. We are also divers and brought/rented gear to take along. You are not supposed to dive without a divemaster in most places in Grenada and the Grenadines but that didn't stop us from jumping in a few times on our own. We dove the sculpture park off of Grenada, Sandy Island, and Mustique on our own. When we dove with a dive shop we used LumbaDive in Carricou.
How long are you chartering? I feel we squeezed in to many stops in our 10 days, so knowing how long your charter is I might be able to offer some suggestions.
Travis
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Old 28-08-2014, 14:17   #8
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Re: Bareboat -- Horizon in Grenada

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Originally Posted by tmtownsley View Post
I have been reading this forum for about a year and finally joined today because I feel I finally have something to contribute. My wife and I spent our honeymoon last October bareboating on this same boat from the same charter company. The Bavaria 39, named "New Horizon", was a great boat for the two of us. We started our charter out of Grenada for 10 nights. We visited Grenada, Carricou, Mayreau, Tobago Cays, Bequia, Mustique, and Petit St. Vincent. We had only ever chartered once before in the BVI so the biggest hurdle for us to overcome was anchoring every night instead of using mooring balls. We LOVED Grenada and the Grenadines. We are also divers and brought/rented gear to take along. You are not supposed to dive without a divemaster in most places in Grenada and the Grenadines but that didn't stop us from jumping in a few times on our own. We dove the sculpture park off of Grenada, Sandy Island, and Mustique on our own. When we dove with a dive shop we used LumbaDive in Carricou.
How long are you chartering? I feel we squeezed in to many stops in our 10 days, so knowing how long your charter is I might be able to offer some suggestions.
Travis
Thanks, Travis! Glad I induced you to join. It's great resource. What a great way to spend your honeymoon. I think our charters are one key to our successful marriage. I am very glad to hear you liked the boat. I was a little concerned about the age, but I suspect they charters in Grenada don't get the beating they do in other places.

We only have 9 days so we will be even more limited than you. We will probably stay mostly towards the south. Bequia is calling, but I'm not sure. Thinking to give Mustique and PSV a pass. That's the kind of information I'm looking for. We know we can't do everything -- and this is VACATION after all -- so we will have to be selective. What would be your 9-day itinerary knowing what you do now?

I'm curious about the "requirement" for divemasters. Is that simply a rule to prop up the local dive ops or something else? My wife and I are both PADI DMs, but I suspect that's not what it's about. We are renting tanks from Aquanauts at the Horizon base and they didn't mention anything. I understand the sculpture garden has a mooring -- do many of the dive sites? I'm fine anchoring in a proper anchorage and leaving the boat, but wouldn't be comfortable at many dive sites doing that. For that reason, I suspect we will be availing ourselves a bit of the local shops.

Thanks,

Tom
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Old 28-08-2014, 16:38   #9
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Re: Bareboat -- Horizon in Grenada

Day 1 Boarding,, provisioning, sightseeing on Grenada and clearing customs out of Grenada for leaving the next day at 7 am.

Day 2 Sail 6 to 8 hrs to Carriacou and anchor either in Tyrrel or nicer and just some 20 min. further, Sandy Island. There are moorings.

Day 3 Sail 1h30 hr to Clifton on Union I. and clear customs into SVG. You can tour the island on foot or by taxi, sample the restaurants, I recommend the West Indies or sail to Chatham Bay on the lee shore, and dine at Seckie's.

Day 4 Sail 1h to Salt Whitsle Bay on Mayereau. If you arrive between 10 and 11 there should be room to anchor. Choose the extreme north of the bay and very close to shore otherwise it will be rolly. If you cannot find a good anchorage go onto the Tobago Cays. Anchor in 3 meters or pickup a mooring. They will charge you $10ECD per person and some more for the mooring. This is reef snorkelling country. To SCUBA dive contact Grenadine's Dive on Union and they will come to the boat (either at Mayereau or the Cays) and take you to even more exciting areas. You could easlily spend a few days here.

Sail back to Union to clear customs out of SVG and then sail to Petit St Vincent. An Eden like setting. Dinghy to Petite Martinique if you like, it's that close. Then to Carriacou to clear customs into Grenada.

Sail back to Grenada and visit the island.

Should you go to Canouan? Yes and no, it's not that exciting and you do not have too much time. A lot depends on how much sailing time you and your crew would really enjoy.

Michel
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Old 29-08-2014, 12:56   #10
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Re: Bareboat -- Horizon in Grenada

After typing a reply this morning and then having it kick me off when I hit the submit reply button, I'm trying again during lunch...

One thing that we disliked about that particular boat is that the chartplotter is down below at the nav station instead of in the cockpit. With so many coral reefs around the islands, it would have been nice to have it easily accessible. Other than that, the only "breakdown" that we had was the depth guage would stick whenever we got deeper than 500'. Whenever we got into shallower water we would go down below to reset it and then have to wait sometimes as long as 10 minutes for it to read again. Other than that, the boat was very nice and sailed well.

As I said before, the biggest challenge to me (being a fairly new sailor) was the anchoring. The charter company will tell you DON'T USE THE MOORING BALLS! With the exception being Mustique, none of the mooring balls are professionally maintained and you should not use them without diving on them to check their condition. We met one other boat that used a mooring ball at Sandy Island (right off of Carriacou) and they woke up in the morning drifting out to sea with the mooring ball still attached to the bridle! They brought the mooring ball back and deposited it on the beach before continuing on.

The thing we really liked about this charter was I think (hopefully) that it gave us a glimpse of what it could be like to be a liveaboard someday. In fact, we only saw two other charter boats the entire time we were there. The rest of the boats we saw and the people we met were liveaboards. We even met one couple who had only been living on their boat for 9 months. For them they had never set foot on a sailboat until they bought the bought 9 months earlier in the virgin islands and hired a captain to transport them and their boat to Grenada, teaching them how to sail along the way!

Knowing what I know now, I would not do as many stops as we did in our 10 day charter. The sails are long each day until you get up into the Grenadine islands. I would highly recommend Mustique though. This is where the rich and famous go to vacation and as to be expected the island is pristine. We visited Mustique for two nights and rented a Mule (Kawasaki gas powered utility cart) to get around the island. It was beautiful and mostly deserted. I even reluctantly went horseback riding on Mustique since my wife likes horses and it was our honeymoon. The diving was also very nice, although shallow, off of the pier by the Cotton House. We took the dinghy over to do our diving and tied up at the pier.
Ok, back to your question; a 9 day itinerary...

Day 1: Leave the charter base and sail around the southern tip of the island up to St. George's harbor. Anchor for the night. Take the dinghy over to Grand Anse beach.

Day 2: Leave fairly early and go to the underwater sculpture park. We picked up a mooring in the bay just south of the park and took the dinghy in from there. Continue on to Carriacou for the night anchoring in Tyrell Bay.

Day 3: Check out of Grenada at the new Customs and Immigration office in Tyrell Bay and then either go diving with LumbaDive (they are located in Tyrell Bay) or leave and go over to Sandy Island and dive the east end of the island. We actually did both. Dove with LumbaDive on our way up island and Sandy Island by ourselves on the way back. At Sandy Island we picked up a mooring and then took the dinghy around to the east end and tied up to a dive mooring. Continue north to Union Island, Clifton Harbor, and check into SVG Customs and Immigration. Also anchor here for the night and visit Happy Island for a drink or two. You can get provisions in Union at the fish market, furits/vegatable market, and/or at their "grocery store".

Day 4: Leave Union and head over to Mopion just to do it. It's a tiny spec of sand with a thatch umbrella and that's it. Just nice to take the dinghy ashore, explore the entire island in about 3 minutes and take some pics. The snorkeling was nice around Mopion too. Leave Mopion and head to Mayreau, anchoring in Salt Whistle Bay. This was our favorite anchorage. Hike the road up to the top of the island for a wonderful view of the surrounding islands including the Tobago Cays. We took the dinghy around to the middle west side of the island for some snorkeling. Don't forget to have a lobster dinner in Salt Whistle Bay at the Last Bar Before The Jungle.

Here is the hard part with only 9 days...Either stay in Mayreau and/or the Tobago Cays for another couple of days or head up to Mustique. Your decision, but I think I would go up to Mustique. So assuming you do;

Day 5: Leave Mayreau and head toward Mustique. Stop in Canouan on the way at the Moorings Charter Base for provisioning. They have a nice little deli with fine wines, cheeses, and deli items that my wife loved. Continue on to Mustique and grab a mooring. They charge a flat $75 fee for a mooring that you can use for up to three consecutive nights.

Day 6: Stay at Mustique. Have breakfast at Basil's Bar. Rent a Mule. Go to Macaroni Beach. Take the dinghy and dive gear over to the pier off of the Cotton House. Have drinks at the FireFly as the sun sets.

Day 7: Check out of SVG at the customs and immigration at the Mustique airport. Make a long day sail down to either Petite St. Vincent or Carriacou again. Either way, you need to go to Carriacou Customs and Immigration at some point on day 7 or day 8 to check back in to Grenada waters.

Day 8: Sail back to St. George's and take the dinghy ashore in the evening to one of the bars on Grande Anse Beach or get a couple's massage at the Spice Island Beach Resort.

Day 9: A leisurely sail back around to the charter base to return the boat.

Pick up the 2013/2014 Sailors Guide to the Windward Islands. There is much information in there about the individual islands and you can also find information about the diving guide requirements. I think the Noonsite website might have some info about the diving requirements also.

I hope this gives you some ideas. Feel free to email if you have any more questions.

And PLEASE, the REAL liveaboards that read this, take it easy on me. I just joined your forum after reading it for over a year and I'm not that experienced sailing. There is bound to be a better itinerary and/or my ideas may be stupid to some, but I'm posting this from the little experience I have so far in hopefully a long future of sailing.

Travis
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Old 31-08-2014, 13:17   #11
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Re: Bareboat -- Horizon in Grenada

Thanks for the itinerary suggestions. As always, much to see and too little time!


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Old 01-12-2014, 19:00   #12
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Re: Bareboat -- Horizon in Grenada

How was your trip?
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:37   #13
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Re: Bareboat -- Horizon in Grenada

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Gabbiano.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:12   #14
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Re: Bareboat -- Horizon in Grenada

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How was your trip?
The trip was great! Just got back last night after flight delays!

First, impressions of Horizon and the boat. Overall I felt the Horizon people went well beyond the call of duty. They were very thorough, friendly and service-oriented. My only "issue" which really is not that big a deal is that some of the information we were given was not correct/current (e.g., there are no moorings at Sandy Island currently and you can check in and out of Hillsborough without the need to jocky for position in Tyrell Bay).

The boat had no real issues - just more cosmetic things. It is older and shows wear, but the sails are new and almost everything worked properly. And the boat handled well. Factoring everything in, a good value. (Travis, they now have a chart plotter in the cockpit and the depth sounder works properly.) There is a new stove, but you cannot lock it down, which made it interesting when using the top and the oven at the same time as we did for Thanksgiving, but that is really my most significant complaint since it is a potential safety issue.

We did a conservative itinerary -- St. George, Hillsborough, Mayreau, Tobago Cays (2 nights), Hillsborough, Grand Mal and back. The checking in and out was a pain (I had forgotten about this from doing St. Martin, etc.) and really ate up days. We also wanted to scuba dive and both of those things really required blocking off half days. Horizon did well prepare us for the checking in/out process, though as is pretty typical, the immigration and customs folks were pretty poor ambassadors, enjoying pointing out trial issues on the multiple hand-written forms they require. I think St. Barth's and Anguilla have it figured out pretty well, but SVG and Grenada do not.

We dove with Deefer Divers on Carriacou and with Dive Grenadines in Tobago Cays. Deefer was by far the better value. We did Mayreau Gardens in TC, which had beautiful, healthy coral and Glenroy's team was very good, but these were perhaps the most expensive dives I've ever done. We did 3 dives with Deefer and, in addition to being much less expensive, we had probably 2 of our top ten dives. We did the Sisters, which was a pinnacle dive with amazingly healthy coral and lots of life, including many pelagics. We also did more of a muck dive across on the island where we saw, among other things, a frog fish. They had a great time and I would probably go back just to dive with them.

The sailing was a little of everything. On the way up from Grenada we beat into winds that ranged to 35 kts with 2 kts of foul current and seas of about 7 ft nearly on the nose. We were stupid and went west of Kickem Jenny because it looked like we could make Carriacou and ended up having to motor the last bit to avoid a tacking fest. The trip back down was a great sleigh ride with 15 or so kts on a beam reach -- until we got in the shadow of Grenada.

Best land-based experience was on Mayreau. We hung out with Righteous Robert and his family at his bar. Great food and great company. Met a lot of really cool people who make the place home. Didn't bother locking up the dinghy that night because I figured if something happened, the folks we met could probably sort it out in about 15 minutes.

The Tobago Cays were incredible. Being anchored right up by the reef reminded me of Bora Bora. Great snorkeling. We did the lobster dinner, which was great and not excessively over-priced.

I probably did not give Union a chance, but the place gave me a bad vibe. It may be because anchoring there was very difficult. In the harbor there is grass and even the sandy patches tend to be steep and the holding wasn't great. We really just went in checked in/out and got out of there.

The most pleasant surprise was the "boat boys." This is what everyone seems to be worked up about, but I found them very helpful and courteous. They were the best thing about my short stops in Union. They are licensed and regulated and obviously understand that ticking off/cheating charterers will hurt them. We tried to be pleasant to all of them and actually bought very little, but without exception, we had good experiences.

Thanks to everyone for the advice before we went. I would definitely go back. Main things I would do different are, first, spend more time (always, right?) and see more of the Grenadines. Second, I would spend more time on Grenada. We had about a half a day and really had a cursory view of the island.

Hope this is helpful for someone.
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:13   #15
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Re: Bareboat -- Horizon in Grenada

And you've just made me insanely jealous!
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