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Old 21-05-2012, 18:16   #1
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Anguilla Passage - BVI to Anguilla or St Martin

This Christmas or New Year I am starting an extended cruise down the Leewards starting from BVI on my recently purchased Beneteau 40 cc. I was looking at a night crossing to Anguilla or St Martin but would appreciate any comments or suggestions from those members familiar with the passage at this time of year. Which destination would be an easier passage. What are the likely sea conditions and wind direction?

I will have two novice crew and one other crew member to assist.

All thoughts and comments much appreciated.
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Old 22-05-2012, 05:41   #2
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Re: Anguilla Passage - BVI to Anguilla or St Martin

That time of year the Tradewinds usually have a bit of northerly component vs. due east, so it's a good idea to go up to Virgin Gorda as a departure point to have a better angle. We usually anchored at Drake's anchorage as it's near the pass through the reef.

You might have to wait for decent conditions if the "Christmas Winds" are blowing--enhanced Tradewinds at 25-35 kts. We usually just motor-sailed directly to Marigot, St Martin, leaving Gorda Sound at 4 pm or so. There can be a fair amount of traffic on that route, so keep a sharp lookout, especially for other sailboats, as they can be difficult to spot if conditions are rough. If you want to sail it, be prepared for a long beat against wind, waves and current. Watch for the reefs around Anegada on your NE tack--make sure you're well clear of them. The one time I sailed it, we went to Saba on a single tack and spent a couple of days visiting the island before sailing up to St Maarten.

BTW, it's called the Anegada Passage.
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Old 22-05-2012, 05:54   #3
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Re: Anguilla Passage - BVI to Anguilla or St Martin

Can be a truly horrible trip. Done it many, many times and it has nearly always been at best uncomfortable. You just have to get it over and done with and then start to enjoy your cruise.

One thing you might try to make it more enjoyable is to do an early morning start. We often set out at 03.00 from somewhere like Deadman's Bay, Peter Island. That way you only have about 3 hours of dark. In your boat you can be assured you'll arrive in daylight at the other end even if it means motorsailing some or all the way - which it probably will!

Road Bay Anguilla is a nice destination. Easy to get into and friendly Customs & Immigration when you get ashore. Alternative as Hud says is Marigot.
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Old 23-05-2012, 21:43   #4
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Re: Anguilla Passage - BVI to Anguilla or St Martin

Hud, Mike thanks for your replies. I appreciate the time you have taken to share your knowledge. Interesting comment about heading for Saba and then back tracking to St Martin. Is Anguilla worth the additional effort given it's more difficult position or would you just head for St Martin?
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Old 24-05-2012, 04:14   #5
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Re: Anguilla Passage - BVI to Anguilla or St Martin

Can't really advise you on Anguilla, as it's one of three islands in the West Indies we've not visited.
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Old 24-05-2012, 05:01   #6
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Re: Anguilla Passage - BVI to Anguilla or St Martin

Road Bay is very nice. Comfortable anchorage, good C&I as already mentioned, nice beach bars and restaurants. Not much point in taking the boat anywhere else on Anguilla though as there is a hefty charge for a cruising permit which doesn't apply if you stay in Road Bay.

So, is it worth it... Yes if you want a relaxing few days not going anywhere. No if you want to get on with your cruise.
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