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Caribbean Compass Monthly International Caribbean Yachting Magazine

CLICK Below TO READ THE December 2021 CARIBBEAN COMPASS ISSUE 315 ONLINE:

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Welcome to THE Caribbean Compass - the most widely read boating publication in the Caribbean!

Click here to download Compass Annual Calendar of Events 2021

Every month the Compass brings you THE MOST NEWS YOU CAN USE — more feature articles on cruising destinations, more news about regattas and events, more news about our Caribbean environment and more news about marine-related businesses. Plus we’ve got THE MOST FUN: poetry, fiction, history, book reviews, recipes and cartoons.

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And we’ve got THE MOST INTERACTION: letters make our always-lively Readers’ Forum a must-read. Caribbean Compass, a monthly source of information and enjoyment not to be missed. Readers say, “Compass is the best!” Welcome to the Caribbean!

If you want to receive notifications by e-mail when each month's new Compass is available free online, just drop a note to sally@caribbeancompass.com and we'll put you on the list - it's as easy as that!

Cover photo: Helmut Corneli

In this Issue:

Cruises within Borders

•St. Thomas and St. John, USVI •Amid Changes, Island Life is Still Here

By Joan Conover • The US Virgin Islands of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix all continue to be open for sailing visitors, and since 2017 the mangrove swamps and vegetation have recovered as they always do after hurricanes. But the Covid pandemic has caused some changes — not the least of which is the increased number of charter yachts found in nearly every harbor. For cruisers wanting to visit, there are also new regulations with the addition of Covid test requirements and anchoring permits. But despite these regulations and increasingly crowded anchorages, the US Virgin Islands still provide easy and interesting cruising within one territory...

Overlooking the western part of St. Thomas Harbor with Water Island in the background. The entrance to Crown Bay is visible at the right. Photo: Joan Conover

See Story page 13See also pp. 12 to 19

Info & Updates

New Rules

More good news for fully vaccinated travelers!

SVG • As of October 31st, St. Vincent & the Grenadines has removed the mandatory 48-hour quarantine for fully vaccinated persons arriving with a negative PCR test. The test must be taken within 72 hours of departure from port of origin. At the discretion of the Port Health officer (e.g. if you report or appear to have Covid symptoms), you may be tested for Covid-19 on arrival, and if so may be quarantined for 48 hours until cleared...

Visit http://health.gov.vc for details.

CUBA • As of November 7th, the mandatory quarantine of international travelers upon arrival and carrying out of the RT-PCR test at the border is eliminated.

Varadero Marina in Cuba. Along with St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Grenada, Cuba has recently dropped mandatory quarantine for arriving travelers. • Photo: Ralph Trout

Unless you present a health passport or international anti-Covid-19 certificate of those vaccines certified by the corresponding regulatory agencies, you must present a negative RT-PCR certification, carried out no more than 72 hours before traveling, in a certified laboratory in the country of origin. Visit https://bit.ly/3nNkGgL for details...

More Info & Updates on page 5, 6 & 7

Regatta News

Antigua Dominates in St. Maarten Opti Champs

The Sint Maarten Yacht Club saw 19 youth sailors from six different countries compete in the 16th annual Sol St. Maarten Optimist Championship on the weekend of October 30th. Six competitors raced in the Orange Fleet and 13 participated in the Blue Fleet, which is for advanced sailors. Competition was fierce and the racing of high quality.

Antiguan Patrick Greensmith topped the Optimist Championships in St. Maarten with nine wins in 13 races.

Sam Peeks, race coach of St. Maarten, said, “We were happy to see the international teams joining after last year’s smaller championship due to the Covid travel restrictions. The kids loved being able to compete on a regional level again and friendships were formed — all good things that derive from international youth sailing events.”...

Caribbean Multihull Challenge 2022 Warms Up
The welcome mat is out for entries in the 2022 Caribbean Multihull Challenge. • Photo: Laurens Morel / saltycolours.com

Steve Burzon reports: The fever for the fourth edition of the Caribbean Multihull Challenge (CMC) on February 4th to 6th is rising. A roster of favorite multis is already registered for the Sint Maarten Yacht Club-hosted event and interest from custom, classic, and lightweight Ocean Racing and Ocean Cruising Class catamarans and trimarans is growing. With the Caribbean 600 firing up in Antigua two weeks after the CMC, it could be an entry record breaker...

Read more Regatta News pp. 10 & 11

Business Briefs

Doyle’s Current Windwards Guide Extended

• Chris Doyle and Lexi Fisher report: “On our typical updating cycle, which has run for about 40 years, 2021 is when we would update the Sailors Guide to the Windward Islands to get it ready for 2023-2024. However, Covid has put the brakes on much of the yachting industry, including the charter and bareboating sectors. We feel that our distribution has slowed down so much that our advertisers have not yet gained sufficient exposure from their last advertisements, and we want to give them and the guide more time.

“Cruising and chartering are still far from normal, so we think it will be more beneficial for all if we wait until Covid, restrictions, curfews, and other challenges are in the rearview mirror. Therefore, we won’t update the guide this year. Instead, we will extend the life of the current guide, whose run would have ended in December 2022, until at least December 2023...

Read more Business Briefs on page 8 & 9

The Sky from Mid-December to Mid-January

• by Jim Ulik • The launch of the James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled for December 18th from Kourou, French Guiana. Of course, it is dependent upon a good weather window. If the launch window opens at night there may be a chance for those with a clear view of the horizon from east Trinidad or Tobago to spot the rocket leaving Earth’s atmosphere. It might be possible to see the Ariane 5 rocket plume or exhaust up to 600 nautical miles away when it reaches 60 miles above Earth. Added to the visual distance is the viewing height of the observer. A person six feet tall would add another 2.87 nautical miles. The formula used to calculate the visual distance is the square root of height X 1.17 = distance to the horizon in nautical miles....

• Small image: Hubble Telescope card “Cosmic Reef.” • Photo: NASA & The Space Telescope Science Institute • Main image: James Webb Space Telescope leaving Earth for its 1.5 million kilometer (1 million mile) journey. • Photo: ESA - D. Ducros

Read story on page 26 & 27

Caribbean Crabs Part 2 - The Sea Dwellers

• by Darelle Snyman • This month we continue to delve into the lives of these odd-looking creatures whose sweet-tasting meat is considered a delicacy by many. Crabs themselves are not picky eaters and these scavenging omnivores will feast on any plant and animal matter they come across. The feeding habits of one of these Caribbean residents, the Caribbean King Crab (Mithrax spinosissimus), might actually help conserve coral reefs. Seaweeds or macroalgae are key components of a healthy coral reef ecosystem. Problems start when changing conditions allow fleshy macroalgae to proliferate at the expense of the other coral reef inhabitants. The continued decline in herbivorous fish numbers as a result of overfishing has exacerbated the problem...

• Main image: A well-camouflaged Atlantic Blue Crab happily feeding on carrion. • Small image: I found this individual peeking out of a Queen Conch shell in Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada. Photos: Darelle Snyman

See full story on page 29

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46´ GRAND BANKS 1993 M/V 3 cabins/2 heads, 4 a/c´s, ample flybridge. Twin 3208 cats (3,600 hrs), 2 northern lights gensets: 9kw (900 hrs) & 16KW (1,600 hrs), very good condition. Lying Panama. E-mail: F.amador@cnilatam.com

46´ GRAND BANKS 1993 M/V

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32' BHM DOWNEAST CRUISER - Lying Grenadines. US$75,000

To place a classified ad in Caribbean Compass contact shellese@caribbeancompass.com

Weather

Good day for a sail? Let's find out!

Selected Shortwave Weather Reports 2021

Selected On-line Weather Sources

Tide Forecast

This Month in Pictures:

CRUISES WITHIN BORDERS

Let’s Do the French Islands!

Passage tips

by David H. Lyman • If you are coming south from the BVI head for Deshaies at the northern tip of Guadeloupe. It’s 200 miles, a day and a half sail, to this very French harbor village. If coming south from St. Barts, another French island, it’s only 115 miles, a long day’s beat to this small port tucked in between two cliffs.

If you’ve just arrived in Rodney Bay on the ARC, you can head south or north. From St. Lucia south, it’s only 75 miles to Bequia, where you can clear in and begin your exploration of the Grenadines. But, if you head north, from Rodney Bay it’s only 20 miles to the open roadstead of Ste. Anne, a small French village along the beach at the southern tip of Martinique. You can be there for lunch.

• Small image: There are lots of options for anchoring in the Saints, or you can pick up a rental mooring closer to the village. • Main image: At Pigeon Cove, Guadeloupe, there are numerous dive shops to take you out to the Jacques Cousteau underwater park. • Photos: David H. Lyman

See full story on pp. 15 & 16

CRUISES WITHIN BORDERS

St. Vincent & the Grenadines Varied Anchorages and Sparkling Sailing

St. Vincent
Along St. Vincent’s northwest coast there are many places to anchor, including Wallilabou, a sweet little bay with a couple of restaurants ashore. • Photo: Chris Doyle
Mayreau and the Tobago Cays

• by Chris Doyle • Just south of Canouan lies the island of Mayreau, and to its east the Tobago Cays. The Tobago Cays are the pièce de résistance for Grenadines cruising: a group of small uninhabited cays protected by a barrier reef. You can anchor in the cut between Petit Rameau and Petit Bateau, behind the reef between Jamesby and Baradel, or behind the reef northeast of Petit Rameau (watch out for kitesurfers). Moorings are available for rent.

Small palm-backed beaches blend into luminous clear water varying from pale sand color through translucent turquoise to deep blue. There is great snorkeling both over the sand and on the reef, with many turtles and rays...

• Main image: Picturesque Salt Whistle Bay in the north is the most popular anchorage on Mayreau. • Photo: Chris Doyle

See full story on pp. 17, 18 & 19

CRUISES WITHIN BORDERS

Everything from Bustling to Balmy

Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique:

• by Lexi Fisher • Balmy tradewinds rustle through the palm-lined shoreline and fill the mainsail above your head. Paradise awaits in the form of the tri-island state of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique. With lures ranging from jungly waterfalls, uninhabited islands and white sand beaches to picturesque hillside towns, bustling markets, and lively local restaurants, one can easily fill a two-week or longer cruising itinerary here...

• Main image: Petite Martinique boasts a long and enduring ship building tradition. • Small image: Fishermen at Paradise Beach, Carriacou. Guess what the seaside restaurants here serve? Photos: Lexi Fisher/Chris Doyle

See full story on pp. 20/21

50 WAYS - Photo Challenge: ‘How I Get Ashore!’

by Jim Hutchinson • Hutch reckons there are 50 ways to get ashore from your boat. Are there? Let’s accept the challenge! Send a photo of how YOU get ashore — inflatable with outboard, rowing dinghy, sailing dinghy, kayak, paddleboard, windsurfer, noodles, fins — or something else entirely? Set your phone or camera to the largest image setting, snap your getting-ashore vehicle of choice, and send the picture to sally@caribbeancompass.com. If we succeed in getting different 50 ways, your photos will appear in a full-page montage in a future issue of Compass. It might even be suitable for framing!

Gerald Shapiro: My personal favorite for a singlehander’s dinghy — a modified Sabot, shown here sailing in company with our friend Hutch.

MORE WAYS TO GET ASHORE!

Dear Compass,

Domi Montesinos: I’m happy to tell you I accept your challenge with a great smile. How do we get ashore? With a plywood-epoxy homemade dinghy catamaran! This dinghy can be powered by outboard motor or by sail. In the year or more that we’ve been using this dinghy many people have expressed interest in it, especially in the English-speaking islands.

This dinghy can be powered by outboard motor or by sail.
Click button below and enjoy the Compass Sail Show - Your Images will be published here! Send to: design@caribbeancompass.com

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BREAKING NEWS

Changing Island Covid Protocols

Since the November 2021 issue of Compass went to press, Cuba, Anguilla and St. Maarten have all made changes to their Covid protocols affecting those visiting by yacht.

• CUBA • As of November 7th, the mandatory quarantine of yachtspeople and international travelers arriving in Cuba will be eliminated, and by November 15th, the border entry PCR test will be eliminated.

In recent changes, Cuba (above) is dropping mandatory quarantine and entry PCR tests for yachtspeople, Anguilla is now only open to fully vaccinated visitors, and fully vaccinated visitors will no longer require a Covid test to enter St. Maarten. • Photo: Sally Erdle

Anyone over 12 years old who is unable to present a health passport or international Covid vaccination certificate must present negative results of a PCR test taken no less than 72 hours before traveling, carried out in a certified laboratory in the country of origin.

The mandatory use of masks is maintained within the marinas, as in the entire country, and the International Sanitary Control staff will randomly take samples for PCR testing in the marinas.

Contact Club Nautico Internacional Cuba at yachtclub@cnih.mh.tur.cu for more information.

• ANGUILLA • From November 1st, all visitors 18 and over (except for pregnant women) must be fully vaccinated in order to be allowed entry. Fully vaccinated means that more than three weeks have passed since the final dose of a vaccine schedule.

All visitors must also show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test taken no less than two to five days prior to arrival (self-administered tests are not accepted).

Upon arrival, all visitors will be tested again. While the test is processed, they’ll be required to stay in place at their accommodation. Test processing usually takes less than 24 hours. If the test result is negative, there is no quarantine requirement. If staying on the island more than eight days you may be tested on day four.

Visitors still have to apply for entry to the island; applications will not be accepted later than 12:00 noon the day before arrival.

Contact visitanguilla@gov.ai or visit https://ivisitanguilla.com for more information.

• ST. MAARTEN • Beginning November 1st, fully vaccinated visitors will no longer require a Covid test to enter St. Maarten. St. Maarten considers travelers fully vaccinated if they have received WHO-approved vaccines; full vaccination means it’s been more than 14 days since your final shot of a single or two-dose vaccine regimen. Approved vaccines include Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Sinovac. The completed vaccination date cannot be over one year, unless a booster shot has been administered before the ending of the one-year term.

St. Maarten’s Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, Omar Ottley says, “Research has shown that the viral load of a fully vaccinated person who is infected with Covid-19 lowers much faster than a person who is unvaccinated. This means that while there are a few breakthrough cases of fully vaccinated persons, the chances of these persons spreading the virus or becoming severely ill is tremendously low.”

Unvaccinated travelers from the US will continue to have to show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours or a negative antigen test taken within 48 hours before arrival. The EHAS application must still be completed. The date of completion of vaccination must be submitted as well as valid proof of vaccination from the country where the vaccine was administered.

All other safety and hygiene protocols like social distancing, face-mask use and hand sanitizing remain in place.

Visit stmaartenehas.com/travel-requirements for more information.

Share your Caribbean sailing shots

Dugout Gommiers racing off Gros Ilet, St. Lucia, 2019 Photo: Anonymous
Admiralty Bay Bequia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines • Photo: Wilfred Dederer

Do you have a favorite photo that you've recently taken in the Caribbean and would like to share it with other sailors? Send it to design@caribbeancompass.com with a short description, and it will magically appear here: https://www.caribbeancompass.com/sailshow/

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Credits:

Cover: Helmut Corneli | Laurens Morel - saltycolours.com | Ralph Trout | US National Park Service | Joan Conover | Chris Doyle | Lexi Fisher | ESA - D. Ducros | NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute | Darelle Snyman | David H. Lyman