Hurricane season is typically crossed off the list when planning a Caribbean summer vacation. However, if you desire sun-filled beaches and calm anchorages, the Grenadines may just become your best-ever summer sailing vacation.
Here at Barefoot, we too have favourite times of the year for sailing with our families and it may come as a surprise but summer is No. 1 on our list!
Here are 5 reasons why low season may be your favourite time of year to sail:
Outside temperatures are actually a little higher in summer time than in winter. On top of the glorious Caribbean heat, add a gentle sea breeze and you have the Caribbean dream. Although the general consensus is that the entire Caribbean is a runway for hurricanes, the location of the islands is a very important factor to consider. St Vincent and the Grenadines lie just below the known “hurricane belt” that is so often talked about. The islands range between 12.2 degrees North Latitude and 13.2 degrees North Latitude. Islands south of 14º North Latitude seldom are affected, so islands south of Martinique have only a 2.2 percent annual risk of being affected by a hurricane, making your odds about 50-1 against a storm interrupting your vacation…. Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are far less likely to be affected by hurricanes than the other islands” says Responsible Travel.
The summer typically bring winds that vary between 5-15 knots which often means less swell (1-3 feet) and minimal rough seas. It may be the perfect time of year to bring your friends and family for the first time or those who are prone to sea sickness as lighter winds are more favorable for most of our sailing catamarans.
If you are interested in local steel pan music, and if you enjoy calypso accompanied by colorful costumes and island vibes, then Vincy Mas (Carnival) is a sight to see. SVG Carnival officially runs through June and July. Several islands also have carnival time and activities that take place south of St Vincent on Bequia, Canouan and Union Islands.
In summer time, anchoring in the Grenadines is a breeze. Bays are often deserted and in some months boat vendors cease operation and resorts are quiet. You may just be lucky enough to have the entire 32 islands all to yourself. If calm anchorages, gentle trade wind breezes and deserted beaches sounds like the perfect vacation to you, then this time of year could be your no. 1 choice.
“This is what cruising the Caribbean was like, before the charter boom of the 1980s, when I sailed these islands with my father and grandfather” says Philip Barnard, owner of The Barefoot Companies and a professional racing sailor. “We would wave towels to welcome boats into the anchorages, as it was such a rare occurrence to see other yachts. This is my favorite time of year to sail with my own family.”
There is less demand for charters during the off season, and you are guaranteed lower prices. As our fleet grows and the demand in the winter months increases, you will enjoy a wider range of choice when selecting your yacht. You may also find a wider selection of flights to the islands which will likely also be considerably less expensive.