In addition to being one of Anguilla's most popular island pastimes, sailing is the island's national sport. Many vacationers enjoy participating in or simply observing this exciting water sport. The tradition of sailboat racing started years ago, when Anguillans returned from fishing trips and raced their boats home. From then on, the spirit of competition took over and created what is now the most popular sport in the Caribbean.
Anguilla hosts a number of annual sailboat racing events. Anguillans from around the world travel back home to the island just to be a part of these exciting events which are the main attract during racing season that runs from May through August. It is great fun to watch these races unfold from cliffside vantage points. These prized races are followed by post-race parties that can last into the wee hours of the night.
Some sailors and boaters are attracted to Anguilla's isolation, as well as the delightful bays on both the north and south coasts of the island. Boaters who seek some of the most private waters around Anguilla will discover heavenly solitude in the waters of the Prickly Pear Cays and Dog Island, which are just north of Anguilla.
But, we always advice sailors and boaters to be cautious when navigating the waters of the Caribbean but especially here. Watch out for coral reefs, especially around the island, which can do serious damage to your watercraft. Also, stay alert for unfavorable trade winds and storms that could be brewing over the water.
While sailing and boating, consider the ocean currents, which are considerably stronger in the Atlantic Ocean than in the waters of the Caribbean Sea. Of course, the season during which you are sailing is an important consideration for the conditions of the water. Hurricane season and heavy rains occur during the summer months, and less experienced boaters should avoid these sailing conditions.
The weather in Anguilla is almost always nice. The temperature remains fairly constant year round, making this the perfect island to visit any time of the year.
During the winter, Anguilla's temperatures hover between 74 to 78 degrees (F), and during the summer time, the temperatures stay in the mid to upper 80s.
The coolest hours are after the sun has gone down, when the temperature can drop by two to four degrees. With the steady trade winds blowing from the northeast, this can make evenings a little chilly for some visitors. The warmest hours on the island are midday during the summer time.
Most weather reports will anticipate daily rain on the island, but usually it's just a cloud passing quickly over the island, because in actuality, Anguilla is one of the sunniest and driest islands in the Caribbean. The annual rainfall averages only 45 inches. When it does rain, the showers usually last for 10 minutes or less. October through December historically sees the most rain, and the humidity remains very low throughout the year.
Hurricane season is from June 1 to November 31, however there have only been six direct hits on the island in the past 50 years.
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