I've been cruising the lower Caribbean for many years and decided this year to pop up to Green Cove Springs for a few upgrades and some much needed preventative maintenance
. (Great place, inexpensive and layed back)
After a nice downhill run from PR to the Turks and Caicos
we encountered the BIG hand reaching out. Outrageous clearance fees
, groceries, when you could find them at 2-3 times the prices we have been paying. Boat parts-good luck.
If you wanted to order parts
, the shipping
was a breath of fresh air but it is the only place that really welcomes cruisers. Many boaters spent much of the cruising season there and many initially planned to head
toward the Caribbean and just didn't go.
There are few safe anchorages
and the wind
is very fickle and unpredictable.
is a bummer- very expensive-few if any suitable anchorages
and strong currents and tides to deal with. The sailboat services are almost non-existant.
For those looking to head
south, PR to Trinidad, the run is well worth it. The length of the Antillies (PR to Trinidad) is similar to the length of the Bahamas.
There are at least 30 haulout facilities in the Antillies. You are never more than 15-20 miles from a major chandlery
. Prices are usually based on stateside price
. The two major suppliers are Budget marine
(More stuff than West Marine) and Island Water World who have some sort of special going all the time. The wind
is 15-20kts out of the East 300 days a year.You have to clear customs
and immigration for every island but it is easy and inexpensive. (1 Euro in the French Islands). If you have any problem you have experienced sailors who are always glad to help for a beer
. Fresh veggies abound and there is an abundance of foods from all over the world.
Why would people want to continue to be fleeced, overcharged and fearful in the Bahamas when you can simply head East until you hit highway 64 and proceed south direct to the BVI;s and see what cruising is really about.