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Old 12-04-2017, 12:58   #1
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Where to live aboard in the Caribbean during huricane season?

Hi everyone,

We are a family of 4 ( 2 kids of 1 and 4 years old) buying a boat in Trinidad and Tobago now in the first week of June. I know by then it will start hurricane season until November.

What are the possibilities during this period to sail and liveaboard? Should we stay in trinidad living aboard for the whole period? Will we have to stay all the time at the same place?

Also we need some sailing school to improve our sail skills, any tips?

Also, is there a cruising/ sailing permit mandatory to the region? We have a coastal permit in Brazil and there wont be time to take captain's permit here.

thanks for the help!
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Old 12-04-2017, 14:49   #2
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Re: Where to live aboard in the Caribbean during huricane season?

My liveaboard friends down there have spots between Costa Rica, Panama and Venezuala.

One sees hardly any humans at all for months, spears fish for most of his food.
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Old 12-04-2017, 14:52   #3
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Re: Where to live aboard in the Caribbean during huricane season?

Looks to be like T&T would be relatively OK

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Old 12-04-2017, 15:42   #4
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Re: Where to live aboard in the Caribbean during huricane season?

Stay around Trinidad / Tobago until November. Keep your money that you would pay for some sailing school and use it to enjoy yourself sailing as much as you can in order to get intimately familiar with your boat. Do live aboard, check out many anchorages and enjoy life to its fullest. Venturing into the hurricane belt?? Then have your storm gear all checked, and stowed. Yes, all 5 anchors with chain and rode for all. Then you will need to constantly check the weather for storms coming off Africa and try to figure what it's going to do and where it's going. If you figure how to do this, let me know. Then you're going to need a plan that will change with every new location that you travel to.. Better to stay put in Triny and figure your boat out.. Enjoy!
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Old 12-04-2017, 15:55   #5
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Re: Where to live aboard in the Caribbean during huricane season?

If you want to explore the eastern Caribbean next season then I would recommend staying in trinidad, toboga or as far north as Grenada. Grenada has a good community during the summer months and you can probably find other family boats to hang out with. If your plans are to go to the south Pacific and bypass the eastern Caribbean then you can slowly work your way west via the ABCs, Columbia, San blas Panama. Come March next season you can jump off with everyone else for the SP.

Good luck!
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Old 13-04-2017, 00:47   #6
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Re: Where to live aboard in the Caribbean during huricane season?

Depends a bit on your insurance and how much danger you are will to subject your wife and kids to. We laid over in Trini as we did not want to deal with a possible hurricane but maybe you do or maybe nothing will happen. In our life we do not deal with maybe when it comes to bad storms. I am an admitted coward. then again when we crossed the Atlantic we saw a chance to leave but a potential storm was possible and we stayed for another 10 days or so - we had a nice sail to Horta but 3 boats that left and said it was no biggy did not make Horta then or ever -

Grenada is possible as if you watch the wx closely you can still run to Trini to escape and the guy who said Vez is silly unless you want your boat and stuff stolen.

You can sail around the area with your family in Trini and they can get use to living on the hook in various anchorages and sailing. Also in Grenada -
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Old 13-04-2017, 05:14   #7
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Re: Where to live aboard in the Caribbean during huricane season?

Hurricanes are the reason the peak Caribbean sailing season is from December to May. There is a latitude where hurricanes are not overly problematic. I believe it is somewhere around Panama and south of Panama.

Someone suggested five anchors for hurricanes. Others feel that is not the right approach.
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Old 13-04-2017, 05:27   #8
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Re: Where to live aboard in the Caribbean during huricane season?

I think the 5 anchors comment was a way of saying that surviving a hurricane takes, skill, equipment, training, money and luck.
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Old 13-04-2017, 06:16   #9
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Re: Where to live aboard in the Caribbean during huricane season?

We lived down here last year with our 3 kids. We will probably do it again this year.

For us, there is really only 1 choice.. Grenada... There will be very few kid boats in other locations. However in Grenada there is usually 40 or so other kids. During our time cruising we have discovered that other kids are top priority to a happy crew.

As to sailing. Even during hurricane season there are boats that will sail up to Carricou and then back down. They just pick a nice weather window and go. Its only a day sail!

Hope to see you down there..
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Old 13-04-2017, 08:28   #10
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Re: Where to live aboard in the Caribbean during huricane season?

Also purchased a boat in Trinidad earlier this year. Have really enjoyed the people and the services. Chaguaramas is the cruising hub there. Always felt safe with the kids. Limited beaches in the area. Tobago is the more tropical island. I joined SSCA which put me in touch with Jesse James. The association and Jesse may be a good resource for lessons.
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Old 13-04-2017, 08:28   #11
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Re: Where to live aboard in the Caribbean during huricane season?

There is a wonderful cruising community in Grenada, Prickly Bay, Clarks Court Bay, Mt Harman Bay, etc. Lots of friendly people, many families with children, just a comfortable scene. I think the humidity, etc. is far better than Trinidad.

Most years, going north to St. Vincent or St. Lucia also won't be a problem, you can duck south if a storm approaches.
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Old 13-04-2017, 08:55   #12
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Re: Where to live aboard in the Caribbean during huricane season?

If you don't have to be in Trinidad for work, then why not head west/southwest and just get used to the boat, sailing. You will learn so much. If you are getting online, look up learning sailing and continue to learn and once you are out of the hurricane area you will always be learning and hopeful having fun. What a great life that will be. Grow some veggies, catch fish and live it up. You will learn a lot on your trip. Then you can always sail back up later if you want or need to. Have a fun live aboard.

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Old 13-04-2017, 11:53   #13
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Re: Where to live aboard in the Caribbean during huricane season?

A safe quiet inexpensive place is Rio Dulce in Guatemala, enter river at Livingston Guatemala, just South of Belize and just North of Honduras. You do need to speak some Spanish.
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Old 13-04-2017, 12:58   #14
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Re: Where to live aboard in the Caribbean during huricane season?

Heading west from Trinadad for new cruisers with children is a fool's errand. It's a long complicated passage that transits pirate waters of Veuezalea, then the wind katabatic zone off the Andes between the ABC Islands and Columbia then the ITCZ into Panama with is constant electrical storms and security problems.

You are much safer to go the 70nms to Grenada and cruise there up to Carricou.

Some of the advantages:
Clear, clean water outsude the southern bays.
Good local population that loves cruisers because they think all cruisers are Americans and the LOVE the USA because it saved them from communism.
Good history.
Lots and lots of pesky cruiser kids.
St George's is a wonderful city with close free anchorage.
GREAT bus system.
VHF repeater net so you hear weather information all around the islands.
Spices.
Chocolate.
Snorkelling and SCUBA diving.
More damn kids.
GREAT chandelries which u need for a new boat.


Drawbacks:
Too many kids.
Rum is too cheap.
Toooooo much fun.
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Old 13-04-2017, 13:19   #15
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Re: Where to live aboard in the Caribbean during huricane season?

Generally insurance companies consider St George in Grenada to be the most northerly place you can be and stay out of the hurricane zone. Technically the demarcation line cuts thru the bay, but to keep people from stacking up in the mouth the entire bay is allowed. This means for hurricane season, you really want to be no further north than that.
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