Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Enthusiast Bemoans ‘Sorry State’ Of Yachting In Saint Lucia

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Yachting enthusiast, Christopher Kessell, has  bemoaned what he describes as the sorry state of affairs in relation to the yachting industry here.

Kessell asserted in a Facebook message to Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, that due to break ins and the theft of dinghies, yachtsmen do not feel safe here.

He pointed out that in addition to break ins and thefts, popular anchorage sites like Rodney Bay are affected by noise pollution due to loud music being broadcast out towards the bay from Gros Islet almost every evening of the week, driving ‘yachties’ away.

“St. Annes in Martinique is benefitting significantly as a result, as most live board yachties  would rather sail the four hours over to stay in Martinique than stay in Saint Lucia,” the yachting enthusiast declared.

“Customs procedures are also easier and fee compared to Saint Lucia and the lack of free WiFi in the bay are just a few other detriments that have driven the yachts away,” he observed.

He explained that there are a number of sailing groups on Facebook, some specific to Saint Lucia, that have been lamenting this fact.

“In many cases, some of these same yachties are trying to convince others not to come to Saint Lucia at all due to the risk and inconvenience,” Kessell stated.

He said that something needs to be done to try to encourage the yachts to come back to Saint Lucia.

“Please look into this for those of us who depend on yachting in Saint Lucia,” Kessell wrote.

Kessell, a Marine Surveyor, observed that yachtsmen and women who live aboard their own boats contribute significantly to the local economy.

He noted that they spend money on groceries, fuel, water, marine supplies and other items, as well as frequent restaurants and bars on a regular basis.

“On a tourist basis, a yachtsman most likely contributes significantly more to the local economy than a tourist staying at an all-inclusive hotel,” Kessell wrote.

He attached a screen grab from one of the sailing groups with a comment from a yachtsman ‘that shows the sorry state of affairs’.

The comment, asserting that Saint Lucia has ‘major problems’, outlines several concerns and ends by urging this country to ‘wake up.’

 

 

 

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15 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with this very well written letter 100%.

    It will be interesting to see what actions, if any, the government will take. I don’t have high hopes, unfortunately.

    According to Caribbean Safety and Security Net (CSSN) in 2018, there was more crime against cruisers reported from St. Lucia than any other location in the Caribbean. This is the go to source for cruising sailors such as myself when making decisions to determine the safety of ports we may visit.

  2. St. Lucia Immigration has destroyed my family and confiscated their boat illegally. St. Lucia Immigration officials state they came into the wrong port before coming to Immigration and held them in a barbaric cell with no representation or communication for weeks. DO NOT EVER GO TO ST. LUCIA AS THEY WRECK HAVOC ON AN HONEST SAILOR!!! SAIL ON TO ANOTHER MORE CIVILIZED ISLAND.

  3. This is the same PM during the election campaign who said Kenny could not make us safe but he would. Where is the safety PM? Common tell us what you plan to do.

  4. Its really fantastic to see the calm headed responses here to a deep rooted problem that needs to be reversed if we want to entice the live aboard Yachtsmen and women to make St. Lucia their winter stop over. Yachting is for the the vast majority of boat owners is a means to escape the their cold winters, so during the summer when they are back home their yachts need to be kept somewhere safe and usually that means a marina or boat yard. St. Lucia has done quite well in that department over the years but only if the boat owners have insurance that allows them to stay in a hurricane zone like we are. Unfortunately many do not and a lot of the yachts have to spend the summer in Trinidad or Grenada.
    But when winter comes around the boat owners arrive in droves and get their yachts launched and that means a lot of preparation like working on electrical and mechanical systems and also painting the bottom to prevent marine growth from growing too quickly. All of these services are usually paid for rather than DIY and many locals benefit from these jobs created by the marina’s and boat yards up and down the islands.
    Once they are back in the water a lot of them want to just hang out with friends in an island that they feel comfortable at and have the facilities they need and desire. St. Lucia used to be one of those islands but unfortunately due to the problems I outlined in my post to the Prime Minister we have lost a huge number of these yachts who have moved just 30 miles to the north of us to St. Annes and Le Marin in Martinique.
    We have a Large Marina with great facilities here and fantastic anchorages perfect for the yachts to frequent. We just need to step up security with boat patrols and perhaps sting operations to catch the few criminals that are ruining it for the rest of us. That and controlling the noise levels, particularly on week nights and they will come back. It’s not rocket science but it will take a number of steps by the various ministries to make the changes necessary.

  5. I understand people’s complaints about the music but some of the more “outgoing” people need a relief from the stress of work and life. They need their release so maybe a comprise can be made, allow sound-proof establishments to have parties til 6 am. Like the good old days and shorten the time period to 11pm for outdoor events.

  6. Great to read the comments re noise pollution….the loud awful music…if you can call it that, is just dreadful and tourist complain, Laborie has many little guest houses now and tourists are complaining about the night noise going on into the small hours and the Police do nothing. Tourists do t have to come to St Lucia…there are plenty of other places and the Prime Minister needs to wake up and smell the coffee before it is too late.

  7. I have made mention of the other islands picking up and for us looshans to pickup our game by eradicating mediocrity on this island and there by taking the Tourism product much more seriously. The other islands are now competing furiously for the tourist dollar, Barbados is leading from the front, Antigua, Martinique even T&T, yet we straggle along with mediocrity stating we had 1.4 M visitors last year, I don’t see it. There are major issues that we still have to address here at home before we can beat our chest. The boats coming to the harbor are smaller in size this year and on some days there are none whatsoever.
    Persons must learn to refrain from stealing from the one that feeds you or else we will be know for a bunch of volaires.

  8. The island of St Lucia is being stripped of all its natural charm and beauty. As a frequent visitor to the island for the last decade I have great memories of watching the boating community getting around Rodney Bay adding colour and life to the marina. Also watching them coming to shore in their little dinghies during a night storm to receive a warm welcome from restaurant staff and guests. How ugly and dull if the island eventually turns into a mass production of a well known all-inclusive resort. Yachties please come back!

  9. Noise pollution and theft on island isn’t just a tourist problem but a local problem as well. A great start would stricter noise pollution laws restricting loud music from homes, businesses and vehicles. The theft problem is obviously a more challenge. We want to market to a sophisticated clientele to visit St. Lucia but our laws and culture encourage anything but that.

    • There is a Noise Abatement act that clearly deals with noise issues. If you don’t have a loudspeaker permit, you should not be operating loudspeakers. I dare you to call the police and have them show up. Furthermore, the Police Commissioner should be cognizant of where he issues permits for the few who have. Why issue a permit going up until 2 a.m. when people need 8 hours sleep? By the time you are able to go sleep after those bars are done, at most you get 3 hours sleep a night. People should begin to sue the Police Commissioner and those bar owners for endangerment of health. So in effect, no brains and no enforcement. The story of our lives in this country.

    • So true as St. lucia has become a chicken, rum and noise nation. Sad. Government officials does not have a clue for running
      An island. On lies

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