Chris Doyle, the peripatetic author of Caribbean cruising guides, wrote this recently on the Facebook page of DoyleGuides. We think it sums up the post-hurricane state of affairs in some destinations well:
“Okay we have obviously been focusing on the bad news with the hurricanes. But now I want to look at the good news of next season. The Caribbean will be a great place
to visit in the coming season. Most of the islands were not affected or very minimally affected. In my area, the Windwards and Leewards, the Windwards are so far unaffected, and in the Leewards most islands are in good shape with minor damage, you can visit any time. These include Guadeloupe and associated islands, Antigua, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saba and Statia. In those that were affected, the lovely bays and beaches will be there as always.
So what about the islands that did get damage? St. Martin/Sint Maarten will come back fast. They have much underground electricity and it is mainly working. Most phones work, you can pick a up phone to talk to most people right now. By Christmas it will be as pleasant to visit as ever. There has been considerable damage to docks, but quite a few will be up and running, you will be able to get fuel and water and most, but not all, wrecks in the lagoon will have been cleared away, restaurants and the vast majority of services will be up and running. There is a lot of roof and building damage so you will see tarps and temporary roof for a while as full rebuilding gets done. If you need to haul, some yards will be open. I understand once again Bobbies Mega Yard did really well. What I would say is that there will be a shortage of bareboat charter yachts this year, so if you want to charter book soon!
Anguilla had a lot of damage, but they had a lot of very solid houses too, so by Christmas I would expect the island to be as lovely to visit as always. Restaurants will be back up running.
St. Barts is a very well to do island, and I am sure they will also come back and be fully operational by Christmas.
Barbuda, the cleanup campaign is going well, Barbudans will be home soon to fix their roofs. The anchorages will be as lovely as ever. George Jeffrey tells me that when a hurricane comes, the frigates all take off and disperse before the wind, and they come right back. He tells me he will be in place as will others to take you to the Frigate bird colony. Uncle Roddy’s is hoping to get going this season, but it is not yet sure.
Dominica, the latest and probably hardest hit. The anchorages should be fine for the season, PAYS will be up and running (I say this with confidence even though we have not yet had contact). Moorings will be in place for those that want them, and we are hoping for a great customer appreciation week late February. Sea Cat is going to do his best to be up and running in the Roseau area for the season. I am sure the Dominica Marine Center will do the same though I have yet to make contact.
So have confidence in the Caribbean for the coming season. Do visit, your visit will help the recovery!”
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Never heard of Chris Doyle? Read an interview with him here.