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Old 01-11-2013, 12:00   #16
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Re: Rookie bare boater looking for advice

The main difference between BVI and St.Lucia/St.Vincent other than the more robust sailing is support. In BVI support is always close by and most companies have chase boats. Not so with the others.
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Old 01-11-2013, 13:01   #17
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Re: Rookie bare boater looking for advice

if you like french islands, consider chartering out of st. martin and sailing st. martin and st. barts. want a touch of british throw in anguilla.
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Old 01-11-2013, 13:05   #18
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Re: Rookie bare boater looking for advice

Aqua had a good suggestion in the Spanish VIs. Some open water sailing (if leaving out of USVI), not too far, and a great area to explore and spend time in.
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Old 04-11-2013, 21:04   #19
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Re: Rookie bare boater looking for advice

Well, I have been doing some research, reading the Chris Doyle book on the Windwards, surfing web sites and sharing the info with my crew. The advice you folks have provided has been great.

It seems that the summer months , when we will be going, are calmer in the WW islands, but one couple leans to the BVI while the other wants to go somewhere new. I think the rough water and long days of sailing is the main concern. I came up with the idea of chartering out of St. Vincent, which is close to the Grenadines, so less open water sailing if we stayed in them.

However, the Sunsail website lists various locales and rates the difficulty of each. They rate Grenada but not StV, and rate it "Expert sailor" (vs. "Novice/Beginner" for BVI ). Can any one shed light on this? It seems like the whole area between StV and Grenada is dotted with islands. Why do they rate it as difficult? Looking for insight on this.

BTW, I am no expert, but not a novice either. I reckon if they say Novice, that means my crew won't have long sails or rough seas. They also rate Abacos, Bahamas as novice. Any comments on that area are also welcome.

Thank you,

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Old 04-11-2013, 21:07   #20
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Re: Rookie bare boater looking for advice

Oh, and what, or where, are the Spanish Virgin Islands? I want to explore that idea.
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Old 04-11-2013, 22:00   #21
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You know, maybe it has less to do with the wind and waves and more to do with sailing to the different islands. You can have wind and weather everywhere, even the BVI. But go down windward island hopping, and it's check into this island, check outta that island, raise that quarantine flag, raise that countries courtesy flag. Seems that almost every island is a different country... Maybe that's not for the novice. I'd like to say we sailed from Grenada to St. Lucia, but truth is we motored an awful lot.. And not because we were going straight up wind either... It was because the wind was dead!
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:15   #22
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Oh, and what, or where, are the Spanish Virgin Islands? I want to explore that idea.
The main islands are Culebra and Vieques which are located generally between St Thomas and Puerto Rico. Sail Caribe Charters out of Fajardo,PR and CYOA Charters out of St Thomas are the nearest charter operators to the SVI. There are many anchorages, islands and beaches to explore. It is the "anti" BVI, very little development or amenities targeting charter boats. Secluded beaches and quiet bays are the norm.
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:04   #23
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Re: Rookie bare boater looking for advice

OK thanks, I will look into that.
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Old 20-07-2014, 10:08   #24
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Re: Rookie bare boater looking for advice

Post-trip Report:

We sailed for 10 days out of Fajardo, Puerto Rico ,to Culebra, St. Thomas, Vieques, etc. and had a great trip. Thanks for all the great advice!

We went with Sail Caribe charters and they were great. We took a Lagoon 40, which handled nicely. Visited our friends in St.Thomas, and kidnapped one as our fishing guide. We caught black fin tuna, king mackerel, barracuda, and Bonita while sailing and/or motoring. We got to see the bioluminescence really well. Plenty of good anchorages, mooring balls were plentiful and free, and there were almost no crowded areas.

It was a good choice for our crew, as even the longer sail to St.Thomas from Culebrita seemed long to a couple of the ladies, who did not apply their patch until already feeling a bit sick. Seas were as high as maybe 5-6' a few times. I think the Windwards would have been not very enjoyable for them, based on what some said involved longer sailing distances.

We are already plotting our next trip, but it will take a couple years to save up for it.

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Old 20-07-2014, 19:29   #25
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Rookie bare boater looking for advice

Your photo looks like it was taken above Hull Bay on St Thomas.

Glad you had fun on your trip.

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Old 21-07-2014, 16:28   #26
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Re: Rookie bare boater looking for advice

Wow, good eye Rubikoop, you are exactly right!

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Old 21-07-2014, 20:15   #27
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Re: Rookie bare boater looking for advice

I'm sure the area around your home is familiar to you too.


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Old 13-08-2014, 07:18   #28
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Re: Rookie bare boater looking for advice

Headed to St. Lucia at Christmas on a monohull. Just wondering if you decided on St Lucia over the BVI and if so, how was the sailing?
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Old 13-08-2014, 07:59   #29
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Re: Rookie bare boater looking for advice

No we went to Puerto Rico, the Spanish Virgins and St. Thomas. See post number 24. And please post about your trip when you come back. Have a great trip


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Old 13-08-2014, 08:13   #30
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Re: Rookie bare boater looking for advice

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Hewson.
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