Make a mark, receive great reviews (and tips) and remember – It’s all about making memories. Rather than just sailing from one mooring ball to another, give your guests an exceptional time. Diving and snorkeling is a given but a guided tour of your favorite reef pointing out various corals and fish with a white board and magic marker would put your service above the rest. Then…
Pick up a conch and later, back aboard, show them how it’s cleaned and prepared. The back of a machete can be used to make a small cut in the shell, slice inside with a sharp knife to release the muscle and pull out the shell fish. (Yeah, it looks disgusting but so do the ingredients of a hot dog). Clean it, slice it and tenderize it with a mallet and prepare your own special recipe. Charlie’s favorite is ‘cracked conch.’ Serve it with your famous cocktail sauce. For a good laugh explain the origin of the word cock – tail. It’s not what you might think. Keep it clean – if possible
Another attention grabber could be the collection and preparation of the edible Caribbean white sea urchin. The white ‘sea eggs’ are easy to gather, often living in depths of less than 10-ft. The orange roe inside the white sea urchin is edible and considered a delicacy by gourmands. The effort of collecting and cleaning and scraping out the roe is considerable – and one urchin will yield only about half a teaspoonful – but the effect is likely to be amazing – Oooohs and Aaahhhs will be elicited as you present your hors d’oeuvre – perhaps a piece of sushi garnished with the precious roe. And, like oysters, it is touted as an aphrodisiac. If a new human is conceived on board, the memory could last a lifetime. Makes you wonder about Roe versus Wade though!
If you love this, you’ll love:
- Caicos Conch: A Sustainable Resource?
- A Conch by Any Name is Disappearing
- Anegada’s Conch Shell Island
- Seven Day Charter Itinerary to the British Virgin Islands
- Antigua Sailing Week – I am here because someone decided to take A Kid Sailing
You may think that preparing a couple of dishes from locally harvested ingredients is no big thing but so many visitors from industrialized countries have no idea where food comes from. Not long ago a teenager from New York was asked where steak came from. Answer: ‘from the supermarket.’ Catching and cleaning a fresh fish could be an eye-opening experience for many land lubbers.
Of course, making memories on board a charter yacht involves more than food. Since the 2017 hurricanes the snorkeling in the BVI’s and Northern Leewards’ shallow water has not been great, but deeper water reefs survived the raging seas. Therefore, SCUBA should be encouraged. Kiteboarding is a fun sport. Hey, if President Obama can pick it up in a few days so can anyone…
There’s lots of history, geological wonders, culture: reggae, rum, mocko jumbies, calypso – and more. Happy hour stories should never run out.
Keep them busy, give them fun, make every day count. Don’t motor upwind but hoist all sail and get going at 10+ kts. Spray over the bow, screams of delight and all-round laughter makes for great photos. And if the first mate has time, video all the fun moments. For lasting memories and great advertising, a good vid presented to the guests on departure will be a precious memento for them and probably pay dividends for you.