December is here, the trade winds are blowing, the Caribbean sparkles and yachts are arriving in ever increasing numbers. Ocean wanderers are still living the dream, building or buying a boat to sail away into the sunset. A friend told me it was like following the yellow brick road, and he was right. The islands of the Caribbean are mythical and most of us were blown here on the wind – some, like Dorothy, even brought their dog. I used to subscribe to the argument that cruising has changed but I no longer agree, cruising hasn’t changed, the islands haven’t moved and the ocean remains the same. What has changed is the cost of cruising, so I was delighted to receive an article from writer and seasoned Caribbean cruiser Rosie Burr about the subject. Rosie reminds us that the rewards of throwing off the lines and sailing away can be had no matter what your budget (How Much Does it Cost to Cruise in the Caribbean?). The upshot of the article is that whatever cash you have to support your cruising lifestyle; at day’s end we all sit in the same anchorages enjoying the beauty of our tropical surroundings. Yes, some sailors will be dining on foie gras (heaven forbid) and sipping champagne, but a bowl of rice and beans and a belt of local rum is certainly better than scraping the ice off the windshield in the morning and a two hour drive to the salt mines.
Mythical the islands may be but the sea around them also contains mythical beasts, no more so than the Lionfish. Two of our contributors wrote articles about this invasive species, making it difficult for me to choose which one to publish. Both were well written and informative but after doing a little research, I rejected the one that promoted hunting and eating lionfish (and provided a recipe) as a means of control, in favor of the one that noted lionfish may, in some areas, carry the ciguatera toxin. Do be careful.
We continue our series on buying a center console powerboat with a look at what drives them. When we talk about advances in marine technology our thoughts fly to electronics, but huge advances have been made in the development and construction of outboard motors. Buying a boat is exciting but to get full enjoyment out of your investment, it’s critical that everything onboard works in harmony for maximum performance. On page 46, All At Sea’s Doug Simmons talks to the experts about how to select the best engines for your needs.
‘Tis the time for good cheer, holiday season is here and we are ready to celebrate. I have never seen so many events taking place around Christmas and New Year as we now have in the Caribbean. Every island seems to be gearing up with parties and fireworks, making it difficult to choose a destination. That’s why we publish an annual guide to the Holiday Festivities.
For the production team at All At Sea, a year means 12 deadlines and 12 magazines. In 2012, we published some wonderful articles and stories, stories that resonate far beyond the West Indies. We couldn’t have done it without our dedicated writers. Their skill and insight has made us the #1 waterfront magazine in the Caribbean, and I offer my sincere thanks to every single one of them.
All At Sea was saddened by news of the passing of Kenny Coombs. Kenny, the founder and driving force behind the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, was admired, respected and loved by sailors the world over.
As someone posted on the social networking site, Facebook: ‘Classics has lost a true Classic’.
All At Sea will carry a tribute to Kenny Coombs in a future edition. Our sympathies go to Kenny’s family and friends.