Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 2)

Sports and Culture in the Caribbean

Sports are well-received social and cultural phenomenon in the Caribbean which proven the importance of sports in the daily lives of the majority of the local inhabitants. Thousands people attend or watch TV broadcasts of cricket, basketball, football, boxing, horse racing, track and field, as well as other regional and international sporting events.

In the islands of Caribbean, sports are force that connect people and give them a sense of unity, pride and identification by supporting the athletes representing them at the international level. Through sports, nationalism is reinforced; politics and culture are also connected to sport.
Sports also give an additional reason to get out of the house, be friends with hundreds of others share a common goal in a passionate atmosphere.

Many sports are played in the Caribbean and even compete in the Summer Olympic Games, but the following two are the most popular.

Polo
Although the sport of polo does not have as much fans as cricket or horse racing, but it is still very popular in Barbados. The Barbados Polo Club organizes events open to the public in Holders, St. James, and other places on the island. Jamaica and the Dominican Republic also have their own teams. The most popular polo field is the Casa de Campo Hotel in the Dominican Republic with three polo fields that organize an annual polo tournament.

Cockfighting
Although animal rights activists advocates to oppose it, cockfighting is a part of Caribbean culture, especially in Puerto Rico, where the sport is extremely famous and hundreds of millions of dollars are betting each year on the fights. Cockfighting is also famous in the Dominican Republic, where more than 2,500 cockfighting events are registered, as well as in Cuba and Haiti.

Many people in the Caribbean are sports lovers and could not imagine a Sunday without a sport event such as a baseball game, a boxing match, or not having a basketball or volleyball game at the local court to see, or not supporting their favorite national teams in the Olympics, Pan-American or Central American Games. Through these teams, sports are a part of local national pride in these nations that have lived for centuries under colonialism. For a brief moment, they can compete on an equal position with the nations that colonized them or nations that are simply bigger and have greater financial resources.

Goat and Crab Racing in Buccoo, Tobago

In Tobago, the breakfast usually comes with the best news — Easter weekend on Tobago – which is unofficially a holiday on the island. The island is not only famous for one of the Caribbean’s biggest music festivals, Tobago Jazz Experience, which is right around the corner, but also another kind of festival which is about to happen in the seaside village of Buccoo.

Buccoo is famous for its weekly Sunday party, which last ’til the sun comes up (and participants literally did dance ’til the sun came up every time). But on the Tuesday after Easter, a different type of traditional fest takes over, attracting both tourists as well as locals from across the water in Trinidad to the village.

Goat Races

This event was began in 1925 by a local resident named Barbadian Samuel Callender, as entertainment form for the lower classes. Why on Tuesday? So the event would not to coincide with the horse racing event of Easter Monday, which reserved for local gentry. Today, the races, now hosted by the Buccoo Goat Race Festival Committee, are a staple. No joking around, the jockeys – young men who chase along with the goats, urging them running toward to the finish line – train along with their charges for up to three months before the actual event. Jockeys must be as fit as their animals – the goat – to be qualified for outrunning their jockey.

Crab Races

‘Crab and Dumpling’ is Tobago’s famous traditional food but nowadays those tasty blue crabs are serving another purpose. Crabs are tied to string held by the jockeys and urged to run toward the finish line with thin bamboo rods. Some races features a straight course. In others, a large circle is made around jockeys and their race crabs. First crab out wins with their owner walking away with the prize while the losing crabs getting curried down, being placed on a bed of dumplings. So Yum!

And when the sun comes down, visitors will join feting in Buccoo all night. So if you have time visit in Tobago, check out our rules before you hit the fete.

Sailing Routes in Jamaica

Jamaica is one of the most beautiful islands you’ll ever come across, based on Caribbean standards. Its tropical landscape featuring rainbow, and exotic wildlife. Everything you imagine about the Caribbean can be found on Jamaica. Stop along the island’s 360 miles of coastline you’ll find all kinds of adventures, from waterfall or rainforest hikes to snorkelling adventures exploring a whole world underneath the turquoise waves. It’s truly a paradise. 

Any good trip to Jamaica starts and finishes in the capital of Kingston where all the urban action occurs. In the east, Port Morant features stunning scenery, free dockage where visitors can explore the area for as long as they’d like.

Heading to the tip of the island, visit Port Antonio and the world-renowned Errol Flynn Marina which is famous for being one of the best sailing spots on Jamaica where enthusiasts from all around the world gather every year.

You’ll find the most authentic Jamaica at Orcabessa, featuring excellent fish sanctuary and turtle-hatching programme.

St Ann’s Bay and Discovery Bay are venues of cruise ships dock, with lots of fun activities.

Treasure Beach is a calm and peaceful place to spend some time relaxing.

Visit the Errol Flynn Marina which is famous being one of the best sailing spots on the island. Situated in Port Antonio, sailors from all around the world gather here.

In Falmouth, you’ll witness some incredible architecture in the Falmouth Historic District.

Montego Bay is where the Montego Bay Yacht Club founded, another must-visit along the coast featuring stunning beaches. 

On the west part of Jamaica, visit the beautiful and protected Negril which is famous as one of the most wonderful coastal areas in the world featuring stunning Seven Mile Beach.

Last but not least, a tour up the Black River is one of the most unique sailing experiences in Jamaica.

Top Caribbean Sailing Routes (Part 3)

St Lucia

Little St Lucia is located at the heart of the Eastern Caribbean chain overseeing beautiful palm-fringed beaches, untouched rainforests as well as the iconic Piton mountains. St Lucia is famous for is golden sunsets and clear blue skies, making it the ideal destination for a romantic couples holiday. On a trip along its coast, visitors will find waterfalls and luxury marinas, mineral baths and seaside art coffee shops. Something new and unexpected situated around every corner. Visitors are sure also to discover that the locals are incredibly hospitality and that they will be well taken care of wherever on the island you choose to stay.

At the north side of St Lucia, visitors will find Pigeon Island featuring two beautiful beaches and old military ruins. The most wonderful views is all the way up to the old naval fort. 

The best sailing route is Rodney Bay where the nightlife is vibrant, lively and the food is extremely fresh. And while being there, visitors must make a visit to the golden sands of Reduit Beach.

Walk by the spectacular vista of Choc Bay and have a swim in the still waters. If keep walking south from here, visitors will get to shore and a must visit place is the nearby town of Castries.

The hurricane hole of Marigot Bay is not only a venue of natural marvel but also the filming place of the original Dr Doolittle film! This is an excellent overnight destination and the nearby Marina Village is excellent for shopping and restaurants.

Visit and have a bite at Bennie’s Restaurant where the boat will be taken care of as you discover the surrounding area and marine park.

Anse Cochon is one of the best beaches to be included in your itinerary, with amazing snorkelling and breathtaking surroundings for a picnic.

It is booming with culture and makes a great place for inland explorations. From here visitors can hike the majestic Pitons and visit volcano at Sulphur Springs.

Top Caribbean Sailing Routes (part 2)

Barbados

The gorgeous island of Barbados covers over 160 square kilometres where it is located far out to sea, about 100 miles east of the West Indies. Alongside there are endless white sand beaches, Barbados’ epic shoreline features secret caves and underground rivers and lakes. Above ground (but still underwater) you’ll find some unparalleled snorkelling locations with friendly sea turtles. Besides, there are beautiful tidal pools, and incredible surf spots with these gorgeous natural phenomena. In addition to that, Barbados has a very rich culture, custom and history. While you’re stayed at the charming seaside towns, it’s definitely worth visiting some of the old charming plantations.

Port St. Charles is house of one of Barbados’ main marinas, which can provide overnight shelter for your boat if you take on long trip. The port has also a very exclusive resort, and Heywoods Beach similar to all other beaches on Barbados is open for the public to enter.

Port Ferdinand is another location where you can dock your boat overnight. If you decide to do so, take a walk along the quay and visit the Fish Pot for an amazing dinner ashore.

Walking south along the coast, you’ll reach Reeds Bay, a quiet and unspoilt beach which is perfect for a swim and a picnic by the beach. 

Docking your boat in Alleynes Bay, pop into the iconic local bars for a cocktail!

If you’re interested in a relaxed afternoon, make your way to the waters off Folkstone Marine Reserve and enjoy snorkeling its brilliant waters among many type of fish, such as sea anemones, sea lilies, corals, sponges and many more.

On the shores of the world famous Sandy Lane Bay, there are many water sports to enjoy by the beach.

As you head to the city of Bridgetown, stop in Carlisle Bay and visit Browne’s Beach where you can relax on the beach with some Rum Punch – and remember to keep an eye out for those turtles!

Barbados Yacht Club & Barbados Cruising Club, the only two Yacht clubs on the island also situated in Bridgetown.

Top Caribbean Sailing Routes (Part 1)

A trip to the Caribbean is merely about the adventures of the sea where warm winds, crystal clear waters and midnight waves of the ocean calls to all of us. No matter what type of adventure you like, whether lounge on the sundeck of a yacht or ride a vessel of your own, the Caribbean has its all to make the perfect sailing destination which allow you to sail entirely on your own terms. With different levels of experience on deck, some visitors prefer to have a professional crew to help navigate while others like to handle things on their own. They make things simple by hopping on a charter with a pre-determined itinerary and simply ride along, being in charge of their own craft and create the perfect journey step by step. Just a few hours of sailing is more than enough before coming back for a good night’s sleep in a private beautiful villa on land. Or even better if having the time to spend the night on the boat and take a round-trip the islands for a few days. 

In this posy, you’ll find some of sailing spots and on-shore stops along the coasts of Caribbean islands for a day-trip, or even multi-day adventure.

Before you get on the water…

Be sure to avoid stormy weather and temperamental waters by sailing between January and March when the weather is ideal.

You have three different options for renting a yacht, vessel or sailboat in the Caribbean by booking directly with a charter company or a charter broker who is a travelling agency, helping find the right type of boat for you. If you’ve decided to travel with a professional crew, a broker will help you book a good team. There are numerous great small businesses across the Caribbean islands with fully catered day-cruises and wonderful itineraries. 

The number one sport of Barbados – Cricket (Part 2)

The Cricket Museum  

Take a walk down memory lane and look at the cricket trophies, wonders and treasures in the Cricket Legends section of Barbados Museum at Herbert House, Fontabelle. This museum named as the first heritage centre dedicated to cricket of Barbados only. Filled with memorable achievements dating back to the early 1900s, the Museum is full of the winning senses of nostalgia for those glory days when the West Indies was the best team of the cricketing world. The Museum offers a wonderful and enriched world for both children and adults. 

As you walk around, you will absorb a feeling of the brilliance of Barbados’ masters and talents of cricket through the ball bowled by Wes Hall in the very first-ever hat-trick by a member of West Indian, a bat autographed by the first West Indies team to compete in England after the Region achieved test status in 1928 and a blazer once worn by the England player, Trevor Bailey, in the West indies tour of season 1953/1954. Whether you are a cricket fan or just fond of Barbadian heritage, you will be amazed by the rich of information superbly displayed in the intimate setting of the Cricket Museum. 

Museum Tours run every 30 minutes on weekdays: 10AM-4PM

The history of the West Indian cricket team started in the 1890s, when the first representative sides were chosen to play visiting English sides. The West Indies was played under the management of the West Indies Cricket Board (“WICB”), and was representative of sport confederation of English-speaking Caribbean countries.

The WICB became member of the Imperial Cricket Council, in 1926, and had their first official international match, which in cricket is known as a Test, in 1928. Although gathered some of great players in their early days, their successes stayed sporadic until the 1960s, by which time the side had altered from a white-dominated to a black-dominated side. By the 1970s, the West Indies had known to be an unofficial world champion, a title they kept throughout the 1980s. During these glory years, the Windies were recorded for their fast bowling attack, and some of the best batsmen in the world.

Brief History of Cockfighting in Puerto Rico

Cockfighting is legal in Puerto Rico with over one million people attend the fights, generate over one hundred million dollars in bets, admission tickets, food consumption and other expenses. Some well known galleras such as La Muda in San Juan, the Club Gallístico de Puerto Rico in Carolina, La Gallera De Cerro Gordo in Bayamón, and the Gallera Los Cocos in Quebradillas is where the cock fights take place.

Cock fighting is a popular sport in Puerto Rico, although it has been banned in many other countries. People said that cock fighting has been introduced to the country under the time of Spanish rule and remains popular til today. This is a controversial tradition.

Breeders of the fighting birds raise and train the roosters, by supplying them with vitamins, all the best food, and sparring, in order to develop the best fighters. The gamecocks wear plastic spurs attached each other in a pit using the back of their claws in order to injure the other bird. During the fight, spectators place bets and the fight ends only when one bird can’t continue fighting, retreats, or dies. A tie is announced if both roosters can’t keep fighting after 15 minutes. Afterwards the surviving bird(s) are taken care of by feeding the bird with medication.

While many people love cockfighting and the Puerto Rican government declared the sport as an integral part of the island’s folklore and patrimony in 2010, there are many people who oppose it, especially animal rights activists who don’t accept the cock fighting as a sport but it animal abuse.
Though undoubtedly controversial, cockfighting has become the island’s culture that many artesanos, craftsmen and women, who create pieces inspired by or depicting elements of cockfighting.

Do you have this sport in your country? Share with us if you do.

Fishing in caribbean islanD (part 2)

The Punta Cana area offers plenty of chances to catch blue and white marlin and sailfish and wahoo while the French Island of Guadeloupe are filled with swordfish, especially during the night when you have easier chances to catch a bunch of them. 

Visitors can choose deep sea fishing which is the most popular option although fly fishing is also good in the saltwater flats around the coast.

Panama on the other hand, offers a variety of options and the opportunity of catching black marlin, especially during the dry season between January to April.

In Puerto Rico,  visitors will find many fishing options in lagoons, including deep sea fishing, kayak fishing, night fishing and fly fishing, as well as fishing camps for kids. Moreover, the Puerto Rico – San Juan International Billfish Tournament (August) is organized annually in August allowing both individuals and teams to compete in four days.

If you visit the beaches of Tobago, you will find many small fish and crabs at low tide, especially rockfish in the coves which is children’s favorite. And in case, you choose bottom line fishing, or spear fishing, there are numerous jackfish, barracuda and cavalla.

Moving to the North Drop and South Drop in the Virgin Islands, you will find the best deep sea fishing – home of blue marlin. Although you can catch marlin in the area year-round, the best months are between May and October.

In case you want to chase sailfish, bonefish, permit and tarpon, you must visit Yucatan Peninsula – Isla Mujeres, Mexico, and in the shallow waters around Isla Blanca. 

When you visit Caribbean fishing offshore, these are the fish you can expect to catch: Tuna (Blackfin, Yellowfin, Skipjack, Big Eye), Dorado (aka Mahi Mahi, Dolfin), Wahoo, Marlin (Blue, White), Sailfish, Grouper, Trigger fish, and even Sharks.

Fishing in caribbean region

No matter you like fishing as a sport or not, there are plenty of Caribbean fishing tours to suit you as the Caribbean is one of the world’s most popular fishing locations with some of the best deep sea fishing one can find. There are big chances for you to find whales and pods of dolphins during fishing trip; however do bear in mind that big game fish should be released for preservation reasons.

The variety of the waters – shallow shores, deep water, reefs, lagoons and rivers are what makes fishing adventures popular in Caribbean and Central America. In the shallow shores, there are so many bonefish that they can be caught from the shore or from a small boat.

There are variety of options for you to fish from joining a group on a deep sea fishing charter to opting for a full day custom-made private charter on boat or on a luxury yacht for deep sea or bottom fishing.

Some of the best Caribbean spots to catch bonefish are the Bahamas (Grand Bahama, Abaco, Eleuthera, Andros), the Cayman Islands (Little Cayman), Puerto Rico (Vieques), the US Virgin Islands (St Croix), the British Virgin Islands (Anegada), the Turks and Caicos Islands (Providenciales). In the northern and eastern sides of Aruba (January-April) such as the Dominican Republic, you may caught blue marlin and white marlin while go to the southern side of Aruba such as Costa Rica, you will find sailfish (September-November is best). It’s one of the best tarpon fishing spots – you might caught a monster.

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico (Mayaguez, Fajardo), St Lucia (Soufriere), the Virgin Islands (St Thomas, Tortola) are the best spot for sport fishing. 

In addition to that, there are many sponsored fishing tournaments year-round in the Cayman Islands organized by the Cayman Islands Angling Club and Rotary Club.