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Old 21-05-2012, 18:04   #1
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Leeward Islands

I am heading to the Leeward Islands Saturday and will be sailing for two weeks on a Jeanneau 44.
I am looking for suggestions for islands beaches coves etc to visit. We are interested in snorkeling, and nature and not so much for crowds or civilization or tourism.
Any suggestions woul be great, essentiallky what are the best places you have visited in these islands and why.
Thanks
Merritt
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Old 22-05-2012, 03:08   #2
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Re: Leeward Islands

Too indefinite in your information. What island will you be chartering out of? Bareboat or crewed? What is your charter company's requirements/restrictions for going to other islands? Do you prefer deserted islands and beaches or more populated places with lots of activities?

Different people have different objectives in what they are looking for in an experience in the islands.
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Old 22-05-2012, 04:30   #3
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Re: Leeward Islands

I am chartering bareboat out of St. Martin Oyster Bay.
Looking for:
Deserted beaches
Hiking
Waterfalls
Rivers
Peaceful Coves
No crowds
No Large fees for mooring or cruising unless worth it
The occasional nice small town to visit
The occasional beach bar scene if not too touristy
No restrictions on visiting islands
Night sailing OK
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Old 22-05-2012, 04:51   #4
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Re: Leeward Islands

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merritt View Post
I am chartering bareboat out of St. Martin Oyster Bay.
Looking for:
Deserted beaches
Hiking
Waterfalls
Rivers
Peaceful Coves
No crowds
No Large fees for mooring or cruising unless worth it
The occasional nice small town to visit
The occasional beach bar scene if not too touristy
No restrictions on visiting islands
Night sailing OK
Dominica ticks off most of the things on your list. It's a bit of a stretch for a two week charter, though.

Closer to St Martin, Barbuda is well off the beaten track, but you won't find any waterfalls there. North and east sides of Antigua have some nice anchorages amongst the small, uninhabited islands.

Stay away from St Martin and the BVI if you don't like crowds.
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Old 22-05-2012, 04:58   #5
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Re: Leeward Islands

Thanks
How about Nevis, St. Barts, St. Kits, etc.
Here is what sunsail guys suggested.
I was thinking of avoiding Anguilla because of the high fees, do you think it is worth paying 100 bucks a day to cruise there?
I
TINERARY 1

26/05: Oyster Pond
27/05: Briefings/Oyster Pond (Clearance out) to Ile Fourche (8NM): Nice desert island, nice snorkeling.
28/05: Ile Fourche to Nevis (55NM): Charleston
29/05: Charleston (Clearance in)to Penny's Beach (20 Minutes): nice restaurants to Tamarind Bay: you can do horse, bike riding.
30/05: Tamarind Bay to Shitten Bay: nice snorkeling to St Kitt's (3NM) : Whitehouse Bay
31/05: Whitehouse Bay to Basseterre (4NM) (Clearance out): Tour to go to Brimstone Hill, train ride to visit the cane plantation.
01/06: Basseterre to Statia (20NM): Orenjstad: you can go hiking.
02/06: Statia to St Barth (25NM): Gustavia (Clearance in and out): you can do a taxi tour
03/06: Gustavia TO Anse Colombier (20 Minutes): nice snorkeling
04/06: Anse Colombier to Tintamarre(13NM: snorkeling) to Grand Case (6NM): nice restaurants.
05/06: Grand Case to Friar's Bay (1.5NM: Snorkeling and good restaurants) to Anguilla (13NM): Road Bay (Clearance in and out): Restaurants
06/06: Road Bay to Prickly Pear (6NM: snorkeling) to Sandy Island (5NM : Snorkeling) to Crocus Bay (3NM): Restaurant
07/06: Crocus Bay to Little Bay (1NM : Snorkeling) to Scrub island (7NM) to Pinel (11NM: Snorkeling)
08/06: Pinel to Orient bay (1NM: Water sports)
09/06: Orient Bay to Oyster Pond (3NM)

ITINERARY 2

26/05: Oyster Pond
27/05: Briefings/Oyster Pond to Ile Fourche (8NM) Night sailing to Antigua (80NM)
28/05: Antigua: English Harbour (clearance in): Tour in English harbour
29/05: English Harbour to Indian Creek (2NM): Nice little Cove to Mora Mora Bay (1NM)
30/05: Mora Mora Bay to Barbuda (32NM): Coco bay (very good snorkeling)
31/05: Barbuda to Codrington (Clearance out): visit the lagoon (bird nest)
01/06: Barbuda to Nevis (52NM): Charleston
02/06: Charleston (Clearance in): Penny's Beach (20min) to Tamarind Bay
03/06: Tamarind Bay to St Kitt's: Shitten Bay (3NM) to Whitehouse Bay(1NM)
04/06: Whitehouse Bay to Basseterre (4NM) (Clearance out)
05/06: Basseterre to Statia (20NM): Orenjstad (Clearance in): Scuba diving or hiking
06/06: Orenjstad to St Barth (25NM): Gustavia(Clearance in and out)
07/06: Gustavia to Anse Colombier (20min: Nice snorkeling) to Tintamarre (13NM: Nice beach)
08/06: Tintamarre to Pinel (2NM)
09/06: Pinel to Oyster Pond (6NM)
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Old 22-05-2012, 05:00   #6
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Re: Leeward Islands

Thanks again for responding. I also was wondering how the weather was this time of year our charter is May 26 - June 9. How are the wind and waves.
Oh I forgot to mention, we are looking for snorkeling. I was going to possible do some fishing, is that worth it and are licenses complicated?
And are supplies, food water easy to find?
Thanks again.
I am on the Chesapeake, I have3 a C and C 30 Mk II
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Old 22-05-2012, 06:10   #7
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Re: Leeward Islands

Anguilla is one of the three West Indies islands we didn't sail to, so I can't advise you there. Personally, I'd prefer the second itinerary. You could substitute Saba for Stacia if you wanted to. Get a copy of Chris Doyle's guide to the Leewards--it'll give you a lot of info to help you decide what you want to do.

The weather in late May is turning a bit rainier, and the first tropical waves from Africa have just showed up this week, so more of a chance of showers during the day rather than just at night. The Tradewinds have been nice recently, but can become lighter as the tropical waves come through. The squally weather usually comes later on.

If you want to fish, get a yoyo, 80# mono, a pair of gloves, and a couple of cedar plugs. You might catch some mahi between the islands. No permit required unless you are in the BVI.

Provisioning--there's a nice grocery store in Jolly Harbour, Antigua. You can clear in at the office in the Harbour. Make sure no one but the captain goes ashore before you're properly cleared in or they may fine you. After Antigua, Nevis is probably the easiest place to re-provision until you get back to St Maarten. A couple of groceries in Charlestown, but the best are Rams and ValuMart. Take one of the buses from the second square you'll pass on the way to the Police station to clear immigration.

For decent snorkeling try Creole Rock at Grand Case on St Martin, Ile Fourche, southern Barbuda, Shitten Bay on St Kitts and the point north of Ladder Bay on Saba. Wherever you are, the rocky points are usually the best spots.

Where do you sail on the Chesapeake? We used to live on Tabbs Creek, just north of Windmill Point in Virginia.
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Old 22-05-2012, 06:14   #8
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Re: Leeward Islands

I live in Baltimore and sail and race all over the Chesapeake. We just raced the Gibson Island race last weekend. How long have you lived in the Leeward Islands?
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Old 22-05-2012, 06:18   #9
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Re: Leeward Islands

I'm sitting in my condo at the entrance to Oyster Pond. At this moment the entrance is farely rough with breaking waves over the reef (go to IPHILLIP2 on weather underground to see my webcam and weather site -http://www.wunderground.com/weatherstation/WXDailyHistory.asp?ID=IPHILLIP2 . Seas are about 6-7 feet and the wind is 14 kts. These conditions are usual cor this time of year. If you want to provision yourself, take a taxi to Grande Marche - a US style grocery that sells everything including booze. Nevis is about as far as you can expect to go. You can rent fishing gear on the dock at Captain Oliver's; I don't think you need a license. There is no fishing allowed in the French marine preseves. PM me for additional questions.
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Old 22-05-2012, 06:21   #10
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Re: Leeward Islands

Been here six years, after cruising here for two.

BTW, if you do come this way and want to do a land tour on St Kitts, the fort at Brimstone Hill is well worth seeing. Skip the train ride and visit Romney Manor instead--pretty gardens and a batik factory that does demonstrations.
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Old 14-07-2012, 16:23   #11
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Merrit: Later this month we are heading to St Martin to sail a week there and then head to the BVI's for a week (weather permitting). I would be interested in hearing how your itinerary worked out.
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Old 14-07-2012, 17:01   #12
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We have found that tastes vary hugely from sailor to sailor. On some of the islands we met cruisers who have been there for 5 odd years and wanting to show us around. From my own research, we visited different places there and really loved one or two of the bays. When we asked these cruisers their thoughts on these bays it turned out they had never visited them. Eventually we saw them cruise up into one of the bays and then were there many times after and simply loved it. Sadly, we have found so many cruisers base their experience mostly on the beach side pubs and restaurants.. We like variety.
By far, we are enjoying the BVI and should have got up here earlier ... One has so many islands to sail to and the experience is incredibly friendly and beautiful, the sailing, snorkeling and diving is awesome ... We have written a bit about our experiences up through the Caribbean and now in the BVI on our blog, but then again, you need to decide what would best fit your expectations of the trip
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Old 14-07-2012, 19:48   #13
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Re: Leeward Islands

It is a myth that Anguilla is expensive. We went there twice and if you leave your boat in Road Bay it is free. Only if you get a cruising permit to go to the ONE other bay they let you overnight in does it cost money. You can also anchor at some of the small islands but since there is no overnighting there you might as well hire a local to take you out (esp. if you like to dive)

We loved Anguilla. In fact, it had one of the cleanest and most spectacularly blue beaches we saw anywhere between the BVI's and the Grenadines. Also some really great restaurants (not cheap though). We left the boat in Road Bay and rented a car and cruised around. The rental car was cheap and I got used to driving on the left after a while ..... The nice lady in the convenience store across from Customs arranged the car - they picked up and dropped off at the anchorage.

Anguilla is definitely something of a backwater. But if that is what you like, then go for it.
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Old 14-07-2012, 19:52   #14
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Re: Leeward Islands

another thought. Anse Colombier on St. Bart was a great place to stop and snorkel on the way to Statia and St. Kitts. An easy sail from St. Martin - We actually never checked in to St. Barts (at least on that visit) and just anchored there, snorkelled a bit, and headed out in the morning. The French are pretty relaxed about things like that. The bay is a protected area and very nice.
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Old 14-07-2012, 20:01   #15
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Re: Leeward Islands

Personally, we liked the French islands in the Caribbean ... no boat boys bumping up against your boat ... Iles Des Saintes was great and the clearing in and out costs nothing (in all the French Islands as far as I recall), is easily done on-line. Diving at Pidgeon Island (Guadeloupe) was a high light. Careful to find out ahead of time what ports attract additional fees which can come as a surprise when clearing out eg. Antigua ... BVI still AMAZING ... dived at The Indians today ... again !!!
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