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Annapolis Sailboat Show – New Boats!

Each year in October, sailors from all over the globe come together in beautiful, historic Annapolis for the United States Sailboat Show. This internationally acclaimed sailboat show is well known as the largest and most prestigious sailboat show in the world.

This year, like many others, there has much anticipation and excitement for this weekend of enjoyment and it all starts today.

However, this year we are even more excited than usual as we have some BIG NEWS to share with you !

We are excited to announce that Barefoot Yachts is partnering with The Yacht Sales Company – USA, to bring you an incredible selection of NEW 2018 Lagoon Catamarans!

These all-new boats have been hand-picked and recommended by our staff for maximum enjoyment, and best value. Lagoon has been carefully chosen by us because it’s the most versatile multihull on the market today.

Especially perfect for families and couples who want spacious, wide open cruising, with plenty of natural light and amenities for everyone and they’re also profitable, for those who own them and want to be in the elite Barefoot Captains’ Fleet.

We’re kicking off this new chapter in Barefoot’s history by making these boats available at the United States Sailboat Show, which is happening THIS WEEKEND in Annapolis, Maryland! Come aboard and let our team at The Yacht Sales Company show you what all the fuss is about. Contact us HERE if you would like FREE SHOW PASSES to see the new Lagoons!

And if you’re not quite ready for a new boat, but you’d like to sail on a brand new Lagoon Catamaran, or other, in charter, then EMAIL US now as the winter season is rapidly booking up.

We are so grateful that we were unaffected by the recent hurricanes in the northern and western Caribbean, and Florida. The beautiful Grenadines were spared altogether. But this also means that there are a lot of good people on the hunt for good boats and charters because other parts of the Caribbean will not be ready for customers this season.

Let us welcome you back to your home port in the southern Caribbean with a new boat from Lagoon!

With love from the islands,
The Barefoot Family

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Meet Our Guests, Mark and Olivia!

The Following is the travel log of 2 of our Barefoot friends and regular charterers, Mark Pratley and Olivia.

They sailed for 2 weeks through the islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines this year and documented their experience!

Thank you Mark and Olivia for sharing your island adventure with us.

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5 Travel Tips for your Caribbean Vacation

Planning, packing and traveling to your favourite travel destination may be inevitable, but feeling stressed in the process isn’t. Today we share our top tips on how to plan, create and enjoy a memorable Caribbean holiday.

  1. Pack Light. We have all overpacked at some point in our traveling lives and in some instances we do require that extra jacket, hat or pair of jeans during our travel.. but many times it just ends up following you home unused at the end of the trip. Our tip? Only pack the essentials. Pack only what you need and then allow 1 or 2 extra items. You will feel lighter, probably find you still don’t need all of it and airports will become a lot more enjoyable for the whole family. Download your FREE Packing Checklist to help you choose the items that are most important for you! 
  2. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Travel is mostly exciting because of the journey and experiences, however we also get excited during the planning process which is also an important part of the thrill. A little planning can perfectly assist in creating a fun-filled vacation but it’s very easy to go overboard on the planning which can turn into stress. Many of us have tried to ‘make the most’ of a vacation at some point only to be disappointed if it doesn’t work out ‘perfectly’. Remember if you’re in the islands with those you love, it’s already perfect! Avoid trying to create the magical experience and simply just be present and enjoy each moment as it happens naturally.
  3. Boost your body. Give yourself a travel health kick 1 week prior to sailing. Add some extra B Vitamins and Vitamin C into your intake during the last week and boost your body for travel. B Vitamins can help lower stress levels and prevent mosquito bites and Vitamin C may help to prevent seasickness and reduce the risk of contracting colds and flu while traveling.
  4. Use your boat extras. Your boat is your home on water for a week or more so why not make the most of its facilities? Plan a beautiful BBQ night on board one evening, create a romantic star lit dinner in the cockpit, sit on the bow with a cocktail for sunsets, use your snorkel gear and water sports gear to enjoy the beautiful reefs and surrounds at your leisure
  5. Take only memories, leave only footsteps. Make lasting memories through photography, video, connections and laughter. Look at the gorgeous fish, coral, shells, flora and animal life around the islands. Although you may be tempted to touch, remember all the beauty that is there will await your next visit. Leave your footprints and sand castles and take your photographs, stories and life long memories. 

Just like life itself, sailing often comes with many different experiences. Some planned and others unexpected. As much as we strive to deliver the very best charter experience for you, how much you enjoy the ride is really up to you! Look at each encounter as an opportunity and let your island journey take you on an adventure of a lifetime. Relax, learn, play and enjoy every moment! Feel happy knowing that you’ve done your research and are making the best decisions for you and your family.  You’ve put the work into creating this trip and it’s time to reap the rewards.

It’s time to relax and enjoy your holiday!

From the Barefoot Family

 

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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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A brand new course to celebrate BOSS’s 20th Anniversary!

This year B.O.S.S celebrates our 20th Year anniversary of sharing our Barefoot Offshore Sailing School with a brand new course! What an amazing journey it has been!

Over these years, thousands of sailors have passed through our Basic Learn and Cruise to Bareboat Skippers License courses.

Many of these students have gone on to complete their Advanced Offshore Courses on our exciting St. Lucia – St Maarten 9-day course and further their knowledge with our in-house add-on courses such as our Yachtsman’s Rigging and Diesel Engine Courses.

We are proud to welcome our graduates back to the waters of St Vincent and the Grenadines, to go on charter and partake in our very own homegrown courses.

A brand new course we are most excited and pleased to offer is The Barefoot Navigator alongside well-known author Jack Lagan. 

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The Barefoot Navigator course has been developed to provide hands on ancient navigation skills. We use everything  around us, from the indigenous birds of the area, wave and wind directions and the stars above to fix our position.

“Come join us as we rekindle the ancient navigation arts through the Barefoot Navigator”. Designed to help all sailors reduce their “Zone of Uncertainty” while out on the water. You may ask “how can we possibly do this?” The answer; by rekindling the navigation arts and techniques of the ancient seafarers!

Clients always ask us how are we able to set our prices at such excellent competitive rates. The answer is simple. We are the most active sailing school in the West Indies and have a high volume of clients who take our courses. We also own our own Marina and this helps us cut costs as we do all of our maintenance, turn arounds etc. all at our base.

We invite all sailors, old and new to come and join us as we continue to push forward purposefully to help all better their knowledge and skills both on and off the water. We are pleased to continue offering the full sleeve of ASA (American Sailing Association) Courses alongside our BOSS courses.

Come join us for some fun learning in the sun!

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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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St Vincent and the Grenadines – Zika Virus FREE

The rapid spread of Zika virus through the Americas, together with the association of infection with microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome, have propelled this previously ignored virus into the limelight. 

Says Professor Esper Kallas of University of San Paolo, Brazil.

What is Zika?

Zika fever is transmitted among humans by mosquito bites. It is a member of the flavivirus family, which includes the dengue virus.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outline that “most individuals (75%) infected with Zika virus experience mild or no symptoms”. About 25% of infected people develop symptoms 2-10 days after infection in four people may develop mild flu symptoms and a light rash that can last between two and seven days.

The World Health Organisation says people affected should drink plenty of fluids, ensure they rest regularly and treat pain and fever with common medicines.

Which countries are affected?

The World Health Organization has placed travel notices for those countries experiencing the transmission of the ZIKA virus.

This list of countries currently includes the US Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a U.S territory, Saint Martin, Barbados, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti and Jamaica. A map on the Pan American Health Organisation website is updated weekly.

Should we be concerned about Zika in St Vincent and the Grenadines?

There have been no reports of the Zika virus in the islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines, and no travel notices are issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).

If you are traveling to and from St Vincent and the Grenadines, do keep in mind that travelers who visit a country where Zika is found could still become infected if bitten by a mosquito in those areas (download our checklist to help avoid this HERE). Imported cases may result in local spread of the virus.

Prevention for Travelers

When traveling to countries where Zika virus or other viruses are spread by mosquitoes, it is important to take precaution:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.

We have created a special Mosquito Prevention Travel Checklist for you to download below to help you reduce your risk of mosquito bites wherever you go!

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have created a checklist for travellers which you can download directly from our checklist. We are dedicated to keeping you healthy and happy!

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We want you to experience the very best of the Grenadines with nothing to worry about except which island to which you would like to set sail 🙂