The Windward Islands have reached the southern end regarding the Caribbean island sequence. For experienced sailors, it really is thrilling to sail among the four main islands: Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenada. They've been far sufficient aside to accommodate available sea sailing and lie across the easterly trade winds, making passages north or south easy. With constant 10- to 25-knot winds, the cruising is among the finest in society. Anchoring nightly in calm and protected anchorages gives sailors freedom to explore and soak up Brit and French area tradition.
Traditions and Immigration
The Windward Islands make up four separate countries; it really is mandatory to obvious in and out of every one. Upon arrival, anchor in a port of entry and hoist a yellow flag. The boat skipper goes ashore and seeks from traditions and immigrations officers. Crew people remain on the ship until cleared. The skipper must deliver the desired passports, team record and ship's documents (such as the yacht's title, tonnage, team users and residence interface). Constantly bring the last clearance with you. The customs fees vary from island to island and paid in money. In French-speaking Martinique, the currency could be the euro, and in the English-speaking islands it's the east Caribbean buck (EC).
Catamarans in Martinique - Photo: Susan Fogwell
Inside Caribbean, the dry season is from February to Summer, delivering only a periodic rain bath. From July to January, the wet-season brings frequent baths with many sunlight in addition to occasional rainy time. Expect 78 to 85 levels Fahrenheit with balmy winds year round. Squalls create intense rains and quite often winds over 40 knots. Winter months months, November to March, produce powerful xmas winds. During this time period, storms through the north produce swells that will produce an unsafe anchorage, so anticipate to relocate to a safer location. In June, the winds reduce and clock towards the southeast at ten to fifteen knots.
Bareboat Versus Charter
A sailboat you rent your self is named a bareboat, indicating it really is bare of captain, staff, prepare and food. To bareboat, the skipper must be an experienced sailor with navigation experience and ideally a USCG permit. Bareboating enables total freedom. A captained charter includes a captain, prepare, food and every little thing needed for the whole trip. Caribbean charters are usually for at least one week; rates are far more pricey from December to mid-April. For lower prices, charter off-season but avoid the hurricane season, that may potentially disrupt a well-planned getaway. The hurricane months are from Summer through November and usually impact areas north of Martinique.
Catamaran Versus Monohull
You can choose from a multihull (catamaran) and a monohull. Catamarans are roomy and offer security, privacy, comfort and a large seat. The charters could be extremely luxurious, with all the amenities of a hotel. In Caribbean, cruisers spend majority of their time lounging, consuming or reading-in the ship's cockpit, making the catamaran well suited for a soothing experience. Monohulls tend to be for those who truly benefit from the sport of sailing. They heel over at 30 to 35 levels, making all of them less comfortable and wetter, nonetheless they offer sailing performance that far surpasses that the catamarans.
A catamaran and monohull anchored in St. Lucia - Photo: Susan Fogwell
Planning a Charter
Step one in planning a charter is decide how many islands to check out given your time frame. Research charter businesses and discover which island you need to have as a base; then you can prepare a schedule for week, bearing in mind distances between islands and factoring in activities like area exploration, scuba diving, snorkeling, volcano walking and shopping. Charter companies offer plans such as airfare. A link through San Juan is needed to achieve the Windward Islands via tiny turboprop aircraft.
The most crucial part of planning a sailing journey is selecting your crew people. It's common to experience and learn about personalities clashing on charters. When this happens, money and time is wasted on which could have been an excellent trip. Choose those who have had at the very least slightly sailing experience. As a captain on an airplane has got the last say, therefore does a captain of a boat.