Sunsail B.V.I. Rum Flotilla

Rum Flotilla

Enjoy fun in the sun and rum when Sunsail kicks off its new 8-day B.V.I. Rum Flotilla in February. “The idea is to give a distinct group of travellers, namely rum aficionados and foodies, a bespoke flotilla experience,” says Nicole Smirlis, brand manager for the Americas of the Clearwater, Florida-headquartered global yacht charter company. “This includes stops at some of the B.V.I.’s best rum hotspots including distilleries, bars and restaurants that serve their own local rum with delicious cuisine to match.” Examples include a Happy Hour at the Bitter End Yacht Club’s Windward Mark Bar complete with the resort’s signature rum punch, a Pusser’s Painkiller Party at Marina Cay’s Hilltop Bar and a tour of the Callwood Rum Distillery in Cane Garden Bay, the oldest continuously operating rum distillery in the Caribbean. Departure dates for 2017: February 3rd, February 24th, May 26th, June 30th, November 17th, and December 8th. 

Test your mettle on the Round Redonda Race

Some of the world’s swiftest-sailing, high-tech yachts manned by talented international crews head to Antigua in February for the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s (RORC) Caribbean 600. This epic 600-mile race course departs Antigua’s Falmouth Harbour on February 20th and navigates around 11 Caribbean islands from Guadeloupe to the south and Anguilla to the north. This year, organizers of the Jolly Harbour Yacht Club’s (JHYC) Valentine Regatta will offer an opportunity for all-comers to test their mettle like the big boys on one of the Caribbean 600’s legs in the first-ever Round Redonda Race set for February 14th. “This is a race open to anyone,” invites Grahame Williams, JHYC commodore. “The classes will be decided once the entries are known. Several local and visiting sailors are expected to race their boats.” The start takes place outside Jolly Harbour near Cades Reef and is a downward leg to Redonda. The return to Falmouth is a beat into the wind. Redonda is a 0.6 square-mile uninhabited island located 37 miles to the west of Antigua. As for the RORC Caribbean 600 itself, 70-80 entries are expected, including the multi-time Maxi72 world champion Belle Mente and new Infinity 46 Maverick with its DSS foil. It’s great fun to go up to Shirley Heights and watch this fantastic fleet take their mark, get set and go.; 

Dominica’s Yachtie Appreciation Week 

The beautiful “Nature Island” of Dominica is hard to visit by boat since there are no marinas. Moorings were also non-existent until now. But thanks to the spearheading of Han Schmitt, owner of Huntington, NewYork-based crew network service, Offshore Passage Opportunities, along with the Dominica Marine Association (DMA), nonprofit Portsmouth Association of Yacht Services (P.A.Y.S.), and the Dominican government, nearly 40 moorings have been installed in Prince Rupert Bay for use by visiting cruisers. In celebration, cruisers are invited to Yachtie Appreciation Week February 12-19, 2017. “Highlights of the week will include discounted tours to the Emerald Pool and Boiling Lake, an afternoon soccer match between the local high school and boat boy/yachtie team, and farewell dinner and music at historic Fort Shirley,” says Schmitt. In addition, adds Hubert Winston, president of the DMA and owner of the Dominica Marine Center in Roseau, “We will also host a dinghy poker run that includes five local beach bar hops.”

By Carol Bareuther, Southern Boating Magazine February 2017