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Sail and Dive Around the Caribbean

by andrew August 2010 - last edited February 2013 by Community Manager

As you probably know, Virgin Atlantic are Caribbean specialists, with flights to eight destinations across the region. So we know the best way to get there, but what's the best way to see the region once you've touched down?

 

Charter and Go

For the ultimate experience, what could be better than sailing around the islands, stopping off where and when you like? That's what Ayla Lewis would recommend, and she would know. Having worked as an onboard chef for seven seasons in the Caribbean, she's seen her fair share of sunshine and surf, beautiful beaches, diveable depths andheavenly food of course - and most of it by boat.

 

 

 

St Maarten's Heineken Regatta

St Maarten's Heineken Regatta

 

Ayla put her considerable expertise to use in the second part of this post, an indispensable guide to making chartered sailing simple for the first-timer. So, we thought we'd take this opportunity to ask her about personal highlights from her Caribbean career:

 

It’s all about the fish

Fresh Wahoo for Dinner!

Fresh Wahoo for Dinner!

 

"I was once offered freshly caught local spiny lobster off the back of the boat while anchored on Christmas day morning. We proceeded to set up a BBQ on our very own island for an unforgettable Christmas lunch Caribbean style! (Union Islands north of Grenada)"

"Catching a 150lb yellow fin tuna between the islands, and serving up freshly caught sushi for dinner."

"Discovering my BEST dive secret in the Caribbean, between St Kitts and Nevis, with huge schools of barracuda and tarpon, dozens of spiny lobster, and crystal clear visibility."

 

The active and the relaxing

"Hiking up though the rainforest canopy at Loterie Farm, St Maarten, and returning to a truly Caribbean-style feast at the restaurant at the bottom."

 

"Having some "me-time", reading a book over light lunch in Catherines Café in English Harbour, Antigua."

"Letting off steam kite surfing in Vieux Fort in St Lucia, where they have beach side cabins for the real kite surf adrenaline junkies."

 

 

Going down for a night dive in Antigua

Going down for a night dive in Antigua

 

 

Caribbean nights

Diving in Saba

Diving in Saba

 

"Seeing Jimmy Buffet pick up a guitar and play "Margaritaville" in a sleepy little beach bar in Gustavia, St Barts."

"Going off the beaten track in Barbuda and catching an elusive "green flash" sunset over a sun-soaked rum punch."

"Putting on my dancing shoes for a good, solid night out at The Mad Mongoose followed by 'Abra’s' in Antigua, or The Lady C (floating bar & grill) and then onto Bliss in St Maarten."

 

 

Sunset behind Nevis from Shirley Hieghts, Antigua

Sunset behind Nevis from Shirley Heights, Antigua

 

Don't forget to check out Ayla's beginner's guide: How To Sail Around the Caribbean to get the lowdown on chartering your own boat - and book your Virgin Atlantic Caribbean flights here.

Have you been on a Caribbean adventure? Got any sailing or diving advice? As always your comments are welcome below.


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FindingTheRea August 2010
Life: In Search of the Real Barbados. For more island inspiration check out our recent post on Sailing around the Caribbean.Photos: jenschapter3 on Flickr, © Ramunas Bruzas | Dreamstime.com and © Grahamtomlin |
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VirginAtlantic September 2010
up for grabs Published on August 26th, 2010 by Andrew Bowman Since our recent posts on Barbados and sailing round the islands, we’ve been daydreaming about the Caribbean. These island fantasies inevitably lead to
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WhenShouldYou October 2010
taking their first flight together to relax and enjoy their trip.Check out our recent posts on first-time sailing in the Caribbean and finding the real Barbados, or get the lowdown on New York with our Insider’s Guide.And if
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HowToSailAr March 2011
Maxine Sheppard Onboard chef and accomplished sailor Ayla Lewis follows yesterday’s post on sailing around the Caribbean with a beginner’s guide to chartering your own boat for the ultimate holiday
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About the author: andrew

Andrew Bowman

Andrew is an occasional contributor to the Virgin Atlantic blog. He lived in the Japanese countryside for two years until he could no longer resist the pull of London's galleries, pubs and clubs. He likes to pretend he can speak Japanese and also sometimes writes about music.