The Barefoot Navigator.

The Barefoot Navigator,

I sit and ponder on this subject and keep reverting back to the words from Jack, “life is all about reducing our zone of uncertainty”. Thinking on this I can picture many a sailor, looking for their chart plotter and pulling out their iPad with their Navionics. What ever happened to taking a look at the conditions around us to help figure out where we are? We seem to have become reliant on technology instead of the world around us.

Thats why we here at Barefoot Offshore have co-developed the Barefoot Navigator, our goal – to reduce our “zone of uncertainty”. Alongside Jack Lagan (Author of the Barefoot Navigator) We will offer this exiting new course that will teach the seafaring techniques of old. We will “get lost” and find ourselves, gaining new skills and understanding to utilise the world around us, to aid in our navigation.

We will reduce our “Zone of uncertainty” by understanding “Horizon Events”, swell directions, the native birds to an area and their feeding and nesting habitats, the stars above and much more.

We invite new and old sailors alike to come join us as we rekindle the ancient navigation flame and reduce our ” Zone of Uncertainty”. Spaces are limited so please reach out in advance to secure your slots. For further information on signing up for the Barefoot Navigator, please email us at

Wishing you all Beam winds and star-filled skies.


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Barefoot Offshore Sailing School is pleased to announce the first-ever course on barefoot navigation, the use of no-tech and low-tech techniques for wayfinding at sea. Please click here for more information on the course or drop us an email at info@barefoot offshore for more information.

We are having the pleasure of getting to know Mr. Jack Lagan very well indeed! He is quite the gentleman and loves to share some witty jokes! We would like to share some of his quotes with you!

“I was thrilled to get Phil Barnard’s invitation to turn my book The Barefoot Navigator into an on-board course. Imagine that. You can learn about how to navigate by using the world around you and pick up practical skills inherited from the seafarers of ancient times.

For example, I take the view that navigation using sextant-and-almanac is as user-friendly as a cornered rat. Sailors just don’t look at the night sky any more. However centuries ago the Pacific islanders were able to navigate across an area of ocean bigger than continental USA guided by the points at which stars rose and set at the horizon. Students will learn this and many other skills while having a great time sailing in the Grenadines, the most beautiful island-chain in the Caribbean. Barefoot Offshore Sailing School’s new course will take ASA- and RSA-qualified sailors to a new level of knowledge — and it will be a great introduction for those new to wayfaring.” Jack Lagan

“The real heroes of maritime history were not the pirates. Master navigators were the shaman of the sea.” Jack Lagan

“Dead reckoning is crucial. Every time you lose track of your dead reckoning a baby dolphin dies.” Jack Lagan

“The Grenadines is the perfect place to sail and learn. From 13-degrees North you can see both Polaris and the Southern Cross at night. During the day, the Red-footed booby, the Brown noddy and the Laughing gull will help you with a course-to-steer for the nearest beach bar.” Jack Lagan

We are very excited and honored to share the Barefoot Navigator with Jack and also with you all and hope that we can share many jokes and good time in the 2016 season!


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BOSS Tip of the Week! 2015


“Your Choice Matters”

Have you ever seen the situation when it’s time to furl away our Genoa or jib our helmsman heads to wind (into irons) to accomplish this task? I am surprised at the amount of times, anchored away in a bay  in the Grenadine Islands, that iv see this technique being used and to this day i always cringe when i see it done. Of course, it does accomplish the mission but its also shaken a few dollars off the lifespan of our Jib!

There is of course an alternative and it’s our “BOSS’S TIP OF THE WEEK”

Lets have a look -

When furling your genoa turn down wind onto a very broad reach so the Genoa is blanketed (in the lee and shadowed) by the main. Once the clew starts to collapse towards the headstay, pull on the furling line and the sail will furl with very little load on the furling line and with out the violent flapping that kills your sail. Ensure that your jib sheets are not tightly held during this maneuver but just with enough tension to ensure that our jib furls nice and neatly. Job accomplished and what a sight! I can say that I’m always very proud to use this technique when entering a bay, smooth, controlled and all easy. Thats how we like it done here at B.O.S.S, no shortcuts needed just straight up proper sailing :)

We hope this tip has helped you guys! Its helped us loads!

Also please see a video of what we are speaking about above by Offshore Sailing School:

Offshore Sailing School – Easy Furling of Jib-Genoa Offshore Sailing School

Its a very well done video and we agree with them and give them full credits :)

Till next time,

Wishing you all Beam Winds!



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What’s SUP?

What’s SUP?

Luke at the Barefoot Water-sports Center with a Stand Up Paddle-board. It was Sunday and around here we have what’s called Sunday Services. Sunday is no lazy day – it’s another chance for adventure! What to do….what to do…let’s go Paddle Boarding! You’ve seen them out on the water, you may have heard of the latest yoga trend – I’m talking about Stand-up Paddle Boarding (SUP). Basically, it’s like standing up on a surfboard and using a long paddle instead of your arms or the waves to propel you through the water. Why would you want to do that? Isn’t it unstable? Won’t you fall off? One of the advantages of SUP is the view – both for looking along the horizon and into the water.Chrystal on a Stand Up Paddle-board with Andato in the background. It’s like taking a stroll on the water. Hey and if you fall off, no worries, the water is warm here! Actually, all you have to do is push the board underneath you and you slip right back on. Yup, SUP is really easy to learn. Can you stand up? Then you can Paddle Board. Of course, standing on a large floating piece of Styrofoam on the water has its challenges but easily managed. Just use a basic athletic stance- like you are getting ready to shoot a basketball – feet shoulder-width apart, stand tall but with knees slightly bent. Easy, right? SUP allows you to exercise almost every part of your body. It is a great work out!

Chrystal at the Barefoot Charter base on a Stand Up Paddle-boardIt was a little breezy the day we decided to try out the boards. Our objective was to scoot over to the Island Bar on Young Island just down so. Luke, Barefoot’s Water Sports Center specialist, lugged the big boards down to the dock and quickly gave us a demo on how to use them. Piece of cake! We were on our way in no time. For stability during the gusts, we dropped to our knees or placed the paddle in front of us (imagine a tripod). It took us only a few minutes to get to our destination. Sadly, the swim-up bar was not open. No problem, we just went over to Young Island proper for refreshments. Once that chore was taken care of we decided to head back. We were pretty sure it was going to take us a little bit longer to get back as we were heading straight into the wind. One paddle forward and two paddles back. We were losing trees. Suddenly, we were surrounded by Cats! On the water? A few of the charter catamaran’s were headed out on trips and we were exactly in the way! I had to remind them that we had the right away – as they pointed and laughed. We struggled in the wind and the wake of the cats. Before long, Luke noticed our predicament and showed up in the dingy to give us a pull. Luke to the rescue! But would that be cheating? After much debate, we decided to let him pull us ONLY around the corner where the winds were the strongest. We tried SUP skiing behind the dingy but feared being left in the wake if we fell off. Once Luke cut us free, we decided to try out our skills on dock landings. The Mariner’s bar was the perfect place to put our plan into practice. The classy method was to back on to the dock and just sit down gracefully. Me? I flopped on the dock like the catch of the day! Not pretty, not graceful but I stayed dry. It’s good to have goals! We tied the boards to the dock using a bowline (Remember from ASA 101?) but the boards were getting sucked under the dock by the swell so we just pulled them out of the water. We found out we were the entertainment for the day. The bartender expressed his concern by snickering behind his hand. It’s tough out there. After we rehydrated (also part of the Sunday Services tradition) we paddled the short distance back to Barefoot. We had a lot of fun and plan on going again soon. Heck, we might even try SUP yoga!

If you would like to try walking on water, visit Luke in the Barefoot Water Sports Center for SUP rental as well as kayaks, fishing gear, and snorkel equipment

Here is an instructional video we found for you on “YouTube” so you don’t make the same mistakes we did – like using the paddle the wrong way. Check it out!

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Barefoot Offshore Sailing School Flotilla

Para-gliders launching off Jamesby Island in the Tobago Cays. Barefoot Offshore Sailing School is hosting a flotilla March 11th through 17th 2012! I know, this is short notice, however  if you are looking for an opportunity to come try out your Bareboat Charter skills, want a helping hand, or if you need to finish off your ASA 104 Bareboat Charter certification while cruising in the exquisite islands of the Grenadines – here’s your chance.

The idea is, we are going to have a lead boat with one of our instructors on board. We are selling berths on the lead boat for guests who want to earn their ASA 104 certification along the way. The price per student (limit 4 with only 3 slots remaining) is $1,299.00. This is $100.00 off our regular week long learning vacation price!

Rum Punch in Cumberland Bay with the flotillaFor guests who already have their 104 certification – but want to join in the benefits of a flotilla (daily chart and weather briefings, group social activities and the occasional rum punch party!) we are offering the opportunity for you to charter your own boat and join us on this adventure! If you mention that you are interested in the BOSS flotilla when you sign up, we will give you 10% off the price of your flotilla charter and we will waive the normal flotilla fee of $500.00.

Now – that is a deal that doesn’t come around every day! Come help us make the first ever BOSS flotilla a success! For more information please contact us at

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Eileen’s Fish Market – NOW OPEN!

New fish market in BequiaAfter sailing to Bequai and finding a cozy spot to anchor in Admiralty Bay, our next mission was to find fresh fish. To find the freshest fish in town, you have to listen. When you hear the conch blowing that is the signal that the fishermen are in with the catch of the day. But if you don’t want to bother with whole fish you now have another option in Bequai. Dingy over to Eileen’s Market and get some incredible fish all sliced, diced and ready to eat.

Menu board at Eileen's Fish Market

Catch of the day!

They have a wide selection of local fish, lobster, conch, as well as a delicatessen with beef, pork and cheese. The food is vacuum packed which is great for cruisers – . it stays fresher longer. We bought some fresh frozen red snapper, threw it in the fridge, and three days later we made an amazing dish with mojito rum! Chris will usually poach the fish in white wine but we used that up with the shrimp pasta we had earlier in the week. We had some epic culinary throw-downs on this trip with the help of Eileen’s Market. One night we ate pate’ with a light rice cracker and Brie. Yum! Eileen’s Market is located under D’auberge Restaurant in the northeast side of the bay. Look for a pink building with “Live lobster” painted in giant letters on the side of the building. Get ready to rumble!

Shoppers at Eileen's

Students shopping at Eileen's

Hours: 9am – 4.30pm • Monday – Saturday; Sunday 9am – 12 noon

Telephone: 457- 3500

VHF Ch: 68


Bianca at Eileen's Fish Market

Bianca, one of the friendly staff at Eileen's Fish Market

Ponce Poached Fish a la Mojito  
3 lbs. Red Snapper

1 qt. water
3 tbsp. Bequia Lime juice
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. Don Q Mojito Rum

Combine all ingredients in a glass dish. Liquid should just cover the fish. Bring to a simmer and cover with foil. Let simmer for approximately 20-30 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Spoon the fish over a bed of rice. Garnish with a slice of Bequai lime and a sprig of mint leaf.

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Where’s Chris? He swims with the fishes!

Over the New Year’s (locally known as Old Year’s) weekend, I had the opportunity to go sailing with a group of charter guests from the states. While we were anchored out in the Tobago Cays, we went for a sunset snorkel and caught some amazing video of the local wildlife (I am the snorkeler in the white shirt).

Our trip started at the Barefoot base on St. Vincent. We sailed over to Bequia for our first night where we enjoyed Mac’s Pizza. We then headed over to Mustique for a day of fun. The ladies went to the spa at Cotton House for massages, later the guests went for dinner at the Firefly restaurant. The next morning the guys and I went for an amazing dive with the Mustique Dive Shop. Next stop was the Tobago Cays where this video was shot followed by a day in Salt Whistle bay. “Old Year’s” eve was spent in Clifton Bay on Union Island. A couple of the guests joined me for a dive with Grenadines Dive in Mayreau Gardens. What an awesome way to finish out 2011! We had a great dinner catered by Juliette, one of the local vendors – yes, her boyfriend’s name really is Romeo. The food was amazing (lobster, ham, chicken, rice, potatoes, couple bottles of wine and rum punch followed by a nice plate of local fruit for dessert!) – the leftovers fed us for days! There is a funny Caribbean tradition – people go to church until almost the stroke of midnight – then party all night until the sun comes up! We didn’t make it to church or party ’til dawn, but we did have a great time. In the morning we found the captain of the boat docked next to us curled up like a bug on the trampoline of his boat. I think he might have made it to dawn – but not much further! The next day, we sailed down to St. Georges, Grenada and took a spot at the Grenada Yacht Club dock. We had a quiet last night on the boat before the guests took off the next day. Four of the guests had early morning flights. The remaining two joined my delivery crew and I for a tour of the island which included a visit to the volcano and one of the many waterfalls. We had a great adventure and still got them back in time to make it to the airport!

We had a great trip sailing through the islands – but if I was going to give one piece of advice, I would say that six days is not enough. Don’t rush through paradise!

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Merry Christmas (Winds)

Caribbean fish vendor at the Calliaqua Fish Market“YOU know about the Christmas winds?” inquired the fisherman at the local fish co-op as he weighed the fresh red snapper. The other fishermen stirred from their naps on the cool cement slab in the shade. The Christmas winds were interfering with their livelihood this week. In fact, the winds had whipped their little boats about so fiercely that morning, they had to come in early. Now, any other time I would question if THAT was the reason they quit early. Walking back to the cleaning station the musty smell of ganja came wafting through the stalls. Hmmm. But the winds this week were sending timid cruisers to find a safe harbor, causing ferry schedules to be adjusted, and surfers to gaze admiringly at their favorite break. Yes, I know about the Christmas winds. “If you sail, you have to know about the winds.” I finally replied. But it’s not only sailors that are watching the wind, is it?

Christmas Winds causing big surf on the reef at Blue LagoonWell, what are the Christmas Winds? The trade winds are not ALWAYS consistent. Around the month of December and January the wind patterns change. The winds blow at about 20-25 knots. For weather watchers this means that the dominant feature is a big high pressures system coming out of the northeast. When the isobars get tight, the wind increases and is sometimes very fresh (25-30 knots). This high pressure is offset by cold fronts that come down from the northwest.* If you would like to learn more about weather systems, consider signing up for our Advanced Coastal Cruising class. In the meantime, enjoy the refreshing cool breeze and gaze out at the crystal blue waves as they break over the reef. If you can’t be here in person – check out the view of the surf breaking on the reef surrounding Blue Lagoon from our webcam!

Merry Christmas!!!


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Bequia Article

Local boat on crystal clear water - BequiaHey – one of our recent students shared this great link with us from a New York Times article on the island of Bequia! Bequia is one of my favorite islands to visit – here’s a little preview of what you have to look forward to! Link to Bequia Article

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Flying to St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Tobago Cays from the airShhhh! It’s a secret – St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the REAL Caribbean!  Less crowded, beautiful crystal blue water and a different island every night, if you wish! But how do you get there?

There are a variety of options flying into St. Vincent. The major airlines will take you to a connecting hub such as St. Lucia, Puerto Rico or Barbados. Then, you will take a Caribbean airline to St. Vincent. It is easier to use the airport codes than search for the city when you are making reservations especially if you are going to a variety of websites. Be careful when using a travel website such as Expedia or Orbitz because those websites can give you some crazy, expensive itineraries.  (It really is a secret!) If that happens, input one of our suggested connecting hubs and see what comes up. Then go directly to the Liat or SVG website to book your connecting flight. Don’t settle for the first flights they give you, look around a little.

Can you get a faster flight, better connections or a cheaper price? It takes a little more time but it’s worth it. Choosing the low fare finder option on the airline websites can give you even bigger savings if your dates are flexible. Don’t forget to add taxes and extra charges such as baggage fees when comparing prices.  What you think is a bargain could end up costing you more at the counter.

You really don’t need all those clothes in the Grenadines anyway – it’s 85 degrees every day!  And the water is 83 degrees! Leave your shoes at home, a good pair of flip flops is all you’ll want to wear.  If you haven’t already, sign up for the frequent flyer program for the flights you take.  The miles add up fast.  Traveling can be easy when you know the right tricks. Soon your toes will be sifting through the sand and you’ll be relaxing in the sunshine. See you in the islands! And remember, it’s a secret!

E.T. Joshua Airport, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

E.T. Joshua Airport (SVD), St. Vincent and the Grenadines

• SVD – St. Vincent
• BGI – Barbados
• SJU – Puerto Rico
• UVF – Saint Lucia


Is it St. or Saint?
St. Vincent is usually listed as “St. Vincent and the Grenadines”.  You will hardly ever see “Saint” spelled out when referring to St. Vincent.  And it is usually not just “St. Vincent” but “St. Vincent and the Grenadines”. This is true not only for the airlines but for other sites such as weather forecasts. It is independent from other countries and is a member of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) which all share the same currency – the EC dollar.

*How long is the layover?  Watch out for overnight flights.
*Read the fine print. This could cost you!
*You have to take ALL your luggage through customs.  Travel light!
*Be aware of overnight flights.
*How soon are the connecting flights? Too much or too little time between flights?
*Watch taxes & fees – they can really add up.
*The Caribbean airlines only allow one personal bag – and it’s often smaller than what the big airlines allow.
*Check and double check flights, dates, and fees.

Sample flight – Round Trip from New York (JFK) as of 28/Nov/2011 
Airline From To cost (w/tax) Connecting Flight to St. Vincent Total Cost
American Airlines JFK          Dep. 6/Jan/2012 @ 8:10a Barbados (BGI) Arr. 6/Jan/2012 @ 1:50p $508.60 Liat ($291.51) Dep BGI 5:35p Arr. SVD 8:05p SVG ($336.00) Dep BGI 4:30p
Arr. SVD 6-6:30p
Liat: $800.11 SVG-Air: $844.60
Barbados (BGI) Dep. 15/Jan/2012 @ 3:15p JFK Arr. 15/Jan/2012 @ 7:45p Included Liat (Included) Dep SVD 6:20a
Arr. BGI 7:00a
SVG (Included) Dep SVD 10:20a
Arr. BGI 12-12:30p
JetBlue JFK Dep. 6/Jan/2012 @ 8:15p Barbados (BGI) Arr. 6/Jan/2012
@ 2:00p
$508.60 Liat ($291.51) Dep BGI 5:35p Arr. SVD 8:05p SVG ($336.00) Dep BGI 4:30p
Arr. SVD 6-6:30p
Liat: $800.11 SVG-Air: $844.60
Barbados (BGI) Dep. 15/Jan/2012
@ 2:55p
JFK Arr. 15/Jan/2012
@ 7:11p
Included Liat (Included) Dep SVD 6:20a
Arr. BGI 7:00a
SVG (Included) Dep. SVD 10:20a
Arr. BGI 12-12:30p
US Airways JFK Dep. 6/Jan/2012
@ 6:15a
San Juan, PR (SJU) Arr. 6/Jan/2012
@ 2:17p
$489.60 Liat ($553.19) Dep SJU 2:30p
Arr. SVD 4:50p
SVG n/a Liat: $1042.79 SVG-Air: N/A
San Juan, PR (SJU) Dep. 15/Jan/2012
@ 5:35p
JFK Arr. 15/Jan/2012
@ 11:51p
Included Liat (Included) Dep SVD 7:15a
Arr. SJU 11:35a
SVG n/a
JetBlue JFK Dep. 6/Jan/2012  @ 6:05a San Juan, PR (SJU) Arr. 6/Jan/2012
@ 10:51a
$612.34 Liat ($553.19) Dep SJU 2:30p
Arr. SVD 4:50p
SVG n/a Liat: $1165.53 SVG-Air: N/A
San Juan, PR (SJU) Dep. 15/Jan/2012
@ 12:50p
JFK Arr. 15/Jan/2012
@ 6:32p
Included Liat (Included) Dep SVD 7:15a
Arr. SJU 11:35a
SVG n/a
American Airlines JFK Dep. 6/Jan/2012
@ 5:35a
St. Lucia (UVF) Arr. 6/Jan/2012
@ 2:30p
$654.30 Liat n/a SVG ($310.00) Dep. UVF 4:15p
Arr. SVD 4:45-5:15p
Liat: N/A SVG-Air: $964.30
St. Lucia (UVF) Dep. 15/Jan/2012
@ 3:45p
JFK Arr. 15/Jan/2012
@ 11:25p
Included Liat n/a SVG (Included) Dep. SVD 10:30a
Arr. UVF 11:00-11:30a
JetBlue JFK Dep. 6/Jan/2012
@ 9:50a
St. Lucia (UVF) Arr. 6/Jan/2012
@ 3:24a
$742.30 Liat n/a SVG ($310.00) Dep. UVF 4:15p
Arr. SVD 4:45-5:15p
Liat: N/A SVG-Air: $1052.30
St. Lucia (UVF) Dep. 15/Jan/2012
@ 4:25p
JFK Arr. 15/Jan/2012
@ 8:29p
Included Liat n/a SVG (Included) Dep. SVD 10:30a
Arr. UVF 11:00-11:30a


Fly SVG Air! We recommend booking your connecting flights on SVG Air. The cost of the SVG Air flight is often a little more than the equivalent Liat flight, but there are other benefits that more than make up for the price difference. SVG Air is a small local airline. They are able to provide benefits that Liat just can’t offer. When you arrive in either Barbados or St. Lucia, there will be someone waiting for you as you exit the plane. They will take you to a lounge to wait for your flight while they take care of Customs & Immigration, get your luggage from baggage claim and load it on the plane. Anyone who has had to go through Customs and Immigration with everyone else and then had to carry their bags to the Liat desk to check back in and go back through security will tell you – it is well worth the price to fly SVG Air!

If you would like some help figuring all this out, we recommend Leah Hernandez at Reservation Services International (800-329-9000 / She has been helping people book flights to the Grenadines for years.

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