For Canadians during mid-winter, getting away to sunshine destinations is fun, healthy and usually great adventures! There are few places as rich in epic adventures as the Caribbean Islands.
Kiteboarding is epic in Cabarete DR, St Vincent, Anegada BVI, the Turks – and numerous other windward-facing beaches.
Birding, sport fishing, scuba diving and surfing are also very popular.
But for many, sailing is the annual draw south. The way it usually works starts with booking a sailboat from one of the charter boat operations, there are numerous to choose from.
If required, take a 4 or 5 day course to get your captains license. Prepare to learn to control a 10 to 20 ton boat on the sea, as well as coming into dock for water- although onboard desal units are increasingly popular.
Sail times between harbours are often 2 – 4 hours sailing, times between islands are often 5 to 8 hours – the seas are rarely higher than 2-3 meters. Be prepared to clear customs often, there are sooo many little countries, each with their own regulations. Except for the crossing from BVI to St Martin (12 hours), it’s all line of sight, done in a day, from Puerto Rico all the way down to Grenada – navigation is very simple.
Since the Caribbean islands are 10 – 20 degree latitude, they are in the trade winds coming from the east across the Atlantic. So sailing north south is wind abeam.
Blending travel, sailing, Caribbean cuisine, and all the Arawak, Caribe, African, Indian, French, Spanish and English cultures is a great adventure. With 2 or 3 couples onboard, charter boat costs are very reasonable.
- book early for best charter and flight deals
- go carry-on, the boats are pretty all-inclusive
- bring sunblock and casual summer clothing
- headlamp, sunglasses, sun hat, your music