Puerto Rico’s International Billfish Tournament

Puerto Rico’s International Billfish Tournament

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The team aboard Picara fights a blue marlin in the IBT., Photo: Richard Gibson

Sample traditional Latin flavors and rhythms at Fiesta Típica, the signature shore-side event part of Club Náutico de San Juan’s six-decade-old International Billfish Tournament set for September 24-30. On the water, organizers aim to add an exciting new challenge as well as a bold conservation move by setting the regulation weight of fishing line at only 30 pounds instead of the customary 50 or 80 pounds. “We hope to increase participation from world-class anglers around the globe with a change to lighter line,” says tournament chairman Ricky Jaen. The September full moon signals the peak of the marlin season in Puerto Rico’s famous Northern Trench known as Marlin Alley. In addition to Fiesta Típica there is a full program of land activities for non-fishing spouses and spectators. sanjuaninternational.com

Aruba’s music festival
Go “below the belt” out of hurricane reach to Aruba for the 9th Annual Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival Aruba. Set for September 25-26 at the Renaissance Festival Plaza adjacent to the 158-slip Renaissance Marina, this two-day, open-air concert will welcome groups such as Earth, Wind & Fire; the Mike Stern Band; Jessy J; and the Ploctones. If you’re not into Jazz, there’ll be a good music mix of Latin, Blues, Funk, Soul, and Salsa. “The Festival is not only about great music. We also have an outstanding food court with eight different restaurants, numerous bars, an art gallery, and a tantalizing atmosphere on site,” says Friso Veenman, the Festival’s executive producer. New this year, Eat Local Aruba Restaurant Week follows from September 28th to October 9th. Sample the island’s national dish, Keshi Yena, a spicy mix of beef, goat or chicken stuffed into a round of Gouda or Edam cheese and baked. Participating restaurants offer prix-fixe lunches for $15 and dinners for $30-40. Both events are within walking distance from the Renaissance Marina in Oranjestad, Aruba’s capital city. caribbeanseajazz.com

B.V.I.’s iconic full moon parties
Full moon parties—in reality, hedonistic affairs complete with pain-killing drinks, pulsating music and rumors of psychedelic mushrooms—are an iconic way to celebrate monthly in the B.V.I. This pleasurable practice began back in the early 1970s when Bomba Smith Callwood cobbled together some driftwood, plywood boards, old tires, broken surfboards, and whatever else he could scavenge to build a beachside bar in Capoons Bay. Bomba started his full moon parties soon after, creating a boom in business that landed his namesake Bomba Shack on AOL’s Top Ten list for best beach bars in the world. Today, this full moon tradition has spread to Trellis Bay on Beef Island and to Foxy’s Bar in Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke. Mark your calendar now! All three will happen on September 27th.

By Carol Bareuther, Southern Boating Magazine September, 2015