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Charter Notes We like to keep things upbeat in these pages, but on the subject of Northern Caribbean hurricanes, even our most hopeful spin falls short. Although The Moorings, Sunsail, TMM and others are doing everything possible to bring in replacement boats to their British Virgin Islands bases — some brand new — in order to honor the paid charters on their books, the challenge of rebuilding infrastructure in both the US and British Virgins is truly dismal. If you've paid any attention at all to the news lately you know that Puerto Rico suffered a crippling blow from Hurricane Maria only two weeks after Hurricane Irma devastated the neighboring Virgins. And because nearly all goods and supplies bound for the Virgins must first pass through Puerto Rican ports, there is a logjam of supplies of epic proportions. As we go to press, thousands of Puerto Ricans are still without such basic necessities as potable water and tarps to shelter them from the sun and

JENNY RUFFELL SMITH

WORLD OF CHARTERING

There isn't much waterside infrastructure left in the Virgins, but a few sailors' havens are already back in business — including Foxy's bar.

rain — and many Virgin Island residents are in similar shape. As complete as the devastation was in places such as Virgin Gorda — which suffered a direct hit from Irma, with gusts as high as 200 mph — we know that the islanders there have wasted no time in beginning to put their shattered lives back together again. We expect that

Sail on MERLIN with Bill Lee

most native West Indians will rebuild if possible, but there's no denying that doing so will not be easy, and it will not be quick. If you have an opportunity to cruise or charter in those waters this season, you'll have the privilege of mooring in bays that are less crowded than they have been for decades, but don't expect to find fully stocked bars and restaurants at the head of every anchorage. Rum and reggae? Yeah, we expect that even now there are at least a few barefoot entrepreneurs eager to sell cool libations to visiting yachties, just as there were 50 years ago, when yacht chartering was in its infancy in those waters. What can you do to help? You might start by contributing to the staffs of your favorite charter operator, many of whom lost their homes. (See company websites for donation links.) And while you're at it, why not book a charter for next summer (2018) or winter (2019). By that time the whole region should be in much better shape. — andy

DISCOVER THE

DIFFERENCE

NE ICA E: R R T HU DANING R* P E U OP MBE RE ECE IN D

Sail out of Santa Cruz on the legendary Merlin Hoist the sails, crank the winches, everyone gets to steer, set the spinnaker if weather permits, and learn some offshore safety, too. 6 guests maximum. 2-hour sails with a USCG licensed skipper on board. «

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Fall Specials: Per person - $150 Entire boat, 6 persons max - $600 Call or email Bill Lee with any questions and your desired schedule dates • wizard@fastisfun.com • (831) 345-5542

Merlin Sailing, LLC

Website = www.fastisfun.com Page 104 •

Latitude 38

• November, 2017

*The sun will shine, the warm breeze will blow. Services will be limited, but TMM will be chartering with new boats entering our fleet.

Our team provide a personal service and truly care about your charter experience. Since 1979 friendly and memorable staff have welcomed our clients, delivering first-hand local knowledge of the British Virgin Islands. Year after year we strive to deliver this experience whilst maintaining a diverse fleet of modern yachts at competitive prices.

To book your charter go to www.sailtmm.com

All the information you need to book your charter can be found on our website, www.sailtmm.com

For additional information please contact:

1-800-633-0155 or charter@sailtmm.com

Representing these fine yacht manufacturers:

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Latitude 38 Nov 2017  

The November 2017 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.

Latitude 38 Nov 2017  

The November 2017 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.