Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 02-01-2015, 10:00   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4,948
First impression of Caribbean after arriving from the Med

Lots of friendly cruisers in the Caribbean, many more than the Med which are mostly holiday sailors and charters.
Wind that is somewhat predictable..you can sail here almost all of the time compared to the Motorterranean.
Food is expensive and second rate in quality compared to the Med
Weather is wonderful
Unbelievable chandleries larger than I have seen even on the mainland and reasonable prices compared to the Med.
Real good anchorages
First impression is that it is not as safe here
Islands are usually day sails away from each other.
Lathering up with deet everyday to avoid getting bitten from mosquitoes and getting sick.
Lousy wifi and expensive internet
Limited local culture (young area)
Lock up everything or lose it
Good snorkeling and diving
Short days
Limited economies mostly tourism
Warm winters mean family and friends like to visit
Insurance is almost double
Cheap rum
Island time for trades/suppliers
They speak English here
Hurricane season
Towns and cities are ramshackle in quality and appearance


Looking back on the Med,
Better have a good engine as you will be using it a lot. Fuel is close to 2 Euro a liter in places
Unbelievable selection of fresh fruits and vegetables not matched anywhere we have traveled. Tomatoes taste like the ones that came from the garden when you were a kid. Oranges that when peeled you can smell from 50 feet. Prices are cheap and the quality is unmatched. The weekly outdoor markets will be forever missed.
No issues with mosquitoes and the diseases that come with them.
Reliable and cheap internet
Site seeing history and culture that can take your breath away.
Never needing to lock your dingy or your boat
Many excellent anchorages
Very safe everywhere we visited

Snorkeling can best be described as lousy and the most exciting thing you will see is your anchor.
More night life with much longer days
Insurance is cheaper, as in half.
Long distance for visitors and competing seasons.
Cheap wine
Trades and suppliers generally on time
No hurricanes
More sailboats than you have ever seen in your life
Tourists by the millions almost everywhere in high season
Some of the finest architecture in the world
__________________

__________________
robert sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 10:17   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Annapolis, MD
Boat: Sail any boats from 28 to 60 ft
Posts: 530
Re: First impression of Caribbean after arriving from the Med

I prefer seeing Europe by land.
__________________

__________________
rockDAWG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 11:33   #3
Eternal Member
 
monte's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Australia
Boat: Lagoon 400
Posts: 3,650
Images: 1
Re: First impression of Caribbean after arriving from the Med

Well the biggest plus is not having to check the weather every day. Great anchorages and diving and snorkelling, 28 degree water, fantastic scenery and hiking her in dominica. Sea life, whales jus offshore every day, turtles swimming by the boat, very quiet, on,y 2 other cruisers each day where we are. Prices are pretty good especially when you take into account no need to enter marinas to avoid bad weather when there's no islands nearby. Locals are cool and it feels safe around here, no real need to lock the dinghy. Downsides are less fresh meat and no mushrooms!
Where are you at now Robert?
__________________
monte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 12:35   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4,948
Re: First impression of Caribbean after arriving from the Med

Quote:
Originally Posted by monte View Post
Well the biggest plus is not having to check the weather every day. Great anchorages and diving and snorkelling, 28 degree water, fantastic scenery and hiking her in dominica. Sea life, whales jus offshore every day, turtles swimming by the boat, very quiet, on,y 2 other cruisers each day where we are. Prices are pretty good especially when you take into account no need to enter marinas to avoid bad weather when there's no islands nearby. Locals are cool and it feels safe around here, no real need to lock the dinghy. Downsides are less fresh meat and no mushrooms!
Where are you at now Robert?
Hey Monte,
We are in wonderful St. Maarten where the big boats and private jets call home. We have decided on repowering and are waiting for a new engine enroute from Britain that we gave each other for Christmas (can't remember when we spent 20 large on each other before) Also bought a new RIB and outboard so we have contributed well to the local economy. Sounds like you are having a gas. Robert
__________________
robert sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 13:32   #5
Elvish meaning 'Far-Wanderer'
 
Palarran's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Me - Michigan / Boat - Tenerife
Boat: 56' Fountaine Pajot Marquises
Posts: 2,641
Re: First impression of Caribbean after arriving from the Med

Robert, that was a really good synopsis. I only spent two years in the Caribbean and then only weeks at a time but I've no desire to leave the Med for there.


If you are in Simpson Lagoon and poking around on your dingy and happen to go by a huge cat named Mashua Bluu, yell at the captain to return my e-mails. He's an old friend named Christophe. He drinks Monte Gay and Coke so maybe you can bribe him for a tour.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	MASHUA_BLUU.jpg
Views:	290
Size:	71.9 KB
ID:	94733   Click image for larger version

Name:	MASHUA_BLUU2.jpg
Views:	606
Size:	81.8 KB
ID:	94734  

Click image for larger version

Name:	MASHUA_BLUU3.jpg
Views:	282
Size:	115.6 KB
ID:	94735  
__________________
Not all who wander are lost

http://www.sailblogs.com/member/palarran/
Palarran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 13:40   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,379
Re: First impression of Caribbean after arriving from the Med

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
Hey Monte,
We are in wonderful St. Maarten where the big boats and private jets call home. We have decided on repowering and are waiting for a new engine enroute from Britain that we gave each other for Christmas (can't remember when we spent 20 large on each other before) Also bought a new RIB and outboard so we have contributed well to the local economy. Sounds like you are having a gas. Robert
What are you getting for a new engine?
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 13:44   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4,948
Re: First impression of Caribbean after arriving from the Med

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
Robert, that was a really good synopsis. I only spent two years in the Caribbean and then only weeks at a time but I've no desire to leave the Med for there.


If you are in Simpson Lagoon and poking around on your dingy and happen to go by a huge cat named Mashua Bluu, yell at the captain to return my e-mails. He's an old friend named Christophe. He drinks Monte Gay and Coke so maybe you can bribe him for a tour.
If I do see him I'll pass on your message but to date we have not seen this Cat.
__________________
robert sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 13:47   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4,948
Re: First impression of Caribbean after arriving from the Med

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
What are you getting for a new engine?
Happy New Year my friend!
We decided on a Beta 50hp including tranny and upgraded panel. It was a toss up between that and a new Yanmar, I threw it on the board here and there were more votes for the Beta, that and the fact I personally like the engine made the decision easy.
__________________
robert sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 14:05   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Winters cruising; summers Chesapeake Bay
Boat: Catana 471
Posts: 1,239
Re: First impression of Caribbean after arriving from the Med

In SXM great cruisers net by Mike at Shrimpy's Laundry on VHF 10 in the mornings. I can't remember the time. Terrific gyros at Barnacles. Good prices on groceries at the Chinese market across the street from the Grand Marche just down from Barnacles. Use the Barnacles dinghy dock. Try Presidente Beer - Dominican Republic - available everywhere and cheap. All the liquor is cheap....

2 Hulls Dave
__________________
2Hulls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 15:50   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4,948
Re: First impression of Caribbean after arriving from the Med

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Hulls View Post
In SXM great cruisers net by Mike at Shrimpy's Laundry on VHF 10 in the mornings. I can't remember the time. Terrific gyros at Barnacles. Good prices on groceries at the Chinese market across the street from the Grand Marche just down from Barnacles. Use the Barnacles dinghy dock. Try Presidente Beer - Dominican Republic - available everywhere and cheap. All the liquor is cheap....

2 Hulls Dave
Thanks for the directions Dave, we have been to your suggested stores and listen to the net at 7:30am each day. The food here is much lower quality than the Med which is much higher quality than the USA or Canada and the prices here are about double what we were used to in the Med.
__________________
robert sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 16:10   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: On the hook
Boat: Slocum 43
Posts: 3
Re: First impression of Caribbean after arriving from the Med

Good post Robert. Very informative. We are presently on the Pacific Coast of Mexico and thinking about sailing to the Med next year. Big concern is slip fees. What kind of rates did you experience and where is the best place to leave the boat during the Winter?
__________________
Starboard Tack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 16:38   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4,948
Re: First impression of Caribbean after arriving from the Med

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starboard Tack View Post
Good post Robert. Very informative. We are presently on the Pacific Coast of Mexico and thinking about sailing to the Med next year. Big concern is slip fees. What kind of rates did you experience and where is the best place to leave the boat during the Winter?
Thank You and Happy New Year! Done lots of time in Mexico and many fine memories of cruising there. Did you do the Baja?

The first question I would ask you is whether or not you plan on living on your boat 24/7 while in the Med because as a USA resident you are only allowed 90 days in a Euro country, (the boat is fine, its allowed 18 months). There are ways to get around this but they add complications. This makes Tunisia and Turkey favorite spots for wintering American and Canadians. We chose Turkey and loved the experience.
Also if you are living aboard then you have to consider those marinas that charge for power and water as some of the charges for power in the winter can almost equal the marina fee. If you do decide to make the trip drop us a PM and we will send you a break down of marinas that we shopped while in the Med.
Sailing there is going to be a much better experience than sailing when you get there, make sure your diesel is in good condition because it will see lots of use. It is a very cool area and we will go back, probably to Turkey sometime in the future but not by boat. Robert
__________________
robert sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 17:15   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: On the hook
Boat: Slocum 43
Posts: 3
Re: First impression of Caribbean after arriving from the Med

Thanks for quick reply. We've been here since October 2013. Didn't do the Haha. So far, we've been mainly in La Paz and La Cruz and points in between. Exploring south of Banderas Bay for the next couple of months, then back up into the Sea of Cortez. We spend our summers in Italy and left the boat last summer in La Paz.
We love Mexico and we love Italy, and are toying with the idea of buying property in either or both places. The boat has been our home for almost 9 years. So, the decision that needs to be made is if and where to keep it.
Apart from occasional day sails, I have not explored the Med by water. Looking at marina rates on the internet, I'm finding nothing under $1200/month, which is way above our budget, especially for storing through the winter. I'm sure dry storage will be considerably less.
I'm not going to be sailing forever. Turning 70 this year, but still got a passage or two in me before returning to terra firma. My enduring spirit for adventure is encouraging me to head south, transit the canal, check out the Caribbean and cross the Atlantic.
Common sense is telling me to keep the boat in Mexico, especially after reading your posts. And keep enjoying Italy and Europe by land.
I have an EU passport, so residency is not an issue. We'll take a road trip to Sicily this summer and check out some of the marinas.
One thing that really turns me off is your comment about having to motor so much, especially with European fuel prices.
__________________
Starboard Tack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 17:35   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4,948
Re: First impression of Caribbean after arriving from the Med

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starboard Tack View Post
Thanks for quick reply. We've been here since October 2013. Didn't do the Haha. So far, we've been mainly in La Paz and La Cruz and points in between. Exploring south of Banderas Bay for the next couple of months, then back up into the Sea of Cortez. We spend our summers in Italy and left the boat last summer in La Paz.
We love Mexico and we love Italy, and are toying with the idea of buying property in either or both places. The boat has been our home for almost 9 years. So, the decision that needs to be made is if and where to keep it.
Apart from occasional day sails, I have not explored the Med by water. Looking at marina rates on the internet, I'm finding nothing under $1200/month, which is way above our budget, especially for storing through the winter. I'm sure dry storage will be considerably less.
I'm not going to be sailing forever. Turning 70 this year, but still got a passage or two in me before returning to terra firma. My enduring spirit for adventure is encouraging me to head south, transit the canal, check out the Caribbean and cross the Atlantic.
Common sense is telling me to keep the boat in Mexico, especially after reading your posts. And keep enjoying Italy and Europe by land.
I have an EU passport, so residency is not an issue. We'll take a road trip to Sicily this summer and check out some of the marinas.
One thing that really turns me off is your comment about having to motor so much, especially with European fuel prices.
Actually leaving your boat on the hard is a fair bit more expensive than leaving it in the water, not like home. The marina fees you have found are quite high and you can expect to pay half of that in the winter months in many decent spots however in high season you better like anchorages because most marina prices at least double and many triple. You know the saying my friend about "terra firma" the more firma the less terra!
Anyways we are around the same age so I'm sure you can hack it if you put your mind to it and do your best to add as much adventure to your life as you can, we never know how many chips we have left to play!
__________________
robert sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2015, 18:37   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: the Med
Boat: Nauta 54' by Scott Kaufman/S&S - 1989
Posts: 1,064
Images: 3
Re: First impression of Caribbean after arriving from the Med

-like Odysseus you can spend a lifetime sailing the Med, through several centuries of different civilizations.

Honestly I feel little, say better no urgency to reach a blue lagoon in the caribe.

I never found such a large choice of double-cask whisky or vintage rhum as I did in Italy's drugstores, for example...just avoid the july-aug peak season and enjoy the rest, from gibraltar to sicily, venice, black sea... a wealth of diversity you can't find elsewhere :-)

Yes, oil is expensive... in The past sailors waited for a nice passage under fair winds :-)
__________________

__________________
TheThunderbird is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
Caribbean, rib

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
Crew Available: Transatlantic west to east arriving before december 27th Al3x Crew Archives 0 22-09-2012 15:24
World ARC Arriving in Panama s/v Jedi Cruising News & Events 2 21-01-2012 18:28
Broadband / FM Radar . . . First Impression: Wow ! SvenG Marine Electronics 12 09-03-2011 09:19



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:06.


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.