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Old 07-12-2011, 22:38   #1
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One Way Caribbean Charter

Any input on a one way Sunsail charter from Antigua to St Vincent next month? I realize this may be an ambitious schedule for 2 weeks & we'll miss some things, but we're a sailing family!

My biggest concern is clearing through all these countries & 2nd....not speaking French!!

Any must do's?....we also dive & am interested in some rendevous...maybe such as Pidgeon Island in Guadeloupe & perhaps another in Dominica.

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Old 14-12-2011, 11:36   #2
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Hi CaptJohn, in my opinion, if you are sailors, I think you could easily cover that distance in two weeks. I have sailed from Antigua to St Maarten in one over-night and I know it is no farther than that to get to the BVI. You could island hop your way over most days and stop for a couple days at your favorite places. It would be a lot of sailing and not a lot of exploring on land but it sounds like that is the way you like it. It will be basically downwind the whole way so you can head in the right direction whenever you feel like it. I'm sure you are aware that one-way sails usually come with a hefty drop-off fee at the end. When I looked into one-way, Antigua to St Maarten, the drop fee was $1500. If that is not a problem then I think you'll have a great trip. Let us know how things turn out.

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Old 14-12-2011, 11:40   #3
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Re: One Way Caribbean Charter

Oops! I just realized you are not going to the BVI. Well, if you want to change your final destination you are now well informed.
Also, countries around there, most people speak the international language of English!
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Old 14-12-2011, 12:25   #4
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Re: One Way Caribbean Charter

Clearing in and clearing out definitely takes some time--more time on some islands than on others, so you need to factor that into your schedule, along with the fact that the C&I offices have opening hours. Plus you'll need to find an ATM to get a little local currency. Chris Doyle's sailing guides have all the necessary info, and Noonsite: The global site for cruising sailors is helpful, as well.

All islands, as far as I recall, will let you clear in and out at the same time, but some will insist that you then depart within 24 hours. Dominica will let you stay up to two weeks, I believe. We've found the French islands to be very informal about clearance, letting us clear out and then spend a couple more days in anchorages on the way to our next destination. Lack of French shouldn't be a problem, although it helps to have a little ability to communicate in French in Guadeloupe, where many don't speak any English.

Don't skip Dominica. Hire one of the Indian River guides ("Providence"- Martin Carrierre, is my favorite) to take you hiking in the rain forest and on a mini-bus tour across to the Atlantic side. It's a beautiful, unspoiled island. Some may disagree, but I would advise you to be very cautious about anchorages on the western side of St Vincent. Chateaubelair in particular has had a number of instances of violent crime against cruisers. We always made the all day run from Soufriere, St Lucia to Bequia, and then cruised the Grenadines.

Hope you have a great vacation!
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