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Old 21-11-2019, 10:12   #1
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Landfall in the Caribbean

We are currently in Minndelo Cape Verde aiming to cross early in January trying to find up to date information on Barbados.as a landfall. We are a very simple yacht, some would say too much so, with no engine and thus quite happy on the anchor. The cons of Barbados appear to be lack of facilities (not really relevant to us) and noise which would ,be a shame.. The pros, a good jumping off point for the rest of the ,Carribean. Don Street in his Cape Verde guide is dismissive of Barbados, favouring Antigua, any views/advice would be most welcome. The yacht is Sauntress.
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Old 21-11-2019, 10:45   #2
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Re: Landfall in the Caribbean

Can't help with the question, but that is an interesting yacht:

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Old 21-11-2019, 10:59   #3
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Re: Landfall in the Caribbean

True. And in my care for nearly half a century.
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Old 21-11-2019, 11:06   #4
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Re: Landfall in the Caribbean

from what i have heard you need to go on the customs dock on arrival,and loud music carries on till the early hours

https://www.noonsite.com/place/barbados/formalities/
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Old 21-11-2019, 11:12   #5
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Re: Landfall in the Caribbean

We arrived last season at Barbados from Ascension. In theory you are supposed to tie to the wall inside the harbor for check-in, then proceed to the anchorage. We did this without problem but it is in amongst all the cruise ships and somewhat tight maneuvering. We heard of other vessels that anchored and dinghied in but do not have first-hand experience. We can report that tied to the wall no one came to visit us, we had to visit all the offices.

Anchoring in Carlisle Bay is the typical cruiser hangout. The bay is very wide open, anchorage tends to be toward the north and there is some reasonable depth water that extends a fair way from shore (with one deep hole in the center of that reasonable area). The closer you are to shore the more music and PWC (JetSkis) you will have, but also less roll. The bay does get somewhat crowded, for a sail only approach you may be a bit offshore anyway, depends on your comfort level sailing amongst anchored boats. Do look at the charts, the big open area that looks great for anchoring in the center of the fleet is the deep area

Overall we enjoyed Barbados, but the anchorage and the noise did turn us off a bit. Buses are reasonably frequent and easy to get around. Water can be had in the marina basin inside Carlisle Bay (also where most people land a dinghy) but it is probably half-a-mile from the anchorage area to the inner basin where most people tie the dinghy/get water. There are a couple of markets near the inner basin for good fresh produce and basic groceries. Buses to get to the bigger supermarkets. Prices are generally first world.

There are a couple of other areas along the west coast where you can anchor, but they are few. There is also a marina at the north end (can't recall the name) where you can check-in, but not much anchoring opportunity (from what we heard only, we did not visit).

We preferred the Union Island area, getting into Clifton under sail might be a challenge - but that's where you'd need to go for formalities. Our favorite at this end of the Caribbean was Chatham Bay on Union Island. No facilities (a couple of beach restaurants), easy approach, not too crowded, great anchorage.
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Old 21-11-2019, 11:36   #6
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Re: Landfall in the Caribbean

Many thanks for a comprehensive reply. Which amplifies what I had researched. Mixing it with cruise ships and jet skis to the sound of loud music is definitely our thing. So if not Barbados would you have another suggestion?
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Old 21-11-2019, 11:39   #7
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Re: Landfall in the Caribbean

Sorry, you already told ,me. Union island.
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Old 21-11-2019, 11:50   #8
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Re: Landfall in the Caribbean

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Originally Posted by Sauntress View Post
Many thanks for a comprehensive reply. Which amplifies what I had researched. Mixing it with cruise ships and jet skis to the sound of loud music is definitely our thing. So if not Barbados would you have another suggestion?
man of war bay,tobago
idyllic jungle and peaks,customs and immigration just back from the dinghy jetty.
can easily sail on and off your anchor in the large protected bay.
can be slightly rolly,but what price is paradise.
https://www.noonsite.com/place/trinidad-tobago/tobago/
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Old 21-11-2019, 11:57   #9
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Re: Landfall in the Caribbean

I don't care much for Clifton, and with the reef in the middle of the harbor and all the mooring buoys it can be a bit tricky to anchor, but we did for all of about two hours - just long enough to go ashore and deal with paperwork. Then it's not far to Chatham, but once you get around Pt. Irene you'll probably lose the wind. Coming off a long passage that might not be the best option as you'll likely want to put the hook down for a little while - at least we do.

I have not been to Grenada in a long time, that is another logical choice from a sailing perspective but I have no (recent) experience.

If you are willing to arrive as far north as Martinique then St. Anne would be dead easy under sail, easy formalities. We didn't find it noisy, but there were ~200 boats anchored there while we were, with another ~1000 in Le Marin around the corner, so not a quiet, empty anchorage.

Between Grenada and Martinique there are a couple of other options, but too many choices to list here.
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Old 21-11-2019, 12:00   #10
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Re: Landfall in the Caribbean

That sounds very enticing. And again thank you. You will appreciate that this is our first transatlantic. So there is plenty to learn.
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Old 21-11-2019, 12:16   #11
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Re: Landfall in the Caribbean

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That sounds very enticing. And again thank you. You will appreciate that this is our first transatlantic. So there is plenty to learn.
as an alternate or after tobago my choice would be prickly bay in grenada.
easy to sail into and out of without an engine,customs are also,just up from the dinghy dock, as are a small super market ,bar,chandler and boat yard
https://www.noonsite.com/place/grenada/prickly-bay/
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Old 21-11-2019, 12:27   #12
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Re: Landfall in the Caribbean

Another alternative to mull over. Thanks once again. At some stage we have to get crew to an airport so that is a consideration. Now skipping between navionics and the replies to get a feel.
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Old 21-11-2019, 13:23   #13
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Re: Landfall in the Caribbean

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Originally Posted by Sauntress View Post
Another alternative to mull over. Thanks once again. At some stage we have to get crew to an airport so that is a consideration. Now skipping between navionics and the replies to get a feel.
grenada,st lucia and antigua all have good flight connections to the uk with BA.
prickly bay would be the closest to the airport by taxi 15-20 mins
antigua about 40 mins from falmouth harbour
st lucia about 2 hours.
guadalupe and martinique good connections to paris,and possibly cheaper.

good thing about starting in tobago is it is rarely visited by cruising yachts as it is upwind and current unless coming from the west.
then moving onto grenada puts you at the bottom end of the island chain.
from there you can day sail all the way north stopping at all the windies islands as far as antigua.
from there all the lewards are l down wind
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Old 21-11-2019, 13:34   #14
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Re: Landfall in the Caribbean

We are expected in Antigua at some stage so beginning at the bottom of the chain and working our way up makes admirable sense. I appreciate the time you are taking. It helps clarify thinking as well as giving a taste of what to expect. Gracias.
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Old 21-11-2019, 13:50   #15
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Re: Landfall in the Caribbean

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We are expected in Antigua at some stage so beginning at the bottom of the chain and working our way up makes admirable sense. I appreciate the time you are taking. It helps clarify thinking as well as giving a taste of what to expect. Gracias.
you should aim to be in antigua for classics week!
lots of free stuff for wooden boat enthusiasts/owners even if not racing
1-7 april 2020
Home - Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta
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