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Hurricanes Irma and Maria

Paraquita Bay Tortola BVI ReutersAs Hurricane Irma carved its vicious path of destruction across the Leeward Islands and then continued her course to ravage the Virgin Islands before heading for Cuba and the Florida Keys, the communities of the Caribbean islands, still reeling from the impact, stood strong and defiant as the wheels of various relief efforts started to turn. Within days Hurricane Maria plotted yet another course of mayhem across Dominica and then on to the Virgin Islands as a Category 5 storm before taking aim at Puerto Rico.

Thousands of homes were lost or damaged and communities throughout the Caribbean continue to struggle to provide fresh water, housing and basic supplies to the thousands of displaced residents.  As images of the devastation emerge around the world people are asking what they can we do to help.

As sailors, charterers and vacationers many of us have over the years enjoyed the pristine sailing waters of the Caribbean and accepted the warm hospitality of the local communities. Now it is our turn to support them to get back on their feet. We have taken a quick review of the various relief funds that have been set up throughout the region and listed them below. There are numerous broad based relief funds that work with community leaders and there are individual GoFundMe efforts established by small companies to help rebuild their businesses. We ask you to join us in supporting this ongoing effort by donating to the fund of your choice (see below).

Beyond the reality of today we should consider how we can continue our support after the media images cease. The cruising grounds haven't changed substantially as a result of the two catastrophic storms. The infrastructure that supports chartering will quickly re-gather strength and vitality, charter fleets will be replenished and therefore the best thing that we can do is to continue to cruise the islands this coming winter season, book a charter or plan a cruise to these beautiful islands and spend a little money doing what we all love to do, sail in the warm waters of paradise. Let's make tomorrow a vision of hope and optimism for our friends in the Caribbean. We at Cruising Guide Publications are following the rebuilding efforts of our friends throughout the islands and will be posting updates and timetables by island on our website.

We thank you for your support.

Simon Scott, Publisher

Global Relief Funds:

See addtional BVI aid sites here.
Additional informational links to help you find a way to help:

 

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