April 2019 Chartering Update

Monthly update on the charter industry.

San Blas and Pearl Islands
A unique itinerary that features a transit of the Panama Canal, as well as stops in the San Blas and Pearl Islands is offered by San Blas Sailing.Courtesy of San Blas Sailing

From Ocean to Ocean

Charter transits of the Panama Canal, including landfalls in the San Blas Islands in the Caribbean Sea and stops in the Pearl Islands in the Pacific Ocean, are offered by San Blas Sailing.

The crewed trips feature an 18-day itinerary. The first week includes stops in the San Blas archipelago. Next is a visit to the historic port city of Portobelo on the Panamanian mainland. Spanish colonial fortifications there are a protected UNESCO World Heritage site. The two-day transit of the Gatun, Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks of the Panama Canal follow. After a stop in Panama City, the charter heads 40 nautical miles south to the Pearl Islands for wildlife viewing, fishing and beach combing.

Peak humpback whale-watching season is from June through October; rates vary according to season. The fleet for this excursion includes a 100-foot gullet; a 77-foot maxi; a Lagoon 440 and 500; a Fountaine Pajot Salinas 48 and Bahia 46; a Nautitech 40 and 43; a Feeling 446 and a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 49. For details and explanation of costs, contact San Blas Sailing.

Sweepstakes Net Literacy Funds

The American Sailing Association (ASA) raised $41,379 in the fall 2018 Caribbean sweepstakes to benefit the Hands Across the Sea Caribbean literacy nonprofit organization . The ASA has helped raise some $180,000 for the group since becoming its partner seven years ago.

Sweepstake participants earned a chance to win the grand prize of a weeklong sailing charter in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, courtesy of Horizon Yacht Charters. Participants also could win a weeklong vacation at The Verandah Resort & Spa in Antigua or the St. James’s Club Morgan Bay Resort & Spa in Saint Lucia, courtesy of Elite Island Resorts.

Hands Across the Sea has raised funds to provide over 464,000 books to more than 400 schools and libraries in the Eastern Caribbean. Over 100,000 students have benefitted from the support of sailors and other donors. The charity has expanded its services to providing teacher professional development and student librarian training to Eastern Caribbean schools.

Sail, Learn in the Sea of Cortez

West Coast Multihulls has expanded its charter fleet based at Marina Puerto Escondido, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Three sailing cats are now available: a Fontaine Pajot Saba 50, a Fontaine Pajot Helia 44 and a Leopard 43. Crewed and bareboat options exist for exploration of the anchorages and islands in the Golfo de California, popularly known as the Sea of Cortez. Puerto Escondido is 10 miles south of the nearest airport and has convenient connections.

Instruction through the curriculum of the American Sailing Association is also available at Baja and at the company's base in San Diego. For details contact the company.

Powercat Added

Offshore Sailing and Power Cruising School has added a new Fountaine Pajot power catamaran MY 37 to its fleet at The Westin Cape Coral Resort in Cape Coral, Florida. The boat will be used to teach the school's Fast Track to Power Catamaran Cruising course. Offshore also offers this same course aboard Moorings power catamarans in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. For details contact the school.