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WINTER 2011I sea&iI57and lots of dancing. Arrive early for sundowners (skip thebarbecue) and enjoy the sunset over English Harbour.Abracadabra'sin English Harbour is always jumping. Servingfresh seafood early on, the night later evolves into a danceparty as live jazz, reggae and often carnival costumes take over. Down in the Windward island chain, Basil's Baron Mustiquehas been welcoming celebrities and royalty for more than 30years. Constructed on stilts over the beach, the bar is legendaryfor parties and late night jump-ups. For local rum and reggae, Grenada'sbest-known nightlife canbe found at the Bananas Nightclubor Karmaon the Carenagein the capital of St George; and for live entertainment theCalebasse Café in Martinique'sLe Marin is a fashionable cosyspot that features Cuban, jazz and French music. Snorkelling The Caribbean has fantastic reefs and wrecks for diving andscuba-diving. All ages can experience the underwater world ofexotic fish and colourful coral with a snorkel and mask, and tomake it even easier many of the snorkelling spots have markedunderwater trails for snorkellers to explore with signsdescribing the typical marine life for the area. The Virgin Islands are synonymous with some of the world'sbest snorkelling opportunities. Lying just off Norman Islandinthe BVI, The Indiansare a dramatic reef and rocky outcrop,resembling an Indian headdress and providing superbsnorkelling. The Bathson Virgin Gordaare perfect for childrenand novice snorkellers as the shallow pools are calm and clear. Over in the USVI, Buck Island National Monument, lying justoff St Croix'snorth shore, is an 850-acre national park where thereef is home to more than 250 species of fish and a variety ofcorals and crustaceans. Cane Bayon St Croix has a reef thatextends out to Cane Bay Wall, a dramatic drop into deep waters.Almost all of the beaches aroundSt John, also in the USVI, havecoral reefs around the bays where a variety of coral and tropicalfish can be seen in the clear waters. Caneel Bay, Hawknest Bayand Trunk Bayin the USVI also have great snorkelling withwaters shallow enough for children. Antiguais surrounded by warm, clear waters with anabundance of colourful marine life. Several coral reefs, wallsand shipwrecks provide a home to many varieties of fish, andwith little current, these waters are ideal for children and novicesnorkellers. The one-and-a-half kilometre (one mile) longParadise Reefoff Dickenson Bay, and Cades Reef, now an under-water park, are among the area's popular snorkelling spots. Down in the Grenadines every island in the chain offerssnorkelling opportunities, but the Tobago Caysare particularlyspecial. A protected area, the coral is untouched and the calmwaters allow you to float and let the water gently pull you overthe reef. Other areas of note in the Grenadines include thewaters surrounding Palm Island, Petit St Vincentand Canouan.Lying at top and the bottom of the Grenadines island chain, StLuciaandGrenadahave ample snorkelling spots. SoufriereMarine Parkin St Luciais perfect for snorkelling, as is the coralaround Anse Chastanet, where the reef is long with plenty ofshallow areas to explore. The area is a marine reserve and nomotorised boats are allowed near the snorkelling site. For aunique experience, Molinier Bayin Grenadais an eerie site withan underwater gallery of sculptures anchored 4.5 metres (14.7feet) beneath the surface. Diving Home to several marine national parks, shipwrecks, andtropical marine life, the Caribbean is a must-visit destinationfor scuba-divers. Beach dives, reef dives, wreck dives and walldives are all on offer for experienced divers. Most of theaforementioned snorkelling spots provide ample divingopportunities, but the following are further dive sites for thoselooking for the ultimate diving experience.In the USVI, divers can explore a number of shipwrecksaround the Buck Island Reef National MonumentincludingNorthwind, theRosaomaria, and the Suffolk Maid. Other gooddive sites include the drop-offs and coral canyons at Cane Bayand Davis Bay- the latter of which, at 3,600 metres (11,800feet), is the fifth-deepest body of water in the world.The neighbouring BVIs have several gentle dives that rarelyexceed 30 metres (98 feet). Lying just off Salt Islandis the wreckof HMS Rhone. The Royal Mail steamer, which went down in1867, is one of the most celebrated dive sites in the Caribbean.Other spectacular dive sites in the area include the ChikuzenoffTortola. This 82m (270') steel-hulled ship sank off the island'seast coast and is now home to an array of tropical fish, includingyellowtail, barracuda, black-tip sharks and drum fish.Meanwhile, the brilliant coral wall known as Alice inWonderlandat nearby Ginger Island slopes to a sandy bottomat 30 metres. Aptly named, the site is often referred to as afantasy due to its overhangs, vibrant colours, huge mushroom-shaped corals and colourful fish. The southwestern side of mountainous St Kitts offersspectacular dive sites for all standards. The more popularand challenging include the 30-metre long canyons in theSandy Point Reef National Marine Park. The waterssurrounding neighbouring volcanic island of Sabaare hometo 38 official dive sites. Unusual lava flows, black sand, andlarge strands of black coral attract millions of colourful fish.Just over the water, the Pillars of Herculeslying off Antiguaare a group of coral columns resembling an ancientGreek temple. aboardashore?Opposite page, clockwisefrom top:the FourSeasons Nevis RobertTrent Jones (Junior) golf course; the Spa on Mustique; the VirginIslands have severalsnorkelling spots; theLeeward island of Nevis;Little Dix Bay, VirginGorda, BVI; The BeachBar & Grill at the PeterIsland Resort, BVI

58Isea&iIWINTER 2011Further south, the wreck of Nahoonlying just off Martiniquein the Windward Islands is a three-mast lighthouse boat thatis lying on the seabed at 36 metres (118 feet). The wreck isinhabited by barracuda and tropical fish. South of Martinique,the Grenadineschain offers a number of dives at protected reefswhere divers can swim with stingrays and see coral. Watersports With the year-round trade winds, the Caribbean is the perfectplayground for board sports including kite surfing,windsurfing and surfing. Reliable winds, aided by the warmwater swells and sheltered bays, attract surfers from aroundthe world to the Virgin Islandsin the north and BarbadosandSt Lucia in the south. With no hills to disrupt the trade winds and 13 kilometres(eight miles) of protected coral reef around sandy beaches, theBVI's Anegadais a paradise for windsurfers. The flat island ofAnguilla, and in particular Barnes Bay, is also a popularwindsurfing spot. The Caribbean islands have many mangroves and lagoonsthat can be explored by kayak, but the best sea kayaking isto be had around the dramatic boulders and grottoes of TheBaths, Virgin Gorda. SpaThe unhurried pace of the Caribbean takes a while to adjust tobut as you adapt to 'island time' and your body and soul beginto relax, try a treatment at some of the finest spas the islandshave to offer. Many take advantage of the local flora and fauna,fresh fruit and salt water to create signature treatments. The Spaat the Little Dix Bay Resortis set on the hillside withpanoramic views overVirgin Gorda. The spa has developed itsown signature treatments that draw on the island's indigenousplants and the ancient therapeutic practices of the CaribIndians. Try the Virgin Gorda Goat Milk and Honey Wrap. Alsoin the BVIs, guests can indulge in a Cast Away Facial at the PeterIsland Resort.Over in the Leeward Islands, the spa at the Malliouhana Hotelon Anguilla is set on the oceanfront and offers a number ofspeciality treatments and massages. Neighbouring St Barthsis also home to a number of top-notch spas, including The Spaat Hotel St Barth Isle de France, designed by Molton Brown, andthe Guanahani Spa by Clarins. The recently refurbished Four Seasons Spaat the FourSeasons Resort on Nevis is one of the top-rated spas in theCaribbean. The unique menu includes treatments such as guavabody wraps or a rum tonic sugar cane exfoliation.Neighbouring Antiguais home to the new Sense Spaat therecently reopened Jumby Bay. The spa, set close to the beachwith views over the Caribbean Sea, is open to the elements withtreatment rooms leading onto private terraces. The signaturetreatments use ingredients taken straight from the privateisland's gardens. On the private island of Mustique, The Spaat Endeavour Bayhas a number of treatments using productsfrom E'Spa. Treatments can also be arranged on board your ownyacht, and several yachts now have their own spa on board. Fishing The Caribbean has some of the best fishing grounds in theworld. The waters are teeming with big game and the islandsare ideal for offshore fishing excursions. Sportfisherman cometo the islands for the abundance of blue marlin, sailfish, mahimahi, tuna and wahoo. The cruising grounds of the Virgin Islands, in particular,attract sportfisherman from around the world to compete inlocal tournaments. Further south, the waters around Barbadosand Grenadaare perfect for sportfishing enthusiasts and deep-sea fisherman in search of billfish, while the calmer, coastalwaters nearer the islands are home to wahoo and barracuda. Although some islands have good fishing year-round, themajority have their best season from January to April. Permitsare required for some islands, while others have a catch-and-release policy. Your captain can advise you prior to any cruise. GolfThe Caribbean has always been a popular destination for golfand there are numerous championship golf courses throughoutthe islands, many designed by some of the world's most famousgolf architects. The Greg Norman designed links Temenos Golf CourseonAnguillahas 14 sea-view holes amid a jigsaw of lagoons andponds. For several consecutive years the Four Seasons Neviscourse has been rated as the number one golf resort in theCaribbean by US magazine Conde Nast Traveler. The RobertTrent Jones (Junior) course provides a dramatic view of theresort and the neighbouring island of St Kitts. The first teeis 137 metres (450 feet) above sea level and the final hole ison the beach. The Empress Josephine Golf Coursein Martinique is anotheraward-winning course. Designed by Robert Trent Jones(Senior), it makes full use of banks, trees, lakes and bunkersto provide 18 holes of challenging play. Drift through the Caribbean waters, seek out the mostsecluded beaches, step ashore to exclusive restaurants - theoptions are endless and your CNI charter broker is on hand todevise the most imaginative itineraries. nFor more information on chartering in the Caribbean, contactyour nearest CNI charter broker, see page 6Photography: Four Seasons Nevis; Dan Annet; Bugsy Gedlek