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Martinique or Antigua Early December #273874
01/21/2022 08:18 AM
01/21/2022 08:18 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 28
F
finnman Offline OP
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finnman  Offline OP
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Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 28
We are considering a 7 - 10 day bareboat charter on either Martinique or Antigua & Barbuda the first week or so in December. Any suggestions or comments about the general vibe, anchorages and on shore activities etc. that would help us decide between the two destinations would be appreciated. We love snorkeling, hiking, beach combing and exploring little Caribbean towns.

Previous charters have been in the USVI/BVI and once through the Grenadines and Les Saintes on the way from Grenada to Tortola. Have never visited either Martinique or Antigua.

Thanks

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Re: Martinique or Antigua Early December [Re: finnman] #273902
01/21/2022 01:36 PM
01/21/2022 01:36 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,923
Annapolis
Eva Offline
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Eva  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,923
Annapolis
Antigua Sailing

For what it's worth, the trip report above is from a sailing charter in Antigua a dozen years ago. I'm sure things have changed, especially Barbuda. Barbuda was the highlight of our trip when we sailed there; I don't know if it's recovered from the hurricanes of 2017. We spent a few days in Barbuda, and the rest around Antigua. There was a lot of good sailing around the island. English Harbour was so cool, especially as we got to tie up stern-to historic Nelson's Dockyard.

I hate to say this about a Caribbean destination, since I've spent so many happy times in the islands, and fallen in love with the people. But Antigua (after 2 trips) left an unhappy vibe for me. I didn't feel welcome, Believe me, I know how to act around West Indian people; I can get even the most hardened immigration agent or shopkeeper to smile, if not chuckle, with/at me. But my best behavior made no dent in most people encountered there. I suspect it has something to do with mass tourism -- with multiple jetloads of package travelers coming in from Europe and seldom leaving their all-inclusives, and many cruise ships crowding the very small town of St. Johns on a daily basis.

Not having tried it, I don't know how easy it would be to sail to other nearby islands from Antigua.

I've been binge-watching Death in Paradise lately, and that has me dying (no pun intended) to visit Martinique and Guadeloupe, so if I personally were in the market for a new charter destination, that might be where I'd head. But I can't tear myself away from the Exumas....


I've got a Caribbean Soul I can barely control... (JB)
Re: Martinique or Antigua Early December [Re: finnman] #273905
01/21/2022 02:13 PM
01/21/2022 02:13 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 28
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finnman Offline OP
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finnman  Offline OP
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Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 28
Thank you! I’ve not heard of Death In Paradise but it sounds like we need to check it out. We loved our two day stop in Les Saintes so are leaning toward Martinique so far…

Re: Martinique or Antigua Early December [Re: finnman] #273910
01/21/2022 02:55 PM
01/21/2022 02:55 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 82,693
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 82,693
Central Florida!
Another shout out for Death in Paradise. Around here, it's on PBS, so that could be why you haven't seen it.


Carol Hill
Re: Martinique or Antigua Early December [Re: finnman] #273933
01/21/2022 06:49 PM
01/21/2022 06:49 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 4,000
U.K. and Spain
Jeannius Online content
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Jeannius  Online Content
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Posts: 4,000
U.K. and Spain
Spent many a happy night anchored in the bay at Deshaies, Guadeloupe, where all the town and bar scenes are set on Death in Paradise. Always watch it just for the memories.

Re: Martinique or Antigua Early December [Re: finnman] #274223
01/25/2022 03:56 PM
01/25/2022 03:56 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,296
Colorado and Sailing the World
Maria_and_Steve Offline
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Maria_and_Steve  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,296
Colorado and Sailing the World
Both Martinique and Antigua are places you can easily spend your time sailing, without leaving either island.
Martinique for the French culture, beaches, history, food and great anchorages. Definitely a Euro vibe here with a Caribbean accent.
Antigua for the history, great anchorages, beaches. Just not so much for the food. Very British and reserved, as Eva found out.
Either island is a great choice.
You probably can't get to Guadeloupe in that short of time. Besides, the Deshais anchorage on Guadeloupe is really poor when the wind howls at 30 knots and most boats drag or collide with others at 2 am, during a normal trade wind night. But Death in Paradise makes a stop worth it. Well maybe wink

Re: Martinique or Antigua Early December [Re: finnman] #274235
01/25/2022 08:23 PM
01/25/2022 08:23 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 28
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finnman Offline OP
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finnman  Offline OP
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Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 28
Thanks to all for the input. Martinique it is!

I will post a trip report and I appreciate all the great advice. Watched the 1st episode of Death in Paradise too!


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