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Old 08-05-2015, 09:05   #1
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Trade winds around St. Martin in November

Like many others, the St. Martin / St. Kitts area will be new to me. We're chartering out of Oyster Pond. I'm trying to prepare a few itineraries for the area (we'd like to hit up St. Kitts/Nevis/Statia/Saba if possible). So with that, I have a few questions (I've read up on the customs thread, good info over there).

In late November, how are the winds? I realize weather is variable, and I've check almanacs, but would like to get a little local knowledge. Looking for some longer passages if possible.

How are the anchorages? Crowded? I like Zanshin's style, find the lessor anchored area's for chilling out. But is this much like the BVI where you have to dash and clamor like the LA 405 for space?
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Old 08-05-2015, 14:52   #2
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Re: Trade winds around St. Martin in November

Sailing in the BVI is different from all places west and south. It is a charterboat Mecca with many protected anchorages with mooring balls and bars/restaurants ashore.

St. Martin, Anguilla, St. Barths, Saba, St. Kitts, Nevis, St. Eustatius (Statia), Barbuda and Antigua have fewer anchorages with shoreside facilities and even fewer anchorages that are protected when the dreaded north swell sets in. Distances are longer, anchorages fewer. But there are a lot less boats so you have a good chance of getting a secluded spot on the water even during the height of the season.

The "Christmas Winds" mark the seasonal wind change and can bring 20+ knots of wind for days or even weeks. These winds have a long fetch, so the corresponding waves are bigger than normal as well. It is hard to predict when these Christmas Winds will start up, but it can happen in November or after Xmas. When these winds are howling it makes getting into and out of Oyster Pond a possibly harrowing experience. Nonetheless the usual anchorages are well-protected from these weather conditions... just be prepared for a rolly night or nights if a big north swell sets in.

Saba, Statia and Basseterre on St. Kitts are anchorages open to the seas and only calm when there are no big seas or winds.
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Old 08-05-2015, 17:45   #3
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Re: Trade winds around St. Martin in November

Late November should be before the Christmas Winds.
They will be NE at less than full trade wind strength, say 10 to 15 knots with many days 8 to 12.
Its a lovely, lovely time. Anchorages will be deserted or very quiet. None of the trans Atlantic mob will be there yet. None of the hurricane hiding mob will be up from Trinidad or Grenada yet. Resturants will all be open but not busy.

Its a lovely time to be there.

After 6 ywars in the Trade Winds I get a bit bloody sick of them. November they haven't arrived, yet its before the Chrustmas Winds. Just lovely!
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