sailingvacations.travel

Information about Caribbean sailing vacations, cruising in the Leeward Islands

From St. Martin, your cruising ground can be the cluster of varied islands around St. Martin or stretch as far as Martinique. You can comfortably sail St. Martin, Saba, Anguilla and St. Barts in a week. To add St. Kitts and Nevis, plan on 10 days.

Oriental Bay st martin sailing vacations 

Add Antigua, plan on two weeks. You may also wish to consider some one-way sailing options. To sail south to Guadeloupe, or north to Tortola, it will take 12 days. If you want to sail to the island of Martinique, you should plan for a two-week adventure.

  leeward islands sailing vacations

Antigua: With 365 idyllic beaches–one for each day of the year–Antigua is the water sports Mecca of the Caribbean. Wind surfers, sailors, divers, and sun-seekers love this island of rolling hills and wide sweeping bays. You’ll feel the legacy of the British as you stroll along the boardwalk to Redcliffe Quay, a historic promenade of restored town homes and stone warehouses that have been converted into brightly painted cafes, shops, and restaurants. The Caribbean pulse is palpable everywhere.

 

Dominica: People say that the ‘Nature Island’ is the only Caribbean landmass that Columbus would recognize today. Virgin rainforests stand proud and tall ... Untamed rivers run wild ... Hundreds of waterfalls cascade from glorious heights where some 160 species of birds fill the forest with song and color. Lucky for us, many of Dominica’s eco-sensitive tourist activities have been integrated into the lives of the locals–a nice change from the traditional tourist kitsch and glitzy resorts found on other islands.

Nevis: Almost completely circular, Nevis’ green slopes rise in sweeping curves to the central and only summit. From a distance, Nevis looks like a snow-capped mountain, but it’s just clouds and mist hovering around Nevis Peak. Charlestown is a well-preserved village: plantation estates and eighteenth century buildings decorated with gingerbread trim tell the story of a bygone era. An interesting zoning law states that no buildings may be taller than the palm trees. We love that!

st barts yacht charters 

They stretch like sentinels, lush peaks crowned by a single cloud - the islands of Saba and Nevis. Between them, the steep spine of St. Kitts springs from the same volcanic past, supporting a superb rain forest.

Sail east to Antigua and anchor off your choice of 365 stunning beaches, one for every day of the year. Press on to the ultimate harbor - Nelson's Dockyard. Claim your rum ration, then sway to the unique local island sound of Zouk bands.

Although discovered by Columbus, Guadeloupe is a decidedly French island with both exquisite French and hearty Creole culinary and cultural influences. Inland, it's an island of rain forests and rocky cliffs with a butterfly-shaped coast including beaches of black volcanic sand. Jacques Cousteau was so impressed by the waters off Ile de Pigeon, that it's now an Underwater Natural Park.

To the south are the islands of Les Saintes with beaches, scuba diving, and a stunning scenic bay. Climb up Le Chameau, a tower with a wonderful view on the island's highest point.

 

Saba Marine Park

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The west coast of Saba is reasonably sheltered, provided the wind is not too far in the north and there is no strong ground swell coming down from the north. For small boats there are a dozen or more moorings scattered along the northern half of the wet coats, and you can find plenty of space to anchor in Wells Bay, to the north end of the moorings.

Saba's coastal waters are a Marine Park. and there are only two places where you can anchor or moor. These are along the northern half of the west coast, and off the port at Fort Bay on the south coast. If the wind is east, or has the merest hint of south in it, the anchorage off Fort Bay will be uncomfortable at best. Fort Bay is where the Park Authorities, the Port Office and Customs and Immigration are located.

 

leeward islands

 

 You can find also three dive shops, a bar and a gas station. Saba boasts a number of marked hiking trails, however it is for diving that Saba is justifiably famous. Because there is almost none polluted runoff that damaged so many of the Caribbean reefs, the coral encircling Saba is as pristine as the reefs in the rest of the Caribbean were perhaps 50 years ago.

 

The most famous sites for diving are the Pinnacles. These are a small group of seamounts that rise straight out of the oceanic depths to within about a hundred feet or the surface. The mounts are covert in an amazing variety of corals and sponges and seem to be liker a magnet for sea life of all sorts and sizes. There are several dive companies operating out of Saba and any diving must be done with one or another of them. It is not permitted to organize your own dives.

 

It is also reassuring that there is a decompressing chamber on the island, at Fort Bay. It is one of the few in the eastern Caribbean.

 

Saba is ideal for the traveler looking for a secluded haven, in peaceful and friendly surroundings. Rising steeply from the azure sea, the tiny island in the Caribbean is a magical experience far away from the cares and worries of today's hurried world.........more at the official website of the Saba tourist board www.sabatourism.com