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NEWS – Second Life for used Sails Project

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Second Life for used Sails Project
Haiti – The Second Life Used Sails project, planned to assist Haitian fishermen who rely on sail-powered boats, received the approval of the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) as an SSCA endorsed ‘Clean Wake’ project.

“Frequently people find themselves with used sails and surplus sailcloth as well as fishing gear that have useful life in them – but no way to get them to folks who would put that second life to good use,” said Frank Virgintino , author of A Cruising Guide to Haiti and frequent visitor to the enchanting Ile à Vache. “A contribution of materials and gear that supports the principal livelihood of the island is a priceless ‘thank you’ to a community that has been very welcoming to cruising boats for generations.”

Ile à Vache fishermen build their own boats and are already talented at sailmaking and recycling, using materials from bed sheets to tarpaulins for their sails. Sailcloth would provide a more durable and reliable resource.

Cruisers’ used sails and fishing gear can have a second life. It starts when the donations are delivered or sent to either Marina ZarPar in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic:  www.marinazarpar.com – or to Minneford Marina on City Island, New York: www.minnefordmarina.com

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The first delivery of used sails took place in February.

Second Life Sails is jointly sponsored by Free Cruising Guides and Marina ZarPar, which will handle the logistics and underwrite the cost of transporting donated sails and gear to Ile à Vache, Haiti. (See article on page? – Ed.)

To read more about the Second Life Sails project and life on Ile à Vache, visit www.freecruisingguides.com – for further information, email: fvirgintino@gmail.com

New swing bridge arrives in Sint Maarten

Following hectic preparations to widen and dredge the channels into and through the Simpson Bay Lagoon on St Maarten the freighter Marietje Andrea, carrying the lagoon causeway’s 450-ton swing bridge, delivered its cargo without a hitch. The bridge was loaded aboard the ship in Holland and entered the lagoon on Friday May 3. With a length of 126m (416ft) and a beam and a draught of 15m (49.5ft) and 5.6m (18.5ft), respectively, the Marietje Andrea is the largest vessel ever to enter the Simpson Bay Lagoon. Her arrival caused quite a stir.

Optimists rule in St. Thomas

The International Optimist Regatta (IOR), presented by Glacial Energy, celebrates its 21st edition, June 21-23, with the kick-off Sea Star Clinic on June 17-19 and Sea Star Team Race June 20. Nearly 100 youngsters between eight and fifteen years-old are expected to compete in this St. Thomas Yacht Club and Virgin Island Sailing Association (VISA) hosted, Caribbean Sailing Association-sanctioned regatta.

“Sailors registered represent Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Bahamas, Grand Cayman, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Curacao, Mexico and of course all three U.S. Virgin Islands as well as a large number of U.S. sailors, including those from California,” says regatta director Margo Lynch.

Team racing entry fee is $160; registration closes at 5:00pm on June 19. Regatta entry fee is $250, and includes an event T-shirt, registration ‘goodie’ bag, and all meals.

For information, call (340) 775-6320 or visit www.styc.net Follow the regatta on Facebook!

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Gary Brown
Gary Brownhttp://garyebrown.net
Gary E. Brown is the Editorial Director of All At Sea Caribbean. He is a presenter on Island 92, 91.9 FM, St. Maarten, and the author of the thriller/sailing adventure Caribbean High. For more information, visit: garyebrown.net

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