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Carribean Island Hoping

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Carribean Island Hoping

Hi   Does anyone know about ferries that link the carriben islands with regards to will they take bikes?  I was thinking about starting a bike tour in a few weeks from Floida, and head South from there   Take ferries to various islands with by bike and bike accross the islands to the next ferry locatiob and eventually make my way South.  Perhaps making it to South America doing this or if not where all can I go with my bike starting in Florida and how can I accomplish this?   I have island hoped in Europe before but other than Florida I little about the islands of the coast .   Any advice and direction would be very much appreciated    thanks  Dale 

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Caribbean Island Hopping

Hola dale,

I've never toured the Caribbean by bike, but many, many moons ago I spent 3 months or more sea kayaking and camping the Bahamian Islands. If the ocean crossing from one Island group to another was too far or too risky I would unload all my gear and use the Mail Boats to ferry me to next area. Sometimes I'd overnight onboard, sharing meals (and a tad too much rum) with wonderfully friendly and of course, knowledgeable locals. All in all a cheap, fun and great way to island hop.  As an ex-delivery/charter/private yacht Skipper, I've visited (and worked) in the majority of the Islands including Cuba. Don't over plan ... you'll have no problems getting from Island to Island to South America, just head to the local docks and start chatting, you'll have an answer as which to boats leave and when in a matter of minutes. If in doubt, talk to the Captains. Good luck mate, I'm jealous. 

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Richard y Sandy    This info

Richard y Sandy    This info that you have given could end up being priceless.  I figured by looking around the internet that there were going to be more than a few islands that would be very tough to connect.  Mail service and other small boats just might be the ticket.  Thank you very much

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Just a follow up

Glad this helps Dale. Remember there is quite a difference between Marinas and Docks, Marinas being the ones full of gleaming white yachts, (my old turf) and The Docks.

The Docks or Ports are where all the work and transportation takes place, oily, dirty but very real. That's where you need to go, ask around and look for boats laden with everyday stuff, fridges, building materials, the odd car, goats and chickens, and bikes. You could start in Florida, downtown Miami along the Miami River, when I lived there it was always chock full of small freighters loaded to the gunwales with hundreds of second-hand (probably nicked) bicycles and all manner of household goods. Most of these are bound for the Bahamas and Haiti.

Keep in touch, Cheers, Richard y Sandy

 

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Due to insurance reasons, I

Due to insurance reasons, I would be very surprised if those vessels you mention would still take a cyclist in 2018.

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Insurance ???

Come on now Chris, really! do you have the slightest idea what of type of vessels I'm talking about? Please try not to spread discourse where there is none. Thank you.

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Within the hitchhiking

Within the hitchhiking community, I have only heard that travelers in the Caribbean had luck with private sailboats/yachts from marinas, but trading vessels would not take passengers citing insurance reasons. However, if you know that a specific class of Caribbean vessels from specific islands will definitely take hitchhikers in 2018 (not years ago), then you would help others immensely by adding that information to Hitchwiki.

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Just finished a island hopping adventure

Hi Dale I just finished up a boat hitchhiking/ bike trip 2 months ago From The Bahamas to Trinidad and Tobago. I used a bike friday as they are already popular with boating people. With a full size bike it can be alot harder to find a ride. I suggest bringing a tarp to put down on a prospective boat as most boats are really expensive and the decks can scratch easily. I found alot of success getting from island to island by talking to private sailboats and small ferry boats. Here are a list of websites that you can list your travel plans on and people who are sailing there can pick you up along the way. Most of the time they want a little help on the boat or a few bucks but each time I have done it I have always had a great experience. 

I also go to the local dock/bar and find the message board which they all have and post a message about where I am trying to travel to with a phone number. 

As for the ferrys the northern Islands and the larger Islands have them but the smaller island nations don't have alot in that way. 

Bring spare parts and tire and tube repair kits as alot of the islands have sharp rocks and cactus and plants with thorns.Good luck and enjoy the friendly Island people. Feel free to contact me with any other questions.

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One time my bike road along

One time my bike road along in the small skiff behind us.