Dive in. If you’re a certified diver (open water) as well as a sailor, Horizon Yacht Charters’s Sail & Dive package out of Jolly Harbour, Antigua, may prove hard to resist. It includes two days of diving with Indigo Divers (accommodations on land), plus five nights aboard a 40-footer. If you need a refresher diving course, it’s complementary. www.horizonyachtcharters.com
Sail farther. Also from Horizon Yacht Charters is the 2008 Rum Cruise, a guided two-week (May 9–23), one-way island-hopping flotilla from Jolly Harbour, Antigua, to Rodney Bay, St. Lucia. The program is designed for experienced sailors, but you can take a professional captain if you wish. Stops include English Harbour, Antigua; Basseterre, Guadeloupe; St. Louis, Marie Galante; Salisbury, Dominica; and St. Pierre, Martinique, with stops at rum distilleries along the way.
Get (farther) away. Sunsail’s new charter base on the island of Koh Samui, in Thailand, opens up more than 50 islands in the eastern part of the Gulf of Thailand to charter sailors. The scenery in the Koh Chang archipelago is stunning, and the diving is first rate. The dry season runs May through September, with southwest monsoon winds providing the horsepower. Plan some extra days for exploration of this fascinating area.
Sunsail also has two new bases in Italy—Tropea, on the Calabrian coast, and Palermo, in Sicily. Tropea gives easy access to southern Italy and Sicily; the Aeolian Islands are only 30 miles away. From Palermo you can take off for the Aegadian Islands, as well as head for Malta and Tunisia. One-way charters are available, and both bases are near international airports. www.sunsail.com
Try one of the new boats being added to CYOA’s fleet: Mahe 36 and Bahia 36 catamarans and Hunter 45DS and 49 monohulls. CYOA owner John Jacob has thoughtfully provided a review of changes (effective January 31, 2008) to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), which covers travel to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. Check www.cyoacharter.com for this information.
Oh, shoot. The deadline for submissions to Horizon Yacht Charters’s photo contest is March 31; the prize is a charter on a 40-foot monohull. Quick, pick a pic (Caribbean subject) and go to horizonyachtcharters.com to fill out the form and send in your photo.