We absolutely love this time of year in the Grenadines. It is such a special gift. The sun is shining, the breeze is perfect and days in the islands are filled with a special Christmas magic like no where else on earth.
This year we wanted to share a little of the magic with you, so we have decided to make your Christmas shopping a little easier and help find the most special presents for your loved ones.
Great news ! Barefoot Yacht Charters and Barefoot Offshore Sailing School are now offering Gift Certificates for courses in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Giving the gift of paradise is now easier than ever!
So now you and your family and friends can indulge in the Christmas magic that the Grenadines have to offer :) no matter where you are this holiday season!
Below are a couple of our ultimate Christmas specials that are bound to thrill both the relaxation seeker and adventurer alike! Our Learn to Sail ASA courses and Barefoot Navigator courses have great Christmas discounts:
That’s not all. We are also giving away a FREE dinner at our Barefoot base Driftwood restaurant with every Gift Certificate purchased in December 2017.
Simply purchase a Gift Certificate for a loved one this month and we will gift a FREE dinner for 2 at our beautiful Driftwood restaurant !
Just email us at email@example.com for more information!
Sending island magic your way this holiday season
The Barefoot Family
We would like to provide you with an update following hurricane Irma.
We thank you all for your concerns and kind messages and thankfully report that St Vincent was further south and out of the hurricane force winds and the surges that affected our brothers and sisters in the northern islands.
In St Vincent and the Grenadines, we experienced a small rise in water level and some wind and rain. However our hearts are with our friends up islands who took the brunt of this storm. We are now also reaching out to our friends in the neighbouring islands, who have been severely affected by hurricane Maria. We will provide updates on this as we have more news.
Managing Director of the Barefoot Companies, Philip Barnard says:
“Our thoughts extend to all those affected by the hurricanes, the people of the northern Caribbean as they come to terms with the after-effects of Hurricane Irma. The Caribbean is highly dependent on tourism and these beautiful islands need our support during these times”.
We are relieved to report that St Vincent and the Grenadines will continue to operate as normal following the hurricanes, as we were just south of the line of impact.
At this time, we are pleased to be able to offer assistance to yacht charter companies affected, provide boats in St Vincent and the Grenadines for upcoming charters and also to assist those who’s vacations have been compromised by the storms.
Our hearts remain with all those who have much rebuilding to do and we will continue to provide assistance wherever we can.
If you would like to assist the people of these islands, you can do so through donation at a number of sites, a couple we have listed below:
We are saddened by the devastating effects of Irma and Maria and encourage all to continue traveling to and supporting the islands of the Caribbean.
The Barefoot Family
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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
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!
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
There are so many great reasons to sail in summer and it’s not just for the amazing deals available in off-season.
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.
So now there is no reason not to sail in the off season but what are the benefits?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- You may get good deals on mooring buoys, just ask what their summer rate is.
- Less queues at the bars and restaurants, better service, less waiting.
- 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 next summer! www.barefootyachts.com
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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