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Old 18-11-2015, 15:33   #1
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Where to go in Caribbean from BVI

We're currently on our boat in the BVI, trying to decide where to head next. We have been back on our boat in the BVI for the last week, having spent November through May in the BVI, but are planning on heading south this year, just not sure when. The complication is that our oldest daughter and 2 granddaughters are planning on joining us on the boat the first week in January. We know we shouldn't plan our cruising around visitors, but. . . . they are the exception to the rule. We had initially thought we'd head to St. Martin and have them come there, then after they left, continue south from there. However, St. Martin isn't really high on either of our bucket lists. I'd really like to get to Dominica and St. Lucia. We're debating whether to stay in the BVI until they leave the 2nd week in January, then heading to either Antigua or Nevis/St. Kitts, then further south from there, skipping St. Martin entirely. We're not big on restaurants, shopping, night life, etc. - We're pretty quiet, like quiet anchorages or moorings, beautiful scenery, and good snorkeling and hiking. We won't be able to leave the BVI for at least 2-3 weeks - having several problems on the boat fixed after it's been sitting up on the hard for the summer, then want at least a week or two to put it through its paces to make sure everything works well before taking off, so realistically, it would be at least Dec. 5 before we'd be able to take off for anywhere other than the BVI before then. And of course, there are the infamous Christmas winds and weather windows to complicate life. We haven't decided whether we'll leave the boat in the Caribbean this year or take it back home - we'll have to decide that by sometime in Feb. so that we'll know whether to meander further south to leave it in Trinidad for the summer or turn around and start meandering north. Any recommendations or suggestions for Dec./January are welcome, as are recommendations for any islands that people with similar cruising styles have loved.

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Old 20-11-2015, 09:34   #2
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Re: Where to go in Caribbean from BVI

What about the SVIs? Not sure if you've been there or not. It would be easier and cheaper for your daughter and grandchildren to get to San Juan and jump on the boat in Fajardo than to meet you in the BVIs. SVIs are less developed than the BVIs, but you can head over to the USVIs if they want more variety.

Antigua might be another option as getting there from the US isn't too tough with several direct flights from the US available. Only thing that may or may not be an issue for you there is if the Christmas winds (and swell) come through the sailing wouldn't be as comfortable as in the Virgin Islands. Full disclosure: I haven't been to Antigua yet but am heading there this June. Based on my research though the above seems to be the case.

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Old 20-11-2015, 09:39   #3
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Re: Where to go in Caribbean from BVI

Thanks for the input. Don't want to head to the SVI yet - we're planning on heading south this year, then back north next year, and will do the SVI, Turks and Caicos and Bahamas next year. I've been to Antigua, and liked it. You'll enjoy it when you go in June. We got a suggestion from our yacht manager last night that I think we'll do this year - have them fly into the BVI, then after they leave, we'll head down straight to St. Lucia, then maybe down to Bequia, then will start meandering back up the chain.
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Old 20-11-2015, 10:50   #4
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Re: Where to go in Caribbean from BVI

Originally Posted by muttnut View Post
We're pretty quiet, like quiet anchorages or moorings, beautiful scenery, and good snorkeling and hiking.
Hi again, muttnut.

I recommend the top three places you should visit next are:


It's one overnight beam reach south from BVI.



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Old 27-11-2015, 14:11   #5
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Re: Where to go in Caribbean from BVI

Actually Sint Maarten is great for provisioning, boat parts and the best place in the Caribbean to get repairs done. If you don't need any of that you can skip it of course.

St. Lucia is not a place for quiet anchorages, as you will find out Saba is VERY rolly and you must take a mooring. Barbuda will give you the seclusion you seek but Antigua/Barbuda is a hard beat from the BVI's. The best angle is from Guadeloupe to sail to Antigua.

Flying into the BVI's is very expensive when compared with St. Thomas. Beef Island is convenient but you pay the price. Sint Maarten is usually much cheaper to fly into but not compared with St. Thomas. As someone said, San Juan is the cheapest place to arrive by plane.

The further south you get the islands become less developed, except for the French islands of course. Most places have been discovered so you will rarely find a quiet secluded anchorage. Yet the hiking is excellent on nearly every island with Dominica at the top of the list with the Waitukubuli Trail absolutely spectacular.

Leaving the BVIs' even in February, you still have plenty of time to get as far south as Grenada and Trinidad with lots of time to explore nearly every island along the way for quite a while before hurricane season begins.

Just tune into the various cruiser SSB nets (FOD, Coconut Telegraph, OCC, etc.) for your weather windows heading south and you will have a more comfortable trip.

Enjoy your travels!
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Old 03-12-2015, 14:30   #6
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Re: Where to go in Caribbean from BVI

Yes head to St Martin ASAP get here before the Christmas winds arrive and for the last few years they have hung on untill well into the new year. Easy cruising around St Martin and over to St Barthelemy great place to people watch at Christmas in Columbier and Gustavia. It is an easy sail down to St Kitts and Nevis and even easier to hop over to Angulia. For sure not as easy sailing as the VI's with most anchoages visible and only a few hours sailing away at most. BUT if you are 'done' with the BVI's then you will have a nice change of scenery and culture in St Martin/Sint Maarten. An IP 380 should take around 14 hours to pound across the Anegada passage to SXM without too much bother.

IF you want seculded anchorages visit the east side of Martinique, with the proper weather window of course, as they are on the weather side of the island.

Now with 600AH of LIFEPO4
kindest regards
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Caribbean, rib

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