The Caribbean, turquoise green waters, white sandy beaches, tall elegant coconut trees waving in the gentle breezes. Imagine if this was your everyday view from your ‘office’? Sounds like paradise, doesn’t it? For some people this is their everyday view, at least for part of the year. The busy season for yachting in the Caribbean is from November, after the hurricane season, to July.
For many sailors, yachting is a beautiful adventure.
“It’s free spirited, constant fun and challenging at the same time,” said Josefa Valdez-Telfer.
However, it can only be fun if you have prepared yourself and your boat for any and all situations. Preparing your boat firstly to ensure its sea worthiness and then ensuring that you have your route well charted out. Up to date charts and GPS equipment are some of the tools necessary to ensure your safe passage and arrival at your port of call.
The Grenadines are a favourite port of call for these sailors. These islands cater for the “yachties” by delivering a fresh supply of items like bread, fruits and vegetables to the boat. Sailing is demanding and you have to ensure that you are in the best physical health to face the demands of being out on the ocean. Many “yachties” will agree that this is a favourite port of call. “The yachting industry bends backwards to make you feel at home and do make every effort to ensure your time there is comfortable.”
Leanna, from Go West T&T Yacht, loves yachting and the ease at which they are able to enter ports of call throughout the Caribbean makes the experience even more enjoyable. According to her, “Being processed at customs and immigration is very easy. The officials are very friendly and accommodating and this sets a positive tone for the rest of the trip.” Of great importance to her and other sea lovers is the reduction of non-biodegradable waste. “You can see the efforts being made in the islands to reduce their waste and keep the waters clean.” It is her hope that Trinidad and Tobago would start making bigger strides in the effort to reduce land and sea pollution.
While yachting may be an expensive sport or hobby, many people are willing to invest in it just as others would buy a car or house. For these adventurous spirits, visiting different countries is just more exciting when done by boat. However, for those who would like to sail the open ocean but cannot afford their own boat, websites like www.antlos.com, are cropping up. Antlos is an online marketplace that connects boat owners and holidaymakers. It is similar to Airbnb and Uber. Sites like this provide tremendous benefits for the boat owner and the holiday maker.
The Best Sailing Hot Spots in the Caribbean
Some of the most popular ports of call in the Caribbean are:
* Bahamas – with 700 islands to choose from this is a boating paradise.
* British Virgin Islands – consistent winds and distance between the islands makes this an ideal island hopping destination.
* Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines – Grenada is a good launching point to enjoy the entire Caribbean chain.
* US Virgin Islands – made up of a host of hidden coves and private beaches that you can only get to by water.
* Antigua – this destination hosts one of the most prestigious sailing week in the Caribbean.
* Guadeloupe – many islands to explore especially Les Saintes.
* St. Martin / St. Maarten – two countries one island.
* Puerto Rico – a great place for sport fishing and a stopping off point for people cruising through the Caribbean.
* Turks and Caicos – great diving and snorkeling right off your boat.
* Belize – over 200 islands, beaches and cays to explore.
* Grand Cayman – known for its water sports, diving and fishing.
However, due to changing weather patterns and the damage and destruction caused at some of these traditional ports of call by hurricanes in 2017, islands in the lower Caribbean seem to be capitalizing on this new opportunity. The ABC islands, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, are increasing in popularity as ports of call.
No matter your route and destination, your own boat, a yachting charter or a shared yacht, if you have that desire to be on the ocean under the open skies, you can find a way and the Caribbean can be your paradise.