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 for summer 2017! www.barefootyachts.com
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!
Sailing with your family, working together as a team to help crew a yacht, and enjoying time out from the rigours of daily life, will leave you with indelible memories you love to revisit again and again around the dinner table.
Sailing, whether as a leisure activity or competitive sport, requires teamwork – and there are roles to fulfill for even the most junior member of the family. Sailing together, a family practise coordination, cooperation, and together overcome the challenges that come with the sport. The mutual satisfaction of crewing a boat successfully helps bonding, as well as improving individual self esteem and confidence.
Incorporating activity and exercise into family holidays helps reinforce a healthy attitude to getting up, out and moving, with kids coming quickly to associate being outdoors and active with having fun. Add into that the health benefits for kids of exercising at all, such as better immediate strength, flexibility and endurance, and the long term protections afforded against conditions such as type two diabetes, and getting on to the water together is a natural choice.
Enjoy the bounty of nature
Getting children (not to mention adults), away from screens, from the distractions of TV, computer games and continual stimulation, is no mean feat. However, finding the time for a break, especially one where kids get to stop, look around, and be amazed by something new, is in incredibly valuable thing to do, for all round mental well being. Kids who spend too long in front of screens struggle to sleep, can struggle with attention disorders and show heightened rates of obesity, as a result of a more sedentary lifestyle.
Persuading even reluctant family members to give up the computer shouldn’t be too difficult once they experience the outstanding nature on offer in the local area. The waters around St Vincent and the Grenadines are blessed with a fantastic range of wildlife for the family to spot and enjoy whilst you sail. Eleven species of dolphins have been identified in our waters, including pan-tropical and spinner dolphins. You may also get to see pilot and sperm whales, not to mention any of the 225 different types of fish that call our area home.
Help your kids to slow down and drink in the beauty of it all, by spending time talking as a family about what you see and experience. Not only will this help everyone appreciate the moment more, it also helps to cement what you see as permanent memories to revisit in future.
A final sensory pleasure for the whole family to enjoy, is to indulge in the fantastic range of tropical fruits, fresh fish and local vegetables that are available for you during your trip. Tropical Fruits like Paw Paw (Papaya), Guava, Cashew, Pineapple, Passion Fruit, Banana, Soursop, Sapodilla, Coconut, Breadfruit, Sorrel and Mango are popular, and can be found fresh and plentiful. Try also the local Vegetables such as the spinach-like Callaloo, Plantains, Okra and Christophene, along with better known produce such as Sweet Potato and Yam. Introduce your family to these delights, and add an extra dimension to your trip, that they’ll recall every time they taste the flavours of the area again.
Plan to prevent problems
Travelling with the family means getting organised to ensure everything goes smoothly, from the big things, like having insurance cover in place well in advance and that it extends to partaking on this kind of holiday, to the small, like making sure the kids choose a favourite toy to carry along. Some time spent in advance talking about what to expect, what wildlife and scenery you may see, and how the boat you have chosen operates, will help kids get excited in advance, and focused on enjoying the experience once they’re here. Age appropriate reads can be found to stimulate the discussion.
Read up on the likely climate for the time you plan to visit, to make sure you pack perfectly. Don’t forget to research and pick up any relevant performance clothing, or essential personal kit for your brood. Having the right gear means there’s no such thing as bad weather!
A family sailing holiday is a perfect mix of action adventure, meditative silence, dazzling nature, and family bonding, to mean every member of your party can have their ideal trip. Each journey is different, but what unites all our family sailing adventures is the fact you carry away with you a unique and unforgettable set of family memories to treasure.
Barefoot Contributor, Susie Lynam
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