Horizon Yacht Charters welcomes Elisabetta El-Karimy as the new base manager at the St. Martin location in Cole Bay. She officially stepped into the role on July 15.
El-Karimy was born in Florence, Italy, grew up in Germany and spent much of her life in the Netherlands. She was a casual sailor, cruising on the weekends and occasionally during the week with friends. In 2005, she took her sailing to the next level at a sea sailing school north of the Netherlands, Enkhuizer Zeevaartschool. From there, El-Karimy sailed full-time on a private yacht, a Baltic 51, in the Mediterranean before crossing over to the Caribbean in 2009. She began running a restaurant in Lagoon Marina, Lagoonies, where she only ever saw boats at a distance. So when she heard the base manager position was opening up, she seized the opportunity.
Prior to sailing full-time, El-Karimy studied anthropology and she speaks seven languages: English, French, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, German and Arabic. “Being an anthropologist comes in handy, even in the charter business,” says El-Karimy. “You deal with a lot of people from different cultural backgrounds and ways of life. We try to give the best and that could be different for everyone depending on their definitions of ‘comfort’ and ‘quality’.”
In addition to bareboat charters, Horizon’s St. Martin base also offers several additional activities: jet-skiing, parasailing, rendezvous-dives, one-way charters to the BVI and Antigua, crewed charters with a skipper and chef, and even “gourmet weeks”, which combine a sailing charter with a restaurant tour of the island.
St. Martin is unique in the Caribbean chain because it is comprised of two countries: France and the independent Dutch St. Maarten. The French side is known for its gastronomy, nude beaches and high-end boutiques while the Dutch side is known for its tax-free shopping, nightlife and casinos.
El Karimy says, “It has it all: challenging sailing between nearby islands like St. Bart and Anguilla, calmer waters, a Caribbean feel, city life, good airline connections and great beaches.”
Her personal favorite spot on the island is a long stretch of beach on the French side of the island called the Baie Rouge: where it’s easy to get some solitude.
“It’s part-deserted, part-lively, with a local beach bar. I enjoy the tranquility of the swaying palm trees, the peaceful mountains, deserted villas overlooking the sea and sailing yachts crossing over to Anguilla.”
Use the promo code SAILMAG0813 for special charter discount at Horizon Yacht Charter's St. Martin base through November 2013.