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Old 14-08-2018, 15:52   #16
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Re: Caribbean Passage Planning

Laowai,

We spent almost a year and had to skip stuff. The issue is the weather. You wont be moving around by choice until April. Otherwise you get a day here and there to then get pinned down by weather, and better be in a very good anchorage. For instance we missed St. Patrick’s day in Montserrat (bucket list) because of swell in the anchorage. The weather does vary year to year, and this year was a crappy one.

Don’t want to deter you, just thought I’d mention Panama etc. as most don’t consider it until after they are in Eastern Carib. Also way cheaper, better fishing and nature, friendly locals etc. etc. All my opinion of course.

(Also: Hello to Mark/Lynn on Roxy, we are in Charleston heading North still)
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Old 14-08-2018, 20:56   #17
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Re: Caribbean Passage Planning

Saba is OK if the sea state is settled. Often, Saba is a lumpy mess. After a long transit you would likely want a flat, safe harbor. Salty Dawg’s primary destination is Antigua, one of the most Windward Islands. Winds are reliably east trades at that time of year, 15 to 20. Travel north or south from Antigua is a broad reach romp. Saba and Saint Martin are only a day sail from there. Most of the Dawgs hang out for thanksgiving, some for Christmas and new year.

Foulmouth and English Harbors are world heritage sites. Many buildings are largel intact from the 1700s. Nelson’s dockyard is host to mega yacht eye candy and several restored tall ships. There are many amenities, restaurants, hiking, beaches, chandleries, diving and snorkeling. Check Antigua out on line and check out the Salty Dawg site.

We especially like the French islands, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin (French side), Martinique. Check in is easy,cheap, quick. Food is great and inexpensive. Wine is an incredible bargain. Rhum at some of the 27 distilleries is 20 Euro for a three liter box. Baggets are one Euro- 5.

We leave Roxy in Chaguaramas, Trinidad over hurricane season. Lots to do there including bicycle trips to the rain forest. Labor is affordable and the quality is good.

We have spent two six month cruise seasons in the Caribbean. First was northern islands. Last year we did the southern islands.
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Old 14-08-2018, 22:31   #18
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Re: Caribbean Passage Planning

For what it's worth, I'm reading your original post, and my gut feeling says, "Slow down, slow down." I sailed down to the Eastern Caribbean from the Carolinas in May a year and a half ago, but had to divert to the Abacos for equipment trouble. Then we went direct to USVI. I remember being exhausted for a couple of weeks afterwards.


Agree with a previous poster that the weather can really pin you down for extended periods. And there are some awfully uncomfortable anchorages all over the eastern Caribbean. So, after our second summer sailing down there, it seems we spent a lot of energy this summer looking for a pretty, sheltered spot to spend time. Stop and smell the roses.


A buddy and I moved the boat from Virgin Gorda to Grenada last month in 12 days. Sure, on paper, you could do it in two and a half days, but the wind and the currents are stronger than you imagine. For the first half of that trip, we felt more like a submarine with sails sticking up. We were drenched. And that was in July, when the winds are lighter.


There are lots and lots of wonderful places to go. We spent a good deal of time with some friends this summer who have been sailing down there full time for almost three years. They spent three or four months within a ten mile radius of St. John, I'd say, and had a wonderful time. There is just so much to see and do.



So... consider slowing down.
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Old 16-08-2018, 06:27   #19
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Re: Caribbean Passage Planning

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Originally Posted by Tia Bu View Post

So... consider slowing down.
Thanks for the sage advice - can I ask one point of clarification?

When you say slow down, are you referring to the passage from the Chesapeake or the cruise through the islands? If the passage, how would you do it differently?

Once in the Caribbean we have no plan aside from being out by hurricane season. I was thinking of starting in Grenada simply because another couple days at sea at the end of our passage wonít be a big deal for us. I have not cruised that far south and it looked like a good place to start. However, if Antigua is a better base to arrive at Iím all ears. Thatís why I created this thread, after all!

FWIW I have sailed around the USVI, BVI, St Barthís, and Antigua in past years. Have not really seen the Windwards or the other wonderful Leeward Islands. Our ďplanĒ if you can call it one is to find places we like and stay there as long as we like. I expect to spend a lot of time in Martinique and Antigua, but also hoping to discover some amazing places that arenít currently on my radar.

Thanks to all of the input here.
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Old 16-08-2018, 07:13   #20
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Re: Caribbean Passage Planning

Make sure you get far enough south (USVI at least) before the Christmas winds start (end november). If you don't you'll be sailing close hauled for at least a week out of fort lauderdale across Nassau and probably more
We made that passage last winter and got beaten to death. 8 days of sailing close hauled from Nassau and we bailed out and put in at San Juan when the weather forecast said gale force winds right on the nose and 4 meter swells.

Once you are in the Crib - I agree, provision at St. Martin then go to Grenada
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Old Yesterday, 05:44   #21
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Re: Caribbean Passage Planning

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Originally Posted by Laowai View Post
Thanks for the sage advice - can I ask one point of clarification?

When you say slow down, are you referring to the passage from the Chesapeake or the cruise through the islands? If the passage, how would you do it differently?

I would say slow down the whole way. As for the passage, here are some thoughts from someone who knows far more than I:



https://www.cruisingworld.com/how/sa...forget-bermuda


And when you get to the Eastern Caribbean, I'd slow down there, too. As for getting back to the Chesapeake by hurricane season, do you really need to do that? Could you leave the boat in Grenada (affordable and easy) and head down to enjoy some time the next year, or two, or three...?



Just some thoughts. Have fun.



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