, ,

Grenadines Magical Coral Reefs

St Vincent and the Grenadines Show-Stopping Coral Reefs

Throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barefoot Yacht Charters transports snorkellers and divers to diverse and magical worlds of healthy, living, revitalised coral reefs.  Four islands in SVG have been designated as Marine Conservation Areas; additionally, there’s one Marine Reserve and two Marine Parks, one of which, Tobago Cays-Mayreau, also has Marine Reserve status.

The silent, seemingly effortless choreography of coral reefs belies the centuries it took to create these undersea spectacles – the ones we see today are 5,000 to 10,000 years old.  Compare that to a major Broadway production that might take a few years to produce and, if lucky, a decade or two of performances.

Coral reefs are reality shows, real life on Earth – rare, awesome, slow in the making yet easy to destroy.   Worldwide, many coral reefs are degraded beyond recovery.  Even more are in critical condition.  In SVG, however, coral reefs are thriving and strong.  The Tobago Cays, for example, have been described by many sources as being one of the largest remaining pristine coral reef groups in the Windward Islands.

barefootsailing

 

The natural, underwater sets are constructed by tiny animals called “polyps,” which have calcium skeletons that connect to each other with living tissue to form communities.  They build on past skeletons so that only the top layers contain the living designers.  Pencil, brain, star corals, with sponges in a rainbow of colours, dark red gorgonians, Christmas tree and feather duster worms, and many other striking organisms complement the scenery.

The cast includes vaudevillian types of otherworldly characters clothed in varying and vibrant costumes: weaving chromis, creole wrasse and boga; fascinating entertainers such as frogfish, seahorses, flying gurnard and white-spotted octopus; and the lovely butterfly, angel and trumpet fish and sea turtles to name but a few.

resize_1334242368

But even SVG’s coral reefs aren’t immune to the ravages on their ecosystems, both of the natural kind (e.g., hurricanes, rising sea surface temperatures) and man-made (litter, chemicals, etc.).  As one person on a planet of billions, you can do your part to save coral reefs by being aware of, and reducing, your own carbon footprints and by voicing your concerns over such things as overfishing and oil spills.

On a more immediate and specific level: anchor on sand rather than near reefs or use moorings if available; do not touch any of the sensitive corals; stay off the bottom because stirred-up sediment can settle on coral and smother them.  Use environmentally-friendly products; don’t throw any kind of garbage into the sea; properly treat sewage; only empty holding tanks at pump out stations or when more than three miles offshore in the open sea.  There are other ways to preserve the world’s coral reefs, but that’s a start.

tobago-cays-turtle

 

Let Barefoot Yacht Charters guide you to the various extravaganzas that play beneath the sea throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  The St Vincent and the Grenadines Coral Reefs are bound to make your trip unforgettable. They’re all box-office hits, sure to please and inspire, amaze and electrify.

Enjoy your dream vacation!

,

Support the children and win a sailing holiday with Barefoot Yacht Charters

Wouldn’t you love to know you are supporting the children of St Vincent and the Grenadines with Barefoot Yacht Charters, while sailing one of the most beautiful destinations in the world? Of course you would!

Tobago Cays4

That’s why folks are jumping into the American Sailing Association/Hands Across Sea Caribbean Getaway Sweepstakes. It’s easy!

Follow this sweepstakes entry link to make a donation to support literacy for Caribbean children, and you’ll be entered to win a one-week bareboat sailboat charter for four people in the spectacular St. Vincent and the Grenadines island archipelago, courtesy of Barefoot Yacht Charters.

Second prize is also spectacular: seven nights at beautiful Palm Island Resort & Spa, a luxury private island retreat in the Grenadines, courtesy of Elite Island Resorts.

palmisland

Best of all, if you’re sailing with Barefoot Yachts or staying at the beautiful Palm Island Resort, you’ll be helping Hands Across the Sea put great new books into the hands of Caribbean kids, from pre-school to high school age.

caribbean school children

You’ll find contest details and more at the ASA/Hands Caribbean Getaway Sweepstakes page. Entries close at 12:01 AM on October 1, 2014.

Good luck . . . and we’ll see you down here!

Hands Across the Sea and Barefoot Yacht Charters

Unique and Unforgettable – The Joy of Family Sailing

Sailing with your family, working together as a team to help crew a yacht, and enjoying time out from the rigours of daily life, will leave you with indelible memories you love to revisit again and again around the dinner table.

Work together

Sailing, whether as a leisure activity or competitive sport, requires teamwork – and there are roles to fulfill for even the most junior member of the family. Sailing together, a family practise coordination, cooperation, and together overcome the challenges that come with the sport. The mutual satisfaction of crewing a boat successfully helps bonding, as well as improving individual self esteem and confidence.

Incorporating activity and exercise into family holidays helps reinforce a healthy attitude to getting up, out and moving, with kids coming quickly to associate being outdoors and active with having fun. Add into that the health benefits for kids of exercising at all, such as better immediate strength, flexibility and endurance, and the long term protections afforded against conditions such as type two diabetes, and getting on to the water together is a natural choice.

Enjoy the bounty of nature 

Getting children (not to mention adults), away from screens, from the distractions of TV, computer games and continual stimulation, is no mean feat. However, finding the time for a break, especially one where kids get to stop, look around, and be amazed by something new, is in incredibly valuable thing to do, for all round mental well being. Kids who spend too long in front of screens struggle to sleep, can struggle with attention disorders and show heightened rates of obesity, as a result of a more sedentary lifestyle.

Persuading even reluctant family members to give up the computer shouldn’t be too difficult once they experience the outstanding nature on offer in the local area. The waters around St Vincent and the Grenadines are blessed with a fantastic range of wildlife for the family to spot and enjoy whilst you sail. Eleven species of dolphins have been identified in our waters, including pan-tropical and spinner dolphins. You may also get to see pilot and sperm whales, not to mention any of the 225 different types of fish that call our area home.

Help your kids to slow down and drink in the beauty of it all, by spending time talking as a family about what you see and experience. Not only will this help everyone appreciate the moment more, it also helps to cement what you see as permanent memories to revisit in future.

cat1

A final sensory pleasure for the whole family to enjoy, is to indulge in the fantastic range of tropical fruits, fresh fish and local vegetables that are available for you during your trip. Tropical Fruits like Paw Paw (Papaya), Guava, Cashew, Pineapple, Passion Fruit, Banana, Soursop, Sapodilla, Coconut, Breadfruit, Sorrel and Mango are popular, and can be found fresh and plentiful. Try also the local Vegetables such as the spinach-like Callaloo, Plantains, Okra and Christophene, along with better known produce such as Sweet Potato and Yam. Introduce your family to these delights, and add an extra dimension to your trip, that they’ll recall every time they taste the flavours of the area again.

Plan to prevent problems 

Travelling with the family means getting organised to ensure everything goes smoothly, from the big things, like having insurance cover in place well in advance and that it extends to partaking on this kind of holiday, to the small, like making sure the kids choose a favourite toy to carry along. Some time spent in advance talking about what to expect, what wildlife and scenery you may see, and how the boat you have chosen operates, will help kids get excited in advance, and focused on enjoying the experience once they’re here. Age appropriate reads can be found to stimulate the discussion.

Read up on the likely climate for the time you plan to visit, to make sure you pack perfectly. Don’t forget to research and pick up any relevant performance clothing, or essential personal kit for your brood. Having the right gear means there’s no such thing as bad weather!

A family sailing holiday is a perfect mix of action adventure, meditative silence, dazzling nature, and family bonding, to mean every member of your party can have their ideal trip. Each journey is different, but what unites all our family sailing adventures is the fact you carry away with you a unique and unforgettable set of family memories to treasure.

Barefoot Contributor, Susie Lynam

,

Meet Barefoot’s Sailing School Instructor

Two years down and more to go

Boss Logo

Nancy Hancock

Nancy Hancock, ASA Sailing Instructor for Barefoot Offshore Sailing School

For 2 years now, I have worked as a Sailing Instructor at Barefoot Offshore Sailing School – who would have thought it – after a 25 year career as a clothing designer/manufacturer and mother of 4 grown sprogs that I would be doing this 10 years later.

Well perhaps I did have an inkling of it when I first took sailing lessons 17 years ago – and got well and truly hooked. No different from most of the students I teach here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, many of whom cannot believe what they have ventured into when we set sail from the Blue Lagoon on the south shores of St. Vincent (where Barefoot Offshore Sailing School is based) and head across the Bequia Strait on a beam or broad reach to Bequia.

After seeing their nervous reaction to the seas I often laughingly ask them if they know where they are, “Where is this place you’ve chosen to take your sailing lessons?” – blank response – my answer “the Windward Islands” and the look of realization always makes me laugh. And in 6 days these same people are taking the same Bequia Strait upwind back to Barefoot in the Blue Lagoon happily crashing through the waves and loving every minute of it. And they always want to know exactly how high these waves are for the purpose of bragging rights of course.

The American Sailing Association 101 to Bareboat Skipper curriculum we teach here at Barefoot, and the location in which we teach it is the perfect blend of information mixed with hands on experience, and of course FUN.

This live-aboard offshore sailing school travels from the Blue Lagoon to Bequia, to Tobago Cays, Union Island, Petite St. Vincent, Mayreau, Canouan and back. It includes living aboard, which takes a bit of getting used to, but is totally embraced by all of our adventure seekers, and everywhere we go after anchoring we’re in the water, and every location we sail to has fabulous snorkelling. For many students this is the first time they have snorkelled in water that is so clear it feels like you’re flying above eagle rays, turtles, barracudas, moray eels, squid and more, all living in underwater gardens of an infinite variety of corals and sponges.

We prepare food together on board some nights and on others we eat at a couple of really fabulous and reasonable restaurants, but the eating out experience most of my students take away as the best is when Tim cooks them a family style meal in a shack on the beach called “Bolheads”, why bolhead? Because the owner is bald?

Barefoot Sailing School

Barefoot Sailing School

And in 6 days many of the students, especially those with some previous sailing experience are confident, competent sailors. And most of the time our small group has become very fond of each other and tears are sometimes shed when we part, and invitations to each other’s homes.   There is also much talk about the boats they will buy and my opinion of how to conduct their research etc.   That’s when I feel I have done a really good job. They are as hooked as I was. So when I hand over their log books I strongly urge them to take the logging of their sailing time seriously. Who knows, they might want to pay it forward some time in the future.

I’ve just finished teaching my last course this season and am now preparing my boat, MoondancerX – my home, for a leisurely sail down to Grenada where I will leave her for the hurricane season, and then home to Vancouver Island, British Columbia to spend the summer with my children, grand children and friends.  Not sure how much sailing I’ll be able to do while I’m there, and I do still love to sail in our Gulf Islands, but as the summer wanes I’ll be thinking of my second home in St. Vincent and the job of a lifetime which I am so lucky to have at this time in my life – a combination of all that I love to do – Sail, Snorkel, Dive, and teach while I introduce people from all walks of life to what I have learned and what I hope they would also love to.

So I’ll be back for my third year with Barefoot Offshore Sailing School in the fabulous Windward Islands – St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where I know I will meet with past students who are coming back for more, and for the new recruits whose expressions always make me chuckle when we head out of the Blue Lagoon, sailing across the Bequia Strait on their first foray.

,

Carnival in St Vincent and the Grenadines with Barefoot Yacht Charters

What to do? You want to spend your bareboat yacht charter vacation on a relaxing sail with Barefoot Yacht Charters in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but you also want to jump up and party at Carnival.

Our multi-island nation has rural Carnival activities which extend from mid-June to August in the Grenadines so you can enjoy the best of sailing, salt, sea and party!

Two islands in particular have unique elements in their celebrations, yet still retain the flavor of Vincy Mas:

  1. Bequia Carnival from June 20 – 23; and

  2. Canouan Carnival, a whole week of exciting shows and street parties from July 25 to August 1.

Dazzle your senses and sweat out the stress at Carnival, then recuperate on a sail perhaps to another Grenadine island where more adventures await, for each isle has its own history and ambience. Or just stay on board and be lulled into a deep relaxation until it’s time to jump up again.

Sailing in the Grenadines is line of sight sailing which means it is just short hop from one island to the next. You can enjoy the local ambience, festivities of Carnival in any capacity you choose. Whether you join in the celebrations or simply enjoy the culture and music from your yacht.

Young woman Sailing

You can have your perfect holiday, and Barefoot Yacht Charters can make it happen!

,

Barefoot’s Yacht “Malisi” Assists In Search For Missing Yacht

Barefoot Yacht Charters’ yacht Malisi, taking part in the ARC Europe race, joins the search for missing yacht Cheeki Rafiki and her crew.

rafisi boat

Cheeki Rafiki, a sailing yacht from Southampton, was returning home to the UK, following the Antigua Race Week when the crew of 4 encountered difficulties. During a primary search for the yacht, an upturned vessel was located however the 4 crew members are still missing.

_75004064_yacht_cheeki_rafiki_624_v3rafiki crew

The Barefoot yacht Malisi (Outremer 64) will shortly arrive in the area of predicted drift of Cheeki Rafiki and begin a search pattern.

Malisi is managed by our company – Barefoot Yacht Charters of St Vincent and the Grenadines. She has a highly experienced crew and is a very fast yacht capable of speeds of up to 20 knots.

Having sailed south of the rhumb line route from Bermuda to the Azores, to avoid the cut-off gale, Malisi altered course during the night, after conditions moderated, and made for the drift area.

Information on the location of PLB transmissions, possible hull sighting, and the predicted drift area was provided via Stormforce Coaching from US Coastguard (USCG) in Boston during last night (19/20 May).

This information has also been passed to the other yachts taking part in ARC Europe and currently on passage from Bermuda to Horta, Azores.

Malisi_saint_lucia_arrival_2013

Malisi skipper, Patrick Michel, reported at 0835UTC today to be sailing “8kts towards the upturned yacht”

Malisi skipper, Patrick Michel, reported at 0835UTC today “The sun has risen and we are now in position 038-07N, 048-34.9W, doing 8kts towards the upturned yacht. 8.1nm to go, ETA 1000UT”. Once in the area Patrick Michel will start a search pattern based on analysis of the wind speeds, and swell direction on the last reported positions of PLBs and the upturned hull.

The ARC Europe boats were sailing much further south than Cheeki Rafiki , however, as the weather has now moderated, it may be easier for them to make a more northerly course. As the reported upturned hull is floating low in the water, it is a potential hazard to other vessels, and all yachts have been advised to maintain a good lookout whilst in the predicted drift area. Information on the location and communications equipment of the ARC Europe boats has been passed to USCG Boston.

“All of us here at Barefoot are very proud of the decision, made by the crew of Malisi, to suspend racing and go to the aid of our missing colleagues. Their decision is a selfless one and we have no doubt they will do everything in their power to bring the boys home”, said Philip Barnard.

Be Our Guest In St Vincent

Before you begin to hop your way through the 32 islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines, why not spend some time visiting the home of Barefoot Yacht Charters and become one with the gorgeous lagoons, turquoise waters and unforgettable volcanic sand beaches of St Vincent.

Stay in our beautifully appointed Barefoot Suites and allow us to assist you plan your adventures or take an unplanned sail along the east coast and find yourself in magical untouched anchorages. Drop your anchor in tranquil bays and set foot on areas that appeared in the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean”.

Young Island

Become one with nature, hike to rivers and waterfalls, dive colourful reef and visit the breathtaking Mt Soufriere. There is so much to do on this beautiful island, you could add a new adventure to your list each time to visit.

diving-and-snorkeling

Soufriere

,

FREE Sailing Days!

Every 7 day charter booked with Barefoot Yacht Charters in mid or low season will receive up to 2-3 free sailing days

Mid Season – Add 2 free sailing days (9 days for the price of 7)

Low Season – Add 3 free sailing days (10 days for the price of 7)

 Book in advance to ensure you receive your vessel of choice.

, ,

Purchase Your Own Yacht

There’s nothing quite like sailing your own boat around the magical Islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines, one of the Caribbean’s premier tropical cruising grounds. It gets even better when your boat operates as a commercial charter boat, so you can offset the operating costs against the income earned.

As the only yacht brokerage company physically located in the Caribbean islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines, we offer our clients uncompromising professional integrity, many years of professional broker experience, a selection of great boats and an intimate familiarity with sailing the gorgeous Caribbean waters.

We also offer luxury bareboat and fully crewed yachts, an American Sailing Association (ASA) Sailing School, our own charter and scheduled airlines and an in-house travel agency and tour operator.

See our Yacht Ownership page for more details on how you can benefit from the best of both worlds.

 Featured Yacht

[picture_frame source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”375″ align=”left”]

42′ Fountaine Pajot Venezia 
2000 US$ 239,900
Fully-equipped, in very good condition and ready either to cruise the world or for continued profitable charter management. ‘Inordinate’ is a beautiful boat that has been routinely and expertly maintained by the Barefoot Yacht Charters maintenance team. If you’re looking for an excellent value on a solid global cruising catamaran with thousands of miles left in her, then don’t let this one get away from you. Complete maintenance history is available. Call or email for more information.
[button link=”http://barefootyachts.com/beta/yacht-sales/” color=”blue”]Read More[/button]

Why Start Your Charter From St. Vincent?

We’re right on the doorstep of the Grenadines

Whilst international air access is easier to Grenada or St Lucia than it is to St Vincent, there are several reasons why choosing to start your charter from one of these locations is going to cause you loss of valuable vacation time and considerable additional expense and hassle.

Starting from St Lucia to the north means that you’re going to have to start your charter with a 68-mile sail, including a 5-hour open-ocean passage, in order to reach the Grenadines. Similarly, starting from Grenada will entail a 6 or 7 hour sail, including a 3 hour open-ocean passage – and usually hard on the wind – in order to reach Carriacou, first of the Grenadines north of Grenada. It’s really not a great way to start a charter, particularly if you have inexperienced guests in your party.

Starting from Grenada or St Lucia also means that you are going to have to go through Customs and Immigration clearance procedures when entering or leaving St Vincent & The Grenadines. These procedures can be expensive and time-consuming and will also force you to stop at a specific Port of Entry when entering or leaving the St Vincent Grenadines.

Starting from St Vincent puts you right on the doorstep of the Grenadines. Bequia is only an hour’s sail over the channel. You’ve worked hard for your vacation, and every day counts. There are no Customs and Immigration clearance requirements when sailing within St Vincent & The Grenadines, no clearance fees to pay, and no forms to fill out and e-mail.