Saturday, January 28, 2012

A note on sailing in the Caribbean

Finally, an old dream to charter a private boat and island hop is achieved.   Probably for the last 10 years I have been dreaming about renting a large boat and going from one island to another with a group of friends.

Recently, 40 of us rented 5 large catamarans and cruised around Leeward islands in the Caribbean and celebrated our recent graduation.  We started from St Martin, then on to St Barth’s, Pinel Island, and finally Anguilla.  Most favorite island was Anguilla with its 35 beaches, where we found ourselves alone on a perfect beach stretching for at least a mile.  Most fun was St Barth’s where we danced on tables at Bagatelle until we could not stand.

The actual sailing part was a bit overwhelming, although a seasoned boater, I felt slightly nauseous and almost got sick from strong waves and the rocking of the boat.  Some in the group ended up throwing up overboard, but those who took motion sickness pills felt fine.  At first, I thought it was rough weather or bad season for boating but apparently these are just normal waves in this part of the world.  Note to self: go sailing only in calm water

The unique part is going to secluded beaches only accessible by boat and unspoiled by millions of tourists.  Moving around from one island to another and sleeping on a boat is also pretty cool. 

Watching from the sideline it feels like this holiday is only for the rich and famous but it is very affordable.   The cost to rent a 40 foot catamaran was a little bit more than $1k/pp/week and included the skipper.  However, the caveat is that sleeping conditions are not very comfortable and bathroom/shower space is very small.

Of course the bigger the yacht the better the accommodations:)