The world continues to be in dire straits economically, we are told. But this season the Virgin Islands charter boat industry has been booming. Charlie has never seen more boats in the anchorages and more and more folks are coming to learn how to sail and eventually go cruising. So is the economy not as [...]
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Mar 29 2013in Charter Julian_Putley
The hi-tech revolution continues at almost impossible speed. You can buy the latest and greatest cell phone, computer or computerized gadget only to be told a few weeks later that it’s obsolete and a new super model is out with all kinds of new apps. Uuuurm, apps means mobile applications you can install on your [...]
Mar 5 2013in Live Julian_Putley
Charlie often contemplates his first offshore passage on his own boat, a 28ft engineless cutter, restored from dereliction and sailed to Bermuda from the Virgin Islands in the mid seventies. The boat was beyond basic but Charlie had learned the rudiments of celestial navigation and wanted to put his skills to practical use. The boat [...]
Mar 4 2013in Live Julian_Putley
In the days of yore – or let’s say early 19th Century – on board ship, the rations per man, per meal, were likely to be a hunk of salt pork, sea biscuits (with weevils), a chunk of bread … and perhaps some pickled cabbage to keep the scurvy at bay (thanks to explorer Captain [...]
Dec 20 2012in Charter Julian_Putley
As I write this there has been another report of a fatal shark attack off the coast of California and again the victim was a surfer. The news report said it was likely to be a Great White and that a surf board with fins slicing through the waves could easily be mistaken for a [...]
By now the Off Season is behind us. It’s a funny thing but by the end of the summer season, as August winds down, everyone in the tourism industry is ready for a break; restful weekends and holidays are anticipated as employees wave goodbye to the last tourists with a sigh of relief. But by [...]
Charlie loves this phrase. It has two meanings: typically in cruising parlance it means to visit a destination and leave it in as good or better a state than when you arrived. This philosophy means that those coming after you will be welcomed rather than treated with suspicion, disdain or perhaps even hatred. Some cruisers [...]
Charlie, in his role as a sailing instructor, was recently asked to do a power boat course on a motorized catamaran. Charlie has always treated motor boats with some disdain: Where’s the skill? Where’s the pleasure? Where’s the sense of achievement? Cruising sailors have the philosophy that the enjoyment is in the journey not just [...]
Aug 28 2012in Charter Julian_Putley
‘In order to move forward we need to remember the past’. This well known philosophy is often applied to political history but it can also be applicable to just about anything. Charlie remembers the fledgling bareboat industry in the BVI in the early 70s. Yachts had no electric anchor windlasses; dinghies had no outboards (except [...]
Jul 31 2012in Charter Julian_Putley
This year, 2012, marks an amazing achievement – 60 years as a reigning monarch for Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, celebrated in grand style in June, with various events and jubilation taking place throughout the year. Sixty years! Phew! What a lengthy time span to be under the public eye, scrutinized at every turn, [...]
High tech systems and user friendly equipment on yachts have improved dramatically over the years. Furling systems for sails, from slab to in-mast and in-boom are an example. Electric winches and windlasses are another as well as a plethora of electronic navigation aids. But what happens when they don’t work? Charlie once saw an in-mast [...]
May 29 2012in Charter Julian_Putley
“We’re going to have conch for dinner,” exclaimed the very independently-minded young guest. “Look, I’ve collected a pile over there on the beach.” We were anchored on a 50ft monohull just a couple of hundred feet from the shore. “Okay,” said Charlie, apprehensively, “you’ll need to clean them, slice them and tenderize them before you [...]
May 4 2012in Charter Julian_Putley
Charlie was a teenager in the late 60s and early 70s and, according to recent wisdom; it was the best time to be growing up – if you weren’t drafted into a questionable war, that is. It was the time of ‘peace and love’, getting high and great music. It was cool to drop out, [...]
Apr 6 2012in Charter Julian_Putley
Charlie has noticed a pattern of behavior when he gets a couple on board to begin a ‘learn to sail,’ live-aboard sailing course. That is that the wife or female partner always tends to hang back when it comes to getting involved with practical aspects of sailing. Even when Charlie names the female in question, [...]
LIFE … before GPS Forty years ago the Global Positioning System, a satellite computerized mapping system was not even on the horizon, so to speak, for the private yachtsman. If you wanted to cruise offshore you had to know celestial navigation. And the knowledge of this art/science kept many would-be cruising sailors either coastwise sailing [...]
There are many unusual issues that confront a group of people, especially several couples, when they are confined to the relatively small space of an average charter boat. As local personality and entertainer Tony Snell said: “Your oldest best friends can soon become your newest worst enemies.” Areas of contention include the sharing of domestic [...]
John had always had a burning ambition to sail. Long distance cruising was his ultimate goal.
Charlie is often asked about the merits and defects of the various types of rigs on sail boats. Charlie is of the opinion that a cutter rig is the best option for a modern day cruising boat.
But rum punch is often used in a more subtle way, as a pacifier, a soother for guests who have experienced the not uncommon frustrating experiences of Caribbean island life.
Charlie departed the BVI bound for Florida with a greenhorn, and a big horn (he never stopped talking about girls) on a used 40ft sloop.
It was blowing 20 knots with seas four to six feet. Charlie with his group of three sailing students had departed the anchorage and a pretty young student blew her cap off and into the water.
What do you do when you’re eighteen years old, have seven friends from high school, all of whom have just graduated, and one of them has chartered a 44ft catamaran in the Virgin Islands?
Charlie’s job as a charter skipper obviously includes guests donning their swimwear, and for some, exposing themselves in a swimsuit can be a disquieting experience …
Charlie has been living, eating and sleeping boats for decades and sometimes it’s difficult for him to remember that charter guests from places like Missouri and Oklahoma have a hard time comprehending the dynamics pertaining to boats.
‘Don’t judge a man by the size of his dinghy’; is a hackneyed expression that often elicits groans rather than laughter, but let’s get things straight here – judging a man by his dinghy may be a valid assessment.
Charlie’s been out training with a select crew of keen amateurs in the hopes of glory at the next BVI Spring Regatta’s prize giving. Charlie has been given an older Beneteau 43 to compete in the jib and main class …
Tommy Sea Legs was a much loved and respected personality throughout St Thomas and St John for a decade from the early 70s.
There are many types of burgers – the cheeseburger being perhaps the favorite. Think traditional beef patty on a white bun with sliced onion, lettuce, tomato and, of course, a kosher pickle if you’re Jimmy Buffett.
In the USVI, octogenarian Augie Hollen is a legendary boat builder. So it was with great interest and anticipation that I learned of the launching of his latest creation, Skedaddle.
“Cap’n Charlie, we’re here in the Virgin Islands for the girls. As an experienced captain you must know the best places to pick up some hot babes. We’re leaving it up to you.”
More and bigger mega yachts are appearing daily and the level of luxury on board each appears to be so overwhelming it borders on the ridiculous.
The question of how to find good crew for an offshore yacht passage can often be a vexing one…
Life today is full of challenges and yacht provisioning is no exception. Just going to the grocery store keeps you on your toes.
The second major hurricane of the 2010 season brushed by the Virgin Islands on Monday, August 30, and caught many residents and boaters by surprise.
Hurricanes can be tricky customers. They can change course and intensity in very short order…
In the Caribbean when October comes around people get ready for The Season. But what exactly does this ambiguous term really mean.
It’s late summer and the seawater is warm. Tropical waves are traversing the territory in ever-increasing regularity. Jellyfish have found the conditions to their liking…
Sailing lessons with Charlie begin with a safety briefing.
One of Charlie’s recent charter parties was particularly fond of adult beverages, happy hours of laughter and dinner out.
Charlie was busy going over the safety equipment on a yacht tied to the dock when a huge commotion erupted nearby. A little old lady was standing on the dock crying uncontrollably and was in a most distraught state of mind.