ATTENTION: THE MARKING IN THE AMERICAN ZONE IS REVERSED! (compared to the Europe Zone)
WHEN ARRIVING BY SEA, LEAVE THE RED MUD ON STARBOARD. IN ADDITION, THE MARKING IS VERY OFTEN NON-EXISTENT, A GOOD NAVIGATION IS NECESSARY!
The Antilles winds are regular in strength and direction, as for the tide, it rarely exceeds 0.50 m. Consequently, navigation in the West Indies is relatively easy.
The islands are very close to each other and navigation is done on sight.
However, you need to be careful, especially when sailing upwind of the coast, shelters are rare there and the current and wind carry to the coast.
Always anticipate a reduction in sail, as the wind can suddenly strengthen (35 to 50 knots) in squalls. Prefer morning sailings, and plan your arrivals with the sun still high, night falls very quickly in the Caribbean!
We REMIND YOU OF THE OBLIGATION TO KEEP THE LOGBOOK VERY PRECISE.
DANGER WARNING “CASE BOXES”
You will encounter in some cruising areas many trap buoys or creels, (Especially in areas where the bottom is less than 50 m).
These buoys are materialized by the most diverse floating objects ranging from cylindrical buoys to Coca Cola bottles to bleach bottles, they are connected to the lockers by floating polypropylene ropes and therefore present a danger to propeller shafts and rudders, especially when you are motoring.
Be careful, don’t pass near buoys, and as much as possible pass them downwind. If you should catch a piece in the propeller, do not insist on the engine, stop it and dive with a knife to free the piece.
If you must sail in poor visibility conditions, plan on sailing in deep water (Greater than 50m)
A BUTT Caught in a HELIX TREE MAY ARREST THIS ONE AND PROVIDE A WATERWAY SUFFICIENTLY LARGE TO RUN THE BOAT.
DANGER WARNING “CORALS”:
The coral reefs present, like any reef, a significant danger, so you must navigate in these delicate areas with precision, and especially take care to arrive there with the Sun High at Reduced Speed.
In areas where you often sail within the corals, (Antigua, Grenadines, Barbuda, …) you will post a crew member at the front or better, standing on the boom, you will learn very quickly to “read” the color of the water:
- Healthy, deep waters: Dark Blue
- Shallow waters: Light Blue (Turquoise)
- Corals : Brown.
Don’ t just rely on the depth sounder, this one tells you the depth under the boat and not in front of it, out in the Caribbean the upwelling can be very sudden.
TALKING OR CRASHING IS ALWAYS SERIOUS, READ MAPS AND GUIDES VERY CAREFULLY.