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Off topic: Antigua #264437
09/26/2021 04:55 PM
09/26/2021 04:55 PM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 77
Chesapeake Bay, USA
N
Nibj Offline OP
Traveler
Nibj  Offline OP
Traveler
N
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 77
Chesapeake Bay, USA
I know this is the BVI site, but I figure lots of people here have wide charter experience. So apologies, but help please!

We have been to the BVI several times on bareboat charters and very much love the islands. We have charted monohulls (up to 41ft) and cats (up to 44ft). But for ease of travel and something new we thought we might try bareboating in Antigua next April. So

1)TTOL has been super helpful to me over the years. Is there a TTOL-like site for Antigua where I could ask questions? My Google skills have proved sub-par in finding one.
2) How would you compare chartering in the two places? Sunsail says Antigua is a level 2 location whereas BVI is level 1. I guess there is more anchoring in Antigua? And more coral reefs?
3) Is it easy to access beachs and snorkeling? It looks like Antigua is much more developed than the BVI and it might be difficult to access beaches controlled by all-inclusive resorts. Or am I worrying excessively?
4) How about costs? We usually mostly feed ourselves in the BVI except on Anegada, so maybe shouldn't worry about restaurant costs in Antigua. Are there hidden costs for mooring balls etc?

Any comments would be very helpful. Again please excuse the off topic post.

Thanks
Peter

BVI Sponsors
Re: Off topic: Antigua [Re: Nibj] #264453
09/26/2021 08:48 PM
09/26/2021 08:48 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,092
BVI
Zanshin Offline
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Zanshin  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,092
BVI
Antigua is a wonderful island with some incredible anchorages and beaches. But it is different from the BVI in that not every anchorage has restaurants and bars within a short dinghy ride, and the sailing is a bit more engaging and there are only two anchorages that I can think of that have mooring balls (Falmouth for a nominal fee, Green Island for free with gov't balls). But the anchorages tend to be in 20 feet or less of water and with clean sand holding so you shouldn't miss mooring balls. Whilst the BVI are "party central", Antigua is a bit more of "sail and explore". There are shallow areas and reefs in Antigua that are dangerous - but they are marked on the charts.

You would get your boat in English Harbour and should provision there. The other anchorage where you can provision is Jolly Harbour; but those are the only two places for easy access to groceries and a dinghy dock. Overall restaurants and bars are significantly cheaper than in the BVI.

Re: Off topic: Antigua [Re: Nibj] #264488
09/27/2021 12:33 PM
09/27/2021 12:33 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 364
Pacific NW
S
snmhanson Offline
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snmhanson  Offline
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Joined: May 2010
Posts: 364
Pacific NW
Antigua is great - we've sailed there twice. Actually one-way sails starting in Antigua and finishing in St. Martin. There is potentially a bit more exposure to swell than the Virgin Islands depending on your location, but if conditions pick up you can always stick to the lee of the island or behind the reefs. Though you should be comfortable anchoring, the holding is quite good for the most part. The only place we ever took a mooring ball was behind Green Island. Beach access was never an issue for us. We found snorkeling to be not very good compared to other islands and spent our time on beaches and exploring on the land (and kiteboarding). If you like pristine deserted sandy beaches I would highly recommend a couple nights in Barbuda. Similar to the sail to Anegada, though a little further and fully exposed to the ocean swell so watch the forecast. You can find nice restaurants in Antigua if you want, but it's also easy to stock up at the grocery store and cook on the boat. Antigua is, in my opinion, a very logical next step after the BVIs.

Re: Off topic: Antigua [Re: Nibj] #264496
09/27/2021 02:55 PM
09/27/2021 02:55 PM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 77
Chesapeake Bay, USA
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Nibj Offline OP
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Nibj  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 77
Chesapeake Bay, USA
Thanks to you both. Very helpful - and a little surprising - so that’s good. Antigua looks like a good choice for us.


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