C MPASS PLAN NOW! 2014 - 2015:

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SEPTEMBER 2014 NO. 228
The Caribbean’s Monthly Look at Sea & Shore
2014 - 2015:
See story on page 23
The Caribbean’s Monthly Look at Sea & Shore
Santo Domingo
Shopping deals & sand dunes . 20
with Crew
A hand or a hindrance? ........ 14
Ultra’s favorite conch-oction ...38
Art, Design & Production......Wilfred Dederer
[email protected]
Accounting............................Shellese Craigg
[email protected]
Caribbean Compass welcomes submissions of articles, news items, photos and drawings.
See Writers’ Guidelines at www.caribbeancompass.com. Send submissions to [email protected]
We support free speech! But the content of advertisements, columns, articles and letters to the editor are the sole
responsibility of the advertiser, writer or correspondent, and Compass Publishing Ltd. accepts
no responsibility for any statements made therein. Letters and submissions may be edited for length and clarity.
©2014 Compass Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication, except short
excerpts for review purposes, may be made without written permission of Compass Publishing Ltd.
ISSN 1605 - 1998
It’s time to think ahead: what kind of sailing fun will you have this coming season? On the cover, it’s racing action at Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, snapped by Tim Wright
Compass covers the Caribbean! From Cuba to Trinidad, from
Panama to Barbuda, we’ve got the news and views that sailors
can use. We’re the Caribbean’s monthly look at sea and shore.
Click Google Map link below to find the Caribbean Compass near you!
‘Caribbean Compass is a useful and accessible
boater’s rag — information-packed and unbiased.’
— Readers’ Survey 2014 respondent
Conched Out!
Editor...........................................Sally Erdle
[email protected]
Assistant Editor...................Elaine Ollivierre
[email protected]
Advertising & Distribution........Tom Hopman
[email protected]
… about the cruising life? ..... 33
Grenada recovers, and more ... 18
Compass Fiction ................... 31
Book Reviews...................34, 35
The Caribbean Sky ............... 36
Cooking with Cruisers .......... 39
Readers’ Forum ..................... 40
Calendar of Events ............... 41
Caribbean Market Place ..... 42
Classified Ads ....................... 46
Advertisers’ Index ................. 46
Caribbean Compass is published monthly by Compass Publishing Ltd., P.O. Box 175 BQ,
Bequia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
Tel: (784) 457-3409, Fax: (784) 457-3410, [email protected], www.caribbeancompass.com
What Bugs You…
Ten Years
After Ivan
Info & Updates ...................... 4
Business Briefs ....................... 7
Eco-News .............................. 9
Regatta News........................ 12
Meridian Passage ................. 18
Seawise with Street............... 27
Sailor’s Horoscope................ 30
Island Poets ........................... 30
Seaweed Cartoon ................ 30
& Updates
St. Lucia Reintroduces Immigration Cards
St. Lucia’s Ministry of Tourism, Heritage & Creative Industries has announced the reintroduction of Immigration cards for yachting visitors.
The Ministry reports: St. Lucia is fast becoming the yachting destination of choice
for many. The added value that the yachting sector brings to the island’s tourism
industry is evidenced by the range of employment opportunities available, economic benefits and linkages formed with other sectors. Therefore, effective monitoring of
the sector is imperative.
The Government of Saint Lucia therefore wishes to advise that effective September
1st, yachtspersons will be required to complete an Immigration card upon entry into
St. Lucia. This will allow the Tourism Industry and Immigration Department to accurately account for yachting and stay-over arrivals and better serve the needs of our
valued tourists.
The new card must be completed by each individual on board a vessel, disembarking at the IGY and Marigot Bay Marinas, as well as at Vieux Fort, Soufriere and
Ganter’s (Vigie Cove) bays.
We look forward to welcoming you to beautiful Saint Lucia and thank you for your
cooperation in this worthwhile endeavor.
For further information contact:
Cuthbert Didier, Maritime Consultant – Ministry of Tourism, Heritage and Creative
Industries: (758) 720-9093 or [email protected]
Louis Lewis, Director of Tourism, Saint Lucia Tourist Board: (758) 452-4094
or [email protected]
Lucius Lake, Head of Immigration: (758) 456-3825 or [email protected]
Samantha Charles, Tourism Officer – Ministry of Tourism, Heritage and Creative
Industries: (758) 720-4618 or [email protected]govt.lc
Seismic Survey Ship Now Off Curaçao
Thanks to the Caribbean Safety and Security Net (www.safetyandsecuritynet.com)
for the notice that the seismic survey ship Polar Duke is currently operating north of
Aruba and Curaçao. All ships transiting north of Curacao and Aruba are advised
that the Polar Duke will be conducting surveys in the area until September 15th.
The towed array is very large: 12 streamers 9,000 metres long, and 900 metres wide.
It is advised to give a wide berth of eight nautical miles astern, two nautical miles
ahead and three nautical miles abeam as maneuverability of this ship is limited.
To see the survey vessel’s current position visit www.vesselfinder.com and type in
“Polar Duke”.
A Message for Visitors to Mustique
Simon Humphrey, Security Director, The Mustique Company, reports: Mustique is a
private island that welcomes visitors from yachts all year round. The island has its
busy periods every Christmas, Easter and August when the island’s population is
comprised mainly of residential homeowners and guests renting villas. During these
periods visitors from the sea will be asked to remain in the designated visitor area of
Britannia Bay and Lovell Village. Tours of the island, provided by our island bus service, will be available at most times of year and people will be able to visit The
Cotton House Beach Café and the Firefly Guest House together with Basil’s Bar and
the shops in Britannia Bay. We aim to provide a service to all visitors and do our best
to facilitate their wishes where we can.
Freedom to roam the island will be restricted to the quiet months of the year in
May and June, September and October. Although very rare, in order to preserve
the exclusivity of this private paradise island, Mustique Security reserves the right to
restrict the island to visitors from time to time.
For more information contact [email protected]
—Continued on next page
Our OCEAN PLUS sails are guaranteed for five years or
50,000 miles. Built by sailmakers dedicated to building
the finest, most durable and technologically
advanced sails possible.
British Virgin Islands
Doyle Sailmakers BVI, Ltd
Road Reef Marina
Road Town, Tortola
Tel: (284) 494 2569
[email protected]
Doyle Offshore Sails, Ltd
Six Crossroads,
St Philip,
Tel: (246) 423 4600
[email protected]
Antigua & Barbuda
Star Marine
Jolly Harbour
Regency Marine
Panama City
USVI St Croix
Wilsons' Cruzan Canvas
Zeilmakerij Harms
Kapiteinsweg #4
Puerto Rico
Atlantic Canvas & Sail
Fajardo, Puerto Rico
Dominica Marine Center
St Lucia
Rodney Bay Sails
Rodney Bay
IBS b/v
Kaya Atom Z
Turbulence Sails
True Blue St George
St. Vincent
Barefoot Yacht Charters
Blue Lagoon
Voilerie Du Marin
30 Bld Allegre
Trinidad & Tobago
—Continued from previous page
Grenada Coastguard Partners With Cruising Community
As reported in Now Grenada (http://nowgrenada.com), Grenada’s cruising community and marine stakeholders attended a specially arranged question-andanswer session with the Grenada Coastguard at Prickly Bay Marina on July 24th.
The purpose of the initiative was outlined by the Managing Director of the Marina,
Darren Turner. He stated, “The Grenada Coastguard is doing a great job and we
are not fully convinced that the cruising community knows how and when to avail
themselves of Coastguard services, or actually understand the high level of service
the Coastguard is offering.”
In an effort to increase the cruising community’s awareness of the full range of services available to them, cruisers were invited to meet with members of the
Coastguard’s regular and auxiliary team, in an informal setting to share information
important to both parties. The meeting additionally allowed for the cruising community to get better acquainted with Coastguard personnel.
Coastguard Lieutenant Commander Griffith said in support of the initiative, “It’s
vital that the gap between the Coastguard and the yachting community is bridged.
The Grenada Coastguard would like all to be able to put names to faces, as we see
this as one way to break down barriers, making us more approachable, whilst allowing both Coastguard and cruising community to work together for the overall good
of all. Although our priority must remain Search and Rescue, we also see it as vitally
important that both communities support each other whilst coming to a better
understanding of each other’s challenges.”
During and after the meeting, cruisers were encouraged to speak with members of
the coastguard in attendance. Cruisers were also reminded that the Coastguard are
also police officers and can therefore enforce the law on behalf of the community.
Turner expressed his pleasure at the attendance and participation of those present
at the meeting, and was happy also to welcome other stakeholders from the
marine and tourism sectors.
Commander Griffiths brought to the attention of those present, the Coastguard’s
efforts to have Vigilant, a vessel donated to them, brought to a state of seaworthiness. The cost for repairs was EC$3,000. This was achieved at the meeting, with
attendees donating EC$753.35 and Prickly Bay Marina donating a cheque to the
Coastguard for EC$2,246.65, to meet the shortfall.
Forget the Map, Use the App!
Laura Smith reports: Going ashore and finding your way around just got a whole lot
easier for those with a smartphone or tablet. iLand Guide Worldwide is now launching its apps in the Caribbean. So far, Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique and
St. Lucia are up and running.
Filled with useful features such as listings for bars, restaurants, marinas, chandleries,
shopping, activities, tours, lodging, special events and offers, the iLand Guide
Worldwide App is a comprehensive guide to the islands. The App also shows users
exactly where they are at all times so the days of getting lost are over.
—Continued on next page
Cruisers’ Site-ings
Thanks to a new design, folks really can “do it all” now on the Caribbean Safety
& Security Net (CSSN) website — review history, make a report, and get alerts to
stay current.
Now you can easily subscribe to CSSN e-mail alerts, and have all the new Incident
Reports and News Items delivered right to your inbox instantly as they are posted, or
whenever you want (daily, weekly or monthly). It could not be any easier to stay
informed, and “know before you go”!
To sign up for CSSN e-mail alerts
visit www.safetyandsecuritynet.com/email-alerts-coming-soon.
Thinking of visiting the Colombian islands featured in last month’s Compass? Have
a look at http://colombia.escapeartist.com/the-archipelago-of-san-andresprovidencia-and-santa-catalina.
Turks & Caicos Cruisers’ VHF Net
Byron, a.k.a. Gringo, reports: My wife and I live in the Turks & Caicos Islands and are
in the process of refurbishing a 40-foot catamaran. I just picked up a shortwave
radio receiver and was trying to find some useful frequencies when I came across
Compass’s Selected Shortwave Weather Sources on the internet
I wanted to mention that there is a local marine cruisers’ net here on
Providenciales every morning, seven days a week, at 0730 EST (0830 AST) on VHF
channel 72. We’ve noticed that a lot of the cruisers that come through here are not
aware of the cruisers’ net here. The net is run by Bob Pratt, owner of the South Side
Marina on Providenciales.
(575) 436 3601 - 435 8009 - COLOMBIA
Win a Yacht Charter or a Resort Stay
Please support education, school
libraries and new books for
Eastern Caribbean children by
making a donation and entering
the American Sailing Association/
Hands Across the Sea sweepstakes during the month
of September.
You could win a yacht charter
or a resort stay!
Details are at
http://asa.com/hands-across-thesea.php and
Martinique to Join OECS
The application by the French Caribbean Overseas Regions to join the
Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) was on the agenda of the 59th
meeting of the OECS Authority held in St. Vincent & the Grenadines on July 26th. The
addition of the French islands would be an asset to the OECS’s plans to develop the
yachting sector in the sub-region. Last year the OECS announced that an action
plan would be developed “to create an enabling environment that will contribute
to optimizing the economic benefits derived from yachting as a key niche in the
region’s tourism industry”.
Programme Officer at the OECS Secretariat Dr Loraine Nicholas said, “In light of the
archipelagic configuration of the OECS region, comprising small islands in close
proximity to each other, and linked by arguably some of the best sailing waters in
the world, yachting is a prime niche sector in tourism that can be developed and
promoted jointly in the OECS.”
The OECS is currently a group of nine English-speaking countries that promotes
cooperation in defense, international diplomacy, economic and sustainable development policies. As the islands gained their independence from Britain it became
evident that there was need for a more formal arrangement to assist with their
development efforts. So it was that the OECS was established. The OECS currently
—Continued from previous page
Start by finding a WiFi location or 3G, visit the App store (Apple) or play store
(Android) and download. The Apps can be used anywhere, even when you are
offline, with no roaming fees.
Features include a detailed digital map of each island with icons that designate
Points of Interest. The map first locates your current location and then shows you
what is nearby. Next you can chart your destination from your location and now
you have directions. Each POI has five images, making it easy to tap on a picture
and find out more about the venue. Each POI has hot links for quick access to websites, e-mail and the phone number for your destination. Say you’re in Grenada and
you want to go to Art Fabrik from Prickly Bay: simply search for Art Fabrik in the
search bar or find it under the shopping label, go to the map, get directions, even
call ahead to schedule a tour of their batiking process, all in one easy to use App.
More islands are coming on stream, including Barbados, Antigua, St Martin and
Trinidad & Tobago before the end of year. Each iLand Guide Destination will feature
a Facebook page with local “appvertisers” news and offers.
For more information and free download visit www.facebook.com/ilandguidegrenada, www.facebook.com/ilandguidestlucia or www.ilandguidecaribbean.com.
comprises Antigua & Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada,
Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. Anguilla and
the British Virgin Islands are associate members.
At the July meeting, the Heads of Government noted the progress made to date
on the ongoing negotiations with Martinique, the state of preparedness of
Guadeloupe to commence negotiations, and the request of St. Martin for associate
membership of the OECS. The Authority expressed satisfaction with the progress
made thus far with the negotiations in relation to Martinique’s accession and underscored its interest in an early and successful conclusion to the negotiations. The
Authority therefore agreed that the sixtieth (60th) meeting of the OECS Authority
would be the occasion for signature of the Agreement admitting Martinique to
Associate Membership of the OECS. The sixtieth (60th) Meeting of the OECS
Authority will be held in the Commonwealth of Dominica in November 2014.
Welcome Aboard!
In this issue of Caribbean Compass we welcome new advertisers Astilleros Amilibia
of Spain and Puerto Rico, on page 17; KVR Energy Ltd of Trinidad, on page 10; the
Saint Lucia Tourist Board, on page 26; and the World Creole Music Festival of
Dominica, on page 23. Good to have you with us!
14°04’32.72”N 60°56’55.63”W
Perkins Open House at Parts & Power
Act fast! On the evening of Thursday September 4th, Parts & Power, the British Virgin
Islands-based Caribbean distributor for numerous industrial and marine products and
brands, are hosting an open event focused on their Perkins engine-based product
range. Presentations and demonstrations will be made on numerous items, including:
• Their range of Perkins-based industrial generators, designed for the
Caribbean environment
• Perkins marine engines ranging from 92HP to 225HP
• JCB machinery with Perkins engines
• The benefits of using Perkins OEM parts when servicing equipment
The event is being hosted in conjunction with the BVI Chamber of Commerce, and
is open to all comers. It is being held at Parts & Power’s premises in Port Purcell,
Tortola from 1730 onwards.
For more information or to register for the event visit www.facebook.com/
PerkinsCaribbean or e-mail [email protected]
Nestled on the north side of the stunning island of St. Lucia is
Rodney Bay Marina, a premiere yachting destination. Considered one of the Caribbean’s leading centers for yachting
and sport fishing. Excellent accommodations for yachts up
to 285 feet and home to a 4.5 acre full-service boatyard –
all in a well-protected hurricane-safe haven.
253 berths/32 megayachts slips up to 14 ft draft and
285 ft LOA
Duty free high speed and in-slip fueling
Complimentary Wi-Fi
Onsite Customs and Immigration Clearance
Marina Village with waterfront dinning, bars, banking, pool,
supermarket, spa, taxi service, liquor and food provisioning,
flower arrangements, showers & laundry services, ships’
chandlery, tour desk, car rental, in-house customs broker
and concierge services
Full- service Boatyard on site featuring 75-ton Marine
Travelift, 40-ton self propelled boat trailer and 6,000 sq ft
of paint/refit shelters
CCTV surveillance, ISPS Compliant docks and 24-hr
Secure Hurricane Storage
t: +1 758 572 7200 | f: +1 758 452 0185
e: [email protected] | w: www.igy-rodneybay.com
Yacht Sector Representative on St. Lucia Tourism Board
The Saint Lucia Hotels and Tourism Association (SLHTA) announced the election of
two new members to its Board of Directors at its recently held Golden Jubilee
Annual General Meeting. The new additions include Regional Public Relations
Manager for Sandals Resorts International in the Eastern Caribbean, Dominic Fedee,
as Representative for Large Hotels and Simon Bryan, Representative for the Maritime
and Yachting Sector.
SLHTA Executive Vice President Noorani
Azeez believes that the two new elected
members bring a wealth of experience to
their roles. He said, “We are thrilled to
have both gentlemen on our team as
they bring unique and relevant skill sets to
our board as we seek to champion the
cause of tourism development for the
advancement of our lives in St. Lucia. The
job before us is very important as the
tourism industry continues to confront
mounting challenges both from within
and externally.”
Yacht Sector rep Simon Bryan (at left)
The opportunity to join the SLHTA during its
with Dominic Fedee
Golden Jubilee is being seen as a real
chance to contribute to the development of the island’s lead economic driver.
Simon Bryan, the manager of IGY Rodney Bay Marina, said he was certainly looking forward to making a firm contribution on behalf of the yachting sector and the
wider tourism product. “I am very happy to have been elected as the Saint Lucia
Hotel and Tourism Association Board Representative for the Maritime and Yachting
sector, particularly as this year, the SLHTA is celebrating its 50th year.
—Continued on next page
Curaçao Marine’s New Service for Venezuelan Clients
Are you aware of the new service that Curaçao Marine has been offering? In
cooperation with Curaçao Yacht Agency, Curaçao Marine can provide
Venezuelan customers with a trusted and experienced personal project manager.
Curaçao Yacht Agency can pick up your yacht from any port in Venezuela and
deliver it safely to Curaçao Marine for docking, maintenance and/or storage. The
project manager will take care of your boat and keep you informed about progress
at all times. Curaçao Yacht Agency can arrange all the work you would like to get
done on your yacht. Curaçao Marine provides many technical services on the
premises, such as engine repairs, antifouling, painting, woodwork, reconstruction,
fibreglass work and lots more.
For more information visit http://curacaomarine.com or see ad on page 36.
Eco-Friendly and Zero Maintenance Floating Docks
The solution for avoiding constant maintenance and pollution to our waters from
docks made of corrosive steel and wood has arrived in the Caribbean and USA. The
new type of floating and fixed dock system is composed of aluminium and a hitech surface formed of recycled plastic and rice hulls with the purpose of minimizing
the environmental impact. It
has been brought to the
Caribbean by Astilleros Amilibia
USL through their headquarters
established in San Juan,
Puerto Rico.
Astilleros Amilibia is a Spanish
company with more than 20
years of experience in the shipyard and dock market. Floating
docks design and fabrication
made with strong, long-lasting
materials is one of the main services they provide. They can
also supply an extensive variety
of anchor systems, which
makes their product able to
adapt at any site conditions. Another feature offered is re-covering existing concrete fixed docks with an assemblage composed of the materials previously mentioned. In the same way, they can improve and update existing marinas.
Amilibia Marinas is prepared to cope with any size project, including large ones.
Each facility has its own features and solutions, and for their team of engineers and
architects, it is a challenge for them to offer you the best and to make sure you
enjoy the result of their work.
Amilibia’s headquarters in San Juan is the main contact in charge of providing
facility and client service to any part of the USA and the Caribbean. They can be
reached at (787) 635-6835 for service in Spanish, (787) 249-1200 for service in English,
or via e-mail at [email protected]
For more information see ad on page 17.
A member of the Yacht Haven Grande Collection,
representing the finest megayacht marinas in the world.
—Continued from previous page
The Maritime and Yachting sector plays a vital role in the St. Lucia tourism industry
and I will endeavor to support this organization as it continues to develop this beautiful island as a world renowned tourist and yacht cruising destination.”
For more information on IGY Rodney Bay Marina see ad on page 7.
Free ABC Islands Guide Now in Spanish
Free Cruising Guides has announced the forthcoming release of the Cruising Guide
to the ABC islands in Spanish. The Cruising Guide to the Dominican Republic and
the Cruising Guide to Puerto Rico are currently available in Spanish.
Catherine Hebson, Director of Free Cruising Guides, said that all 11 of the guides
offered by Free Cruising Guides (www.freecruisingguide.com) will be offered in
Spanish by the end of the year at a rate of approximately one per month. She said
that the company is very committed to the users of the guides and is working hard
in all areas to make the guides all that they can be.
The editor of Free Cruising Guide, Nathalie Virgintino, said that the commitment to
make the translations was based on the many enquiries that the company is receiving, in particular from Spanish-speaking cruisers, to have the guides available in their
native language. It is the company’s hope that with the advent of the Spanish editions that the download rate of the guides, currently at an annualized rate of more
than 35,000 copies, will continue to increase.
For more information on Free Cruising Guides see ad on page 35.
Busy Summer at Jolly Harbour, Antigua
Jo Lucas reports: Five years ago, three of
the four original docks at Antigua’s Jolly
Harbour Marina were demolished and
replaced with purpose-designed concrete
docks. A decision was taken to replace the
last timber dock and rebuild a longer dock
matching the others this summer. The contractors are making good progress, as can
be seen from the photograph.
We are also upgrading the male showers
facility following the renovations of the
female showers in 2012.
Dredging the approach channel was finished last year and we will be installing a
new lit buoyage system marking the
15-foot channel into the harbour before
the new season commences.
We invite both returning and new yachtsmen to visit Jolly Harbour to enjoy our new
marina facilities.
For more information visit www.jolly-harbour-marina.com.
Mercury Marine Launches New Multilingual Website
Mercury Marine, the world leader in commercial and recreational marine propulsion and technology, has launched its new global website, www.mercurymarine.
com, designed to enhance the consumer experience and provide a single online
point of reference for all Mercury partners and consumers around the world.
“Delivering content in the native language of the site visitor is an important goal of this
site redesign,” said Jon Mathews, Mercury Marine director of global branding. “We did
extensive research to determine which languages represented more than 95 percent
of all site traffic and are pleased to share Mercury Marine content in 13 languages.”
Stage one of the rollout was launched for the North American audience and provides content in English, Spanish and French. Mercury will continue rolling out localized
content variations for audiences in Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Latin America and
Europe throughout the year and into early 2015. Currently, site visitors in North America
can access the new global website. All other visitors will have the option to view the
North American site or be redirected to the current version of their country’s site.
The new global website from Mercury Marine will be optimized and easy to use on
any type of device – tablet, mobile or desktop.
The new Mercury Marine global website includes a global dealer locator that
enables the user to search for dealers throughout Mercury’s global dealer network.
For more information visit www.mercurymarine.com.
Grenadines Resort to Host Cousteau Dive Center
The Ocean Futures Society reports: Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of the legendary
Jacques-Yves Cousteau, will open a dive center on the resort island of Petit St.
Vincent (PSV) in the southern Grenadines before the end of the year. Following
extensive research of the reefs and aquatic life in the region by Jean-Michel and his
team, he felt PSV would be a perfect place to share the wonders of coral reefs with
guests and locals.
The newly established local company, Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Caribbean Divers,
is owned and operated by Jean-Michel Cousteau and long-time colleague, Don
Santee. The new dive center will provide guided dives as well as diving instruction
and PADI certifications for all levels of divers. Both Jean-Michel Cousteau and PSV
management view the dive center as the first step in an ongoing program to protect the waters and aquatic life in the region.
While the dive center will operate independently of the resort, they will share some
facilities including the existing dock and boathouse. An on-staff naturalist/marine
biologist will offer guided underwater tours and shoreside hikes with the goal of educating and entertaining guests about the area’s rich marine and terrestrial ecosystems. The naturalist will also work with local schools and NGOs on surrounding islands
including Union Island, Carriacou and Petite Martinique to develop educational programs and projects.
“This project is personally very exciting for me,” said PSV’s owner Phil Stephenson.
“Like a lot of our guests, I grew up watching Jacques Cousteau’s specials every
Sunday night on American broadcast television. It’s what got me into scuba diving
as a kid and produced a lifetime love of the ocean. Having Jean-Michel and his
staff help teach PSV’s guests about diving and the diversity of the undersea world is
really a dream come true.”
In addition to the new dive center, PSV is also working with scientists at the Santa
Barbara-based nonprofit Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society to reduce
the island’s environmental footprint and make operations “greener”. For example,
the resort has replaced plastic drinking bottles with reusable glass bottles with
sealed tops, installed a wastewater treatment plant to reduce the discharge of
untreated waters, and planned a retention pond for natural filtration using water
lilies, tilapia fish and frogs which will assist in natural mosquito reduction.
PSV will continue to grow as much of their own fruits and vegetables on island
as possible, rainwater will be harvested from rooftops for irrigation and a composting system will be put into place. These and many other planned initiatives
will help reduce the island’s environmental footprint and create a beautiful and
productive landscape.
For more information visit www.oceanfutures.org and www.petitstvincent.com.
Caribbean ECO-News
Sargasso Weed Brings Unusual Species to Mustique
The Sustainable Grenadines Project (SusGren) reports: A tiger shark was found
floating dead on July 29th among large quantities of Sargasso seaweed in Rutland
Bay, part of the Mustique Marine Conservation Area.
An unusual occurrence in the Grenadines and in the Caribbean region, and indeed
globally, the shark was found by sea turtle researchers during an early morning patrol
and was determined to be an 11-foot long female tiger shark, with no visible injuries.
—Continued on next page
Montserrat Introduces Vessel Monitoring System
Montserrat has become the smallest coastal country in the Wider Caribbean
Region to embrace cutting-edge vessel monitoring system (VMS) technology to support the management and protection of coastal and marine resources. The initiative
is being delivered by the Government of Montserrat in partnership with Succorfish,
a provider of global marine and maritime monitoring systems.
Succorfish VMS technology has been designed to allow three- to ten-metre fishing
vessels, like those operating in Montserrat, to accurately record, monitor and map
their exact location to within two metres from every minute to every hour. It significantly enhances fisheries management activities by supporting legal frameworks for spatial planning, protecting areas of conservation by deterring illegal,
unreported and unregulated fishing, and improving safety at sea for inshore and
offshore fishing vessels.
As well as improving fisheries data collection and information systems required for
future policy, it also supports the 2011-2020 National Sustainable Development Plan
that recognizes the importance of maintaining healthy marine ecosystems as a foundation for socio-economic development in the future.
Tom Rossiter, Head of Marine at Succorfish, commented, “This cost effective
inshore VMS system uses innovative mobile phone technology and offers a highly
efficient and effective tool for governments like Montserrat to plan responsible fisheries management. The data collected is invaluable and this project will form the foundation of a larger data collection programme that embraces next generation technology and engages other like-minded governments in the Caribbean.”
Alwyn Ponteen, Chief Fisheries Officer for Montserrat, added, “We are embarking
upon a very exciting project and one that will allow Montserrat to meet its international and regional obligations in improving its fisheries management, accurate
data collection and information sharing. As a result, at national level, the socioeconomic benefit of fisheries will be recognised for its important contribution to
food security and nutrition, livelihood, employment, trade and for monitoring future
fisheries management.”
Barbuda’s New Rules for Marine Sustainability
As reported on newswatch.nationalgeographic.com, on August 12th the Barbuda
Council signed into law a sweeping set of new ocean management regulations that
zone their coastal waters, strengthen fisheries management, and establish a network
of marine sanctuaries. This comes after 17 months of extensive community consultation and scientific research supported by the Waitt Institute. With these new policies,
the small island of Barbuda has become a Caribbean ocean conservation leader and
global role model.
The regulations establish five marine sanctuaries, collectively protecting 33 percent (139 square kilometres) of coastal area, to enable fish populations to rebuild
and habitats to recover. To restore the coral reefs, catching parrotfish and sea
urchins has been completely prohibited, as those herbivores are critical to keeping
algae levels on reefs low so coral can thrive. Barbuda is the first Caribbean island to
put either of these bold and
important measures in place.
“This will definitely benefit
the people of Barbuda, and
Antigua as well. No part of
this is meant to hurt fishers.
It’s the reverse — ensuring
that they have a livelihood
that will last in perpetuity,”
said Arthur Nibbs, Chairman
of the Barbuda Council and
Antigua & Barbuda’s Minister
of Fisheries.
The coastal zones and fishing
regulations reflect stakeholders’ priorities and are the outcome of a community-driven,
science-based, and consensusseeking process aiming to balance current and future needs
to use ocean resources. “This
type of management must
become the status quo. It has
been an honor to support the
people of Barbuda as they took
decisive steps to conserve their
reefs and fisheries, and I look
forward to supporting similar
efforts elsewhere,” said Ted
Waitt, Founder Chairman of the
Waitt Institute. Creation of the new regulations occurred under the umbrella of the
Barbuda Blue Halo Initiative, a collaboration among the Barbuda Council,
Government of Antigua & Barbuda, Barbuda Fisheries Division, Codrington Lagoon
Park, and the Waitt Institute.
Also included in the regulations is a two-year fishing hiatus for Codrington Lagoon,
the primary nursery ground for the lobster and finfish fisheries. The lagoon is one of
the Caribbean’s most extensive and intact mangrove ecosystems, and home to the
world’s largest breeding colony of Magnificent Frigatebirds.
Additionally, at the request of local fishers concerned with reef damage, use of fishing nets will be prohibited in 16 percent (70 square kilometres) of the coastal waters
including anywhere within 20 metres of a coral reef. Permits will be required prior to
any damage to mangroves or seagrass.
To further protect sensitive habitats, anchoring by visiting boats will be limited to
four anchoring zones.
Most fishermen support the regulations. “Something has got to be done. Things are
out of hand where fishing is concerned,” says Larkin Webber, elder Barbudan fisherman. “These regulations should have happened 40 or 50 years ago. It’s overdue.”
For more information visit http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com.
—Continued from previous page
Tiger sharks are highly susceptible to fishing pressure and are officially considered
by scientists as “near threatened”. This means that their population could face
extinction in the near future. They have extremely low rates of reproduction and this
female was not carrying any young.
SusGren and Mustique are currently checking with shark
experts about the possible causes
of death, especially to determine
whether the death might be
linked to the influx of seaweed
that is currently affecting the
Eastern Caribbean. This is a
repeat of the influx of pelagic sargassum seen in 2011, which
researchers linked to a bloom in
seaweed in the North Equatorial
Region carried by currents across
the Tropical Atlantic. The 2011
climate was unusual and scientists speculate that the influx of
seaweed might be linked to global
climate change.
This is an added pressure on
the survival of sharks, which are
Sargasso victims? A female tiger shark
(above) washed ashore in the Grenadines.
Also stranded (at right) was a juvenile
Olive Ridley sea turtle
already threatened with extinction given
heavy pressure from fishing. Their poor
public image and the myths about their
danger do not help. Sharks are in fact
vitally important to the marine environment because they are an apex predator
and they play an important role in keeping
an ecological balance by preying upon sick
and weak fish.
In recognition of their important role in
the environment, there is increasing
momentum for shark conservation in the
Caribbean. In May of this year, the British
Virgin Islands established a shark sanctuary throughout their entire marine area,
protecting all shark species and prohibiting the trade and sale of shark products.
They join The Bahamas and Honduras as leading countries in our region to take this
important and much needed conservation action to fully protect all sharks.
As part of St. Vincent & the Grenadines’ commitment to the Caribbean Challenge
Initiative in support of marine conservation, the government has undertaken to participate in regional shark protection by May 2015.
Following the discovery of a large tiger shark washed ashore on Mustique, the following morning brought a juvenile Olive Ridley Sea Turtle to the island, believed to
be the first-ever record of the species in St. Vincent & the Grenadines. At a little
larger than the size of the palm of an adult’s hand, it’s rare to encounter such a
juvenile turtle. The Coordinator of the Mustique Turtle Project explains, “Normally a
turtle of this size would be out at sea, floating in rafts of sargassum seaweed. But
the current influx of sargassum is bringing new findings to our shores.”
The Olive Ridley is one of six species of sea turtle found in the Caribbean, but it
has never before been seen in St. Vincent & the Grenadines. The species is officially
considered endangered at the global level, meaning it faces a high risk of extinction.
While the influx of seaweed might seem like a nuisance to some people, it is in fact
an essential habitat for marine life, including being a critical nursery habitat for sea
turtles, sharks, rays, eels and fish. This highlights the need to be careful not to damage vulnerable sea creatures if handling the seaweed.
SusGren advises that ideally the seaweed should be left on the beach as it provides
important nourishment to the sand and to coastal sea life. Any essential beach
cleaning is best done by hand with rakes so as not to damage marine life. Washed
of salt, the seaweed makes excellent fertilizer for gardens. These rafts of seaweed are
more typically encountered in the Sargasso Sea, located off Bermuda. Reflecting the
importance of this habitat and the need for conservation of the high seas, several
governments came together in Bermuda in March this year to sign the Hamilton
Declaration on Collaboration for the Conservation of the Sargasso Sea.
For more information contact [email protected]
Sandwatch in the Dominican Republic
Sandwatch is a program in which children, youth and adults work together to
scientifically monitor and critically evaluate the problems facing their beach environments. They then design and implement practical activities and projects to
address particular issues, enhance their beach environment and build resilience to
climate change.
The Dominican Republic participated in the first Sandwatch training workshop, in
St. Lucia in 2001, and has been actively involved ever since. Since the launch of
Sandwatch the Dominican Republic has involved more than 1,000 high school students in Sandwatch activities. Maria Mercedes Brito Feliz, Secretary General,
Dominican Republic National Commission for UNESCO, says, “We try to empower
each community to live with their beach, to care for their beach and to take ownership of their beach. It is like an emotional relationship — you learn to fall in love with
your beach — and we motivate the students from this viewpoint. At the beginning it
was more a case of students going to the beach to have fun: this is what young
people like to do at the beach. But gradually after working with Sandwatch they
understand the need to care for the beach and to look after it.”
She recalled how, in 2008, Sandwatch students working on Montero Beach on the
south coast of the Dominican Republic noticed a significant increase in the turbidity
(amount of sediment) of the seawater. They found this was because of the illegal construction of a jetty by a nearby hotel and reported the findings to the Department of
Coastal & Marine Resources, which then halted the construction and fined the hotel.
For more information on Sandwatch visit www.sandwatch.org.
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by Jerry Stewart
Fun Class with Yellow Bird and Spirited Lady
Tabasco was in hot pursuit of Category 5, but the modified Hobie 33 proved unbeatable and
gained the title of Regatta Champion
Probably only a mad person would try to organize a regatta in August and in the tropics.
But didn’t it go well! Perhaps the threat of what became Tropical Storm Bertha kept the
wise safely snugged down into their storm berths, so competitors in the yacht races at
Carriacou Regatta were fewer this year than last. But despite that, 20 yachts were on the
start line for the Doyle Sails Two-Handed Round Carriacou Race on August 1st.
This first race in the three-race series for yachts (the Festival also hosted separate series
for Carriacou Sloops and open boats) started promptly at 0830 in a northeast breeze of ten
to 12 knots. Despite Bertha being well clear, unstable conditions gave the fleet a 35-knot
squall that shook up the slower yachts as they beat toward Gun Point. Those on a close
reach, having cleared the Windward reef, were treated to a wild ride — and the sight of the
catamaran Ned Kelly flying by in low Earth orbit. The wind soon settled and, as forecast,
became steadily lighter. This, of course, favoured the faster yachts and left the rest of the
fleet to drift to the finish.
David McDonald’s Jenneau 40, Banyan, was spectacular in the Two-Handed Round
Carriacou Race. Sailing with full bimini and awning, Banyan caught both Tabasco (a Swan
39) and Bloody Mary (a Hughes 38) by the time the squall hit — despite having started five
minutes later. Needless to say, Banyan achieved a magnificent first place in this race, beating last year’s top yacht, Andy Smelt’s Spencer 44, Yellow Bird, into fourth place. Frank
Pearce’s Samadhi, a 47-foot schooner, recorded second and Dominic Weber’s Jenneau,
Sanctus, a regular Carriacou Regatta competitor, placed third.
Two more races were held over the weekend. Saturday’s Race Two featured a start in
Hillsborough and took the fleet to the south coast and around Frigate Island to finish in
Tyrrel Bay. After a Sunday lay-day, Monday’s Race Three sponsored by Budget Marine
went from Hillsborough around The Sisters and Jack a Dan to Tyrrel Bay.
At the end of the series, the former Carriacou Regatta champion yacht Ned Kelly, sailed by
the unique Don Marmo, was well and truly knocked off its Multihull Class perch by the exceptional Australian cat Jigsaw, sailed by Phil and Fay Atkinson, which recorded three wins.
Sailing in CSA Class, Richard Szyjan’s modified Hobie 33, Category 5, also took three
bullets. Mike Bingley’s beautifully prepared Beneteau 38.5, Team Palm Tree Marine, was
second in each race, having won last year. It is interesting that these vastly different yachts
should correct out so closely under CSA ratings. Henry Crallan’s Swan 39, Tabasco, was
skippered by Paul O’Regan in Henry’s absence, in order to maintain its rivalry with Jerry
Stewart’s Hughes 38, Bloody Mary. Sorry, Henry; Bloody Mary captured third place in this
class, although Tabasco was briefly in front as the old IOR dinosaurs clashed.
Fun Class was once again graced by a modern Classic: the Spirit 54 Spirited Lady sailed
by Suzy Stanhope. This class also hosted a classic Classic: Roy Broughton’s 12-ton
Gauntlet, Guiding Light. Victory in the second and third races by Yellow Bird gave Andy
Smelt first overall in Fun Class. Banyan sailed to second overall, and Samadhi third.
Overall, Category 5 was declared Regatta Champion.
The organizers of the Carriacou Regatta yacht races thank Island Water World for its
previous 15 years of race sponsorship. Taking its place at short notice, numerous Carriacou
businesses stepped in. These included Fitzroy Alexis, Carib Trace, Mavis, the Gallery Café,
TMM Carriacou, the Lazy Turtle, Slipway Restaurant, Moringa Restaurant, Sundowners
Bar, Windward Smoked Fish, Noel Supplies, After Ours, the Carriacou Animal Hospital and
others too numerous to list here. Many thanks to you all for confirming the local support
for this regatta!
Support from Mt. Gay ensured bottles of Extra Old Rum as prizes, plus rum in the goody bags.
Doyle Sails provided the goody bags and much more. Carriacou Marine gave the Committee
Boat docking space, and Budget Marine sponsored a race day and great overall prizes.
This was a good regatta with fun competition on the water, a féte at the Lazy Turtle that
was not to be missed, and a prizegiving at the Slipway Restaurant that was a ball. Hope to
see you next summer!
Top to bottom:
‘Probably only a mad person would organize a regatta in August….’ Such a one is our
reporter Jerry Stewart, who has been a driving force in the Carriacou Regatta yacht races f
or years. This year, his Bloody Mary came third in CSA Class
Island Water World is Now Title Sponsor
for Grenada Week
The Grenada Sailing Week Board has announced
that Island Water World will be Title Sponsor of this
international sailing regatta for the next three years.
For more information
visit www.grenadasaililngweek.com.
Petite Calivigny’s ‘Mott Memorial’ Hobie Races
CJ Martin reports:: Rain showers at dawn gave way
to blue skies and strong winds, producing fast races
and exciting finishes at the Petite Calivigny Yacht
Club’s “2nd Annual Mott Memorial Hobie Cat
Challenge” held in Grenada on July 20th.
The Mott Memorial Challenge was introduced last
year when the PCYC purchased the Hobie cat previously owned by Mott Green, one of the original founders of the Grenada Chocolate Company, who sadly
passed away last June. The PCYC plans to dedicate
this race to Mott each year to honor his memory, with
bars of Grenada Chocolate Company’s organic dark
chocolate given as race prizes.
Congratulations to race winners Mike Bingley (first),
Stuart Broom (second), and Dave Royce (third).
Bingley also took first place in last year’s Mott
‘Done deal!” Kelvin George (at left) and Marc DeCaul
General Manager Kelvin George said that the Island
Water World team was looking forward to building the
event, expanding on the success of GSW 2014, which
drew 36 entries from 13 different countries. The partnership between the GSW and the chandlery that
“keeps you sailing” paves the way to develop this
regatta into a first class international racing event.
Online registration for GSW 2015, to be held January
29th through February 3rd, is up and running and
boats have begun to register, starting with GSW 2014’s
Best Performing Yacht, Jaguar, the always competitive Tulaichean II/Team Palm Tree Marine and the
well-sailed classic, The Blue Peter.
In 2015 the Racing, Racer Cruiser 1 (formerly Cruising
1), Racer Cruiser 2 (formerly Cruising 2) and One
Design Classes (e.g. J/24s, should there be sufficient
entries) may elect to fly spinnakers, taking the relevant
rating according to their sail configuration. This decision will be made on registration at the beginning of
the regatta and cannot be changed thereafter. The
more relaxed Classic, Cruising (formerly Fun Class) and
Multihull Classes will not fly spinnakers.
Ideas are flowing for a great entertainment line-up;
details will be published on the GSW website as these
are finalized.
competition (www.ifdsworlds2014.ca), which is being
held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, August 15th though 24th,
as this issue of Compass goes to press.
The four Virgin Islanders will compete against teams
from around the world to qualify for the 2016
Paralympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The
USVI athletes are among the people competing in the
regatta: 53 coaches and 176 racers representing
countries around the world.
USVI team members competing include Jim Kerr,
David Flaherty and Bobby Blackwell of St. Thomas, all
of whom will race on a 23-foot Sonar sailboat, and
Tony Sanpere of St. Croix, who will compete on a
single-handed, 13-foot 8-inch sailboat in the 2.4mR
Class. Olympic Star Class sailor John Foster of St.
Thomas is coaching the team.
This is the first time the territory has sent a team to this
international Paralympic qualifying event.
The International Association for Disabled Sailing is an
affiliate member of the International Paralympic
Committee and has been authorized by the
International Sailing Federation to conduct sailing
competitions for people with disabilities worldwide.
According to its website, the IFDS promotes all types
of sailing for people with all types and degrees of disability. It works to bring people onto the water at
every level of skill, competition and enjoyment.
Follow the team’s progress online at www.facebook.
Left to right: Stuart Broom, Commodore John Whitsett,
Dave Royce and Mike Bingley
Memorial Challenge. The PCYC would like to thank all
racers and spectators who came out for a fun and
exciting day of match racing, and Le Phare Bleu
Marina for providing the venue.
For more information on PCYC membership and
upcoming events visit www.pcycgrenada.com.
USVI Paralympic Sailors Head for Canada
Members of the USVI Paralympic Sailing team arrived
in Canada recently to compete in the 2014 Highliner
International Federation of Disabled Sailing world
Guadeloupe’s Triskell Cup 2014
The Triskell Cup Regatta 2014 will run from November
8th through 10th at Petit Cul de Sac Marin and Baie de
Gosier, Guadeloupe. This is a well-attended, wellorganized and highly competitive three-day event that
regularly attracts keen sailors from Antigua, Martinique
and farther afield. A fleet of 50 boats is not uncommon.
There will be classes for cruising monohulls (Coastal
Class) with an Osiris rating, racing monohulls (Racing
Class) with a CSA rating, and cruising multihulls (Multi
Class) with a Multi-2014 rating. Scoring will be extracted for Class 8 and Surprise as one-designs, Melges 24
and Figaro 2. The Organizing Authority reserves the
right to amalgamate, cancel, divide, subdivide or
rearrange classes at its sole discretion.
Eligible boats are encouraged to pre-enter online at
For more information see ad on this page.
—Continued on next page
the great events in the Caribbean regatta season,
the Royal Southern Yacht Club has chosen Antigua
Sailing Week as the event to feature the Royal
Southern Inter-Yacht Club Challenge. We look forward to providing yacht clubs from around the world
with some of the most challenging and exciting racing they will ever experience in the Caribbean’s
idyllic conditions.”
Antigua Sailing Week 2015 takes place from April
25th to May 1st and is based at Antigua Yacht Club in
Falmouth Harbour. Courses are predominately windward/leeward. Racing starts on Saturday, April 25th
with the optional 54-nautical-mile Yachting World
Round Antigua Race. Five days of round-the-buoys
racing follow, with two races on some days and a lay
day on the Wednesday featuring a great beach party
at Pigeon Beach. Daily post-race social events and
prizegivings take place on the lawn of Antigua Yacht
Club. The week winds up with the final awards presentation on Friday, May 1st in the unique setting of historic Nelson’s Dockyard in English Harbour. On-the-water
activities are complemented by excellent parties with
a very Caribbean flavour.
For more information visit www.sailingweek.com.
New Yacht Club Challenge for Antigua Week 2015
Antigua Sailing Week announces that the Royal
Southern Yacht Club of Hamble, UK has issued a challenge to yacht clubs around the world to compete in
the Royal Southern Inter-Yacht Club Challenge at
Antigua Sailing Week 2015.
Yacht clubs are being challenged to take their own
boats to participate in Antigua Sailing Week or to
charter one of many racing boats or bareboats that
are available for the event. While race charter boats
may be a little more exciting, a fleet of one-design
boats is available from Sunsail, which provides boatfor-boat racing action.
Gordon Cossar of the RSYC says, “We are really
excited to get as many clubs as possible involved.
Following Antigua Sailing Week 2014, we realized that
about 30 Royal Southern members had been at the
final awards party and on returning to the UK we got
together to discuss a challenge. We have some early
expressions of interest from several yacht clubs, so
things are already shaping up well for an exciting
addition to Antigua Sailing Week 2015.”
Chairman of the Regatta Organizing Committee,
Kathy Lammers, says: “We are delighted that of all
The route choice for ARC+ Cape Verdes has proved
popular with many ARC veterans keen to discover
another archipelago en route to the Caribbean and is
limited to 60 entries for the earlier start. Extra boat slips
installed by the Las Palmas Port Authority has enabled
the ARC to grow to a maximum of 225 to make the
start this year.
From families with children to tough racers and cruising couples to Atlantic veterans, the ARC attracts
individuals of all ages and from all walks of life. Eight
boats to date will be sailing with children under the
age of 16 onboard. Former Olympians and Volvo
Ocean Race competitors will be sharing the same
start line as amateur adventurers such as Andreas
and Stefanie Werland who are sailing on their
yacht Charisma and celebrating their silver wedding
anniversary. For some, sailing across the Atlantic is
only the first step on an even greater adventure, with
ten yachts sailing with ARC and ARC+ to reach the
start line of their 15-month circumnavigation with
World ARC.
ARC 2014 is shaping up to feature one of the most
diverse fleets in history with boats ranging from the
9.58 Marieholm 32E Thalassa to the super-maxi Farr 100
Leopard by Finland. Leopard is set to sail with a crew
of 20 in ARC 2014, and has a considerable history of
conquering Atlantic speed sailing records that will
make her one to watch, albeit briefly, on this year’s
Fleet Tracker.
Catamarans have proved extremely popular this
year — 27 are entered to date for the direct route
and 13 in ARC+, and Lagoon tops the overall “boatbuilders table” by some margin with 19 entries across
both route choices. The Lagoon 450 is the most popular boat model entered so far with nine in total taking
part. For monohulls, Oyster tops the table with 19
entries from across their range, followed by Beneteau,
Jeanneau and Hallberg-Rassy.
As always, the ARC fleet represents almost every
principal sailing nation. This year so far the fleet
includes boats registered in Australia, Austria, Belgium,
Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, UK,
Germany, Japan, Iceland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands,
Norway, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Spain,
Switzerland, Sweden, the USA and ten other nations,
making 35 in total.
For more information visit www.worldcruising.com/arc.
—Continued from previous page
Diverse Fleet for 29th ARC
This November, the 29th Atlantic Rally for Cruisers
(ARC) will set sail from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
across the Atlantic, bound for Rodney Bay, St, Lucia.
ARC sailors have a choice of routes with the introduction of ARC+ Cape Verde in 2013, and two starts are
planned: ARC+ will depart Las Palmas marina on
November 9th, followed by the ARC fleet on
November 23rd. Interest continues to be exceptional
for both ARC starts, with the traditional ARC route and
ARC+ Cape Verdes expected to reach capacity
once again in 2014.
The Tricky Way
to Get to the
by Linn Charlotte Klund
Off we go!
Just a couple of weeks after the 2013 ARC departed
from the Canary Islands, my boyfriend Paul and I went
in the wakes of the participants heading for the
Caribbean, facing a particular journey which in many
ways turned into a nightmare. Accompanied by our
English crewmember, we set sail for Bridgetown,
Barbados, right before Christmas, preparing for a
sunny holiday in choppy waters. After a few weeks
with dull wind, the weather conditions now were ideal
and as the tradewinds steadily filled our genoa they
made the boat dance on the waves. (Leaving Las
Palmas, both the genoa and the mainsail did the job
together. We measured the average speed from using
only the genoa to be 5.5 knots and were satisfied with
that since neither of us were in a hurry, nor wanted to
win any regatta.) However, there were other matters
causing an uncomfortable atmosphere on board in the
upcoming weeks.
Appearances can be deceptive
Las Palmas apparently was a beloved place for hitchhikers searching for a way to go over to the Caribbean.
Our choice fell on the outgoing and sporty 68-year-old
whom I’ll call “Timothy Douglas”, whose experience
from numerous trips worldwide awakened our curiosity. By participating on three previous Atlantic crossings, he had also been collecting some knowledge
about sailing, in contrast to the younger backpackers
who hung around the marina area. Despite being quite
a bohemian, he also had the typically English politeness and could be a real gentleman.
Unfortunately, he also had another side that was to
be revealed offshore.
changed over the past 30 years since Tim had last
crossed the Atlantic. Not only had the traffic increased,
the sailing community in general had more focus on
safety. However, it was easier said than done, and as
we slowly reached warmer latitudes, the ongoing discussion spoiled our expectations of a harmonious,
adventurous passage. What happened to the exciting
guy who seemed to be looking forward to this trip just
as much as we were and wanted to share his lifetime
stories with us? Was he still there somewhere?
The wise old fisherman
All his life, our Englishman had dedicated innumerable days to fishing, primarily involving professional
equipment and deep-sea creatures on the hook. During
the preparations for our crossing, he continuously
mentioned how he could hardly wait to fill our plates
with dorado fillets and fresh tuna sandwiches. Although
it sounded absolutely delicious, we were not able to
hide our skepticism based on stories we had read or
heard concerning the lack of fish in the big, blue ocean.
We decided, however, to give it a go and did not store
as many provisions as we possibly should have done.
Rice, beans, olives and tinned vegetables would do well
as supplements to the fresh haul Mr. Douglas had
promised us. His bag, consisting of 20 kilos of equipment, undoubtedly gave us some hope of success.
Holy macaroni! I doubt there was a time in life we
missed a proper meat or fish meal so terribly as much
as in the second half of the trip. We could not wait to
get to Barbados and grant ourselves a culinary experience. As a matter of fact, we did not get one single fish,
except for the curious grown-up flying fish that ended
its days on deck. Still, we had some variation in terms
of nutrition. One day we served soup with rice, the
next day soup with baked beans, the third day the
beans were replaced with lentils and another day the
spaghetti found its way into the soup. If we were lucky
we could even find some pieces of chorizo in that mixture, which probably would look exactly the same if it
were the result of seasickness.
Above: For our passage from the Canaries to the
Caribbean we decided to take an extra hand.
To protect the ‘innocent’, his photo won’t be shown
Right: Linn Charlotte and Paul: ‘Timothy regretted
choosing us and our small yacht for the crossing…’
Since Paul and I did not have massive experience
when it came to sailing (we only started in 2012), we
focused on safety rather than taking any risks that
might cause us trouble. Planning to go all around the
world, we aimed to keep the boat and its equipment,
not to mention ourselves, in a good shape and avoid
unnecessary expenses on our already Spartan budget. Some may call us cowards; at least Timothy did.
He lived under the motto “No risk, no fun”, which
implied lying on the bow of the boat while surfing
down the waves, or taking a swim behind the boat
completely untied.
After totally agreeing to our practices and rules
before the journey, he showed reluctant behavior once
we got out into the open sea. Imagine how frustrating
it was to try to tell a grown-up man, who lived his
entire life on his own premises, how to behave in your
home. What options do you have when you find your
crewmember sleeping on his night watch with the
excuse “I have full control and know where every other
boat is located”?
Speaking for myself, I did my best until I eventually
lost my patience. Since the captain always has the last
word, Paul had to make an effort to talk some sense
into him, such as patiently explaining that things have
Well, we could not exactly blame Tim for the scarce
haul; still it was frustrating. Not to forget the handful
of times a fish actually took the bait but managed to
escape, leaving us with an empty line or no line at all.
Reducing the speed in general or in the moment the
fish bit did not bring any luck either.
From the poor food situation we learned a whole lot
more about provisioning and, funnily enough, something creative came out of the failure. Like any other
true musician, Paul brought his guitar on the crossing
and succeeded in lightening up the atmosphere from
time to time.
—Continued on next page
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Fibreglass Repairs
Diesel & Propane
Surftech Surf Shop
Restaurant & Bar
Wi-Fi / Internet Café
Refrigeration Work
Air Travel
Hotel Reservations
Book Exchange
PO Box 39, Blue Lagoon, St Vincent, West Indies
Tel. 1-784-456-9526 / 9334 / 9144 Fax. 1-784-456-9238
[email protected]
—Continued from previous page
The self-composed song about the wise old fisherman who surprisingly (at least to himself) did not
catch any fish and blamed all thinkable factors soon
became a hit on board.
Bridgetown in three or four days when something suddenly put a spanner in the works for us.
It started in the middle of the night with a suspicious
slam on the port side, followed by a serious bang on
the starboard side. Paul and I were off watch and woke
up immediately, terrified that the mast was in danger.
We could not be mistaken: each of the two bangs had
taken place just above our heads, meaning that the
lower shrouds had to be involved. One of them had
broken straight through below the spreader, the other
one was moving about and resembled very much a
flabby asparagus. The poor mast now had to put its
trust to the forestay and backstay and the tiny little
babystay in the middle.
were extremely nerve-racking. What if we got into
bad weather? Would the mast collapse? Did we have
sufficient fuel to get to shore? More frequent squalls
and the tearing interaction of wires above our heads
while trying to sleep certainly did not calm us down.
It is hard to tell if crossing fingers on the night watch
actually helped, but after four exhausting days, and
a total of 20 and a half days, we arrived in the capital of Barbados, safe and sound. Thank God! (Or was
it Neptune?)
Lessons learned
For those of you planning an ocean crossing, please
consider your alternative crewmember(s) carefully;
you might realize that you are better off without extra
crew. Having extra crew certainly is more relaxing
with shorter watches, but if the social life on board
Counter-clockwise from left:
The only fish we ‘caught’ on the entire crossing was
this kamikaze flying fish
Paul washes away some stress
Going up the mast to replace a broken shroud
in mid-Atlantic is nobody’s idea of a good time
Mini Mart
Laundry Service
Book Exchange
Sail Loft/Canvas Shop
Black Pearl Restaurant
iving boats
h for all arr
Free R
Blue Lagoon Hotel & Marina
(Formerly Sunsail Marine Center)
Nestled in the quiet waters
of Blue Lagoon in Ratho Mill,
St. Vincent & the Grenadines
Tel: 1 784 458 4308 | VHF: 16 / 68
[email protected]
Dockage per foot per day:
Monohull $0.77 Catamaran US$1.15
Gasoline and Diesel are available dockside
at the government regulated price
Norwegian sailors Linn Charlotte Klund and
Paul Lübbe are sailing the 34-foot Hero 101
S/Y Amanda-Trabanthea.
Beach Bar & Restaurant
Taxi Service
Bathrooms / Showers
Charter Services
Free Open Wifi
Fuel Dock
Car Rental Service
24hrs security
A/C Power 110/220
Provisioning Services
St. Vincent & the Grenadines
As the break of dawn colored the sky ruby red, our
number one challenge was to secure the rig and
somehow replace the lower shrouds. Taking the broken wire, Paul made a loop in the end to re-attach it
to the spreader. Next, Timothy and I collected all our
lashing straps and a solid line while Paul was preparing for the trip up the mast. Watching my usually
brave boyfriend burst into tears as he climbed
upwards truly was a critical moment, which touched
my spectrum of feelings in so many ways. He still had
the guts to pull it through and safely returned to the
deck where we tightened the arrangement with the
straps. Good captain!
The worst part was over, yet the following days
becomes a nightmare, it is definitely not worth it.
Taking our story into account, you should at least do
some test trips in advance just to see how you are getting along offshore. After all, you will be sharing a
small space and may literally step on one another’s
toes. It is, for sure, very different from sharing an
apartment on shore where you can go out for a walk
if you feel stuck. Surrounded by ocean in all directions, 2,000 miles away from the destination, you do
not have that opportunity.
Secondly, do not trust your fishing equipment no
matter how heavy, expensive and colorful it is. Do
yourself a favor and store plenty of tins with nutritious
food. If you are lucky and catch a lot of dorado, you
can always keep the tins for a later occasion.
Last but not least, do not forget to bring sufficient
extra lines and lashing straps!
Bon voyage!
The turning point
Due to the disharmony created by the disagreements
on board, Paul and I had to “swallow a lot of camels”.
Timothy, on his side, claimed that he never had had to
make so many compromises in his life and argued that
we were taking his freedom away. Our crewmember
was quite unstructured, leaving his belongings here
and there, throwing the dishes into a corner after
washing up. So the days went by, filled with frustration and efforts to deal with his untidiness. After all, it
is important to keep the boat at a certain level of tidiness since you never know when the next monster
wave is knocking on your door, either leaving your
randomly placed belongings soaking wet or throwing
them from one place to another. (When it came to our
boat, the short keel did not prevent sideways rolling to
the same extent a longer keel would have done. Not
only equipment will be tumbled around, the crew also
has to struggle to keep their balance, and bruises are
Timothy regretted choosing us and our relatively
small yacht for the crossing; at the same time we had
second thoughts about bringing him along. The fact
that Mr. Douglas (who no longer was as fit as he would
like to think) might injure himself was also a concern
for both parties.
However, luckily, as we went towards the end of the
second week, the atmosphere slowly started to improve.
We are grateful for a clarifying discussion one sunny
morning in the cockpit. Not only did we come up with
compromises to make life livable on board for all of us,
this talk also functioned as a relieving outlet for the
large quantity of suppressed irritation. The changes
did not happen overnight, but we managed to sit down
and have a conversation and even laugh together.
Through his stories, Timothy brought us back to
Indian adventures, African safaris, his incidental
hook-up with Bob Dylan and more. We also began taking more photos and enjoying being at sea. Of course,
all of us had to try our best, which meant avoiding
flipping out, being patient and participating equally in
the chores and being considerate of everyone’s wellbeing on board.
The catastrophe knocking on the door
Although the situation was much better, we did not
get away from the fact that we were all longing to feel
the white Caribbean sand between our toes and have
some space on our own. Since the weather still was
very reliable, we were optimistic about reaching
Ivan Revisited:
A Tenth
Anniversary Review
by Christopher Price
At 7:00PM on Tuesday, September 7th, 2004 my wife, Christine, and I were boarding a plane at Edinburgh Airport to fly back to Bristol after a week’s holiday touring
Scotland. We were nearing the end of a six-week return to the UK, having left our
boat, Hummingbird, on a mooring in Grenada.
Some 4,500 miles away, at 2:00PM in Grenada, Hurricane Ivan had started to carve
a trail of unbelievable devastation across the island, during which it rose from a
mere Category 3 to Category 4. By the end of the day, sustained winds well in excess
of 100 knots had been recorded.
Because nothing like this had happened for nearly 50 years, the island was, to a
large extent, unprepared. The hurricane cut off electricity and water supplies.
Communications with the outside world failed and, of course, the same applied to
telephones, radio and television.
My sister, who lives in Wisconsin, had been watching NOAA and telephoned to ask
how the boat had fared in the hurricane. This was the first we heard of Ivan and it
was to be quite some time before we were able to answer her question.
First, the Bad News
In 2004, 49 years had elapsed since Hurricane Janet ripped over Grenada and
killed more than 130 people. Only those Grenadians over 55 years of age had any
real memory of the havoc that could be caused by such a storm. A high level of complacency had developed and many people, including those in authority, had come to
believe that the island really was below the hurricane belt. Thus, little or no attempt
was made to turn off electricity and water supplies or take down communication
antennas in preparation.
It was estimated that more than 650 boats were based in Grenada at the time
of Ivan’s arrival. The division between those stored ashore and those in the water
is not known. In one of the island’s two boatyards only a handful of boats were
left undamaged; the rest either blew over or had other boats fall on them. In the
other yard, some 18 percent of the boats suffered similarly. The October 2004
issue of Compass estimated that roughly one third of the boats that were in the
water either sank or went aground, but this figure was not confirmed. The Prime
Minister of Grenada estimated that 90 percent of the properties on the island suffered damage; some escaped lightly, whereas others were wrecked to the extent
that they vanished.
based partly on contemporary
reports, partly on
those directly affected, and partly on our
own observations.
• It was reported
Léonie Shaw of the
yacht Zingano in the
aforementioned issue
of Compass that
before the arrival of
Ivan there were over
In Ivan’s wake, some were damaged, some were sunk and
40 boats in St.
some remained unscathed…
George’s Lagoon, and
about half went
aground and a few
sank. Nick Bruce of Indigo Drum reported that, “on turning the corner into the
Lagoon we could not believe our eyes. There was yacht after yacht piled on top of
each other, many with anxious owners on board (and) the warehouses around the
Lagoon were being looted… by groups of individuals who were clearly having the time
of their lives.” Another witness said of the boats “all were piled up four deep
• Last year, Jim and Jonni of Te Natura showed their video shot on board when
Ivan was at its height. Hair-raising stuff. It also included a clip taken the following
day, which showed a number of yachts riding peacefully at anchor in a sunlit Prickly
Bay. It was hard to imagine that the day before three people had died out there.
• Compass reported that about 90 boats were in Mt. Hartman Bay (Secret Harbour)
before the hurricane struck. Afterwards over 50 remained afloat and possibly ten
were sunk, six of them in the marina there; 20 to 30 were reported as being ashore
on the rocks and small beaches around the bay. Serious looting took place and some
owners were threatened with machetes and stones and told to keep away until looters
had finished. On the west side of the bay ex-USN Commander Max Rogers, owner of
Kandu, defended his boat and others in the vicinity, his service handgun in hand.
• The hills on either side of the road leading down to the head of Clarkes Court Bay
from the village of Ruth Howard had once been dotted with small wooden huts,
shacks really, and it was heartbreaking to see that, for the most part, they just vanished. People’s homes blown away, really. A stuffed armchair, a large cooking pot,
not much more was left.
• And then there was the disgraceful story of the yacht Rassi. Graham Bailey had
moored his boat in Mt. Hartman Bay and, at the height of the hurricane, it crossed
the reef, blew out to sea, travelled west along the coast and came back ashore on the
rocks of Hardy Bay, which is within the confines of the airport. Because of this, it
took Graham several days to find the boat and then gain access to it through the
airport’s secure area. By the time he got there it had already been stripped of every
piece of removable yachting equipment: sails, winches, instruments, ropes, fenders,
the list went on and on. Rassi could only be accessed by dinghy, and it must have
been other cruisers from bays to the east that stripped the boat. It took Graham and
Ann over two years of hard work to rebuild and refit their home.
—Continued on next page
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Christopher and Jeanette Price sailed their 50-foot catamaran, Hummingbird, to the
Eastern Caribbean in 2002. Their intention was to stay for a year, but they still
haven’t torn themselves away.
—Continued from previous page
• CK’s Cash and Carry was one of the very few island food stores that was virtually undamaged and was able to reopen very quickly. Looting was prevented by
armed guards from the Trinidadian Defence Force and customers were only allowed
in six at a time.
• Rob Nealy of Maverick anchored his boat in Clarkes Court Bay and spent the day
in a friend’s house overlooking the marina there. His graphic description: “When
Ivan struck, the marina travelled south scattering boats and, after the eye had
passed over, it travelled back north scattering the rest.”
These “snapshots” give some idea of the appalling conditions that faced the people
of Grenada and the yachting community on the morning of Wednesday, September
8th, 2004.
And Then the Good News
Although cruisers are by no means perfect in every respect — Graham Bailey had
some carefully chosen words to say on that subject — the one thing they are really
good at is rallying round. Within a day or so of Ivan’s departure, cruising boats were
leaving Trinidad laden with disaster relief supplies. They were followed by undamaged boats from Grenada on the same mission. Marine Trade Associations from St.
Martin to Trinidad set about loading trucks and containers with supplies of every
description. Grenada’s marine business community made huge efforts to get their
shops and service facilities up and running again.
At international level, the full machinery of major disaster relief moved rapidly into
action. United Nations, Pan-American and Caribbean organizations were quickly on
the scene and individual Caribbean governments provided more support and relief
than they could probably afford.
Once the initial crisis was over, the Grenadian government still faced enormous
long-term problems in
rebuilding the island’s
economy. The hotel
and resort infrastructure was badly damaged and it has taken
many years of hard
work to restore this
important contributor
to the income of the
island. The same can
be said of the related
yachting sector.
Within the world of
Grenadian yachting,
there have been two
significant changes
‘The yachting industry is thriving as never before’,
since Ivan. Both of the
as is visible in St. George’s Lagoon and the rest of
big boatyards have
Grenada’s yacht harbors
reorganized their storage facilities and there is now complete segregation between monohulls and catamarans. The latter are, of course, much less likely to be blown over by hurricane force
winds, but in Ivan many were damaged by adjacent monohulls falling across them.
Tie-down points have also been installed throughout the yards and both of them also
now offer strong steel cradles into which monohulls can be lashed securely and
which themselves are firmly screwed down. Between them, the two yards can now
accommodate more than 450 boats. (I believe that an additional storage facility is
planned for Clarkes Court Bay, although this is subject to confirmation.)
On the marina front, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Ivan it became clear
that, in general, the larger marinas needed to provide better storm protection for
their customers’ boats. The lessons were obvious and it is reasonable to assume that
newer facilities incorporate significant improvements. During the last ten years, St.
George’s Lagoon has been cleared not only of wreckage, but also of the remnants of
the old Grenada Yacht Services marina. This has been replaced by Port Louis marina. On the south coast, Le Phare Bleu marina has been installed. At least two other
marinas are planned, and in all these cases it must be assumed that modern marina
design takes full account of the stresses that can be imposed by winds well in excess
of 100 knots. [Editor’s note: See related story on page 18.]
The yachting industry in Grenada is now thriving as never before and it is probable
that the number of boats around the island during the summer months is now even
greater than before Ivan. As the yachting community has recovered from that shattering experience, the Marine and Yachting Association of Grenada (MAYAG) has
played a significant role in advancing their interests. This has been primarily for the
benefit of its members, the providers of goods and services, but indirectly for the
benefit of the visiting boaters who are their customers. Of equal importance, MAYAG
has been able to forge closer links with government and ensure that there is full
recognition of the increasingly important contribution that yachting makes to the
island’s economy.
Hummingbird’s Perch
What, then, was the answer to my sister’s question? It took us nearly ten days to
find our 50-foot cat, Hummingbird, high and dry in Calivigny Harbour and guarded
by an armed member of the Grenada Defence Force. He had arrived too late: she had
been thoroughly looted, but fortunately the internal damage was negligible. Just a
helluva mess to tidy up. Our boat was refloated and we took it to Antigua for extensive repairs. The total bill, paid with commendable speed by Pantaenius, was slightly in excess of US$45,000.
We have returned to Grenada for the summer for each of the last ten years and it
is probable that we will continue to do so. However, we are not deluding ourselvelves.
There is a tendency among some within the Grenadian yachting community to dismiss the hurricane threat as something that only happens once every 50 years. This
is, perhaps, mostly a consequence of marketing enthusiasm. However, there should
be no room for complacency.
During the last 60 years, Grenada has been hit by two devastating major hurricanes. The claim that the island lies below the hurricane belt is belied by the fact that
between Janet in 1955 and Ivan ten years ago, a full-scale hurricane passed 40 miles
south of the island in 1963, and in 1990 and 1993 tropical storms struck Trinidad.
Only ten months after Ivan, Hurricane Emily passed over Grenada, but it was farther
north — and the island was much better prepared than the year before.
It has been said that Grenada is a “safe place” to leave a boat during the hurricane
season. I doubt if that can be said of any island in the Eastern Caribbean chain, but
it is certainly true that Grenada appears to be safer. It is for this reason that we
continue to visit during the summer months and in doing so we are encouraged by
the way in which the island has recovered from the horrors of Hurricane Ivan. More
especially we have welcomed the way in which the lessons learned during the recovery process have been applied within the yachting industry.
Grenada’s Yachting Facilities:
Designed to benefit fishermen in Haiti,
SECOND LIFE SAILS is a Clean Wake Project
of the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA)
in a joint venture with Free Cruising Guides.
Donations of used sails and fishing equipment can be
sent to either Minneford Marina at 150 City Island
Ave., Bronx, NY 10464 (www.minnefordmarina.com)
or to Marina ZarPar in Boca Chica, Dominican
Republic (www.marinazarpar.com). School and first-aid
supplies are also welcome. A receipt for your donation
will be given upon request.
Frank Virgintino, developer of Free Cruising Guides,
will take all donated items to Haiti during February
2015 and distribute them to fishermen in a number
of communities.
For more information contact Frank Virgintino
at [email protected] or SSCA board member
Catherine Hebson at [email protected]
Crossing the channels between Caribbean islands with a favorable tide will
make your passage faster and more comfortable. The table below, courtesy Don
Street, author of Street’s Guides and compiler of Imray-Iolaire charts, which
shows the time of the meridian passage (or zenith) of the moon for this AND next
month, will help you calculate the tides.
Water, Don explains, generally tries to run toward the moon. The tide starts
running to the east soon after moonrise, continues to run east until about an
hour after the moon reaches its zenith (see TIME below) and then runs westward.
From just after the moon’s setting to just after its nadir, the tide runs eastward;
and from just after its nadir to soon after its rising, the tide runs westward; i.e.
the tide floods from west to east. Times given are local.
Note: the maximum tide is 3 or 4 days after the new and full moons.
For more information, see “Tides and Currents” on the back of all Imray Iolaire
charts. Fair tides!
September 2014
0000 (full moon)
October 2014
0000 (full moon)
Fondly known as ‘Camp Grenada’, with a mixture of anchorages and facilities the
island is a popular summer hangout as well as a place for boat storage and repairs
— and since Ivan, storm preparations are greatly improved
Grenada’s motto after Hurricane Ivan was “Build Back Better” — and what a comeback it was! Any naiveté about the possible effects of a big storm is long gone, and
in its place is a seamanlike attitude of being well prepared for the worst nature can
throw at you, even if it’s a very rare occurrence. Although a few gaps still remain, the
past ten years have seen remarkable development in the island’s infrastructure, and
the Isle of Spice’s marine and yachting sector has really taken the Build Back Better
goal to heart. Previously existing facilities have indeed been “built back better”,
facilities built since 2004 have been constructed to uplifted standards, and Hurricane
Plans all around have been fine-tuned.
To get an overview, Compass asked some of Grenada’s boatyards and marinas to
share with us how they have prepared for heavy weather.
Susie Gray of Customer Services at Spice Island Marine Services, the longestestablished boatyard on the island, reports that, since Ivan, Spice Island Marine has
introduced insurance-approved storage methods that include:
• All boats in storage being strapped down with ties that are secured in six-footdeep cement-filled holes;
• Solid steel cradles as well as a new stand system that involves locking stands
together with one-inch pipe and special clamps. Monohulls have their forward and
aft stands welded together;
• Catamarans are segregated from monohulls and cradle-storage boats; and
• All sails are taken down.
Susie adds that, “Even though we recommend it, mast removal is optional. We offer
separate dinghy and outboard storage areas; in lieu of that, dinghies must be
strapped down on decks.”
From Grenada Marine boatyard, owner Jason Fletcher elaborates on
similar innovations:
• Cradles: “Because some members of our team stayed in the yard during Ivan,
they were able to observe what happens when a boat is knocked over due to high
wind: the boat lifts and drops in the stands. Because the stands are chained together under tension against the hull, when the boat lifts the stands move and with the
repeated lifting of the boat by the wind, the stands eventually get loose and the boat
topples or is blown over. We designed and made a one-piece cradle system in which
the arms are held in place mechanically, so, if the boat lifts, the pads do not move
and the boat does not become unstable. We have a special cradle section for those
who choose to opt for this storage method, so they are not affected by less stable
boats alongside them.”
• Tie-down straps: “Again as a result of our observations during the storm, we realized that the most effective thing to do would be to stop the boat from lifting in the
first place, so the stands cannot become unstable. So we drove over 500 anchors into
the yard, allowing us to tie the boats to the ground with a minimum of four cargotype ratchet straps per boat. This has become a standard part of our basic chocking
option during the hurricane season and we view this as our biggest improvement.”
• Storage by type of boat: “Again owing to the experience gained, we now store boats
by type, so cats are stored together, monohulls together and cradle boats together.”
• Storm water defense: “We built a wall at the most vulnerable area of the watercourse that runs along the western side of the yard, reducing the possibility of the
yard becoming flooded because of excessive rain.”
• Hurricane preparedness plan: “Ivan helped us to develop a more effective hurricane preparedness plan. We learned a lot that has been noted for future use. For just
one example, some boats that fell over were damaged by things left next to the boat,
such as concrete culverts or stands. These are now moved to safe locations prior to
a storm.
“We have also developed the habit of a constant daily online weather watch during
the season.”
• “In the office, we now have web-based management software and cloud backup.
• Insurance policy improvements: “Ivan’s lessons also taught us a lot that we used
to fine-tune our arrangements with our own insurance agents. But one of the best
things for us was the exposure of working with the insurance companies and their
surveyors on the repair of 25 of the 32 boats (out of 200) damaged because of the
storm. It made them aware of our abilities and has resulted in us being sent work
from insurance companies since then. I understand that this is not an ‘improvement’
per se, but for us it is good news resulting from the storm.”
From Prickly Bay Marina, Marina Manager Davide Costantini says, “On September
1st 2004, I signed a contract for the management of the operations of Prickly Bay
Marina, and on the 7th a Category 4 Hurricane passed over. The devastation was solid,
but reconstruction started the morning after and we were never closed. We stayed
operative also as a Port of Entry for the many vessels that arrived from south with aid.
—Continued on next page
—Continued from previous page
“At the present we have two new docks and we reconstructed the old existing dock;
plus we have 20 solid moorings in the bay nearby our docks. All the shore facilities,
such as the restrooms, Customs office, bar and restaurant, minimarket and others
have all been modified and improved and, in some cases, rebuilt completely. All
those works have been done by Darren Turner, who has been the managing director
since March 2011.
“We now have a Hurricane Plan and all boats in our facility need to comply with it.
In short, this hurricane plan provides for the assisted evacuation of all the boats
from our facility and Prickly Bay waters in case a named storm or a hurricane will
be passing directly over the island. The bay is safe and beautiful in virtually all conditions, but is not a recommended place to be for a storm or hurricane.”
Manager Lynn Fletcher of Le Phare Bleu Marina & Boutique Hotel reports: “The
owners of Le Phare Bleu started their project shortly after Hurricane Ivan hit
Grenada in September 2004. With this terrible experience in mind it was clear Le
Phare Bleu needed to have a Hurricane Plan when in operation.
“A big lesson learnt from Ivan is that a boat in the water on a strong mooring with
no other boats around had the highest chance of surviving. Meaning, a well-protected ‘Hurricane Hole’ can be a trap if there are many others boats around that are not
properly anchored. So maybe being in the anchorage on a strong mooring with no
other boats around will be the better choice. So, Le Phare Bleu decided to place ten
storm moorings in their bay (with permission of the Port Authority) and in case of a
Tropical Storm Warning, boats in the marina with the highest windage need to be
moved to these moorings, which are located outside of the marina.
“Le Phare Bleu has been visited by a few insurance companies and has had
approval for its operation and Hurricane Moorings. (Always check with your insurance company for their requirements during the Hurricane Season and especially for
named Tropical Storms procedures.)
“The Hurricane Moorings consist of two hydraulic driven square-shaft anchors and
one three-ton concrete block with a holding power of 5.2 tons. During Hurricane
Season, from June to November, Le Phare Bleu will only allow 50 percent occupancy
in the marina, to spread the load and to make sure all the boats have at least a
double slip available (with double mooring lines).
“All boats unattended (i.e. without the owner/skipper on board) for any period during the Hurricane Season must be under a guardianage contract. The guardianage
company or individual has an obligation to move and to care for that boat plus take
all reasonable action to protect it under the guidelines laid out in the Hurricane Plan
of Le Phare Bleu.
“Each year before the Hurricane Season starts, the moorings and docks are
checked and tested by commercial divers to ensure all are in good order. Staff and
tenants, as well as any long-term marina guests, meet for a Hurricane Briefing to
run through the procedures. During the Hurricane Season, Le Phare Bleu checks
various hurricane monitoring websites twice daily.”
Storm moorings are also a popular choice with Horizon Yacht Charters Grenada
in True Blue Bay. Director James Pascall says, “We haven’t changed much at True
Blue dock-wise since Ivan, as the dock survived the storm and we were back operating in a few days. We now have hurricane moorings in the bay that are available for
rental outside hurricane season, but during hurricane season we need the space for
our own fleet. Keeping our fleet on hurricane moorings is easier to manage; the
moorings are very strong (three screws, large concrete block, substantial chain and
line) and we know they’ll hold a boat in a Category 4.” James notes that chafe is the
biggest issue, so they use two sizes of toilet hose, one inside the other, for double
protection. He adds, “Not moving the boats around gives us much more time for
preparation — which is key for named storms.”
Port Louis Marina in St. George’s Lagoon opened in 2008, four years after Ivan.
Manager Danny Donelan says, “We operate under international standards and have
a very comprehensive Hurricane Plan in case storms are coming (an electronic copy
is available from the marina on request). We also insist that anyone who comes into
the marina has insurance; we are one of a few marinas that insist on this and this
is to help protect our customers in case anything does happen during a storm.” In
• “All of our docks are of hurricane quality and we survey the docks at least once
every six months to make sure all is good under the water;
• “We run hurricane drills with our guys every few months so they know what to
do in case of the real thing;
• “We put out daily weather forecasts on our notice board;
• “We make sure that there are no loose items on the docks before a storm;
• “We will put extra fenders, lines, etcetera on all boats we think need them;
• “We will tell everyone to take down all sails, canvas, etcetera;
• “We strongly suggest that everyone who is leaving their boats at the marina take
on a guardianage company. It’s not compulsory, but we recommend it.”
In summary, any summertime complacency that existed ten years ago has been
replaced by awareness of the importance of hurricane-season preparedness, even if
hurricanes are rare this far south. As one marina manager says, “The major change
in Grenada, I think, is the fact that Ivan made all of us around the 12th parallel
aware of our vulnerability, just like the guys in the north are aware.”
A few visual reminders remain: the roof of the Anglican Church (at top center) blew
off in Hurricane Ivan in 2004, changing the iconic ridgeline of St. George’s
Exploring Santo Domingo
and its Surroundings
by Jo-Anne Nina Sewlal
Earlier this year I visited the Dominican Republic to attend a scientific conference.
That was a good excuse to do some exploring of the country’s vibrant capital city,
Santo Domingo, and its surroundings.
Shopping: ‘Faceless Dolls’ and Amber
Our hotel, Hostal Primaveral la Mansión, was a tiny
establishment located in the outskirts of Santo
Domingo and a five-minute walk from Old Santo
Domingo (Zona Colonial de Santo Domingo). My favourite place there was Calle El Conde. This street is not
only popular with visitors but with the locals as well,
since it is “a one stop shop”: there are clothing, music
and souvenir shops and restaurants that offer live
entertainment outside their establishments at night.
Vehicles are prohibited, so vendors set up stalls in
the centre of this very wide street to sell clothing (at
ridiculously low prices) or paintings (mostly copies of
art from Haiti, which shares the island of Hispaniola).
These vendors are there until around 7:00PM.
Old Santo Domingo is the place to go for great deals
on souvenirs. Bear in mind that the Dominican
Republic is quite diverse in terms of beliefs and culture, so that souvenirs you may get in one region you
may not be able to find in another. Our hotel was also
within walking distance of the Mercado Modelo,
which is another location for affordable trinkets.
Some popular souvenirs include the characteristic
straw hats, musical instruments such as drums and
graters (yes, these are used in traditional music), and
the famous handmade Faceless Dolls. The artist who
originally made these clay dolls without faces said
she did so because it was a way to solve the dilemma
of representing the myriad different ethnicities in the
Dominican Republic.
If music is your drug, be sure to dance to some
salsa and pick up some CDs. Get some bachata, a
Latino genre of music that originated in the Dominican
Republic. Most of the songs are romantic, often dealing with heartbreak.
There are also vendors who sell jewelry made of
larimar (a blue stone found only in the Dominican
Republic) and amber. The Dominican Republic is very well known for its amber, and
most of the pieces have insects, spiders or larger animals, such as lizards, embedded
in them. But you must beware — there is a lot of fake amber out there. Fake amber
is generally very inexpensive, so you think you are getting a good deal. Real amber
pieces can range in price from US$25 to over US$100. The key thing to look for is
flawlessness: if there are no bubbles in the amber then it is usually fake! Another
test is to place the piece in a super-saturated salt solution. If it floats then it is real,
but if it sinks to the bottom then the piece is fake. There are some vendors that will
tell you outright that they are selling fakes, which you can take back as inexpensive
trinkets, as well as real amber, which they keep separate; if you know your stuff then
often the vendors will admit to some pieces being fake and bring out the real ones.
If you don’t want to haggle and call bluffs, then I suggest visiting the Amber Museum,
also located in Old Santo Domingo, which, in addition to exhibiting amber, also sells it.
Getting Around
It is easy to get around the city and to natural attractions in the area using public
transport. Getting around Santo Domingo is an adventure in itself, as many of the
vehicles used in public transport look like they are falling apart. Despite appearances, they get you where you want to go! Vehicles used as taxis have the letter “H”
at the start of their license plate. There are also taxis painted a bright yellow, as in
the USA. The fare is a bit higher than if you were to take a mini-bus because you are
hiring the entire vehicle, whereas in mini-buses you are paying per seat. There are
many small buses and cars that assemble at “stands”, or sections of certain streets.
However, there are no signs denoting the location of these stands or the routes that
they take. Therefore, it is advisable to have a good command of Spanish so that you
can find your way to the right place if you choose to take public transport. Then
again, you can always take the subway. There are two lines: one that runs from
north to south while the second line runs east to west.
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The cave and lake system known as Los Tres Ojos — an interesting find
on the city’s outskirts
So, besides fun shopping, what else is there to do in Santo Domingo? The city has
a lovely Natural History Museum (Museo Nacional de Historia Natural), mainly devoted to marine life. Santo Domingo is also a beautiful area to photograph. As in many
other Latin American countries, you will see many statues and sculptures, and
colourful murals covering the walls of institutions.
The Zoo and the Caves
As zoologists, one of the places we had to visit was the National Zoo, located on the
outskirts of the city.
—Continued on next page
Petite Martinique
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email: [email protected]
—Continued from previous page
There are mini-buses that go to the Zoo, and a short walk from the Zoo entrance
you can get mini-buses that will take you back close to the city centre. Keep in mind
that on Sundays the Zoo’s front entrance is open, but on weekdays the public uses
the side entrance — so if you get there on a weekday it might appear to be closed.
The Natural History
Museum is one of
Santo Domingo’s
numerous museums.
It features two
complete whale
a humpback
and a sei
Some 15 kilometres long and
up to three kilometres wide
(nine by one-and-four-fifths
miles), Dunas de Las Calderas
is the largest area of sanddune ecosystem in the Antilles
Jo-Anne Nina Sewlal, Ph. D., is a zoologist at the University of the West Indies, St.
Augustine, and editor of the Environment Tobago Newsletter.
• High Quality Sheltered Moorings
• Slips to 120’ with depth 10’
• 70 Ton Travelift (30' beam)
• ABYC certified machanics
• Shore power 30, 50 and 100 amps
• All slips with fingers
• Showers, Laundry, Restaurant, 24 hr security
• Immigration office in the marina for clearance
• Free WIFI and Free Internet
• Dinghy Dock
• 12 miles East of Santo Domingo
& 7 miles East of International Airport
Visit: marinazarpar.com
email: [email protected]
Tel: 809 523 5858
VHF Channel 5
For information about sailing in the Dominican Republic visit www.noonsite.com/
Countries/DominicanRepublic and http://freecruisingguides.com/dominican-republic;
also see ad for Marina ZarPar on this page.
bay and the neighbouring naval
base. You also see how extensive
the dunes are, complete with
cacti in some spots, giving one
the impression that there is a
mini-desert in the middle of the
Caribbean. It may seem daunting, but the dunes can be crossed
to reach a secluded beach.
Food: Empanadas
and Besitos
In addition to shopping and
sightseeing, the Dominican
Republic offers a lot to eat.
Different parts of the country have their specialties, and where we stayed in Santo
Domingo the street food included empanadas. We also discovered pasteles en hoja,
which are similar to Mexican tamales. In the Dominican Republic, these are made of
boiled and mashed plantains instead of cornmeal, and wrapped and steamed in
banana leaves instead of cornhusks. There are many restaurants that sell local food,
and you can always find that staple — Chinese food. My favourite meal is dessert,
so I concentrated on the sweets. Some popular ones included what is known in my
country (Trinidad & Tobago) as guava “cheese”, a very dense jam made from the
guava fruit and usually sold in blocks and coated in sugar. Another type of sweet
that is common is coconut macaroons (besitos de coco). There are also sweets made
of tamarind: the pulp is removed from the seeds and mixed with sugar into a semisoft paste and rolled into balls and coated with sugar.
To me, the Dominican Republic has the perfect blend of cosmopolitan and natural
beauty with a Caribbean flavor. But with a country so large, you would need to
spend a few weeks to get to know it, and by that time you may not want to leave.
The zoo is large and has its own salt pond. There are snackettes and bathrooms
dotted around the property. There is also an open area behind the main entrance
that has tables and chairs where you can eat or just hang out. Nearby there is a
spacious gift shop that offers an assortment of handicraft items. These are very
affordable, ranging from DOP2.50 to DOP50. [Editor’s note: At the time of writing,
there were 43.6 Dominican Republic pesos to the US dollar.] Your ticket entitles you
to a train ride. Well, it is not a real train, but trucks outfitted to look like trains and
their cars that take you up the long hill to the main exhibition area where you are
given a mini-tour, after which you can get out and explore. On the walk back down
the hill you see tropical rainforest on either side.
After a lunch of fresh fruit that we bought along the way, we had time to visit
another attraction, so that afternoon we visited Los Tres Ojos (The Three Eyes) on
the extreme outskirts of the city in the Mirador del Este Park, about a 45-minute
drive. Created centuries ago, this limestone cave system was originally inhabited by
the island’s first inhabitants, the Taíno Indians. This natural attraction gets its name
from the fact that there are three caves relatively close to each other. This is evident
when you walk to the lookout, which is the top of a vertical shaft where you can see
all three openings of the caves. As with the zoo, there is an admission fee and you
carry your ticket to the person at the entrance to the cave where an adhesive paper
bracelet is placed around your wrist. To enter the cave you have a short walk down
stairs that have been cut into the rock. At the bottom there are walkways and stairs
to get to each cave. Each cave is filled with clear, blue water that is inhabited by fish.
In the largest cave there is a “boat”, really a raft with some seats and railings, which
goes across the water on a pulley system. It can accommodate about six passengers
at a time and the trip (one-way) costs about a US quarter. Once across, you follow a
pathway that opens up into a huge vertical shaft and a circular lake surrounded by
lush tropical rainforest. The boatman mentioned that this was one of the locations
where one of the “Tarzan” movies was shot. Also in the largest cave, a man appearing
to be in his early 70s climbed the rocky side of the cave to a height of about six
metres, without any ropes or safety harnesses, and then dove into the water. After
his performance spectators gave him money.
The Dunes
Quite a different natural attraction is Dunas de Las Calderas. This national park
contains the largest area of sand-dune ecosystem in the Antilles. To get there is very
easy: you hop on a bus to Bani that regularly passes along the main road (coastal
road). The mini-buses to Bani and points much more distant are colourful, with very
ornate window treatments, the logic being that if you have to travel such a long distance and spend so much time one might as well travel in style. Along the way the
mini-bus stopped at a little town where passengers could get out and buy sweets and
cakes from street vendors. In some cases vendors would come on the bus and offer
their goods that included handmade cheese. As we drove along the main road we
noticed groups of dirt bikes and
their riders on the side of the
road at the junction of dirt roads
and the highway. These small
roads led to rural communities
and these dirt bikes were the
taxis, taking commuters from
the villages to the main road to
get public transport. At Bani you
change buses and get one that
goes to Las Salinas.
At Dunas de Las Calderas you
pay a small fee to enter, as it is a
national park. From the entrance
you see just a small sandy trail,
but when you get up to the lookout you get a great view of the
Part 2: Perceptions, Misconceptions and Myths
I have cruised Haiti for two decades. In all of that time, I have found Haiti to be an exceptional Caribbean cruising ground, provided that areas of dense population are avoided.
To explain why more cruising boats should consider cruising Haiti today, it is first
necessary to explain why many boats did not call there in the past. The single greatest
reason that many boats avoid Haiti is fear. Haiti is feared because Haiti is largely
misunderstood. It is my hope that this article will help dissipate that fear by providing
some understanding and insight into a marvelous cruising area. It is not the intent of
this article to accuse or blame anyone for the problems that exist in Haiti.
The Haitian Revolution, a successful uprising of slaves against the French, was
fought from 1791 to 1804, well before slavery was abolished in the British colonies
or the United States. The American orator and author Frederick Douglass, himself a
former slave, spoke eloquently at the dedication of the Haitian Pavilion at the World’s
Fair in Chicago in 1893. He said, “We should not forget that the freedom you and I
enjoy today; that the freedom that eight hundred thousand colored people enjoy in
the British West Indies; the freedom that has come to the colored race the world over,
is largely due to the brave stand taken by the black sons of Haiti ninety years ago.
When they struck for freedom…they struck for the freedom of every black man in the
world.” In other words, for Black people, the Haitian Revolution was “the shot heard
’round the world”. It was a turning point that demonstrated the eventual fate of every
slaveholding society.
But after Haiti won her independence from France she became “persona non grata”
and in many respects has remained so to this day. Enlightenment philosophers such
as Hume, Kant, Hegel and even Thomas Jefferson maintained that the absence of
reason was a characteristic of those of African descent: that Africans were inferior to
Europeans. It was inconceivable to them that black men could defeat Napoleon’s
army. The idea was a threat for the new republic of the United States, where slavery
existed throughout the South. Neither did European countries want slaves in their
Caribbean colonies inspired to revolt.
How it was possible for slaves to overcome 50,000 French troops? Aside from the
fact that many French soldiers died of dysentery and malaria as they pursued the
rebels into the mountains, the revolution in Haiti was led by great strategists, men
who knew the French well and knew the terrain of Haiti even better. The small army
that they led was well disciplined and the men and women in it were willing to die
for their freedom. The rebels also used the ability to instill fear. At night in the mountains they used their West African culture’s “Voodoo” to drive fear into their adver-
saries who believed that the Haitians must have been winning because they had
made a pact with the devil. When a devastating 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck
Haiti in January 2010, Pat Robertson, a famous TV evangelist, said that the earthquake was the wrath of God visited on Haiti for the pact with the devil that they had
made so many years ago.
—Continued on page 45
by Frank Virgintino
Plot farming, once the basis of Haitian life
Whether you’ve spent the summer doing boatwork in the marina or yard, you’ve
been back home visiting friends and family, or you’ve been doing some summertime
cruising, it’s time to start to look ahead. After you’ve pored over the charts and cruising guides; made plans to feed the kitty; and made your boat, crew and gear the very
best they can be… now comes the fun part: dreaming about what — besides some
superb sailing, of course — the 2014-2015 Caribbean sailing season might hold in
store for you!
New Cruising Grounds
‘Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other gold.’ It’s a special
delight to return to favorite places where acquaintances are glad to see you and you
know the lay of the land. It’s also a thrill to drop anchor for the first time somewhere
you’ve never been before. For first-time visitors to the Caribbean, even the Windward,
Leeward and Virgin Islands will be totally new — lucky them! Meanwhile, old hands
will be exploring some of the less-frequently cruised parts of the Caribbean such as
the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Colombia, Guyana and Suriname.
—Continued on next page
Someplace old… or someplace new, such as Cayos Cochinos in the western Caribbean
The unique Shakespeare Mas at Carriacou Carnival
—Continued from previous page
A Lotta Regattas
No matter if you’re an IRC commando going for the course record or a cruising
couple enjoying a spin around the buoys just for fun, the Caribbean has a jampacked calendar of yacht racing events with something for everyone. And thanks to
the efforts of the Caribbean Sailing Association, the schedules of more than 40
regional regattas have been harmonized to avoid as many date conflicts as possible.
We’ll mention just a few.
The 2014 Caribbean racing season will be launched in a busy November that
includes the competitive Triskell Cup in Guadeloupe (November 8th through 10th,
The Caribbean you’re looking for
100% pure sailing.
Sailing regattas abound. This is Bequia Easter Regatta
32 islands,
endless experiences.
Let the trade winds take you from secluded
Photograph by Ferenc Máté
G r
e n
a d
i n
e s
www.triskellcup.com), the friendly St. Croix International Regatta in the US Virgin
Islands (November 14th through 16th, www.stcroixyc.com), the fun Jolly Harbour
Annual Regatta in Antigua (November 22nd through 23rd, www.jhycantigua.com),
and the new Mango Bowl Regatta in St. Lucia (November 28th through 30th, http://
Bid a fond farewell to the Old Year with the Nelson’s Pursuit Race in Antigua on
December 31st, conceived as a re-enactment of Lord Nelson’s pursuit of the French
fleet across the Atlantic in 1805 (www.antiguayachtclub.com).
Start 2015 in high spirits at the multifaceted Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados
Race Series (January 15th through 24th, www.mountgayrumroundbarbadosrace.
com), then sail to the Spice Isle for tons of fun at Grenada Sailing Week (January
29th through February 3rd, www.grenadasailingweek.com).
February might be short, but it vies with April for hosting the most regattas per
month (seven each). Fancy something French? Try the two-day Around Martinique
Race (February 15th and 16th, www.clubnautiquedumarin.com). Hardcore offshore
racing is your thing? Enter the RORC Caribbean 600 out of Antigua (February 23rd
through 27th, http://caribbean600.rorc.org). It’s the non-stop 600-mile race that
Don Street called “more fun than the Fastnet!”
In March, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta (March 6th through 8th, www.heinekenregatta.com) is the biggest, baddest, most partying kid on the block. Desire something
more elegant? The St. Barths Bucket (March 19th through 22nd, www.bucketregattas.
com) provides refined but high-calibre sailing off the isle of the rich and famous.
The Caribbean racing season peaks in April with, among many others, the superfriendly Bequia Easter Regatta (April 2nd through 6th, www.begos.com/easterregatta), the always spectacular Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta (April 16th through 21,
http://antiguaclassics.com), and the grand-daddy of them all, Antigua Sailing Week
(April 26th through May 1st, www.sailingweek.com).
In May, island hop with the Triskell Round Guadeloupe and Dominica Race (May
6th through 10th, www.triskellcup.com) or head north for the big Puerto Rico
Heineken International Regatta (May 29th through 31st, www.heinekenregattapr.com).
After that, the racing season winds down. If you plan to be in the ABCs for summer 2015, don’t miss the Heineken Regatta Curaçao (June 19th through 21st, www.
heinekenregattacuracao.com), and if you haven’t “hurricane-holed” enjoy the
Carriacou Regatta Festival in late July/early August — Carriacou Regatta will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2015.
Check out the full CSA calendar of Caribbean sailing events at http://caribbeansailing.com/caribbean-race-calendar/calendar.
Even if you’re not participating, there are lots of specialist sailing events that are
a joy to watch, including the dugout sailing canoe yole races in Martinique (a roundthe-island race is usually scheduled for late July/early August, http://yoles-rondes.
net); the West Indies Regatta for native island sloops and schooners in St. Barths
during the first weekend in May (http://westindiesregatta.com); Caribbean
International Kiteboard Week in Bonaire in June (www.facebook.com/
Kiteridebonaire); and Anguilla’s indigenous Boatrace Championships at the end of
August (http://ivisitanguilla.com/boatrace). Just being around Rodney Bay, St.
Lucia in December when the 200-plus-boat Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) fleet
arrives after their ocean crossing is exciting.
Caribbean Carnivals
Oh, yes! Plan to “lively up yourself” with at least one Caribbean carnival this coming year. Nearly every island or nation celebrates carnival, some on the traditional
days before Lent and others at various times throughout the year, from St. Kitts &
Nevis and St. Croix’s carnivals around New Year’s Day to Grenada’s Spice Mas in
August. Most of these events have lost any religious significance and are now
devoted to music, costumed parades and the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
If something geared more toward folklore and tradition is your speed, Carnival
in the Grenadine island of Carriacou (February 16th and 17th, 2015) is for you.
The unique “Shakespeare Mas(querade)” is described as “verbal dueling between
two players to determine who can recite the most speeches” from Shakespeare.
The masked players are dressed in colorful Pierrot-like costumes, and those who
recite badly are whipped or switched by their opponent.
If you want to fête till you sweat, be in Trinidad for the Caribbean’s biggest
annual bacchanal (Carnival Monday and Tuesday, February 16th and 17th,
2015) with steel band music, parades, endless parties, shows and costumes
(and expanses of flesh) that will blow your mind.
Less world-famous than Trinidad Carnival, but perhaps even more outré — watch
for packs of she-devils and men in highly provocative drag — are the four days of
costumed revelry in Martinique that climax on Ash Wednesday (February 18th) with
the burning of the giant effigy of King Vaval.
—Continued on next page
—Continued from previous page
Many Music Festivals
If Carnivals have long been a staple of Caribbean culture, music festivals —
the grown-up cousins of the live music at every beach bar — are the up-andcoming thing. They are now held all over the Caribbean and all over the calendar, with musical genres ranging from the expected calypso and reggae, to
blues, jazz and Creole. Here are just a few of the many that have become especial favorites for yachts:
At next month’s World Creole Music Fest in Dominica (October 24th through 26th
2014, www.wcmfdominica.com), grab a mooring at Roseau and enjoy three nights
of music from the French West Indies, Haiti, Jamaica, Africa and more.
For most of the month of January, St. Barth resounds with jazz, opera and chamber
music during the Saint Barth Music Festival (www.stbartsmusicfestival.org); 2015 will
be its 31st season.
Cruise to the blues: The Mustique Blues Festival runs from January 21st
through February 4th, 2015. The Bequia Music Fest (January 22nd through 25th
2015, www.bequiatourism.com/bequiamusicfest) offers a weekend of everything
from string band music and traditional blues to rock ’n‘ roll and the latest soca,
all right on the beach.
Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival was launched in 1997 to promote Creole
music and in the years since, it has embraced related styles from Zouk to Zydeco
With a mix of ticketed and free shows, the Bequia Music Fest’s offerings sample the
spectrum from steel pan to blues and soul
The trendsetting St. Lucia Jazz Festival (April 30th through May 10th, www.stluciajazz.org) draws both local talent and top-name acts from around the globe, performing at various venues including outdoors at Pigeon Island National Landmark,
just steps from the Pigeon Island anchorage.
Film Festivals
If you love the cinema, choose among the Curaçao International Film Festival
(www1.curacaoiffr.com), the Puerto Rico International Film Festival (April 13th
through 19th, www.rinconfilm.com), and the St. Barth Caribbean Film Festival
(www.stbarthff.org) — all happening in April.
Food Festivals
Why not celebrate food? There are festivals for foodies as diverse as Caribbean
cuisine. There’s a Mango Festival, an Indian Food Festival, a Yam Festival, a
Grenada Chocolate Festival (www.caribbeanandco.com/grenada-chocolate-festival),
and of course a Rum Festival. There’s even a Calabash Festival in Montserrat — you
can’t eat these gourd-like fruits, but you can serve food in their dried shells! Here’s
a taste of what’s on the menu:
Tobago hosts a “Blue Food” Festival at the coastal village of Bloody Bay. “Blue
food” refers to the popular root crop dasheen, which takes on a blue or purplish
tinge when cooked. The Blue Food Festival attracts both locals and visitors to try
traditional and brand-new dishes prepared by local chefs. This year’s event is
October 19th.
—Continued on next page
—Continued from previous page
rival ‘La Magwit’ society, while praising the chantwelle’s own society, and are sung
in Kwéyòl to background music played on banjos, violins and traditional St. Lucian
“The festival is presided over by a king and a queen, who are attended by an entourage of dukes, duchesses, princes, princesses, soldiers, policemen, magistrates, doctors, nurses, clergy and supporters of the Rose. La Marguerite Festival takes place
in October, following the same well-structured protocol. The parades are wonderful
to watch, colourful, musical and deeply traditional. Visitors are encouraged to come
along and take part in the festivities.”
Breadfruit has been a staple of the Caribbean diet ever since being introduced by
Captain Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty fame. On January 23rd, 1793 Captain William
Bligh anchored the HMS Providence off Kingstown, St. Vincent and completed his
ambition of bringing breadfruit plants to the Caribbean from Tahiti. A Breadfruit
Festival (www.discoversvg.com) is held annually on St. Vincent; every weekend during August, the festival takes place in different communities throughout the island.
Admission to the events is free. A variety of dishes made from breadfruit are exhibited and offered for sale, and Vincentians
and visitors are encouraged to support
the farmers and to eat local.
In addition, many fishing villages on
different islands, such as Anse La Raye
on St. Lucia, host regular Fish Fridays,
when a street is blocked to traffic in the
evening and vendors fill the space with
offerings of seafood meals.
Finally, try some lionfish if you come
across a Lionfish Derby! After the catch
of the day is brought ashore, often there
will be “tastings” of lionfish prepared in
a number of innovative ways.
Special Holidays
In the Caribbean you can enjoy all the
usual holidays — Christmas, New Year’s
Eve/Old Year’s Night (with fireworks in
many places), Bastille Day on the French
islands — as well as some you might not
be familiar with.
Having had a history of slavery, most
places in the Caribbean celebrate an
Emancipation Day. In Suriname, Keti Koti
(“the chains are cut”) is celebrated every
year on July 1st, when a joyous atmosphere prevails. The festivities are concentrated around the Palmentuin public garden in Paramaribo. People dress festively
Fish Friday at Anse La Raye, St. Lucia.
in colourful panjis (a piece of cloth worn
Other popular Fish Friday street party
as a skirt) and headscarves called anisas,
venues include Gouyave in Grenada
famous for their traditional secret meanand Oistins in Barbados
ings — such as the “Kiss-my-ass anisa”!
In St. Lucia, August 30th is “Fet La
Woz” — the Feast of the Rose — a cultural tradition originating in slavery days when
co-operative work groups adopted different flowers as their symbols. These evolved
into two main singing societies, the Roses and the Marguerites. As explained in St.
Lucia’s tourism magazine Tropical Traveller, Fet La Woz features “fêtes and parades
across the island, colourful and elaborate events full of pomp and pageantry. In
preparation, there are several months of nightly singing practices, known as ‘séances’. A special female singer, or ‘chantwelle’, is appointed by the group, and it is her
job to compose all the songs to be sung at the festival. These songs lightly mock the
A special annual holiday unique to St. Lucia is Fet La Woz
Divali is the beautiful Hindu Festival of Lights, following a tradition brought to the
islands by indentured laborers from India in the 19th century. (See more details on
page 39.) Celebrated in a big way in Trinidad, the date of Divali changes annually.
This year it falls on October 23rd; in 2015 in will be on November 11th.
Where to Be Next Summer?
Let’s not think about that yet!
Note: All information was correct to the best of our knowledge as this issue on
Compass went to press. But dates change and events come and go, so please doublecheck dates and venues before committing to be in a certain place at a certain time.
This article mentions just a smattering of the wide array of places and events you
might find of interest, so stray tuned to future issues of Compass. Don’t miss our comprehensive Annual Calendar of Events in the January 2015 issue. Meanwhile, happy
planning for a fabulous 2014-2015 season!
Drop Anchor and Escape
The island of Saint Lucia was made for seafaring – or perhaps it’s the other way around. The prevailing
warm and soothing northeast trade winds provide ideal sailing conditions. Yet, it’s Saint Lucia’s breathtaking scenery that attracts the finest yachts from around the world. Drop anchor near the majestic peaks of
Petit and Gros Piton. Rodney Bay invites a night on the town. Or choose Marigot Bay for a chic excursion.
Must-see dive spots abound, and there are plenty of hidden bays where you’ll create your own Caribbean
mystique. Of course, no getaway would be complete without exploring the luxurious side of Saint Lucia
through its restaurants, shopping, and resorts. Immerse yourself in a luxe yachting adventure in simply
beautiful Saint Lucia.
E-mail: [email protected]
Saint Lucia: 758 452 4094
France: 33 1 45 32 0254
USA: 1800 456 3984
UK: 44 207 341 7000
Canada: 1800 869 0377
Germany: 49 6172 4994 138
Over Reliance on Electronic Navigation,
Keeping Marine Salvors in Business!
A very expensive grounding occurred a few years
ago. A Swan 90 was leaving Antigua’s Nonsuch Bay via
Spithead Channel. It ran hard aground on the lee side
of the channel, which is a vertical coral wall: the depth
goes from 35 to five feet in the space of ten yards. This
none of these groundings would have happened. Take
a look at Imray Iolaire chart A271, both front and
back. Before the days of GPS and chart plotters, my
engineless Iolaire left Nonsuch Bay via Spithead
Channel dozens of times.
Johnson Hardware Ltd.
Chain & Rope
Anchors & Fenders
Electric Wire
Marine Hoses
Bilge Pumps
Lubricants & Oils
Stainless Fasteners
Stainless Fittings
VHF Radios
Flares & Life Jackets
Snorkeling Equipment
Fishing Gear
Antifouling Paint
Paint Brushes
Epoxy Resins
Sanding Paper & Discs
Hand & Power Tools
Houseware & Cookware
Rodney Bay, St. Lucia Tel: (758) 452 0299 Fax: (758) 452 0311 e-mail: [email protected]
With all the electronic aids to navigation available to
the yachtsman today, one would think that grounding
should be a thing of the past and marine salvors
should be out of business. But marine salvors are
doing fine. Between them, Nick Fuller and John
Bentley have pulled about two dozen boats off the
reefs on both sides of Spithead Channel. Nick has
even expanded his salvage business by buying a second boat.
The development of GPS, chart plotters and electronic charts has greatly expanded the number of
sailors cruising the Caribbean who do not consult
paper charts. Many do not even have a paper chart on
board. (This is underscored by the fact that the sales
of Imray Iolaire paper charts have fallen off drastically,
but the royalties paid to Imray for the use of the Imray
Iolaire charts of the Eastern Caribbean and Atlantic
islands by Navionics, Garmin, Jeppeson and Map
Media are increasing by leaps and bounds.)
Many “push-button” sailors now feel that it is not
grounding cost the yacht’s insurance company about
US$800,000 in total — including a salvage operation
involving Nick Fuller with Nicole, John Bentley with
Sea Pony and Hugh Bailey’s tug — and ended the
boat’s plans for the Pacific cruise.
The skipper was reportedly using his electronic chart
plotter rather than eyeball navigation.
Similarly, there have been numerous “fathometer
controlled” groundings caused by crews continually
watching the fathometer rather than the color of the
water. Coral reefs frequently come up as vertical walls
and coral heads will rise out of 20 feet of water. The
fathometer, mounted well forward, records 20 feet
then switches to five feet as the keel hits the coral
head. There is no time to react to this sudden change
of depth if only watching the fathometer.
Groundings are all too often caused because yachtsmen have forgotten that for inshore navigation the
best instrument in the world is the one God gave us all
at birth: “Eyeball Mark 1”. With a good bow lookout,
‘Groundings are all too often caused because yachtsmen have forgotten that for inshore navigation the best
instrument in the world is the one God gave us: “Eyeball Mark 1”’
necessary to really learn navigation. True, celestial
navigation is no longer needed, but basic piloting skills
are still essential for safety when entering or leaving
harbors and minimizing the pain of inter-island passages. The arts of dead reckoning, plotting positions
on a paper chart, learning to visualize where you are
on the chart, eyeball piloting via hand-bearing compass, the use of good binoculars, and judging the
depth of water by the color have not been learned by
all too many modern sailors who are cruising and racing in the Caribbean.
In the past, one of the major limitations of GPS was
the fact that the GPS position might be correct but the
chart had not been recalibrated to WGS 84. This caused
the total loss of some boats, the grounding of others and
bad scares on yet more boats. Many of the government
and privately printed charts were not recalibrated to
WGS 84 until about 2000. Imray Iolaire charts of the
Eastern Caribbean and the Atlantic islands are now all
set up so you can plot GPS positions directly on the
chart. (The one exception where GPS cannot be plotted
directly on the chart is D22, Los Roques. On this chart
it is noted that the position must be moved 0.10 minute
north [60’] and 0.13 minutes east [78’] when plotting.)
The electronic charts are NOT necessarily an absolute
reproduction of the Imray Iolaire chart. A Raster chart
as done by Meridian Chartware is available on a memory stick. It is an exact replica of the Imray Iolaire charts
that can be brought up on your laptop. Vector charts
are produced by a human running a computer who
decides how much information he or she will pull from
the chart and use in the electronic chart. Not only is
information sometimes deleted, but also sometimes
mistakes are made. Garmin, Navionics, Jeppeson and
Map Media are all vector charts.
A 0.7 millimetre pencil line on a 1/90,000 scale
chart (the scale of the Imray Iolaire B32 Grenada
chart) is 56 feet wide. My handheld Garmin GPS tells
me the accuracy that can be expected from the readout. Depending on how many satellites are being
tracked and the alignment of the satellites, accuracy
will vary from almost 100 feet down to, at best, about
30 feet. Entering harbors or short tacking along the
coast of various islands, eyeball navigation is needed
rather than GPS.
Fathometers, GPS, electronic chart plotters and electronic charts are excellent aids to navigation as long as
they are backed up by a paper chart, which is on deck,
folded so the blow-up inset of the harbor you are
entering is in front of the pilot/helmsman. That wonderful navigational instrument Eyeball Mark 1 — one
eye on the fathometer the other on the color of the
water — plus a hand-bearing compass, backed up by
a good lookout on the bow, will keep you out of trouble. Standing on top of the bow pulpit enables the bow
lookout to judge the depth of water better than standing on deck. If there is a lookout on the lower spreaders, all the better.
—Continued on next page
—Continued from previous page
If steps are installed to the lower spreaders, it will
become second nature to send a lookout aloft whenever entering a difficult anchorage. Judging depths
and spotting coral heads from that height is easy.
Do not enter strange harbors at night. A night entry,
even into a harbor you know, is still difficult, as so
many boats do not exhibit anchor lights, others exhibit confusing lights, lights ashore make it difficult to
hove to for the night.
In my long and varied cruising career I have had a
number of other cases where I hove to and waited for
dawn before entering. In three different cases, if I had
not waited, we would have been in serious trouble, as
breakwaters had been extended — but the leading
me to the square protractor. It has degrees on the
edges with parallel lines in the center section and a
small hole in the center. Plop it down anywhere on the
chart and the parallel lines for the little squares in the
body of the protractor will allow you to line the protractor with the chart, enabling you to plot bearings.
This is available from Weems & Plath, catalogue #2082
([email protected]).
The plastic square has replaced the two plastic triangles.
For speed, distance and time plotting, use the nautical slide rule (Weems & Plath catalogue #105). This
simple plastic calculator was invented by the US Navy
before WWII and the design has been unchanged for
80 years. It is much easier and faster to solve speed,
time and distance problems with this slide rule than it
is with a pocket calculator or GPS. I have never been
to sea without having one of these nautical plotters in
my gear.
With the aid of the above basic tools you can plot
pick up buoy and range/transit lights, and hitting
unlit channel buoys always causes damage.
I learned this lesson early in my career, back in
1963. My late wife, Marilyn, and I arrived off St.
Thomas Harbor at night. Since I had been sailing in
and out of St Thomas Harbor for seven years I was
not worried by a night entry. While I was up forward
getting the anchor ready to drop, I noticed little flickering white lights where there should not be any
lights. I went aft, pulled out our ever-faithful Bausch
& Lomb 7x50 night glasses and saw that the flickering white lights were marking dredge pipes stretched
across the harbor. The dredging they had been talking about for the previous five years had finally
started! We did a quick tack, headed out to sea, and
Some old-school navigation tools that will never go
on the blink: a nautical slide rule, and either two
triangular protractors or a square protractor.
Coastal navigation classes are available in person,
in books and online
lights had not been altered and they led right into the
extended breakwater!
To do basic piloting, some tools are necessary. They
are few and not too expensive: a “hockey puck” handbearing compass; a square protractor; a simple speed,
distance and time calculator; and a pair of dividers
that are operable with one hand.
Forget about parallel rules. Early on, I learned that
two right triangles that are also protractors were much
easier to use.
Then, one of Iolaire’s sailing apprentices introduced
your position on a paper chart. By learning to do so,
by learning to “read” the water by color (eyeball navigation) and by not entering harbors at night, you can
increase your safety margin exponentially — and
maybe put those salvors out of business!
Barnacle Blocker
You’ve hauled out and painted your boat’s bottom. So far, so
good. But barnacle growth on the prop is a perpetual problem.
What to do? Try Barnacle Blocker from Sea Hawk Paints. It’s a
zinc-free aerosol spray formulated for use on underwater metals
including steel, cast iron, copper, bronze, galvanized steel, lead,
and aluminum. Barnacle Blocker is a self-cleaning anti-corrosive
primer that provides an excellent barrier on underwater metal surfaces, reducing galvanic corrosion.
For more information about Sea Hawk Paints products see ad on
page 13.
Easy Mosquito Nets for Portlights
It’s late summer, rainy season in the Caribbean, and the mosquitoes are out in force. Keep them out of your boat! Mount Waterline
Design’s new mosquito net on the portlight with the suction cups
provided. Just open the
port, attach the suction
cups and fasten the mosquito net in place with the
drawstring. On a portlight
that opens inward, mount
the mosquito net on the outside. The mosquito net is dense enough to keep small insects
and gnats outside. The black polyester net
with chromed steel frame fits most portlights
up to 200x650 mm internal dimensions. Fold
the mosquito net after use to one third of the
size and store in the supplied storage bag.
For more information visit www.waterlinedesign.se.
Jimmy Cornell Chooses Rocna Anchor
With a design philosophy of maximum reliability, security, and durability, Rocna
Anchors from Canada Metal (Pacific) Ltd. deliver superlative performance over the
long haul. The company is a proud supplier partner for sailor Jimmy Cornell and his
new yacht Aventura in the Blue Planet Odyssey around-the-world sailing event.
Aventura is a 14.1 metric ton Garcia Exploration 45. The multipurpose 33-kilo Rocna
33 anchor onboard will keep her secure in remote anchorages. Blue Planet
Odyssey, spearheaded by Cornell, seeks to raise awareness of the global effects of
climate change.
The Rocna anchor was designed by New Zealand sailor Peter Smith, who has been
designing, building, and sailing boats since the early 1960s. Over 100,000 nautical
miles of cruising, Smith experienced problems that are still prevalent today — needing
to carry multiple anchors for various seabeds, yet still the anchors dragged. He
designed the Rocna, initially for himself, to change the status quo. Rocna anchors are
available in sizes from four to 275 kilos. A roll bar allows the anchor to always land at
the ideal angle for penetration, without the need for fluke ballast, thus maximizing
fluke surface area and holding power. Setting skids elevate the heel and correctly
direct the tip for reliable setting even in soft seabeds. A sharp chisel tip, and a tip weight equal to
approximately one third of the anchor’s weight,
deliver an instant set every time. Rocna flukes contain no lead and cause minimal drag damage to
the seabed. Thanks to a large fluke area and concave shape, these anchors deliver the highest
possible holding power. A high-tensile steel shank
facilitates self-launching.
For more information visit www.canmet.com.
Don’t Kick the Bucket!
A 19-litre bucket is useful for a variety of purposes
aboard. But this common item can create issues if
it slides around the deck, creating a hazard, a
mess, or damage to deck surfaces. Shurhold
Industries’ new Bucket Base is a sturdy ring
designed to minimize bucket sliding and toppling.
Stopping problems before they happen, this nonskid, non-marking ring helps prevent scratches on
fiberglass and teak, while keeping a bucket in
place. A bucket full of wet paintbrushes, fish guts or
worse won’t easily fall over. UV resistant and durable, Shurhold’s Bucket Base fits most 19-litre pails.
For more information visit www.shurhold.com.
On a trip down island by plane,
ferry, yachts of old friends,
she’s here catching up, explaining
her absence only by her presence
without the boat she’d lived aboard
at one island or another
for twenty years, solo,
Po nd
an able attractive woman
once married, once divorced
she managed very well by herself,
thank you, who had a face
incised like a petroglyph
Anne was always warm, polite,
not one to linger, next stop
Union or Carriacou, eh?
— Richard Dey
Mermaid Moments
ARIES (21 Mar - 20 Apr)
Seeing the humorous side of things will be the
mainsail that powers you through any choppy seas
of misunderstandings on your course this month.
When the world around me gets overwhelming,
I submerge myself in the ocean.
Taking me back in time,
I spread my wings and fly.
I am free, weightless, maneuvering my body like a mermaid natural to its surroundings.
A connection to an underwater world that has so much history,
and yet there so much we still don’t understand.
Here there are no words, only music.
A vast ocean filled with the unknown.
A mystery to mankind.
A place where dreams and reality entwine.
A water world unique and full of life
where creatures of different shapes and sizes gently move,
where natural creativity and the impossible surround me.
This is where I call home;
this is where I’m free.
GEMINI (22 May - 21 Jun)
Although communications will be clear, an argumentative partner could make concentrating on
any creative boat projects difficult.
CANCER (22 Jun - 23 Jul)
Your enthusiasm for anything commercial or
financial will be in the doldrums by the 14th, so
spend the first two weeks of the month tying up
those loose ends. Conversations with cruisers will
be shifting from one tack to another, so just stay
quiet and don’t be tempted to get into arguments.
LEO (24 Jul - 23 Aug)
Once again, your sense of humor will be an asset
in nautical negotiations. This aspect will not hit its
zenith until the fall of next year, so it’s going to be
of great assistance throughout the coming seasons. Enjoy its helpful effects.
VIRGO (24 Aug - 23 Sep)
Devote your time to experimental onboard
projects for the first three weeks. Your love life
will enjoy a favorable breeze after the first week
and will add VMG to your positive attitude
and imagination.
LIBRA (24 Sep - 23 Oct)
This is a good time to sort out areas of your boating life that require writing or verbal skills. Mercury
is spending this time in Libra, and there’s nothing
else in aspect with it to hold you back from reaching your desired landfall.
— Olivia Frank
SCORPIO (24 Oct - 22 Nov)
Finish up any projects you started on board or in
a marine-related business before the 14th, as
when Mars moves out of Scorpio and into Sagittarius
little things will cause you to be distracted.
SAGITTARIUS (23 Nov - 21 Dec)
The ability to laugh at yourself will be the jack
stands supporting your personal relationships.
There are many details that could go wrong, so
don’t tempt Murphy’s Law. Be frugal in expenditure of your time and energies.
CAPRICORN (22 Dec - 20 Jan)
Clear up any projects that are cluttering the
decks before the 6th, when love sails in to blow
work off course and take up all your time.
AQUARIUS (21 Jan - 19 Feb)
Even though finances might still be a slog to
windward, you can pick up information that will be
helpful in the future by exchanging ideas with
crewmembers or boating acquaintances.
PISCES (20 Feb - 20 Mar)
Set your course to concentrate on business and
don’t let stormy emotions with your romantic interest do damage to your ingenuity.
TAURUS (21 Apr - 21 May)
Boat business could be rough going, but a loving
relationship will sail right alongside to make for an
ultimately pleasant voyage.
by Gerelyn John
Pushing all unpleasantness aside, which, of course, has no place in paradise, they
let their gaze wander to the pastures beyond the river, to the gaulins patiently
searching for worms in the grass and now and then seizing the opportunity to mount
the back of some grateful cow which housed unwelcome ticks.
From where they sit they cannot see the horizon or even the mouth of the river,
however, they are able to time the pounding of the waves on the projected mountain
range, all the while observing the whispering river as she meanders with much
anticipation into “the open arms of the sea”.
Estina, as if reading Adolphus’ thoughts, makes a complete turn of the head in the
direction of the mountain range which runs directly behind them and which encompasses the valley. It is to the top of that mountain range that they look for the telltale
signs of the imminence of rain. It was just to the left of that same mountain range
that they used to witness evidence that their friend at the north of the island had
belched emissions of smoke, lava and sulphur forming a cauliflower–like cloud during an eruption many years previously.
Shaking her apron and adjusting her skirt about her, Estina rises to her feet with
Adolphus in unspoken compliance. “Like it going to rain,” they both say together and
smile each one to himself. Yes, there are some tasks to be accomplished before the
rain falls. Yes, even in paradise there is work to be done, pleasant work. They had
noted sweet peppers that needed to be picked, a few full ripe tamarinds to be plucked
for the grandchildren, a few heads of lettuce to be secured for the next day’s noon
meal, two papaws to be reached a foot beyond arm’s length, passionfruits to be gathered for the morrow’s juice and a full pear or two to be picked and put to ripen.
They set about their tasks, reaching here, picking there and gathering here. All the
while communicating with words unspoken, somewhat like a dentist and his dental
nurse. They are accustomed to doing things like this together while working to beat
the rain, for being wet in Eden isn’t quite comfortable. They had experienced it several times before when they had indulged themselves and sat much longer than
planned, all the while ignoring the telltale signs on the mountain and in the end trying to huddle together under the tamarind tree.
Sitting in their Garden of Eden is their reward for all their hard work during the
day, a much-deserved break from their daily chores. In their Garden there is no radio
and most certainly no television to shatter the serenity, to compete with the sounds
of nature however subtle. Nothing to remind them of all the sadness associated with
all the struggles, crimes and diseases of the outer world, their garden allows them to
be at one with nature, to encompass and appreciate all gifts no matter how small. In
their garden there is a sense of healing, of being healed of being able to be healed
from the pains in the knees, from headaches brought on by traffic screeching or the
heavy pounding of construction work.
In their Garden they are virtually hidden, sitting there at the base of the coconut
tree and taking in its shade and happy with the thought that the nuts above them
are to be savoured and are ready for the picking. Yes, there they have to be called
aloud in order to be summoned but their folks know better than unnecessarily
attempting to shatter their relaxation, to rudely awaken them to a world where the
telephone awaits.
They straighten their backs, having lifted their baskets. Together they once again
navigate through whence they had come: among avocado trees, papaw trees, passionfruit vines, lettuce stands, sweet pepper plants, damsel trees, tamarind trees, to
emerge from among the plantain roots to again stand on the border, looking now into
that 7,765.13 square feet which marks the residential area of their domain.
They call simultaneously to those within the house to come relieve them of their
gatherings. They wait some brief moments. Happy eager hands and feet emerge from
the house. The rewards are carried within.
One necessary task is yet to be fulfilled as the approaching rain is heard in the
distance. Hurriedly Estina and Adolphus begin to gather the crisply dried clothes
from the line.
You now on your own, having shifted your interest. You are logging onto YouTube.
Google Earth, zoom in on the Caribbean, close in on an archipelago, a chain of
islands, a multi-island state, focus on the largest of these islands, the mother island
and rest, lift your hand from your mouse. You need look no further, for a scene is
unfolding down below.
As if by appointment, Adolphus and Estina meet on the border which demarks the
residential area of their 13,589 square feet of land from the much-cultivated area of
5,823.87 square feet. This area constitutes their virtual Garden of Eden.
Oblivious to any onlooker who may have chanced across them, be it grandchild,
son, daughter, or neighbour, they hold hands and proceed, Estina a foot and a half
behind Adolphus, to manoeuver themselves among the roots of plantain trees, tamarind trees, damsel trees, the sweet pepper plants, the lettuce stands, the passionfruit
vines, the papaw trees, the avocado trees to arrive finally at the river’s edge where
they sit on their simple but effective, humble yet practical seats. Estina takes the old
metal frame of a former diningroom chair with a plank of wood placed across it while
Adolphus makes himself happy on a flattish stone padded by coconut husks from
some nuts that he had stripped some two days before. They are truly at one here,
their souls merged. This occasion did not allow for personality clashes. No, not at all
— in this setting that was unheard of. Any clashing of personalities would await their
emergence on the residential side of their territory when some debatable issue might
occasion to present itself. The flow of the river’s water over stones, some grey, some
green with moss, lent itself to the peace and tranquillity conducive to the blending of
souls and personalities.
After shifting and straightening her plank somewhat, her bottom now comfortably
settled Estina turns to smile at her partner of some fifty-three years. Adolphus himself, only by now half settled, smiles back at her and asks, “What you thinking?” She
knows there is no need to blurt out an answer; there is no need to hurry herself as
time is on her side. Down here in her Garden it seems as if all the time in the world
awaits her. Instead of answering she tosses a breadnut shell into the water, sending
a large ripple on the surface of the big pool from which she hopes fish will emerge to
show their silvery glint in the sunlight.
They both silently reflect on former times and on how much the course of the river
and its terrain have changed. Simultaneously they think of when their young children would come to the water’s edge and throw sticks and have the thrill of the dogs
retrieving them and would repeat the act over and over again. Together they think of
when the youngsters plunged from the banks in their attempts to effect Olympic
dives or just simply to throw “headers”.
They could see in their minds’ eye the women washing, beating their clothes
loudly on the stones while their soapy suds circled and then decidedly aligned themselves for the long and disintegrating journey to the sea, all the while the young
children tried to grab mullets and tadpoles in childish play in the calm and shallow
water in the shadow of the eastern bank. Or there were those times when they both
as parents would have to sit anxiously in the house and watch the river swell its
banks and come up and overflow into the yard, dragging in its wake any objects
which lay loosely and unsecured in the yard.
The children, too, with anxious delight would have stood on bed heads and dressing tables to see the muddy water behave like waves of the sea on the furrowed
cultivated land of the neighbouring plot. These waters were not empty but brought
with them loads of wood for roasting breadfruit for months to come. The couple smilingly remembered that, following one occasion when the river had swept forcefully
across their yard, bringing much inland silt, and had covered over the otherwise
mud yard and whatever paved areas there were, the children had pleaded for the
yard to remain like that, like a beach. But alas for the children, the Government had
come and put big wire baskets packed with stones and tied to each other to form a
wall, a river defence. Within this wall trees and shrubs had wedged themselves over
the years, making it even more firmly grounded.
They both raise their eyes from the waters where they were constantly thrilled by
the diving and surfacing of fish as they threw each shell into the water while savouring every breadnut that went into their mouths. Through breadnut pulp Estina
mouths, “You remember a few years ago when all up there was just trees?” Adolphus,
only after carefully swallowing his mouthful, replies, “Yeah, I used to like to watch,
especially in January coming on to dry weather, the different colours of the leaves
on the trees on the hill.” Then with synchronized thoughts they say aloud, “But all
those houses up there spoil that now.” They laugh out loud and jostle each other to
aid the stamping off of black biting ants that have ambitiously come to secure breadnut, which somehow amid the laughter and chatter, had escaped their mouths.
They speak at length of the children, of those who had married and moved off on
their own, and of how well they were doing and how they seemed to have been able to
“hold their own together” within their respective marriages. They speak of those still
at home, about their desires and challenges, about the grandchildren who will come
to visit and how well they are all growing up to become responsible and decent citizens
based on the values that they had as parents first and foremost instilled in their own
children and which have, as a result, naturally filtered down to the grandchildren.
They speak of changing times, of changes in the economy. They both miss the
times, those good old days, when a dollar had great value and could have bought
them so much, enough bread for supper and breakfast and also, from that same
dollar, cakes to share for the entire family! They laugh that the shopkeepers met the
needs of customers and sold half a pound of sugar and for the benefit of school
children, half a pencil.
They speak of changes in attitudes among the young and old alike and changes
in values.
They speak of changes in technology, of the time when there was only one telephone in the entire neighbourhood and later the creeping in of a black-and-white
television or two. They remember with amusement years ago when you had to dress
and catch a bus to go into Town to send a telegram to England or to make an international telephone call locked away in a booth within the company’s office after
graciously awaiting your turn. Nowadays the youngsters are talking to their friends
in Japan right from their toilet seats at the other end of the world! This thought again
brought much chuckle.
“People not even writing letters much these days again,” Adolphus remarks. “Nor
even sending postcards,” Estina interjects. “You know Adolphus, Frederick was
showing his mother how to send postcards on the computer; I don’t know what they
will think of next.”
Whatever technology would come up with next, they were sure, was not going to
be allowed to shatter the moments they share in Eden. Estina reminds Adolphus,
however, that the grandchildren were speaking of this thing Google Earth, where
persons might be able to see you in your own yard. Adolphus giggles, “Thankfully we
not naked.” Estina agrees wholeheartedly that it is indeed a very good thing that they
could enjoy their paradise fully clothed. They chuckle again heartily then are
momentarily lost, each one in his own private thoughts that are nevertheless
thoughts of each other. These thoughts run long and deep, deep like the deep pool
just above which they sit. Such thoughts are not even broken by the passing evidence of present pollution that is being engendered farther upriver, a white plastic
bag and two foam plates bobbing their way down to the sea to harm the much valued
but endangered marine life. The passing of a third foam plate is too much not to
awaken Adolphus from his subconscious state. He blurts, “You see, Estina, the same
thing I have been saying: people must be careful about how they dispose of their
garbage.” He vows that he will be doing something about it, he will nip it in the bud
so to speak, this bad habit on the part of a non-caring, worthless few before it gets
out of hand. He will go in to the relevant authorities on his very next visit to Town
on Friday to collect his pension. He lets his eyes wander to find the nearest of two
“No Dumping” signs that have had to be placed on the opposite banks of the river
where about four years ago “outsiders” in the early hours of the morning were caught
dumping their garbage over the banks and into the water. Now it is as though the
“enemy” is using the unsuspecting waterway to infiltrate their paradise. He remains,
jaws clenched with emotion, while Estina observes him closely with much warmth
in her eyes. He catches her stare, smiles encouragingly and pats her hand, which
covers his left knee.
Cruising is a lifestyle envied by many — but cruisers know that it’s not all a bed of frangipanis with umbrella drinks on the side and Jimmy Buffett crooning softly
in the background.
What bugs you most about cruising, and what (if anything) do you do about it?
Let us know at [email protected], and we’ll share the hideous truth with the world in a future issue of Compass!
Haiti is Now
an Open Book
Cruising guides tend to have their own personalities, in addition to providing
straight information. For example, Don Street’s guides are famous for his selfdescribed “amusing anecdotes” from the golden sailing days of yore, and Chris
Doyle’s abound in quality original photography and up-to-date tips on what you can
find ashore. Frank Virgintino’s Free Cruising Guides contain an abundance of historical and cultural context for the prospective visitor’s edification.
A Cruising Guide to Haiti goes to great lengths to explain significant elements of
Haitian life, past and present, that the author feels might affect visiting cruisers
(including a long and illustrated exposition on the impact of slavery and racism that
will no doubt make some readers uncomfortable). Some readers will find this content
interesting, important and thought provoking; others, who might find such extensive
background material a bit discursive for their taste, can cut to the hard cruising
information — and this information is an eye-opener. We’ve all heard of Ile-à–Vache
by now, but who knew that there are scads more good, safe anchorages in Haiti?
Anyone who has been complaining about the Eastern Caribbean being “overcrowded”, but who thinks the Western Caribbean is too far away or too far downwind for
their liking — heads up! Especially if you speak a few words of French and yearn for
immersion in un-touristy Caribbean village life, Haiti might be the new cruising destination you’ve been looking for.
A Cruising Guide to Haiti, edition 3.0, by Frank Virgintino. Free Cruising Guides
©2014. E-book, 133 pages, color photos and chartlets throughout.
Frank Virgintino has been a fan of cruising in Haiti for years, and has introduced
his passion for this seldom-visited cruising ground to Compass readers in a number
of articles and reports, including the current series “Cruising Haiti Today”. Now, in
one comprehensive book, Frank has compiled much of this familiar material along
with a significant amount of additional detailed cruising information, sailing directions, waypoints, step-by-step chartlets, lots of photos, weather advice, notes on
entry formalities, a bibliography, suggestions for further reading, and much more.
Full disclosure: The author has dedicated A Cruising Guide to Haiti to “All the
cruising sailors who have a desire to sail far and wide. May this guide provide you
with information to make your cruise interesting and worthwhile. A special dedication is also made to Sally Erdle and Tom Hopman, owners and publishers of the free
monthly publication Caribbean Compass, for their tireless contribution to the art of
cruising and for the many hours of hard work that made it all possible.”
In response, we can only say that everyone at Compass, like Frank and his team
at Free Cruising Guides, gobbled up every bit of available information about destinations while we were cruising, and all of us are now enjoying “paying it forward”!
Frank also defies conventional cruising wisdom by again pointing out, as he has
previously done in the pages of Compass, his belief that the Windward Passage makes
the most sensible entry point into the Caribbean Sea for boats coming from Florida
and farther north on the east coast of North America. In this case, coming through
the Windward Passage from the north affords sailors the opportunity of stopping for
exploration or just a night’s rest at harbors and anchorages along the Haitian side of
the passage. These include Pointe-à-Perle (Bombardopolis), Baradères Bay, Pointe
Sable (Grande Cayemite island) and Anse d’Hainault, before arriving at Ile-à-Vache.
Details of anchorages along Haiti’s north and south shores are also given.
In addition to “spreading the word” about Haiti to sailors, Frank Virgintino has
organized a “Flora Flotilla” to take supplies and equipment to the orphanage at Ileà-Vache, supported the non-profit Friends of Ile-à-Vache and, along with the Seven
Seas Cruising Association, is the force behind “Second Life Sails”, which collects and
delivers used yacht sails to Haitian fishermen. Now, A Cruising Guide to Haiti’s overview material on Haiti’s history and culture combined with its quantity of concrete
cruising information should definitely contribute to an upturn in the number of
boats cruising there.
This book is available as a free downloadable PDF from www.freecruisingguides.
com and is also for sale in a formatted version at US$10.99 from e-book stores such
as Amazon.
How the Tuckers
Came to Trinidad
As Flies to Whatless Boys, by Robert Antoni. Akashic Books, ©2013, Paperback,
315 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1-61775-156-1.
Dominican Republic
Cayman Islands
ABC Islands
Puerto Rico
Compliments of:
Marina Zar-Par
Boca Chica, Dominican Republic
Now available as an eBook at Amazon.com,
Cruising Life: The Best Stories from Caribbean Compass
is a collection of 49 outstanding stories selected from more than
200 issues of Caribbean Compass.
Ann Vanderhoof, author of An Embarrassment of Mangoes and
The Spice Necklace, says, “Given a new life beyond the magazine,
the pieces in this collection resonate and sparkle
in a very different way, offering new pleasures.
Beyond its entertainment — the first piece had me hooked —
the collection is sure to spark ideas in both
cruising sailors and armchair dreamers.”
Read a preview and order Cruising Life now
at www.amazon.com!
The Best Stories from Caribbean Compass
Novelist Robert Antoni’s glowing writing makes As Flies To W
Whatless Boys a particularly entertaining read. It’s lively, impish, side-splittingly funny and engaging.
Antoni playfully laces his text with a lush array of the Trinidadian lingo that is a joy
to the eye and ear. However, the text is interspersed with newspaper clippings, letters, maps, footnotes, and messages between the “author” and his “researcher” Ms.
Ramsol from the National Archive — all of which hampers the flow of the story and
makes it seem directionless at times.
Antoni recounts master con man John Adolphus Etzler’s idea of founding a new
society, the Tropical Emigration Society (TEC), for English families in the colony of
Trinidad, West Indies. But Etzler’s utopian dream turned out to be just one more of
his madcap schemes that Antoni delves into.
Etzler was always running from his creditors and had even served time in jail. He
was a “funny little man with a big beard and piercing eyes and a face consisting of
50 percent brooding forehead. Shaped like a sucked mango seed. A squeaky voice
that whistled when he got excited — which was most of the time — and the more
excited the harder he was to decipher with the German accent. But he had the gift:
boldface bamboozlement. Shameless mongooseeocity… Two things he always dreamt
about: a disenchanted populace ready to embrace his ideas for change and emigration, a people anxious to line he pockets too….”
And this is where and how, in the 19th century, the Tucker family — with Willy,
the novel’s 15-year-old narrator, his parents and three sisters, Georgina, Mary and
Amelia — comes into the story and ends up in Trinidad. Willy’s father was a member
of the Chartists, a London-based underground group that had been defeated in
“fighting down the Crown for all the charters to improve working conditions for the
labouring poor, in addition to voting rights….”
The book opens with ‘First Message’ to the author from Ms. Ramsol from the
National Archives in Trinidad, thanking him for his “generous offer to donate the
letters and maps and personal writings — a notebook from 1845 you say? — of your
great-great grandfather on your mother’s side, WILLIAM SANGER TUCKER, to the
Permanent Collection of the Trinidad & Tobago National Archives.”
This is followed by “3 Letters” and “Preamble: Awaiting the Tide” which finds Willy
as a grown man with a wife and children of his own, being seen off by his son in
Trinidad on board a ship taking him back to England for the first time after 36 years.
Willy “aside from being the owner of an expansive shipping line in the West Indies”
has become an accomplished taxidermist and he’s going to give a series of “lectures
on techniques for preserving and displaying hummingbirds”.
While waiting on the vessel to sail Willy relates to his son the events that made his
father join the TEC movement and embark on the journey to Trinidad:
“He took out his old-fashioned pocketwatch, fastened to his vestcoat buttonhole by
a long goldchain. He clicked it open —
“Almost eight o’clock already.
“He nodded his chin at the watch —
“I might have mentioned to you, son, that this pocket watch once belonged to a
gentleman named Mr. Whitechurch. A close friend of Papee’s. He came over with his
wife & niece & the rest of us on this same ship with Etzler.
“My father paused a beat —
“That niece became my first love. Marguerite. Only woman besides you mum I’ve
ever been bazodee over my whole life.
“He paused again —
“You never imagine telling you own son such intimate details that took place even
before he was born. But I couldn’t give you this story without telling you about
Marguerite. I couldn’t make a start. Couldn’t finish neither.”
And so Willie’s young son listens, as Willie continues to relate his relationship with
Marguerite, the events that transpired during the voyage that brought his family
from England to the tropics, and those that occurred on their landing in Trinidad.
In As Flies to Whatless Boys Antoni has blended a migratory tale with a comingof-age story in which deception, high ideals, the stark realities of life, and the difficult
choices between love and family obligation form part of his very interesting narrative,
delightfully told, about how the Tucker family came to settle in Trinidad.
Lesser Antilles in 3 volumes
They’re Botanically
by Lynn Kaak
As you travel through the Caribbean, every month there’s something special to look
out for. This month, keep your eyes open for banana plants. Look for them by the hundreds in big plantations and singly in residential gardens.
It isn’t very surprising that bananas are found everywhere in the Caribbean. It’s
the fourth largest fruit crop in the world, and a major component of the local diet.
Bananas flourish in the reasonably moderate temperatures of the tropics, provided
that the soil has good drainage, and that they get enough water. Originating in
Southeast Asia, they have travelled around the world very successfully, becoming a
staple in many cultures.
To be completely accurate, or at least to possibly win a bet, know that bananas
don’t actually grow on trees, but on herbaceous plants. And to make things even
more confusing, the banana fruiting body is technically a berry. Strawberries and
raspberries aren’t true berries, but tomatoes, avocadoes and bananas are! However,
let’s get back to the tropics.
Like many fruits, there are a number of varieties of bananas. Plantains, with their
squared-off edges, are recognizable, as are the “bluggos, specials, fingers, dessert
and fig” bananas. The names may not be the same from island to island, but once
you are able to recognize them, you will know what they are good for. Plantains
really aren’t made to be eaten raw, while other bananas can be enjoyed out of hand
or cooked.
They begin as a trunk that is made of layers of leaves. The true stalk pushes up
through this trunk ten to 15 months after planting. This centre stalk becomes the
flowering part of the plant. The flowers appear in groups, with the first ones becoming the fruit. Others may also develop, but eventually drop off. Each stalk creates
only one flower cluster, then dies off. Farmers will often cut the plant down after the
mature bananas are harvested, since it won’t produce any more fruit.
Some commercial varieties of bananas can yield as much as 100 pounds (45 kg)
but a 30 to 40 pound (nine to 13 kg) yield is more typical.
The leaves can grow as large as nine feet long in some varieties, making bananas
a pleasant ornamental shade plant as well.
Bananas are not just tasty and versatile, they are good for you. They are an excellent source of potassium and vitamins A, C and B-6.
Sautéed with a little butter and rum, they are pretty hard to resist.
by Jim Ulik
Fomalhaut’s brightness ranks 18th among the stars
The size of the minor planet Ceres compared to the
Caribbean Basin
Jim Ulik is a photographer and cruiser currently based in Grenada.
Have you seen a UFO? “I’m sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It’s just been too intelligent to come
here,” suggests Arthur C. Clarke, science writer. On the other hand, Twilight Zone fans might remember the
episode “To Serve Man” with the famous line, “It’s a cookbook!” If you look in the night sky and see something
unfamiliar it could be a satellite passing overhead, as was touched upon in my column last month. Maybe it
was an iridium flare or an unusual twinkling of a star. Iridium flares derive their names from the Iridium
Communications satellites that reflect the Sun’s rays off the satellite’s solar panels. Other non-Iridium satellites can also be a source of this phenomenon. The time and location of the flares can be predicted in advance
for any place on Earth. The flares are localized and typically last from ten to 20 seconds. For example, from
mid-September to mid-October there will be 62 Iridium flares (15 bright) occurring in the area of St. George’s,
Grenada. There will be 159 flares (30 bright) in the area of Christiansted, St. Croix.
Saturday, September 20th
Just after the Sun sets, look for the bright star Spica in the west. See if you can spot Mercury. It will be one
half degree south of Spica. Mercury is 60 percent illuminated tonight so you might need a pair of binoculars
to locate it. Look higher in the sky and you will find Mars less than six degrees from Antares. When the Full
Moon is at its closest orbital point to the Earth it has come to be reported as a supermoon. Today the Moon is
a mini- or micro-moon because it is at its farthest point from Earth.
Sunday, September 21st
The Piscid meteor shower will reach its maximum rate of activity. The meteors will appear from the east in
the Pisces constellation. The Genesis II satellite will pass near Pisces, moving south to north between 2112 and
2115 hours. Genesis II was launched by a private company. Bigelow Aerospace is testing and validating the
technologies necessary to construct and deploy a full-scale, crewed, commercial orbital space complex. A
Madagascar hissing cockroach is one of the items in its payload. What? Really? That is not tough science.
Everyone knows that cockroaches can survive everywhere. But why introduce them into space? They will
likely find their own way onto some spacecraft!
Monday, September 22nd
It is the autumnal equinox and the Sun crosses over to the southern hemisphere. Satellite flares increase for
a couple of weeks during this time because of their orientation in space. The solar panels on the satellites are
perpendicular to the equatorial plane and the Sun is on the same plane so the light is reflected back to Earth
at nearly 100 percent. The geostationary satellites are in the Clarke Belt (named because Arthur C. Clarke in
1945 described in detail how such an orbit could be used for global communications). The first satellite
launched for geosynchronous orbit was in 1964, 19 years later.
It was in Persia that an ancient astronomer named four key stars in the heavens. That was back in 2582 BC.
Astronomy is the second oldest profession in the world but not as well paid as the first! Those four stars were associated
with the four cardinal directions, Aldebaran (east), Fomalhaut (south), Regulus (north) and Antares (west). Fomalhaut
also signified the autumnal equinox. Later the stars were given the religious connotation of Archangel Stars.
Fomalhaut, mouth of the fish, is in the constellation Piscis Austrinus. Fomalhaut, a triple star, was one of
the first star systems known with a planet and a disk of dust around it. That could be a sign that more planets
might form there. Figure 1 shows Formalhaut marking true south as it crosses the 180-degree celestial meridian at 2257 hours.
Saturday, October 4th
Look for Saturn in the west about 20 degrees above the horizon at 1831 hours. It will be ten degrees below
and 20 degrees north of Mars. There you will find the direction of the minor planet Ceres. It is within one half
degree of Saturn. Ceres’ orbit lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Scientists with the European Space
Agency (ESA) have estimated that Ceres may have more water than all the fresh water on Earth. That could
mean that the minor planet could serve as a way station for planetary exploration missions. The Dawn spacecraft (NASA) left the giant asteroid Vesta on September 2012 and is scheduled to arrive at Ceres around March
2015. Dawn will study the composition of Ceres and create a 3D map of its surface.
Wednesday, October 8th
The beginning of the second lunar eclipse for 2014 begins at 0515 hours. You might see one third of the
eclipse before the Moon reaches the horizon at 0557. You would see slightly more eclipse if you were west of
the line connecting Aruba and Puerto Rico. Plan your Full Moon party or dinghy drift for early morning because
the Full Moon is at 0651.
Wednesday, October 8th and Thursday, October 9th
The Full Moon may make it tough to find but the Draconids Meteor Shower will reach its peak. Start looking
for any shooting stars at dusk before the Moon gets too high. The source will be from the north about 340
degrees. They will appear from the dragon’s head in the constellation Draco. The number of meteors has been
hard to predict. They can number anywhere from one to two per hour or more than 100.
In the News
The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico detected a Fast Radio Burst of unknown origin. That detection confirms the findings of the Parkes Observatory radio telescope in Australia. Dan Thornton, a PhD candidate at
the University of Manchester in England, suggests that these “fast radio bursts”, or FRBs, probably occur as
often as every ten seconds or so, nearly 10,000 times a day. All that’s known is that the signals originated from
beyond the Milky Way galaxy. The signals are unlike any known astronomical phenomena.
*All times are given as Atlantic Standard Time (AST) unless otherwise noted. The times are based on the viewing position in Grenada and may vary by only a few minutes in different Caribbean locations.
The Sk
Sky ffrom Mid-September
M d S t b to
t Mid-October
Md O t b
The radio telescope at Arecibo in Puerto Rico,
listening to outer space
How To Get Totally
Conched Out, Ultra Style!
by Bill and JoAnne Harris
During our spectacular travels for the last five years throughout the bountiful
Atlantic and Caribbean waters aboard our trimaran, Ultra, we have enjoyed many
seafood delights. One of our all-time favorites is conch! We enjoy hunting for them
as much as eating them. We have had fun teaching other people how to hunt and
clean them, too. The first year out, JoAnne was dubbed The Conch Hunter, for her
eagle eye and success in finding conch. While snorkeling, we keep an eye out for
shallow grassy areas and conch tracks on the sandy seafloor. The beauty of it is
conch cannot move fast!
Our rule is to only collect the adult conchs, meaning the lip (beautiful pink part of
the shell) must be several inches wide. We want the conch to be able to reproduce
and we never take the young ones. If everyone did that, there would no longer be any
conch left in the sea. Unfortunately, we have witnessed some islands where this rule
was not followed and there are hardly any conch left.
It is important to also only take the conch that you will consume for the day. Some
masonry hammer, then a claw hammer will work.
• Use a screwdriver rather than a knife so that you do not waste the meat and cut
the adductor muscle (a.k.a. “tail” of the conch).
• To remove the conch from its shell, hold the operculum (a.k.a. foot) firmly and
pull. Take care not to pull too hard, or you might tear off the foot and then it will be
more work to try to remove the meat.
• Use a fillet knife to remove the organs and all the black skin. Tip: This is the most
difficult part of the process. You make slits just under the black skin and remove the
skin by cutting away from you, but take care not to cut yourself. You will then be
left with a perfect pinkish-white conch steak.
Captain Bill’s Method: Lacking fish skinners, he makes cuts lengthwise and then
peels back the skin with his front teeth. Works like a charm!
• Follow the delicious recipe below to cook your conch to perfection! Enjoy!
Tips: An environmentally friendly way to remove the conch slime from your tools
and hands is to use sand and saltwater.
Ultra’s Conch Fritter Recipe
This is an approximate recipe, since we invented
our own!
4 to 6 conch steaks (We like to use lots of conch,
so the fritters taste more like conch than dough)
1 can of beer
4 teaspoons of baking powder
2 Cups of flour
salt and pepper
a couple of dashes of Tabasco
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
red pepper flakes to add some color and kick to
the mix
Tenderize the conch steaks with a mallet and
then dice the meat. Set aside.
Mix remaining ingredients. The batter should be
the consistency of biscuit mix; if it is too stiff you
can add a bit of water or more beer and if too liquid
you can add a few Tablespoons of flour.
Add diced conch. Let stand for a moment so it
can rise a bit.
In a large pot, heat sufficient Canola oil that is
deep enough so that the fritters will come out
round rather than flat. Spoon small spoonfuls of
batter into hot oil. They will grow from the baking
powder and beer. Fry until golden brown and drain
on paper towel.
The traditional Bahamian sauce for conch fritters is ketchup and mayonnaise mixed together
until it is pink and then spiced with a dash of
Tabasco. Or you can make a mayonnaise, lime
juice and spicy mustard sauce.
Top: Bill with the conch of his dreams…
Left: JoAnne ‘The Conch Hunter’ displays a couple
of mature specimens, known by their wide flaring
lips. Don’t take any that do not have this feature:
they are babies
Below: The meat, ready to be prepared to perfection
islands have laws that you cannot have more than 6 in your freezer at a time. Be
sure to check the island fishing laws for cruisers, since some islands forbid cruisers
from taking any fish from the sea. Also be aware of closed seasons, which can be
short, for example July and August in Antigua; a bit longer, such as June through
September in Belize; or even longer — in Jamaica the season is closed from August
until December!
Our first cruising year, while watching the Bahamian locals clean conch, we were
told to eat the slimy clear tube: it would supposedly provide wonderful sexual benefits for us. Okay — one, two, three — we did it and chased it with a cold Kalik beer.
Furthermore, we were told conch is also known in these islands as Natural Viagra,
sworn to enhance a man’s libido.
Tips: Look for a shell that looks as if it has seaweed dreadlocks vertically suspended from it, or any rocks that appear to move when you swim over them. They
are usually conchs in disguise. We have free dived for conch in water 25 feet or more,
but an abundance is normally found in the shallows. Islanders have told us that it
is not safe to eat conch that come from waters over 30 feet deep.
If you see a hole in the top of the shell, the conch is no longer inside. If you turn
over these conch shells, sometimes there are beautiful octopus or brittle stars inside,
but there also can be nasty bristly fire worms, so be careful.
After you have followed the steps below to clean the conch, you are ready to prepare your conch to perfection. You can make the following delicious concoctions:
ceviche, salads, stir-fries, cracked conch, pasta, tacos, chowder, and our very favorite — conch fritters.
To tenderize your conch, use a mallet, but be careful not to beat it too much. Also,
a rum bottle will do the trick. Tip: Do it outside, as the conch juice might splatter all
over the place.
In Grenada, we even threw a “Conched Out Party” at Port Louis Marina, hosted a
fun cooking demonstration and served cracked conch, conch salad, stewed conch,
and conch fritters.
Conch Cleaning
• Use a masonry hammer to crack a hole in the conch shell between the second
and third crowns from the pointed end. Make the hole big enough to insert a screwdriver. With this hammer style, you can just whack the shell. If you don’t have a
Divali — the Hindu Festival of Lights celebrating the
lifting of spiritual darkness — is one of the most interesting annual events held in Trinidad. Following a
tradition brought to the islands by indentured laborers
from India in the 19th century, the observant place an
array of candles and small clay oil lamps all around
their houses, creating a captivating scene. In some
Trinidad villages, these displays are so famous that
visitors come from all over to see the twinkling lights.
Families dress up, exchange gifts and perform puja to
Lakshmi, the Goddess of Light and Prosperity. In
Trinidad & Tobago, Divali (Diwali or Deepavali) is an
official holiday that will be observed this year on
October 23rd.
Family feasts featuring vegetarian dishes and sweets
are a big part of the celebration. Here are some favorite
Divali recipes — they are specialties of the holiday, but
good anytime, anywhere!
best prices in Grenada at our two
conveniently located supermarkets.
Whether it’s canned goods, dairy
products, meat, fresh vegetables
or fruits, toiletries, household goods,
or a fine selection of liquor and wine,
The Food Fair has it all and a lot more.
The Carenage:
Monday - Thursday
8 am to 5:30 pm
Friday until 8:45 pm
Saturday until
1:00 pm
Tel: (473) 440-2588
Grand Anse:
Monday - Thursday
9 am to 5:30 pm
Friday & Saturday
until 7:00 pm
Tel: (473) 444-4573
1 pound ground dhal (split peas)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 Cup evaporated milk
2 Cups water, divided
1 Cup vegetable oil for frying
2 Cups granulated sugar
1 can condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Mix dhal with baking powder, evaporated milk and
one cup of water and let sit for two hours. Form into
small balls and fry in vegetable oil. Using a mill or
grinder, grind the balls coarsely.
Mango Talkari
5 green but full mangoes (I prefer “long” mangoes)
2 cloves, garlic minced
1 Tablespoon salt
on the widest selection and the
Divali Pumpkin
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 teaspoon salt
2 seasoning peppers, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
In a medium pot heat oil, add onion and garlic and
let cook for about one minute. Add pumpkin and mix
well, cover and let cook on low heat for ten minutes.
Uncover and add salt and seasoning peppers, cover
and let cook for another five minutes. Remove the
cover and mix well. The pumpkin should smash
while stirring. Add ground cumin and mix well. If the
pumpkin has excess water let it cook uncovered until
the pumpkin forms a paste.
Serves 6 to 8.
Goolab Jamoon
1/2 pound butter
1 pound flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 can condensed milk
1/2 Cup evaporated milk
1 Cup vegetable oil for frying
2 Cups granulated sugar
4 Cups water
Rub butter into flour and cardamom until crumbly.
Add condensed milk and evaporated milk to flour and
stir until milk is absorbed. Break off pieces and
shape like an almond two inches long. Deep fry until
golden brown. Boil sugar and water to a thick syrup
(until it spins a thread). Pour syrup over Goolab
Jamoon, turning continuously to coat evenly until
the syrup crystallizes.
Makes about two dozen.
Stock Up
Curried Channa and Aloo
1 Cup dried channa (garbanzo beans),
soaked overnight
2 Tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 Cup chopped onions
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons curry powder
1 1/2 Cup water
1 pound of Irish potatoes, washed, peeled
and cubed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 hot pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
Boil soaked channa in unsalted water until tender,
drain and set aside.
Heat oil in a heavy pot, add onions and garlic and
sauté for a few minutes. Mix curry powder with half a
Cup of water, add to pot and cook, stirring, until
thick. Add potato and stir until it is completely covered with the curry. Add remaining one Cup of water,
salt, cumin and pepper if using. Cover and simmer
over low heat for ten minutes.
Add channa and stir well. Cook until water is
reduced and the mixture is tender and thick.
Serves 6 to 8.
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons anchar massala (Indian pickle
spice mix)
2 Tablespoons curry powder
1 Cup water, divided
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil,
1 hot pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
Wash, peel and slice mangoes lengthwise into 6 to
8 pieces. Discard seed. Set aside. Mix curry powder
in a half Cup of water to form a thin paste. Heat oil
in a heavy pot, add curry paste and cook stirring
over a low heat for a minute. Add mango pieces and
mix so that all the pieces are covered with the
curry. Add remaining water, garlic, salt, sugar, and
pepper if using. Lower heat, cover and cook until
mango is tender. You can add more water if you
find it to be too dry. Add the anchar massala and
mix well, remove from heat and set aside till you are
ready to serve.
Mix sugar and remaining one cup of water and
bring to a boil until you can take a small spoonful of
the syrup and drop it into a glass of water; if it crystallizes before reaching the bottom of the glass then
the syrup is ready. Combine the syrup with the condensed milk and spices; stir briskly until the mixture
becomes stiff.
Fold in the ground split peas and while mixture is
still hot, form into one-inch balls. Allow to cool and set.
Makes about 30.
1 pound powdered full cream milk
1 Cup double cream
1 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
3/4 Cup water
1 teaspoon rose water
2 pieces fresh ginger
1/2 Cup chopped cherries (optional)
1/4 Cup minced almonds
Mix powdered milk and cream (using your fingers)
until very crumbly. Sift mixture through a sieve. Boil
sugar, water, rose water and ginger for about ten minutes. Just before the sugar starts to get sticky remove
the ginger. Stir in milk mixture and combine well.
Press the mixture firmly into a greased dish using the
back of a spoon. Decorate with cherries, almonds and
sprinkles. Let cool and cut into two-inch pieces.
Makes about 30.
Read in Next
Month’s Compass:
Lose Rudder = Abandon Ship?
Hiking and Canyoning in Dominica
A Singlehander at Bocas del Toro
… and much more!
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Rather, the honest broker can only say,
“I’ll do my best to minimize your increase!”
There is good insurance, there is cheap
insurance, but there is no good cheap
insurance. You never know how good
your insurance is until you have a claim.
My claims settlement record
cannot be matched.
I have been connected with the marine insurance
business for 47 years. I have developed a rapport
with brokers and underwriters at Lloyds and am
able to introduce boat owners to specialist brokers
in the Lloyds market.
e-mail: [email protected]
Yo, Compass,
When John Caldwell wrote [in his book Desperate
Voyage] about spinning a shark by its tail in the cockpit of his little Pagan, you, if you knew anything about
sharks, knew better than to believe it. When he wrote
about eating shoe leather marinated in engine oil,
you, if you remembered the “hard tack” eaten by sailors in centuries past, could almost believe it. And
when he wrote of catching a bird on the end of
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Dear Compass Readers,
Are you lost in cyberspace, and out of reach of print
copies of Caribbean Compass? Each new issue of
Compass goes online — absolutely free! — by the first
of the month, so it’s easy to check the website (www.
caribbeancompass.com) whenever a new month rolls
around… but hey, we know how life is. If you would
like a monthly notification that the newest issue is
online, just drop a line to [email protected]
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now” list!
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Dear Compass,
I dislike calling obituaries “Eight Bells”, as that
denotes the end of the watch — the end of the sailor.
I prefer to say that the sailor in question “has
crossed the bar for the final time; he is off to sea, never
to return”. Then I emulate the way the Venezuelan
sailors say goodbye to a fellow sailor: they pour the
favourite drink of the departed sailor, go to the end of
the pier, drink half of the drink, and then pour the
other half into the sea for the departed.
Patience Wales, the long-time editor of SAIL magazine, had a remembrance gathering of old friends for
her departed partner. She wanted everyone to toast
him and then pour half of their drink into Ipswich
harbour. But it was mid-winter, the party was at her
house, and there was no way she would be able to talk
the assembled group into walking through the frozen
streets to the harborside. Patience is a resourceful gal
and solved the problem. She found an old-fashioned
iron washtub and filled it with harbour water. Then,
during the party, everyone gathered around the tub,
hoisted a glass to the departed sailor, drank half and
poured the other half into the tub.
Don Street
Glandore, Ireland
Dear Compass,
We keep our yacht, Copihue, in Rodney Bay IGY
marina and are spending the wintertime in the area.
Your magazine is of great interest to us and we get a
lot of useful information this way.
Best regards,
Milla and Ismo Nikola
Yacht Copihue
who claimed to have built a cruising vessel he had
little to no interest in the boatbuilding enterprises and
early regattas that so enlivened Bequia and Carriacou
in his time. And that should have told me something.
We are all better off knowing the historical facts — or
at least I think we are — and I am grateful indeed for
Mr. Gordon’s documented, tactful correction in last
month’s Reader’s Forum. I would encourage him, if he
has the time and material and inclination, to write a
bigger story about his father’s boat building and submit it to WoodenBoat magazine.
Richard Dey
Boston, Massachusetts
[email protected]
Dear Compass Readers,
We want to hear from YOU!
Be sure to include your name, boat name or shoreside
address, and a way we can contact you (preferably by
e-mail) if clarification is required.
We do not publish individual consumer complaints or
individual regatta results complaints. (Kudos are okay!)
We do not publish anonymous letters; however, your
name may be withheld from print at your request.
Please keep letters shorter than 600 words. Letters may
be edited for length, clarity and fair play.
Send your letters to [email protected]
[email protected]
McIntyre Bros. Ltd.
Parts - Repairs - Service
Outboard Engines 2HP-250HP
Duty-Free Engines for Yachts
PHONE: (473) 444 3944/1555
FAX: (473) 444 2899
email: [email protected]
Pagan’s boom and eating it alive, you, having read
similar accounts of delirious hunger, could believe it.
These claims and others, false or true or somewhere
in-between, were all part of the outsized character
known as “Johnny Coconut.”
While he was heroic in his way, it is sad but not
surprising to learn in Robert Gordon’s letter and
accompanying photographs [Caribbean Compass,
August 2014] concerning the building of the Caldwell’s
Outward Bound in Australia that Caldwell himself,
contrary to his claims, did not in fact build the boat.
You will admit that the claim seemed part and parcel
of the man and his whole story. Also, that deceit goes
with survival stories back at least to The Odyssey. And
Caldwell was at that point in his life still very much in
a survivor’s mode, doing anything he could think of to
keep his young family afloat — not that there is ever
an excuse for hurting someone or depriving him of his
accomplishments. Only much later, when he built
Palm Island Resort, did the claim become purely a
marketing ploy. But by then the lie was entrenched in
the myth, as Mr. Gordon points out, and Caldwell had
no real way out of it.
As I, who wrote an extended profile on him (In the
Way of Adventure), think back some 35 years to the
day spent interviewing him, I realize now that for one
24 – 26
Nereid’s Rally, Trinidad & Tobago to Guyana. www.marinaslm.com/rally
International Billfish Tournament of Club Náutico de San Juan,
Puerto Rico. www.sanjuaninternational.com
Public holiday in Bonaire (Bonaire Day)
FULL MOON Parties at Trellis Bay and West End, Tortola,
and at Pinney’s Beach, Nevis
Public holiday in Belize (St. George’s Caye Day)
Date statistically most likely to host a hurricane
Public holiday in St. Kitts & Nevis (National Heroes’ Day)
Public holiday in St. Kitts & Nevis (Independence Day)
International Coastal Clenup Day. www.oceanconservancy.org
Public holiday in Belize (Independence Day)
Autumnal Equinox
Public holiday in Trinidad & Tobago (Republic Day)
Caribbean Sailing Association Annual Conference, Antigua.
11 – 12
24 - 26
25 – 26
30 – 31
All information was correct to the best of our knowledge
at the time this issue of Compass went to press — but plans change,
so please contact event organizers directly for confirmation.
If you would like a nautical or tourism event listed FREE
in our monthly calendar, please send the name
and date(s) of the event and the name
and contact information of the organizing body to
[email protected]
Additional Features:
Hydraulic Steering
Navigation Lights
Radio/ CD Player
Asking Price: US$50,000.00 (ONO)
Serious offers only - Call: (784) 488-8465
Ahoy, Compass Readers! When in Curaçao, pick up your free monthly copy of
the Caribbean Compass at any of these locations (advertisers in this issue
appear in bold):
Budget Marine Curaçao
Caribbean Nautical
Island Water World
Budget Marine Curaçao
Curaçao Marine Service
Royal Marine Services Curaçao
Asiento Yacht Club
Curaçao Yacht Club
Fishing Harbour Norman’s Snack
Kimakalki Marina
Your contributions of tail fluke photographs of humpback whales
from the Caribbean region are critical for conservation efforts.
INTERESTED in Helping? Go to www.CARIBTAILS.org
22 - 29
Public holiday in St. Lucia (Thanksgiving Day)
47th Bonaire International Sailing Festival. www.bonaireregatta.org
FULL MOON Parties at Trellis Bay and West End, Tortola,
and at Pinney’s Beach, Nevis
Quantum IC24 International Regatta.
Royal British Virgin Islands Yacht Club (RBVIYC),
tel (284) 494-3286, [email protected], www.royalbviyc.org
Public Holiday in Venezuela (Indigenous Resistance Day)
Public Holiday in Colombia (Día de la Raza)
Public holiday in Belize (Pan American Day)
Public holiday in the Bahamas (Discovery Day)
Public holiday in Haiti (Anniversary of the Death of Dessalines)
Willie T Virgin’s Cup Race, BVI. RBVIYC
Blue Food Festival, Tobago
Public Holiday in BVI (St. Ursula’s Day)
28th Annual Pro Am Regatta, Virgin Gorda. Bitter End Yacht Club
(Virgin Gorda), tel (312) 506-6205, binf[email protected], www.beyc.com
Public holiday in Trinidad & Tobago (Diwali)
Public holiday in Jamaica (National Heroes’ Day)
World Creole Music Festival, Dominica. www.wcmfdominica.com.
See ad on page 23
17th Foxy’s Halloween Cat Fight (catamaran regatta),
Jost Van Dyke. www.foxysbar.com
Public holiday in Grenada (Thanksgiving Day)
Woburn Thanksgiving Regatta, Grenada
Barbados J/24 Match Racing Championship. Barbados J/24 Club.
Public holiday in St. Vincent & the Grenadines (Independence Day)
FestiVoile, Guadeloupe. www.lgvoile.com
National Heritage Day, Antigua
Trafalgar Regatta, BVI. RBVIYC
Discover the Caribbean – Big Boat Races, Puerto Rico.
Standard Horizon DSC VHF
Engine Hours: Under 10
5 - 11
Model: 245WA Atlantic
Year: 2009
Length: 23’ 4”
Beam: 8’ 6”
Minimum Draft: 1’
Engine/ Fuel type:
Twin gas Yamaha 115hp
Twin Outboard Motors
23’ Atlantic 245WA Fishing Boat
Caribbean Compass Market Place
Located on the Kirani James Blvd. (Lagoon Road)
Providing all vital services to
Trans-Atlantic Yachts!
Incl. Chandlery, Charts, Pilots, Rigging
EU-VAT (16%) importation
Duty free fuel (+10.000lt)
TEL +351 292 391616
FAX +351 292 391656
[email protected]
- Relax! Leave the work to us Hubert J. Winston
18 Victoria St.
Roseau & Bay St. Portsmouth
Check out our website or contact us directly
for a competitive quote on rugged and
well-built sails that are well suited to the
harsh environment of the charter trade
and blue water cruising.
Jeff Fisher – Grenada (473) 537-6355
Open 11.30 - 2.00 for Lunch
6.00 - 9.00 for Dinner
Tuesday to Saturday
Sunday Brunch 11.30 - 14.30
Reservations recommended
Phone (473) 443 6500 or call CH 16
Situated on the South Side
of Tyrrel Bay.
Bar open all Day
Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou
Use our new Dinghy Dock
+767-275-2851 Mobile / 445-4322
+767-448-7701 Fax
[email protected]
TechNick Ltd.
Land and houses for sale
For full details see our website:
or contact Carolyn Alexander at
Carriacou Real Estate Ltd
e-mail: [email protected]
Tel: (473) 443 8187 Fax: (473) 443 8290
We also handle Villa Rentals &
Property Management on Carriacou
[email protected]
Engineering, fabrication and
welding. Fabrication and repair of
stainless steel and aluminium items.
Nick Williams, Manager
Tel: (473) 536-1560/435-7887
S.I.M.S. Boatyard, True Blue, Grenada
[email protected]
Marine Electrics
Zac artimer - Le Marin, Martinique FWI
Tel: + (596) 596 650 524 Fax: + (596) 596 650 053
[email protected]
continued on next page
Caribbean Compass Market Place
restaurant &
boutique hotel
to table
daily and
for lunch
and supper,
at afrom
coconut plantation.
2 miles
the harbor.
Open daily for lunch and dinner.
crescent beach,
Call 784.458.3400 for
bay, bequia
or reservations.
PH 784.458.3400
Crescent Beach, Bequia
(Industry Bay)
TEL: 1 284 494 7749
FAX: 1 284 494 8031
EMAIL: [email protected]
St. Vincent
& the Grenadines
(784) 458 8918
VHF Ch 08
Time Out Boat Yard Saint Martin
[email protected]
(PPG Ameron)
COPPERCOAT Permanent Antifouling
(10 years and more…)
Fiberglass + Epoxy & Polyester Resins
Epoxy primer + Polyurethane Top Coat
Phone: + (590) 690 221 676
St. Vincent &
the Grenadines
Tel: 784-457-2178
Fax: 784-456-1302
VHF Channel 16
Covered drydock
Drydock facilities up to 65M & 1000 tonne
40 tonne travel lift
Woodwork & metal work
Sand blasting
Welding, painting, fiberglass
Electrical, refrigeration & mechanical repairs
22 berths for yachts from 22M- 65M
Electricity & water
Shower & toilet
Located opposite G.Y.E.
(northern side of Admiralty Bay)
Tel (784) 457-3507 / 457-3527 (evenings)
e-mail: [email protected]
VHF Ch16/68
continued on next page
Caribbean Compass Market Place
Proprietors of this highly successful
Atlantic islands offshore chandlery
& marine services center
are looking for new owners.
Some background within the
international yachting community and/
or a marine business environment will
help carry on the seasonal operation.
Plenty of room for growth/expansion &
new ideas w/ an enviable quality of life.
For further details please
make direct contact via:
[email protected]
SEPTEMBER 2014 NO. 228
The Caribbean’s Monthly Look at Sea & Shore
The amazing ongoing technological advances in digital photography have really lifted the quality of images we are able to offer in Caribbean Compass. Whereas in years gone by, most of our cover shots were taken
by pros, today an amateur photographer with good-quality equipment and an eye for color and composition
also has — no pun intended — a shot.
If you would like to submit a photo for consideration as a Compass cover, read on.
We love images of people on sailboats having fun in the Caribbean. If you can show some coastline
recognizable as Caribbean, or other recognizable Caribbean landmark or subject of interest to boaters, all
the better. Action and color are good.
Although a tiny distant boat in swathes of sea and sky isn’t too interesting, do try to make sure there is
some space at the top of the image (usually a bit of sky) for our header.
Remember to shoot in portrait (vertical) format — just turn your camera sideways for a “tall” shot!
Images should be at least 10.2 inches wide by 12.5 inches high at 300lpi or greater. If you don’t know
what this means, set your camera to take the largest photos possible. Image quality must be sharp. If your
images are too large for e-mail, send them through an online service such as Dropbox.
Please don’t get all artsy with Photoshop. Please. Just don’t.
We can’t use photos that have appeared previously, or will appear simultaneously, in any other Caribbean
publication or anywhere on-line.
Cover photos are judged and chosen by a number of criteria including technical specifications and our
particular needs at the time. If your photo isn’t used, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t good.
Send submissions for cover photos to [email protected] Be sure to tell us the name of the
photographer, and include a brief description of the shot (i.e. who is in it, when and where it was taken,
etcetera). We look forward to seeing Caribbean sailing through your lens!
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Similarly, many tend to assume a lot about Haitians that just isn’t true.
The ‘Voodoo’ Image
About 12,000,000 West Africans were brought to the “new world” as slaves; of
those about 4,000,000 were settled in the Caribbean. They were virtually all West
African but they spoke many different languages. Slave owners took great care not
to put those that spoke the same language close to each other, so that they could
not plot against their white captors. What the slave owners did not realize is that
there are many forms of language, and virtually all West Africans believed in one
form or another of animism: the belief that spirits inhabit all living things including
trees and animals. They believed that these spirits were inspired by the greatest
spirit of them all — God (Bondye in Creole).
This belief system has come to be known throughout the world as Voodoo. As a set
of religious beliefs, Voodoo is one of the oldest on the planet. Some historians and
anthropologists believe that the word Voodoo comes from the French vieux dieux (old
gods). Others believe it comes from the West African word vodún, which is the FonEwe word for spirit.
Voodoo is a way of life for Haitians. It is said that Haiti is 85 percent Catholic, 15
percent Protestant and 100 percent Voodoo. If you want to see zombies and curses
caused by sticking pins in a doll, Voodoo is not your ticket. In Voodoo, the supplication
of spirits, just like the supplication of saints by Catholics, is meant to have the spirit
(lwa) intercede on one’s behalf to assist with the problems of life. Illness, shortage of
money, finding the right mate and so forth are all things that a believer in Voodoo might
request help with. Some Voodoo ceremonies do sacrifice the blood of an animal as an
offering to God; such a sacrifice is certainly not unique to Voodoo. Sometimes those that
participate in such ceremonies do dance as if possessed by the spirit, in many ways
similar to members of some Christian sects being imbued by the spirit and speaking in
tongues. The important thing to understand is that the tenets of Voodoo make life bearable and even joyful for Haitians amidst tragedy and suffering because they give Haitians
a way of understanding their plight, just as other belief systems do for their believers.
A Word on AIDS
AIDS is also often cited as a reason not to visit Haiti. The roots of this fear go back
to the first impact of the AIDS epidemic. What came to be known as “the 4-H club”
incorporated Hemophiliacs, Heroin users, Homosexuals and Haitians. This group
was thought to be either the initiators of AIDS or a group with an above average
incidence of infection with the AIDS virus.
In 1983, the New York State Health Commissioner removed Haitians as a risk factor for AIDS and in 1984 the United States Center for Disease Control did likewise.
However, the damage was done and Haitians had become stigmatized. Their tourist
industry declined by over 90 percent in a matter of a few short years and has not
recovered to this day.
In Summary
Whether it is by the stigma of racism or poverty, AIDS or Voodoo, there is no question that Haitians have been maligned. If we are to base our decisions to cruise or visit
an area on supposition and myth, we could make a case to avoid cruising anywhere.
If you choose to cruise to Haiti and make your ports of call some of the islands,
villages and settlements that will be outlined in Part 3 of this series next month, you
will experience such a unique cruising ground that perhaps Haiti will cast its spell
on you, just as it has done on me.
Next month, in Part Three of this series, we will take a cruise around Haiti.
Frank Virgintino is the author of Free Cruising Guides, http://freecruisinguides.com.
—Continued from page 22
This despite the fact that just about 100 percent of Haiti’s population is Christian;
to visit Haiti on a Sunday morning is to find people in church.
Notions about race do not change overnight even if the overnight is hundreds of
years long.
The Poverty Problem
Some cruisers say they are uncomfortable with the level of poverty in the country.
How is it that Haiti is so poor?
When Haiti won its freedom from France in 1804, the new government was forced
to pay enormous reparations — an
amount so large and paid for so
long as to make Haiti a debtor
nation at its inception. The debt
was not paid in full until 1947.
More than a century of calculated
colonial occupation, which caused
impoverishment, was followed up
by decades of the US-backed dictatorship of Papa Doc Duvalier and
his son, “Baby Doc.” This father-son
team indebted Haiti still further and
made it the dumping ground of the
surpluses of the First World. (We
must ask, why does Haiti import its
rice and sugar from the United States?) Haiti has remained a debtor nation, owing
largely to the politics of the hemisphere.
Many believe that Haiti is dysfunctional; that somehow Haitians are not capable of
taking care of themselves. Haitians are very capable of doing what it takes to survive.
When I say this, people normally respond by asking why then does so much aid go
to Haiti? The answer can be summed up in two ways. The first is that much of the
“help” that goes to Haiti is not help at all, but rather the continuing story of exploitation, self-interest and geopolitics that benefit from providing such aid. With a little
reading you should be able to raise sufficient doubt in your mind about some aid
programs. Perhaps you will read A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis by
David Rieff. His book clearly documents why aid “from the top down” does not work.
Aid during a crisis is one thing, but programmed welfare is something entirely different. Give a man a handout and you have created a beggar; give him the means to
earn a living and you have a responsible citizen.
Haiti has always been a country of plot farmers. Haitians plant to eat and to sell
what is left over to raise cash. US aid has all but wiped out plot farming in Haiti. As
a result, many plot farmers have had to relocate to the capital putting more pressure
on already overcrowded substandard areas.
Another way to understand Haiti’s plight is to understand that notions about Haiti
are so well entrenched that they create a mindset. For example, the young Nigerian
writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has explained how when she first came to the
United States, the daughter of an upper-class Nigerian family, her roommate automatically assumed she was poor, did not know how to use indoor plumbing or a
stove, and could not speak English. In fact, after finishing her undergraduate work
at the University of Nigeria, she had come to the States to do graduate work. She
graduated from John Hopkins as well as Yale University, and her speeches and
books have won her worldwide fame.
41' AMEL KETCH 1977 75 hp
Volvo. New 130w solar panels, 6’ RIB/4hp Mercury, selfsteering/AP. Electric windlass,
generator, new batteries.
E-mail: [email protected]
2003 GibSea 51
160.000 US
2002 BENETEAU 505
175.000 US
1992 WARWICK Cardinal 46cc
165.000 US
2001 Bavaria 46/3
130.000 US
1987 IRWIN 44 MK II
95.000 US
1983 34ft VINDÖ 45
49.900 US
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: (758) 452 8531
38FT BOWEN w/cabin, 2x300
hp Yanmar Turbo, seats 20
passengers, large hard top,
head,swim platform/ladders
Must Sell, prices reduced
considerably Tel: (784) 5828828/457-4477
[email protected]
Light weight, cruising catamaran, 3 cabin, 1 head.
(868) 684-7720/634-2259
E-mail: [email protected]
or [email protected]
FORMULA 30 2002 Immaculate
condition throughout. 2x
220hp V6. Lots of installed
extras. US$55,000. E-mail:
[email protected]
SADLER 29 1985. Major refurbishment prior to ARC 2009
including standing rigging,
wind vane, solar power,
fridge, Raymarine instruments, new tender. Lying
Marigot Bay, St Lucia.
US$25,000. Email: [email protected]
Fully equipped, good condition. US$9,900 OBO Details:
GRENADA - East side Clarkes
Court Bay. Excellent views, water
access, plots available. 0.9 acres
to 9,000 sq.ft. Prices from US$5 to
$10 sq/ft depending on size and
location. Including 50' of sand
waterfront with steep drop off to
deep water. E-mail [email protected]
and multi-acre tracts. Great
views overlooking Southern
Grenadines and Tyrrel Bay.
Overlooking Tyrrel Bay. 2 storey house with fenced garden on ¼ acre. Upstairs apt
has 2 bedrooms, 1 bath,
large veranda. Downstairs
apt has 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, opens onto garden.
EC$800,000 Laura Tel: (473)
443-6269 or +44 208-6215001 E-mail: [email protected]
This luxury
speedboat is available in
Grenada. Gen-Set, A/C, white
leather in cabin, galley,
502 marine engines overhauled by Mercury dealer,
Bravo 1 drives. 40 MPH cruise
props w/over 60 speed props.
www.aviationcms.com E-mail:
[email protected]
cockpit, cruising ready,
complete w/solar panels,
wind generator, electronics.
Will trade for real estate.
E-mail: [email protected]
28’ Bowen, 2x200 hp
Yamaha. Seats 12 passengers,
onboard deck shower.
2x Yanmar 2007, 2,000 hrs.
Very good condition, complete renovation at Ottley
Hall, St. Vincent.
E-mail: [email protected]
L-10.97m, B-2.44m, Yanmar
6LPA-STP2, 315HP, 4 – stroke.
New Mercruiser Bravo 2 stern
drive and aluminum prop
(installed July ’13). Head /
toilet, nav lights, new VHF
radio, aft swim deck/ladder.
Helm seats/aft sundeck cushions new Oct 2012. Surveyed
2013. Contact Matt Semark
with offers. E-mail: matthew.
[email protected]
Canada. Sleeps 4, galley,
8Hp Evinrude OB, trailer. On
the beach in Barbados but
ready for the sea. US$7,500
[email protected]
com Tel: (246) 422-5370
Center cockpit. Recently
hauled out and refurbished,
ready to sail, lying Bequia,
US$45,000. Robin, E-mail:
[email protected]
37’ 1982 COMET 7 tons 36 hp
Bukh diesel, well equipped
with dinghy, 4 hp Yamaha
ob, all sails, 2 anchors, electronics. Ready for cruising.
US$28,000. Power Boats in
Trinidad. Tel: (868) 634-4346
E-mail: [email protected]
2x200hp Yamaha. US$37,000.
Tel: (784) 496-5457
ACADIA 25 by Atlas Boat
of Florida. Beautiful boat with
large cockpit, 200hp TurboYanmar, bow thruster, generator, full rigid bimini, A/C,
instruments. Low hrs. fish,
dive or coastal cruise.
Lying St. Lucia.
Contact to photos E-mail:
[email protected]
1992 with Caterpillar diesels, excellent condition.
Cheapest Sundancer on
the market today!US$60,000
Tel: (784) 528-7273 E-mail:
[email protected]
38’ BAYLINER Economical
and reliable 2x Hino diesels.2
strms, 2 heads/ shwr & tub,
galley, 2 helms. Great cruising and liveaboard vessel.
Grenada. Tel:(473) 406-8217
1987 MASON 44 “Eclipse”
very clean, never had teak
decks. The boat has been
maintained in “like new condition”, equipped for longrange cruising. This is an
exceptional Mason 44. Must
sell US$180,000. www.mason44forsale.com or E-mail:
[email protected]
views, large lots from US$5/sq.ft.
Bequia’s most popular restaurant. Same owner-manager for 31 yrs. Complete
land, buildings, equipment.
Island Pace Realty. Tel: (784)
458-3544 Email: [email protected]
La Pompe, oceanfront
property with spectacular
view of Petit Nevis, Isle a
Quatre and Mustique.
11,340 sq/ft. US$125,000 Tel:
[email protected]
Water front location next
door to a hotel in the centre
of the yachting harbor.
Private dinghy dock, clean &
safe, ready for the new season. Tel: (784) 455-3822
E-mail: [email protected]
Interesting, exotic, Tahiti-style
igloo. Tel: (784) 533-4865
Large 2 bedroom house and/
or 1 bed studio apartment.Big
verandah and patio, stunning
view, cool breeze. Internet,
cable TV. 2 weeks minimum,
excellent long-term rates.
Tel: (784) 495 1177
email: [email protected]
Model T6068T, TFM01 (old style,
300 series) 3x fresh water
pumps, 3x injection pumps, 3x
starters, 3x lift pumps. Offers.
Tel: (268) 764-2689 E-mail:
[email protected]
2x block & chain moorings. Off
Plantation House; one in
approx 35’ & one in approx 16’
of water. Offers. Details at
E-mail: [email protected]
3208 CATERPILLAR’S 2x3208 375hp
marine engines/ZF transmissions.
Fully rebuilt, zero hrs.
Tel: (784) 528-7273
[email protected]
at http://doylecaribbean.
Live the dream in Tonga.
Floating art gallery, rental
moorings & recognized cruisers haven.See our ad
US 50¢
MISSING from June 2014. 12'
Nautica / 2007 Yamaha
40hp 4 stroke. Electric tilt w/
hydraulic steering, digital
gauges.EC$1000 reward for
return of boat & engine. My
daughter misses it A LOT!
Tel: (784) 434-8596
E-mail: [email protected]
Include name, address
and numbers in count.
Line drawings/photos
classifieds are US$10
Pre-paid by
the 10th of the month
E-mail: shellese
Aero Tech Lab
Amilibia Marinas
Art & Design
Art Fabrik
B & C Fuel Dock
Barefoot Yacht Charters
Bequia Marina
Blue Lagoon Hotel & Marina
Boat Paint & Stuff
Budget Marine
Captain Gourmet
Caraibe Marine
Caraibe Marine
Caribbean Marine Electrical
Caribbean Propellers
Clippers Ship
Cruising Life
Curaçao Marine
Dominica Yacht Services
St. Maarten
Sint Maarten
St. Lucia
Sint Maarten
St. Lucia
Down Island Real Estate
Doyle Offshore Sails
Doyle's Guides
Echo Marine
Edward William Insurance
Food Fair
Free Cruising Guides
Gittens Engines
Golden Hind Chandlery
Grenada Marine
Grenada Tourism
Grenadine Air Alliance
Grenadines Sails
IGY Rodney Bay Marina
Iolaire Enterprises
Island Water World
Johnson Hardware
KVR Energy Limited
Marc One Marine
Marina Pescaderia
Marina Santa Marta
Marina Zar-Par
McIntyre Bros
Mid Atlantic Yacht Services
Multihull Company
Nauti Solutions
Neil Pryde Sails
Northern Lights Generators
Off Shore Risk Management
Ottley Hall Marina & Shipyard
Porthole Restaurant
Power Boats
Renaissance Marina
Sea Hawk Paints
Second Life Sails
Slipway Restaurant
Puerto Rico
Dominican Rep
St. Lucia
Puerto Rico
St. Lucia Tourist Board
Sugar Reef Bequia Ltd
Sunbay Marina
SVG Tourism
The Nature Conservancy
Tobago Cays Marine Park
Triskell Cup Regatta
Turbulence Sails
Velocity Water Services
Venezuelan Marine Supply
World Creole Music Fest
Xanadu Marine
Xtreme Fuel treatment
MP = Market Place pages 42 to 44
C/W = Caribbean-wide
One day, you may have to
tell your grandchildren stories
about places like this.
Experts predict that within 100 years, natural lands and water
resources will become scarce. Climate change will irreversibly
alter the planet. And the habitats that support all life could be
lost forever.
Support our mission to protect the future of our natural world.
To make a difference that lasts, join The Nature Conservancy.
Log onto www.nature.org today or call (800) 842-8905.
Rock Islands in the Republic of Palau. Image ©Jez O’Hare
Published by Compass Publishing Limited, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and printed by Guardian Media Limited, Trinidad & Tobago

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