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CRUISING GUIDEI29caribbean& the bahamasStretching for over 1,000 miles between Northand South America, the cruising grounds ofthe Caribbean are a haven for waterbornetravellers. With its melting pot of culturalinfluences, enticing azure waters and beachesabound, the Caribbean has a truly irresistible appeal.Each island is unique - the Virgin Islands in the northare renowned for their exquisite beaches and coralreefs; the chic Leeward's chain is full of charm; and inthe south you will find the lush and beautiful longisland chain of the Grenadines - but one thing they allhave in common is their myriad coves and bays. Further north, lying just off the east coast of Americaand continuing across to the Caribbean, the shallowblue waters of the Bahamas have some of the world'smost famous dive sites and fishing grounds, as wellas great long stretches of white sandy beaches.

aboardhAnchor off Norman Island and swim ashore tothe original 'Treasure Island' hWatch out for sea turtles as they gracefullyswim to the surface in Cane Garden BayhSalute the sun with a yoga session on thedecks of your yachthSnorkel around The Indians off Norman IslandhFollow in the flippers of Jean-Michel Cousteauwith a dive around the Angelfish Reef,Norman Island hFrolic with colourful fish around the coral atolllying off Anegada hSea-kayak around the dramatic boulders andgrottoes of The Baths on Virgin GordahExplore the Royal Mail Steamer Rhone - themost celebrated dive site in the BVI don't misshThe St Thomas Carnival that runs over fivedays from the end of April to early MayashorehTender to the luxurious spa on the privatePeter Island for a Cast Away facial hJoin one of the sunset yoga and Pilatessessions held at Fort Recovery on Tortola hSwim ashore to Jost Van Dyke's Soggy DollarBar for a famous Painkiller cocktailhRendezvous with fellow seafarers at the BitterEnd Yacht Club on Virgin GordahFor party central, try Willy T's, Norman Island hFor sophisticated boutiques step ashore atCharlotte Amalie, St Thomas virgin islandsDay 1St Thomas to Trunk Bay, St John(11 nautical miles) Day 2St John to Soper's Hole, Tortola(5 nautical miles) Day 3Tortola to Norman Island to Peter Island(11 nautical miles) Day 4Peter Island to Salt Island to The Baths, VirginGorda(14 nautical miles) Day 5The Baths to North Sounds, Virgin Gorda(5 nautical miles)Day 6Virgin Gorda to Anegada to Beef Island(35 nautical miles) Day 7Beef Island to Jost Van Dyke(10 nautical miles) Day 8Jost Van Dyke to Cane Garden Bay, Tortola(7 nautical miles) Day 9Tortola to St John(5 nautical miles) Day 10St John to St Thomas(11 nautical miles)30IICHARTER COLLECTION 2012The sheltered waters of the US and British Virgin Islands are considered to be some of the finest blue-watercruising grounds in the Caribbean. With a balmy climate, steady easterly trade winds and an abundance ofsecluded anchorages, the archipelagos are a haven for sailors, big game fishermen and divers. A fragmented jigsaw of green isles in a turquoise sea, the British Virgin Islands remain relatively unspoilt with longsweeps of sand linking lush green headlands. Sharing the waters and reflecting the landscapes of their Britishneighbours, the US Virgin Islands, renowned for their vibrant colour, are a touch more cosmopolitan.