10 Reasons To Go On A Crewed Charter In The Caribbean
The Caribbean is extremely diverse and this makes it a fabulous region to explore from the sea. So if thousands of beaches, rum stocked bars and wonderful people are not good enough reasons, here are our top ten for going on a sailing charter holiday in the Caribbean. And if this inspires you, check out our free ‘Sailing in Style’ Guide…details below.
1 – The Trade Winds!
The Trade Winds come all the way from Africa. They provide the Caribbean with warm temperatures and pleasant breezes all year round. The trades are usually very reliable and blow almost constantly at 15-25 knots from the northeast. They also provide temperatures in the mid to high 20C which make for fabulous sailing up and down the island chain.
2 – Warm Turquoise Waters
The clear waters of the Caribbean glisten and shine, begging you to dive in and take a look at the beauty that is also underwater once the anchor has dropped. The reason the water is so incredible is that there is very little plankton or algae due to the warmth of the sea. That together with the shallow coastlines, sandy beaches and clear skies provide for stunning visibility and great snorkelling in your swimwear (definitely no need for a wetsuit!).
3 – Diversity of Islands
There are 100s of islands in the Lesser Antilles which is where we currently sail in the Caribbean. Some are independent countries and others are territories of the UK, US, France, and Netherlands. Some islands have mountainous rain forests. Many have geothermal activity and volcanos – five of which are still active. All have beautiful beaches with either white, pink or black sand. Thriving reefs surround most of the islands. This all makes for very diverse island terrains, and fascinating experiences as you hop from island to island.
4 – Varied Flora and Fauna
Considering that volcanic activity created all the Caribbean islands, it is incredible how rich their flora is. You can see mangroves, rain forests, palm trees, orchids, sugar cane, cacao and nutmeg to name but a few. St Vincent is home to the oldest Botanical Garden in the Western Hemisphere, founded in 1765. There you can see breadfruit trees, offshoots of trees brought to the island by Captain Bligh from the Mutiny of the Bounty infamy. Most fauna arrived on flotsam. So it is mainly small rodents, insects and iguanas and the occasional rare snake. Pelicans diving, Boobies fishing, Frigates stealing, and Hummingbirds hovering are also commons sights as you sail. And as usual, man has also had its influence. You can see flamingos in Anegada, Vervet monkeys in St Kitts & Nevis, armadillos and Mona monkeys Grenada; and wild deer, boar and donkeys (aka stop signs) in Barbuda. Read more about Caribbean flora and fauna here.
5 – Sea Life
Just as life above ground is rich and diverse, so is the sea life. You can swim with hawksbill turtles as they munch on sea grass in Tobago Cays. You can watch dolphins swish around your bow and see sperm and hunchback whales breach as you sail the coast of Dominica. Or you can snorkel with stingrays in Antigua. Jacques Cousteau’s Marine Reserve in Guadeloupe is an underwater heaven – full of stunning corals and tropical fish.
6 – Variety of Sailing Experiences
With the constant trades, sailing is great all year round, but the ideal time to come is from November to June, making it a warm destination when it is cooler in northern Europe and North America. The winds enable us to easily hop between islands and provide great coastal sailing. The great winds also mean that the Caribbean has now also become a major part of the regatta circuit. You can get involved with everything from local club racing in Jolly Harbour Antigua, Classic Yacht Racing in St Barts, the Sint Maarten Heineken Regatta and the around the Caribbean RORC 600. Whether you are a beginner looking to find out if sailing is for you or a professional sailor, the Caribbean is one of the places to come sailing.
7 – History & Culture
To say the Caribbean has a history is an understatement. Everywhere you look there is a tribute to the past. Hilltop fortresses with enormous canons. Traditional Georgian architecture. Wrecks on every reef. Derelict and refurbished plantation houses and sugar mills. Sadly, most of the history deals with a lot of pain. After the last Arawak and Carib Indians came Columbus and the Spanish. Pirates then came from across Europe to steal the gold the Spanish had taken from the Indians. And as sugar became the main crop across the islands, so did slavery. The diverse history has left a vibrant legacy of different languages, people, food and traditions such as Carnival.
8 – Friendly People
You don’t even have to set foot on land before you get a warm Caribbean welcome from the boat boys. They are eager to help you and supply lots of other things. Getting fresh fish (and lobster when in season), collecting and dropping off laundry or filling up with diesel and water. As soon as you head ashore big smiles and a traditional ‘Good Morning, Good Afternoon or Good Night’ greet you. And all in English too, as English is widely spoken on most of the islands.
9 – Amazing Food and Drink
Considering how remote the Caribbean islands are, it is incredible what can be sourced when you are ashore! Get fresh bread brought directly to your boat in Marigot Bay, or buy Gourmet foods at Doris’ in Bequia. And there is nothing like tasting the local street food – chicken in Hillsborough, or a BBQs in Tobago Cays. Or hearing the sound of a conch shell horn as fresh fish arrive at the harbour ready for purchase. Pop into a market and any of the locals will help you identify the wonderful fruits and vegetables on display. They will even give you tips on how to cook them! A favourite of ours is in Kingstown, St Vincent.
10 – Sailing in Style in the Caribbean
There are so many ways to enjoy the Caribbean – you can, of course, choose to do a cruise, but being able to visit the smaller coves and bays is only really possible when you travel on your own yacht and of course is even better if you have crew on board who know where they are going and where all the hidden treasures are! To help you find your next perfect sailing holiday, we have created a free Sailing in Style Guide that explains all the ins and outs of booking a sailing holiday in the Caribbean. You can download it here.
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Neil & Sam
The BlueFoot Travel Team
About BlueFoot Travel
We offer sailing holidays in the Caribbean. Join us on board a private yacht and experience an unforgettable crewed charter. Book a private cabin for your sailing vacation – ideal for single travellers, couples and small groups. Relax, enjoy delicious food, get hands-on sailing experience, and have lots of fun as we sail from one beautiful island to the next.