Updates to the 2018/19 guide
In 2017 the eastern Caribbean got slammed by the two most powerful hurricanes ever known. Hurricanes are a fact of life in the Caribbean, though really bad smashes, like these, are not that common. As is usual, most of the islands in the Eastern Caribbean were not affected, but those that lay in their direct path got smashed. Luckily both Caribbean people and islands are resilient, and they are coming back fast. You can already visit all of them. But just so you are aware this is a view of the affected islands as of early December 2017.
Visit Anguilla anytime, In Sandy Ground, Elvis, Roys, Dolce Vita and Johnnos are all up and ready to welcome you. Food and all the normal services are available. Ripples may not open this season. Many other businesses are taking a breather and still rebuilding, but they nearly all plan to open by Christmas week when Anguilla will be pretty much back to normal.
St. Martin is up and running, most businesses are open, yachts are visiting, and you will be welcome. If you have any questions drop by Mike at Shrimpy’s in the canal in Marigot and he will give you updates. There are still, and will be, many wrecks in the lagoon for a long time to come, so care is needed when navigating. You will also see signs of damage ashore, and some areas are coming back slowly, especially on the French side. The main bridge into the lagoon is open at its normal times. The causeway bridge opens three times a day at 0800, 1000 and 1530. The French side bridge is not working at this time. Fuel, water, gasoline and diesel are all available, and most marinas have available berths though many are operating with only a partial number of slips. Captain Olivers, which sustained significant damage may not get back in action, though much of this is from bureaucratic problems. The big Grand Marche above Marina Port de Plaisance is closed and may not reopen. Home and Tools is also questionable. But ALL the regular yacht services and chandleries are open. Caraibes Diesel Services is open and working, but Because of damage to Geminga, they moved to Grand Case. They make boat visits. Give them a call.
All the lovely anchorages like Tintamarre, and Ile Pinel are as lovely as ever.
St Barts, Everything is back up and running, Visitors are welcome.
The main town of Codrington sustained a lot of damage and is still being rebuilt little by little. The anchorages, which are fairly wild are fine and still wonderful to visit. One channel that opened near Low Bay into the lagoon is still open to navigation for shoal draft craft. The main shop in Codrington is open but best you go with everything you need. Cocoa Point hotel is closed, maybe permanently, so you can take advantage and anchor anywhere off the hotel. If you decide to visit Coral Group Bay, approach very carefully as no one I know has been in there since the storm, but I suspect it will be pretty much as it was. You will be able to find someone to give you a Frigate bird tour, but you will have to ask when you get there about restaurants. Barbuda Bell the hotel in the north is being repaired and will not be open this season. Much of the beauty of Barbuda is the wild nature, wonderful beaches and anchorages. These are all available, enjoy!.
Dominica received massive damage and maybe the most cruel blow of all, as the approaching hurricane did not look too bad, then in a few hours it ramped right up to category 5, for which few were prepared., the local population would like to see the return of yachts and the resultant business, On the one hand it is still far from normal, on the other, for the adventurous cruiser, especially those who might want to pitch in and help about the edges, it is an interesting time to visit. You will be welcomed, but expect some rough with the smooth, without too many services. If you are going within the next month and want to take one or more cordless tools as gifts they would be welcome.
All the docks yachts used in the anchorage south of Roseau have been destroyed except for the one at Drop Anchor. Sea Cat uses this to get people ashore. You will still see a lot of washed up tree trunks around and always take care when approaching the anchorage. Marcus has 6 moorings in service, and he provides security in the bay. No other moorings are in service though Sea Cat hopes to get his going soon. Anchorage Hotel, Evergreen Restaurant, Dive Dominica and Alldive have been badly damaged and will probably not be in operation for a while. Roseau itself is coming back to life some shops and restaurants are open, there is a great market on Saturdays. Water can be arranged with Sea Cat, though it will be from a hose ashore at his house. Dominica Marine Services can fill cooking gas tanks and supply diesel and gasoline though this is only by jerry jug at this point. Sea Cat and others can take you on tours. Sea Cat’s natural curiosity has had him going all over the place already so he knows which places are open, including Trafalgar Falls.
The Pays building is being repaired at this point it had no electricity. Electricity is not back for half of Portsmouth at this point. If enough yachts turn up they might run their Sunday Barbecue. Only a handful of PAYS boats are still operational these include Lawrence and Albert. Madiba Restaurant near Pays is open. The moorings are not yet back in place and the security watch will probably not happen till there are more visiting boats, but there has been no problem. Indian River tours are available as are many land tours. The fishing boat dock is okay so getting ashore is no problem. The yacht watering hose is not yet back in place. The chandlery is closed till further notice. They still hope to get things more or less back to normal in February so they can have their Customer appreciation week February 18th-25th. I am happy to say the Point Baptiste chocolate factory survived and Alan has a good stockpile of chocolate as well as cocoa.
Updates to the 2016/17 guide
General note on Pets in the Caribbean
People throughout the Caribbean use poisons for everything from crabs to nuisance dogs. These are deadly to pets, and quite a few pet owners have lost their companions to poison while walking them ashore. The poisons are attractive to dogs so keep your dog on a leash and watch what it is up to. A muzzle may help but make sure your dog can still pant to stay cool. If your doge gets poisoned, immediate ingestion of a strong sugar/water solution may help until you get to the vet.
The Portsmouth Association of Yacht Security (P.A.Y.S) has opened an office. It is located at the Purple Turtle Beach. They can by contacted at 1 (767) 317 9098 or by email at email@example.com.
Budget Marine is no longer filling Gas bottles, but will probably lend you a cart to take them down the road to Gas King.
Island Water World has announced they will be closing their small outlet in Marina Fort Louis in Marigot at the end of June. All other branches remain open and active!
New Simpson Bay bridges info (for more up to date info try the port):
0830 out 0930 in
1030 out 1130 in
1600 out 1500 in
Causeway Bridge in and out:
This is from February 14, sorry to be so late in posting it:
The Sandy Ground Bridge morning opening time has been changed from 0815 to 0900. There is no monitoring of any VHF channel by any entity for this bridge. The best bet to verify opening times is to hail Shrimpys (net controller of 0730 cruisers net) on channel 10.
The other update is that the cruisers net is now on channel 10 at 0730.
– Margaret Bujnoch, s/v Rocking B
English Harbour on the 17 April; A notice at customs that effective from the 17 April 2014, there is a check out fee of 30 USD for passengers that had been in Antigua for more than 24 hours.
Thanks for the info! Looks like this charge is back on. Last time they had this charge, they called everyone except the skipper a “passenger”. I did not know about it for a long time because I so often single-hand.
Good news for Jolly Harbour. Salty Dogs, the friendly sailors’ bar and restaurant, is moving from the Slipway to Jolly Harbour, where their happy hour will be from 1700-1900. In the new location they will be renting scooters and mountain bikes as well as their paddle-board rentals. They are forming the Antigua Paddle Board Club, with morning paddle session to the harbor entrance; great for some morning exercise!
Page 254 – George Jeffery cell number is 788-7067, not 7076. It is printed correctly on other pages.
The Barrelstay restaurant is now closed permanently.