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Old 26-09-2007, 11:14   #1
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Question best waters for newbie?

Hi everyone. This sight is really kewl and has taught us alot just reading everyone elses questions. Now I have my own question that I hope you can help me out with. My husband and I are planning to cruise the Caribe for 1 year along with our two kids. We are looking to buy a liveaboard boat and dock somewhere that is fairly quiet as we do not have alot of expeience as sailors and want a few months just for basic sailing and getting to know our boat. If you have any suggestions it would sure be great to hear from you. Thanks.
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Old 26-09-2007, 13:29   #2
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The entire Leeward/Windward chain is good. BVI/USVI have some of the best and easiest daysailing-island-hopping cruising in the world. OTOH, the word "dock" concerns me. Docking in the Caribbean is not cheap - anchoring is. If you really must be in a slip, Puerto La Cruz, VZ is one of the best/cheapest places available because the USD is still worth something:

Caribbean marina and boatyard | Rates at Marina Bahia Redonda

Note that slips in this marina are sold out for the 2007 hurricane season.
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Old 26-09-2007, 13:43   #3
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The Virgin Islands, specifically the British Virgin Islands would be a good choice as far as ease of sailing and availability of sailing classes and possibly boats that could be used for liveaboard purposes. Not sure you would want to "Dock" somewhere... that is rather a commercial term. Plenty of slips available in marinas for pleasure boats. Some offer live aboard and Mooring fields or anchorages for use. A slip in a marina is typically considered expensive, even using some of the mooring balls can cost $25.00 a day.

You may find it less expensive and more private to consider St. Johns in the US Virgin Islands. Both provide you with ease of access to what is considered some of the very best sailing conditions in the world which would allow you to develop your skills while still being within quick access to many services should you need them... such as ICE.

I would recommend you pick up a copy... best to order on line a copy of a Virgin Island Cruising Guide. Check Amazon or this link
Ship2Unow.com

A copy of the Anchorages book with great photos is also helpful.

Get only those for sailboat/ motor boat cruising not ship cruising. Avoid the cruising guided by Foror's and Formmer'r they are the wrong type. Those by Street,
Doyle are far superior and will give you detailed information on anchorages and marinas in the area you select.

When your skills have improved, it is not difficult to move beyond the Virgins into the Leewards and Windwards. The US, British and even Spanish Virgin Islands may keep you busy for years. Not much better sailing anywhere in the world for someone starting the adventure.
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Old 26-09-2007, 14:04   #4
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Thanks for your recommendations. Note to self... 'docking' is not a word I would normally use. Still learning the new language.
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Old 26-09-2007, 14:04   #5
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Agree with Reality Check on St. John. Most of the island is a National Park and there are numerous anchorages. The following isn't by us and maybe it's changed, but we were there for the dinghy drift - this place supports one of the best laid back cruising communities in the Caribe:

BoatUS.com Cruising Log
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Old 26-09-2007, 20:45   #6
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Try the Abaco's Island chain in Northern Bahamas.
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Old 27-09-2007, 09:30   #7
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I also plan on making my first trip to the Bahamas come December. I have Caribbean Passagemaking by Les Weatheritt already. Good book, but wondering if there is a 'definitive' guide for sailors.
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Old 27-09-2007, 20:31   #8
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Crossing over to the Bahamas from Florida in Dec has been bad in the last 5 years because of high winds and bad weather. Suggest that you cross in Early Nov or Jan.
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Old 28-09-2007, 07:51   #9
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Thanks Lynx, guess we'll be going for January then.
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Old 28-09-2007, 08:08   #10
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Crossing to the Bahamas is dependent on the cold fronts. Whether it's Nov, Dec,or January makes very little difference. Just sit in Miami and wait for a window. You'll have lots of company. In the last five years we've crossed in Dec usually getting to Nassau for Christmas. If you play it right you can sail all the way.
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Old 29-09-2007, 21:17   #11
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I have sean people cross in heavy weather, but the bigger the boat the easier the seas will treat you. But a 27 foot boat it can get quite bad. By all means do not delay your cruising plans. Southern Fl is a great place to cruise, be it 2 weeks or 6 months. I hope that you get a good enough weather window. You should have lots of company.

To get the sea conditions log into the bouy data from NOAA site and check the history of the Cape Canaveral's (sp?) bouy, plug that into one of the sailing games and your boat size. This will give you a good idea of what you will want to handle.

I have realy thought about cruising Fl for the winter season. Very nice areas.
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