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Old 27-03-2012, 15:48   #1
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Southern Caribbean - Where Do You Spend Hurricane Season ?

HI! We're in Guadeloupe now and headed south for the hurricane season. We've been looking at the different options and would like the advice of anyone who has spent hurricane season in the southern Caribbean. We don't necessarily need to haul-out, but are looking for a safe place where we can either anchor or find a cheap marina and finish our varnishing and deck-caulking. What's really important to us is finding a real community of cruisers who want to hang out. We've heard that lots of people go to Grenada (is it safe from hurricanes?), Trinidad (how is the security these days? We lived in DC so we have a fairly high tolerance...), and the ABCs. We've heard that Venezuela is pretty much off limits these days because of security issues. What's the scoop? Where have you spent the season and why? We would love as much advice as you have!
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Old 30-03-2012, 11:38   #2
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Re: Southern Caribbean: Where do you spend hurricane season ?

I've posted here on CF more than once, that Curaçao is a great hurricane safe place to be ... free anchoring on Spanish Water ... over the years I have seen too many sailors, who just stayed on Curaçao because they liked it here too much ...
it's rather quiet here now (sailing season), but after May it will be more crowded because of 'cane season (always more than enough place to anchor) ...
I'm sure somebody else will chime in too (svJedi I think hahah) ...
if you search "spanish water" here on CF you'll find more info ...
Google and Google earth too ...

good luck and who knows if/when we might meet ...
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Old 31-03-2012, 11:58   #3
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Re: Southern Caribbean: Where do you spend hurricane season ?

Thanks, Anya! Appreciate the advice! Perhaps we'll meet!
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Old 31-03-2012, 12:14   #4
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Re: Southern Caribbean: Where do you spend hurricane season ?

Cartagena in Colombia is a great city and has a wonderful cruising group, and then the San Blas Islands of Panama are only an overnight sail away. Lots of cruisers get hauled and/or work done in Cartagena as they have some cheap boatyards and inexpensive labor, though the boatyards themselves are generally not pleasant places to hang out for long. You can generally find most supplies in Cartagena, though sometimes it takes some hunting around. Panama is better for purchasing U.S.-made equipment and supplies, but the boatyards are fewer and more expensive, though not outrageous. There are no boatyards or repair facilities in the San Blas.
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Old 31-03-2012, 12:40   #5
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Re: Southern Caribbean: Where do you spend hurricane season ?

Our friends love Cartegena so much they stayed a year or so. Of course it's not just around the corner if you are in Guadeloupe, and a bash getting back. Not sure on Trini security, but I liked my time there... a lot of cultural things going on. Wish I was going to the boatyard for lunch for the hand made Roti's right now!
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Old 31-03-2012, 12:49   #6
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Re: Southern Caribbean: Where do you spend hurricane season ?

Great Rotis and other street food in Cartagena too! Lots of museums, outdoor concerts, parades, festivals, fireworks, celebrations, etc. It's a fun place.
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Old 31-03-2012, 12:59   #7
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Re: Southern Caribbean: Where do you spend hurricane season ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by beachgirl1952 View Post
I've posted here on CF more than once, that Curaçao is a great hurricane safe place to be ... free anchoring on Spanish Water ... over the years I have seen too many sailors, who just stayed on Curaçao because they liked it here too much ...
it's rather quiet here now (sailing season), but after May it will be more crowded because of 'cane season (always more than enough place to anchor) ...
I'm sure somebody else will chime in too (svJedi I think hahah) ...
if you search "spanish water" here on CF you'll find more info ...
Google and Google earth too ...

good luck and who knows if/when we might meet ...
I can not recommend Curacao enough. It is a great place but do stop in Bonaire on the way west. As beachgirl said Spanish Waters is free but if you need something more serious done Curacao Marine in Willemstad is also terrific. You can anchor out if you wish, get a slip or get up on the hard for a longer stay.

Our boat also spent three years in Cumana, Venezuela before we bought it. It is relatively dry there and safe for your boat too. However it is best if you are not American. I met Europeans there who absolutely loved it but it took me (as an American) almost a month to get my boat out of there. If you want to know more PM me and we can discuss offline.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:14   #8
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Re: Southern Caribbean - Where Do You Spend Hurricane Season ?

I would not recommend Curacao Marine in any way. My experience, and that of many others, has been disastrous. Curacao Marine destepped our mast without our knowledge, and in the process damaged it, which they denied all knowledge of. I found Curacao Marine to be without integrity, and makeshift in all their work. I tried to get resolution over the 90 days my visa allowed. In the end Curacao Marine management became abusive and threatening. It is a shame really as there is a great woodwork and engine repair shop in their yard.
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Old 22-05-2012, 12:47   #9
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Re: Southern Caribbean - Where Do You Spend Hurricane Season ?

Thanks for the advice, everyone. We're headed to Grenada tomorrow then off to Curacao in late June, then probably to Cartegena after that -- so taking everyone's advice.
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