The marina grinch…

Here comes the rally!

Here comes the rally!

So after all the rally hype…

More work…

Another 10 mooring buoys laid… yay… thanks Travis…. plus a stack of meetings on regulating the future marina zone… DONE….

It’s regulated?

What does that mean?

It's take a buoy or move 150m away!

It’s take a buoy or move 150m away!

It means that if sailors don’t follow the marina rules the municipal police can have a field day issuing fines…

Ouch!

But why?

Unfortunately, a small number of recalcitrant sailors insist on anchoring willy-nilly between the moorings and others have stated that paying for a mooring buoy is against their principles. They are the ones that have made this regulation thing a necessity.

On the plus side, no more jet skis zooming around your yacht…

Plenty of space for you to anchor for free.

Plenty of space for you to anchor for free.

Don’t panic!

That that still leaves 15NM of river and creeks in which to anchor at no cost.

Fortunately, many sailors enjoying the services now on offer, and the convenience of being in the best spot, do not have sea urchins lodged in their pockets (as I do), and so the little marina in Saint Laurent already looks to be a success!

Some understandably shrug at any mention of mooring fields, but please keep in mind that the buoys pay the salaries of our dedicated staff and that all this is run by a registered non-profit association.

Long live the Nereid's Rally

Long live the Nereid’s Rally

Everything that it earns goes into promoting yachting in the region and funding next years main event…

THE NEREID’S RALLY 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

In a cinema near you… soon!

The 2015 Nereid's Rally

The 2015 Nereid’s Rally welcome to Saint Laurent du Maroni

I’m not going to write much about the 2015 rally. Not because I’m at a loss for words (rare, but it does happen), and not because there is nothing to recount..

The main reason is that this year I convinced a couple of film students from Paris to come and document the event on film.

Claire hard at work in Awala-Yalimapo

Claire hard at work in Awala-Yalimapo

Here they are… on the job…

Adrien keeping watch

Adrien keeping watch

So my next post will be to the video documentary they produced. I would have preferred not to feature in it, but they insisted. Hence my revenge by posing the least-flattering images above…

Blog revenge is sweet!

 

Back to Trinidad but not before….

No more monkey business...

No more monkey business…

No more monkeying around…

Saint Laurent du Maroni has its marina at last!

Model of the proposed marina Club House

Model of the proposed marina Club House

Plenty of work still to do… For example: Next step Marina Club House… But at least there is something here for the sailors now.

Tourists always welcome in Saint Laurent du Maroni

Tourists always welcome in Saint Laurent du Maroni

Mind you there was always the Tourist Office working hard to keep visitors happy. I even joined a boat load of those in the industry meeting to test what’s on offer.

If this boat sinks there will be no one left in the local tousist industry...

If this boat sinks there will be no one left in the local tousist industry…

With the intention making improvements I suppose…

Do they know something I don't?

Do they know something I don’t?

So with renewed enthusiasm, I flew north to rejoin Eileen of Avoca in Trinidad and make preparations for the annual Nereid’s Rally Seminar in Chaguaramas.

 

 

 

A little infrastructure too!

A mooring field is born... Good news for some... Others... well...

A mooring field is born… Good news for some… Others… well… time to pay I’m afraid…

And now for the hard part…

There’s some yachting infrastructure I’ve promised to develop and jobs to create. All well and good having an office, but noone is going to be paid a salary if I leave it at that. Just for the record… no… I don’t pay myself a salary… but I do get a free mooring!!!

boat party

Note to myself: Never mix alcohol and job interview…

Speaking of jobs… Meet Samuel, my right hand in Saint Laurent du Maroni. Here he is at his job interview (where the work criteria was: being flexible on the job)…

I’m the one gaping like a fish out of water on the left…

Oh, and this is Marie making Internet access codes…

I'll just take a quick nap while the boss isn't looking...

I’ll just take a quick nap while the boss isn’t looking…

I obviously work them too hard.

And so, with an office fully staffed it was time to play “lay the mooring”… Not quite as easy (or as fun) as it sounds. The first workers I’d hired for the job simply gave up (“It’s all too hard”) after day one.

As luck would have it, an American salvage diver visiting Saint Laurent by yacht (meet Travis), volunteered to help get the job done and in no time at all, voila!

Meet the dynamic duo... No-one else offered to help!

Meet the dynamic duo… No-one else offered to help!

Two moorings a day positioned with a 5HP dinghy!

All the moorings were floated into position and then sunk.

All the moorings were floated into position and then sunk.

It’s amazing what you can do when you are……  desperate…

 

A little publicity?

Eileen of Avoca on the hard in Trinidad

Eileen of Avoca on the hard in Trinidad

Eileen of Avoca didn’t really come back to Saint Laurent this time. I left her on the hard at Power Boats in Chaguaramas to do a little advertising, as I planned to travel a little more quickly over the next few months.

Who wants to come and play?

Who wants to come and play?

And just to make sure the rally message was getting through, I decided to run an ad campaign on Caribbean Compass…. The editors had been nice enough to run a few articles and news posts on sailing down this way in the past, so a little business sent their way was certainly overdue.

But would anyone really pay attention?

Would it be enough?

Just in case… a press release or two…

Extra extra... read all about it...

Extra extra… read all about it…

The Nereid’s Rally 2015
The Nereid’s Rally is an annual yachting event open to the cruising community, competitive sailors or anyone else wishing to make the most of the Caribbean hurricane season. It is the only international yacht rally for Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.
Held every September, it runs for a little over a month, bringing together a varied group of cruising yachtsmen and women keen to experience the cultural diversity, natural beauty and unique flavour of the region.
Often billed as the rally for people who aren’t really “rally people”, the event has always been more about visiting the destinations than just sailing. The Nereid’s Rally is not a race, nor is it a flotilla. Yachts are encouraged to set their own pace and simply meet up for the official welcome ceremonies and social or cultural events.
Everything kicks off with a formal seminar in Chaguaramas Trinidad on the 16th of August where delegations from Guyana and French Guiana together with rally representatives, showcase their attractions to potential visitors and rally participants. Though crews preparing their yachts often arrive several weeks in advance to carry out routine maintenance.
Shortly after Trinidad’s premiere motor boat event, “The Great Race” and independence day celebrations, a send-off party marks the beginning of the rally proper, and gives participants one last chance to “lime” with the locals in either Trinidad or Tobago (there are two starts), before setting sail on either the 2nd or 3rd of September. This year we plan to present some Trinidad & Tobago talent to make the 2015 departure the most memorable to date.
An official welcome hosted by the Minister for Tourism awaits participants on the 11th of September at Hurakabra Resort Guyana. Crews will then be given the opportunity to visit indigenous communities, explore some of the natural wonders of the region or go sight-seeing in the capital.
On the 18th of September the rally sets off again for the Maroni river on the border of Suriname and French Guiana where locals from both sides of the river (Galibi and Awala-Yalimapo) will play host to the international navigators before their final welcome in Saint Laurent du Maroni on the 3rd of October, which marks the end of the rally.
More information can be found at www.marinaslm.com/rally

 

So… elaborate….

Before the rally becomes nothing but a foggy memory

It may really become nothing but a foggy memory

Before it all becomes nothing but a foggy memory in a new year… Here is what has transpired since my carnival wanderings in Trinidad…

For the impatient… in a one liner…

The Nereid’s Rally 2015

Period… read no further… but at least look at the pictures… :)

Ah… yet another one (rally that is), and at the risk of having this blog start to get monotonous, I’ll tell you all about it in great detail…

It can occasionally be difficult to concentrate on work here in Saint Laurent

It can occasionally be difficult to concentrate on work here in Saint Laurent

The story does have some legs and may take many a post in the telling so do indulge me…

It all started in Grenada with a girl in a polkadot bikini who definitely wasn’t afraid of coming out of the water.

Afraid to come out of the water?

Afraid to come out of the water?

Enter my racy assistant Nereid’s Rally promoter Carrisa Victor… (Yes it is spelt that way).

Pan player extraordinaire, founder of the S.P.O.R.S. Performing arts company, and all round talented lady…. ahem!

Let's play pan...

Let’s play pan…

Together we gave a small presentation at Prickly Bay Marina to drum up a few new entrants for this years event. One crew showed interest… Never mind, the trip wasn’t a total loss and there was still plenty of time before the start in September, (this was March).

But I had to get back to French Guiana and start the proverbial ball rolling… Or perhaps the not so proverbial mooring buoy floating…

Eileen of Avoca on one of Saint Laurent's first mooring buoys.

Eileen of Avoca on one of Saint Laurent’s first mooring buoys.

What’s-up in Saint Laurent du Maroni?

webcamSo what happened next?

Plenty! In fact it has been so busy of late I’ve not had the time to update this never ending blog.

But all that is about to change, and to whet your appetite have a wander over to this site and see what’s happening yourself.

Yes it’s a live (or quasi-live) webcam of Saint Laurent du Maroni.

Behold and be amazed… It’s even been described as MAGNIFICENT!