Caribbean Currents




His new “sleigh” is an 80-passenger, double-decker, power catamaran that glides over the seas rather than new fallen snow. Bernard Charles is captain of the Bitter End Yacht Club’s (BEYC) excursion boat Corinthian and dons a traditional red Santa suit, white bushy beard and sack of goodies to celebrate the season. Born in Dominica and employed by the BEYC since 1986, Charles’ boyhood and continued love of Christmas caught the BVI-based sailing resort’s general manager’s eye several years ago when “Santa Bernie” made his nervous but enthusiastic debut. The tradition lives on today. Charles begins playing Santa at the BEYC’s Children’s Party. Then, he steps aboard the M/V Ponce de Leon to lead the boat parade around the North Sound anchorage. He finishes the evening at a poolside

cocktail party for guests where he joins in the tropical caroling. On Christmas morning, Charles puts on his costume once more and travels the resort grounds, docks and mooring field, and hands out candy canes with a hearty “ho-ho-ho” to all visiting yachtsmen. “It makes me feel like a kid again,” says Charles.

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