Caribbean

Brand New World

by Adam Cort, Posted November 10, 2010
It quickly became a running joke. “How come we never went snorkeling here before?” my wife, Shelly, would ask. “What a great beach. Why didn’t we go swimming like this the last time we were here?”The answer in each case was exactly the same: we’d been sailing, beating our way up and around St. John, reaching through the trades, reveling in the sheer joy of our boat speed. Not until the sun

Skinny Sailing

by Peter Nielsen, Posted October 11, 2010
Thus begins a time of hunger, but the trade-off is compelling: 10 days of sacrifice for the serious fun of sailing in a legendary Caribbean event with a group of dialed-in high-school sailors and the boat’s skilled and gracious owner, Mike Williams.The 37th annual St. Thomas Rolex International Regatta sees 66 boats racing in seven classes to compete for four Rolex timepieces. Walking into

Barely There

by Peter Nielsen, Posted October 11, 2010
Racing a charter boat is very different from campaigning your Sonar or Etchells or, as in our helmsman Charlie Garrard’s case, your J/105. Some bareboats are pretty tired, and sails can have a short lifespan in boisterous Caribbean conditions. Some of the bigger, heavier boats are cumbersome and slow to tack and trying to sail them well can be a frustrating exercise. Local knowledge of winds and

Does Size Matter?

by Lisa F. Mann, Posted August 11, 2010
I was sitting on the beach in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, in awe of the enormous cruise ships docked there, including the mammoth Oasis of the Seas. A couple sitting in beach chairs next to me asked which ship I was on. I laughed and said, “See that little charter sailboat out there, anchored in front of the cruise ship dock?” They nodded their heads in unison. “That’s the ship I’m on.”

Insider Tips from the BVI

by John Glynn, Posted June 2, 2010
After fairly busy Winter and Spring seasons in the BVI, things have slowed down a bit lately. In the wake of months like February, March, and April, when anchorages are full of families on school holidays, May and June are a time for couples to get together (often with like-minded couples) and charter a boat or go on a sailing vacation at a fraction of the peak-season cost.While May and

Safety, Friendship, and the Handling of Messages

by Dawn Dupree, Posted March 2, 2010
When the five of us— Dana, Bird, Pip, Laura and I—left Boston, Massachusetts, last April for a week’s charter in the Abacos, we thought we were in for a week of easy sailing and stress-free sunbathing. We certainly didn’t expect to become part of a sailing community. That hadn’t happened on any of our previous “girls' trip” charters together in St. Martin and the British Virgin Islands. Why would

Cat Country

by Billy Van Der Wal, Posted March 2, 2010
"I can tell you guys are roughing it, but if you need any ice or water, just let us know—we make 400 gallons of water and 400 pounds of ice a day.” To the owner of the 40-foot sportsfisherman anchored next to our 30-foot catamaran at Highborne Cay in the Bahamas, we must have looked pretty desperate. But that was all part of the adventure.“We” were my dad, Onne, me, my 10-year-old brother

Why Not a Month?

by Lou Deutsch, Posted January 11, 2010
For the past few years we have chartered monohulls and catamarans in the Caribbean for the usual week or, sometimes, 10 days. We savored every moment of those brief charters, but invariably felt pressed for time and regretfully passed by anchorages we knew would be more perfect than all the rest. If only we had two weeks, or better yet, a whole month, we could ease into our vacation, explore

Caribbean for Newbies

by Sail Staff, Posted January 7, 2010
The question came up every year: “Whadya think about chartering in the Caribbean?” And every year the answer was the same: “Nah.”My wife, Jennifer, and I sail our Caliber 38, Catamount, in the northern latitudes, on the fresh waters of Georgian Bay on Lake Huron. The idea of chartering in the Caribbean raised many different questions: Isn’t everything so close you don’t really

Reef your bareboat budget

by Sail Staff, Posted July 23, 2009
Are you contemplating a Caribbean bareboat charter, but concerned about the cost? Here’s how you can blow those worries off the chart with just a few simple tricks.Most charter companies have tempting deals that offer full or partial meal provisioning. If you choose not to take advantage of these, you will save money by not paying for items that you don’t use. We recently met a couple who,
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