Tag Archives: cruising

Fun Onboard Your Southern Caribbean Yacht Charter!

November 30, 2013

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A yacht charter vacation in the Southern Caribbean offers a range of activities to appeal to the whole family,  from relaxing and visiting on-deck to various water sports and a wide range of land-based adventures as you enjoy travelling through the different islands!

For guests keen to top up their tans, our beautiful yachts offer space to lounge, where sun worshippers can soak up the rays whilst engrossed in a good book or taking a leisurely dip in the cool sea.

Snorkelling  is a hugely popular part of most charter holidays – bring your own or rent a few sets before you depart to allow you to discover the incredible underwater vistas and stunning sea life below the surface! Explore delicate coral reefs or swim with the sea turtles, we will share our top snorkel sites with you. One of our absolute favourites is the Tobago Cays Marine Park, a protected group of small islands that is one of the most beautiful, breathtaking places in the world – and you can only get there by boat!  Snorkel with sea turtles

If you love the idea of a luxury yacht charter holiday but you don’t know how to sail you can take advantage of adding a professional skipper to your charter – this allows you to learn as much or as little as you like about the aspects of sailing, and your skipper will take responsibility for managing all of the aspects of cruising under sail or by motor, anchoring, mooring, etc.

You can also plan a learning vacation! The emphasis is on learning how to sail, through hands-on experience, in a beautiful part of the world. Mornings will be spent learning and practicing new skills. In the afternoons you will set sail with the backdrop of spectacular beaches and islands of the Grenadines, refining these newly learned skills along the way. Once anchored for the afternoon, there will be free time to spend exploring, snorkeling, fishing, and relaxing…

Explore this stunning part of the world while earning American Sailing Association 101,103 and 104 (Basic Keelboat, Basic Coastal Cruising and Bareboat) certifications. Over the course of a week you will gain the knowledge, experience and certifications to charter sailboats anywhere in the world, and embark on your own sailing adventure!

Diving often plays a large part in a charter holiday. Grenada is a world-famous dive destination, boasting a wide range of dive sites including the first Underwater Sculpture Park as well as the largest wreck in the Caribbean – the cruise liner “Bianca C” which sank off St George’s in 1961. There is exceptional diving throughout the Grenadines, much of it drift diving and for more experienced divers so we highly recommend the use of one of the local dive shops for “rendezvous” diving. Rental dive equipment can be arranged for your charter.

A kayak is a great way to explore anchorages and beaches – and also perfect for nature lovers in locations such as the mangroves in Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou or exploring the Tobago Cays. Singles rent for only US$125 per week, doubles US$140 per week.

stand up paddleboard at sunset

 

You can also rent one of our stand-up paddle boards (SUPs) for only US$175 per week. Ideal for exploring quiet beaches and coves, not only is it a great workout for the core muscles but it is also very therapeutic & relaxing!  Ask us about availability to add one to your charter booking.

 

Fishing can be a fun and important part of both the entertainment and the culinary aspect of your charter. There is nothing quite like reeling in a fish then later that day smelling it searing on the grill! Have fun introducing local fruit and vegetables found in small market stalls to your meal. The chance of catching a yellow fin tuna or Wahoo is excellent as the clean Southern Caribbean waters are known for superb fishing opportunities… or enjoy trawling for dinner as you sail!  Fishing rods can be rented at the Horizon Yacht Charters Grenada base for US$25 per week.

All of our yachts are equipped with tenders that can whisk you to an island beach for a private picnic, or into shore for shopping  & dining in one of the charming, friendly coastal towns. Custom itineraries can be arranged to include the ports of call and land activities that guests most desire. Depending on guest preferences and destination, land options may include rain forest hikes, swimming in waterfalls, bird watching, eco-tours, garden tours, historic sites and so much more.

Imagine your dream holiday – a day of splashing and exploring, followed by laughing together and lounging in the warm evening breezes whilst dining alfresco.  And don’t forget some romantic star gazing in the crystal clear skies – away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, there is very little light pollution so the skies are awash with constellations!

Stargazing... photo thanks to Günther Kranich

Let us help plan your Southern Caribbean vacation to remember! Email us on info@horizongrenada.com

 

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Cruising with Kids!

June 15, 2013

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Planning your dream yacht charter in the Southern Caribbean is not just for couples travelling together – this is a popular vacation for families, as well!  With very little preparation in advance, the needs of your little ones – and teenagers – can easily be arranged, and perhaps with even less fuss than any other vacation would require!

Spending time with family and simpler entertainment should become the focus of your vacation, with the stunning Grenadines providing the backdrop.  Youngsters will love spending hours watching for dolphins, whales & sea turtles, fishing, splashing about in the water and learning about the boat.  Kids are inquisitive and love to learn all about the different parts of the yacht & how it works!  For older children (7+) you can teach them how the lines work, tie knots, knot -work (monkey fists are very cool!) &  show them how you navigate with charts and steer to a course.   You can also show them how to steer the dinghy, and teach them about the flags and their etiquette.

Since children quickly pick up on your moods it’s easy to have fun together once you begin your adventure, but it does help to remember  when you first start out that a 4-hour cruise can be difficult for young attention spans!  Include plans in your itinerary to stop for a swim & play on the beach at lunchtime to help keep the adventure fun until they get used to relaxing on board.

Horizon can help arrange a rented kayak and SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard), as well as fishing rods, and although we can arrange rental of snorkel sets (mask, snorkel & flippers) for US$15 per week, you may want to pack kid-sized snorkels of their own to ensure a proper fit.  Youngsters may like to practice breathing through their snorkels at home first- even just in the bathtub!

Boatsafe.com has a fun kids page, with loads of excellent sailing questions and answers from young people.

Safety – Rules on a boat keep everybody safe, and kids (and adults) will be able to relax once they know the logic behind them.  It’s best to go over the rules with everybody before you leave.  A few key examples include:

  • keep everything ship-shape!  Messy areas can create problems so everybody chips in and keeps things tidy
  • snorkelling & swimming is always done with a buddy, Just like at camp or the pool at home,
  • there is no running on the boat,
  • “keep one hand for the boat” to make sure you have control as you move about
  • …and most importantly, the Skipper is the boss!

We have life jackets for kids, as well as child netting available to section off an area for safety for smaller passengers.

In addition to our suggestions on packing for your yacht charter here are a few other tips for making your yacht-charter fun for the whole family:

  • Bring a waterproof digital camera, it doesn’t need to be a fancy piece of kit with all the bells & whistles, but make sure it has a viewscreen & a wrist strap.  Holding a waterproof camera can make a nervous swimmer more confident as they look for little fish to snap as they snorkel in the shallows, and means taking photos while everybody splashes about far more fun and relaxed when you aren’t worried about getting your camera wet!
  • pack rashguards, which are swim shirts or swimming outfits for the whole family.  They are a great solution to having to put on so much sunblock and there are fantastic styles for every age, including teenagers and adults.
  • consider packing sunscreen that is coral-friendly, such as Badger, or Loving Naturals brands.  A recent study showed that the four main ingredients found in sunblock that harm coral are: paraben, cinnamate, benzophenone, and camphor, but some experts  also suggest that it is best to avoid suntan lotions that have anything beginning with “oxy” or “hexa.” in the ingredients.  All of these kill the algae that coral feed on, and so the coral dies.   Some sunscreens that are oily float off in the water, which blocks sunlight. So, try to avoid sunscreen that come off too easily, and ones that leave an oily residue.
  • Bring guide books on the area, especially on the islands you are going to visit, the stars, local birds, and a firm favourite are the laminated cards which show the different kinds of fish in the Southern Caribbean!
  • Plan a few special events with the kids in mind, such as turtle watching or entertainment venues where kids are part of the fun.  Prickly Bay in Grenada is a favourite on Friday nights, where yachting families will gather, along with locals, expats and students from the University.  It’s been described as being very much like a wedding, with little ones running around and older people dancing, or just hanging out. Make a note to visit one of the wonderful locations where the Pirates of the Caribbean movies were filmed, and get some photos of your little pirates!
  • You may want to pack playing cards & other compact travel games such as Uno or Bananagrams.
  • Both boys & girls ages 4+ (and teenagers, too!) will happily spend hours making bracelets from cotton cording or colourful embroidery thread, you can bring instructions printed from the internet to get them started.
  • Children will enjoy drawing the views and creatures that are seen on your travels so bring small sketch books … colouring pencils are best, since they are compact, no mess & won’t be affected by salty air or heat like marker pens or crayons!

Whatever the age of your children, we’re happy to help with suggestions and itinerary tips to make your yacht charter a family vacation you’ll cherish! Contact Jacqui on info@horizongrenada.com to plan your Caribbean adventure, and don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to receive all of our special offers, local news and updates directly in your inbox every two months, or follow us on Facebook for those last minute special offers and any up-to-the minute news!

 

 

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Home made bread and a sense of humour – gotta love that in Antigua!

January 18, 2012

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For many different reasons, some of our sailing guests decide to either take a Captain, or captain and First Mate, or Captain and Chef. And why not?

Perhaps you are new to the cruising area of Antigua & Barbuda, or perhaps you want to go further afield than you’ve ever explored before and need an extra pair of hands and some local knowledge.

It’s always interesting when we talk to clients over the phone and they are looking for a certain type of Captain, or Chef. Invariably, they’ve been on a boat in the past with someone that perhaps they did not rub along with (might be one of their own crew!), so they are particularly sensitive to who they share their liveaboard space with.

It always sounds quite tame when I reply “the Captains that we recommend to you are brilliant and get along with everyone”. But that is the truth. I think we have been really fortunate to meet and experience Captains and Chefs who have worked on all size of yacht, tend to have their own boats, and are some of the most relaxed people because they are living their own dream. Sailing is what they love and the ability to share that with other people.

I wanted to introduce you to one such couple who fit into this category. They are Canadian (ish) and have their own yacht “Moondancer” here in Antigua. As a husband and wife team they are fairly unique in that both are certified Captains. Nancy is the bread maker… no, really… she bakes her own bread and even cooked roast turkey on Christmas Day as they were crossing the Atlantic!

If you want a great sailing team for your next Antigua cruise, or Captain or just First Mate or Chef… you’ll be delighted to share your liveaboard space with such great people.

Remember to buy the yeast!

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12,000 miles, 10 happy years – the story of Auntie Jane’s inspirational sailing life.

March 24, 2011

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When you cruise – for one week, one month or even one year (for those lucky enough), you will always meet interesting people – some you will like and some you will be indifferent to. But ultimately, cruisers have always got a tale to tell, a word of advice and an easy invitation on board to sample the local rum/beer/other home brew!

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Antigua & Barbuda: years of history waiting to be discovered

August 18, 2010

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Sailors the world over have chosen to cruise the unspoilt islands of Antigua & Barbuda.  Many come to experience the beauty of the 365 pristine white sand beaches, but interestingly, many leave having discovered there is so much more to cruising these Leeward Islands and, as the marketing guys say, “the beach is just the beginning”.  Armed with camera, a willing co-pilot and some loose change for a cold beer along the way, we set forth to experience HISTORIC ANTIGUA.

We began our adventure in the capital city of St Johns, Antigua – a 2 hour sail from Jolly Harbour on the west coast of Antigua – or 20 minutes in a car!  By 10am the heat was already making itself known.  We stopped at the beautiful St Johns Cathedral.  Currently closed for a refurb but the magnificence of the building was not to be outshone by the 85 degree sun.  Finding the most impactful angle to shoot this huge building is tricky…

Cathedral view

Our next stop on our HISTORIC ANTIGUA journey was Betty’s Hope…. next installment…

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