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Old 02-01-2015, 11:58   #1
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Caribbean cruise planning

G'day all. We are currently in dominica and headed north and tentatively planning out the next few months and would love some feedback from those that have been there done that.
Our only real deadlines being north of 30.5N July 1 st for our insurance hurricane clause
( pantaenius ) so we will head to North Carolina to haul out around that time.
I also recall hearing the weather around the Bahamas can start to deteriorate around May so maybe this would be the time to head to the US mainland?
So given we have around 5 months and prefer stop at less places for longer periods of time, what would the suggested route be from here to there? We have a couple of doubles guides for the leewards and bvi's. USVI and peurto Rico will probably be out as we don't have a US visa yet. We will apply for one in Nassau.
Basic idea is
Jan
Des saints
Guadaloupe
Feb
St martin
BVIs
March
DR
April
Turks Caicos
May
Bahamas
June
Florida GA SC
July
Haul out
We prefer quieter smaller places to busy towns and charter hotspots. Prefer good snorkelling and diving and surf. Don't want to rush past places and want to stay in great weather for as long as possible, so if anyone has any suggestions on must see places or best weather places we'd be glad to hear them. Next year we will probably head down to panama so Haiti Cuba and Jamaica can wait till then.
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Old 02-01-2015, 12:14   #2
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Re: Caribbean cruise planning

Basic idea is
Jan
Des saints I love the Saints... quiet little spot. Tough anchoring except right in front of town is good.
Guadaloupe
Feb
St martin
BVIs
March
DR
April
Turks Caicos
May
Bahamas Leave your self lots of time for the Bahamas and T&C's. Best cruising in the Eastern Caribe. Less traveled in many of the outer places. Don't rush to Georgetown, from there south are great remote places. Great Snorkeling. Clean water. A couple months would be nice for sure.
June
Florida GA SC
July
Haul out
We prefer quieter smaller places to busy towns and charter hotspots. Prefer good snorkelling and diving and surf. Don't want to rush past places and want to stay in great weather for as long as possible, so if anyone has any suggestions on must see places or best weather places we'd be glad to hear them. Next year we will probably head down to panama so Haiti Cuba and Jamaica can wait till then.
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Old 02-01-2015, 12:34   #3
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Re: Caribbean cruise planning

Just a thought, you appear to be missing out most of the SE Caribbean which to my mind is much more “Caribbean” than the Northern end.

i.e.

Dominica A real gem

St Vincent and the Grenadines, including Walliabou, Bequia, Myreau, Union Island, Tobago Cayes

Grenada and don’t miss out Carriacou

Tobago (although this is a bit of a stretch)
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Old 02-01-2015, 12:37   #4
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Re: Caribbean cruise planning

I'll just mention a couple places you didn't include in your list.

North Shore of Antigua then on to Barbuda. Same country. You can clear out in Barbuda. From there it's a day trip to St. Barth's and since you included SXM, visiting St. Barth's is on the way. Few cruisers go to Saba, but we've been twice and will likely go again. But the weather needs to be mild.

May in the Bahamas is OK, although more convective storms show up and thru the summer.

I didn't include anything south of where you are now assuming you're on the way north.

2 Hulls Dave
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Old 02-01-2015, 12:48   #5
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Re: Caribbean cruise planning

Thanks guys, yes headed north and dominica is a gem. Currently in Roseau and off to Portsmouth tomorrow.
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Old 02-01-2015, 12:53   #6
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Re: Caribbean cruise planning

Adding Antigua and Barbuda to the itinery! Thanks
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Old 02-01-2015, 12:56   #7
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Re: Caribbean cruise planning

Portsmouth is great I've used Alexis several times and can recommend his services. One you choose a boat-boy the rest will leave you alone. The PAYS BBQ is worth it, not only to finance the security boat but also to meet the other cruisers. From Dominica I would stay at the Saintes a couple of days (you can anchor off Pain-de-Sucre and dinghy into town rather than paying the mooring-ball fees). From there via Deshaies in Guadeloupe to Antigua - lots of possibilities there. From Antigua to Barbuda and thence to St. Barths (don't miss out on Ile Fourchue). Even St. Martin has some nice anchorages and places to visit - Ile Tintamarre as an example.
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Old 02-01-2015, 13:03   #8
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Re: Caribbean cruise planning

I'll second Cheechako's recommendation to allocate more time for T&C and southern Bahamas. Just enough civilization for reasonable access to supplies but not far away you can drop a hook and be the only boat in sight.

It has been a few years but I recall the reefs around the Caicos as some of best I've seen in that part of the world. Hope they are still in good shape.

Southern Bahamas fresh food and water can be scarce but the people in the small towns are some of the nicest in the world and the water is to die for.

The years I cruised in that area weather up to July was fine. The odds of an early season hurricane are starting to increase very slightly but just keep a watch on the forecasts.
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Old 02-01-2015, 13:05   #9
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Re: Caribbean cruise planning

when we were in dom. we fell in love with scott's head on south end of the island. great snorkling and small fishing village and folks were very nice
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Old 02-01-2015, 14:12   #10
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Re: Caribbean cruise planning

Thanks again. Lots of great tips and it's making the planning much more exciting to know there's so many great places to see.
Yes we took the dinghy to Scott's head the other day and snorkelled champaign reef. Very cool!
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Old 11-01-2015, 17:59   #11
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Re: Caribbean cruise planning

DON'T bypass Marie-Galante!!!
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Old 11-01-2015, 18:35   #12
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Re: Caribbean cruise planning

whys that? were currently in Les Saintes and planned to head up the West coast of Guadeloupe toward Antigua in a day or two
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Old 11-01-2015, 18:52   #13
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Re: Caribbean cruise planning

Then you're a bit too far west.

Marie-Galante is lying right upwind of where you are...
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