Is the Caribbean really that busy these days?

Roberto

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Another naughty suggestion: Banc d'Arguin park/islands in Mauritania. We wanted to stop but at the time an ONG friend there said there was an increase in local extremist opposition to westerners, so we declined.
Checking in in Nouadhibou might be interesting, apparently there are places more crowded than the Caribbean and Med :)
nouadhibou.jpg
 

GHB

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Oops, hit a speed bump for the Gambia and Guinea Bessau. Yellow fever.
Spent a moment on google but nothing came up, anyone know somewhere that does yellow fever vaccinations in the Canaries?

Ah, looks like if got the wrong account getting the deleted password - GHA
 
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Chris_Robb

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I'm sure that those cruising there now (for their first visit) generally think it's wonderful and I've no no doubt that it is. For you returning again after fifteen years, then your opinion is likely to be dictated by the mindset that you arrive with: If you're looking for it to be just the same, then you'll probably be disappointed - I've made that mistake more than once - but if you arrive with fresh eyes and ready to embrace those differences, then you'll no doubt enjoy it (albeit differently) once again.
Not Prickly Bay of course, that's a bog-hole. But then again that's just a matter of opinion; I've never enjoyed staying for too long (they're ok for a week or so's holiday) in yottie ghettos anywhere, though would concede that Prickly and more especially Tyrrell Bays are preferable to The Solent, Vlikho or Marathon
Even Vlikho bay was nice in 2010. Having sold up from boats last year(2022), we went out to the Aegean - ferry hopping down the southern Cyclades. I could not believe my eyes that in the last very few years, the harbours in the area are just full of Cats (and those squeaky variety!) just dominating all the movements on the water. In two weeks in late September we saw not one UK flagged yacht.... Its a shocking change in such a short time. Its always advisable to quit when ahead and still enjoying it.
 

BobnLesley

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...anyone know somewhere that does yellow fever vaccinations in the Canaries?

Very old info (2012) I'm afraid, so maybe long gone, but we got yellow fever jabs - at about 1/10 of the cost we were quoted in the UK - at a medical centre for visiting seamen; it was located on the east side - through the main door - of the Delegacion del Gobierno in Las Palmas, which is about 1km due south of the yacht marina and shows up on Google maps.
The Doctor was brilliant/really helpful and even gave us advice and prescriptions (equally cheap to fill) for a selection of broad spectrum anti-biotics too
 

GHA

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Very old info (2012) I'm afraid, so maybe long gone, but we got yellow fever jabs - at about 1/10 of the cost we were quoted in the UK - at a medical centre for visiting seamen; it was located on the east side - through the main door - of the Delegacion del Gobierno in Las Palmas, which is about 1km due south of the yacht marina and shows up on Google maps.
The Doctor was brilliant/really helpful and even gave us advice and prescriptions (equally cheap to fill) for a selection of broad spectrum anti-biotics too
That's great, thanks. Even if they can't help they might know somewhere, or someone there might. Need some antibiotics as well so if fingers crossed, get a vaccine & some antibiotics would be just great! There's hope of some adventures not involving being around full english breakfast & sky sports yet!! 😎
 

Bajansailor

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Barbados is still very quiet re visiting yachts - I saw only two at anchor in Carlisle Bay yesterday, and there are a few showing up on Marinetraffic at anchor off Port St Charles north of Speightstown.
MarineTraffic: Global Ship Tracking Intelligence | AIS Marine Traffic

We are a bit of a backwater now - the contrast with the Windward islands (especially Grenada!) is remarkable (and rather sad really).
We don't even have a haul-out yard here anymore - Government in their wisdom took it back from the operators who had been leasing the premises for the past 30+ years, and Govt is supposed to build a big new haul out yard on the north side of the shallow draft harbour - but I doubt that this is going to happen any time soon.

Government promised Jimmy Cornell a public marina for the ARC Rally each year for the 3 years that the ARC came here in the early days (1986 - 88) - eventually Jimmy gave up in frustration and took the ARC to St Lucia where it was warmly received (and there was almost a diplomatic fall out between the two islands - how could they steal it from us like that?!)
And almost 40 years later, we are still waiting patiently for this mythical Flying Dutchman public marina..... :(
(Edit - There are two private marinas - Port St Charles and Port Ferdinand - but as Rupert notes below, they don't allow anybody to stay overnight on boats in these marinas)

However everybody who visits Barbados always seem to enjoy all the things on offer here - lots to see and do.
The beach at Carlisle Bay gets a bit over run with day trippers if there are a few cruise ships in the harbour, but there are lots of other beaches along the west coast (you can even anchor at Oistins on the south coast) where you will invariably be the only yacht at anchor.

I had the pleasure of meeting both @RupertW and @john_morris_uk here last winter and I am sure that they will come to visit again sometime - from Martinique we are just an overnight sail on a close reach in the typical NE trade wind.

Oh, and we are probably the only larger island in the Eastern Caribbean where there are no moorings for hire - you have to use your own anchoring gear...... :)
 
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Bajansailor

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Another naughty suggestion: Banc d'Arguin park/islands in Mauritania. We wanted to stop but at the time an ONG friend there said there was an increase in local extremist opposition to westerners, so we declined.
Checking in in Nouadhibou might be interesting, apparently there are places more crowded than the Caribbean and Med :)
View attachment 168142

I thought at first that this was a photo of palm fronds, but I think it must be hundreds of little fishing canoes?
I wonder how their owners can find their boats, unless they are all marked with some form of ID?
 

RupertW

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Barbados is still very quiet re visiting yachts - I saw only two at anchor in Carlisle Bay yesterday, and there are a few showing up on Marinetraffic at anchor off Port St Charles north of Speightstown.
MarineTraffic: Global Ship Tracking Intelligence | AIS Marine Traffic

We are a bit of a backwater now - the contrast with the Windward islands (especially Grenada!) is remarkable (and rather sad really).
We don't even have a haul-out yard here anymore - Government in their wisdom took it back from the operators who had been leasing the premises for the past 30+ years, and Govt is supposed to build a big new haul out yard on the north side of the shallow draft harbour - but I doubt that this is going to happen any time soon.

Government promised Jimmy Cornell a marina for the ARC Rally each year for the 3 years that the ARC came here in the early days (1986 - 88) - eventually Jimmy gave up in frustration and took the ARC to St Lucia where it was warmly received (and there was almost a diplomatic fall out between the two islands - how could they steal it from us like that?!)
And almost 40 years later, we are still waiting patiently for this mythical Flying Dutchman marina..... :(

However everybody who visits Barbados always seem to enjoy all the things on offer here - lots to see and do.
The beach at Carlisle Bay gets a bit over run with day trippers if there are a few cruise ships in the harbour, but there are lots of other beaches along the west coast (you can even anchor at Oistins on the south coast) where you will invariably be the only yacht at anchor.

I had the pleasure of meeting both @RupertW and @john_morris_uk here last winter and I am sure that they will come to visit again sometime - from Martinique we are just an overnight sail on a close reach in the typical NE trade wind.

Oh, and we are probably the only larger island in the Eastern Caribbean where there are no moorings for hire - you have to use your own anchoring gear...... :)
We would have loved to keep the boat but the absence of even a dinghy dock in Carlisle Bay and the weird rules of no overnight stays in the 2 marinas meant that the wonderful island is really for local weekend sailors only.

Great fun though and we keep stopping there on the way back from Grenada.
 

Tradewinds

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Barbados is still very quiet re visiting yachts - I saw only two at anchor in Carlisle Bay yesterday, and there are a few showing up on Marinetraffic at anchor off Port St Charles north of Speightstown.
MarineTraffic: Global Ship Tracking Intelligence | AIS Marine Traffic

We are a bit of a backwater now - the contrast with the Windward islands (especially Grenada!) is remarkable (and rather sad really).
We don't even have a haul-out yard here anymore - Government in their wisdom took it back from the operators who had been leasing the premises for the past 30+ years, and Govt is supposed to build a big new haul out yard on the north side of the shallow draft harbour - but I doubt that this is going to happen any time soon.

Government promised Jimmy Cornell a public marina for the ARC Rally each year for the 3 years that the ARC came here in the early days (1986 - 88) - eventually Jimmy gave up in frustration and took the ARC to St Lucia where it was warmly received (and there was almost a diplomatic fall out between the two islands - how could they steal it from us like that?!)
And almost 40 years later, we are still waiting patiently for this mythical Flying Dutchman public marina..... :(
(Edit - There are two private marinas - Port St Charles and Port Ferdinand - but as Rupert notes below, they don't allow anybody to stay overnight on boats in these marinas)

However everybody who visits Barbados always seem to enjoy all the things on offer here - lots to see and do.
The beach at Carlisle Bay gets a bit over run with day trippers if there are a few cruise ships in the harbour, but there are lots of other beaches along the west coast (you can even anchor at Oistins on the south coast) where you will invariably be the only yacht at anchor.

I had the pleasure of meeting both @RupertW and @john_morris_uk here last winter and I am sure that they will come to visit again sometime - from Martinique we are just an overnight sail on a close reach in the typical NE trade wind.

Oh, and we are probably the only larger island in the Eastern Caribbean where there are no moorings for hire - you have to use your own anchoring gear...... :)
I’ve said this before but we had a wonderful time anchored in Carlisle Bay back in ‘94. I remember ‘Santa and his helpers’ motoring around the anchorage and throwing sweets into our cockpit much to the delight of our young children. Back in those days movement of yachts up & down the west coast was restricted by bureaucracy. Barbados was a magical stop and the perfect introduction for our time in the Caribbean.
 

Bajansailor

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Back in those days movement of yachts up & down the west coast was restricted by bureaucracy. Barbados was a magical stop and the perfect introduction for our time in the Caribbean.
At least this is one change for the better now, in that visiting yachts are allowed to sail up and down the west coast, and stop along the way - they are not restricted to anchoring off Port St Charles or in Carlisle Bay.
 

GHA

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Well after quite a lot of thinking deep about all this, I really think everyone approaches it from completely the wrong angle. 😂😉

It's not "what's the outside world like" that will give any useful answers but "What am I like??"

Nearly all the answers are not "why other people should like the Caribbean " but "Why I like the Caribbean, so everyone else should as well" 😁
Textbook conformation bias, we only look for things to back up how we view the world, never trying to prove yourself wrong. It's just how we big brained monkeys work.

And digging deep tbh, to me in one way of viewing it, a lot of it is a load of people on a big long holiday in the sun which doesn't appeal that much, especially now being a non drinker, used to really enjoy being out on the raz every single night but all things change. Also with some deep introspection it was a bit shocking to realise that so many years & so many miles went by with rarely actually getting know much about an area or any of the people there. Beyond "Oh I know a guy in the shop"

So seems the subconscious is more interested in south & the people there & the places to explore. And brasil is not the only country down there.

We'll see, can change in the stroke of an oar 😂
 

GHA

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Very old info (2012) I'm afraid, so maybe long gone, but we got yellow fever jabs - at about 1/10 of the cost we were quoted in the UK - at a medical centre for visiting seamen; it was located on the east side - through the main door - of the Delegacion del Gobierno in Las Palmas, which is about 1km due south of the yacht marina and shows up on Google maps.
The Doctor was brilliant/really helpful and even gave us advice and prescriptions (equally cheap to fill) for a selection of broad spectrum anti-biotics too
Update - no longer available down there but I got a yellow fever vaccination for €19.50 here>
Centro Vacunación Internacional- Sanidad Exterior · Calle Dr. Juan Domínguez Pérez, s/n, 35008 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spanien
Online booking which didn't do same day search but the lady knew there was a spot there and then so go jabbed straight away.
Ministerio de Sanidad, Consumo y Bienestar Social

Some more little ducks fall in line...😎
 

Sea Devil

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Hmm, wonder where we'll (me n the boat) will end up this time. Seem to be drifting south (Canaries with itchy feet) so before too long will have to turn right across the pond. Looking in google maps satellite it just looks packed out these days in the likes of Prickly bay and Carriacou compared to last time, which seems not so long ago but checking it was 2010!. Plus some well travelled friends were over for the winter & said it was more expensive than before & busy.

But... google earth historical images definitely show it busier but not as much as my memory. So seems like a good idea to look a bit deeper than just unreliable memory.

Think Kelpie & Geem are over there maybe amongst others - what's it like nowadays? Prickly bay does look completely mobbed, not really very enticing 🤔

South America seems to be winning at the moment, no TRS season to worry about for one thing but lets just ask around & see what the lay of the land is, won't need to make a decision just yet.

Opinions anyone?

Ta 😎
It's changed a lot since I was in the Caribbean for around 3 years some 30 years ago! It's modernised and become much more commercial but with the option of still being able to spend the entire time swinging on the hook 365 anywhere from Trinidad to Puerto Rico to the ABCs to Mexico and being based in a marina as I have been for the last year and going off on little cruises to 'foreign' countries that re maybe 25 miles away. My marina in Martinique is half the price or less than any south coast marina with a range of bars, restaurants for every pocket and half a dozen chandlers and 4 sailmakers not to mention a boatyard and all the professional services you need.
Back in the day Trinidad was the only place with 'real' facilities but now they exist in many of the islands as do communities of liveaboards who hardly move and contingents of transatlantic boats who start arriving around Christmas each year...
There are so many little countries and anchorages that it's up to you as to the community you want to be part of,,,, My single airfare to Martinique is around 275 pounds so I can come an go more or less as I like. I'm happy to sit in the boat, go off on a cruise to anchor off a pretty little village or ...The boat is a 2nd home... This video is how it is for me and is pretty true of lots of places out here
 

KeelsonGraham

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Very useful video Michael, thank you. But what is your hurricane plan? Surely, there’s not enough haul-out space for all those yachts when a hurricane is forecast?

Also, being in the hurricane zone all year, does that cause problems with insurance?
 

Sea Devil

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Very useful video Michael, thank you. But what is your hurricane plan? Surely, there’s not enough haul-out space for all those yachts when a hurricane is forecast?

Also, being in the hurricane zone all year, does that cause problems with insurance?
I have 365 insurance with hurricane cover and am writing a script at this moment for a video on the subject but: Thousands of boats out here in marinas either hurricane season afloat with everything stripped off - sprayhood, bimini, sails etc and employ a guardinage company to look after them or have them hauled out and tied down or put in a trench in a boatyard.
Most boats do the former if they are not liveaboards. Many of the marinas (including mine) are designed to handle very very bad weather with tall piles and strong pontoons.
All year round insurance is possible and not every island is hit by a hurricane every year and even European marinas can and do suffer damage La Rochelle Storm Damage have a look at the photos in this link
 

Sea Devil

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Thanks Michael. Just downloaded your Caribbean guide and am reading it with pleasure!
I will try to remember to let you know when the insurance video comes out which I think - hope will be helpful... It will be on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCHwNBRMwKc-aYYdKzYON4Q my SailingGently channel... Insurance is a big topic out here but everyone has it and thousands sail all through the rainy/hurricane season including charter boats
 
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