Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 11-12-2015, 10:31   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 4
St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

Hi,

I am a newbie to this site so forgive me if I am in the wrong section etc. ... I can use some help.

2 mates and I are planning to spend two weeks in April (1-15, 2016) sailing the northern Leewards.

We pick up and return the boat (Moorings) in St. Maarten.

Can you suggest the "easiest" route (i.e.: clockwise or counter clockwise); the stops in between and the sights and prospective anchorages along the way?

Although we are an experienced crew, our longest sail (in rough water) has been St. Lucia to Bequia. I'm getting a bit nervous that hitting Antigua might be too ambitious?

Many thanks

Jackfish
__________________

__________________
jackfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 11:29   #2
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,929
Images: 49
Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

I don't think you have any choice but to go anti-clockwise if you want to visit Antigua. The winds in April vary from E to SSE, so it's a beat the whole way against wind, waves and current. It would take pretty much a full day/night to get there.

If you go anti-clockwise, the beating is SXM to St Barths (short hop), then Nevis to Antigua (9-10 hours to Jolly Harbour). The passages between Saba, Stacia St Kits and Nevis are short open-water legs with motor-sailing in the lee of the islands.

Here's a suggested itinerary:

Ile Forchue - lunch stop, snorkeling, hiking
St Barths - French, restaurants, shopping for the ladies. Bring a fat wallet
Saba - rolly moorings; snorkeling and hiking are good there
Stacia - rolly anchorage; hiking, site seeing
St Kitts - Brimstone Hill is the best preserved fort in the Caribbean
Nevis - Sunshine's beach bar, some very good restaurants, hiking
Antiqua - motor-sail upwind for 10 hours, lots to do there
Barbuda - solitude, turquoise water and an 11 mile long white sand beach

if you leave Barbuda very early in the morning, you can make it to Phillipsburg, St Maarten before dark. Or, you could stop at St Barths.

Leave some time to enjoy St Martin/Maarten. Grand Case for the restaurants, snorkeling at Roche Creole, Tintamarre.

Check out Chris Doyle's Cruising Guide for the Leeward Islands for a lot of very good information on each island.

Here's what the winds look like at SXM for April...
.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	SXM Wind Stats for April.JPG
Views:	163
Size:	40.4 KB
ID:	114788  
__________________

__________________
Hud
Hud3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 13:50   #3
Registered User
 
Highland Fling's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sunny Scotland but sail in the Caribbean
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 461
Posts: 374
Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

Out of Oyster Pond to St Barthelemy then St Kitts and Nevis then Montserrat then Guadeloupe then Antigua then Barbuda then St Barthelemy and back to Sint Maarten/St Martin and finally Oyster Pond
__________________
Now with 600AH of LIFEPO4
kindest regards
David
Highland Fling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 15:36   #4
Registered User
 
Zanshin's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Caribbean
Boat: Jeanneau 57
Posts: 1,621
Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

I second Highland Fling's recommended passage planning - without going into detail it is the best sailing option for you. I've done that exact itinerary before and I'm sure you'll have a grand time.
__________________
-Zanshin (SV Zanshin)
Zanshin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2015, 11:08   #5
Registered User
 
Dr. Sea's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Annapolis/ BVI
Boat: Oyster 55
Posts: 194
Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

Quote:
Originally Posted by Highland Fling View Post
Out of Oyster Pond to St Barthelemy then St Kitts and Nevis then Montserrat then Guadeloupe then Antigua then Barbuda then St Barthelemy and back to Sint Maarten/St Martin and finally Oyster Pond
This is a good route but it might be hard to include Guadeloupe in a 2-week circuit. If so, Deshaies on the northwest corner of Guadeloupe is the only spot you need to stop. Stay out of Point-a-Pitre; it's a long way around to the center of the "butterfly" an the marina is dangerous. Our boat was broken into and robbed during the brief time we were off the boat.

Montserrat can be a problem if the volcano is spouting soot. The only anchorage is on the northwest corner of the island and if the wind is blowing the normal east-to-west, your boat can get covered with volcanic soot. And there is nothing to see on the island anyway.

A route directly from Nevis to Jolly Harbor, Antigua would avoid some problems but would most likely require a good bit of motor sailing, a small price to pay for avoiding problems and getting to spend more time on the islands you are sailing to.

If you stop in Saba, it is definitely worth going ashore and taking a short tour of this charming island. Saba also has great scuba diving sites.

There isn't much that is noteworthy in St. Eustatia, but if you enjoy hiking, it is a fairly easy hike up the side of the volcano, over the ridge, and then down into the crater of this extinct volcano. You will feel like you are in Jurassic Park with enormous trees and foliage.

The fort at Brimstone Hill in St. Kitts is impressive and the view is spectacular.

The harbor at Gustavia, St. Barths, can be crowded but it is like a picture post card and you shouldn't miss it. The flavor of the town is special, decidedly French and pricey.
__________________
Dr. Sea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2015, 17:29   #6
Registered User
 
Highland Fling's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sunny Scotland but sail in the Caribbean
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 461
Posts: 374
Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

IF I read this correctly this is three males on a sailing holiday.......so weather permitting it is 'doable' and unlike a family sailing holiday there wont be the constant when are we going to be there questions

I am also assuming a 40ish foot boat

I would do OP to Anse du Colombier grab a bouy and yellow flag St B hoping that there was time on the way back to wander round Gustavia.

Next day sail to St K IF you want to be 'tourists' the next day take a bus to the Batik factory and Brimstone Fort. Once back on the boat move down to White House Bay and drop the hook there. OR have dinner ashore plenty of OK if not spectacular eateries that wont hurt your wallet excessively

Next day make an early start to Montserrat yellow flag Montserrat and another early start to Deshaies Guadaloupe. Visit the botanical gardens there and provision and eat out.

Dependent on the weather the Saints maybe possible BUT then with a long sail to windward of Guadaloupe over to Antigua.....OR back to Deshaies for another early start to cross over to Antigua....time left on charter and weather permitting of course.

Bite the bullet at Antigua and clear in at Nelsons Dockyard after anchoring in Falmouth harbour.

Slip up to Five Islands and anchor there before sailing to Barbuda.

Antigua and or Barbuda to St B is going to be about the same distance and sailing time really....a long day sail.

Check IN and OUT at Gustavia and wander round the town IF feeling 'rich' have dinner there..if you want to be 'sensible' just have lunch there and slip up to Anse du Colombier to be ready for the short sail back to OP

Have fun whether it is sailing or enjoying the islands.
__________________
Now with 600AH of LIFEPO4
kindest regards
David
Highland Fling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2015, 23:45   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Vancouver
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 7
Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

Agree with most of the above advice... except I'd really recommend a stop at Montserrat. Get Joe Phillip to take you on a tour of the island. Checking in and out is painless - and Joe's tour is unforgettable. Cross your fingers for no surge at Little Bay... but worth a sleepless night to see the island.

Don't worry about checking in for a quick stop at Isle Forchue without checking in. Rent a quad at St. Barts and tour the island. Check out the airport. Finding a good spot to anchor near town could be a problem. Maybe stay up north. Brimestone Hill on St. Kitts is unforgettable. Really need to stop... stay in the marina - CHEAP! - 'cause the anchorage is intolerable. Cruise ship terminal has lots of tours... make sure to barter. Use Chris Doyles guide.

Nevis... myehhhhh. Regulations are a pain.

Monsterrat to Dehais is easy and Dehais back to Jolly Harbour or Falmouth in Antigua is a nice beam reach

Barbuda has the frigate bird sanctuary and you can visit with George Jeffrey (awesome) but hope that the surge isn't too crazy in Low Bay to get ashore.

Back to St. Maartin for the best duty-free scotch prices!!!

Glen Roger
Blue Pearl
__________________
groger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-12-2015, 06:50   #8
Registered User
 
Highland Fling's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sunny Scotland but sail in the Caribbean
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 461
Posts: 374
Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

HO HUM THREE on a Quad now in ASIA FIVE on a moped is normal but in St Barthelemy I don't think that would go down well with the POLIS. Having toured by car and quad and circumnavigated St Barthelemy apart from a few ancorages and Gustavia itself there is not much to see unless you are into people watching and Christmas and the New Year are the best times to do that. The fireworks in Gustavia on New Years Eve are nice and its fun too see the hill on fire AGAIN!!!

IF not pushed for time yes take the Tour at Montserrat . IF you were good in a previous life then you might find flat calm conditions in Little Bay.....but for normal motals just take the punishment.

THE ONLY BIG ISSUE I see is IF the winds are down in April this is going to be a bit of a push unless you want to burn lots of diesel. I would love to hear from the OP as to their desires, is it 'sailing' OR 'visiting' the islands obviously a combination of both but where do their priorities lie,

Tis easy for us cruisers with no serious time contraints but I suspect Moorings want their boat back on time, then there are flights to catch........sailing to deadlines leaves the door wide open for that wee bugger SOD to enter and spoil the fun.
__________________
Now with 600AH of LIFEPO4
kindest regards
David
Highland Fling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-12-2015, 07:24   #9
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,592
Images: 240
Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

Bareboat St. Martin Sailing Itinerary & Maps | The Moorings
Bareboat St. Martin Sailing Itinerary & Maps | The Moorings
Bareboat St. Martin Sailing Itinerary & Maps | The Moorings

St Maarten Sailing Itineraries | St. Maarten
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13-12-2015, 07:37   #10
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

They are good, Gord
__________________
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-12-2015, 17:01   #11
Registered User
 
Highland Fling's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sunny Scotland but sail in the Caribbean
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 461
Posts: 374
Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

No explanation as to how you get from Crocus Bay day three to Orient Bay day four to start your passage to St Barthelemy

Also my understanding was that all overnight anchoring in Anguila had to be in Road Bay

Then there seems to be some issues with distances, from Crocus Bay to Scrub Island is around twelve miles straight line distance then from Scrub to Ile Fourche is just over 20 miles in a straight line.
__________________
Now with 600AH of LIFEPO4
kindest regards
David
Highland Fling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-12-2015, 08:46   #12
Registered User

Join Date: May 2015
Location: Colorado
Posts: 7
Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

This was a similar itinerary that we wanted to do, but the rougher seas for the newbies proved that we needed shorter sailing. Our longer trip ended up being a OP to Barts to Statia and back with various spots stopping for lunch/snorkeling.
What boat are you getting? We had the newer Leopard 44, and the best it could do was about 8.5 knots (7 average) beating, reaching or what-ever in 15-18 knot winds. Anything stronger and you're still doing the same, maybe a knot or so between waves. It points about 60 off the wind, Mono's will probably do better.
Our chart briefing created fear, uncertainty and doubt by the person doing the briefing. She almost seemed like we were from mars when we mentioned our Saba/Statia/Nevis idea. I think they're used to people sticking to shorter sailing. They don't want you going to Montserrat what-so-ever (which made me more interested in going there), and didn't like the idea of going to Saba. Moorings discouraged us from using mooring balls in many areas, but after research, Saba should've been on our list of stops. I will go back next time, but will hit your itinerary. That's a lot of sailing, and that's what I'm there for.
__________________
IndecentExposur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-12-2015, 16:06   #13
Registered User
 
Dr. Sea's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Annapolis/ BVI
Boat: Oyster 55
Posts: 194
Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

Quote:
Originally Posted by Highland Fling View Post
Also my understanding was that all overnight anchoring in Anguila had to be in Road Bay
Do you have a date on that announcement? And who authored it? I have not anchored there, but my cruising guide lists Crocus Bay as a good overnight anchorage. Road Bay may be preferred by the charter companies; they are very conservative because they really don't know how to assess the competence of charterers. But it would be a shame to limit each island to only its most protected anchorage. I'm planning to sail there next spring and sample several of its anchorages, although some are day only.

Regarding Saba, the charter companies are wary of Saba because the water around Saba is so deep, it is difficult to anchor. Private boats may have more chain than charter boats usually have, but charter boats need to get on a mooring ball. There are several mooring balls on the west and south side of Saba, but what if you get there and they are all full? Well, I found several empty mooring balls to choose from, but it's conceivable that they might be full in high season even though Saba is "off the beaten path." To cover that possibility, arrive early enough that if there are no mooring balls available, you can sail down to Statia and anchor there. Saba is definitely worth seeing. It is unique among Caribbean islands and if you are a scuba diver, Saba has much to offer.
__________________
Dr. Sea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-12-2015, 16:32   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Boat: Tayana 58 DS
Posts: 661
Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Sea View Post
Do you have a date on that announcement? And who authored it? I have not anchored there, but my cruising guide lists Crocus Bay as a good overnight anchorage. Road Bay may be preferred by the charter companies; they are very conservative because they really don't know how to assess the competence of charterers. But it would be a shame to limit each island to only its most protected anchorage. I'm planning to sail there next spring and sample several of its anchorages, although some are day only.
When I was there last year, you were free to anchor in Road Bay, but if you wanted to anchor elsewhere you needed a cruising permit -- which allowed access to the national parks. The cruising permit wasn't cheap.
__________________
accomplice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-12-2015, 19:10   #15
Registered User
 
Dr. Sea's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Annapolis/ BVI
Boat: Oyster 55
Posts: 194
Re: St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten

Quote:
Originally Posted by accomplice View Post
When I was there last year, you were free to anchor in Road Bay, but if you wanted to anchor elsewhere you needed a cruising permit -- which allowed access to the national parks. The cruising permit wasn't cheap.
I looked it up. The cruising permit is $37/day USD for the typical 5-20 ton boat. If the boat is over 20 tons, the fee is $55USD/day. Plus $15/day to anchor in the Marine Parks, where most of the nicest anchorages are located, and sunset to sunup counts as 2 days. They really know how to encourage the yachties to visit!
__________________

__________________
Dr. Sea is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
Antigua, Nevis

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
St. Maarten - Antigua - Nevis - St. Maarten jackfish Navigation 9 11-12-2015 17:15
Nevis to Antigua troutboy Atlantic & the Caribbean 13 19-12-2010 13:28
Antigua to St. Maarten Bareboat Charter Advice johnhe Atlantic & the Caribbean 22 18-10-2010 05:12
Crew Wanted: Maxi 80 - Arrives Antigua Race Week - Need One Crew Antigua > Azores > Netherlands BrendanChandler Crew Archives 2 18-05-2010 00:48
Antigua - Nevis - Saba - St. Martin - Anchor in North Swells west coaster Atlantic & the Caribbean 12 01-03-2009 21:22



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:57.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.