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Old 11-01-2014, 10:45   #1
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Guadeloupe, good and bad, advice sought

My somewhat rookie crew and I want to charter a bareboat to sail in the Caribbean this summer. We have bounced around in our search for the right destination, and are now looking at P.R., Vieques and Culebra vs. Guadeloupe and surrounding islands. I have captained bareboats twice before in the BVI.

Please lend me your knowledge of anything from beaches/pristine or crowded/ snorkeling/scuba opportunities to mooring facilities/ sailing challenges/crime/expenses, or any other issue worth mentioning. We were earlier looking at St. Lucia and DOmenica, but were told that the sailing would be long days, and rougher than in the BVI. Guadeloupe seems more to be line-of-sight navigation to nearby islands, Yes?

We have one fluent French speaker in our group of 6, if that matters, and are looking at Sail Caribe if P.R., or Dream Yacht Charters if Guadeloupe, for a 40' cat or similar. We have gotten some helpful info from Ed Hamilton brokers and would like to return the favor by booking through them, all else being equal.

Any advice is appreciated, we hope to make some decisions next week.

Thank you,

Bullshooter
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:34   #2
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Re: Guadeloupe, good and bad, advice sought

We weren't prepared for the need for euros in Guadeloupe so be prepared for that.
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Old 11-01-2014, 12:30   #3
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Re: Guadeloupe, good and bad, advice sought

One week too early - will be in Guadeloupe next week and plan to drive around the island looking at all the anchorages for future sailing trip to see with my own eyes.
I understand that Les Saintes just 18miles from PAP is excellent - probably make an excellent 1st sail for the troops.

If your crew is somewhat "rookie", have you considered the Abacos ? I've introduced many rookie sailors in June/July in the Abacos, and given the shallow waters, exquisite beaches, beach bars (like Nippers), and easy sailing, always been a resounding success for the newbies. My formula was never more than a few hours of sailing in the morning with relax time in the PM.
Now I'll be introducing those "rookies" to Windward island sailing
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Old 11-01-2014, 12:59   #4
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Re: Guadeloupe, good and bad, advice sought

Thanks for the replies. Do you know if the seas are more challenging near Guadeloupe? I am game but we have some that dont know if they get seasick.
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:06   #5
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Re: Guadeloupe, good and bad, advice sought

Guadeloupe is some interesting sailing, definitely a different league to the BVI. I really love it there - from the NW port of Deshaies down past Pigeon Island (Jacques Cousteau's top pick for diving!) and particularly the Iles des Saintes. I sailed up and into the big marina to pick up friends, but really preferred the Saintes.

I've got a number of blog pages on Guadeloupe - see http://www.sv-zanshin.com/blogpages/cal2013-03.php from the 25th onwards. Some descriptions and pictures from the last trip. The jungle and waterfalls on Basseterre were wonderful.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:06   #6
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Re: Guadeloupe, good and bad, advice sought

Goudaloupe was one of our favorite islands. Yes it's french but not to the extend of Martinique that we hated. As Zanshin said, there are beatiful islands around to sail, friendly people. Sailing is not more challenging than anywhere else.
Cheers
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:59   #7
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Originally Posted by yeloya View Post
Goudaloupe was one of our favorite islands. Yes it's french but not to the extend of Martinique that we hated. As Zanshin said, there are beatiful islands around to sail, friendly people. Sailing is not more challenging than anywhere else.
Cheers
Yeloya
You use the term " French " as if in a negative. In my view and experience , the correct usage is " yes thank god it's French " !!

Dave
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Old 12-01-2014, 12:23   #8
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Re: Guadeloupe, good and bad, advice sought

Zanshin, thx for sharing. Looking forward to my "land" tour next week, and, of course our sea-trial. That was a pretty nasty "encounter" with your outboard last week ! Hope it is better.
Question: you seem to be able to update your blog every day - what's your internet set-up ? How did you find WIFI access in the St.Marteen / Guadeloupe / Dominica part of the world ?
Thx.
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Old 12-01-2014, 12:45   #9
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Re: Guadeloupe, good and bad, advice sought

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
You use the term " French " as if in a negative. In my view and experience , the correct usage is " yes thank god it's French " !!

Dave
I have no intention at all to offend any "french". Actually I grew up in french schools in Turkey, speak fluently their language and admire their culture. The problem is the unacceptable attitude of "some" french people who used to treat like dogs anybody else and the locals. Unfortunately, there is a bit too much of this "some" people in Martinique but haven't seen any in Guadaloupe, just the oppposite.

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Old 12-01-2014, 12:46   #10
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I have no intention at all to offend any "french". Actually I grew up in french schools in Turkey, speak fluently their language and admire their culture. The problem is the unacceptable attitude of "some" french people who used to treat like dogs anybody else and the locals. Unfortunately, there is a bit too much of this "some" people in Martinique but haven't seen any in Guadaloupe, just the oppposite.

Cheers

Yeloya
Probably just Parisians overseas !!
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Old 12-01-2014, 13:30   #11
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Re: Guadeloupe, good and bad, advice sought

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Originally Posted by 2Ripples View Post
Zanshin, thx for sharing... Looking forward to my "land" tour next week, and, of course our sea-trial. That was a pretty nasty "encounter" with your outboard last week ! Hope it is better.
Question: you seem to be able to update your blog every day - what's your internet set-up ? How did you find WIFI access in the St.Marteen / Guadeloupe / Dominica part of the world ?
Thx.
I've got a Ubiquiti Bullett mounted on the aft lifeline rail, i.e. not too high over sea-level, and with that I have gotten WiFi signals strong enough to use the internet from over a mile away. Most anchorages with houses ashore will have some form of router that is not encrypted and open. Bars and restaurants will often encrypt their signals but going there and having a drink or meal will get you the password. Some harbors (Falmouth, English & Deshaies) have only pay-per-time service. I think I got a month of Hot!Hot!Hot! for about 20 or 30 Euros and that had hotspots in several places.

Right now I'm the furthest boat anchored out at Cane Garden Bay, BVI and while there are some pay-per-service connections that are very strong, there's one called "NETGEAR" which is almost as strong and I'm using that.

I assume that the further I get down-island the further apart these signals are going to be.
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Old 12-01-2014, 13:46   #12
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Re: Guadeloupe, good and bad, advice sought

That will be my 1st approach on the boat (i.e. Ubiquity Bullet) .
I've got my iPad on this land tour, and will be experimenting.
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Old 13-01-2014, 21:01   #13
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Re: Guadeloupe, good and bad, advice sought

When you sail around the Iles des Saintes, are mornings available? Are there good spots to anchor on the lee shores? I was wondering if we could just hop from island to island and stay there for a few days straight.
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Old 13-01-2014, 21:15   #14
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Re: Guadeloupe, good and bad, advice sought

Guadeloupe is great. I went between Antigua and Guadeloupe many times and found the French officials easy to deal with. If you can find the French charts they are better than the American or British, since they were done during WW2 when we embargoed the French and they had nothing better to do. Antigua is close and has lots of history and great cruising. Have a wonderful time. _____Grant.
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Old 13-01-2014, 21:38   #15
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Re: Guadeloupe, good and bad, advice sought

I just came back from guadeloupe and the saints. Pap nit so much. Saints awesome as well as west side guadeloupe. Challenging sailing and. Nothing like BVI. Have you considered st Martin, Anguilla, st barts for your next step. That was mine and it was a good next step. I think guadeloupe is big adventure
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