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Old 15-08-2010, 19:05   #1
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Wink Grand Cayman - Winter Cruising Destination ?

Hi all;
We are new to the forum and would be interested in hearing your opinions on cruising in Grand Cayman. We would be traveling with two young children and as such, we would lean towards a direct flight destination (From Toronto Canada) to maximize extended weekends and week trips. Any thoughts on marinas, maintenance companies etc. Should we keep the boat on the hard during huricane season? How safe are the boats in marinas there? Your thoughts and experiances would be appreciated!!

Thanks!
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Old 16-08-2010, 01:36   #2
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I've never cruised/sailed Cayman, but we own a condo share out East End and have been travelling there regularly for dive trips over the last 10 years. IMHO, Cayman is not really a cruisers' destination. As far as I can recall, there aren't a whole lot of choices for marinas. The main dockage is at Cayman Yacht Club (about halfway between G-Town and West Bay) and there are a few slips (12 or so) over at Kaibo (Rum Pont area). As far as I know pretty much everything else is behind private homes on the canals (west).

Not really sure where you'd cruise - Lots of deep water outside of the sounds. The Brac and LC would be the closest other islands, and they're 80-100 miles away.

Why there?

Daz
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Old 16-08-2010, 02:20   #3
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Easy overnight trip to Cuba from there.

We stayed 6 months, on a private dock first then at the marina (I had a 6 month work permit). No real local cruising but great kick off for Cuba.
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Old 16-08-2010, 04:05   #4
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Little Cayman has more undersea life than you can imagine,,, I spent 4 months on a liveabord dive boat there,,,, youc an take one of several morrings at the many dive spots,,, also cayman brac has many dive destination,,, little cayman is one of the friendliest spots in the world,,, I was stranded on the island when my dive boat had to go out to sea on an emergency call,,,, the locals having never met me let me stay in teh house overnight when they were not even home,,,, try to get that in the U.S.,,,, there are several places that you can stay in a mild hurricane but would not trust them in a big one,,, cayman brac has several places that you can swim and feed the big manta rays,,,,,,

I recommend this spot for several months if you are able to get there,,, can always head south east to the carribbean if you do not like it

the airport on little cayman is part local road and part gras strip,,, less than 15 cars on the island, and less than 100 people live there year round,,,you can spend all day in the water snorkling and still not get board
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Old 16-08-2010, 14:18   #5
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Thanks for the thoughts - Reasons for Cayman - short 4 hour direct flight, safe destination with kids as we are just starting to cruise with them, hopefully a safe place to keep the boat (not really sure if we can't find a decent marina and maintenance help!!) good day sail destinations (Cayman Brac and Little Cayman for when the kids are bit older) great water related activities (beaches, snorkling, diving etc.) ...

Are we wrong in thinking cayman is the best destination to keep our boat? Unfortunately, we won't be able to do extended "adventure" cruising for some time as work doesn't permit... Trying to find a destination for a quick warm getway... Would Bahamas be a better option? Thanks again for your thoughts...

Cheers,
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Old 18-08-2010, 01:02   #6
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Personally, I would opt for the Bahamas or elsewhere in the Eastern Caribbean. Not much happening in Grand Cayman. It's OK, but once you've seen it, you've seen it. Bahamas, USVI, BVI etc., many more "local" destinations with much more to explore, facilities are numerous, sailing is 'easy' relative to getting to Cayman etc. I dunno. That's just my opinion having been to Cayman and elsewhere. If I had a boat, I'd by far choose to keep it somewhere other than Grand Cayman.
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Old 18-08-2010, 05:05   #7
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Go East

I agree with the Bahamas, BVI, recommendation. There is no boating community in Cayman, there are few bays to anchor in and only the one marina. When you decide to move, the slog easterly from Cayman is tough. In the Bahamas, BVI you are already east and can move up and down the chain with ease. There are always lots of kids in St. Lucia after the ARC arrives which will matter when you take longer cruises.

Fair Winds,

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Old 06-09-2010, 17:05   #8
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Thanks for your thoughts everyone - with your advice I think we are leaning toward St Martin as our hopefully new cruising destination - "GO EAST!!!". We are looking at yacht management companies in St Martin (many more than Cayman!) and touched base with Horizon Yacht Charters in Simpson Bay (Cole Bay) as they also have a yacht management program. Has anyone had any experiance with them or other recomendations for management options?

Game plan is to get the boat ready over the winter and possibly transfer the boat early next year from Florida - I understand it will be quite a slog going eastward - with the prevailing easterlies - would we head toward Bermuda and then cut back to St Martin?

Any thoughts again, would be greatly appreciated... Thanks!!
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:28   #9
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Cayman

I have done Kaibo many times and love it but not as a Cruising destination. Fly down and sail the J22's with the wonderful people at the sailing club if you do go.
For many years I have been flying from Toronto to the BVI's for my winter sailing fix and i find sailing there absolutly fantastic.
Depending on your budget there are a variety of places to keep the boat for the winter season, and i think i have done most of them, and some great places to leave it on the hard in summer. Nanny Cay for summer layup being a favourite for a lot of us.
Travelling is pretty straight forward, Toronto direct to Puerto Rico then a hopper to Beef Island.
The crusing is exceptional and easy for short week long fixes and also a great starting point other places if you have longer, like the Anguilla - Saint Kitts - Saint Croix back to BVI loop.
This is just my humble opinion and I admit I am a Cruising Sailor, time is limited and I go for the Island to Island beach bar route rather than the overnighters or passagmaking.
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:49   #10
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I see that you are Canadian and perhaps coming from the north.I would highly recommend Cuba. Great cruising ,safe anchorages and easy fling access to Toronto. Have spent 13 winters there.
Don
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:55   #11
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Cuba

Don,
I normally take the outside route on the trip down to BVI for time reasons but was looking at taking the inside passage and stopping off in Cuba for a few days for our next run down probably this November. Any suggestions for the best ports?
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Old 07-09-2010, 14:37   #12
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To Chrisclipper
I assume you will depart out off Fla. The two possible routes are via the north coast or the south coast.If via the north coast the best entry point is Veradaro.If via the south coast then Marina Hemingway.From either place there is the normal problem of making easting.The north coast has the concern of cold fronts .These are less strong on the south coast and becomes fair wind. Most yachts take the south coast and even the south coast of Hispaniola. There are only a few ports either route but plenty of good anchorages
For more info google cruisingincuba
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