Wednesday, September 07, 2005

NEWSLETTER: September 2005


Caribbean Yacht Charters

We hope that everyone has had a wonderful summer. We are currently in Simpson Bay Lagoon on the Dutch side of Sint Maarten, whose motto is "The Friendly Island". We plan to sail "So It Goes" south to visit Martinique and hopefully the Grenadines, before attending the Virgin Island Charter Yacht Shows in November. We will return to St.Maarten for the Charter Yacht Exhibition in December during which we will celebrate our 26th anniversary.

We have been upgrading our communication systems aboard to allow us to go mobile. We have recently installed high-powered WiFi equipment to allow us access to numerous "WetSpots" available and we are using VOIP (internet telephone) when possible. We can also access the internet and download our email using our satellite telephone, if necessary. We have added an external antenna for our GlobalStar satellite phone which has greatly improved reception.

These upgrades will allow us to cruise about the Caribbean and keep up on the islands and the boats (plus have a lot of fun) and still be able to maintain a high level of service to our clients.

We hope to see you on our travels this season.

All the best! Bob & Sheila

*** Please Note That Light Blue Text Denotes Clickable LINKS ***


You may think it is a bit early to start thinking about Christmas but normally these charters are booked 10 or more months in advance. There are still some excellent yachts available for the holidays. In general, Christmas charters run through December 27 or 28, to allow time for a New Year's charter thereafter.
  • Blithe Spirit - Sailboat for 4-6 guests. Open through December 26th
  • Crystal Clear - Sailboat for 4 guests. Open for Christmas & New Year
  • Dramaless - Motor yacht for 6 guests. Open for Christmas & New Year
  • Exbury - Sailboat for 2 guests. Open for Christmas & New Years in the GRENADINES
  • Fidelity - Sailboat for 4 guests. Open for Christmas & New Year
  • Flame - Motor yacht for 6 guests. Open for Christmas & New Year
  • Hanalei Bay - Sailboat for 6 guests. Open for Christmas through December 26th
  • Island Skipper - Sailboat for 6 guests. Open for Christmas through December 28th
  • Liahona - Catamaran for 8 guests. Open for Christmas through December 28th
  • Marolanga - Catamaran for 4-5 guests. Open for Christmas and New Year
  • Odysseus - Sailboat for 6 guests. Open for Christmas and New Year
  • On Seafari - Motor yacht for 6 guests. Open for Christmas and New Year
  • Pentesilea - Catamaran for 6-8 guests. Open for Christmas and New Year
  • Phaedrus - Sailboat for 2 guests. Open for Christmas through December 28th
  • Quicksilver - Catamaran for 6 guests. Open for Christmas and New Year
  • Qwest - Sailboat for 2 guests. Open for New Years beginning after December 27th
  • Sea Walker - Sailboat for 4 guests. Open for Christmas & New Year
  • Seascape - Motor yacht for 6 guests. Open for Christmas & New Year
  • Ursa Minor - Sailboat for 2 guests. Open for Christmas & New Years


Spend the holidays in merry old Britain ....
For our entertainment industry clients, we'd like to remind you of the importance of booking early for the various Cannes festivals. It is not only that the supply of available and suitable yachts are dwindling but also remember that there are deadlines for allocation of dock space.
  • MIPDOC: April 1-2, 2006
  • MIPTV: April 3-7, 2006
  • CANNES FILM FESTIVAL: May 17-28, 2006
  • CANNES LIONS: June 18-24, 2006

  • Irie - Joe and Lynn have decided to sell Irie and retire from the charter life and head for the mountains of Colorado. We will miss this excellent yacht and crew as they are one of the best. But, we are happy to announce that they still have TWO openings in their calendar for their final season! These are December 12-20th and January 17-28, 2006. Don't miss this great opportunity! Plus, Dave Strobel is returning to be the chef for this final hurrah!
  • Chateau will be closing their calendar May 1st, 2006 as they are retiring from charter. Chateau is up for sale, and if the buyer puts the boat back into charter, Ross & Janet might stay on for another year as crew.
  • Lady Jane has left charter. Gary and Jane sailed her up to Florida and they are starting a new chapter in their lives.
  • charter yacht sailing vacation Island SkipperIsland Skipper. Rob and Michele got married this summer. Congratulations, guys! Island Skipper is one of our most popular yachts and they have our highest rate of repeat bookings. Rob & Michele sold Island Skipper this year but they will still be crewing for the 2006 season, and plan to be aboard for the 2007 season as well.
  • Flame - We are pleased to announce that Capt. Wayne is now the Rev. Capt. Wayne (or is it Capt. Rev. Wayne???)... Anyway, he is now an ordained minister and can perform marriages. Flame was always a great motoryacht for honeymoons, but now it's one stop shopping! You can get married aboard Flame or on a beach, and then sail off into the sunset for your honeymoon.
  • Harmony - We received an email from Capt. Jack this morning which he sent while cruising between Ischia and Ponza Italy. This was Harmony's first season charter in the Med and they enjoyed it so much, they'll go back again next year. Harmony (and Sweet Harmony before that) has always had a high rate of repeat clients, so it is no surprise when he tells us that most of his Med charter guests have expressed interest in returning next summer... This is a popular yacht and you must book early! That said, they are still open for the month of February in the Caribbean, plus there are other weeks here and there. Jack says of his Mediterranean adventure that the nicest surprise was the warmth and general good attitude towards them... the second nicest surprise was that the cost of a great pizza an half bottle of wine was $12.00.
  • For Sale French canal hotel bargeFor sale: French canal barge Berendina - One of our friends from St.Thomas is selling their barge that they have been chartering along the Canal du Midi in the south of France. We lived on the French canals for many years on previous boats (Loose Moose) and we really enjoyed the experience. This is a great opportunity for someone, whether for chartering, as a vacation home, or for a liveaboard cruising about the European waterways.
  • DOWN ISLAND YACHTS: What's "down island"? In yacht charter terms, it means destinations south of the Virgin Islands. We would like to highlight a few of our favorite charter yachts which will be down island this season: Exbury, Bonnie Lynn, and Pentesilea. Pentesilea will be in the Virgin Islands through the beginning of February and then heads for points south.
    • UPDATE : We just received an update (Sept. 15th) from Pentesilea. They have revised their schedule: Nov.19-Feb.18 Virgin Islands; Mar.11-Apr.30 St.Martin area; May 1st to July 2nd VIs/St.Martin. Inquire for "down island"
  • EXPEDITION MOTOR YACHTS: Boats of this style are currently the hottest, hippest yachts in the megayacht fleet.
    • Pangaea is 186 feet and accommodates 12 guests in 6 staterooms. Crew of 13. Pangaea is presently chartering in the South Pacific and will continue throughout 2006.
    • Bart Roberts is 265 feet and accommodates up to 20 guests in 10 staterooms. Crew of 14. Barth Roberts will be chartering Winter 2006 in Florida, Bahamas, Caribbean, and possibly even the Galapagos if we ask nicely :-)
  • NOT REALLY NEWS... but a reminder... Good communication with your selected broker and yacht is very important. We send a selection of yachts based upon many parameters (dates, number and makeup of group, location, type of yacht, amenities, diving requested, special requests, etc) and our suggestions are not based upon yachts that pay a higher commission rate, or pay for special placement/consideration in our charter program as, unfortunately, is the case with too many brokers. In fact, when we first started as brokers, one experienced fellow gave us the advice to book a certain group of catamarans because they paid a higher commission and not to worry about who the members of the crew were... that they'd be "good enough". Other brokers have proudly told us how they push clients up into more expensive yachts... That's not our philosophy.

    We want you to charter the yacht that is best for YOU. We want you to be happy. We want the boat to be happy. This makes us happy. Happy is good! We want you to come back again, hopefully choosing Paradise Connections as your charter specialist either to book the same yacht, or try something different. So, (sorry this is going on so long) if you want us to send you a different selection of yachts because possibly you've changed your dates or some other parameter, let us know. It's no problem... Don't be embarrassed to ask. Yes, we did do a bit of work to send you the first selection but we are glad to continue the search to find the perfect boat for you. It's what we do. Also, if you see a yacht that looks interesting but we didn't mention (possibly another broker sent it or you see it on the web), ask us. There may be a good reason why it was not suggested (either unavailable, not a good boat, not suited for you, no longer in charter, or possibly the list was long enough). Once again: no problem, mon! Just speak with us. Many times the first list is just a starting/jumping off point and needs refining to find the perfect yacht for YOUR yachting vacation.
  • CASADOR (68-foot sloop) is offering a $1000 off on full week charters taking place before Christmas week 2005.
  • FANTASY ISLAND (58-foot catamaran) is offering 10% discounts for 7-night charters falling within the following dates: October 15-22, 2005, October 23-30, 2005, December 11-18, 2005.
  • PAS DE DEUX (60-foot catamaran) - Confirm a booking before November 7, 2005 and receive $1000 off the listed charter fee. (Please note that the charter does not have to occur before November, just booked before November 7, 2005.)
  • TWO IF BY SEA (45-foot catamaran) - Introductory Special: Save 10% off the listed rate on bookings cconfirmed prior to November 7, 2005 (except Christmas and New Years, of course)
  • STREETCAR (51-foot Sovereign sloop) - 25% reduction in the price of all 2-person charters that are booked by the end of October 2005, or a -15% reduction in the price of all 4-person charters that are booked by the end of October 2005. In addition, for all charters booked before the END OF OCTOBER 2005, the price will include ONE EXTRA NIGHT FREE (8 nights for the price of 7) as well as a bottle of French Champagne on arrival (one bottle per two adults).
  • ATHOS (French canal barge) is offering a special rate of $2,250/passenger for the week of October 2-8, 2005.


Bullwinkle ships cat sailing felineWe would like to feature a member of the Paradise Connections team... Bullwinkle (a.k.a. Mr.B).

Bullwinkle is a life-long sailor. He was born in a boatyard in Meaux, France where we built our second sailboat, Loose Moose 2. He has thousands of sea miles under his belt (uh... collar!) and is looking forward to meeting you on our travels throughout the Caribbean this coming season. In the photo, he is enjoying his new quilt which was handmade by his Auntie Laura in Washington State.

Drop us a line and let us know what you're up to... even if you are not planning a sailing vacation in the near future, we still like to keep in touch.