A different way to travel to Naturist destinations

Some of the members of the Outreach group have tents, some have caravans and some have campervans. What I have is a small sailing boat which when the weather is warm enough allows me to enjoy both my passions of sailing and naturism. After all, once the boat is away from land there are no restrictions on what to wear.

Most of my sailing is done with my wife and family or (mainly Naturist) friends and since retirement from my job as a teacher, I have had the opportunity to sail further afield.

A life times ambition was to sail across the Atlantic to the Caribbean which I did in 2017 following the route sailing vessels have been using for centuries and on the way we tried to visit any naturist beaches which were either mentioned on the internet or in a guide book I have on board called “ The World’s Best Nude Beaches and Resorts.”

To get south to the trade winds from Portugal we headed to Madeira. A  beautiful island with great walking but with no naturism that I could find but 30 miles further North is the island of Porto Santo where we made our land fall. This has one magnificent long beach all along its South coast and with some searching it was possible to find a place to sunbathe ‘au naturel’.

Next we headed to the Canary Islands where there are lots of naturist beaches and resorts, too many to mention here but  my favourite island is Lanzarote with its fully naturist resort of Charco del Palo in the north of the island and Playa Papagayo in the south. If you are staying at at Charco it is worth taking a ferry trip to the nearby island of Graciosa and visiting the beautiful beach Playa de Concha for a naturist swim and sunbathe.

The Cape Verde islands were next on the route but no naturism here and similarly no naturism once we had sailed with the trade winds behind us to Barbados although my son and his friend did have a skinny dip in a calm patch in mid Atlantic. I stayed on board just in case there were any sharks around!!

For the next five years we explored all the Eastern Caribbean islands from Grenada in the South to Anguilla in the North.

Although the Caribbean weather would be perfect for Naturism there are sadly not many  opportunities in the Caribbean. This is I think because the European settlers not only forcefully took thousands of people from Africa to work as slaves in the sugar plantations but also instilled in them that nudity was ‘sinful’. Anyway the few naturist places we found are as follows:- Beaches south of St Anne’s on Martinique. ( a French island so it feels just like being in France only hotter and a good place for sailors to  stock up on good cheese and wine.)

Guadaloupe,one of the other French islands also has a naturist beach on its eastern side which we found hard to find but it was nice once we got there with lots of other naturists  on the beach.

St Barthelemy is a rather upmarket island which I think would be beyond our budget to visit on a land based holiday but tying up in the harbour at Gustavia was reasonably priced.  The beautiful Saline beach was only a ten minute taxi ride away with a mixture of nude and ‘textile’ sunbathers.

St Maartens is unusual in that half the island the island is Dutch and the other half is French. (more good wine and cheese for the food lockers on board!)

The French side used to have the resort of Club Orient. I say used to because it got completely destroyed by a hurricane a few years ago and when we visited there was no sign of it being rebuilt. Orient beach however was the busiest we visited in the Caribbean with three rows of sun loungers and a beach café full of nudists.

Finally, on Antigua there is the (textile) Hawksbill bay Resort with has three beaches, the furthest one from the apartments being officially naturist and we had no problems visiting it as non residents.

So some great sailing with the islands all being a convenient day sail apart and the weather warm enough to sail nude and usually no problem skinny dipping off the boat when we were anchored.

This year I sailed back across the Atlantic with the traditional route being firstly to sail North to Bermuda  to reach Westerly winds. This island was attractive and interesting to see all the foirtifications and old cannons from when it was British owned. However, everything ashore was really expensive and more to the point for this article nudity on the beaches was illegal!!

Once the weather systems looked right I sailed onto the Azores (where I am writing this article) a lovely group of semi tropical Islands which are an autonomous region of Portugal.

So far we have only found one Naturist beach on the island of Sao Miguel.

Two days ago we sailed to the small and most southern Island of Santa Maria which has more beaches than some of the other more rocky islands but exploration will now have to wait until next year as I am about to lay up the boat ashore  for the winter and fly back home to North Wales where probably the only chance to get really warm will be in the sauna at my other Club, Wirral Naturists in Chester.

Maybe next year I will sail back down to the Canary islands again or maybe into the Mediterranean.

Martin Smith (Yacht Chardonnay of Solent)