Luxury, on a Mission
Turquoise waters, favorable breezes, 24/7 pampering—and charitable acts, to boot—all have a place in this crewed- charter adventure. A feature from our December 2010 issue
“Education is the key,” Father Andrew Roache says. “It brings self-motivation. It helps people think and have a vision. It’s the only way out of poverty, really.”
Acknowledging all of the challenges, Father Andrew, a native of the Grenadines who went off to Canada to get his degrees, remains optimistic. “Reading has always been a fundamental problem here,” he says. “Things are changing slowly. There seems to be a paradigm shift and a new emphasis on education.”
His goal, which he hopes to reach via community-outreach programs, is to be part of the dawn of a new age. “How do you get people to develop a love of reading?” he asks. “You must start young. I see young people reading; it has to be a holistic effort, with everyone working together. My new slogan for the children is ‘Get caught reading,’ to encourage a shift from drug use.”
Hot, dusty, and near-bursting with a jumble of emotions, I’m beat, but the crew is hard at it yet. They retrieve us and ferry us back to Matau. We’re served drinks, and Alice has once again set the table in a subtle, elegant nautical décor of seashells, linens, and woven placemats. In no time, we’re sipping Chris’ version of the traditional Caribbean soup called rundown, a luscious elevation of the boiled-down blend of coconut milk, callaloo, and breadfruit. It’s a night of soothing breezes, lively discussion, and tasty and elaborate fare.
I bid all my mates—guest and crew—good night and return to my cabin for reading and rest. Keeping safe the page where I’d last put my book aside is a hand-made bookmark with tassel, deposited at our bedsides when we first arrived.
On one side is printed the name of the boat, Matau. On the other, Virginia, one-woman wonder of the seas and publishing house, has again worked her magic. Via words and reading, she’s taught me cool stuff that I’d never known. In tiny print, the bookmark she’d made contains the story behind the word matau.
“The fishhook shape of the Hei Matau,” I read, just before I began to nod off, “finds its origins in Maori legend that the North Island of New Zealand was once a huge fish. . . .”
Ways to Help
These are some of the people and groups who work together in many ways to help raise literacy rates throughout the Caribbean islands. To donate books and other materials, contact charter-yacht consultant Ann-Wallis White (Annapolis, Maryland; firstname.lastname@example.org); Karen Kelly Shea of Nicholson Yachts (Newport, Rhode Island; email@example.com); Boaters for Books (www.boatersforbooks.org); Hands Across the Sea (www.handsacrossthesea.net); Father Andrew Roache (firstname.lastname@example.org), the pastor of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Clifton, on Union Island; the Mount Airy Young Readers Program, on Grenada (Doris@isle-escape.com); and the Carriacou Children’s Education Fund (email@example.com).
For details about sailing Matau or other boats in the Caribbean or in other cruising grounds, visit the Cruising World website to consult the charter directory (www.cruisingworld.com/charter-directory), which includes listings of companies and brokers such as Ann-WallisWhite.