Southern Boating

Rally to the Caribbean this fall—no plane required!

NARC rally participants. Photo credit: Photo credit: David H. Lyman

New Caribbean Venue for 2018 Atlantic to Caribbean Rally

Thoughts turn to warmer climates when it starts getting cold up north. One of the most popular ways for sailors to make this migration south is as part of a rally, which offers the benefit of “cruising with company” with other like-minded sailors. Crucial services such as pre-rally safety seminars and professional weather forecasting offer other advantages. Plus, there are social events held exclusively for rally participants that take place before casting off and at the voyage’s completion. This offers the kind of camaraderie you just can’t get by going it alone. These four rallies are headed to the Caribbean this month.

Cruising in company has never been more popular. Case in point, the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) has reached its capacity nearly 10 months in advance of the start for the last two years. For 2018, organizers are boosting the slots available on this cross-the-pond fun sailing rally by adding a second, slightly later start and an alternative finish in the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. “The ARC+St. Vincent will leave from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on November 15th, four days after the ARC+ to St. Lucia, and o- er the same pre-start week of activities, seminars, and parties,” says Sarah Collins, communications manager for the Cowes, UK-based World Cruising Club. “Entries will be limited to twenty-five yachts this year, so those keen to pioneer this new route are encouraged to enter early. Since entries opened this summer, new ralliers, as well as returners, have already signed on.”

The ARC+St. Vincent will make landfall at the Blue Lagoon Hotel & Marina, in Blue Lagoon Bay, St. Vincent. This property was purchased in 2015 by an avid sailor and businessman who has turned it into a one-of-a-kind facility complete with small hotel, restaurants, bar, pool, dive shop, and market. Blue Lagoon Bay is located on the southeastern tip of the island, which makes a perfect cast-o- point to explore the Grenadine islands to the south. worldcruising.com;bluelagoonsvg.com

By Carol Bareuther, Southern Boating October 2018