So what did you guys do just for kicks in your spare time? :-)
To add to what Hud said, the main thing to be prepared for is the possibility of strong winds from the E or NE. Not the normal trades, which blow between 15 and 25 knots, but the so-called "Christmas Winds" which can blow 40-50 knots and more.
These don't come every year. And, when they do come, they can blow for a day or two, or even a month or more. And, they can blow all the way down to Trinidad.
We left Tortola one year the day after Christmas
enroute direct to Grenada
, some 415 miles south. Christmas
winds all the way...30-45 knots and 18-20' seas. Not fun.
Moreover, that year very strong winds blew for over a month with little letup. Coming back we spent one night in the "lee" of Saba
with 45-50 knot
winds all night. Next morning, it was only blowing about 30-35 so we decided to head
back across the Anegada Passage
, carrying just a whisp of a genoa
. Lively sail!
These conditions are not the norm, but they CAN and DO happen. Mostly, the strong winds will only blow for a few days.
Hopefully, you'll be ready for them and weather