Climate and clothing
You are in the tropics, on a sailboat... your best friend is your swimsuit! However, nights can be a little chilly (25°C, still reasonable!), and a
rainstorm is always possible. A windbreaker can be useful, and to the extreme limit, if you are sensitive to the cold, consider taking a light polar
shirt as well.
Kitesurf in the Grenadines
In order to prevent scratches and marks, unless you have boat shoes specially dedicated for this purpose, barefoot is the way to go, on deck and indoors.
To go ashore, it is best to use water resistant beach-sandals or flip-flops.
For some walks on land, a pair of shoes or sneakers may be necessary.
French: spoken in the French West Indies, very rarely on other islands.
English: spoken in the British West Indies.
Creole: spoken on many islands (in various forms). Certain similarities between Creole and French can help French-speaking people communicating on
On the French islands: euros (€).
On the British islands: the official currency is the Caribbean dollar (EC$), except for Trinidad (Trinidadian dollar, TT$). Once there, the easiest way
to get currency is at bank ATM's with your international credit card. Changing currency at banks can be fairly tedious because of opening hours/days and
US dollars are accepted mostly everywhere on the British islands at a flat rate of 2.65 (1 US$ = 2,65 EC$).
Palm Island - Grenadines
Likewise in Trinidad, except for a possible slight variation in the exchange rate (1 US$ = about 6 TT$).
For a trip inferior to 15 days, French citizens need only an ID card to enter Saint Lucia and Dominica. Any other destination requires a valid passport.
It is very rare to have mosquitoes on boats, which is an undeniable privilege!
However, for your excursions ashore, it's best to always keep a mosquito repellent spray handy, in case of an 'attack'.
Aboard your catamaran
Water activities and related equipment
Flippers, mask and snorkel are a must! Some spots have such beautiful underwater sights it would be a shame to miss it! Plus, if you practice any other
type of water activity (kite surf, windsurf, diving, etc.), take your equipment. Sometimes you will find equipment rentals in local structures (at your
costs). Scuba diving must unconditionally be performed with a local club.
Think of using soft travel bags, easy to put away once empty. Solid suitcases are very difficult to fit anywhere and take way too much space aboard.
Union Island - Grenadines
Beware of sunburns in the tropics, particularly on boats! Protect yourself with a head covering, efficient sunglasses and sunscreen, and for sunburns,
an adequate moisturizing lotion.
Although navigating the channels (between islands) is not always restless and always short (a few hours), it is however recommended, for persons
susceptible to seasickness, to bring appropriate medication to prevent this inconvenience. Persons prone to motion sickness (airplane, car) are
generally more incline to seasickness, but nothing is sure until the first experience.
Lozenges are preferable to pills, as they remain effective even if vomiting.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Some good habits to have for preventing seasickness:
Remember to apply the three-word rule, well know on boats: Hunger, Cold, Fatigue.
You need to eat properly before leaving. Think of eating and hydrating normally during navigation.
Think of taking a waterproof windbreaker with you, this will allow you to stay outside, even during a rainstorm (staying inside favors seasickness).
Get aboard in great shape. Try to avoid heavy partying the night before departure, kind of 'yippee, tomorrow we go to the Grenadines'... hangover and
seasickness get along very well!
Stay outside as much as possible, in a sheltered, shaded and ventilated spot. Stare at the horizon, and if possible, take the helm: it's totally effective!
Do not stress uselessly. Even if sailing in high sea is sometimes impressive for someone inexperienced, boats are conceived for this, and your skipper
knows what he is doing. Do not hesitate to share your fears with him, he will most certainly set your mind at rest. While some sailing conditions could
appear catastrophic to an amateur, it will be just fun for an experienced sailor. It is just a question of habit and benchmarks.
Tobago Cays - Grenadines
At the beginning of the cruise, your skipper will give you basic security rules.
Consumption of liquors is authorized only with moderation, particularly during navigation for obvious reasons of security.
Children are welcome aboard our boats. A cruise, particularly in the tropics, is generally a very inspiring experience for them and even sometimes
Parents need to be aware though that they are fully responsible for ensuring their safety (especially for young children who don't always understand
potential danger), the skipper being busy with the good running of the boat.
The sailing program will sometimes need adjustments to their presence aboard (additional stopovers to shorten some sailing time, smoother anchorages,
specific activities, etc.).
In any event, plan for your children to swim from the boat. It would be a shame to deny them this enjoyment. A good swimming belt (preferable to
inflatable armbands) will really help to give them confidence, even if they are not yet fine swimmers!
Have a great vacation and enjoy the sailing!