Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 28-09-2008, 10:26   #1
Registered User
 
solarbri's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Idaho
Boat: Custom 36' folding sailing cat
Posts: 297
Question Cruising in St. Lucia

So I've been thinking of chartering an Orana 44 as a bareboat in St. Lucia around x-mas time.
What's the cruising and anchorage/mooring scene like there?
Are there numerous small islands around the mainland? How about around Martinique?
Are the locals nice and accepting of us Americans?
I've been to St. Vincent and the Grenadines years ago and that was nice.
Any thoughts or opinions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
__________________

__________________
solarbri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-09-2008, 11:02   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
I've been to St Lucia every year since 2000. We stay on land when we go but have sailed a bit through charters. For cruising forget the east coast. Very pretty but not friendly for boating. It's not a people problem it's the Atlantic Ocean problem. All the places you can cruise are on the west coast. There are several very small islands but they are off limits and actually very small and on the east coast. The north end of the Island has the largest anchorage and is a popular designation. Moving south you can anchor some in the next southern bay but it affords no real protection from anything but the east. Moving south is the main Castries harbor and there are a few places to anchor there but it isn't much fun if they have 3 cruise ships in port. Moving south you get to Marigot Bay and that has a very well protected location. Not alot of room there with all the boats already moored but you can squeeze a few more. Ans Couchon is south from there and there are government moorings for a fee but it is also the popular snorkel cruise tour destination and can be overrun with several hundred would be snorklers. After they scare off all the fish they just swim around. The whole affair lasts a few hours and then they all leave. There are several small fishing towns that you could anchor in but not much protection from the west. Canaries and Ans Laraye are very local places but they can be friendly. After that you move south to Soufriere and the most scenic spot in and around the Pitons. They are quite something from the water to see. They make their own weather and it can be a little tricky in and around them but there are several spots for anchoring. The southern end of the island is tropical rain forest. That is about it for places you can anchor.

Sailing the west coast with the trades blowing well is quite a nice trip. I can't say it's worth a whole week though maybe 3 to 4 days tops. I've chartered a day sail trip from north to south and back and done its as a full day sail. All the times I've done it was great. People there I have always found to be nice compared to the northern islands.

Chartering is cheaper in Martinique as far as boat cost goes. That has been the pattern for a lot of years. We used to charter through a private owner that used a Moorings captain. He used to charter boats for clients that would fly in. He always got the boat in Martinique and brought it to St Lucia and loaded up the crew and took off for a few weeks. The sail down to the Grenadines is nice though it's a beat coming back. We always go in february and the trades blow quite well. Going between martinique and St Lucia you generally wait for the weather then go fo it. between the islands when the trades are blowing well is not all that easy even if it isn't very far. Groups tend to wait it out in Rodeny Bay and take off when the weather affords the best trip.
__________________

__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-09-2008, 12:32   #3
Registered User
 
solarbri's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Idaho
Boat: Custom 36' folding sailing cat
Posts: 297
Thanks PBlais,
So is it really that challenging going between St Lucia and St. Vincent/Martinique?
On a good weather day, are we talking more than a 12 or so hour day?
We have two small children (ages 1+3)and will probably have some other friends with some also.
__________________
solarbri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-09-2008, 12:37   #4
Registered User
 
Keegan's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: World Resident
Boat: Dolphin 460 Catamaran WONDERLAND
Posts: 399
I would not worry about sailing between St Lucia and Martinique at all, as long as you watch the weather as stated above. This is a nice sailing ground but IMO there are better near by.
__________________
Cheers,
Keegan
Keegan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-09-2008, 12:52   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,130
Not too much cruising in St. Lucia itself. We chartered out of Rodney Bay, did the anchorages in St. Lucia, Castries, Marigot Bay on down to Vieux Fort at the end of the island and then sailed to St. Vincent, Grenadines, Union, etc. Coming back was not easy!! Many folks just do a one way and get off in Grenada. For a vacation this would be the best plan.
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-09-2008, 13:16   #6
Registered User
 
solarbri's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Idaho
Boat: Custom 36' folding sailing cat
Posts: 297
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
Not too much cruising in St. Lucia itself. We chartered out of Rodney Bay, did the anchorages in St. Lucia, Castries, Marigot Bay on down to Vieux Fort at the end of the island and then sailed to St. Vincent, Grenadines, Union, etc. Coming back was not easy!! Many folks just do a one way and get off in Grenada. For a vacation this would be the best plan.
That sounds like a great idea!!
I'll check into that option.
Just out of curiosity... aren't the trade winds coming out of the east predominantly there that time of year? Essentially making it a beam reach whether you heading north or south?
__________________
solarbri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-09-2008, 13:23   #7
Registered User
 
Keegan's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: World Resident
Boat: Dolphin 460 Catamaran WONDERLAND
Posts: 399
Quote:
Originally Posted by solarbri View Post
That sounds like a great idea!!
I'll check into that option.
Just out of curiosity... aren't the trade winds coming out of the east predominantly there that time of year? Essentially making it a beam reach whether you heading north or south?
It will not always be a beam reach but if you are going to Grenada that is mostly going to be good sailing.
__________________
Cheers,
Keegan
Keegan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-09-2008, 14:50   #8
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
St Lucia to Grenada is clearly very popular. The other way is mostly mortoring and not always fun.
__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-09-2008, 15:00   #9
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,929
Images: 49
Just to add a little to the above posts, which offer very good advice...

Assuming you're going to do some dinners ashore, the good restaurants in the Rodney Bay area are over in Reduit Beach. Marigot Bay is worth seeing--James Michner called it the most beautiful harbor in the Caribbean. The Pitons are stunning. Anchoring is limited to one spot during daylight, and is prohibited overnight, but there are several sets of national park moorings available. Empty ones can get hard to find late in the day. There is hiking and sight-seeing ashore, as well as some restaurants. Anse La Raye, which Paul mentioned, has a big weekly outdoor seafood fest on Friday nights. It's a bit north of Soufriere.

Sailing south from Soufriere (The Pitons) to St. Vincent is usually a nice day's sail on a reach. I suggest that you avoid overnighting at Chateaubelair, as there have been several incidents of boats being boarded and robbed by guys with guns and machetes. This was about nine months ago, but I'd still avoid it. You'll have to clear in to SVG, so Walliabou is the best option, unless you just want to push on to Bequia. We always did Soufriere to Bequia, skipping St. Vincent.

Coming back north from St. Vincent, the St. Vincent Passage can be very rough if the trades are piping up. That time of year, it normally will be a hard beat, fighting waves and current for 25+ nm, until you get back in the lee of St. Lucia.

Le Marin, Martinique is about 25 nm across the St. Lucia Channel from Rodney Bay, St. Lucia. You can clear in there and explore, or go back around the point to the lovely little town of Ste. Anne, which has a broad, comfortable anchorage with clean, clear water. You can continue up the west side of the island, past the famous Rocher du Diamante to Anse d'Arlet and sample the restaurants ashore. You'll need at least a little French to get by, as English speakers are rare.
__________________
Hud
Hud3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2008, 14:34   #10
Sponsoring Vendor
 
harryrezz's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Southern Caribbean & Buffalo, NY
Boat: 44' CSY "Walkover" cutter, La Nostra
Posts: 220
Info offered so far is spot on! If you only have a week, making a one-way all the way from St. Lucia down to Grenada is a LONG way, and you'll miss a lot of great places in between. If you choose a one-way you might consider doing the drop-off on Union Island (part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines) or Carriacou (part of Grenada). The run south from Carriacou to Grenada can be long, and the middle part of it can be really nasty - essentially a waste of a day.
Wind direction at your proposed time of year will be mostly out of the NE, so southbound is fun, northbound can be a real slog.
__________________
Cap'nHar
s/v La Nostra
CSY 44 W/O cutter
Located in the Sunny Caribbean
"Life's short ... Eat dessert first!"
harryrezz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2008, 15:17   #11
Registered User
 
Keegan's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: World Resident
Boat: Dolphin 460 Catamaran WONDERLAND
Posts: 399
Quote:
Originally Posted by harryrezz View Post
Info offered so far is spot on! If you only have a week, making a one-way all the way from St. Lucia down to Grenada is a LONG way, and you'll miss a lot of great places in between. If you choose a one-way you might consider doing the drop-off on Union Island (part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines) or Carriacou (part of Grenada). The run south from Carriacou to Grenada can be long, and the middle part of it can be really nasty - essentially a waste of a day.
Wind direction at your proposed time of year will be mostly out of the NE, so southbound is fun, northbound can be a real slog.
I totaly agree. THis would be a much better week. Not rushing to see everything makes the trip much nicer.
__________________
Cheers,
Keegan
Keegan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2008, 09:25   #12
Registered User

Join Date: May 2003
Location: East Coast & Other Forums!
Posts: 913
I'll say ditto to most everything above but also emphacize that you should take a land tour of St. Lucia ...it is an incredible place. Don't miss the opportunity to see it.

Hud...I "had" to spend 2 months in LeMarin...damn...it was tough duty with those baguettes and $5 bottles of French wine!!
__________________
Cam - I am no longer a member here. Look for me on other forums...same name.

camaraderie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2008, 11:59   #13
Registered User
 
solarbri's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Idaho
Boat: Custom 36' folding sailing cat
Posts: 297
Thanks! To everyones contributions.
I think we're leaning more towards the Bahamas this year.
I'm not sure we're ready for bigger open ocean crossings yet.
__________________
solarbri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2008, 12:53   #14
Registered User
 
Keegan's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: World Resident
Boat: Dolphin 460 Catamaran WONDERLAND
Posts: 399
Quote:
Originally Posted by solarbri View Post
Thanks! To everyones contributions.
I think we're leaning more towards the Bahamas this year.
I'm not sure we're ready for bigger open ocean crossings yet.
The absolute best place to go cruising without alot of experience is the BVI.

The Bahamas have their own set of challenges and require more skilled navigation than some areas.

Good Luck
__________________
Cheers,
Keegan
Keegan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2008, 12:59   #15
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,929
Images: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
...Hud...I "had" to spend 2 months in LeMarin...damn...it was tough duty with those baguettes and $5 bottles of French wine!!
Ah, those were the Good Old Days, $5 wine and 10 cents for a crusty baguette (our first time in Martinique in 1985). I always suspected the French government of subsidizing the cost of wine and baguettes to placate the masses. Alas, with the exchange rate gone bad, it's probably a buck a baguette by now.
__________________

__________________
Hud
Hud3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
St Lucia

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
St. Lucia to St. Vincent etc ADMBVI Atlantic & the Caribbean 3 11-01-2008 17:13
Hello Fron St Lucia W.Indies sailingspiders Meets & Greets 7 16-08-2007 22:10
St. Lucia ? St. Vincent ? Grenada ? danedee Atlantic & the Caribbean 10 26-06-2007 00:26
Taxi in St. Lucia lcdittmar Atlantic & the Caribbean 5 07-12-2006 15:12



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 21:04.


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.