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Old 08-02-2012, 19:23   #16
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pirate Re: Short Trip to the Caribbean: Where to Avoid and Where Not to Miss ?

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Originally Posted by yeloya View Post
I had started this thread in August 2011while I was in the planning stage. Now that I am half way in the Caribbean I just want to share with you what I've experienced, what was up to the expectations, what wasn't. Those who had contributed can also fresh their knowledge:
-as expected the med in late November-Mid december wasn't very nice. The worst was the passage between Pilos Greece to Catania Sicilly.
-Gibraltar straight supposed to be very challenging was extremely bening to us And all the way to Lanzarote I had to motor: zero wind for 5 days, incredible..

-We left Las Palmas in Jan 6 th and touched the land in Rodnay bay, St Lucia in 17 days. The weather was very nice with the exception of two-three days in midway that we had very light winds..
-Rodnay bay was extremely easy for checking in and out, no problem at all.
-We did Marigot bay (exceptional spot..) , Wallilobou (stVinc) , Blue Lagoon in the southern tip of St Lucia where there is also a marina run by Sunsail, Bequia where we easily checked in and stayed one night, Tobogo cay which was the best that we have so far seen. Unfortunately strong current and wind forced us to move the next day. Mustique was not worth the upwind sail we did. On the way back, Wallilobou again to clear out from St Vinc. Marigot again, then sailed to Fort de France. We stayed one night on the mooring balls of the Nautical Club on the south east of the bay, then moved to the marina in Anse Mitan. Best ever check in and out on the computer, spend 3 days and sailed to St Pierre where we are now.
St Lucia-St Vinc-Bequia-Mustique and Tobago, general thoughts: extremely expensive, even more than Martinique.. Mustique can easily be avoided, you pay 50-60 US for a mooring ball in a very rolly bay, unfriendly port officier.. Nothing worth seeing. Bequia is so so. Wallalobou is an interesting place and worth a visit. I avoided some risky spots like Chateaublaire, Pitons, etc and did not feel unsafe anywhereelse The local vendors of every kind can be embarrassing sometimes, but they usually leaves after couple of "no, thx". The only exceptions was the Pitons where they started chasing us 2 nm out of the bay and never let us stay , so we moved to Marigot.
Martinique was a big disappointment for us, not because of language (I speak french very good) but the arrogant people, too much french nature of the island in overall, poor marina conditions in Anse Mitan, etc. Everyone taste is different but frankly I found other islands much more attractive and friendly..
Now I am looking forward seeing the leeward islands that you all suggested. Timewise, I did quite well so far; I don't like to hang on for days on the same spot.
By the way 2 days out of three, we had a rain..Is this usual or just my bad luck ??
Cheers
Yeloya
Sounds like your having a ball mate... Excellent..
The rain is pretty usual... an hour or two a day... keeps the dust down for the tourists....
Keep it going...
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Old 08-02-2012, 19:51   #17
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Re: Short Trip to the Caribbean: Where to Avoid and Where Not to Miss ?

Do not miss:

Antigua - English Harbor
Guadeloupe - Deshaies
Guadeloupe - Iles Des Saints
St Barts
St Lucia - Marigot Bay
Martinque
Bequia
Grenada

Anchor out... marinas suck
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Old 08-02-2012, 19:51   #18
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Re: Short Trip to the Caribbean: Where to Avoid and Where Not to Miss ?

Yeloya, you are really cooking along through the islands. If you don't like the Caribbean French attitudes, wait until you get to St. Barth's. They will set a whole new standard for you to compare against.

I'll be in St. Maarten from February 19th to the 26th. Stop in and see me if you are in the area. I'll be in Simpson Bay Lagoon at Island Water World getting my motors replaced. We are also leaving from St. Maarten around April 28th for the Azores. I think you are heading to the Bahamas but maybe we will cross paths.

Look for Zanshin or Mark in the area also. I have run into both of them in the past.

Good Sailing,
David
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Old 08-02-2012, 20:17   #19
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Re: Short Trip to the Caribbean: Where to Avoid and Where Not to Miss ?

Hi David,

I t have changed the plans and won'be going to BAhamas. For sure I will come to St MArtin but I am not sure when. I will let you know anyway. For the passage I will leave most likely before the end of April if I get a good weather window.

Cheers

Yeloya
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Old 28-02-2012, 13:50   #20
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Re: Short Trip to the Caribbean: Where to Avoid and Where Not to Miss ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by defjef View Post
Do not miss:

Antigua - English Harbor
Guadeloupe - Deshaies
Guadeloupe - Iles Des Saints
St Barts
St Lucia - Marigot Bay
Martinque
Bequia
Grenada

Anchor out... marinas suck
Hi Defjef,

We didn't miss anything in yr list. (St Barts to come yet..)
Actually, we spent much longer time in Guadaloupe and we liked it very much. St François for instance should have been on yr list Marie Galante wasn't bad either..
Marinas sucks, true, but the one in St François was the best we have seen so far, the one in Anse Mitan in Martinique being the worst by far. (overall quality in general but the attitude of the management in particular..)
We are now in Antigua; did already english harbour and Jolly harbour. We are heading for St John then to Barbuda. We are coming to the end of the road but I still have to hang around for a while for a safe passage .
Given my pace, how long would it take to visit St Martins, St Barths and the BVI ??
To my surprise didn't have any problem at all anywhere with clearing in and out. We were maybe too fast, I realised that I didn't clear in Dominica when we were already in next island, Martinique..
Cheers

Yeloya
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Old 28-02-2012, 15:49   #21
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Re: Short Trip to the Caribbean: Where to Avoid and Where Not to Miss ?

Hi yeloya!

We spent a lot of time on St Martin - good provisioning, lots of things to explore, especially on French side. For snorkeling, don't miss Creole Rock to the north of Grand Case bay on French side. Variety and quantity of marine life is staggering there and there are free moorings. If you come in the afternoon, you most likely will be able to stay on the mooring for free for the night and the next morning (nobody bothered us as well as some other boats).

Don't miss Anse Colombier in St. Barth's - gorgeous anchorage, hike to the top of the mountain, and at anchor you'll be surrounded by turtles! At any point we saw at least 5 swimming around.

If you decide to anchor in St Barth's, do so as far away from the channel as is comfortable. Some bigger yachts have a tendency to stray away from the channel there. Also, holding is POOR there - take your time to find a spot.

We reached BVIs last in our Caribbean expedition - and found that for us BVIs embodied everything we had been striving to find for the previous 2.5 years while cruising. I'd allocate at least 10 days to leisurely explore it. [Warning: beware of first-time charterers anchoring into your boat, especially at Soggy Dollar bar.]

P.S. It's still around 0 during the night here, there was ICE on fresh water puddles Marmaris Yat Marin, Mugla fields are still (! - for the third month) under water from all the rain. Don't be in a rush to get back
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Old 28-02-2012, 16:56   #22
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Re: Short Trip to the Caribbean: Where to Avoid and Where Not to Miss ?

If you're still planning on visiting Bermuda en route, let me know in advance. I live here and will happily arrange a berth for you, guide you as to customs entry and places to go...and all I will charge you is a single beer! Bermuda is very affluent and there are no 'no-go' areas. There are marinas but they are fairly expensive to stay. There are also other cheaper or free walk-on type berths depending on how long you intend to stay for. David.
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Old 28-02-2012, 17:24   #23
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Re: Short Trip to the Caribbean: Where to Avoid and Where Not to Miss ?

Hi David,

Unfortunately Bermuda will have to be skipped as they insist on having british visa and mine has expired. I also have internationally valid seamanship passeport that doesn't require visa (normally) but seems that Bermuda (like Gibraltar) ignores them as well..
Thx anyway for the kind offer and if you happen to come to Marmaris some time, I will not only arrange for you a cheap berth (if not free) but still pay you a beer on top..
Cheers
Yeloya
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