Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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Rum Review: Bacoo 8 Year Old Rum


We openly admit that we are suckers for gimmicky marketing and unique bottles. Heck, we bought a bottle of Averna (an Italian Amora) because it came with a free CD. So when we saw Bacoo 8 Year Old with its cigar wrapper style label, unique braided bottle, and the promise that our wish would be granted, we just had to try.

Bacoo Rum is a locally sourced rum from the Dominican Republic. The sugarcane is grown at their estate, harvested then pressed into cane juice, and distilled in a “unique” copper still. From there the rum moves down the road to age in ex-bourbon barrels. What we don’t know is if they use a solera method or if the rum is drawn from a single barrel-aged exactly eight years. After aging, the rum is bottled at their facility to provide consistency and meet their quality standards. The company likes to say they are “farm to glass.”

The marketing gimmick is in the name itself. It is said that Bacoo is a mischievous mythological spirit who will answer the wishes of those who find and uncork him, however, you must keep your Bacoo happy. If he is not happy he can become a deviant character and be quite the nuisance. That’s when Bacoo needs to be trapped in a bottle, corked, and thrown back out to sea for someone else to find and release him. We made a wish and began to sip.

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He Said

The bourbon hits my senses right away with slight hints of vanilla, green banana, and black cherry. Unfortunately, the sip is nothing like the nose. I get some toasted coconut, roasted coffee beans, and black cherry that gives it a bit of sweetness. The bourbon note is there but extremely subtle. The finish is dry and dissipates quickly but it returns further down the pipe with a nice warming sensation. Based on the palate, I thought this was going to be a hot, spicy rum however, the rum is smooth, but missing all the wonderful wood notes from the nose. 

She Said

The color is a very light golden providing very little, if any, lacing on the glass. This might be the first time that I immediately get oak notes on the nose. The rum smells like the inside of a barrel. It’s hard to get past the wood note to discern anything else. There is a sweetness there, but to me, it’s not vanilla. The sip is light with a hint of butterscotch and green banana. Baking spices of nutmeg and cinnamon sit under my tongue longer than the entire finish. I find this rum to be very dry.

Dock Lines Protected from Wear with Secure Chafe Guards


We are mixed on Bacoo 8 Year Old. Clint enjoyed the bourbon feel while Terry was completely missing substance and a finish. At $20.00/bottle it’s not a bad choice to see if you can get Bacoo to grant your wish.

3.5 out of 5

About Clint and Terry: We have sampled many a dram over our 33 years of marriage and quite often we don’t fully agree. Could be the difference is male/female taste buds. Or, somebody is just wrong.

The Moorings Announces New Destinations and Unrivaled Yachts for 2013

Cool Dishes for Hot Days


Some like it hot, others do not, so turn off the stove and prepare some fresh delicious dishes.

Preparation time: 10 minutes. Marinating time: 30 minutes or longer. Serves: 4
2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 sweet white onion, thinly sliced
Fresh chopped herbs, oregano, basil
Apple Cider Vinegar
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Layer onions and tomatoes in flat shallow dish. Add herbs. Pour over a little vinegar and oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Caribbean Cooking: If you want Less Heat Spend Less Time in the Galley

Preparation time: 20 minutes. Serves: 6
6 cups finely shredded green cabbage
2 cups finely shredded red cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots

½ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. minced garlic clove
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper

In a small bowl, mix the ingredients of the dressing. Place shredded cabbages and carrots in a large bowl. Pour dressing over and toss to combine well. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours

Caribbean Cooking: Cooking as Entertainment for your Guests

Preparation time: 30 minutes. Serves: 4
4 oranges
2 ripe avocados
1/2 chop finely chopped red onion
3 cups Romaine, arugula and watercress
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Grate zest from one orange and set aside. Cut peel from oranges (over a bowl to catch juice). Slice into rounds. Save juice for dressing. Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake well. Cut avocado into sections and sprinkle with lemon juice. Arrange greens on plates and top with avocado slices, orange rounds and red onion. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

Caribbean Cooking: Fun in the Summer Sun

Preparation time: 10 minutes. Serves: 4
6 medium size carrots (about 1 lb)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Peel then grate the carrots. Use either the large holes on a box grater or a medium fitting on a food process. Put the grated carrots in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the oil and lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the dressing and chopped cilantro to the carrots and toss.

Caribbean Cooking: What’s in your Hurricane Pantry

Preparation time: 30 minutes. Chilling tine: 1 – 2 hours. Serves: 4
1-1/2 cups sliced radishes
1/4 cup pitted Calamata black olives, cut in strips
2 Tbsp chopped scallions with tops
4 to 8 Boston lettuce leaves

Combine all, cover, and refrigerate. Make dressing.

Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing:
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
1/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper

Whisk all ingredients together and pour over radish mixture. Serve on top of lettuce leaves.

Preparation time: 10 minutes. Sitting time: 30 minutes
Chilling time: 30 minutes. Serves: 4
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
Sea salt
1 small red onion (or 1/2 of a big onion)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chopped chives
Freshly ground pepper
1 ripe medium size red tomato
1 ripe medium size yellow tomato
1/2 cup chopped pitted Calamata olives
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Mix together in a medium size bowl the red wine vinegar with 1 tsp salt until dissolved. Peel, halve and thinly slice onion crosswise. Add to vinegar mixture. Add water if the onions are not completely covered. Let sit about 15 minutes.

In another bowl, whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and chives. Season with salt and pepper. Core and cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and then cut each half into slices. Put the tomatoes in a wide serving bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over and marinate for at least 15 minutes.

Drain onion and pat or squeeze out excess vinegar. Add the onions and olives to the tomatoes and toss. Add more pepper to taste, top with blue cheese and serve.

Jan Robinson, Health Coach, Charter Yacht Consultant, 2019 CYBA Hall of Fame, Chef Competition Coordinator/Judge, and author of the Ship to Shore Cookbook collection; available on Amazon and www.shiptoshoreinc.com [email protected]


BVI-Headquartered Parts & Power Ltd. Awarded Additional Territory in the Caribbean for Perkins Distribution 

There’s good news for Perkins engine owners. Perkins’ Caribbean distributor, Parts & Power Limited, located in Fish Bay, Tortola, BVI, is expanding its customer service area after being awarded additional territory in the region, with Trinidad and Tobago, Guadeloupe, and the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao). The addition of these islands to Parts & Power is part of the UK-headquartered Perkins Engines Company Limited’s distributor strategy to further strengthen its service network by providing engine expertise and services for Perkins-powered machine owners and operators. 

Old Fogies With Old Engines

“Parts & Power has been a Perkins Distributor for nearly 50 years,” says Tom Gerker, managing director. “The products have changed over that time, but the core values of both companies have remained the same.  In a time when more and more engine manufacturers are reducing local service providers, Perkins still makes it possible for local representation of their products.  They recognize that a service provider in a small Caribbean country does not have the resources, or market, that service providers in the US and UK have.  That allows us to be able to set up dealers in almost every Caribbean country without the burden of them having to purchase tools or stock parts for equipment that is not in their country. They can focus their Service on the products that they do have.  Caribbean people have been counting on Perkins engines for over 60 years. Perkins recognizes and appreciates that.” www.partsandpower.com

Fat Facts on Diesels

Old Boats…Is It Best to Scrap or Save?


If every year they build new boats and do not scrap old ones then the ratio of boats to the boating population becomes increasingly skewed.

No boat owner thinks his boat should be scrapped and some would actually endure physical pain to see their vessel scrapped.

Trends in Power Catamaran Boat Design

There are those who contribute to scrapping by driving their boats on reefs or sinking them.  It sometimes sounds as if you watch YouTube that this plays a major role in reducing the boat inventory but that is unfortunately optimistic.

The truth is that the demand for older boats is decreasing but it is also true that there are many of us that get a huge kick out of restoring boats or sailing the older models. The best advice to them is to choose only high quality boats to restore which in turn will find a better reception and higher value in the long run. 

Maintaining Your Brightwork with Good Old Spar Varnish

Please send in Questions for the Experts to answer in a future issue to [email protected]

See More Fish, Look Real Sharp in Hobie Monarch Float Sunglasses


They slice through glare so you can look deep into the water. They sport Removeable Side Shields and an Adjustable Neoprene Retainer. They weigh next to nothing. Best of all, they won’t sink if dropped overboard. Hobie Eyewear’s new Monarch Float Polarized Sunglasses are the ultimate in multi-purpose fishing shades that offer an angling edge and casual comfort. 

Sailing with Charlie – The Boat Knife

Hobie Eyewear Monarch Glasses
Hobie Eyewear Monarch Glasses

“This versatile and adaptable style is perfect for long days of fishing in the Caribbean. The side shields keep you locked in when you’re out on the water targeting your gamefish of choice while the retainer provides extra security. In seconds, you can remove these features for a more casual look when you’re back at the shore enjoying your drink of choice,” says Dylan Coates, senior marketing coordinator for Eyeking, LLC, headquartered in Hauppauge, NY, USA.

The Monarch Float is available in four variations: grey-based with either a natural tint, cobalt blue mirror or sunset mirror, and copper-based with sea green mirror. In 2023, the company will introduce its fifth variation, the Sightmaster Plus, designed for early and late day flats fishing to extend productive hours. www.hobieeyewear.com

The Cruising Community, Two Thousand and Sicks

The Compromise Called a Boat

Yesterday I was invited aboard a new 47-foot production boat. It was as white as a refrigerator—if a tad less beautiful. I stepped aboard on a folding transom/swim platform held onto said ‘offshore cruising’ boat with two small hinges that were screwed (not bolted, screwed with self-tapping screws) into the already beginning-to-pucker fiberglass. While the boat was only a month or two old, already this platform visibly wiggled at the hinges from the dinghy bumping it—once it touched a dock or seawall, the platform was (evidently) designed to snap off with little fuss and almost no damage. 

Yes, in that sense, the vessel was brilliant! 

This particular builder really loved screws—even the 60-hp turbo-charged Yanmar was screwed into the thin, bouncy-castle-type engine beds. 

No, I’m not kidding. With only a dozen hours on the engine, it was already jiggle-drifting around its beds as the vessel tacked. A number of the self-tappers that were holding the diesel mounts down (well, kinda) were already spinning dizzily around for all to see.  

The hull had hard chines aft, which pounded mightily in even small SUP wakes. (Lord knows how loudly those angled flat sections aft would pound offshore.) 

The owner was quite proud of these easily-chipped-in-docking chines. He explained to me that they ‘cleverly’ allowed for two staterooms on each side of the cockpit to be wide enough for a bunk. Of course, these two coffins (actually, that’s not fair to coffin-makers) were so airless that you’d need to sleep with a scuba tank in the tropics if you wanted to breathe. This did not actually matter since the port cabin was filled with fenders, pool toys, and a swim ladder and the starboard one featured sailbags, paddles, ensign on a pole, and running rigging—all the stuff that would normally go in the deck and cockpit locker that
the boat didn’t have because of the brochure-friendly airless ‘staterooms.’

An Experienced, Credentialed Marine Surveyor is a MUST while building a New Production Yacht

All the sheet and halyard winches were electric. 

There was nary a winch handle in sight.

As I stepped into the cockpit, I noted the split backstays terminating at dainty stainless steel U-bolts—no heavy, old-fashioned chainplates to slow this rocket ship! Well, at least the backstay didn’t terminate into a flimsy pad eye that was screwed into the deck with self-tappers. Hooray for the U-bolts (which I prayed had backing plates).

Next, I was shown the gaudy twin cockpit color nav displays for the twin wheels. I’ve seen casinos in Los Vegas with fewer blinking lights than this cockpit. The nav ‘display-array’ was, I admit, a thing of beauty with its 120-per-second refresh rate—especially if you wanted to be absolutely guaranteed that all your navigational devices would blink out at the same instant during an emergency. 

Was this retina display as cool as the refrigerator in the cockpit table or the large freezer in the galley? Hard to say—but the builder marketeer was certainly making his spending priorities plain to see—since it was rumored the keel was held on by chewing gum. (Actually, that isn’t fair—there were probably a couple of panhead self-tappers in the mix.)

“Note the iPhone recharging socket on the side of the cockpit unit,” bragged the owner. “They really thought of everything, didn’t they?”

I looked around but didn’t see any solar cells, wind, or water generator—too much clutter and practicality, I guess.

Fatty loves to scavage outboard parts
Fatty loves to scavage outboard parts

I will say I was wowed at the spaciousness of the main cabin. Damn, the ladies could play badminton while the boys shot eight-ball in the mammoth space! How did they do it, design-wise? One, no webs to hold up those pesky chainplates. Two, no storage anywhere—zero storage. And, three, no ceiling on the damp hull—just some exterior carpeting glued on (to give the mildew something to hide behind). And best of all—to avoid clutter, there were no overhead handrails to catch you as you fell across the vast space while heeled. 

To soften the unrelenting glare of the plastic, the interior designer had glued up thin sheets of veneered chipboard in random places.  


Down belowdecks it was, admittedly, light and airy. This was achieved by having many windows in the hull. Fine. And, needless to say, they didn’t want these windows to leak at the fastenings—so they had no fastening. Double clever! They’d just epoxied or 5200’d the Lexan on the raw fiberglass. This worked well, unless you walked a compressed fender down the topsides during docking—then the heavy Lexan (sans safety line) would go for an expensive swim. 


But let’s stop being picky and get back to the important thingies: of course there was a compact, very thirsty dishwasher in the galley and an equally thirsty washer/drier sunken into the cabin sole—these folks didn’t want to work their fingers to the bone, did they? Hey, they wanted a vacation of a lifetime all the time, right? 

To power it all was a tiny generator in a hushbox so hushed that I could not detect how to open it. And best of all, this compact, high-revving gen/set (its name was something like Fischer Price) was so cleverly tucked away under the floorboards that you could barely touch it with an extending boat hook. (I assumed you used sockets with extensions and binoculars while working on it?) While the floorboards were up, I asked the owner about a small plastic white box. 

“The water tank,” he said. 

“Are you sure?” I asked, attempting to hide my shock. “That’s tiny!”

“That’s the beauty of it,” he said, “with the water-maker, they don’t have to be big.” 

Making Connections

I asked him what type of watermaker he had. He told me. I knew it well—all too well. For every ounce of water it produced, you had to feed it a hundred-dollar bill. I could rebuild that unit in my sleep—and had had to. Just the memories of the unit’s parts-hungry booster pump made me break out in a cold sweat. This unit alone might be keeping FedEx in business in the Pacific. I mean, this unit could eat more money than a drug addict with a gambling problem in Vegas… while dependably dribbling out enough water to brush your front (only) teeth with. 

Heavy sigh!

As mentioned, this was this fellow’s new boat. His old one had been 42-footer—which he sold because it was too small to have air conditioning installed. “You know how it is, Fatty,” he said. “I’m gonna live on her when I retire—air conditioning isn’t an option, it is a must-have amenity at the equator… am I right?”

“You don’t have to convince me,” I said, hoping it was a neutral-enough statement to go unnoticed. (I’ve never had any air-conditioning in my entire life because 1.) I don’t want to be cold and 2.) I don’t want to pump out warm air, fumes, noise, and pollutants into the air nor the ocean.)

Sensing my interest in the nitty-gritty techno details, he showed me the blinking, LED-dazzling electro panel. 

“May I?” I asked. 

“Sure,” he said. 

I twisted and pulled the knob which allowed the entire panel to hinge out. Now I could see the guts of the system. It was pretty, very neat, and quite business-like. At a glance, I knew that the wires were color-coded to ABYC specs. It took a couple of glances, however, to be sure that, while the vessel was color-coded to ABYC standards, it wasn’t wired to them. In fact, none of the cables leading to any of the sheet winches or anchor windlass were tinned, marine-grade, double-insulated wire—the builder used cheap welding cables instead. 

Welding cables are almost disposable. While they can carry a lot of juice when new, they can seldom carry it for long. If a welder gets a couple of years of dragging them around various job sites, he’s happy. And that’s ashore with no salt corrosion. Afloat in salt-laden air—well, the clock starts ticking on launch day. 

I took a peek into the battery compartment. It was tiny. The vessel had about 20% of the battery capacity of most boats circumnavigating. 

Yes, there are good reasons why a solid cruising vessel such as a Hallberg-Rassy cost three times as much as this big-dinghy-daysailer-on-steroids. And, of course, sails slower. 

Okay, by now I’m sure that you get the point, dear reader. But the important take-away of this missive isn’t that I personally don’t think this was an ideal liveaboard boat to retire and circumnavigate aboard—it is that the owner does. He’s pleased-as-punch with his new vessel. And as a capitalist who believes in the free market, I can’t—nor should I—deny that. 

He owned his previous boat for four years and sold it before it started having major system failures. He’ll probably sell this one within five years or so—unless he installs a very long extension cord on a reel to supply it electrical power. 

I could be wrong—but I doubt it. 

There was not a single tool aboard anywhere. If there was, I’m not sure he’d know how to use it. He seemed totally blown away that at 70 years of age, we still did all our own work—even (especially) in the Third World where labor is cheap.

St. John’s Hurricane Hole

“I didn’t think shipyards still allowed that,” he said in amazement. 

“…some do,” I confirmed. 

Of course, I’m somewhat old-fashioned. Or as my 70-year-old wife likes to delicately phrase it, “You’re an old fart, Fatty!”

Perhaps so. I grew up on a wooden schooner with cotton sails, solid wood masts, galvy rigging, kerosene running lights, and a hemp anchor rode that lifted a yachtsman anchor via a manual deck windlass. So, yeah, I’m probably a tad more techno-conservative than Josh Slocum or Ulysses. 

And I think that chasing after convenience is a fool’s journey. I mean, why own an all-electric vessel with all the conveniences—and then pay to go to a gym because you are too fat to see your toes?

But boats are compromises. The spaciousness of this craft was at the expense of its storage. Ditto, its speed was achieved by compromising its cargo capacity and sea-kindliness. And all its ‘conveniences’ weren’t, really—not for the sailor who has to fix all that crap. 

This was a boat built and marketed for someone who one day wanted to be a sailor—not for a sailor. This was a dock queen, plain and simple. It was meant to go from marina slip to marina slip; from shipyard, to dockyard, to bone yard. 

I couldn’t maintain that sucker—even if someone else paid for the parts. And God forbid it ever whacks a dock, a reef, or another vessel—I have egg cartons that are stronger. 

But each to his own. Occasionally, we’re anchored together in Langkawi or Thailand—and we raise a champagne glass to each while I think, “Air conditioning!” and shake my head sadly; and he thinks, “No air conditioning!” as he, too, is flooded with pity. 

Editor’s note: Fatty and Carolyn continue to wrestle over a few grains of moldy rice—in lovely Southeast Asia.

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands Host Site For 2026 Sunfish World Championships

The Sunfish Worlds is coming home! Held for the first time at the St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) in 1970, this one-design international regatta will be back in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2026 when the St. Croix Yacht Club (SCYC), on neighboring St. Croix, hosts this event. 

“There was a lot of publicity at the 50th anniversary in 2021 that the first Sunfish Worlds was in St. Thomas. While STYC no longer sails Sunfish, St. Croix does have an active fleet. We submitted our bid for 2024 and were accepted for 2026,” says Juliet San Martin, the SCYC regatta chair who with fellow organizers traveled to the 2022 Sunfish North Americans at Hyannis Yacht Club, in MA, USA to train for the organizational side of the Worlds, which is expected to host nearly 80 boats on the start line off St. Croix.

Foxy Celebrates 40 Years of Fun and Hard Work

Discussion by the Class of returning the Sunfish Worlds to the U.S. Virgin Islands was very supportive because of St. Croix-based Peter Stanton’s nine-time participation in this event, says San Martin. Stanton finished fourth overall in 2006, 2009, and 2021. He also won a Bronze Medal in the Sunfish at the Central American and Caribbean Games in 2018.

The 2026 Sunfish Worlds in St. Croix will be a 6-day event with racing in and outside of the Christiansted harbor. www.sunfishclass.org, www.stcroixyc.com 

Antigua to Host the 2023 Optimist North American Championships


The Antigua Yacht Club (AYC) will host its fourth major Optimist dinghy regatta, the Optimist North American (OPTINAM) Championships from July 2-9, 2023. The Club’s bid was approved by the IODA (International Optimist Dinghy Association) Executive Committee in May. AYC, located on Antigua’s southern coast and overlooking Falmouth Harbor, spectacularly hosted OPTINAMs in 2015 and 2016. Then in 2019, the AYC hosted the Optimist World Championships, an event that set the country participation record with sailors from 64 nations in attendance.

A Woman at the Helm of the Antigua Yacht Club

“We have the know-how to put on a quality OPTINAM from our past experience and we a great location as a base here at the Dockyard,” says Karl James, two-time Olympian in the Laser Class, president of the Antigua & Barbuda Marine Association, and manager and president Optimist Class at AYC. “Hosting the 2023 OPTINAM is important for two other reasons. First, it extends our sailing season into the summer. More importantly, our location means Optimist sailors from throughout the Caribbean can travel here and have a chance to participate in a large international event.”

Antigua is known as a competitive racing hot spot in the Caribbean for big boats and small, due to its predictable trade winds, large rolling seas, and warm island hospitality. www.antiguayachtclub.com 

Curaçao Marine in New Expert Hands


May 1st marked a change at the helm for Curaçao Marine. Local entrepreneurs Justus and Jens van der Lubbe, have taken over the business, which is located at a nearly 30,000-square-yard site at the Pletterijweg on Parera near Willemstad. While father Justus continues with his insurance company Inter-Assure, son Jens serves as co-owner. Jens, born in St. Maarten and raised in Curaçao, holds diplomas in international business management and marketing, is multilingual and previously ran his own company, Marine Zone, which focused on boat maintenance and sales of boat products. Gareth Weber is the yard manager. Weber served in this position under the previous owner Harry Faydherbe, who chose to hand over the company to a younger generation. As the largest shipyard of its kind in Curaçao, and thanks to an excellent reputation at home and abroad, Curaçao Marine has the potential to attract an increasing share of the regional market. That is what Jens van der Lubbe is aiming for.

Curaçao Marine New Owners - Justus and Jens van der Lubbe
Curaçao Marine New Owners – Justus and Jens van der Lubbe

“Shortly, we will be expanding with a boat storage rack, two-story garage for vehicles, two more stories on the main office roof for apartments and offices, and adding an 80-ton trailer, an on-site parts shop, and small restaurant, ‘’ says Justus van der Lubbe. “We will also be redesigning the property to gain more efficiency on the yacht storage by adding more space and adding an extension on the main pier to add 30 berths for mono and multihulls.”

Curaçao’s position south of the hurricane belt makes it ideally suited for the safe storage of expensive yachts. Curaçao Marine has room for up to 240 vessels on dry land plus more than 40 docked. More than storage, facilities, services and trained personnel can perform large-scale maintenance on yachts. This includes cleaning, osmosis treatment, closed cabin spraying, engine maintenance and repair, fiberglass repairs, electrician and communication equipment work, and thorough mast and hull inspection. The yard works with an experienced sailmaker for custom repairs and canvas fabrication. Curaçao Marine’s extensive customer service includes providing laundry services, arranging for a rental car, and offering a shuttle service to and from the supermarket. In all these ways, Curaçao Marine, and the island of Curaçao in its wake, is becoming a household name in the world of affluent global sail and motor yacht owners. curacaomarinezone.com 

7 Top Types of Caribbean Music

Calypso and Soca are part of the music at Crop Over Festival. Barbados Tourist Board
Calypso and Soca are part of the music at Crop Over Festival. Barbados Tourist Board

If music makes the world go round, nowhere might that be truer than in the Caribbean. From lyrical reggae and calypso, to dance favorites like merengue and fungi, and toe-tapping zouk, steel pan, and tambu, there’s something to love.

Here is a sampling of some of the most popular Caribbean Music:

1. Reggae.

No one is perhaps more synonymous with a musical style than Jamaica’s Bob Marley is with reggae. Rooted in the 1960s and led by Rastafarian artists like Marley, reggae became a global phenomenon with a worldwide following within a decade. Today, you’ll hear reggae, often Marley classics played in beach bars, clubs, and providing the mood-setting background sound on day sail charters. The 1980 published Dictionary of Jamaican English notes that reggae is based on an earlier type of popular Jamaican music called ska. Ska uses a heavy four-beat rhythm driven by drums and bass guitar. This duo of instruments served as the foundation for reggae. Also common is a ‘scraper’ or smooth stick rubbed on one that is corrugated. Lyrics today, as at the start, often tell of bad-boy gangster and ghetto life.

Jamaica Reggae
Jamaica Reggae

2. Merengue.

This is the national music and dance of the Dominican Republic. In 2016, merengue was recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The merengue’s beat comes from Spanish, African, and the island’s indigenous cultures. Key is a repeating five-beat rhythmic pattern called a quintillo. The guitar-like ‘cuatro’ was a key instrument to merengue in the 1800s, later replaced by the accordion. Today, guitar, tambourine, saxophone, bass, and piano are among the instruments. The annual Santo Domingo Merengue Festival takes place from late July to August. Restaurants and clubs, especially those with dance floors, cultural events and concerts, and local radio stations are all places to hear merengue. 

Calypso Marine: The Art of Boatbuilding

Dominican Republic Reggae
Dominican Republic Reggae

3. Scratch or Fungi Music.

Like Merengue is linked with dance in the Dominican Republic, scratch bands (as they are called in the U.S. Virgin Islands), or fungi bands (name in the British Virgin Islands) provide the beat for quadrille dancers. Local history tells that fungi music arrived in the Virgin Islands from its African ancestors. Gourds, washboards, and drums were among the first instruments. Nowadays, bands include a banjo, conga drum, and triangle, as well as saxophone, bass, and guitar. Popular bands include Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights and The Lashing Dogs. Carnival celebrations, local festivals, and public holidays are popular times to hear these bands. So are weekends at local bars and restaurants and Sunday afternoon beach parties.

Selecting Coconut Rum: Does Cost Matter?

Stanley and The Ten Sleepless Knights
Stanley and The Ten Sleepless Knights

4. Zouk.

This musical movement was born in the French Caribbean islands over four decades ago. It was a band called Kassav’, which formed in Guadeloupe in 1979, that made this musical genre known worldwide with hits such as Zouk la sé sèl médikaman nou ni (translated: Zouk is the only medicine we have). Jocelyne Béroard, born in Martinique, is one of the group’s lead singers. In 1986, she earned Gold by having the biggest selling album by a woman in the West Indies. As a side note, Béroard helped Jimmy Buffett write ‘Love and Luck’. The song mentions the Kassav’ song Kolé Sére (translated: Love and luck). Zouk music is played year-round in Martinique. Good places to hear it live include the Batelière Beach Club (Schoelcher), Sunset 972 (Fort-de-France), and the Rooftop FWI (Le Lamentin).

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Zouk music dance feature. © nevoux - archipels
Zouk music dance feature. © nevoux – archipels

5. Calypso.

Story-telling lyrics, often with satirical social commentary, and a body-moving beat thanks to drums, bass guitars, and trumpets are hallmarks of this musical form. Its origins trace back to Africa, with its present-day form developed in Trinidad & Tobago. Calypso is one of the most popular genera of music at annual events like Trinidad & Tobago’s Carnival, Barbados’ Crop Over Festival, and other Carnival celebrations throughout the Caribbean. At these events, there are calypso competitions. These often span several days through semi-finals and finals, featuring junior calypsonians and adults, until calypso royalty is crowned. Famous names from the past include the Mighty Sparrow, Lord Kitchener, and the Duke of Iron. 

6. Steel Pan.

One of the musical instruments synonymous with the Caribbean is steel pans, and they make up steel pan bands and orchestras. Trinidad & Tobago is the home of the steel pan, where in the 1930s the prototypes were made of frying pans, dustbin lids, and oil drums. Today, bands feature over a dozen pans, which vary in size and sound from soprano to baritone and bass. Pan bands often play calypso, but the possibilities are endless including Latin, jazz, an island’s national anthem, and pop. For example, US singer Nick Jonas’ song, Close, features a steelpan. 

Replacing the Windows on the Dodger

Pan player, Trinidad & Tobago
Pan player, Trinidad & Tobago

7. Tambu.

See the history of this music and dance, which developed in the 1800s on plantations on Dutch islands like Curacao, at the Tambu Shon Cola Museum. It’s located south of Willemstad and north of Santa Barbara. The museum features six rooms and on the walls are traditional instruments. Though its roots are old, tambu music and dancing were forbidden for many years and up until 2012. Three years later, tambu was formally included in the Dutch National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Tambu comes from the Spanish word for drum. Other instruments include the wiri (metal scraper) and triangle. 

Tambu Shon Cola Museum
Tambu Shon Cola Museum

Registration is Open for the 35th Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race


In the wake of a three-year COVID break, the Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race will set sail in 2023 with two starts on January 21 and 22 off the Miami Beach Marina, in Miami, FL, USA. The Welcome Party takes place on January 25 at Jamaica’s Montego Bay Yacht Club. New for 2023, the coveted Silver Perpetual Pineapple Cup Trophy will go to the first overall on corrected time in the most competitive fleet. The most competitive fleet is calculated by averaging the corrected time deltas of the first 80 percent of the fleet. The fleet with the lowest average deltas will be eligible to win the Pineapple Cup. 

Coveted Pineapple Cup trophy. Courtesy Montego Bay Yacht Club
Coveted Pineapple Cup trophy. Courtesy Montego Bay Yacht Club

“Although unfortunate that we needed to postpone the race this past January, we are even more excited to continue the tradition of this historic yacht race now in 2023. The enthusiasm at the Montego Bay Yacht Club continues to grow each edition as we see more and more international teams, with some of the best ocean racers, descending on our beautiful club,” said Nigel Knowles, Montego Bay Yacht Club Rear Commodore in a release.

The Pineapple Cup, one of offshore yachting’s oldest races, has had its 1961-handcrafted trophy awarded to many well-known sailors, including John Kilroy, Ted Turner, and Robert F Johnson. The current course record was set in 2019 at 2 days, 0 hours, 7 minutes, and 44 seconds by Argo a Mod70. www.pineapplecup.com 

House of Refuge

After putting Guiding Light away for the hurricane season in Grenada I flew to Miami and spent several days with a couple of my guests that have been down to the boat four different times. We had a wonderful time hanging out, relaxing, going out to eat, and celebrating my birthday. But the coolest place they took me to was the only surviving House of Refuge, which were designated as havens for shipwrecked sailors and travelers along the sparsely populated Atlantic coastline of Florida.

This historic structure has weathered many storms and provided much needed shelter for shipwreck survivors, including those of the Georges Valentine, an Italian brigantine whose wreckage remains just 100 yards off the rocky shoreline, providing an ideal dive site. The history of the House of Refuge dates to 1876, when the U.S. Life-Saving Service, under the direction of Sumner Kimball, constructed ten “houses of refuge,” or life-saving stations, along Florida’s Atlantic Coast.

St. John’s Hurricane Hole

Florida Rescue House
Florida Rescue House

These houses were staffed by “keepers,” who, with their families, led solitary lives in order to find, rescue, and minister to those who fell victim to Florida’s treacherous reefs and shoals. Prior to construction of these houses, many shipwreck victims made it to the isolated shore and then perished from starvation and thirst. As part of their duties, the keeper and his family walked along the shores as far as possible in search of shipwreck victims.

In 1915 the U.S. Life-Saving Service merged with the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service to form the U.S. Coast Guard, and then this House of Refuge became U.S. Coast Guard Station #207. The keeper at the time, Axel Johansen, and his wife, Kate, remained on duty, but Alex’s title was changed from Keeper to Surfman #1. Four other men were stationed at the house, and during World War I this crew of five was augmented by the Home Guard, composed of area youths.

Antigua: Safe Haven in a Hurricane?

In 1942, when German U-Boats torpedoed freighters along the Treasure Coast, a lookout tower and additional buildings were constructed on the property. In 1945 the U.S. government decommissioned House of Refuge operations, and the house sat empty until 1953, when Martin County purchased it and its 16-acre grounds for $168.

In 1955 the Martin County Historical Society was formed to protect the house and present it as a museum. Almost immediately, in addition to serving as a museum, the House of Refuge became a refuge for sea turtles, with this program being under the direction of Ross Witham (1917–2004), Marine Turtle Coordinator for the Florida Department of Natural Resources from 1963 to 1987. Now sea turtles, rather than shipwreck victims, depend on the life-saving measures of the House of Refuge.

Today the House of Refuge is itself a survivor; it is the only one of the original ten houses of refuge to remain on the Florida Coast. Today it tells the story of the region’s significant maritime heritage and the Floridians who endured hardships for the sake of humanitarian service.

Bermuda Triangle and the Shipwreck of the Sapona

Not only were we able to see mid century buildings, clothing, furniture, and equipment, but one of my guests, Luara Kay’s father has many of his artwork permanently hanging in the museum. Of course he did over 500 paintings in his life and that was only after he retired from starting and running a boat yard and being a pioneer in the Florida sport fishing tourism business. He truly was an amazing man and it was great to see his works along with this amazing piece of history. A very cool stop on the East Coast in central Florida.

Captain Shane & 1st Mate Lily are now sailing along and exploring the Greater Antilles after he spent 10 years in the Eastern Caribbean and Virgin Islands. Check out his voyage at svGuidingLight.com

Sailing with Charlie: Running Aground

There are many things to consider when preparing for a voyage at sea in a small boat: the wind, the waves, the sea can sometimes be anything other than predictable.

Two potential hazards facing the cruising yachtsman: dragging anchor and running aground. Charlie likes the oft quoted truism, “If you brag that you’ve never run aground you probably haven’t been anywhere.” 

Charlie ran aground in Key West once. A friend had said, “Come and tie up to my dock behind the house.” The waters all around the Keys are shallow but Charlie thought he could make it – he couldn’t. ‘De watter were too t’in.’ The approach to the channel had a grassy bottom so when he bumped to a halt and started listing, he wasn’t too worried. Charlie was in the water in a flash with mask to check surrounding depths when a dinghy came up to investigate, “You better get out o’ here fast – the Coast Guard will fine you big time if they catch you tearing up the bottom.” “What! A bit o’ sea grass, you gotta be kiddin’.”  

The Crab Pot Conundrum

Graphics by Anouk Sylvestre
Graphics by Anouk Sylvestre

The long and the short of the story is that Charlie eventually managed to float his boat. He hauled it over with the main halyard tied to the end of an anchor rode with the anchor 200-ft off the beam. It wasn’t easy, several other small boats appeared with helpers as if by magic and after several hours – Voila! Success! 

But as Charlie was retrieving the anchor, a plough, he saw that somehow a conch had managed to impale itself on the anchor’s tip. Horror upon horrors – if the marine police fine boaters for damaging the sea grass what would they do for damaging a conch? 

Anchoring Equipment – How Do I Know What to Buy?

It was sometime later after everything was stowed and back to normal and the panic had subsided that Charlie reflected on the situation. His grounding experience had definitely caused some sea bed damage. Here are some of his conclusions:

• If the depth is questionable do not attempt to go there at high tide. Rather choose a rising tide at about half way up. So, if you run aground you have a chance!

• There are many new types of anchor that have superseded the CQR (Secure), once thought to be the gold standard in anchors. One that springs to mind is the Vulcan by Rocna – it sets quickly on any bottom due its design and weighted tip, has great holding power and stows well on the bow. 

• Boaters have to anchor and sometimes there will be few options. In an emergency you may have to anchor on any bottom type.

Just as when we go for a country walk our footsteps may damage an ants’ nest or a bug on a blade of grass so an anchor may impact a seagrass bottom. Cutting a furrow across a grassy bottom due to a poorly set anchor (usually not sufficient rode) is a major sin. 

It’s been reported that although seagrass only covers 0.2% of the seafloor, it absorbs 10% of the ocean’s carbon each year, making it a valuable asset in the fight against climate change. What to do? 

As usual it’s all about common sense, although common sense is not very common. Sand and mud bottoms are acceptable for anchoring while coral, grass and kelp should be avoided. Low water depths and bottom types are marked on all good nautical charts so there’s no excuse.

The most effective anchors should be on the bow of your boat ready to be deployed in an instant if necessary. You may have to sail into an anchorage and if so, only the best is good enough; you may not have a second chance. 

Good ground tackle is the best insurance you can buy.

Julian Putley is the author of The Drinking Man’s Guide to the BVI; Sunfun Calypso; and Sunfun Gospel. 

Cruising the Bahamas – Don’t Leave Home Without It!

Visiting The Exumas: Someplace Special


It’s just past noon on the second day of our Exumas sailing adventure and the catamaran we’ve booked from Dream Yacht Charter out of their Nassau, Bahamas, base has been swinging lazily on its mooring for nearly an hour.

The manifest of “Eden Blue”, our chartered Fountaine-Pagot 42’, includes me, my wife Sharon and good friends Jim and Leanne Fonger and Tim and Denise Aseltine. After a quick reach south from last night’s overnight spot we’re ensconced in the cockpit, sipping Kalik beers, surveying the rotating panorama and discussing a revised float plan.

Beautiful Warderick Wells

Wardericks Wells
Wardericks Wells Image Courtesy of Sharon Matthews-Stevens/ [email protected]

Here at Warderick Wells in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, lime neon waters nuzzle our hull in a channel surrounded by blinding white sand bars that almost dry at low tide. To our east a ridge decorated by scrub and palms – BooBoo Hill – reaches for skies nearly as blue as the water. An alabaster beach inhabited only by a couple of picnic tables, a small fleet of sea kayaks and the skeleton of a beached whale lounges a couple of hundred yard off our starboard beam. Two other boats share the mooring field. Off our stern a rudimentary building housing the park office crouches atop another ridge clothed in green vegetation.

This a place of unspeakable splendor, where your cell shows zero bars, where internet is non-existent.

We’re halfway down a chain encompassing a year’s worth of cays, a cruising ground Dream Yacht Charter global marketing manager, Emily Turner, describes as “ideal for those that enjoy solitude, nature and unspoiled beauty.”

Perfect description for this mooring field in particular – and the chief reason we all agree to revise our float plan notwithstanding the advice Dream Yacht Charter staffer Kirkwood Paul offered at our introductory chart briefing.

“Swim with the pigs off Compass Cay,” suggested Paul. “Make your way further south and swim with sharks at Staniel or explore the caves at Thunderball Grotto.”

So You Want to Charter Your Yacht in the Caribbean

Wardericks Wells
Wardericks Wells Image Courtesy of Sharon Matthews-Stevens/ [email protected]

But we figure the pigs won’t miss us. And velocity made good is a secondary consideration.

That’s why, our decision made, four of our crew climb into the dinghy and make for the park office to cover the mooring fee for two nights instead of one.

Once back on “Eden Blue” I pontificate to Jim and Leanne, who are experiencing their first ever charter.

“Powerboaters are happy because they are going someplace special,” I say. “Sailors are happy because they are already there.”

Tim and Denise, experienced sailors, nod in enthusiastic agreement.

Warderick Wells is someplace special. But that’s equally true of the entire archipelago.

Much of the appeal of cruising the Exumas, this cornucopia of islands stretching for more than a hundred nautical miles southeast of Nassau, is due to places like this haven or last night’s mooring at Shroud Cay, an oasis featuring rugged rock formations, a protected beach and mangrove creeks, or nearby Hawksbill Cay, an uninhabited swathe of sand, sea and sun – “my favorite anchorage in the Exumas,” according to Dream Yacht Charter’s Kirkwood Paul.

Much of that appeal lies with occasional nods to civilization like those we find at Norman’s and Highbourne Cay.

The Exuma Islands: Fifty Shades of Blue

Allen Cay
Allen Cay Image Courtesy of Sharon Matthews-Stevens/ [email protected]

Norman’s boasts an anchorage hard by a half-mile beach and shoreside dining at MacDuff’s, where I do fresh grouper while snugged down on a rustic candlelit patio. Highbourne boasts an actual marina where we dinghy ashore for provisioning and fresh seafood at Xuma’s, an elegant eatery that could hold its own on Nassau.

Much of the appeal lies with Exumas sailing conditions, though the Moorings website does point out that this is a cruising ground for more advanced sailors.

That’s partly because the passage to the Exumas from the Dream Yacht Charter base at Nassau’s Palm Cay Marina clocks in at thirty nautical miles of open water, part of that a stretch over the intimidating Yellow Bank (though our passage both ways proves to be uneventful thanks to careful attention to tidal changes – an important factor when you cruise here). 

The depths we encounter throughout the week are hardly ever greater than twenty feet, but extensive coral heads at Yellow Bank demand extra vigilance for a couple of miles. Furthermore, those unspeakable turquoises and aquamarines encompassing the Exumas (hues I’m convinced would decorate the walls of heaven) also highlight the need both to assign frequent lookouts and to make friends with your charts. 

Seven Great Reasons to Visit St. Lucia

Allen Cay
Allen Cay Image Courtesy of Sharon Matthews-Stevens/ [email protected]

If you’re looking for more water under your keel, opt for “the Sound” – the Atlantic side as opposed to the “Banks,” in the islands’ lee – but weather conditions also might mean bigger seas.

The conditions we encountered on the “banks” for our six-day charter were almost perfect. “Eden Blue” romped along at six or seven knots on close or beam reach for three of those days.

But sailing conditions aren’t the only appeal.

Case in point: one day we dinghy ashore at a postcard-perfect lunch spot between Allen and Leaf Cay. Once we’re ashore, a battalion of iguanas unique to the Exumas approaches us in search of handouts. 

Case in point: five minutes after we drop the hook at Norman’s Cay a duet of nurse sharks – unnerving even though they’re supposed to be friendly as puppies – circles the boat just as we prep for a swim.

Case in point: back at Warderick Wells five stingrays glide over the incandescent sand bottom off our port beam, even as a turtle surfaces five feet from the swim platform as if to say “farewell” as we weigh anchor and begin the day’s adventure.

It’s a day that will end, just like every other day in the Exumas, in someplace special.

Someplace really special.


We booked our weeklong adventure with Dream Yacht Charter. For more information check out https://www.dreamyachtcharter.com/destination/exumas/

Moorings also maintains a fleet of sail and powercats out of Nassau. Click on https://www.moorings.com/destinations/americas/bahamas/exumas-yacht-charters. For Sunsail offerings go to https://www.sunsail.com/yacht-charter/caribbean/bahamas/exuma

For all things Bahamas go to https://www.bahamas.com

Rum Review: Kasama Small Batch — Philippines


While Clint is away this month, I decided to pick a rum-based on a more tropical profile that I enjoy. Perusing down the rum aisle, I began reading all the descriptions and employee reviews. Kasama Small Batch from the Philippines stood out not only from its tropical-themed bottle but the description of notes of pineapple, vanilla, and banana. Let’s hope the taste is as good as the description sounds.

When and How to Abandon Ship – Save a Life! Maybe your own…

Rum Review: Kasama - Small Batch Rum
Kasama – Small Batch Rum

You might be asking, “Seriously, Terry, a rum from the Philippines? True rum comes from the Caribbean.” As I’m researching this rum, I’m discovering The Philippines have one of the largest rum markets in the world, forecasted to reach 233.10 million USD in retail sales by 2025. The Philippines also produces the biggest rum brand in the world in total sales, Tanduay. Doing a quick search, Tanduay is beginning to make its way West and should soon be in a store near you.

Kasama Rum was started by Alexandra Dorda, a second-generation spirits entrepreneur whose father, Tad Dorda, co-founded Belvedere and Chopin vodkas. Alexandra launched Kasama to pay homage to her Filipina mother and Polish father’s unique heritage. Alexandra also brings a young vibe to the Kasama brand. Kasama means together in Filipino, stating, “…Kasama is all about the joy of physically coming together.”

Working in small batch production, Kasama rum begins with freshly pressed noble sugarcane, native to Southeast Asia and featuring thick barrel-shaped internodes, or segments; large soft-rind juicy stalks, and high sugar content. The sugarcane is made into a sugarcane juice, very similar to the French Caribbean rhum Agricole. The rum is distilled using a column still and then aged locally for 7 years in ex-bourbon American oak barrels. Once complete, the rum is sent to the family’s distillery in Poland where it is blended, bottled, and packaged.   

Angostura 1919 8-year Old

She Said

I could smell the pineapple as soon as I opened the bottle. The beautiful golden color is as inviting as a tropical sunset. The rum coats the glass nicely but with limited lacing. Even as the glass sits on the table, pineapple engulfs my senses. Once I bring the glass to my nose the pineapple is softened by notes of vanilla. The sip is bright, light, and flavorful with a texture consistent with traditional molasses-based rums. The two dominant flavors of pineapple and vanilla now work in sync, reminding me of a freshly baked pineapple upside-down cake, my grandfather’s favorite. There is a slight alcohol burn on the back of the palate before finishing. As the liquid finishes though, the pineapple turns a bit bitter but dissipates quickly. 

Rum Review: Ron Cartavio Solera 12 Years

Overall Kasama – Small Batch Rum Review

Kasama is a good rum for a hot summer day. The beautiful color and refreshing notes instantly transport you to a beach. At $25/bottle, it’s not a bad rum to share with friends.

If you have tasted Kasama or Tanduay and want to share a review with me, send it to [email protected]

3.75 of 5  

About Clint and Terry: We have sampled many a dram over our 33 years of marriage and quite often we don’t fully agree. Could be the difference is male/female taste buds. Or, somebody is just wrong.

Rum Review: Captain Morgan Private Stock

Cooling Recipes for Hot Summer Days


Watermelon – A few quick ideas: Purée watermelon, cantaloupe and kiwi together. Swirl in a little plain yogurt and serve as refreshing cold soup. Watermelon mixed with thinly sliced red onion salt and black pepper, makes a great summer salad. In Southern American cooking, the rind of watermelon can be marinated, pickled, or candied. Watermelon is a wonderful addition to fruit salad. And fruit salad can be made days ahead since cut fruit, if chilled, retains its nutrients for at least 6 days.

Watermelons At Their Best

Preparation time: 30 minutes. Cooking time: 35 minutes. Serves: 6
4-1/2 cups chicken stock
½ tsp. saffron threads, crumbled, then loosely measured
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 oz. mild dried chorizo sausage, sliced into thin half-moons (See Recipe Note)
3 cups short-grain rice, such as Spanish Bomba rice or Italian Arborio
1 (14-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen green peas
1 lb. large (21-25 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails left on
1 lb. mussels, rinsed and scrubbed
1 lb. littleneck clams, rinsed and scrubbed
Garnish: 1/4 cup chopped parsley and lemon slices

Preheat the gas grill to medium-high heat (375ºF) or light a charcoal grill and let on until the charcoal is covered with gray ash.

Steep the saffron: In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock to a boil. Add the saffron and salt. Turn off the heat and let the saffron steep for at least 15 minutes. Taste and add more salt, if needed.

Cook the sofrito base: In a 12-14 inch cast iron pan or stainless steel skillet, heat the oil over medium heat on top of the stove. Add the onion an dried pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic and chorizo.

Assemble the ingredients by the grill: On a table next to the grill, set the skillet with the sofrito, the rice, tomatoes, infused stock, salt, peas, shrimp, mussels, and clams.

Caribbean Cooking: The Last Blast of Summer

Begin cooking the Paella: Set the skillet with the sofrito on the grill. Add the rice and cook; stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until the rice is coated with old and lightly toasted. Stir in the stock, tomatoes, and peas. Taste for seasoning and add more, if needed. Spread the rice evenly over the bottom of the pan. Close the grill cover and simmer the rice without stirring for 15 minutes, or until the rice absorbs most of the stock. If the mixture looks dry, pour about 1 cup of hot water over it, but do not stir.

Add the seafood: Press the mussels and clams into the rice with the hinge sides up so they release their juices into the rice. Arrange the shrimp around the shellfish. Cover the pan with foil, close the grill and cook for 6 to 10 minutes longer (depending on the heat of your grill), or until the rice and shrimp are both cooked through and the mussels and clams are open. (Discard any shellfish that remain tightly shut once everything else is cooked.)

Check to see if the bottom is browned: Slip a spatula under the rice and check to see if you have achieved the elusive golden brown socarrat. If not, set the pan over the heat, uncovered, for a few minutes to lightly caramelize the bottom.

Sprinkle with parsley and bring the whole pan to the table for serving. Summer is just short – celebrate with friends.

Boat Bites: Cool Potluck Dishes

Jan Robinson, Health Coach, Charter Yacht Consultant, 2019 CYBA Hall of Fame, Chef Competition Coordinator/Judge, and author of the Ship to Shore Cookbook collection; available on Amazon and www.shiptoshoreinc.com [email protected]

USA’s Brill Wins 29th International Optimist Regatta in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Good starts, consistent finishes, and having fun is what led the USA’s Beck Brill to win the 29th International Optimist Regatta (IOR), hosted at St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC), June 17 to 19. Thirteen-year-old Brill, representing Miami, FL’s Coconut Grove Sailing Club, was one of nearly 100 sailors from Puerto Rico, several U.S.A. states, and the U.S. Virgin Islands that competed in this three-day regatta under Caribbean-ideal conditions that averaged 15- to 18-knots of breeze under sunny skies.

“Congratulations to the winners of this year’s International Optimist Regatta. We continue to remain inspired by the new generation of sailors who are the future of our marine life. Congratulations to our partners at the St. Thomas Yacht club for another year of a successful and seamless race. We look forward to continuing this tradition and welcoming our residents and visitors to experience the sailing paradise of the U.S. Virgin Islands,” says Joseph Boschulte, Commissioner of Tourism for the U.S. Virgin Islands.


Brill’s first place overall also put him at the top of the 13- to 15-year-old Red Fleet, after 10 races in the Championship fleet.

“I was in the lead going into today, so it was scary. I knew I had to be consistent to stay in front. I sang songs in my head to relax. In the first race today, Kayla (Benesch) beat me. Our scores got closer. In the last race, I finished second and it put me in the lead by 7 points,” says Brill, who has sailed in the IOR for four years as has Benesch.

Thirteen-year-old Benesch, from Miami, FL’s Coral Reef Yacht Club, ended second overall and second in the Red Fleet and earned the Top Female award. She is the first to receive the new perpetual Founders Trophy, awarded to the IOR’s top female sailor. This trophy is designed to recognize the IOR’s women’s sailing past and present and promote greater participation by young women in this event. The Founders Trophy is the brainchild of two of the event’s five founders, Henry and Fredelle Menin.

“Good starts, good upwind and downwind legs, and sailing fast. That was my goal today. Even in the last race, when I knew I wouldn’t win the overall, I didn’t give up. I just kept sailing hard and trying to pass as many boats as I could,” says Benesch.

In the age 11- to 12-year-old Blue Fleet, 12-year-old Emilio Bocanegra, from Ft. Lauderdale, FL’s Lauderdale Yacht Club, finished first.

“My plan for the week was to be consistent and get good starts. Each day, I worked to execute my plan. It paid off. It was a very good week,” says Bocanegra, who also won the 4-leg Volvo Ocean Race, the wrap-up event to the TOTE Clinic earlier in the week.

Rounding out the Championship Fleet is White Fleet winner, 10-year-old Diego Rivera-Hermida, from San Juan, Puerto Rico’s Club Nautico de San Juan.

“I tried to keep on the side of the course where the wind was best,” says Rivera-Hermida, who added that having fun and making friends were highlights of his week as well as the podium finish.

Meanwhile, it was 10-year-old Diego Delgado-Ripepi, also representing Club Nautico de San Juan, who won the Beginner Green Fleet after a total of 21 races.

“I listened to my coach. When I didn’t understand something, I just stayed calm and sailed. That’s how I won most of the races,” says Delgado-Ripepi.

In other awards, it was Fort Lauderdale, FL’s Maxton Damiano, from the Lauderdale Yacht Club, who earned the Pete Ives Award, given for a combination of sailing prowess, sportsmanship, determination, and good attitude both on and off the water. St. Thomas Yacht Club’s Emma Walters earned the Chuck Fuller Sportsmanship Award. The Sportsmanship Award was awarded to Violet Karr, from Miami, FL, and Coral Reef Yacht Club. Lastly, the inaugural Race Committee Award went to Harrison Szot, of CERT/Bay Head Yacht Club, in Bay Head, NJ.


The 8- to 15-year-old sailors started the week by training in the three-day TOTE Clinic held June 13 to 15.

The Clinic was run by top local and international coaches: The coaches, in alphabetical order with their affiliations, are Mykel Alonso (Coral Reef Yacht Club, FL, USA), Pepe Betini (Long Island Sound Optimist Team, NY, USA), Jose Arturo Diaz (Club Nautico de San Juan, PR), Mateo Di Blasi (STYC, USVI), Edgar Diminich (Key Biscayne Yacht Club, FL, USA), Bernat Gali (Coral Reef Yacht Club, FL, USA), Kate McDonald (STYC, USVI), Gonzalo Pollitzer (Club Nautico San Isidro, Argentina), Agustin Resano (STYC, USVI), Manny Resano (California Yacht Club, CA, USA), and Esteban Rocha (Fort Lauderdale Yacht Club, FL, USA).

The one-day TOTE Team Racing Championships took place on June 16. Out of over a dozen teams, the winner was Team CRYC Spectra. Team members were Will Barnhart, Kayla Benesch, Brayden Zawyer, and Sophie De Leon Urban.

Strong Sponsor Support

New in 2022, winners in the Red, Blue, and White Championship fleets received signature Virgin Islands’-styled Lite Up Watches from Cardow Jewelers, each in coordinated Red, Blue, and White colors. The water-resistant timepieces feature a silicon band, flashlight, light-up feature, and an outline of all three U.S. Virgin Islands on the face.

The IOR is sponsored by TOTE Maritime, Cardow Jewelers, K3 Waterproof Gear, Mountain Top, MSI Building Supplies, St. Thomas Restaurant Group, and the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism.

The IOR is sanctioned by the Caribbean Sailing Association.

This year’s event followed an eco-friendly theme. Sailors were encouraged to recycle all plastic water bottles, use the reusable water bottle in the goodie bag throughout the regatta, keep all lunch bags and wrapping out of the water, pick up any trash on shore and accept drinks without straws.

For more information, call (408) 314-7119, or Email: [email protected] Or, for the Notice of Regatta (NOR), Results, and other information, visit the St. Thomas Yacht Club website at stthomasyachtclub.org/sailing/regattas/international-optimist-regatta or Regatta Network: www.regattanetwork.com/event/23549.

Please also visit the International Optimist Regatta on Social Media!

Name, Yacht Club, Country, Points

1. Beck Brill, CGSC, USA (43)
2. Kyla Benesch, CRYC, USA (50)
3. Will Barnhart, CRYC, USA (60)
4. Sophie De Leon Urban, CRYC, USA (77)
5. Amelia Woodworth, PYC/LISOT, USA (79)

1. Emilio Bocanegra, LYC, USA (73)
2. Finnegan Grainger, CRYC, USA (80)
3. Coby Fagan, STYC, USVI (100)
4. Connor Karr, CRYC, USA (102)
5. Ian Farley, LYC, USA (109)

1. Diego Rivera-Hermida, CNSJ, PR (252)
2. Lee Rhoades Munder, LYC, USA (394)
3. Constantino Conrad, DIYC, USA (408)
4. George Alexopoulos, RYC, USA (426)
5. Ryan Lee, DIYSF, USA (436)

1. Diego Delgado-Ripepi, CNSJ, PR (49)
2. Julian Rivera Fernandez, CNSJ, PR (56)
3. Rafael Vazquez, CNSJ, PR (63)
4. Valeria Pérez – Hermida, CNSJ, PR (74T)
5. Inés Méndez-Larminaux, CNSJ, PR (74T)


TOTE. TOTE is a domestic ocean freight carrier headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, that offers freight services for containerized cargo between the U.S., San Juan, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands. TOTE is the first carrier to operate liquid natural gas (LNG) powered vessels. www.totemaritime.com

U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism. The U.S. Virgin Islands are in the Eastern Caribbean 1,100 miles southeast of Miami, Florida, USA. Each of the three major islands–St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John–possess a unique character of their own. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of watersports as well as immerse themselves in the territory’s rich culture by enjoying historical tours, culinary encounters, artisan fairs, parades, storytelling, and other special presentations. www.visitusvi.com

The USA’s Beck Brill wins the 2022 International Optimist Regatta in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Credit Matias Capizzano
The USA’s Kayla Benesch finished second overall and Top Female, earning her name on the new Founder’s Trophy. Credit: Dean Barnes
2022 International Optimist Regata / © Matias Capizzano

7-Day Charter Itinerary: Grenada

The southern Caribbean Island of Grenada is often the starting or ending point of a charter that includes St Vincent & the Grenadines to the north. However, this 135-square-mile Windward Island, along with its offshore islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique, makes an incredible destination itself for a week-long charter. 

Courtesy Dream Yacht Charter
Courtesy Dream Yacht Charter

“We have line-of-sight sailing so even though you will sail in open water. Most anchorages are wide-open and easy to navigate. Because Grenada is essentially undiscovered, secluded beaches and quiet anchorages are common. During COVID, some charter companies closed and some of the major players moved many of their inventory North. If you look at the number of bareboat charter companies in the Virgins compared to the number here, you just don’t have the competition for mooring balls and anchorages,” says Chrystal Young, co-owner with Chris Rundlett and marketing director, finance, and yacht broker at LTD (Living the Dream) Sailing, which operates a sailing school, bareboat and skippered yacht charters out of its Prickly Bay Marina location on Grenada’s south coast.

Courtesy CTO UK
Courtesy CTO UK

Grenada is as interesting ashore as it is on the water, adds Carol Hansen, head of marketing in the Americas for Dream Yacht Charter, which offers over 30 sailing monohull and multihull yachts from 39- to 52-feet, out of its base at Port Louis Marina, in St. Georges. “Take a day or two before or during your charter to explore inland with a visit to one of the island’s beautiful plantations, like Belmont Estate in St. Patrick, nestled between the mountains that surround the villages of Tivoli and Hermitage in Grenada’s north. It’s a great way to see the beauty and culture of the island.  A hiking and waterfall tour is another great option before or after your charter. It’s also interesting to note that Grenada rarely sees hurricane activity, so it’s a nice option for summer sailing.”

10 Caribbean Beaches Only Reachable by Boat

Here’s a sample 7-day charter itinerary within Grenada:

Courtesy CTO UK
Courtesy CTO UK

Day 1: St. Georges to Dragon Bay.

Sail about 1 mile north to Dragon Bay, where you can anchor in sand or pick up a government mooring ball. The draw is a visit to nearby Moliniere Point. Snorkel or scuba dive at the Underwater Sculpture Park. Listed by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, there are 75 works of art covering nearly 1,000 square yards at a depth of 15 to 25 feet. One of the most iconic is called Vicissitudes. It features a ring of children holding hands and facing out towards the sea. Enjoy dinner on board.

Day 2: Dragon Bay to Tyrell Bay.

Get an early start for this 30-plus mile sail north, along Grenada’s west coast, to this quaint bay on 13-square-mile Carriacou. The anchorage here is popular, populated by both the local fishing fleet as well as cruisers who call this home for the season. Plan to go ashore. The white sand horseshoe-shaped beach is one draw. Then, hop to one of the many beach bars and restaurants that line the bay. There’s pizza, BBQ, and often live music at Lambi Queen, the Gallery Bistro is a hot spot for Sunday brunch and lunch, and Frog’s Ristorante Lounge & Beach Bar is the place for morning croissants and cappuccino, lunchtime paninis and happy hour tapas and Sundowners. 

Courtesy CTO UK
Courtesy CTO UK

Day 3: Tyrell Bay to Petite Martinique.

Sail north to nearly Carriacou’s northernmost tip. This bay boasts one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. It’s an off-the-beaten spot for a swim. Snorkeling is excellent too over the coral reefs just offshore. Enjoy lunch onboard, then cast off for the northern end of Petite Martinique and anchor for the night. There’s more traffic by boat than on the roads of this 1-square-mile island where boatbuilding is the bread and butter of life. There are a few bars and restaurants ashore. Ask for a guide to the hidden cave at Darant Bay. It’s a hidden gem only accessible at low tide.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Grenada

Day 4: Petite Martinique to Sandy Island.

A short sail north puts you at this tiny sandy spit nicknamed Umbrella Island because the only thing here is one thatched umbrella for shade. At only 100 feet long, it’s supposedly the Caribbean’s smallest island. Go ashore to snap an iconic picture, then hoist the sails and cruise south to Sandy Island. Located just east of Carriacou, this uninhabited island is perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The abundant marine life here is thanks to this being a Marine Protected area. Pick up a mooring and spend the night.

Credit LTD
Credit LTD

Day 5: Sandy Island to Prickly Bay.

Start early for a beautiful sail down Grenada’s east shore to the island’s southern tip. Prickly Bay is a favorite seasonal destination for cruisers. There are a few marinas here, fuel, and several restaurants, many with live music in season. The Sand Bar in Lance Aux Epines, for example, is nice for a late lunch or early dinner with everything from burgers to lobster on the menu. 

Day 6: Prickly Bay.

Overnighting is good here, although the swell can kick up if the wind is out of the southeast. This gives a day to explore ashore. Head to nearby picture postcard Grand Anse beach for a sand and sea lime. Or venture inland to hike the scenic trails in the Grand Etang National Park. Or drive an hour north to visit the River Antoine Rum Distillery for a taste and tour. 

Courtesy CTO UK
Courtesy CTO UK

Day 7: Prickly Bay to St. George’s.

Sleep late and leisurely cruise back to the Port Louis Marina. Before heading to the airport, take a dip in the marina pool and tuck into lunch at the Victory Bar & Restaurant. While waiting, grab a paper napkin and jot down all the places you’d like to visit on your next charter in Grenada.


Hodges Top Angler, Jolly Hull Top Boat in Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club’s Annual Dolphin Derby

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The catch of a 14.9-pound dolphin fish (mahi-mahi) earned St. Thomas’ Greg Hodges the Top Angler prize at the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club’s Annual Dolphin Derby held June 4. Normally held in April, postponements due to weather with the safety of participants top of mind, led to a day with more fishing than catching, albeit with plenty of fun.

Fishing aboard the St. Thomas-based 42-foot Prowler, Jolly Hull, with Captain Thaddeus Bushnell at the helm, Hodges caught his winning fish south of St. Thomas and north of St. Croix.

“Our game plan was to make a run south early and then work our way west,” says Bushnell. “We kept looking for floaters, whether it was patches of weed or debris or anything the mahi like to hide under. Along the way, we hooked a barracuda and then a couple of small mahi, but nothing much. Then it was just before noon when we saw a homemade FAD and the lines started going off with double and triple headers. As soon we reeled fish in, more would be on the line. In all, we landed two mahi and four wahoo.”

The wahoo didn’t count in scoring since this tournament targets dolphin. Plus, the second of the two dolphin weighed in just under 10 pounds, good enough to eat but not to count for points in this conservation-oriented tournament. Thus, Hodges 14.9- pound catch also led Jolly Hull to the Top Boat prize. This is the first time Hodges won the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club’s tournament.

“I have to say it all boiled down to having a good team. We were all reeling in fish today,” says Hodges.

In addition to Hodges and Bushnell, team members on Jolly Hull were Stewart Loveland, Crispin Weekes, Jashae Joseph, and KJ Terry.

Sport fishermen will have their chance to fish, catch and win again on October 15 when the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club hosts its Wahoo Wind-up.

“Weather challenges led to an early postponement of this tournament, but safety is always our priority,” says Kelvin Bailey, Jr., president of the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club. “That said, we want to give a shout out to all the boats that did fish, although they didn’t make it to the scales.”

The VIGFC appreciates sponsorship support from the Bacardi and Stoli, distributed by the West Indies Company; IGY’s American Yacht Harbor Marina; Intellectual Global Concepts USVI LLC; Lattes in Paradise; Neptune Fishing Supplies; Island Time Pub; and the St. Thomas Yacht Club.

Looking ahead, the VIGFC will host its Wahoo Windup on October 15 and its Kid’s Fishing Tournament on October 29.

For more information, call (340) 775-9144, Email: [email protected], or visit: www.vigfc.com

Photo: Jolly Hull, Top Boat. Team members L to R: Stewart Loveland, KJ Terry, Captain Thaddeus Bushnell, Crispin Weekes, Greg Hodges – Top Angler, and Jashae Joseph. Credit: Dean Barnes

Thirteen-Year-Old St. Barths Sailor Sets New World Record

Lolie Osswald put the Caribbean on the map by setting a new world record for solo and unassisted distance sailing on Sunday, June 19. The St. Barth’s teenager cast off from St. John’s Antigua at 2 a.m. on an 8-foot Optimist dinghy and arrived in Gustavia, St Barths, about 80 nautical miles, in 16 hours, 34 minutes, and 30 seconds. Crowds lined the town’s waterfront to welcome the record-setting Osswald. 

“I wanted to do a big crossing for years,” says Osswald, who won the Sol St. Maarten Optimist Championship in 2020 and most recently the Optimist class at the 2022 St. Maarten Dinghy National Championship Finals in June, both times representing the St. Barths Yacht Club. “My coach, Cindy Brin, and I decided to start from Antigua for two reasons. First, it was downwind. Second, if I was going to do a big crossing, I wanted it to be a world record. I choose to sail an Optimist because it is very small and would make it even more incredible for people to believe that I could do it.”

Top Ten Reasons to Cruise the Caribbean

Courtesy St Barth Yacht Club
Courtesy St Barth Yacht Club

To prepare, Osswald said she watched videos of teenage French sailors, Violett Dorange and Tom Goron, who set records in 2016 and 2018, respectively, by crossing the 60-mile channel in Europe between the Isle of Wight and Cherbourg in an Optimist. She trained by sailing from St Barths to St Martin, a trip of 5 hours 30 minutes. Then, when it was record-attempt time, Osswald put her Optimist on one of the St. Barths Yacht Club 40-foot catamarans, one used for team travel and housing for inter-island events, and headed with her supporters to Antigua. There, she packed two waterproof containers on her dinghy with sugar-rich foods like candies and fruit juice and the other with pasta. She also had a CamelBak with one gallon of fresh drinking water. For safety, the catamaran and a speedboat followed Osswald the entire distance. She also wore an emergency beacon for tracking, an SOS button to call for Search and Rescue assistance, and a VHF radio onboard. 

“The most exciting parts were the beginning of the crossing and the end. At the start, I was very excited to sail at night and that this adventure was happening. I couldn’t believe it was real. In the end, it was exciting when I saw all the boats joining me and all the people in the harbor, all screaming and cheering. It was awesome,” says Osswald.

The scariest part of the voyage, she says, was when it was dark, and she couldn’t see anything in front of her. Sunrise proved a relief. Sargassum slowed the anticipated 15-hour trip by an extra 1.5 hours.

What is Osswald’s advice to other young Caribbean sailors who want to embark on a distance sail? “Be patient and be sure you really want to do it. Because if you are not motivated, you will tire quickly and might give up. My wish to all the sailors that want to try sailing a distance or making a crossing, is to succeed because the feeling when you achieve your goal is crazy good,” says Osswald. stbarthyachtclub.com