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Caribbean News – May 08

Update:  Barbary Duck found off Barbuda

Bill Bailey of Caribbean Marine Surveyors in Tortola, BVI, sent good news: Barbary Duck, which was abandoned December 1st mid-Atlantic, as reported in February’s All at Sea, has been found off Barbuda, dismasted, but otherwise in good shape.

Horizon Yacht Charters Celebrates 10th Birthday

It all began with Horizon Yacht Charters (BVI), established in 1998 by Sylvia Driver and Andrew Thompson.  The company expanded into Grenada and The Grenadines in 2000, opened their third location in Antigua & Barbuda in November 2003, and fourth on St Martin in 2006.  The company is celebrating with numerous special offers:  www.horizonyachtcharters.com for details.

Mercury Creates Fury with Latest Propeller

Mercury Propellers introduced Fury in March, cast from Mercury’s X7 Alloy™. According to Mercury engineers, X7 is 30 percent stronger and four times more durable than conventional stainless steel. The company reports that Fury is built to increase both acceleration and top speed, and notes that the X7 alloy finish is a good fit for both fresh and saltwater applications. Fury is designed for 18-to-22-foot boats powered by outboards with 175 hp or higher and fits Mercury engines, as well as competitive V6 outboard engine models. Fury is available in 24-, 25- and 26-inch pitches and will be available at Mercury Authorized Dealers.  www.mercurymarine.com.

2009 Women’s Keelboat Championship Returns to Houston

Organizers of US Sailing’s Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship—the first world sailing competition created for women—recently announced dates for the next biennial event. Houston Yacht Club (HYC) in La Porte, Texas will once again host the regatta, October 14-17, 2009 which will offer 11 J/22 races in four days and is expected to attract between 40 and 50 teams representing four to 12 countries.  Competitors in the 2007 event included the Caribbean Women’s Keelboat Champion team from the British Virgin Islands (see January 2008 All at Sea.)  A preliminary Notice of Race will be posted online in early 2009 at www.riwkc.com.

Global Marine Travel (GMT) Expands Services

GMT has expanded its payment options and now accepts wire transfers in US Dollars, GB Pounds and Euros. GMT can also accept all major credit cards as well.  “It doesn’t sound like much but in reality it means we aren’t restricted to trade in any single currency,” says company president Tim Davey. The company offers 24 hour services.  “You no longer have to wait until we open at 8 a.m. to contact us and you can call or email at any time whether it’s an emergency or not.” GMT works with airlines to provide Worldwide Seaman’s airfares which they report are one-way, (mostly) fully-refundable, and changeable. www.flygmt.com.

Ferrier Named Marine Professional of the Year 2007

Budget Marine annually recognizes individuals for their contributions to the St. Maarten marine industry and on March 5, in collaboration with the Sint Maarten Marine Trades Association, honored Mike Ferrier with the Marine Professional of the Year Award.  Ferrier was cited for providing better communication and understanding between the Sint Maarten government, local establishments and the marine industry, “given with immense passion, dedication, hard work and good humour.”  He has served on the board of the St.Maarten Marine Trades association for three years, owns NAPA auto, marine and truck, and is a former commissioner in the island government.

Crew Visa Advice for Aruba

Sanders Vellinga of East Wind Marine Services at Renaissance Marina in Aruba offers useful advice for yacht crew.  “In regards to visa requirements for St Maarten for non-North American or EC citizens, I would like to suggest the following:  if one is going to a Netherlands consulate anyway to ask for a visa for the Netherlands Antilles, make use of the opportunity to also ask for a visa for Aruba.  While Aruba is also part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, it has its own visa requirements and will not accept the Netherlands Antilles visa.  We have run into this problem a few times in the last year with yachts that had South American and South African crew members.  The agent’s letter accepted by the authorities in St. Maarten will not work in Aruba.”  For Aruba details, see:  www. brochures.aruba.com/entryreq/2007entryrequirements.pdf 

Storm Sinks “Pirate Ship” in Bahamas

A rented emergency rescue beacon—and good Samaritans aboard a local dive boat—helped prevent the loss of five lives aboard a weather beaten "pirate" ship that took on water and sank Wednesday, February 27 near the Bahamas.

According to BoatU.S., the Treasure Seeker, a 65-foot, diesel-powered pirate ship replica, was en route from St. Petersburg, FL to a new business location in St. Thomas, USVI when it experienced stormy sea conditions. After the captain activated an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), the U.S. Coast Guard in Miami, FL relayed the emergency call to local mariners in the Bahamas. The 104-foot dive boat SV Juliet, departing Turks and Caicos at the time, diverted 45 miles and safely removed all five persons from Treasure Seeker.  Soon afterward, with a USCG helicopter hovering on scene, the twin-masted excursion vessel disappeared below the waves. For more information on the EPIRB rental program for American boaters:  http://www.BoatUS.com/foundation/epirb.

Peters & May and Sevenstar Join Forces for Racing Logistics Service

Peters & May and Sevenstar Yacht Transport have announced a new joint venture that will provide racing teams and yachting associations with a total logistics package offering global solutions for yacht transport, spares positioning, refit work and multi-destination racing programs. Grant Davidson, Logistics Director for Americas Cup Team BMW Oracle stated:  “Current transportation services to the yacht racing community remain fragmented both in term of service offerings and geographic reach.  The combination of Peters & May and Sevenstar will provide a more comprehensive offering resulting in an increased efficiency of service through better planning and execution.”  For information, email craig@petersandmay.com or info@sevenstar.nl.

Old Port Cove Cuts Ribbon on Renovations

Rick Morgan, President & C.O.O. of Old Port Cove Holdings, Inc. was joined by North Palm Beach, Florida Mayor Ed Eissey and Marty Murphy, Sr. of Murphy Marine Construction, Inc. in cutting the ribbon on the newly-renovated Old Port Cove Marina at a February ceremony.  The North Palm Beach, Florida marina has been reconfigured to allow greater slip availability for megayachts and other large craft, with a second phase of work to follow.  www.opch.com.

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