Sailing Dominica

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Dominica is conveniently located in the middle of the chain of eastern Caribbean islands, and is therefore an ideal stopover
point for sailing vessels cruising the Caribbean. On entry to Dominica, yachts and sailboats should immediately
check in at one of the three ports of entry. In the north, Customs and Immigration services are available at
Portsmouth (767) 266 3731 or Anse de Mai (767) 445 5300. In the south clearance is available at the
Ferry terminal in Roseau (767) 266 3799/3700, adjacent to the Cruise Ship Berth. Dominica has an automatic in
and out clearance for visiting yachts. This is very convenient if you are visiting for up to 21 days. Ask the Customs & Excise
Department at your port of entry for more information about clearing in and out. Captains should have at least four copies each of their crew and passenger lists, valid passports and entry forms (available at the ports of entry) together with the ship’s papers, which Customs will usually take to Immigration to ensure a one-stop clearance.
There is no marina in Dominica, but moorings are available along the west coast of the island inside the Portsmouth’s
Prince Rupert Bay area, Mero Beach and Roseau south – just past the Anchorage Hotel. These mooring fields are sub-operated by smaller community-based yacht service associations such as the Portsmouth Association of Yacht Security
(PAYS), Mero Community Development, and the DMA members in Roseau. Yachts are encouraged to use the moorings
rather than anchoring to avoid damaging sensitive coral and dragging anchor. It’s a good idea to snorkel the mooring
to check it before tying on. Scotts Head/Soufriere Bay is a National Marine Park and
anchoring in this area is prohibited. The Red Right Return system is used in Dominica and is
based on the American system (LALAB). Red buoys and lights mark the starboard side upon approach from the sea.
In any emergency, contact the Dominica Coast Guard on VHF CH 16.
Dominica is a “Green Island”. We ask you to please follow these simple guidelines:
• Pump out black and grey water tanks before or after entering any bay or anchorage
• Please ask your yacht services personnel for info on disposing oil & batteries
• Place all your garbage in receptacles provided on shore or pay your yacht service
personnel a small fee for him/her to dispose for you
• Avoid spilling oil or fuel into the bays or marina
Optimist Sailing
The Dominica Yacht Club was launched in 2005 with the intention of fulfilling the needs of Dominica’s yachting community. One of their primary initiatives was to start a Junior Sailing Programme. In August 2009 with the help of the International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA), five Dominican Optimist coaches were trained by Peter Hoad from the Barbados Sailing Association to start the programme. The Optimist is the ideal dinghy for children to learn to sail. It is a
small, flat bottomed, fiberglass or plywood, stable and virtually unsinkable, single-handed boat. The Optimist is used by more than 150,000 youth around the world in 110 countries. The programme caters to children between the ages of 8-15. They learn respect for the sea, confidence, sportsmanship and eventually competitive sailing.
In October 2009, with a total of nine dinghies including three donated by the Barbados Sailing Association, the first Junior Sailing Programme took place. Deemed a great success, the Dominica Yacht Club will continue to teach young Dominicans the art of sailing. Contact Billy Lawrence for more information (767) 440 3483 / 275 3483

Categories: Dominica

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