For those of you who have not had the chance to visit us down here in the Grenadines, I thought it might be nice to take you on a tour of Barefoot Marine Center. For those of you who have been here before, it might be a trip down memory lane.
First stop, here is the Barefoot sign from along the road welcoming you to the Barefoot Marine Service Center. Check out the flag pole – cooler than your average flag pole hu? This started out life as the mast on a Hylas 47 named Wave Dancer. Wave Dancer lost her rig off of Canouan in a severe squall. Years later, a cruiser who was passing through the islands did the metal work transforming it into the unique flag pole we have today.
Here is the front of the main building, home to our reception desk, management offices, chandlery, sailing school office, Driftwood Restaurant & Bar, guest rooms and boutique. Notice in the picture the main entrance, with the boutique to the left and the guest rooms upstairs. The little dog in the picture is Lilly. Lilly is Phillip’s shadow. She won’t let him go anywhere without her in tow (Phillip is the Managing Director of Barefoot and the son of Mary Barnard who founded Barefoot Yacht Charters, the parent company of Barefoot Offshore Sailing School).
This is a shot of our parking lot featuring our J24 Salt Fish. Salt Fish is the boat we have been campaigning on the Caribbean J24 circuit between Barbados, Bequia (for the Bequia Easter Regatta), and St. Lucia. If you would like to learn more about the Salt Fish – Team Sail Caribbean racing campaign, check us out on Facebook.
View of the back half of the main building. You can see part of the back porch and the Driftwood Restaurant & Bar
Jasmine is usually here during business hours to greet you and help you with any last minute details. She has been with Barefoot for 12 years and is an integral part of the Barefoot Marine Center Team. She definitely helps hold the place together and is a great asset to the company.
Here is the front stairway which leads up to our guest rooms. The guest rooms are a great way to spend your first night if you arrive early for your class or charter. With nice beds, AC and hot water showers, not to mention a beautiful view, they make for a very nice way to ease in to your Caribbean sailing vacation.
Our Boutique has a nice selection of Barefoot logo gear and all of the things you might have forgotten to pack. We carry a good selection of Gill sailing gear including sailing gloves, shorts, shirts and lite weight tropical foul weather gear. You will be glad you picked up a pair of
sailing gloves after spending a day of tacking, jibing and trimming sails! We also have all the little things you might have forgotten like sun screen, sun glasses keepers, bikinis and swim trunks.
This is the way to the back porch, offices and apartment #1. Note that the yacht brokerage office has actually moved and we are planning to open an insurance office in that space in the near future.
Here is a shot of Philip Barnard in his office. Philip is the Operations Manager and also usually the guy doing chart briefings for our bareboat charter guests. He does his best to share his knowledge of sailing in the Caribbean. Philip grew up sailing in these waters and went on to sail as a part of many professional race teams including Skandia, Nicorette and the Virgin Islands and Team Caribbean Americas Cup Campaigns. Charter guests are often seen leaving his briefings with their heads spinning from the amount of information they were just given during one of his briefings!
This is where you can often find Barefoot staff relaxing during their breaks. This is also where Phillip does his famous chart briefings and where I occasionally might be found teaching some principals of coastal navigation. The door at the end was our fins and snorkel room when this picture was taken, but has since been converted into the Barefoot Offshore Sailing School office. I have no explanation for some of the strange things that used to live in my office… After Phillip explained that the fish represented how he felt almost every day when he left his house to come to work, I knew we couldn’t get rid of it. The fish now resides in a place of honor on one of the shelves of my new office.
Just outside the door of my new office lives ‘Trini’ the parrot. She is usually a good neighbor – but when it starts raining she gets wound up! Screaming “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU….” Nice! One of these days, I’d like to have a few words with whomever taught that bird to sing ‘Happy Birthday’. Also notice the convenient hammocks hanging on the porch. It’s a great place to chill out and read a book for awhile or just take a little nap.
Barefoot Offshore Sailing School training boat, Andato
Here is a nice view of our main Sailing School boat Andato, a Gib Sea 44, resting at her mooring in Blue Lagoon. Notice the boom is down on her deck. This shot was taken right at the beginning of the season last year and she wasn’t quite ready to head out yet after her annual haul out.
Driftwood Restaurant and Lounge
This is the view on the way down the hill on your way to the Driftwood Restaurant and Bar.
Here is our beautiful open air restaurant, Driftwood. It’s a great place to grab a bite to eat or to stop in for a drink. The pizza is really good thin crust pizza – try the Parma Ham, Artichoke, Olive, Tomato and Basil Pizza or the Caesar Salad with Jerked Chicken and Basil. At the bar, you have to try Randy’s Rum Punch or Randy’s Mango-Colada made with Randy’s own Mango Puree! If you visit the restaurant in the evening, you are sure to meet Randy – he will be the big guy behind the bar. The Wine Bar is just behind the Driftwood bar. With its AC usually cranked, it’s great place to relax if you need a little escape from the heat.
We have our own sail loft on-site. The Barefoot Sail Loft is run by Anthony Alkins who is also our foredeck crew on Salt Fish. Anthony has been racing since he was 14 years old starting with racing Opti’s back in his home of Trinidad. He is a great guy to have on our race crew and a great guy to have working in our Sail Loft.
Working our way down the hill, we have the Weather Conch off to the right and the Water Sports Center down on the left. The Weather Conch may be the most accurate weather tool we have at our disposal down here in the Caribbean! Our new Water Sports Center is now the home of all those fins & snorkels we had to clear out to make room for my new office. We also have kayaks, stand up paddle boards and fishing gear for rent there.
Down at the bottom of the hill we find our workshops and the dock. This is where most of our trips start and finish.
Well – there it is a whirl–wind tour of our Barefoot Marine Center facilities! Hopefully you have enjoyed the pictures and now maybe have a little bit better image of who we are and where we work. I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to leave a response if you have any questions or comments.