How to find safe harbours and volunteer in the Caribbean

How to find safe harbours and volunteer in the Caribbean

Join Sailors Helping, use interactive maps, sign up for updates, and join a flotilla to help rebuild the Caribbean islands devastated by hurricanes.

By Daria Blackwell - 17/11/2017

Based in Puerto Rico, Victoria Fine and husband Jon Vidar sprang into action after hurricanes Irma and Maria to assist neighbouring islands. Focusing mainly on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, they loaded boats and planes that delivered emergency aid in the immediate aftermath.

Now that major organizations have taken over the central relief efforts, Victoria and Jon have shifted emphasis to help cruisers identify safe destinations within the Caribbean as well as volunteer opportunities in which they can aid more remote areas in rebuilding.

The best way to help the small villages is to bring back tourism. To do that, the basic infrastructure must be repaired and rebuilt. Sailors Helping is mapping the places where sailors can safely base themselves and projects which need help the most.

They have launched an interactive map called Ports and Projects on Sailorshelping.org. It provides information on:

Port access status
Mooring, docking and anchorages available
Potable Water
Electricity
Fuel
Groceries
Bars & Restaurants
Customs
Opening day estimates

Visitors can also use the site to find local projects to volunteer with or donate to by harbour. New projects are being added every day and the information is constantly being updated.

The database and volunteer coordination has already proved useful to charter companies and rallies heading south for the winter, who are helping cruisers find ways to give back. The Ocean Cruising Club, for example, is using Ports and Projects and Sailors Helping volunteer coordination to plan volunteer activities once rally boats reach their destination.

Sailors Helping is planning their own Rally to Rebuild as a multi-day effort at sites across the islands in January 2018.

Sign up for the rally and explore their map of projects and ports at SailorsHelping.org. Watch the video made with US Sailing on YouTube. Click on the links below.


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