Tag Archives: snorkelling

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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Discover: Bequia!

July 13, 2013

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Usually reached by sea, Bequia (pronounced beck-way) is an enticing blend of old and new and covers only 7 square miles.  There are just 5000 permanent residents – many of them expats – which creates a laid-back atmosphere and charming inhabitants to welcome you to a surprisingly diverse range of attractions, shops and restaurants.

The first stop of any visit should be Port Elizabeth, a bustling little town with a proper heart to explore, not just a line of stalls along the bay.  As promised, there is a wide selection of restaurants, from local food to fine dining, including French cuisine, French – Creole, and even Mexican food!  In the colourful stores visitors can see the traditions that have been kept alive on the island in the work of the artisans, in particular the famous model boats, which can be made to order and are all hand-painted.  Shops featuring local art and handicrafts are set beside lovely little cafés and friendly bars so that you can sit with a cool drink, snack or locally made ice cream and enjoy the view whilst you plan your next steps.  We enjoyed this charming blog about a recent visit to the boat builders on Bequia.

Don’t forget to visit Spring Bay or Friendship Bay for low key relaxation.  Spring Bay is quite secluded with a picturesque location and is generally calm for snorkelling, while Friendship Bay is easier to get to and has more restaurants and bars so you don’t have to bring a picnic!  There are several bays & beaches to choose from, whether you want to snorkel, swim or just get a bit of sun.

Hiking is very popular on the island and there are some really exciting trails, as well as more sedate walks.  You may aim to take in the  striking views from the top of Mount Peggy, where on a clear day you can see all the Grenadines islands down to Grenada! You may prefer hiking through lush vegetation to experience a stunning views, or an almost-deserted cove for a cool swim,  or discover the exotic wildlife & birds, such as sea turtles at The Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary! Click here for a wikiloc map of a short hike up to Mt Pleasant, about 1.5 hours and some really great views:

Horizon Grenada has some fantastic itineraries through the Southern Caribbean, we can help make sure that you include this tiny jewel of an island in your next adventure!

Special note: the dates have been announced for the next Bequia Mount Gay Music Festival – it is scheduled for the 23-26 of January 2014, with the Mustique Blues Festival falling on the 24th… don’t miss it!

Horizon Grenada is pleased to recommend these partners in our Welcome Club, who offer our charter clients special discounts for products and services:

Dawn’s Creole Restaurant & Café * 10% off dinner and drinks

The restaurant is located in the Creole Garden Hotel at Lower Bay specializing in authentic West Indian cuisine and international tropical dishes.

Creole Garden Hotel – Lower Bay, Bequia Tel: 784 458 3154

Email: dcreole@vincysurf.com Website: http://beachcafedawnscreole.com/

Dive Bequia * 10% discount plus a free introduction to scuba for minimum of 2

Dive Bequia has been operating on Bequia for almost 20 years and together their international staff have 66 years diving experience. It is Bequia’s only PADI Gold Palm Resort (awarded to dive shops who excel in providing quality services to traveling divers.) Patient instructors and dive masters offer outstanding services to beginners and experienced divers.

Belmont, Bequia Tel: 784-458-3504 http://www.dive.bequia.com

Doris’ Fresh Food * 10% off purchases

Tucked away on the Back Street behind customs. Doris’ is the perfect place to stock up on provisions. The outside doesn’t give away the gourmet delights that await inside. You can fax your “list” to Doris prior to your arrival and your groceries will be delivered to your yacht.

Port Elizabeth Tel:784-458-3265

VHF68                   Email: doris_freshfood@yahoo.com

Frangipani Hotel *10% on hotel accommodations only

Restored as an inn some three decades ago, the Frangipani has been a family home for over 100 years. With spectacular views of Admiralty Bay, the inn offers elegant garden units with individual balconies overlooking the yachts in the bay.
Admiralty Bay

Tel: 784-458-3255             Web site: www.frangipanibequia.com

Kenny’s Taxi Service

Kenny Simmons’ motto is, “Courteous, Dependable and Reliable” and he lives up to it.  Island tours and airport pickup, always available on VHF Channel 68.

Tel: 784-458-3053    Cell: 784-532-1493

Noah’s Arcade * 10% discount on purchases
A selection of traditional and contemporary arts and crafts, hammocks, copper jewelry, resort wear, Caribbean books and travel guides, maps, charts, prints and much more …

Belmont Walkway at the Frangipani Hotel  Tel: 784-458-3424

Sargeant Brothers Model Boat Shop * 5-15% discount depending on size
All kinds of model boats including a superb model of the HMY Britannia received in person by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth on her very special visit to the island in 1985. Our variety of models include; whaling boats, schooners, endeavor, sailing boats, coconut boats, and they can custom make to your requirements.
Admiralty Bay

Tel: 784-458-3344

Maria’s French Terrace Restaurant * 10% discount off meals and drinks

Traditional French cuisine is the essence of Maria’s French Terrace, an upscale waterfront restaurant with a superb view of beautiful Admiralty Bay.  Choose from the daily menu board, or from their extensive a la carte menu.  Lobster dishes are a specialty – select your own from their live lobster pool.

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with Sunset Happy Hour from 17.00 – 19.00.

Front Street, Bequia Tel: 784 431 9509  www.marias-french-terrace.com email: info@marias-french-terrace.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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New Children Arriving Soon – at the Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park!

September 24, 2012

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New Circle of Children at the First Underwater Scultpure Park in Grenada

New Circle of Children at the First Underwater Scultpure Park in Grenada

Horizon Yacht Charters Grenada are proud to announce their sponsorship of a new Child in the Underwater Sculpture Park! The new sculpture is one of 26 in a replacement piece in the famous Circle of Children. This piece has become an iconic image, recognised world-wide due to media coverage in Diving and Travel publications.

 

 

In 2007 Moliniere Bay became home to the World’s First Underwater Sculpture Park created by Jason De Caires Taylor, covering an area of 800sq metres. The first of sixty-five sculptures were originally made and placed on the sea bed by Jason using his own limited funds, limited in size and weight as each piece was brought to the site by dive boat and manhandled into the water!

 

What a fabulous place to stop on your yacht charter holiday with Horizon, either to dive or snorkel… the natural reef at Moliniere is from 8-22 metres in depth which is now regenerating and has interesting topography and marine life… and the sculptures are scattered around the bay,  placed between 1-2 metres and 7-8 metres in depth.  The benefits of the Sculpture Park are both in the attraction and entertainment of visitors to our beautiful Island, and this series of artificial structures has provided a new base for marine life to proliferate. Additionally, the sculptures were designed to create a diversion from other areas of coral reef currently endangered by overuse from water activities, creating a protected area for sea life which has allowed the natural coral reefs in the area a chance to regenerate. Coral reefs attract wide range of marine life, such as colourful fish, sea turtles, sea urchins, & sponges and also provide protected spaces for sea creatures to breed or take refuge. The wonderful, colourful growths you can see on the installations are constantly changing and endlessly fascinating.

 

Grenada Underwater Sculpture Coral Growth

Grenada Underwater Sculpture Coral Growth

The first sculptures were constructed mainly of cement, which has been damaged by the conditions of the seas, and despite attempted repairs the Circle of Children in particular has suffered damage and collapsed in places. The replacement 26 Children are currently being built, using more durable materials, including a more substantial interlocking marine-grade concrete base, ph neutral micro silica, and fibreglass reinforcing. The entire piece will weigh roughly 5200 kilograms (11,464 pounds)… this should provide a long-term solution for both marine life and visitors to the site!

 

The Underwater Sculpture Park in Grenada has become well-known through media coverage and interviews, and Jason De Caires Taylor is currently working on two documentaries, with National Geographic and the Discovery Channel! We’ll keep you updated to when the new sculpture will arrive for installation, and by posting your own photos and videos on our facebook page you can help share the fantastic transformations of coral and sea life on and around the Circle of Children when you visit this wonderful, ever-changing feature of the Underwater Sculpture Park!

 

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Touring Grenada

April 28, 2011

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Grenada Seafaris

Grenada Seafaris

Exploring Grenada with one of their experienced tour operators can make a huge difference to your visit – and there are more ways to enjoy our Island than one! Some visitors prefer a private tour in a taxi with a knowledgeable guide to show them around, but there are also some incredibly fun ways to see the island, especially some of the secret places only accessible by water! […]

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