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Carriacou Marine – Cocooning in Carriacou

A shortage of stools and ladders made boot stripe and other painting more strenuous
A shortage of stools and ladders made boot stripe and other painting more strenuous

No nonsense Tyrrel Bay Yacht Haulout (TBYH), where we first pulled our Sun Odyssey 40 Boldly Go for bottom painting and general repairs in 2009, is a strong brown moth now in metamorphosis. In July we again chose Tyrrel Bay for its atmosphere, people and value.

Piero Zipoli, who bought TBYH in March this year, collaborated with Carriacou Yacht Club owners Trevor and Earl Stanislaus to create a unified haul out and marina now called Carriacou Marine (CM).

The clubhouse convenience store was expanded to include marine supplies, and the upstairs restaurant was converted into an office and business center. The grounds are being re-landscaped to include a drive through and turn about. During the cocooning, food is available at the Slipway Restaurant next door.

Hauling out represents work for do-it-yourselfers, who are welcome here. Though Carriacou YC exudes charm of a bygone era and is manned by cheerful staff, it is a quarter-mile walk to obtain supplies, groceries, restaurants and public transport. Take your pick: dinghy ride, walk along the beach or scale the face of Mt. Everest, as we refer to the entrance road, so feared by Taxi drivers when it rains.

The yard’s dilapidated toilet and shower facility have been replaced by a cistern and secure storage building. Standing on the second story balcony of the clubhouse, Zipoli explained that while the long and short term dry storage remains the same size, 30 yacht maximum, they’ll improve amenities and access. Describing the facility as ‘boutique’, he pointed to a lone power yacht amidst sailboats and wooden fishing vessels in his boatyard and added, “They can become our clients, too.”

Carriacou Marine is focusing on a redesign plan, putting together a solid team, improving plumbing, electrical access and water storage, and clearing excess shrubbery and debris. CM’s washdown catchment prevents pollution from flowing into the bay. The haul out continues to host a WiFi signal that benefits the Carriacou Children’s Education Fund (CCEF) but bandwidth is inadequate and makes access to email and Internet unreliable.

Supplies ordered from Grenada chandleries arrive by ferry, sometimes within the same day. The boatyard and clubhouse are functional and cocooned in transition.

Edwin George’s trusted expertise on the travel lift has been extended to boatyard management. Coming from a nautical Kayak family, George has been immersed in boats since he was a boy. For a small island, the level of marine expertise is remarkable. Stainless steel, aluminum, mechanical, diesel, electrical, fiberglass … if man made it, they fix it here. That said; insufficient stools and ladders made painting our topside hard work.

In a red, yellow and green knit beanie, 70-something world cruising icon Paul Johnson ambles through the clubhouse yard. It is the friendly and colorful fusion of people that makes Carriacou one of our favorite places.

CM has an on-site guest house and rentable rooms with villas nearby such as the Boat House (boatalexis@yahoo.com).

Converted from Tyrrel Bay Yacht Haulout’s marine railway to nouveau cuisine restaurant in 2011, the Slipway’s ambience along with fresh and delicious food, make it king of cool.

A few steps along the beach, Lazy Turtle serve up Italian and Lambi Queen, a West Indian fare.

Well-stocked Carriasoup hardware is located on the eastern edge of Harvey Vale village. Provisioning can be made in the village or by grabbing a public bus to Hillsborough, a 15-minute ride. Taxis are a phone call away; the airport, a ten minute drive.

We chose Tyrrel Bay for this year’s haul out because we like the atmosphere, expertise, people and value. Will a sleek butterfly burst from a dusty cocoon on the southern edge of Tyrrel Bay when the 2013 hurricane season again brings us to Carriacou?

Ellen and her partner Jim Hutchins have lived aboard their Sun Odyssey 40 Boldly Go for three years in the Caribbean. The cruising couple featured in a recent program broadcast on The Biography Channel. For details, visit: www.boldlygo.us

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