Nothing excites sailors than sailing through the four islands located on the southern end of the Caribbean. The four islands namely Martinique, Grenada, St. Vincent, and St. Lucia are located far apart which allows open ocean sailing.
The sail through the four islands is among the best in the world since they lie across the easterly trade winds which make passages to the south or north easier. Sailors cruise at constant 15-30 knot wind making it a memorable moment in your life. Below are some tips to help you plan your Caribbean cruising trip:
Planning for a Yacht Charter
If you are planning to sail with any of the Caribbean yacht charter companies, then prior planning is necessary. You should decide on how many islands you will want to visit depending on the amount of time that you are planning to spend in the Caribbean. Also, decide on which island you want to have as your base.
Once you have made up your mind, plan for the other schedule. While deciding on what else should go in your schedule, consider factors such as the distance between your preferred islands and the other activities you wish to engage in. It is also good to know that other events such as snookering, volcano hiking, shopping, and even scuba diving will be taking place in between your trip.
It’s nice to have sufficient knowledge about the kind of weather you expect to find in the Caribbean. The dry weather usually starts in February and end in June. During this period, occasional showers are rare. The period between July and January is characterized by frequent showers accompanied with lots of sunshine.
The temperatures range between 78F to 85F. The winds will sometimes be more than 40 knots. Typically, the winter months are November to March which is characterized by strong Christmas winds. Avoid sailing at such a time since the storms from the north tend to produce frequent swells which create an unsafe anchorage. The best time to cruise is between June and October when the winds tend to diminish.
Prepare to be cleared in four countries!
This is no joke. The Windward Islands of the Caribbean occupies four different countries and therefore, it is mandatory that you clear with all of them before proceeding on your sailing trip. Upon arrival, you will have to anchor in a designated port of entry, hoist a yellow flag and proceed for clearance. In most cases, it is the boat skipper who will go ashore and clear with the customs and immigration.
As a crew member, you will remain on the ship until the time you have been cleared. You will hand your passports to the skipper who will present them to the immigration officers together with the crew list and all the relevant ship documents. The customs charges may vary from island to island, but you will be required to pay in cash. So be sure to carry some cash with you.
Make sure that you have some protective gear to protect you from the sun
Although the constant trade winds always keep the temperatures comfortable, the combined effect of the severe overhead tropical sun and reflection from the ocean water may cause severe sunburns. Remember to carry some sunglasses, a sun visor, and some suntan lotion.
Now you are ready for an adventure of a lifetime.