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Sailing the Windward and Leeward Islands of the Caribbean with Lady Liv Yacht Charter

Sailing Destinations 2011 – Windward & Leeward Islands

Lady Liv will cruise throughout the Windward and Leeward Islands  during the 2011 Cruising Season. We can advise the closest starting point in either location, cruising a variety of the local islands. This flexibility in planning will hopefully make it easier for you to arrange your international flights to the West Indies, and any inter-island hopping once you arrive in the Caribbean.

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The Windward Islands  Main Airport Barbados. Liat Airways link to islands

Windward Islands photo montage

You can escape the winter blues and join us on Lady Liv for some of the most exciting sailing in the Caribbean sunshine. Starting from Grenada also known as the Spice Island just after the New Year 2011 where the aromas of the nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon pervade the air as you approach the shores has St. Georges as it's capital, offering picturesque harbourside bars and restaurants, also much European and Island history. The island boasts one of the most beautiful beaches in the world – Grand Anse - home to the annual Grenada Sailing Festival and Workboat Regatta, where the serious matter of yacht racing is matched with the fiercely competitive local regatta for the Islands Workboats, a fun-filled family spectacle. The Fish Friday event at the town of Gouyave each week is not to be missed, with a huge variety of home-cooked fresh fish and vegetables on offer to locals and tourists alike, all washed down with a local Grenadan Carib beer ! Just to the north of Grenada is one of it's sister islands, Carriacou, where you will find a number of good restaurants, friendly bars and make sure that you visit the mangrove swamps via dinghy in Tyrrell Bay, or snorkel off the tiny Sandy Island - really a sandspit - just near Hillsborough, the capital. We also visit Anse la Roche where you can watch iguanas on the beach, and spot turtle tracks in the sand.

The country of St Vincent & The Grenadines encompasses a number of smaller islands all lying south of the main island of St Vincent, and boasts some of the finest beaches and sensational snorkelling in it's pristine waters. From the larger islands like Bequia in the north with its wealth of boutiques, local shops, bars and restaurants on the waterfront, to it's very close and prestigious neighbour Mustique. A visit to Basil’s Bar, the watering-hole of the rich and famous is a must, but the weekly barbecue and jump-up is unmissable. In stark contrast, you can also visit Petit Nevis, an uninhabited former whaling island, and walk on virgin beaches made up of thousands of shells, coral pieces and the whitest powder sand, only accessible via tender.

The world-famous horseshoe reef at the Tobago Cays Marine Park provides arguably the best snorkelling in the Caribbean, with its thousands of multi-coloured fish darting around the extensive coral heads, and the opportunity to swim with sea turtles of all sizes who feed abundantly on the sea grass close to the yachts at anchor. Or you could try clambering to the top of Jamesby Island, and see how many iguanas you can spot ! These uninhabited and unspoiled Cays are now a National Park, only accessible to private yachts, and a barbecue here on board Lady Liv, with a rum punch in your hand, as the sun sets over the islands is something not to be missed. Close to the Cays is the much larger Union Island which is useful for provisioning, shopping at the colourful and very friendly fruit & vegetable market, and soaking in the local Caribbean atmosphere. A visit here to Bougainvillea restaurant with its shark tank is recommended, or perhaps a sail around the coast to Ashton bay to see the hundreds of starfish on the sea bed, or Chatham for a barbecue at one of the beach "bars".

We can also visit Petit St Vincent, a magnificent private resort island, where the crystal clear turquoise waters meet the brilliant blue azure sky and the whitest of long sandy beaches. Visitors to this resort can enjoy a very reasonable cocktail at the open air bar/restaurant overlooking the channel towards Petit Martinique, in the most opulent of surroundings.You could also picnic on the tiny "island" of Mopion, which boasts a coral reef and an umbrella !

The Leeward Islands  Main Airport Antigua. Liat Airways link to islands.

Leeward Islands photo montage

Later in our season, we will be sailing north to the Leeward Islands, where there is the chance to sample some of the finest open sea sailing in the World, with the longer distances between the islands in this beautiful chain. The Leewards encompass a variety of different nationalities, from the duty-free Dutch-French island of Sint Maarten/St. Martin in the North with its dual personality of French style boutiques & duty free shopping, combined with quaint Dutch architecture, to the island of Dominica in the South with it’s mountainous lush rain forest interior, friendly people and laid back Caribbean lifestyle. A hike through the forest in Dominica, crossing the river several times ultimately reaching the impressive Victoria Falls with a guide should definitely be on your list of to-dos. When in St Martin, be sure to visit the airport at Phillipsburg, where you can stand at the end of the runway for a close encounter with a Jumbo Jet, or sit in the beach bar and enjoy the view with rum punch in hand.

The largest and most well-known island in the chain has to be Antigua - a sailing mecca, with it’s regattas, smart marinas and 365 pristine beaches, living alongside age-old traditions, markets and some of the friendliest locals in the West Indies. The view from Shirley Heights, across to English Harbour and Nelson’s Dockyard, is well worth the visit, especially to join in on the local jump-up and barbeque held every week, on Thursdays and Sundays. Antigua also holds its famous annual sailing week each April/May, considered by many to be one of the top five regattas in the World, with sensational sailing for both participants and spectators, parties and more. If hiking is your fancy, then try hiking to the top of the islands at Great Bird Island, where you can watch the distinctive long-tailed seagulls circle around you, or hunt the elusive Antiguan Racer, one of the World's endangered snakes!

Close to Antigua’s shores you will find Barbuda, Antigua’s twin island whose capital Codrington lies across a sandspit from the beach, and a mile and a half across the lagoon where the Barbudans breed their world-famous lobsters. Other nearby islands, with a British heritage are the well-known islands of St. Kitts & Nevis, with their rugged coastlines and historical buildings. The French Island of St Barths often featured in the celebrity and royalty press is definitely worth a visit, for it's numerous pristine bars and restaurants lining the front at Gustavia, the beautiful typically French boutiques, and snorkelling with the sharks over the wreck in crystal clear waters in the harbour.

During the winter season in the Caribbean throughout the Islands, you have the opportunity of experiencing many of the local island festivals, carnivals, music events and sporting features – not to mention the numerous sailing regattas – all providing an amazing West Indian spectacle, not to be missed ! See our Links Page for more information on these events.

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