Chartering a yacht in the Leeward Islands – The small northern Antilles, an archipelago of islands gems:

In the Leeward Islands you can experience a Caribbean Yacht Charter in its full diversity. The north of Martinique has a special charm that the more conventional cruises in the south simply can’t match. Large distances between the islands, and the fact that many bays are hard to reach, makes the area more suitable for advanced sailors. Sailors will also enjoy the islands from St. Martin to Antigua, in the northern Leewards with shorter hops, but scenically very different. There are also wonderfully contrasting colours, styles, vegetation, architecture and lifestyles.

Idyllic beaches and untouched nature can be found if you the start in Guadeloupe, and head towards Îles des Saintes and Dominica. Or you can sail amongst others to Antigua, St. Barths, St. Martin, Saba, St. Eustatius, Montserrat and St. Kitts and Nevis. The flat island of Anguilla in the north has endless sandy beaches and – in stark contrast – a rugged volcanic island rising out of the sea. St. Martin: The northern part of the small island is French speaking, while the southern part is Dutch. Most islands belong politically to France, the UK or the Netherlands; a few of them are independent. The area is really only recommended for experienced sailors. The main centres for a sailing cruise are Guadeloupe, Antigua and St. Martin which all offer large yacht sailing fleets and a wide selection of catamarans.

Area characteristics:

Due to the short distances in the northern part from St. Martin it is ideal for families. Hurricane season is from June to November. In summer, the winds blow from the east to the southeast between 5 to 15 knots and in winter from the east from 15 to 25 knots. In winter with cold fronts you can have heavy seas, especially around Christmas, and the wind can reach up to 30 knots. Temperatures range between 25°-30°, with a warm tropical climate, though in winter it can still get quite chilly at night. The leeward side can be subjected to tropical storms between June and November. From December to April it only rains occasionally.

Medium to hard, due to the large distances between some of the islands and strong waves between the passages. Night sailing is usually forbidden because of the large number of reefs, which need to be navigated with great care even during the day. It gets light at 6am and is dark by 6pm.

Tidal range is 40 cm. The current between the islands can reach up to 2 knots so caution is strongly advised. The cruising area around St. Martin is well marked and Anguilla rather poor. The American system applies here: green is starboard and red is port. Especially in waters around reefs you should rely on eyeball navigation.

Anguilla is a water sports paradise, especially when it comes to snorkeling. The clearing in formalities in Road Bay a very stringent and only designated anchorages are permitted for use. Beautiful and natural beaches can be found in Little Bay, Prickly Pear Cays and Sandy Island. The large Road Bay is well protected, even if there’s a partial swell on the bay. It’s open to the west-northwest and is perfect for an evening of cocktails and dancing.

St. Martin: This so-called Hurricane Hole is very well protected – Simson Bay Lagoon. Located in the center of Marigot and hidden is the Marina Port La Royale, with many shops and places to eat around the harbour. The Marina Oyster Pond is beautifully located and well protected by a number of reefs.  Great caution should be exercised when approaching “The Breaker” passage because it not marked by buoys. The Fort St. Luis Marina Latest is well equipp