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SVG International Airport Opening Soon!

Been waiting patiently to fly directly into St Vincent for your bareboat charter? The time for your fast travel to the islands may be arriving sooner than you think with the new airport.

St Vincent officials have publicly announced an opening date for the new Argyle International Airport.

According to Prime Minister, Ralph Gonzalves, on February 14, 2017 Argyle’s international airport will be ‘open for business’.

In planning and development since Aug 2008, St Vincent’s Argyle airport is intended to offer a nonstop service from North America, Central and South America and Europe to St. Vincent.

The Argyle passenger terminal will be comprised of three floors covering 129,870 square feet in total. The building will have a departure lounge, a rooftop restaurant, full flight facilities, a rooftop garden, a parking area and a large runway designed to accommodate large commercial aircraft.

The airport will also have a terminal building designed to specifically accommodate domestic flights in and out of St Vincent.

The Argyle airport is said to accommodate around 800 passengers at a time and up to 1.5 million passengers per year which will make it possible for many of us to travel less and spend more time doing all the things we love to do on vacation!

Photo by Mark Pratley, Barefoot Yacht Charters

A beautiful 32 islands and cays to discover. From the largest St. Vincent to the tiniest of all, Mopion. This tropical paradise will now be more accessible to those wanting to travel and explore all the beauty of the islands.

It may be time to sail more and fly less.

In planning your next sailing adventure or vacation, be sure to check in with the staff at Barefoot Yacht Charters to learn more about which airlines will be flying directly into St Vincent.

You never know. You may just be able to give yourself an extra day in paradise!

The Barefoot Family 

See some local news on Argyle International Airport here 

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Learn the Art of Barefoot Navigation

The Barefoot Offshore Sailing School is really excited about being able to offer this exclusive, no-tech/low-tech, barefoot navigation course.

We are the very first sailing school to offer this course and it we are launching the early bird price once this year! You can be one of the first to become a Barefoot Navigator! Be warned, places are limited to ensure you get the highest quality, learning experience. We’ve got you intrigued? Do you want to know more?

The Barefoot Navigator

Before we tell you about the course, we need to introduce you to Jack Lagan. Jack is the author of The Barefoot Navigator. Navigating with the skills of the Ancients, A, B, C –  as well as a very experienced sailor and a film maker.  In 2006 The Barefoot Navigator was nominated for the Mountbatten Maritime Prize,

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Jack Lagan, award winning author

awarded annually “to the author of a distinguished publication that has made a significant contribution to maritime history”.

In his book The Barefoot Navigator, which is the cornerstone of the Barefoot Navigation Course, Jack first looks at how the ancients were able to navigate without the technology we take for granted today.

For example, how did the Polynesians manage to populate such a large area of the ocean by using clouds, stars, the sun, wind direction and sea birds? The second half of the book takes this ancient knowledge and applies it to modern day use.

The Objective

To support modern sailors to become not only better navigators but Barefoot pioneers!

We’ll let Jack explain the objective of the course in his own words;

After the course you’ll be a much better navigator than you were when you first stepped onto the boat.  You’ll boast new practical skills inherited from the seafarers of ancient times.  With practice, you will become confident enough to stand on deck, look at the sky, look at the sea around you and just kind of know where you are. You will be a shaman of the sea. You will be a Barefoot Navigator.”

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The Course

Pre-Study

The course is divided into 2 parts. The first part is the pre-study, or the theory. As well as Jack’s book, which will become your bible, you will have access to online eLearning material, specifically tailored for St Vincent and The Grenadines. Its user friendly with lots of graphics.

It’s interesting and not too heavy, plus you have the bonus of being able to work through it at your own pace. There are no exams!

The Practical

This is where it gets really exciting! The second stage of the course takes part on-board a yacht in The Grenadines. You get one week sailing around this beautiful part of the world whilst putting all you have learnt into practise.

And it gets better! Your instructor for the week is the Jack Lagan. Who better to help you than the author “The Barefoot Navigator”? And make sure you have your book for him to autograph.

Tobago Cays Marine Park – (Photo: Mark Pratley, Barefoot Yacht Charters)

The 3 Key Questions

The basis of the course is to help you to answer the 3 key questions:

  • Where are we?

  • How do we get to the next place?

  • Why has the ocean become a zone of uncertainty?

To answer these questions, you will learn to use the indigenous birds in the area, persistent swell directions and the stars, plus other tips from our ancestors.

Wait! No Technology?

All our yachts come fully equipped with up to date navigational equipment. This course is not meant to usurp what we are fortunate to have, however, reliance on such aids can dumb down our instincts.

This course is meant as a supplement. Say, for example, and in the worst case scenario, you end up out at sea with an electronics failure.  After completing this course you will have the confidence, the knowledge, and the skills to be able to reduce the zone of uncertainty regarding where you are and where you should be heading.

Plus, it is fun, it’s getting in touch with our ancestors, it’s going back to basics. It’s living a barefoot lifestyle!

The Details

This great opportunity to open to everyone from beginners to qualified sailors who want to enhance their sailing skills.

Places are limited so find more HERE or email info@barefootoffshore.com for more info on how you can secure your place using the early bird special for the January course! (early bird price available until 10 November 2016)

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BAREFOOT NAVIGATION. Remember, this is the first course of its kind, so not only will you be a barefoot navigator, you will also be a barefoot pioneer!

Email: info@barefootoffshore.com for more information and to book your place!

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7 Reasons to Sail in Summer!

There are so many great reasons to sail in summer and it’s not just for the amazing deals available in off-season.

La Mouette, in the Tobago Cays – (Photo: Mark Pratley, Barefoot Yacht Charters)

The Caribbean in the summer gets a lot of bad press…it’s too hot, it rains a lot, there’s a risk of tropical storms…but for some, including us, cruising in The Grenadines is better in the summer and here’s why.

First let’s address the hurricane risk.  The Atlantic hurricane season is officially from 1 June to 30 November. Statistically tropical storms are more likely to form in the north and The Bahamas and Bermuda have more to worry about than St Vincent and The Grenadines, which is considered to be at the southern edge of the hurricane belt.

With sophisticated weather forecasting, you can get at least 3 days’ notice of any potential problems.  Barefoot Yachting check almost obsessively the weather patterns and if there is any cause for concern they can get you and your yacht to safety. Quickly.

And yes. it is hot and it does rain in the summer, but it doesn’t rain every day and it never rains for long. Everything gets dried out quickly. It’s hot here all year long and whilst it may be a little hotter in the summer, on your yacht you will always get the sea breeze to cool you down.  Still hot? Just jump in and go for a swim.

Petit Tabac, Tobago Cays

Petit Tabac, Tobago Cays – (Photo: Mark Pratley, Barefoot Yacht Charters)

So now there is no reason not to sail in the off season but what are the benefits?

  1. For starters you will get a good deal on your charter, or on a sailing course through BOSS. Less demand means lower prices for you. Not only that but you will get a wider choice of yachts available.
  2. Ironically, despite being hurricane season, in general the winds are a little lighter and the sea state more comfortable than in the winter. Perfect sailing weather.
  3. The crowds have gone! You don’t have to miss out on a great days sailing by having rush to get a mooring buoy, or a decent spot in the anchorage.  Tobago Cays without a hundred other yachts there!
  4. The islands are completely different in the summer. They have a much more relaxed feel about them because not everyone is chasing a dollar or two and coping with the hoards. You feel you’re getting to know the true Grenadines.
  5. You may get good deals on mooring buoys, just ask what their summer rate is.
  6. Less queues at the bars and restaurants, better service, less waiting.
  7. The shops won’t run out of ice!

So, a bargain boat, good sailing, no crowds and ice for your Rum Punch.  It’s a no brainer really.

Join us for summer 2017! www.barefootyachts.com

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Barefoot’s Safer Sunscreen Checklist

It is now possible to choose our level of sun protection and ingredients in the sunscreen we use when we are sailing thanks to the Barefoot Yacht Charters Safer Sunscreen Checklist!

We all need some sunlight because it gives us 80% of the Vitamin D that we need, the trick is not to burn.

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Photo – Mark Pratley, Barefoot Yacht Charters

If you are sailing in The Grenadines, then you are going to be spending a lot of time in the cockpit.  Even if you have your bimini up, you are still going to be exposed from the reflection from the water.  Protecting the skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays is important for both preventing skin cancer and reducing the rate of skin aging.

Depending on your skin tone, between 10-20 minutes a day of sunlight is good for you. Beyond that we need to think about protecting our skin from the harmful UV rays.

You can reduce exposure by following some simple principles:

  • Avoid going out in the sun.
  • Wear long sleeves and a hat
  • Sit in the shade

Doesn’t sound like a fun holiday right?

So now we need to consider sunscreens.  The most widely available sunscreens are chemical based and work mainly by absorbing UV light. Most penetrate the skin to some degree, can enter the bloodstream and cause serious health conditions.

As a follower of the Barefoot Lifestyle I try to avoid synthetic chemicals as much as I can and this applies to sunscreens.

My reasons why? Because some of the ingredients can release free radicals in sunlight, act like oestrogen and therefore disrupt hormones, cause allergic reactions and skin irritations.

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Photo – Mark Pratley, Barefoot Yacht Charters

In addition, when we jump into the sea we are releasing these chemicals and there is some evidence that it is causing coral bleaching by promoting viral infections.

Recent studies on sunscreen also suggest that the

“titanium dioxide in sunscreens is largely responsible for dramatic spikes in hydrogen peroxide levels in coastal waters with potentially dangerous consequences for aquatic life”.

Tony Gibbons Beach, Bequia

Tony Gibbons Beach, Bequia

At present sunscreens have no rigorous safety standards.

Until recently, anyone who didn’t want to use these toxic chemicals had to make their own sunscreens using natural ingredients with a natural SPF such as non-Nano zinc oxide, Almond Oil, Coconut Oil, Red Raspberry Seed Oil, Carrot Seed Oil, and Shea Butter.

This is a great, fun thing to do, but when it comes to packing for your holidays it is more convenient to be able to buy something off the shell…one less thing to worry about! The good news is that the market place has embraced natural sunscreens and there are a few to choose from such as Erbaviva Sunscreen or Purple Prairie SunStuff. Barefoot Yacht Charters also carry a local Caribbean brand of natural sunscreen at the Barefoot Yacht Charters Boutique. Ask our lovely front desk ladies for more information!

To help you, Barefoot Yacht Charters have created a Safer Sunscreen Checklist to help you choose which sunscreen product to buy.  Get your copy here!

 

 

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Barefoot Easter Hunt!

The Barefoot Easter hunt is on!

Barefoot Yacht Charters’ Easter hunt of the year is on and we are giving away fun Easter prize packs to our St Vincent and the Grenadines charterers!

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Barefoot is giving away special Easter prize packs for the most loved photographs and it’s simple to win!

Do you have a favourite photograph of the islands or of you and your family?

Did you capture a special scene or moment while sailing with Barefoot Yacht Charters?

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All you have to do is send us your favourite photograph of your sailing vacation in St Vincent and the Grenadines, then come on over to the Barefoot Yacht Charters Facebook page where we will announce the winners!

Follow these simple steps to enter the Barefoot Easter hunt:

  1. Find your favourite photograph of your sailing vacation with Barefoot in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
  2. Email your photo to us at media@barefootyachts.com or upload your photograph to Facebook with hashtag #thebarefootlifestyle
  3. Add a short story about your photograph and share the moment with us (optional).
  4. Come on over to the Barefoot Yacht Charters Facebook page where we will announce the winners.

Sailing combines the best of St Vincent and the Grenadines plus the ultimate family holiday in one vacation. Your experience with us is what matters most to us and we would love to hear of your adventures and your special moments.

Sailing through the famous 32 islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines gives you a unique perspective on a spectacular area that is experienced by only a chosen few. You have the opportunity to visit secluded bays and really experience the very best of the nature in the islands. You have the evenings to yourself to enjoy stunning sunsets and to walk the beaches of uninhabited islands. You, as a Barefoot charterer, are unique!

You love to sail, you enjoy the sea and you work hard to get here. So join the Easter hunt and give yourself the opportunity to receive a special gift just from us at Barefoot.

Happy Easter from the Barefoot family!

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Contact Us

Contact Us

 

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Barefoot Sailing for Valentines Day

Valentines Day or Saint Valentines Day is traditionally a special celebration of all things LOVE.

This auspicious day is fast approaching this year and is widely celebrated throughout the islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines. This time of year is a big deal in the islands and you can expect to find special events at the numerous restaurants as you sail in and out of your favourite bays.

At Barefoot Yacht Charters, we make it simple for you to enjoy a romantic day out on the water, loved up and stress free. Treat your loved one to a romantic day sail, a relaxing glass of wine as the sun goes down or a stunning sunset dinner on deck under the stars.

There are many ways to enjoy the best of this special day, making the most of the stunning beaches, scenic walks, sunset spots and charming islands restaurants.

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Sail down the islands early to enjoy your romantic day relaxing in the Tobago Cays. Go for a gentle kayak or snorkel with the turtles by day then enjoy the romantic hours on the water at night.

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Take a sunset stroll along white sand beaches and watch the spectacular sunset as the sky turns shades of watermelon, rose pink and coral then spend the evening on your private charter boat under the stars.

BOSS National GeographicArrange a picnic rug and dinner (try Driftwood’s gourmet meals for the perfect romantic ‘to-go’ meals), a bottle of wine and enjoy an intimate dinner on any one of the beautiful west-facing beaches!

Enjoy dinner at Driftwood Restaurant on St Vincent, the cozy Bagatelle’ on the stunning Friendship Beach or the famous Basil’s Bar in Mustique. Many other restaurants often have special events on this special day.

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Whatever you dream of this Valentines Day, these beautiful islands have you covered.

Barefoot Yachts – 3 Generations of Selfless Sailors

Barefoot Yacht Charters has a love of Sailing…and Animals

Barefoot Yacht Charters in St. Vincent and the Grenadines sails smoothly in the capable hands of founder/owner Mary Barnard. It’s therefore no surprise that the same drive and dedication she puts into Barefoot Yacht Charters extends to her volunteer work as president of the non-profit Vincentian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Mary Barnard

Mary Barnard

Mary is not alone in her love for animals. Her daughter Leslie Barnard and partner Winston Ferguson, owners of the Driftwood Restaurant and Lounge at Barefoot Yacht Charters, are both on the VSPCA’s board of directors. Three happy canines – Lily, Lulu and Peipo – are part of the menagerie residing at the homes of Barefoot operations manager Philip Barnard and director of the Barefoot Offshore Sailing School, James Ward (Mary’s son and grandson). The dogs (two are rescues) usually spend their days lounging around one office or the other as their owners work to ensure fabulous yachting vacations for their guests.

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Three generations of sailing lovers…and animal lovers.

To find out about the history, activities and achievements of the VSPCA from its incorporation in October 2011 to present, go to their website, www.vincentianspca.org or Facebook. What isn’t chronicled is that of the first president, Kiersten Anderson, was the hull of the VSPCA’s massive undertaking in its early months, then Mary Barnard is the superstructure itself.

President for two years, Mary oversees the dedicated service of less than a dozen active volunteers – all with jobs, businesses, families and pets of their own to tend to, and without a central location to work from. But that doesn’t stop them from organizing fundraisers; managing the accounts; writing grant proposals; ordering pharmaceuticals; handling advertising; creating brochures and flyers; answering questions via phone and email; maintaining a website; picking up and storing donated food, medicines, collars, auction items, etc.; dealing with legal issues; educating the public… Plus the actual hands-on work of rescuing animals in crisis and finding them foster and adoptive homes, and organizing/working at the VSPCA’s community spaying and neutering clinics for the pets of low-income families throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Owner donations average about 10 percent of the VSPCA’s clinic costs, but the journey continues towards a zero-population growth of SVG’s dogs and cats. Preventing this cruelty – that of allowing thousands of our companion animals to be born into a lifetime of hunger, disease and pain – is one of the VSPCA’s top priorities.

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In addition to ensuring a steady course towards its goals, Mary also plunges into her role as ambassador, mediator and head schmoozer, as she coaxes her way through countless obstacles of apathy and even distain, and the proverbial red tape seen in governments, private organizations and individuals. But with a captain’s determination to weather adverse conditions she convinces others that the work and the recipients of the VSPCA are worthy to receive assistance in any form: financial, in duty-free concessions, visiting-vet work permits, donations of goods and services, and on and on.

Clearly, with Mary Barnard at the helm of Barefoot Yacht Charters and the VSPCA, and with family and crew aiming towards ideal destinations, both visitors and animals will continue to receive the consideration, care and commitment they deserve.

 

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We are Going Green! Smart Antifouling Solution at Barefoot Yacht Charters

 We are going GREEN!
The beautiful waters of St Vincent and Grenadines are lush and filled with tropical flora and fauna for all to enjoy. At Barefoot Yacht Charters, we are dedicated to keeping it that way.

It is our goal to help reduce threats to our marine ecosystems by careful attention to boat maintenance and use.

Many antifouling paints are harmful to marine life such as turtles, rays, fish, sea birds, shellfish. Even a small amount of toxic chemicals can easily disrupt their natural habit and reduce their life span. We believe it is our duty to help to preserve our sea and wildlife.

 

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The new Sea Hawk Smart Solution is the next generation in antifouling technology.

It is engineered to be the most effective environmentally friendly antifouling paint available. Smart Solution provides equivalent performance to traditional antifoulants, but utilizes completely METAL-FREE biocides resulting in no bioaccumulation in the environment.

Sea Hawk have long been an industry leader in bottom paints and barefoot has used their products for sometime. Smart Solution is undergoing testing on our fleet with very promising results so far and will be fully employed through out our entire fleet by summer 2016.

Philip Barnard, Managing Director of the Barefoot Yacht Charters and The Barefoot Group of Companies shared the company’s vision and it’s decision to introduce the new Smart Solution to the fleet.

“The request for an environmentally friendly bottom paint was received by all other paint companies like asking for it to be day and night at the same time, it just could not be done. The addition of Smart Solution to the Sea Hawk product line came as a great comfort to us at Barefoot Yachts as we have been searching for an alternative to the poisonous bottom paints used in the charter industry for some years now. Smart Solution works with the environment instead of against it using nature to protect our boat bottom instead of trying to kill everything that comes close to it. This is another great leap forward for our Barefoot lifestyle”.

SeaHawk

Smart Solution is the next generation in antifouling technology.

is engineered to be the most effective environmentally friendly antifouling paint available. Smart Solution provides equivalent performance to traditional antifoulants, but utilizes completely METAL-FREE biocides resulting in no bioaccumulation in the environment. The coating’s reaction to salt water creates a slick film that encapsulates the hull, providing enhanced speed and premium performance against growth.

  • Environmentally-friendly metal free bottom paint
  • Slick film when launched
  • Copper-free
  • Compatible over existing antifoulants
  • Increased speed
  • Llyod’s Registry Certified
“In our ongoing effort to reduce our impact on the areas we sail, Barefoot is proud to continue our partnership with Sea Hawk paints and maintain the natural beauty of St Vincent and the Grenadines.” Philip Barnard
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!