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ARRIVAL


into the “Windwards” and “Leewards” using phraseology that came about in the days when sailing ships were plying the slave trade.


The Windwards lie to the south of the Leeward Islands and is the chain some 200 miles long stretching from Martinique in the north down to Grenada in the South. Some geographers include Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago in the group, but we do not.


DESTINATION


Described as a sailor’s paradise, the Eastern Caribbean is, at times, a curious place. The cruising ground comprises a chain of islands spanning a distance of over 500 nautical miles from the Virgin Islands in the north down to Venezuela in the South. The chain divides the Atlantic Ocean from the Caribbean Sea and has been subdivided by sailors


By tradition the Leeward Islands are those that begin with Antigua in the North and run southwards until Martinique. Some of the smaller islands have big reputations and some of the big islands are virtually unknown. What they offer to those superyacht crews with a sense of adventure is exceptional beauty and an endless list of things to see and do.


Arriving and entering into small independent countries can be an adventure in itself! Islands that were once British took over immigration forms and practices developed in the 1960s by pen pushing Brits and have, for the most part left them the same. This means completing lengthy paperwork procedures before crew and yacht are given clearance or free pratique. It pays to do your homework before leaving Europe and preparing as much of these formalities on passage so as to save time upon arrival. Large yachts will tend to use agents to handle the clearing in process and in many cases will have also prebooked fuel and provisions. Yachts, with smaller crews and tighter budgets, will do things for themselves and will find that even though the process might seem tedious, it is in fact a useful reminder and introduction to the fact that, in the Caribbean, things take a little longer when the sun shines and the rum flows and this tends to slow things down a bit.


ONBOARD | AUTUMN 2021 | 79


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