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Caribbean News May 2011

Long Term Yacht Storage at
Curaçao Marine Without Time Restrictions

Curaçao Marine announced they are to be granted 'customs free zone' status and will able to store yachts without time restriction. Before the zone was set up yachts received a permit for six months with the possible option of extending the permit to 12 months maximum. For longer stays the yacht had to leave the island, visit a foreign port, then return and clear back in to Curaçao.

According to a press release issued by Curaçao Marine, with Free Zone status an absent owner will be allowed to keep his yacht in storage in the marina or on the hard indefinitely, without the hassle of obtaining permit extensions etc.

When the owner and/or crew return to Curaçao to make the yacht ready to leave or cruise, they will receive a new permit for six months. This permit can be extended to the maximum 12 months. After that, an extension can be obtained once the yacht leaves and returns from a foreign port, or the vessel can go back into the Free Zone.

Cuba, Jamaica, Cayman Agree
to Co-op Marine Promotion Plan

With anticipation that U.S. President Barack Obama will soon lift the travel ban on American tourists visiting Cuba, representatives of Cuba, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands met during the Miami International Boat Show to draft a strategy to handle the predicted influx of boats heading south.

Figures from the U.S. Coast Guard and Florida vessel registration authorities indicate that there are more than 600,000 boats in Florida alone that are capable of making the 90-mile sea voyage from South Florida to Cuba. U.S. boats have been barred from visiting Cuba for more than 50 years.

The representatives included Commodore Jose Miguel Diaz Escrich, representing Cuba's major marina provider, Marlin; Dale B. Westin, representing the Port Authority of Jamaica; plus Neville Scott, representing Cayman Island marina interests. All agreed that any relaxation of the travel ban for Americans to visit Cuba would have the effect of creating a new Central Caribbean cruising ground consisting primarily of Cuba, plus the Cayman Islands and Jamaica.

In addition to marketing the three-country cruising ground, the representatives forecast the formation of the Caribbean Marine Trades Association that would serve as an umbrella organization to promote yachting tourism to the Central and Western Caribbean.

For additional information and details about the proposed Caribbean Marine Trades Association, contact Jamaican representative Dale B. Westin at dwestin@portjam.com

The Moorings Partners with
Sail Caribbean Divers in the BVI

The Moorings have announced a new partnership with Sail Caribbean Divers, a PADI 5 Star Dive Center with 10 years of service to recreational and professional divers in the BVI. From their office at The Moorings Village, Sail Caribbean Divers will operate a reservations desk offering Rendezvous Diving and Scuba Educational Programs to The Moorings charter guests.

"More and more travelers are incorporating adventure and education into their vacation experience, such as learning or practicing a new skill abroad," says Mike Rowe PADI Co-Director. "We realize that families often refine their traditional travel plans for more meaningful and interactive vacations. A sailing, diving, snorkeling and water sports vacation can certainly address their wishes."

Cheryl Powell, COO of The Moorings noted, "We are thrilled to name Sail Caribbean Divers as an official partner of The Moorings. Their office is a great addition to The Moorings Village, and wonderful means to provide our charter guests with access to snorkel safaris, rendezvous diving and Discover Scuba Diving programs from a highly qualified team."

For information about The Moorings charter vacations and adding a Sail Caribbean Divers package to your charter, visit www.moorings.com or call 1-800-535-7289.

Ondeck Raises the Bar in
Antigua for Superyacht Training

Antiguan based sailing charter and training company Ondeck, has announced that they are now able to offer STCW '95 Basic Safety Training in Antigua. STCW 95 Basic Safety Training is a globally recognized qualification and a requirement for all levels of crew working on commercial vessels over 24m long.

The UK based Maritime and Coastguard agency, which sets the global standard in marine training, have issued Ondeck with approval to run the STCW'95 Basic Safety Training week after a recent visit to Antigua to assess the facilities and course components.

Ondeck has invested over $200,000 USD in the program including a new firefighting facility and equipment. Peter Anthony, Chairman of Ondeck said: "It is an extremely exciting time for Ondeck and for Antigua. With this new facility we are looking forward to raising the bar for Superyacht training and local safety training in the Caribbean."
eb@ondeckoceanracing.com

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