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Old 05-18-2012, 05:56 AM
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,515,215 times
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I love to travel ..... but not via some over-structured, overpiced, luxury-loaded "package" dreamed up by some marketing schlockmeister. When I was young and uncommitted, my idea of a great vacation was to pack a couple of changes of clothing and one set of swim gear, buy a two-week Greyhound pass, and just go exploring.

I'm now in my early sixties and entering semi-retirement. One of the areas I'd like to see a bit more of is the West Indies, but not via the usual air-travel-centered process -- I'll fly when absolutely necessary, but don't care for the confinement and sense of powerlessness.

I've made a couple of day-trips on the gambling-centered cruises from Florida, and would like to build on that. Surely some of these islands have arrangements for visiting professionals, technical personnel, and the like, but I have no idea how to go looking for them. Can any of the membership offer ideas, expertise, or actual experience?

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 05-18-2012 at 06:07 AM..
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:29 AM
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So is flying completely out of the question?
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:47 AM
Location: on an island
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One thing we did (which was VERY enjoyable and VERY expensive) was charter a crewed yacht and sail the British Virgin Islands. We could go wherever we wanted, and someone else cooked dinner every night. It was beautiful, interesting and heavenly.

I am sure there is a cheaper version of this, especially for one or two people (there were about 10 of us.)

My brother in law found the charter.
There are all sorts of links, but here's one just to give you an idea.
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:59 AM
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,515,215 times
Reputation: 15955
Originally Posted by mels View Post
So is flying completely out of the question?
No, I'll fly when there is no other alternative, or time is critical. But to my point of view, air travel demonstrates a lot of what's wrong with our over-regulated, over-homogenized, over-sanitized society.

To cite another example of this, I don't have much desire to visit Hawaii. Personal interests have a lot to do with it (I'm a railroad buff, among other things), but another is that there is no surface auto-ferry system between the islands -- a mode of travel I'll go out of my way to investigate when available.

This is the case for a good reason, I understand. The ocean currents surrounding the islands are particularly treacheous, so it makes more sense to fly and rent a junker vehicle.

And I'll also admit threre is another downside to my non-conformity. Once outside the usual tourist venues, a fairly well-dressed stranger with a few bucks in his/her pocket can be an incident waiting to happen, or might even be seen as a doper looking to score. I've been at this long enough to avoid the obvious giveaways and mistakes when in North America, but the rules are undoubtedly different offshore.
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Old 05-20-2012, 03:56 PM
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
4,241 posts, read 8,089,320 times
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Not sure what the "fly when there is no other alternative" means, in terms of getting to most of the off the track C islands? Yes, there are some boats and shipping between islands obviously, but have never considered checking out tramp steamers for getting between islands. However, 3 second quick Yahoo search turns up pages of inter island boats:
boats between caribbean islands - Yahoo! Search Results

Some of the places we have been that don't come up on most peoples' travel package radar, mostly for diving/exploring/hanging out:
Montserrat, Nevis, Antigua, Guadalupe, Anguilla, Saba, Dominica, Tobago, et al.
All offer some very laid back, 'real' island ways of life, some remarkable hikes and scenery, usually empty 'beaches', some have outstanding diving, etc. Montserrat is almost gonzo now, with the frequent volcano activity, but my parents had a home there for decades...thus, we got 'around' on inter island puddle jumpers to some out of the way places.

The OP sounds a bit naive and idealistic, but in our 3+ decades of island 'going', we have never had a problem, other than having to salve some local customs people. Hit the 'road', fly to a few out of the way islands and explore.
GL, mD
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:35 AM
Location: Durham, NC
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Barbuda looks like a great place to experience the "real Caribbean". You can take a ferry there from Antigua, but you'll have to find your way to Antigua by air or water.
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