Bareboat Yacht Charters Blog

Sailors beware - Unrest in French Caribbean

Sailors beware - Unrest in French Caribbean

Sailors considering a bareboat charter in the French Caribbean need to be aware of the increasing unrest on the islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique.  Of particular concern to those planning a Caribbean bareboat charter yacht vacation is the escalation of unrest.  What began as a month-long strike for lower prices and higher salaries has grown into a violent uprising.

Numerous bareboat charter yacht fleets are based in or near Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe and Fort-de-France, Martinique – both hotbeds for the social unrest in the French Caribbean.

On Tuesday, February 17, 2009, a man was shot and killed in Pointe-a-Pitre as he drove during the night during riots and protests over the high cost of living – the first fatality in a nearly month-old strike that has hammered this French Caribbean island’s tourist industry and paralyzed daily life.  Three police officers were also injured in the overnight violence, one with a gunshot wound to the eye.

Authorities said that rioters overnight looted 15 businesses, set fire to another seven, and burned 21 cars. Thirteen people were detained. On Wednesday morning, dozens of residents cleared streets and businesses of debris.

Guadeloupe, a verdant hilly island with white-sand beaches has been a favorite barefoot sail charter destination for years.  Because of the unrest, thousands of tourists have fled or canceled holidays on the normally tranquil island, prompting many hotels to close and cruise ships to head elsewhere.  News coverage in the United States has been minimal, and sailors need to be aware of the potential dangers that they may encounter ashore, during a French Caribbean yacht charter.

The Caribbean yacht charter specialists at 1-800-BAREBOAT are advising all clients to revise their sailing itineraries and modify their reservations to pick up and drop-off their rental sailboats and yachts in other destinations.  Alternate Caribbean sailing destinations that offer exciting blue-water legs include Antigua, St. Martin, and the spectacular Grenadines in the Windward island chain.  For first-time barefoot sailors, the steady trade winds of the Virgin Islands offer a great destination for a Caribbean yacht charter vacation.

Yacht charter customers are also encouraged to consider the purchase of trip cancellation insurance as some policies (but not all) offer protection in the event of political uprisings and social unrest.

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Chicken Ruth’s

February 6th, 2009 | 3 Comments »

…and a very special story contributed by Mr. Vince Cable, a 40+ year war veteran.  God Bless America.

This past Friday, we went to Annapolis to visit a recently married friend and take in some of the sights. At the Visitor’s Center, the volunteer said, “Oh, by the way, if you want the best breakfast in town, be sure to go to ‘Chicken Ruth’s’ ” ( at least that’s what I heard).

On Saturday morning, we sought out the place and it turned out to be Chick and Ruth’s and it was packed. The owner, Chick and Ruth’s son, Ted, was everywhere, checking out the service and the timeliness of order taking, etc.  Everyone was friendly, and the food was excellent. Ted kept checking his watch and mumbling about “9:30.”  We finished (actually just stopped eating — there was too much food to finish) at about 9:25, paid, and were fighting our way to the door through the throngs of people waiting to get in, when Ted got on a PA system and said “OK, everybody! We have a tradition here at Chick ‘n Ruth’s. We will all now stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance. Following that, I have a real treat for you.”  It was then I noticed the large American flag flying behind the counter. Everyone in this huge two-tiered restaurant stood in silence until Ted led us in the Pledge.

He then introduced a young man of about 14, who was a busboy we had spoken to earlier. He proceeded to sing the National Anthem. I have to say I had a tear in my eye. When he finished, everyone cheered, whistled, and clapped — then went right back to working and eating. We knew we had again experienced something special in a series of emotional events since 9-11.

Later, we were shopping in one of the downtown shops. I told the shopkeeper of our experience. I then said, “I guess that’s been going on since September 11th?”  She said “Oh no. Chick established that tradition when he opened the restaurant in…1969!”  He apparently believed that it was important to do his part to reestablish that kind of patriotism in the face of the Vietnam war protesters and other naysayers. His son has carried on the same tradition and so is no Johnny-Come-Lately to patriotism.

Pledge of Allegiance at Chick and Ruth's Delly

Pledge of Allegiance at Chick and Ruth's Delly

Thanks for letting me share this simple, but poignant story. If you go to Annapolis, Maryland, go to “Chicken Ruth’s” any day between 6 am and 11 pm. During the week, the Pledge is said at 8:30 am and on the weekend at 8:30 and 9:30 am.”  …and a special note for travelers:  “Chick and Ruth’s Delly” has a bed & breakfast on the 2nd floor called, The Scotlaur Inn.

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