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Has anyone cruised the Caribbean islands?

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Old 01-22-2006, 08:50 PM
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Default Has anyone cruised the Caribbean islands?

Looking for anyones personal experiences in cruising the Caribbean islands. What islands are boater friendly, have good hotels. I would like to take the boat there from starting from Florida and want to know who has done it and what were the ups and downs of it.
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Old 01-22-2006, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone cruised the Caribbean islands?

"The Caribbean" takes in a wide swath. Are you referring to the Nassau/Abacos/Eleuthra region or the whole thing including Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic?

If the first, it's all good, I've been thru most of it, the only caution would be fuel and water capacity, and navigational skills. Lots of skinny water, and Lots of Coral heads in unexpected places. Not much in the way of navigational aids. and NO Coast Guard. Their "Coast Guard" is a volunteer group known as BASRA, Bahamas Air Sea Rescue. Great group of folks, but not the US Coast Guard. Another consideration is when you plan to do this. Most of these islands are fairly close to one another 75 miles +/-, and aside from the Atlantic to Bimini run, and the tongue of the ocean from the Berrys to Nassua, it's pretty decent. However, the Atlantic to Bimini is 55 miles or so of big ocean, and some times, nasty seas, even worse for the 37 miles or so from the Berry's to Nassau. Water depth on this section is over 2 miles.

If you're thinking the whole thing, St. Croix, US Virgin islands, etc. you better have a really good sized boat, Diesel power, trawler or motor sailor and tons of nautical experience. The only high risk port of call is Haiti, and avoiding the territorial waters of Cuba.

As of 1/1/06 you'll need a currest US Passport for you and all passengers on board.

There are some really fine books on cruising the area, especially worth the price is the Bahamas Cruising Guide. Lot's of detail, marinas, services, local knowledge etc. Available at Blue Water Charts and most West Marine stores.

Good luck!
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Old 01-23-2006, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: Has anyone cruised the Caribbean islands?

We'll be cruising St.Thomas, St. John and the BVI next week. For our first time, we chose a 7 day charter on a 58 Hatteras Yachtfish. We'll be cruising Norman, Jost and Peter Island as well.

Next time, we may bareboat...

I'll be sure to post pics of our trip when we return.
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Old 01-23-2006, 10:50 AM
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Default Re: Has anyone cruised the Caribbean islands?

I just got back from sailing in the BVI. My first time on a sail boat. Great place! Navigation was pretty easy with the correct chart and GPS. If you are headed that far south let me know and I can tell you more.
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Old 01-23-2006, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: Has anyone cruised the Caribbean islands?

Will be on a sail boat in March. Starting in St. Martin, Cruz-in to Anguilla, St. Barts and other smaller islands. three gourmet meals a day and a all you can drink. They are already stocking up on Crown Royal and Heineken's.

Navigation is no problem with GPS and local charts. Also having a captain with thirty five years experience.

Haven't boated all the way to St. Thomas, but I have gone to the Bahamas and you need a good day. It can get real uncomfortable with rough seas.
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Old 01-23-2006, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone cruised the Caribbean islands?

We were in BVI/Virgin Gorda earlier this month. No problems with navigation. The "Baths"/Boulders are amazing.
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Old 01-23-2006, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone cruised the Caribbean islands?

Just got back from The BVI's.....sailed on a 100' cat. Among the finest diving sites anywhere...but watch the winds until late February...visibility underwater was very compromised.

This was our third time there....... Steve David (dimples ) is right...all kinds of rocks and coral heads...but great fun.

We've also done....Anguilla down to Mayreaux on at least 3 other cruises.....

You need something BIG for the open water legs......... or have enough time to pick your passages very selectively. "Christmas Winds" run from December to mid February....calmest waters are May-August.

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Old 01-23-2006, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone cruised the Caribbean islands?

Very good advice to pickup a crusiers guide to help you out. There are lot's of spot's that can tear you up.

Stop at Allen's and feed the iguana’s

Norman's is a great place to explore and dive/snorkle, there is a plane crash in about 20 feet of water that is fun to checkout.

We just spent new years and the entire first week island hopping with some friends in their 48' sailboat.
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Old 01-23-2006, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone cruised the Caribbean islands?

Is there a cell service that works best. I will need cell service on this trip. I didn't need it on previous trips.
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Old 01-23-2006, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone cruised the Caribbean islands?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveDavid
"The Caribbean"
As of 1/1/06 you'll need a currest US Passport for you and all passengers on board.!
That has been changed to 2007.
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