December 2001:

I’ve had it with Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban.  I’m doing my part to thwart terrorism and stimulate the economy by heading off to my boat for the first two weeks of December.  I expect shares in Mount Gay Rum and diesel fuel retailers to soar.

Micro Suspect Garrett Holmes is making the rounds.  This time, he appears at ABYC Presentation Night, asleep inside the Overall Club Racing Trophy won by fellow Suspect Winston Beckett.  See photo.

As the 2001 hurricane season comes to an official close, I thought it appropriate to write about the effects of such natural phenomenon on the mind of a charter boat owner.

December’s Background Photo features the pristine beach on the uninhabited island of Baradal in the Tobago Cays, St. Vincent and The Grenadines.



November 2001:

Things are getting back to normal.

Surprisingly, I have received no charter cancellations, and booking are actually better than where they were last year at this time.  There appears to be no better way to demonstrate how not to be deterred by terrorism than to get on a plane, head down to the Caribbean, and charter a boat.

This month, we have some great guest articles from two visitors who ventured into The Grenadines:

  • The Adventures/Experiences - Field Correspondent Harman Stinson has returned from the Windward Islands from his quest to discover every brand of beer offered there.  His in-depth evaluation is documented in detail in A Review of The Beers of the Windward Islands.  The incredible odyssey is described in The Quest to Discover the Beers of the Windward Islands.
  • The Adventures - St Vincent & The Grenadines - Just the two of us, one phenomenal tripare the words Hervé Liegeois used to describe his June 2001 trip.  That trip is described online, complete with photos. In December of this year,  Hervé takes delivery of a brand new Lagoon 410 catamaran, Mama Cocha, to be placed in charter with Sunsail in the BVI.  Read about the boat and the adventures on the Mama Cocha Website.

November’s Background Photo features the spectacular Tobago Cays, as seen from the hills of Mayreau under the late afternoon sun.



October 2001:

September has not been a good month.  First, I received the news that Keeth Round Man Stone’s mother, Doreen Rosemary Stone, passed away suddenly at the tender age of 74.  The Usual Suspects offer our condolences, and tip our glasses to a fine woman who raised a fine family.

Then came September 11.

During the attack, I received news that an old University friend, long-time crew member on my J24, and fellow crew on other J24 campaigns, Bruce Slo-Mo Maclean, passed away suddenly at the age of 41 as a result of a serious illness.  Bruce will be sadly missed by the many J24 sailors he has come to know in Toronto and Halifax.  A tribute to Bruce will now permanently appear in The Suspects section of this website.

In the midst of all the confusion, Winston, several crew members, and myself managed to get Winston’s J35 Crime Scene through the Great Lakes to Detroit and compete in the J35 North American Championship.  Gord Burt, stranded in Allentown, PA for two weeks because of the US attack, somehow managed to get on a plane and join us.  We raced well enough to place 5th (see Results) in a tough fleet of professionally-run boats.

As September 2001 wound down, the wonderful news came that Garrett Alton Holmes, son of Prime Suspects Dave Holmes and Julie Hughes, was born.  We look forward to teaching this young man how to sail, chase girls, and pour Rummers.

This month’s update features two excellent guest articles; one from Roy Burley of Calgary, and one from Keith MacDonald of Ottawa.

  • The Adventures
    • Operation Porto Flip - Roy Burley and the crew of Porto Flip from Calgary leave the Stampede behind in search of adventure of a different sort.  Roy provides a colorful description of their odyssey through The Grenadines, down to Grenada, and back.
    • The Greek Islands, W.I. - Ottawa resident Keith MacDonald, who actively practices The Usual Suspects lifestyle, while contributing to the immense body of research in this field, is en-route to the Greek Islands to further that research.  Discover his secrets for preparing for that trip,  in Part 1 of a two-part series, The Greek Islands, W.I.  Part 2 of this series will be featured in the November 1 update.

October’s Background Photo features the crew of Porto Flip encountering fierce squalls on their passage between Grenada and Carriacou.

Photo by Roy Burley and the Porto Flip crew


September 2001:

First, we (Gord and I, and the crew of Winston’s J35 Crime Scene) are the J35 Lake Ontario Champions as well as the J35 Western Lake Ontario Series Champions.  We are off to Detroit in mid-September to test our mettle against the very best J35s at the North American Championship.

This month:

  • About This Website - Each and every month, between fifteen to twenty hours are spent updating this website.  A detailed and painful description of that production process is described in the article A Whole Lot of Construction
  • The Adventures
    • “Spectacular” - These are the words that Terry Shuster used to describe his July 2001 experience in The Grenadines.  Read about his double adventure cruising The Grenadines back-to-back on two separate boats.
    • Cruiser Log is another definitive website for the serious cruiser.  It contains recent yacht positions of cruisers worldwide, narratives, radio networks, classifieds, crew finder, a chat room, and a message board.  Updated regularly, this site is worth a visit.

September’s Background Photo features three Prime Suspects, Rummers in hand, cruising Casuarina Beach on Palm Island on a sunny afternoon.



August 2001:

The number of visits to The Usual Suspects website mysteriously tripled on June 1 of this year.  I discovered that the reason for this was an overwhelming number of referrals from a site called CruiseNewsSuspects was featured in the “New Discoveries” section.  Upon viewing the website, it became apparent that Cruisenews is the definitive website for cruising stories and adventures, and deserves to be mentioned here.

  • The Boat
    • SailOnLine - Link to one of the best reference sites for detailed information on charter boat ownership.
  • The Adventures CruiseNews is the definitive site for sailing and cruising stories.  Given a Suspect’s appetite for a good story, a visit to this website is a must.

August’s Background Photo features a schooner from Union Island with day-charter guests, about to drop anchor at Palm Island - one of the many sights of the lower Grenadines.


July 2001:

  • The Suspects - Suspects Charuk and Paperman successfully tricked fellow Suspect Winston into buying a J35 for racing in Toronto.  We have joined his J35 program and will compete on the Lake Ontario Circuit this summer.  In September, we will try our skills against the very best at the North American Championship in Detroit.  The name of the boat?  Crime Scene, of course!

  • The Adventures - “One Great Adventure” - A Trip Report from Bob Sherer.  During the last half of 2000, Bob communicated with the Suspects about possible Grenadines adventures.  In February 2001, he finally put his plan to work.  His report describes that adventure.
  • The Experiences
    • Dinghy Docks of The Grenadines - A Prime Suspect reports on the condition of the dinghy docks in The Grenadines.  Find out why it is difficult to come ashore in some locations.
    • Relaxation 101 - An Introductory Course.  Readers have pointed out that The Rummer has not been included as a basic prop in this course.  This was an  oversight, and the problem has been corrected in this update.  I regret any inconvenience or pain this may have caused anybody.
    • Destination: Grenada and Destination: St. Lucia are now available in downloadable Adobe Postscript (PDF) format, providing you the ability to print them with proper formatting.

July’s Background Photo features a traffic jam at the dinghy dock on Mustique.




June 2001:

June 2001 is the First Anniversary of The Usual Suspects website, believe it or not.  During the past year, Suspects have had the opportunity to share a number of adventure stories, as well as the many Caribbean experiences we enjoy so much.  I have had the opportunity to meet a large number of adventurers (over the Internet and in person) who enjoy the same things.  It has been a very rewarding year.

One such adventurer is a Calgarian named Roy Burley, who has booked his bareboat vacation in The Grenadines in August of this year.  We have exchanged numerous e-mails on the topic, and his enthusiasm is quite refreshing.  Have a splendid trip Roy, and put down a few Rummers for all of us back home!

June’s Background Photo features Prime Suspect Rob Charuk conducting field research on the aft swim platform of The Usual Suspects.



May 2001:

  • The Experiences - Major update to Destination: The Grenadines.  New and updated information for each of the anchorages is reflected in this update. This update also includes a major revision to the Boat Boys of The Grenadines feature.  In addition, these features are now available in downloadable Adobe Postscript (PDF) format, providing you the ability to print them with proper formatting.

May’s Background Photo features the morning sun on The Usual Suspects at anchor in the Blue Lagoon, St. Vincent, with Fort Duvernette in the background.


April 2001:

  • The Boat - Revision to the Boat section that includes a complete write-up on the yacht charter company responsible for managing my boat, Barefoot Yacht Charters.  Numerous photos of the boat are now available thanks to the marvels of digital photographic technology.
  • The Suspects - The February 2001 adventure in The Grenadine increased the cruiser's "Most Wanted" list with the addition of five new Suspects, including Julie Hughes, Dave Holmes, Jeff Long, and Silvia PresenzaPeter Hallberg is in the queue for future criminal activities that will include gross misrepresentation of the chronology of events.
  • The Adventures
    • Thirteen Days in the Life Aboard "The Usual Suspects" - The latest Suspects, Jeff Long and Silvia Presenza, write about their February 2001 adventure in paradise aboard The Usual Suspects.  Their perspective on life in the slow lane is most entertaining.
    • For those of you who can't handle the truth, there is a highly suspect version of the same adventure that is 99.44% fact-free.  Find out how a lawyer, a spin doctor, and two lumberjacks avoid being voted off the boat in the February 2001 Adventure - Survivor III The Grenadines.

April’s Background Photo features the latest batch of Suspects lounging around aboard The Usual Suspects on another perfect day in the Tobago Cays.



March 2001:

  • The Experiences
    • Destination: The Grenadines.  This update adds a section that describes the island of Carriacou.
    • Destination: British Virgin Islands - I have yet to visit so I cannot write about them.  Given that the BVIs are the single most popular charter destination, a Usual Suspects BVI report is conspicuous by its absence.  Pat and Jere Lull have put together the most comprehensive report the BVIs that I have seen to date.  I recommend that you have a look at Pat & Jere’s BVI Pages

March’s Background Photo features the crystal waters, white sand beach, and lone thatched hut that greets visitors to the Mopion Sandbank in The Grenadines.



February 2001:

  • The Experiences - Destination: Grenada.  Experience the “Isle of Spice” first hand, from the aromatic spices to the pristine mountain rainforests to the bustling streets of St. George’s.  Grenada has it all.

February’s Background Photo features a morning walk on a deserted beach in Mayreau, The Grenadines.



January 2001:

  • The Adventures - Lots this month
    • December 2000 Adventure - The Isle of Spice.   Complete trip report on the activities from our December 2000 adventure in Grenada.
    • Special surprise feature. Keeth "Round Man" Stone, Chief Beverage Technician on The Usual Suspects AND Scurvy Dog #4 on Destiny Calls, hosted a huge party in early November.  Crew from both boats met for the first time to exchange stories. The body count was heavy.  Here is the police report.
    • The complete record of the “trip of a lifetime.”  Don Boyd and Joni Crosby from Montreal Canada completed a 17 month journey to the Caribbean and South America aboard their CS27 Destiny Calls.  Their log entries were posted to the web while they cruised from port to port.
    • No longer wannabe cruisers, Jim (Scurvy Dog #6 on Destiny Calls) and Janette Laverdiere from Montreal are on their trip of a lifetime aboard CS33 Borean .  They plan a six month+ cruise that will take in Florida and the Bahamas.  Follow their progress from periodic updates on their website.
  • The Experiences - Mini-update to the Boat Boys of The Grenadines feature. Includes a few updated photographs, plus new biographies on Allex Hutchinson and Erika’s Marine Services on Union Island, and Ritchie Alexis and Devon David from Tyrrel Bay.

January’s Background Photo features sunrise over The Usual Suspects at Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou, during a pre-dawn swim.

Last Updated: March 1, 2002
Copyright © 2002