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Old 21-04-2007, 18:37   #1
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Post St. Lucia ? St. Vincent ? Grenada ?

Hi all, long time lurker, first time poster.

My wife and i are itching to make a charter in these waters, around the 5/6th of June for a week or so. So, we're running short on time to decide.

The cheapest place to charter we've found is dsl-yachting.com (destination st lucia charters) they've been in business since 1991, anyone have any experience with them?

We're also considering chartering with moorings out of st vincent? We are totally unfamiliar with the waters/weather/islands in this part of the world and need help with sailing itineraries, anchorages, etc... like most on this site i think, we like a good mix of privacy and good meals/bars.

My wife and i both sail, but she will be about 6 months pregnant during this trip, so i will be doing most of the handling myself, and obviously concerned about crime/safety in the area.

Also, recommendations for provisioning on those islands, taxes, entry/exit fees, fuel costs etc...

Sorry such a long post, if this info is available online, i apologize for wasting space, please link me.

TIA - Dane
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Old 21-04-2007, 18:56   #2
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The cheapest place to charter we've found is dsl-yachting.com (destination st lucia charters) they've been in business since 1991, anyone have any experience with them?

I've never chartered from them but I know of them. I go to St Lucia 2 weeks for the past 8 years. It's a nice place to go My wife and I both love it and always find new thing to do and we do day charters there. This is some of the best sailing you can get.

The St Vincent Morrings used to be in Marigot Bay St Lucia, but they sold the land and marina for really big $$$ and moved the operation to St Vincent where they cut the pay for employees in half. It's business! It's the reason they didn't film "Pirates of the Caribbean" in St Lucia too. Charters in St Lucia tend to cost more than St Vincent or Martinique mostly from the tax point of view. It's still a great place to go to and if you went there you would like it.

In general, I can't think of a better part of the world to to sail for a week unless you could also consider 2 weeks. St Lucia has a very nice west coast with breath taking scenery but the better choice would the Grenadines. Not very populated and not a lot of boats there but plenty of nice islands and great places to see. Crime in the entire area you mention is as low as it gets for the Caribbean. Mostly it's just petty theft kind of things that you would find here in the US and maybe actually less. No place is perfect and you don't need to be walking around flashing big wads of cash or doing things that are just plain stupid. Being nice still counts more than anything else and you'll find folks in this part of the world tend towards being nicer than the people you see here in the US. Poor or rich people are just plain nice, but not everyone is always that way. People do know each other more than you are used to so burning bridges is a bad habit and a local reference can get you more help than anything else. Treat people nice and enjoy hospitality when offered is never a bad way to live any place you go.

If you like sailing this is a great choice no matter what you choose you'll be in heaven. Do consider 2 weeks. It takes a long time to get there.
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Old 21-04-2007, 20:07   #3
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St. Lucia is a beautiful island to tour and enjoy but the sailing is limited in sailing fun itself. Martinique however is close by and offers a nice mix of French and fun.
There has been a recent spate of violence (rape/robbery) on St. Vincent proper so I would not encourage a visit there right now...however the Grenadines are safe and wonderful to sail and play in..best water and reefs south of the Bahamas ...+ you can do Bequia and Cariacou.
Grenada offers little of interest for a 1 week charter IMHO.
Excellent provisioning is available in St. Lucia and Martinique and Grenada.
More modest provisioning is available in the Grenadines and you might be better letting the charter company do it. Grenada also has excellent provisioning.
I second the recommendation for 2 weeks if you can swing it!
Check noonsite.com for entry and customs on all these islands...but it is modest.
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Old 21-04-2007, 22:59   #4
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I think you should look for a drop off charter... pick up the boat on one Island and leave it at another. How about start in Guadaloupe. Point a Pitre has many charter operations... and hope down to Martinique. It's a lovely reach and you can anchor and do a one day sniff of each island... Ile Des Saites, Dominica, St Lucia St Vincent and Martinique. I think you might find French charter operators who can accomodate such a plan.

And other one would be from St Maarten down Island to Gudaloupe.. doing St Barth, Saba, St Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Monserat, and Guadloupe.. or the reverse... and easier sail.
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Old 22-04-2007, 03:10   #5
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Originally Posted by Pblais
The St Vincent Morrings used to be in Marigot Bay St Lucia, but they sold the land and marina for really big $$$ and moved the operation to St Vincent where they cut the pay for employees in half. It's business!
In general, I can't think of a better part of the world to to sail for a week unless you could also consider 2 weeks. St Lucia has a very nice west coast with breath taking scenery but the better choice would the Grenadines.
Paul, your info source is somewhat misinformed The Moorings still have their base in Marigot Bay, St. Lucia. They also have a base in Canouan - in the middle of the Grenadines, and not in St. Vincent.

You are right that the Grenadines is a better choice than St. Lucia. For a weeks sail you could sail to Bequia, Mustique, Mayreau, the Tobago Cays, visit Clifton on Union Island and spend a night at the anchorage between Petit St. Vincent and Petite Martinique.

In the Grenadines, one can charter with the Moorings out of Canouan; Barefoot, Horizon, Footloose, TMM and a load more out of Young Island, St. Vincent. The Moorings base is ideally situated for the Grenadines however.

To get to St. Vincent, you can fly to e.g. Barbados and take Liat Airways to St. Vincent. To get to Canouan, fly to Barbados and take Grenadine Airways or Mustique Airways direct to Canouan; you can also fly from San Juan, Puerto Rico with American Eagle. You could also get to St. Vincent by hopping from St.Lucia.
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Old 22-04-2007, 07:10   #6
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Paul, your info source is somewhat misinformed The Moorings still have their base in Marigot Bay, St. Lucia.
They still dock a some boats there but the condos that were built behind them now own the whole marina. I know a captain that used to work for Moorings (he lives in Marigot) but they don't have much left there and it won't be long before they are totally out of Marigot. The base in Canouan as you note has taken over more and more of what use to be in St Lucia.

You can also fly to St Vincent through the St Lucia Airport in View Fort. There is a nonstop from Philadelphia, Charlotte, and Atlanta. There wasa time when Barbadoes was a cheaper plane ticket so I'm not sure now that it is.
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Old 22-04-2007, 11:08   #7
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i too, was thinking canoan charter would be perfect for you. the only thing i'm wondering about is dinghy landings with your expecting wife. most of the islands don't have docks, only beaches to land the dinghy, so it can at times be a bit strenous; though not too much of an issue as there are expectant mothers and even mothers with little newborns in papooses rowing in to shore. if they do a one way to grenada, this would open fantastic worlds for you to explore.
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Old 22-04-2007, 18:16   #8
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thanks for all the replies, i think we're going to go with TMM charters on st vincent, they are offering 10 days for the price of 7.

little boat, thanks for the concern, we're actually hoping for anchorages/moorings, i think that getting on/off of a dock would be even MORE of an acrobatic feat than trying to negotiate between the boat and a dock.

Also, thanks to all the posters who gave us itineraries, we are scouring the internet looking for info on all the places you mentioned to whittle it down to 10 days worth. (we too wish we could do 2 weeks, but our constraint isn't time, its childcare back home... already putting both sets of grandparents on childcare duty!)

Still haven't been able to find much info on provisioning out of st vincent, and we'd really rather do it ourselves the evening prior to our charter date, or even better, online a month ahead. Any suggestions?

Lastly, anyone else going to be in the area around the same time, perhaps our paths will cross and we can (excluding my wife unfortunately) share some painkillers/bushwackers?
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Old 22-04-2007, 19:22   #9
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Old 22-04-2007, 21:03   #10
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You will be better off to provision through the charter company. The nearest store is 1/2 mile away and carries very little you would need for a 10 day cruise. In St. Vincent, the choice of shopping is limited. Grocery stores a you know them don't exist.
Also, I would not want to wander around town with my pregnant wife. The crime rates in St. Vincent are higher than the surrounding islands. You will find few, if any, cruisers in St. Vincent. A friend and his wife anchored in a cove one evening. Around midnight the high power lights came on turning the peaceful cove into a major shipping port in the boondocks. They did not wait until sunrise to get underweigh. The only crop loaded aboard high speed boats in the dark of night is generally drugs. BE VERY CAREFUL on the north and west shores of the island. The roads do not penetrate the interior or the northern end of the island. A perfect scenario for illicit business.
Bequia, 10-12 miles to the south, however is where the cruisers will be found. A large harbor, well protected and friendly.
Have a safe and pleasant trip.
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Old 26-06-2007, 00:26   #11
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Actually there are three major supermarkets in Kingstown, St. Vincent. I can't remember there names but 2 are downtown near the market and the other is near the airport. There offer a 5% discount fpr provisioning when paying cash. Although not as convenient as provisioning from the Charter company, you get what you want and it certainly is much cheaper.

By the way, the market is close by, so get your fresh fruits and veggies there.
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