11 Feb Blog: Theo en Michelle: Sailing Caribbean America
Around the world, via the Caribbean, Bermuda, across the Atlantic Ocean to the Azores. They are currently in Portugal during this strange time where they deciding what to do. Stay, or make sure that they get on a flight back to the Netherlands while flights are still going…
In recent years at sea, they have kept a monthly blog in which they share their sailing adventures, give tips and share their experiences of sailing routes. We will share a few with you in the Hutting Yachts blogs. This edition includes: sailing around the Caribbean
Preparing the sailing yacht for travel on the US Virgin Islands
“We are located on a mooring in Caneel Bay, one of the many beautiful bays that surround the island of St John. St John is one of the islands that make up the US Virgin Islands. 6 weeks ago, we returned on board after a stay of almost a month in the Netherlands. The sailing yacht had spent that period on land on St Maarten at Bobbys Marina. A marina where we also kept the sailing yacht 11 years ago.
After our arrival, the usual procedure started again:
- Make sure the boat is in order
- Re-launch, check the rigging, etc.
- Assembling any parts we brought along, etc.
- Shopping and refuelling water.
Beach parties & “Happy” Hours by Heineken sailing regatta in Philipsburg
We anchored for a few more days in the large bay at Philipsburg. The beach party on the beach was also unavoidable which was in honour of the Heineken sailing regatta. Music is everywhere in the Caribbean and preferably as loud as possible. This applies for both the local population and the sailing tourists. Besides carnival, the Heineken Regatta is probably the biggest party of the year. The local middle class is also present. Besides the sale of the usual T-shirts, there are many activities.
(Photos of @StMaartenHeinekenRegatta
Sailing from St Maarten to St Thomas
After departure from St Maarten, we sailed on a quiet night trip, surrounded by cruise ships, to the island of St Thomas, the largest island of the US Virgin Islands. St Thomas has a beautiful bay with great anchoring possibilities, but is also a well-known cruise ship destination. 3 to 5 ships per day. The beautiful old Danish centre has been turned into a shopping paradise with jewellers and liquor stores. Besides a museum visit, a synagogue visit (one of the oldest in the western hemisphere), we explored the island by dollar bus which we definitely recommend.
Back in time on Culebra
After a week we sailed to Culebra, one of the Spanish Virgin Islands. It was so nice to go back in time. It is a very quiet island without the huge number of tourists that is common in the rest of the Caribbean. Being able to anchor behind the reef with the Caribbean Sea in front of us… incredible!
Puerto Rico with a thousand motorboats
Then on to Puerto Rico. There, we stayed in a huge Marina for over a week. Transport to and from the boat with a golf cart service. Very enjoyable in the heat. More than a thousand motorboats with which the Puerto Ricans go fishing on weekends and have fun on small islands off the coast.
The island itself is a mixture of Spanish and Caribbean influences, topped with an American sauce. The old Spanish centre of San Juan, the capital, is beautiful. With a huge fort that has guarded access to the natural harbour for 350 years. Here the Spanish ships that looted America could prepare for the crossing back to Europe.
Chilling and preparing for the crossing to Bermuda!
Our plan was to go further west, towards the Bahamas. As is often the case, we decided to adjust the itinerary. This because of the depth, the extra 800 miles and the “chill vibes that the Caribbean gives us. We are going to stay on and around the US Virgins for another month to fully enjoy this beautiful area. To chill out and prepare for the crossing to Bermuda, before we set sail to the Azores …