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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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”.
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!
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!
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 🙂
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.
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.
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.
Arrange 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.
Whatever you dream of this Valentines Day, these beautiful islands have you covered.
When you sail the blue-green waters of the southern Caribbean with Barefoot Yacht Charters, you might want a break from the pleasures of diving, snorkeling and sunbathing to visit one of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ spectacular land sites.
If you’re in the mood to party Vincy style, get a better sense of Vincentians and their culture, ‘events’ are the way to go. Whatever your idea of a ‘must-see’ event, big or small, there are plenty to choose from in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Since not all 2016 dates are available as of this writing, let Barefoot Yacht Charters help with your itinerary as your vacation time approaches.
Music starts SVG’s year of activities with the Mustique Blues Festival. Premiere performances from local, regional and international artistes run from 20 January to 3 February. And the Bequia Music Festival enlivens that island from 21- 24 January. Blues, country, steel pan, calypso, jam sessions on the beach, with plenty barbeque, dancing, jump ups and fun
Theatre, gospel and dance Performing Arts festivals happen in February, April, September and November. So very Vincy are these shows, usually locally written and choreographed.
March brings a religious and fun side to many Easter celebrations, one of the most popular being Easterval on Union Island, starting the 19th. Then island hop to the Bequia Easter Regatta with its boat races, sports, games, music and street jumps from the 24th – 28th.
But, if your vacation dates don’t coincide with this one, catch the Mayreau and Canouan Regattas in May. Also in May, the Maroon Festival on Union Island explodes with flavourful foods, dancing, folksongs and drum-throbbing excitement – all to persuade the gods to bring rain to their desert island. While on Union, don’t miss their Full Moon Party!
If steel pan, soca, calypso, beauty pageants, colourful costumes, painted bodies, pounding beats and dancing feet are your thing, Vincy Mas (Carnival) is a definite must-see. Carnival officially starts 24 June and ends 5 July, but if you can’t participate in this celebration on the mainland, Bequia and Union Island Carnivals come alive a week or two earlier, while the islanders jump up at the Canouan Carnival towards the end of July.
It’s not surprising that there’s a whole Fisherman’s Month in April, and on Bequia a special Fisherman’s Day Competition in July. Lots of action, parties and delicious eating! Then in August, SVG showcases its historically famous, bountiful and versatile tree during the Breadfruit Festival. Also in August, Emancipation Month, with events to commemorate the end of slavery. Leap forward to Independence Day, 27 October, a celebration with parades, beauty pageants, sport competitions (cycling very popular), and activities of all sorts. Even British naval vessels join in the fun.
The unique Nine Mornings before Christmas festival takes place in communities throughout the islands. The party begins in capital Kingstown around 3.00 a.m. with a lighted flambeau street parade, traditional Vincy music, carols and games, and refreshments such as sorrel drinks and ducana (a sweet cassava delicacy wrapped in banana leaves and boiled). Nothing like this nine-day party anywhere.
Whatever must-see events in St Vincent and the Grenadines excite you, sail to them with Barefoot Yacht Charters. Vincy pleasures from the sea, the land and its people await you.