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Caribbean News – May 05

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Carriacou Sloop Launched in Windward

At the end of February 2005, in the Carriacou village of Windward, an historical event took place – the launching of a traditional wooden sailing yacht. This much-awaited launch was the culmination of 7 months of hard work by Shipwright Alwin Enoe, Bonnie Stewart and his own sons Carl and Christopher Enoe.

Final preparations were completed early Sunday morning before the arrival of the local priest who blessed the vessel and all that would sail upon her before climbing onboard to spread holy water on the deck. The owner, Alexis Andrews and his family gathered for the ceremony on the aft deck and unveiled the name of the yacht, Genesis.

Keeping with tradition, a fowl was sacrificed on the forward deck as part of the ancient ceremony. The hull was gradually lowered onto its side by cutting down of the shores. Five men with axes chopped the bottom of the props until the boat gradually came to rest on its side. The team filled the keel boltholes that had previously been inaccessible. The lead-filled keel will give greater stability when sailing and a particular advantage over the fleet when racing. The overall length is 40 feet with a beam of 12 feet and the draft 5 feet.

As the ropes were brought into position, the anchor set out in the bay, with block and tackles tied tight to secure the bow, everyone joined in to haul on the lines leading up the hillside.

The launch was far from smooth and a few anxious moments were felt when the back line holding the yacht from forward motion broke and the yacht shot forward on its own momentum. As it settled on the shoreline, the many helpers were on hand to push her slowly over the ledge so she was floating free and the champagne bottle could be broken on her bow. It was a most memorable event for all.

Metimer’s May festival

St Martin’s Fete de Nautisme will kick off this month on May 20, until May 22. The event, held on Marigot’s waterfront, brings together exhibitors and displays from across the island marine community.

This year’s added bonus will be the First Annual Caribbean Used Boat Show. The idea of the show is, according to Metimer President, Yves Kinard, to bring together local and international buyers and boats at the ‘crossroads of the Caribbean’.

Apple appeal

The Antigua Marine Trades Association has set up a fund to raise money for Apple, of the Nelson’s Dockyard Water Taxi, who is suffering from a brain tumour and requires surgery in Miami. Donations can be made into Bank of Antigua Account #22666. The aim is to raise $50,000. The appeal was kick-started with a $1,000 donation from Paul, Captain of TigerLily.

Those wishing to make a donation can contact Gay on 460-1246 or contact the AMTA on [email protected]

Curacao in the lift

Yacht tourism in Curacao continues to rise, as do the facilities to handle the extra boats. Curacao Marine ([email protected]) has just purchased a new hydraulic trailer for their 80 dry stands, catering for boats up to 40 tonnes.

Meanwhile, the popular Seru Boca Marina, which currently has space for 88 vessels up to 150’ in length has announced that an extra 40 berths are to be added.

Further developments

Construction is due to start later on this year, in November, on a new development at Pigeon Island Causeway, St Lucia. ‘The Landings’ will include luxury apartments, a new marina and sheltered moorings, similar to the Port St Charles development in Barbados. Completion is scheduled for February 2007.

VISAR has busy two weeks.

So far in 2005, Virgin Island’s Search and Rescue (VISAR) coordinators have answered 61 calls for help and VISAR’s lifeboat crews have put to sea a total of 27 times. Over the period 2000 – 2004 the highest number of calls received between 1st January and 21st March was 48, and the greatest number of boat launches in that same period was 19.

In the ten days to 21st March, coordinators answered 9 calls for situations ranging from a yacht aground on the Horseshoe Reef, a fire aboard an anchored yacht, to a suspected heart attack at Sandy Cay and the death of an elderly lady in a swimming pool incident. The decision was made to launch a lifeboat to 5 of the situations.

During the same period VISASR held two fundraising events to support the vital service the organisation provides the Territory. The first was an evening of Jazz and Blues hosted by Governor & Mrs. Tom Macan at the Governor’s residence, which raised $9,000.

A second VISAR fundraising event was held at the Mineshaft in Virgin Gorda. A less formal, but equally enjoyable evening of crazy golf, music by the Lounge Lizards, games of bingo and a raffle added a further $3,700 towards VISAR’s activities.

2005 St Maarten Charter Yacht Exhibition

Official dates have been announced for the second St Maarten Charter Yacht Exhibition (SCYE), which will run from December 5 to 8. This year, Georgie Amadou of Simpson Bay Marina will join incumbent Chair Kass Johnston Halliday of Dockside Management as organizer of the event.

So far, the 2004 event has raised $10,000 for local youth marine industry training programs. For more information go to www.mybacaribbeanshow.com

Tobago opens junior sailing school

With most of youth sailing in T&T traditionally coming from the Trinidad side, the balance of power could be set to shift in future years thanks to the establishment of a junior Sailing School in Tobago. Angostura Resorts and the Tobago House Assembly recently donated 10 Optimist dinghies to the T&T Optimist Dinghy Association (TTODA).

In June/July, the TTODA will host the North American Optimist Dinghy Championships – a Caribbean first. Some 170 young sailors are expected to compete.

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