Five New Years Resolutions for 2014
Five New Years Resolutions for 2014
Take the family on a new adventure this year and discover a new destination, make new friends and experience the unique character of each of the island groups that comprise the Caribbean Chain. From the Virgin Islands in the north, the islands curve southward through the Leeward Islands to Dominica and on to the Windward Islands that start in Martiniqueand end at Grenada. Each group is unique in both character and temperament offering the sailor distinctly different sailing experiences.
The Virgins remain a premier sailing destination, where large charter fleets offer a wide range of vessels. The island groups provide natural protection and therefore relatively easy sailing conditions ideal for the first timers, but challenging enough to keep sailors returning year after year.
The Leeward Islands span some 200 miles and include ten main islands that embrace Anguilla to the north and west, then gently curving south to Dominica. The islands are rich in their respective history as well as diverse in both culture and language. The sailing conditions throughout the Leewards vary somewhat. Up in the northeast from Anguilla to St. Martin and onto St. Barts, passages are short. Further south the passages become longer, allowing full exposure to the trade winds and swells, making for exhilarating sailing from island to island.
The Windward Islands, from Martinique to Grenada, lie almost across the easterly trade winds which makes for easy passages north and south and are just far enough apart to allow for some wild romps in the open ocean before tucking into the calm of the next lee shore.
When it's winter up north, there is nothing like a Caribbean sailing charter. The sky is blue, the water transparent and the white sand irresistible--not to forget the sun shining every day. Magic! But how do you soak up all that the Caribbean has to offer without exposing yourself to the potentially dangerous UV exposure and a bad case of sunburn?
We are always looking for new products for our Caribbean cruisers and we are just about to introduce a new line of sailing wear that allows you to look good, keep cool and keep you covered. This line of clothing is thin and breathable and yet provides the maximum UV protection available. All of the products in the line comply with the USA - AATCC 183-2010 standards. Wear them for sun protection while sailing, wear them while snorkeling, when you climb out of the water they will wick dry before you know it.
Check back in our store or sign up for our newsletter for more information on this upcoming product line.
To fully appreciate the richness of the Caribbean, it is necessary to get off the beaten path and sometimes this is best accomplished with the help of a local guide. In Dominica, anchored off Roseau, Dominica’s capital, you can recruit the services of a local guide who will lead you on a hike to one of the many waterfalls. Victoria Falls is a vigorous enough hike to keep you away from the crowds. You cross the White River about five times. This is the highest falls in Dominica, with an impressive volume of water from the Boiling Lake. Dive in for a swim, the water is whitish with a high sulfur content which is considered therapeutic for many aches and pains. Our guide coaxed us under a slight shelter of a rock on the edge of the falls where we were treated to a really awesome view of the cascading water.
Read more about this area in the latest Leeward Island Guide now in stock at the bookstore.
At the beginning of the trail to Victoria Falls our guide, Sea Cat arranged for us to eat with Moses and his family at their “Rastaurant”. A traditional Caribbean kitchen and a roofed dining area, you will eat out of a calabash bowl with a coconut spoon - the food is great!
Our oceans cover 71% of the planet and as sailors we are logically positioned to help save and protect this precious resource that has influenced and helped defined our lives. This year we all need to review how we can individually contribute to a global effort to help preserve the oceans of the world. Here are a few simple suggestions to help your green sailing footprint in 2014:
- Know what is below before dropping your anchor. Never anchor in coral or seagrass and use a mooring wherever possible.
- Avoid fuel spills. Never top off your tanks and always keep absorbent rags available when fueling. Keep engine diapers in place at all times to absorb small oil leaks and dispose of them carefully.
- Before pumping the bilge, check to ensure that no oily residue is present. Never pump holding tanks near coral as the nutrients in the sewage promote algae growth that competes with the coral for space on the reef.
- Select biodegradable cleaning products that ultimately end up in the sea
- Reduce packaging when provisioning. Start off by taking your own reusable bags along and try and reduce the use of disposable plastic containers by the use of re-useable storage containers.
- Work clean. Always use ground tarps and vacuum bags when sanding and try to purchase smaller quantities in order to eliminate waste.
- Take only pictures and leave only bubbles.