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Is the Caribbean a solution to 90/180?

BurnitBlue

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I've been following the discussion but not contributing as I've no experience to contribute. My Plan B is the Carib, I did the med up to 2017 then brought the boat back to the UK. I dont think its just you, it seems anyone with only UK citizenship residing permanently in an EU country will face the same difficulty travelling solo outside their country of residence.
Yes.
I do not blame Brexit, the UK, or Greece. I blame the power crazy fools in Brussels for placing 27 far flung countries under a collective 3 month tourist limit. The Med countries had only one advantage over their Northern neighbours and that was sunshine and Med beaches but that has been ripped off them. The poorer countries of EU, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Malta, Greece, and eventually the adriatic states will have to share the 3 month tourist pie from the rich countries like USA Canada UK, Australia New zeeland and many others. They imagine that tying a noose round 27 countries will bind them together more tightly is a good thing. Yeah right.

Remember before the EU each country allowed tourists for three month, some for six month. Ooops I had no intention of ranting off like this. I am effectively trapped inside Schengen because of my resident status and my disapointment in what started as a trade agreement has been hijacked by sociapaths in Brussels.
 
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RupertW

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Yes.
I do not blame Brexit, the UK, or Greece. I blame the power crazy fools in Brussels for placing 27 far flung countries under a collective 3 month tourist limit. The Med countries had only one advantage over their Northern neighbours and that was sunshine and Med beaches but that has been ripped off them. The poorer countries of EU, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Malta, Greece, and eventually the adriatic states will have to share the 3 month tourist pie from the rich countries like USA Canada UK, Australia New zeeland and many others. They imagine that tying a noose round 27 countries will bind them together more tightly is a good thing. Yeah right.

Remember before the EU each country allowed tourists for three month, some for six month. Ooops I had no intention of ranting off like this. I am effectively trapped inside Schengen because of my resident status and my disapointment in what started as a trade agreement has been hijacked by sociapaths in Brussels.
Political tosh
 

saab96

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Agree. T21 of this forum does it regularly. I was thinking of summer storage below the hurricane belt in Trinidad or Granada. Someone on this forum said that storage in Trinidad is cheaper than the Med.
You can't beat the sailing out there. Good predictable sailing breezes and a predictable current too. Plenty of stunningly beautiful anchorages. Cruise the islands but make sure you go to Trinidad for hurricane season. You might be hit by outlying winds but the eye of the hurricane can never reach that far south – too close to the equator for the storm to revolve. And don’t dismiss the culture. Trinidad has plenty of music and dance as well as Carnival. There are jazz and film festivals on many islands. I watched a French ballet company perform in the open air on the tiny island of St Barts. It was more than equal to Midsummer Night’s Dream or The Tempest on the rain soaked lawn of a National Trust mansion. And just how much culture do you sailors get in Greece? Don’t make the foolish mistake of a one-year circuit. I intended to but managed to recover my sanity and stayed for a decade. Winter in the tropics; summer in England. Living the dream. And you can make a bigger adventure by stopping off in West Africa on the way, going south to Brazil before heading for Trinidad, visiting the American east coast on the way back, and exploring the wonderful archipelago of the Azores in mid Atlantic. If you come back. The cost of flying there and back and leaving the boat on the hard on Trinidad and doing boat maintenance was less than I had paid to over-winter the boat in a Cornish boatyard. And Cornwall was about half the cost of the Solent back then. I can't compare this with the Med but no one has ever told me the Med is cheap. For a book on how best to sail there try “Your First Atlantic Crossing” and for a book on how to get the most out of being there read “Caribbean Passagemaking – A Cruiser’s Guide. I can honestly recommend them since I wrote both of them.
 

siwhi

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A few additional things I found:
1) The boatyards in the south of Grenada are large and reasonably priced (if a little Caribbean in their responsiveness). They are just above 12 degrees north, but for many insurance companies they are deemed to be out of the hurricane belt and thus the normal insurance will cover them. (Check with your insurer of course).
2) My biggest regret of our year in the Caribbean was not spending more time in the western part of the sea. I preferred it to the windward / leewards, and it was way cheaper with better quality products and services. The month I had in Colombia was nowhere near enough. A city like Cartagena is worth spending some serious time in. It has real culture and history. And just Caribbean Panama alone is easily worth a season. I heard good stories about the countries to the north as well. The ABC's are lovely too.
3) Like countless others, we had 4 years on the boat without a watermaker. Never had a problem, not close. It rains a lot in the tropics!
4) The sailing is good in the Caribbean, but only a few boats actually go anywhere, most people seem content to drop hook and sit for months. So if you find yourself somewhere busy a quick sail around the corner often returns you to tranquility. On the other hand a huge and busy anchorage like St Anne's / Le Marin in Martinique can be great for your social life (if not for your liver).
 

geem

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A few additional things I found:
1) The boatyards in the south of Grenada are large and reasonably priced (if a little Caribbean in their responsiveness). They are just above 12 degrees north, but for many insurance companies they are deemed to be out of the hurricane belt and thus the normal insurance will cover them. (Check with your insurer of course).
2) My biggest regret of our year in the Caribbean was not spending more time in the western part of the sea. I preferred it to the windward / leewards, and it was way cheaper with better quality products and services. The month I had in Colombia was nowhere near enough. A city like Cartagena is worth spending some serious time in. It has real culture and history. And just Caribbean Panama alone is easily worth a season. I heard good stories about the countries to the north as well. The ABC's are lovely too.
3) Like countless others, we had 4 years on the boat without a watermaker. Never had a problem, not close. It rains a lot in the tropics!
4) The sailing is good in the Caribbean, but only a few boats actually go anywhere, most people seem content to drop hook and sit for months. So if you find yourself somewhere busy a quick sail around the corner often returns you to tranquility. On the other hand a huge and busy anchorage like St Anne's / Le Marin in Martinique can be great for your social life (if not for your liver).
We had one season (and a bit) where we decided not to fly home for the summer. During that season we did 9,000nm cruising around the Caribbean. We left Curacao for Bonaire, then Haiti, Cuba, Bahamas, Florida, Bahamas, Panama, Colombia, ABCs again then Off lying islands of Venezuela then We then sailed up and down the Windward and Leeward islands a few times before hauling out in Curacao. We really enjoyed it glad we did it but we did work out which countries we would never visit again. One mans meat is another mans poison😀
 

saab96

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We had one season (and a bit) where we decided not to fly home for the summer. During that season we did 9,000nm cruising around the Caribbean. We left Curacao for Bonaire, then Haiti, Cuba, Bahamas, Florida, Bahamas, Panama, Colombia, ABCs again then Off lying islands of Venezuela then We then sailed up and down the Windward and Leeward islands a few times before hauling out in Curacao. We really enjoyed it glad we did it but we did work out which countries we would never visit again. One mans meat is another mans poison😀
That is some sailing. I take my hat off to you. And to come back the wrong way from Panama! Wow. I think you prove how varied the Caribbean is and how much varied the culture is. I always had to come back to the UK to work in the summers. Not a hardship really but it did mean that I didn’t see a lot of the places I wanted to and had even bought charts for!! Like you, we never had a water maker or the need for one. And we turned the ‘fridge off once we launched and were sailing. Even in the tropics you can cool beer with wind and wet newspaper and beer is the thing filling up most fridges. KISS. Keep it simple. Too many of the opinions sailors who haven’t been in the Caribbean get come from those who sit on anchor or in a marina for most of their stay. It isn’t a good source. My one criticism of your piece is that lovely though the south coast of Grenada is I would never leave a boat there during hurricane season. It's in the zone. Hurricane Easy hit Grenada in 1950; Hazel and Janet hit in the mid 1950s; Flora in 1963; Lenny “the great destroyer” in 1999; Lenny lost his title to Ivan in 2004. Ivan devasted Grenada and its yachts. Of the 800 yachts on Grenada that burgeoning year for the local industry, 400 were damaged. Boats ashore were knocked over. Many afloat were sunk. Boats blown out to sea were blown back and wrecked on the rocks when the wind changed. People died. Grenada was still recovering from Ivan when Emily hit in 2005. We would have heard more of Emily but this was the terrible time of Katrina in New Orleans. And then little breezy Humberto in 2007. So I don’t want my boat in Grenada in hurricane season, not even if it’s in a hole and strapped down. People on the island still talk of the destruction of Ivan. But I would love to be over there now instead of here.
 

BurnitBlue

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I am up to my neck in applications to resume my residency. However, something strange happened to me just before Christmas. I was preparing the paperwork for migrationsverket and looking back on my time here. I decided that I didn't care whether I stayed or not. My good memories were in the Med, the Caribbean, the USA, the UK and a lot of other places.

I find this could be because of the miserable weather out there. Big blizzards and warnings against being out doors. With no bad luck I will find myself in the Caribbean towards the end of this year.
 

siwhi

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I am up to my neck in applications to resume my residency. However, something strange happened to me just before Christmas. I was preparing the paperwork for migrationsverket and looking back on my time here. I decided that I didn't care whether I stayed or not. My good memories were in the Med, the Caribbean, the USA, the UK and a lot of other places.

I find this could be because of the miserable weather out there. Big blizzards and warnings against being out doors. With no bad luck I will find myself in the Caribbean towards the end of this year.
Sailing the Swedish coast in a Folkboat is very high up my bucket list. It's a beautiful country with a lovely culture. I will spend a few summers doing that when the kids leave home. In winter, if I was free to move, I would go somewhere warm.
 

geem

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That is some sailing. I take my hat off to you. And to come back the wrong way from Panama! Wow. I think you prove how varied the Caribbean is and how much varied the culture is. I always had to come back to the UK to work in the summers. Not a hardship really but it did mean that I didn’t see a lot of the places I wanted to and had even bought charts for!! Like you, we never had a water maker or the need for one. And we turned the ‘fridge off once we launched and were sailing. Even in the tropics you can cool beer with wind and wet newspaper and beer is the thing filling up most fridges. KISS. Keep it simple. Too many of the opinions sailors who haven’t been in the Caribbean get come from those who sit on anchor or in a marina for most of their stay. It isn’t a good source. My one criticism of your piece is that lovely though the south coast of Grenada is I would never leave a boat there during hurricane season. It's in the zone. Hurricane Easy hit Grenada in 1950; Hazel and Janet hit in the mid 1950s; Flora in 1963; Lenny “the great destroyer” in 1999; Lenny lost his title to Ivan in 2004. Ivan devasted Grenada and its yachts. Of the 800 yachts on Grenada that burgeoning year for the local industry, 400 were damaged. Boats ashore were knocked over. Many afloat were sunk. Boats blown out to sea were blown back and wrecked on the rocks when the wind changed. People died. Grenada was still recovering from Ivan when Emily hit in 2005. We would have heard more of Emily but this was the terrible time of Katrina in New Orleans. And then little breezy Humberto in 2007. So I don’t want my boat in Grenada in hurricane season, not even if it’s in a hole and strapped down. People on the island still talk of the destruction of Ivan. But I would love to be over there now instead of here.
There are lots of different ways to sail. We have a fridge/freezer and a separate fridge. Diesel generator runs our 200litre/ hr We like cold beer and a good shower😀
We do not leave our boat in Grenada of condone leaving a boat there for hurricane season. I was there just after Ivan in 2005. Devastation. We cant get insurance for Grenada in hurricane season anyway.
 

Laser_310

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make sure you go to Trinidad for hurricane season
The Caribbean has significantly higher crime rates than anywhere in the Med - just something to be aware of.

Trinidad is worse than most other Caribbean countries.

I have seen some on this forum express reservations about travel in the US - and the US does have higher crime rates than Europe.

But Trinidad is another thing entirely - US murder rates are about 5 per 100,000.., while in Trinidad the rate is 35-40 per 100,000

Like in the US, much of this is probably gang related, and visitors might be relatively safe.

I think it depends.., I have almost never felt unsafe in Europe. I have on several occasions felt unsafe in the Caribbean - mostly exploring off the beaten track.., but that's what many cruisers want to do.
 

geem

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The Caribbean has significantly higher crime rates than anywhere in the Med - just something to be aware of.

Trinidad is worse than most other Caribbean countries.

I have seen some on this forum express reservations about travel in the US - and the US does have higher crime rates than Europe.

But Trinidad is another thing entirely - US murder rates are about 5 per 100,000.., while in Trinidad the rate is 35-40 per 100,000

Like in the US, much of this is probably gang related, and visitors might be relatively safe.

I think it depends.., I have almost never felt unsafe in Europe. I have on several occasions felt unsafe in the Caribbean - mostly exploring off the beaten track.., but that's what many cruisers want to do.
The murder rate in Trinidad has no relevance to cruisers. There are long standing race issue in Trinidad going back to post slavery. Negro origin vs Asian origin. In addition there are gang issues. These do not effect tourists or cruisers. Having hiked all over the Caribbean we have never been threatened or felt threatened. I would feel more uncomfortable in Manchester city centre on a Saturday night!
We have climbed nearly all the peaks of the windward and Leeward islands, some several times.
 

steve yates

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I think that is pretty well my experience but there are lots of very accessible alternatives which is what I did...

Not to mention Cuba, Bahamas, Mexico, the ABC islands... as well.

I kept Bambola in Trinidad each hurricane season for 3 years and flew back to the UK out of Tobago.. The total costs of all this were less than keeping a boat in the Med... I agree one beach bar and set of boat boys is like another in every island but... I am desperately tempted to go back next winter which has welled up since I finished editing and published
Just watched your Atlantic vid and enjoyed it, nice job. Looking forward to watching the down the French coast one and the two canal ones now.
Thx.
 

BurnitBlue

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Excellent advice supporting the idea that the Caribbean is a viable alternative to the Mediterranean by offering a solution to the 90/180 rule. One piece of information nobody has mentioned is the reported practice of many cruisers from USA of laying mooring buoys in multiple anchorages in the Windwards. I have heard this info elsewhere. Is this practice a myth. It did seem strange to me that local island officials would allow this to happen.
 

Bajansailor

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One piece of information nobody has mentioned is the reported practice of many cruisers from USA of laying mooring buoys in multiple anchorages in the Windwards. I have heard this info elsewhere. Is this practice a myth. It did seem strange to me that local island officials would allow this to happen.
This is news to me - I have not heard of this happening.
There are moorings available for rent to visiting yachts in many anchorages, but I am pretty sure that these are usually installed / maintained by local folk rather than visiting yachties.
 

Sea Devil

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This is news to me - I have not heard of this happening.
There are moorings available for rent to visiting yachts in many anchorages, but I am pretty sure that these are usually installed / maintained by local folk rather than visiting yachties.
News to me too but I really hate all the bays in the Virgin Islands that have been filled with mooring buoys (payment needed) by the restaurants on shore leaving little room to anchor.
 

BurnitBlue

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Oh good. I am relieved that it's a myth I must have picked up somewhere. I did think it strange that locals would allow itenerent cruisers to lay moorings down.

So far so good, i have only identified one problem with the Caribbean islands that did not exist when I was there many years ago. That is running the gauntlet of EU coast from Greece to beyond the Canary islands inside a single 90 day "allowance" to actually get there. Logically it is impossible to arrive in the Canaries from Greece during a safe European Summer season and not clip the Hurricane season in the western Atlantic.

The only way would be to store the boat in the Canaries and fly home. In my opinion, leaving a ready to go, stocked up boat alone in the Canary islands is asking for it to be stolen.
 

Sea Devil

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I have been looking at the same problem.... plus the cost upgrading my boat with self steering gear, SSB etc..plus marina fees when not anchoring.

For about the price of those two items combined you could put your boat on the specialised yacht ship in Palma de Majorca and have her delivered to Martinique...
 

RobbieW

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So far so good, i have only identified one problem with the Caribbean islands that did not exist when I was there many years ago. That is running the gauntlet of EU coast from Greece to beyond the Canary islands inside a single 90 day "allowance" to actually get there. Logically it is impossible to arrive in the Canaries from Greece during a safe European Summer season and not clip the Hurricane season in the western Atlantic.
How about spending time in Morocco along the way ? to keep your EU time to a minimum
 
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