After 20 plus years of observing and then being in the Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico I have come the the realization that "things" occur in "cycles." That is, one specific areas/country/harbor might have bad incidents for a year or two or three and then the next period of time everything is settled down and quite safe and pleasant. You can observe that about just every island and coastal country.
- - So what is the magic secret to get in sync with the "good times" places? I don't know anymore than any weather
forecaster can absolutely tell you about the weather
next week. The idea being that an area need not be excluded from your destination
list just because of a number of recent problems - just put the destination
off until a later time and concentrate on the currently "nice" places.
- - For as sure as anything in a few years the current
"nice" places will have a spat of problems and the former "bad places" will now be the nice "in-places" to stop. The flexibility of a sailing vessel allows you to "change" destinations as opposed to land-based tourist commitments which are normally use it or lose it. One the great benefits of sailing/cruising is that if you don't like the anchorage/neighborhood - weigh anchor
and move on to another area.
- - Within any large sailing/cruising area, say Central America
or the Leewards or the Windwards you will find plenty of "great" islands/anchorages as alternatives to some currently "bad" ones. And from one year to another they will change places between the "good" column and the "bad" column. However, sometimes it takes half a decade to a decade to swap columns. Usually that is caused by uninformed politicians who do not know that their population is suffering from lack of "cruiser dollars" being spent because cruisers are no longer stopping. Instead the cruisers are going to islands/anchorages that want and care about receiving our patronage.
- - Bottom line, the choice between "western" or "eastern" Caribbean need not be made solely upon the security
situation in one particular small area of that region. Instead you might consider whether your "style of cruising life" is compatible with visiting/living in 3rd world versus 1st world type places or whether the culture of Spanish language countries doesn't fit well and your prefer English
- - Along that line the Caribbean is great because you can spend some time in Spanish areas and then in following years switch to the English
areas - back and forth. What is it they say - variety is the spice of life.