New regulations about Cov-19 in the caribbean and make it sense to sail around?
The information about the situation in each island has to check all the time with the biosecurity section at www.noonsite.com.
At the moment it looks like some islands in the caribbean will open for the sailors without going 14days in quarantine. But you have to be fulled vaccinated and bring also a PCR-negative test. The status could change from one day to the next.
Some islands ask you to bring enough copies from the last clearance, from passports, from crew list. So be sure, you have those with you.
Never bring drugs with you, as you can get really heavy problems. Always fly the Q-flag if you enter a new island. No crew member should leave the vessel or put a feet on the docking berth, until all clearance has been completed or you have the permission from the authorization.If you arrive in the night, never go ashore until clearance. Remeelmber: the owner and skipper is for all crew responsible, as long they not leave an island.
If you change on the bay on an island, you should inform the authorities. Be sure you have the permission to sail in those waters.
To clear in on the islands, you need to complet online passenger forms and a Covid negativ PCR test per person, within 3-5 days. Check with the clinics, if you get the negative test in time!!! Otherwise you have to take a private authorized doctor, costs the double.
On most islands if you arrive, you have to do again a PCR test and screening. If you now vaccinated, some island reduce the quarantine time. If you do a PCR test on an island, be sure, that its done by a healthcre professional and a labaratory. The costs are between 90 - 200 USD. Before you dock in a marina, be sure that you have the contact over the VHF with the port authorizations and follow the instructions.
So the situation has not really changed much. It makes maybe a bit easier, if you fully vaccinated, but still the islands want an other PCR test at least and you have to be in quarantine between 48h and 7 days at minimum. Some places asking for 10 days.
Sailing with guests is very difficult, as they have to bring enough time and patience.
Sailing in days like we have, vaccinated or not, make it very difficult and is not really funny.i
Again: check always the regulations. All informations are updated on www.noonsite.com.
For my situation, I am not willing to pay each island per person money (around 350 USD) for enter the island. You spend more time on berth or anchor to do the quarantine.
So I will fligh back to Saint Lucia, bring my vessel in the water and stop the world circum navigation. It make really no sense. From Saint Lucia I will go slowely north and then back to Europe next April/May.
This website will be off line after the 21.10.2021.
The circum navigation for 2022 has to be cancelled
Covid was not as present as in Europe for a while.
But the islands were not exempted either. After an initial lockdown in 2020, there were relaxations. These became a problem at the end of 2020 due to many imported cases. Saint Lucia and also the other islands came again into a strict lockdown. For some time there was neither alcohol nor were restaurants opened and there was they so called Curfew, which had a banning of going out between a certain time (e.g. from 17 - 07 o'clock). The island was only connected to UK, there was no ferry or flight going to Martinique. It was difficult to get home.
At first, some islands were in a so-called bubble, which allowed to visit them without covidtest. This was also nullified later and since January 2021 the restrictive measures must be followed when visiting the Caribbean islands. The restrictions where change from day to day. When departing from one island to another, a negative PCR covidtest must be presented. Prior to this, details of the yacht, crew, passports, arrival time including the negative covid test must be sent electronically to the authorities. Then you got the permission to sail e.g. to St. Vincent without stopover. When you arrived in St. Vincent, you had to go to an anchorage place, defined by the authorities. It was not allowed to do an overstop in a bay before or to leave the ship. Swimming around the boat was on some islands aloud or not. Mostly on the 2nd day and on the 8th day of the quarantine a covid test was made, if this was negative, one may move his ship on the 10th day or on the 14th day. Mustique, however, remains closed to all (for the protection of high society?). Since the first test result in Saint Lucia until the arrival of the test result you waited between 24-48h, and weather-related shifts are wasn't taken into the account, this could be more than tight. By the way, no one is interested in vaccinations. Still today in May 2021 Saint Lucia is restricted. You have to go in a quarantine hotel for 14 days, doesn't matter if you have fully vaccinations or not. Sailors which going directly to a sailing boat for a cruise must stay there or leave the island. The sailing around to the different islands also costs quite a bit.
Here is an example of St. Vincent and the Grenadines requirements:
01 April, 2021
- See https://svgarrivals.com/ for the latest information.
- All arriving recreational craft must request a quarantine form 5 days before arrival by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Late applications may result in longer quarantine time on arrival.
- 24 hours before arrival, or as soon as you have the information, send negative PCR test results, departure clearance and estimated time of arrival to email@example.com.
- COVID-19 (RTPCR) test must be taken within 72 hours or three (3) days of departure (with direct travel to SVG).
- Also complete a Pre-Arrival Form https://stv.servicedx.com/travelform for each
crew member and send a copy of the email reply with the negative PCR test results to
- Once approved, you will receive a stamped approval form by email confirming risk category and permitting entry to SVG.
- Only if coming from a low risk country ** and having been in one or more of those countries for at least 21 days, will you NOT be required to undertake quarantine.
- All yachts must enter at Young Island Cut Quarantine Area.
- It is possible to get tested on arrival; tests are on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Once your application has been approved your test will be scheduled by SVG Arrivals. If arriving over the weekend you will have to remain on board in quarantine until your testing time at your designated mooring. Note that test results will take at least 48 hours – most likely longer, so be prepared for several days on board waiting.
- Yachts can request to move to a second quarantine location after clearance with a negative PCR test result (North Bequia moorings or Clifton, Union Island).
- Do not turn up in SVG without having received a reply from firstname.lastname@example.org confirming your entry time is ok, there will be someone to meet you and your quarantine mooring is confirmed.
- An agent will take your customs paperwork and passports to the authorities for clearance upon arrival. All documents and all payments must be placed in a folder or ziplock bag.
– Agency Fee: USD$75 per boat
– Test Fee: USD$60 per person (in Saint Lucia US$ 90 - so one test in St. Lucia 90 US$, 2 tests in St. Vincent 120US$ per Person!)
– Mooring Fee: USD$20 per night (only Quarantine aerea, the other anchoring places could be more expensive. 14 x 20 US$ = 805 US$)
– Customs and Immigration fees may vary (30 - 60 US$)
- See https://svgarrivals.com/ for more detailed information.
- Yachts can check out of the country at any port of entry, although Chateaubelair Immigration office is not in use (closest is Waliabou at this time).
- Yachting visitors whose stay on the Islands is for more than 2 weeks can be administered vaccinations. There is no fee, but contributions are welcome. Take your passport to show the length of your visitors visa.
** this could be changed from one day to the next. Saint Lucia was not in the low risk countries at the time I was there
So you spend with 3 persons almost US$ 1'045 for entry fees, quarantine in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Still now in May 2021, some countries and island states are closed because of COV-19 or the restrictions are so high and expensive, that for cruising around you need a lot of time and money. This make no sense to go further or around the world. The and rally from Saint Lucia to Panama which I liked to participant was cutted and instead to do an overstop in Colombia and San Blas Islands, they heading now in January 2022 directly to Panama. In Colombia, Costa Rica etc. the numbers of covid cases has increased rapidly. Galapagos is also quit expensive. I asked an agent (you need one like now usual in the mostly islands) for an estimate. If you calculate for 3 personens, then you pay for a 10m sailing yacht US$ 3'300.00. You need an audographio which give you the permission to to visit the 3 main islands. The other islands with bays are closed and to visit them you need a guide on board, special permissions etc. The costs could be easily rising up (US$ 300-500 a day). As all Galapagos islands are national park, you are only allow to move you freely where the places are defined. To visit the national parks (each island has one or more) you spend between US$ 200 - 300 per person.
Mostly islands in the Pacific, Indian Ocean are closed. Of course there could be some exemptions.
At the moment the following islands are closed or if they have exemptions, with a lot of restrictions:
Jamaica, Martinique, Guadaloupe, Montserrat, Trinidad and Tobago
San Blas Islands
Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Chile
French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Niue, Tonga, Vanuatu, Samoa and american Samoa, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Australia, Federal States of Micronesia, New Guinea
Phillipines, Christmas Islands, Cocos Keeling, Mauritius
A very good web page for informations is www.noonsite.com.
To do the circum navigation in this time is nonsense. You could be lucky or you may be stuck like many sailors before. And if you stuck, you need to win in a lottery...
Actually, I should already be in the Pacific, but these disgusting circumstances have brought everything to a standstill and let's not talk about the costs.
December 2020 - April 2021 St. Lucia, not any more the same
The Marina in Rodney Bay charge in my opinion to much. The prices are simulary as in Europe. The fruits you buy from the "fruit man" (friendly, he comes with a small boat and brushwood and palm leaves on it, the boat almost sinks...) are to expensive, because he charge you almost 3 times more then the supemarket in Europe. If you buying, you have to deal and bargaining down the prices. You do the better deal, if you shopping in the close supermarket (shopping mall). So the friendly ladies at their market stalls in front of the small supermarket in the marina charge too much. A small watermelon from their garden costs zw. ECD 40 - 60! There is also a Rasta man which offers taxi boat ride, but he ask you to much. For a little ride not more then 800m across the Marina he charge you 40 ECD - you better swimm. He also sell necklaces, gemstones etc. but be carefull! He charge you a price for something, which has only a value of 4 Euros!!! He tell you, that he do all handycrafted, but this is a big lie. Before you give work to do, special to the cleaning peoples, ask for the price. They have prices that are beyond good and evil or they say, what we sailors would pay... Since Covid, the Marina is not fully booked out and they have only few customers, these day laborers are of the opinion, one sailor can also pay for 4 others. Who does not know they are work, will simply ripped off.
Something that bothers me is that along the streets there is a lot of waste lying around (plastic waste, cans, cardboard boxes, bottles). Only the places visited by tourists are clean.
Some of those peoples just hang around waiting that "God" will surely give them a job (no joke). They are going to the church (7th Advendist church) and think that God will look for them and a better life... Many don't know how to innovate and make an effort themselves. Some are only lazy. These people often hang around in the marina, use the showers and toilets, which are actually only for the owners of the yachts and their guests or like to make friends with you, to get free alcohol. Some europeans bring prostitutes on the sailing boats. The management should take a closer look.
Like many places in the Caribbean, you have to watch out for theft and robbery. It happens again and again that dinghies with engine - although secured - are stolen. Robberies sometimes occur and you should not be alone in an anchorage somewhere. The Caribbean is no longer the way I found it several years ago.
Piracy is a major problem. Since Venezuela is economically at the end and the government is not even able to have the most necessary things for the people (e.g. toilet paper), the attacks by "pirates" between Venezuela and Trinidad have increased. The armed people have extended their territories up to Grenada. Also the coast of Colombia and Panama had some cases. Although this does not happen often, it is no longer theft but heavily armed groups board the boat and also have no "skruppel" to draw their weapons. In November, a local fisherman from Grenada was attacked and robbed by them.
This problem will not improve to a better way, because Covid has left the locals without jobs, whether in Venezuela or even on other islands. What was that about the Maslow pyramid? Self-governance will probably not be achieved in these next few years either. A big problem is also the relation of the people to school education, jobs and so on.It's easier to hanging around and ask for money.
The island is beautiful and the people are also very friendly.
Care must be taken with craftsmen. Often the cleaners offer that they know someone who maintains boat engines or does this or that. Here you have to be careful! It sounds tempting when the price is lower than in the official stores. But often they have no training and "tinker rurum". Instead of a new oil filter, the old one is often screwed back in, the new one is missing, but you will be charged for it. The only companies I can recommend are the following companies below. M and aybe you find them expensive, but they are trained professional. Mostly had done experiences in Europe or USA and one important is, the following owners of the companies are also sailors. They know about it.
This well-respected engineering company offer engineering, electrical & watermaker maintenance & repair services. Full dealers for Volvo Penta, Northern Lights, Kohler plus AC/DC electrical services and installations as dealers for Arco starters & Alternators and Solar power systems. They are also sales dealers and installers for Dessalator watermakers. Marintek is owned and run by Egbert Charles who is fluent in French, Spanish and English. He worked for the former founder and owner of the current Marina and has been working in Spain and France. He know exactly how european work means. Marintek keep up to date with the latest training programs for their areas of expertise and are authorized to carry out full warranty works and support for their dealerships, Island wide service to all marinas and anchorages and will also travel to other island locations as required. Marintek helps you also with support for propellers etc. Just ask Egbert and explain...
Marintek, Egbert Charles
Gros Islet, Rodney Bay
Regis Marine Electronics
Marine Electronics Centre, offering over 30 years experience in the Marine Electronics Industry.
They are very competitive on all major Marine Electronic equipment including Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, Generators and Watermakers just to name a few. They are official dealers/agents for all the leading manufacturers. Ask for Vincent (Vinc).
Regis Electronics (St Lucia) Ltd
PO Box RB, 2265 Rodney Bay Marina
Gros Islet, St Lucia
+1 (758) 452 0205
Rodney Bay Sails
Kenny is a high expierenced man. He owned a sail loft, directly situaded in the Marina. The canvas, sail work, a new bimini or repair, ask him. He is also an agent for Doyle Sails. If you need new ropes, he do it.
Rodney Bay Sails
PO Box 928, Castries, St. Lucia
Loft situaded behind the little supermarket in the Marina Rodney Bay
+1 (758) 452 86 48
DSL Yachting Service
Owned by Ulrich Meixner. He speaks english and german. If you have any problems ask him. He can order the parts you need, he will install and service what ever you need and the peoples how work for him are good. You want a hull cleaning without to take out the boat? Ask him. He has divers which do it and they do it good!
He is also expierenced in project management, repairs, services, boat charters, deliveries and much more. As an European he know what a service/maintenance means! Also an excellet sailor!
DSL Yachting Service, Ulrich Meixner
Rodney Bay, Castries
Gros Islets, St. Lucia
+ 1 (758) 452 8531
Johnsons Hardware and Marine Centre
Here you find a lot of things e.g. tools, electrical items, boat parts etc.
It is situated outside the Marina across the street.
Island Water World
Chandlery. If you bring your boat and customs paper you are not paying the tax.
Islands Water World
Rodney Bay Marina, Gros Islets, St. Lucia
+1 (758) 452 12 22
It isn't usual to do the laundry byself. In the Marina Rodney Bay, there is Suds Laundry. If you prepare your laundry and call them over VHF 16, they will picked up and you get your clothes, bedlinens etc. immediatly back and dry! The do also the refilling of gas bottles and can do the cleaning of your upholstery.
Rodney Bay, Castries,
Gros Islets, St. Lucia
or VHF 16
November - December 2020 ARC 2020
For the ARC 2020 I had 3 crew members, two of which had already sailed in the 2012 ARC. The preparations were not without, safety was announced in the first place. Unfortunately, this trip was not so pleasant and the mood on board over the Atlantic was not exactly the "golden egg". Above all, there was trouble because one of the sailors resisted the safety rules.
I tried to guide us through the weather fronts and squalls, which I also succeeded in doing. Only a few times there was heavy rain and wind. Other participants were more unlucky and got into squalls with 45 knots +.
Suffisant with only 10m does not have a big diesel tank. I pointed out that we also have to put up with lulls and should not motor all the time.
Unfortunately, I did not clearly prevail here. The result was that even with minimal wind conditions simply became engine. It should also be mentioned that the slack days have become more. In the last years they were about 2.5 -3 days and now as it turned out, there were almost 6, so double.
Shortly before Saint Lucia we had only very little diesel and radioed the other Swiss ship nearby. They took us in tow - about 70 nm - where there was also wind again. And there we were, Saint Lucia in front of us. Everyone was relieved to finally be there.
July - September 2020 Sailing from A Coruna to Las Palmas
The crew was found and I cleaned up the ship the last weeks of July. Some things were still not in order, but to wait until this was done, was not possible. Otherwise I would have had to cancel all the planned routes. From La Coruna we made our way via Muros, Sanxenxo, Baiona, Matasinhos (Porto), Figueira do For, Peniche, Cascais, Sines to Lagos.
In Lagos, a crew member disembarked and we were assisted by a sailing friend.
The first leg from La Coruna was mediocre to sail, not much wind, but a lot of fog. It was also very cool and only from Porto the weather became more pleasant.
The second leg from Lagos to Las Palmas was characterized by aft high waves. The route had to be sailed mostly in reefed condition. Although more strenuous to sail, living together on board was pleasant. The life jackets were worn without grumbling.
Barely arrived in Las Palmas, the two sailors went on the flight that took place a day later. The cleanup was up to me. At the same time I also contacted Rolnautic and discussed those things that still had to be done before the ARC 2020.
2016 - 2020 Marina Seca, A Coruna
In 2016 my yacht was the first time for checking and antifouling in the Marina Seca. I started to gave the Marina Seca the orders to get my boat ready for the circum navigation in 2020.
Following was installed:
Radar Simrad R2009, 3 G
EPIRB Sartech, GME MT403FG with GPS, manual and automatic
Programming the VHF with my new call sign
Lofran windlass anchor with 50 m chain
Inspection of the rig and deck hardware
New genoa and main sail
Installation of mast steps
Installation of a traveller Harken
Winterizing the engine Volvo Penta MD2030
Boom preventer Walder 203
Washing, controls work of the hull, antifouling etc.
In 2017 I had the following work done:
Plotter Simrad NSS9, Evo3 9"
Saltwater foot pump in the pantry
Life raft Plastimo Transocean ISO 9650-1, >24h
Eye pads for the life lines on deck
Inverter Mastervolt 700 W
LED lights interior and all position lights
Divebottle with 1st and 2nd stage
Controllingwork underwater hull for osmoses
Electronic switchboard with more interruptions
Sextant Mark Davis 25
Portable searchlights and searchlight 12V
Desalination plant Kathadyn power surviver 40-E (installed in 2019)
Hydrovane and Hydrogenerator Watt + Sea (installed in 2020)
SSB IC-78 with pactor
Renew of the rig and furler
Jordan sea anchor
Life west Spinlock
the upholstery in the saloon was splitted
Renew of all Valves and throughhulls
New cooker with stove
Electronic sea charts Navionics
New AIS B EM Track B360 with AIS Antenna
Service of 3
Service of the Life raft
Volvo Penta service
Service Life west
Additional space done by the carpenter
Rear anchor with rope
My sailing yacht was since October 2018 until I left in July 2020 with the Marina Seca. That nothing will forget to serviced or renew, I have compiled an excel list. Unfortunately the Marina Seca only partially responded to this and let time pass out with doing almost nothing on the boat.
The maintenance was not really done, and I had to give the sailing yacht again in Las Palmas to Rolnautic to check it through.
Things which could be done by Marina Seca wasn't done or lousy.
Rolnautic in Las Palmas have an excellent concept to check a yacht from top to bottom and going very deep in the material and they didn't need 2 year like the shipyard in A Coruna. It took only some days to see, what wasn't done or what has to be renewed/replaced or repair.
For the ship yard in A Coruna is this a very poor attest. On this point I can not recommend the Marina Seca. Maybe if they change the concept how to work (with workflows, so nothing goes forgotten) and give the peoples educations, they have a chance to come on the market as a good ship yard. I wrote them and provide them with a video, but didn't heard any thing (except from the office woman, but I except, that the manager will contact me). Very poor.
If you have to do maintenance, refitting on your boat, use ROLNAUTIC in Las Palmas. They are more then good, help to find solution and they do what they can to have your boat back in a short time. They explain also, why they want to do this or that. The research and they find the problems. I made my expierences with a lot of Marinas, Warft etc. and the best of all was Rolnautic. A big plus is, that they are directly situated in the Marina Muelle despertivo Las Palmas!
Rolnautic Las Palmas S.L.
Calle Joaquín Blanco Torrent, S/N,
35004 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
(+34) 928 296 811