Monday, February 6, 2017

Belize: Off the Beaten Path straight into the arms of Geoff and Iza Prower and their lovely Catamaran: Dreaming On


Destination Belize

FUN: Off the Beaten Path 

A destination full of exciting experiences for all interests and ages. For divers/snorkelers, it is tops. Its pristine reef goes on and on and on. It's the 2nd longest in the world next to AU's Great Barrier Reef. 

Belize operates very active and ongoing ecological projects in conjunction with several major US Universities. They have made a firm commitment to their environment which makes it simply a perfect destination. Belize is very safe to visit and travel  in.  Major airlines fly there regularly from large cities such as Los Angeles, Houston, New York and many others. It's easy to get there and the air fares are quite reasonable. Use PLJ for Placencia airport code. That quiet village is where the yacht is based. Or use BZE for Belize City. 

Read HERE  for a bit more on this lovely Placencia

For Land Adventure junkies of all ages, zip lining, jungle tours, visiting ancient ruins. It is less visited than some other very popular places we offer vacations to, making it much less crowded. It's a true Paradise. Several of our charteryacht colleagues now call Belize home. We can assist with some suggestions on where to stay before or after your charter to have an amazing experience. See below about your charter yacht. 

Let us highlight one of the best adventures of them all: 

YACHT CHARTERING Customized vacationing on your personal charter catamaran: Dreaming On. DREAMING ON 47 Feet.

Sleeps 6 Guests in 3 Queen(s) Online brochure and Rates
This yacht is based in Placencia, Belize (PLJ) or you can connect to Placencia using (BZE) for Belize City.



Belize is a very special experience.
Incredible blue water and reefs to explore. Superb rendezvous scuba diving, idyllic remote anchorages and islands to yourself. Unique island beach bars and restaurants to experience.
Don’t forget, Belize has the second longest barrier reef in the world after Australia.
For those with an adventurous spirit, take a tour up the Monkey River to see, (and hear), Howler Monkeys in their jungle habitat and maybe the occasional Crocodile or Manatee.
Visit a jungle lodge for a day or two on your way to Placencia. Jungle hikes, ziplines in the forest, cave tubing, cave rappelling, cave jumping!
Dreaming On, our 47’ luxury sailing catamaran in based at Funk Caye, our own little piece of paradise, 18 miles offshore from Placencia, in the south of Belize. Our charters start in Placencia and our itineraries cover the southern cays, as far north as Southwater Caye and as far south as Ranguana Caye, both of which are situated right out on the barrier reef. Actual itineraries vary according to our guests’ activity preferences and the wind.
Fresh fish is always on the menu here. Who knows what the local catch will be? Snapper, Grouper, Snook, Hogfish, Cobia, Conch, Shrimp.
Belize is quiet, no busy anchorages, and when out in the remote chain of cays, away from the mainland, the night sky is just phenomenal.
Placencia is an eclectic and very cosmopolitan little village, offering a wide choice of small bars and restaurants. Accommodation here ranges from very basic guest houses up to a few small low key resorts. Best of the bunch is probably Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn.
Many mainline airlines now operate from the US and Canada to Belize City International Airport, (BZE). Local carriers, Maya Island Air and Tropic Air operate regular scheduled flights from BZE to Placencia, (PLJ). Flights take about 25 minutes and connect with most mainline flights.
For those who want to see a little more of Belize, how about a min-van or Chevrolet Suburban with a good driver and take the 3.5 hour road trip through the mountains. One way car rentals are not available.
Tell us if you think a sleep over may be required if this helps with your travel arrangements.
So, join us in Belize and experience this real hidden gem.


So get in touch and we'll ease your way to this Paradise: 

Belize: Off the Beaten Path.

You'll love Geoff and Iza!! I've known them for a very long time. 
Fair Winds for now. 

US: 866.297.0163
Or dial direct: 727.324.9471 Cell phone

Sunday, February 14, 2016


Details For Planning Your Trip


Where, when, how and who?
Special Landmark Anniversary?
Milestone Birthday? 
Family Get Together?
Just for fun?? (Who doesn't want to have fun?)
Start with Your Shipmates? Who wants to come? 
Gather your friends, family or colleagues who express interest in joining in on this fantastic adventure. This is usually the most challenging part of any vacation especially for the one doing the planning.  See if you can get your group to agree on some of the basic interests they will have such as SCUBA diving from the boat, focus on nature hiking, visiting some of the outer islands of the BVI such as Anegada or choose your preferred location for chartering and if the customary term of 7 nights and 8 days will be enough for you all to see and do what  you’d like.  The British Virgin Islands?  St. Maarten, Anguilla, St. Barts and St. Kitts and all that it has to offer? or further down island in the Grenadines? Summer charters are GREAT in the Grenadines!

Determine a budget:  Rates can be as low as $1500 per person per week for all inclusive meals and bar and up from there. This usually depends on several factors:  
The pricing of any type of Charter is for the whole boat and all toys and services on board.  It’s dependent on the number of people in the party as well.  If there are fewer people the price would be higher per person.
Also, the type of boat such as Catamaran vs  Monohull  vs  Motoryacht and/or level of service requested?  
There can be 3 different levels of service on most boats these days:
·         Captain Only (less commonly offered):  You purchase all food, drinks for you and the Skipper , pay for all expenses such as water, fuel, moorings each night where necessary,  and any fees and taxes.
·         Half Board service: This means a mixture of meals and usually standard bar is offered on board. Example: All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners are included and made to your preferences, leaving several to be taken on land at your expense at the restaurant/s of your choice. This usually works VERY well with children on board... They typically love to play on beaches and explore their surroundings on land.
·         And  All-Inclusive: All meals, standard ship's bar and expenses are covered in the charter rate.
Slip Aweigh Charters will help you find the boat which offers all that your party wants to do and experience and keep it within your budget.
NOTE: Please take into consideration: Crew Gratuity is customary for all charters and usually ranges between 15-20% of the Charter rate and given to the Captain by personal check at the end of the term. The hard working crew will appreciate it very much. 
What about payments? 
To confirm any charter: Once we receive your inquiry, we set about finding the exact perfect fit for you and your party. Once that is settled,  first, we place a HOLD on the yacht of your choice for the dates you want to come. 
This gives you, the client, time to round up the Guests, firm up the dates, check on Flight options etc.
This is a “no obligation” hold only and is subject to challenge by any other entity wishing all or part of that term for that yacht. If challenged prior to being confirmed, Slip Aweigh Charters has 48 working day hours to provide payment along with the signed agreement.
Until a payment is made and a sanctioned CYBA Charter Agreement is signed by the charterer, the boat remains on HOLD status, but for a limited amount of time. Once Slip Aweigh Charters receives both the signed agreement and the deposit, we confirm your charter and the yacht’s schedule is blocked from anyone else wishing to charter the yacht/term.
Your funds go into a secure, escrow account overseen by our professional organization, CYBA for dispersement to the yacht according to the customary schedule.

Payment schedules go like this:
Bookings made more than 6 months out from the start date: 25% of the charter fee is due to confirm.
The 2nd 25% is due at 6 months out from the charter start date.
If booked within 6 months of the charter, payment of 50% deposit is due to confirm.
Final payments: 
All charters must be  paid in full in cleared funds approximately 60 days from the charter start date.
If a charter is booked within the 60 days, all funds are due in full.

When is good to go? 
Weather will often play a role in when and where you want to go. For example, in the Virgin Islands many places to have fun on land, dance, dine etc. are closed for some of the Summer weeks usually from mid-August through September. This is the perfect time to choose the islands of the Grenadines to charter in. 
The Bahamas is a perfect destination for Spring and early Summer vacations as well.
Seasonal Rate ranges: Lower seasonal rates usually begin on May 1st thru Dec. 14th. High seasonal rates are  usually between  Dec. 15th through April 30th.

Holiday and other popular times Travel Dates-Book early!
In the Virgin Islands, Christmas and New Years Eve week charter dates are by far the busiest and most FUN time to come. There are many well-known Island Style Parties held around New Years week. (Known as Old Year's Night in the Virgin islands.) 
So advance planning to get exactly what you want is essential. It’s not uncommon to book this trip a year ahead of the week you choose for charter. Another very busy time is Spring Break, usually from late March to mid April.
Full Moon Charters
Particularly in the BVI, you will find some fantastic parties centered  around  Full Moon dates. These fun times are particularly Family Friendly.  We highly recommend chartering around this time of the month.  Check the calendar HERE.
If all in your party do not have passports, have them set about getting that done. The US State Department issues passports and sometimes there is a waiting time. So, this detail should be tops on the list. You can pay extra for expedited handling, but his expense can be avoided by starting early. Visit the US Passport office HERE. It has recently come to light that Passports should be valid for 6 months in advance of the trip's date. 
For charterers from other countries, please check with your official office for Passports and Visas. 
No Passport? No Problem!
St. John USVI Adventures

St. John  USVI
Important note:  For those without passports:  You can have a spectacular adventure without leaving the US!
Fly into St. Thomas USVI where the yacht will pick up up, and you'll be in St. John that same day. In a lovely cove. Jump over the side!! You'll see.
   US Citizens: Passports are not required when staying within the area of the US Virgin Islands. You will have a wonderful time visiting St. John’s beautiful National Park lands and waters and some special little Cays off the East End of St. Thomas. The snorkeling is not to be believed and there are some cute little shops and restaurants to visit on land. 
Take a look HERE
  Side note: Always make copies of your documents and keep them in a safe place either at home or in your luggage.

What are some fun things to plan on seeing?
Sailing Regattas, Caribbean style: This is a fun time to charter around.
In the BVI, the BVI Spring Regatta racing usually takes place at the end of March and early April. You can view this exciting race from the side of the course, or participate if you wish to bareboat with friends. We offer Bareboat Charters which permit Regatta racing!
Then there’s the annual Foxy’s Wooden Boat Regatta. May (Dates change annually) staging off of Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, BVI.
And of course, the classic yacht regatta in Antigua: Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta returns once again. The Regatta will run in April with actual dates changing annually.
These Regattas are fun for all ages, and you could be on board to catch the action as some of the most historically beautiful boats in the world race for all they’re worth.
There are crewed yachts and bareboats available for all these events.
(Dates are approximate yearly, but all take place around these same time frames.)

What should I bring?
Pack light!  First, only bring soft sided luggage since space is limited and storage is easier. Hard luggage can damage woodwork and paint. For those  wearing clothing (joke!), bring casual wear, mostly shorts, T-shirts, and swimsuits. For the ladies, sundresses work well in most all restaurant venues. A few of the more formal restaurants, mostly limited to the high-end restaurants of the BVI, require long pants and collared shirts and occasionally a jacket, but "smart casual" is always accepted. A large brimmed hat is very useful to keep off the sun. The tropical sun can be very damaging to your skin, so bring a protective lotion that does not stain towels, sheets, cockpit cushions and decks. Greasy preparations and oils in general are discouraged. Most charter yachts will provide sunscreen on board. And don’t forget the big shirt cover-up. Just great for reducing the red look of the Peeling Tourist or Tourist Nose Tree! (This tree is common to all the islands: Known as the Gumbo Limbo tree or Turpentine tree, the bark is thin, peeling in a red-color.)  Shoes of choice are the type of sandals with heel straps. These will take you from the dinghy, to the docks, to the rocks, to the sandy beach, to the shops and anywhere else. Flip-flops or tie shoes can be bothersome for daily routine. However, if you plan on doing any serious hiking, you might opt for more substantial footwear but we love the strapped sandals for just about anything. All charter yachts now carry some form of Underwater camera, often with video, but you can bring those waterproof cameras with you. You will have fun taking candid shots with the fishes!
We took the one below with a little Snapshot waterproof camera. Fabulous fun!
Tarpon and Silversides Peter Island Great Harbor, BVI

Do I Need Trip Cancellation Insurance?  
Slip Aweigh Charters always recommends that you purchase Trip Insurance. Things can happen…..and when it happens that you cannot make the trip, it’s always best to have a “safety net” to cover potential losses when it turns out you cannot come on your trip. We do recommend a visit to to review some of your options. There are so many, so it’s best to just call them to discuss your needs. They are always very helpful and will point you in the right direction.
All confirmed Charters include signatures indicating mutual acceptance  of binding Charter Terms and Agreements between the Charterer and the Yacht's Owner/Agent. Trip Cancellation Insurance will protect funds from loss due to unexpected occurrences.

What are other good times to come?   
Now, having said all this, here are a few special pointers from us at Slip Aweigh Charters.  We’ve lived aboard in charter there for more than 10 years.
If school schedules are a non-issue, consider taking advantage of the less crowded times in all of the Caribbean, but especially in the popular Virgin Islands. These months are all of May, June and early July. Toward the fall, mid to late October, early November and December are  also good times to come. You’ll find all venues are open, historically the Trade Winds are a bit lighter than in Winter, and the rain chances are about average to lower than average. We say “typically” as there’s no guarantee.
It’s de eyelands, mon. 
We look forward to Welcoming You Aboard your dream trip of a lifetime. BUT, word of warning: Most of our clients keep coming back!!

Friday, December 11, 2015


Guavaberry Coladas 
Limin's better with one (or two) of these!!

   The Guavaberry Song  
 by Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights

"Morning, Morning, How are you dis morning, Morning Morning, I come for me guavaberry, Morning, Morning, to you and all your family...."  
Repeat... as many times as you like.
Fresh picked Guavaberries, ready for the mash.
 Guavaberry Fruit on the Tree
They are not at all like the fruit known as Guava.

Lucia Henley's Guavaberry Recipe..
Guavaberry, Sugar, Sorrel, Spices, 
RUM and Prunes.
My last remaining bottle of this luscious liqueur.

Miss Lucia Henley

It's a wonderful memory I have, sitting on her simple porch in Smith Bay, St. Thomas. At her feet, a very large pail of Guavaberries, freshly harvested from somewhere in the bush on the North Side of the Island.
It was a family affair. She was setting about getting ready to mash 'em into a juicy mixture.  

Guavaberry is the legendary folk liqueur of many Caribbean Islands. It is said it was first made in St. Maarten/Sint Marten centuries ago in private homes. People made what they needed for family & friends. It became an integral part of local culture & tradition throughout the West Indies.   
Guavaberry liqueur  is a
cherished symbol of the olden days. There are folk songs & stories about it. 
The flowers & the small berries are attached directly to the branches, without stems. The ripe berries are spherical from 9-14 mm (c. 1/2 inch) in diameter with a thin grape-like skin. There is a large irregular round seed or stone which is surrounded by a thin layer of translucent, juicy, pungent, bitter-sweet flesh.
The aged liqueur has a woody, fruity, spicy, bitter-sweet flavor all of its own. The name "Guavaberry" is of Caribbean Amer-Indian origin.
 So however you celebrate the Holiday Season, make sure you grab a bottle of this delicious concoction while you're on your Yacht Charter anywhere in the Caribbean!!