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Team Toucarie 08-05-2010 07:13

Ideas for Our New Yacht Jetty in Dominica
During the summer of 2010, a jetty to accommodate 4 to 6 cruising yachts is to be constructed in Toucarie bay, Dominica. The project is being driven by the village council and the local community is involved at every level. Toucarie is the most northern bay on the west coast of Dominica with protection as good as Prince Rupert Bay. We are looking to attract cruisers back into the bay (many here remember swimming out to yachts when they were kids 30 years ago and this was a regular anchorage) and want to ask Caribbean cruisers for help. As always, money is tight, but we are investing in buildings and services to enhance your stay here and want to find out what cruisers really need and want. We would appreciate any posts on what would attract you and what may deter you, what services you would expect and what services would be a bonus. What is it that's currently missing and we could provide? And please don’t hold back, we are open minded to wi-fi, beach showers, food outlets, live music, water supply, bread delivery and any other ideas. Just remember everything costs money, and would you be willing to pay?

Toucarie is a pretty bay with a couple of small beaches, a tiny local community, a few “rum shops” and some fabulous snorkelling, plus access to all of the northern sights on the Nature Isle. This is not a commercially motivated post, I just want to help this lovely but relatively poor community get the most from the project and also provide the cruising fraternity with a great new facility... thank you... Andrew

swagman 08-05-2010 07:43

Well done with the innovation and good luck with the plans.

For me, a jetty with 110v/220v power, fresh water, wifi would hit the 3 main spots. Anything more one could provide re security would be seen as a real bonus. In fact if cruisers knew 100% a bay was secured by locals looking out to prevent any crime, I tihnk you'd attract boats anyway.

And this may not be possible - but if the berth cost the skipper nothing, ie the crew were obliged to eat / drink ashore in the evening in exchange for the nights berth - then you'd encourage them to ge toff the baot and spend - which would only help your community.


fishwife 08-05-2010 08:19

Hi Andrew,

Congratulations on your efforts, I hope it all goes well for you.

Can you expand on your idea for a jetty. Are you talking of a dinghy landing pier or a full blown, 'berth alongside' affair?

The things I look for when considering a place to visit for more than 24hrs, in no particular order, are;

Good shelter in the prevailing conditions, coupled with good anchor holding
A place to land where I can leave the dinghy without fearing the engine (or the whole boat) will have disappeared by the time I get back.
Access to good local supplies like vegetables, fish and fresh bread.
Wifi is a bonus but a decent meal or two ashore prevents the crew throwing me over the side. :) Good local places to eat are probably at the top of my crew's list of important things ashore.

Most people are willing to pay the going rate, but if they feel they are being 'ripped off' the news spreads like wildfire, so it's important not to price yourselves out of the market.

Local guides who really know what they are talking about can help to get good accounts published in blogs or places like this. Getting a mention of how welcoming you are, on Noonsite etc will help in letting people know you even exist, which is always a problem for people like me, thinking of visiting the the area.


susan kennedy 08-05-2010 08:32

Personally, I would be attracted to reasonably priced restaurants with music, a good dingy dock if i anchored out, clean bathrooms and shower, and shops with fresh vegetables and fresh bread.

Wifi would be nice, a way to get money (bank/atm), and a taxi/bus service.

You will also need to get the word out! Word of mouth is good, but you may need to advertise in cruising guides (written and internet.)

I think the fact that this is LOCALLY driven is great! Makes me want to go there! I envision grandma making the bread, junior playing in the band, mom doing the advertising and dad as chief of security.

Good luck!

Team Toucarie 08-05-2010 10:14

Thank you for your input. Just to clarify the likely jetty. It will be timber with steel piles and mooring for cruising yachts, stern-to using your anchor into sand. Protection is from north through east to south - prevailing is north-east. Lighting is likely, water probable, wi-fi possible and electric unlikely. There will be no payment to moor. This is a tiny Caribbean village and Dominica is not well developed, so you will not find much more than a snackette and the rum shops. Transport is ad-hoc and there is only one bank outside the capital. Food will be local and probably not impressive. I personally think that's the whole point, this is the Caribbean as it used to be, no frills. Not your base for the island but a special stop-off.
That said, I am taking in all your points and understand that security is high on the wish list - I can take this to the council.
Please keep the posts coming...

GordMay 08-05-2010 12:06

Congratulations and Thanks !!!

Since the Jetty is unlikely to offer electricity, I suspect most cruisers would be just as happy* to anchor on their own ground tackle, or tie to an “obviously” well-found mooring, provided there was a convenient, safe & secure place to land their dinghy (beach or dock).

Accordingly, I’d invest in public shore facilities such as washrooms, showers, and laundry.

* especially as compared to a “Med Mooring” dock.

Can you show us where the would be, and where Angela’s is located?
Here ➥ Toucari Map | Dominica Google Satellite Maps

Team Toucarie 09-05-2010 05:49

Thanks Gord
If, as you are saying, a Caribbean cruiser would probably rather lay to anchor or take a buoy than a stern-to mooring, would this be for security? There is a move here to stop anchoring in the bay to protect the coral.
I can't get the Maplandia thing to allow me to register. Angela's is close to the south end of the bay and the jetty is right opposite her. I'll keep trying with Maplandia.

GordMay 09-05-2010 06:12


Originally Posted by Team Toucarie (Post 449209)
... There is a move here to stop anchoring in the bay to protect the coral...

See the “Mooring Buoy Planning Guide”

http ://

An interesting analysys of mooring buoy impacts

GordMay 09-05-2010 14:02

I’m reasonably certain you’re aware of the ECLAC report:
“The Yachting Sector - Dominica”

tager 09-05-2010 14:32

A dinghy dock is essential. Running water is essential. Electricity is a plus. Showers are a plus too.

Honestly if you want to make it a financially viable venture, just sell alcohol at a bar near the dock. I don't drink, but bars make money!

blgklr 09-05-2010 20:48

Good water, fuel gas,deisel,propane, anything else would be bonus. All at reasonable cost Oh and ice.

osirissail 09-05-2010 20:52

There are several major problems that have to be addressed before anybody will stop there.
- - There are no check-in/out facilities so all boats have to go to Portsmouth first.
- - Douglas Bay is off limits to cruising boats as it is part of the Cabrits National Park and the report referenced by GordMay post#9 infers that Toucari Bay is also part of the "off-limits" Park.
- - Most importantly is the question of security for boats either on moorings or tied med-moor to the jetty/pier. What kind of 24hr security will be provided as Dominica (as the quoted report also says) and current security reports indicate, is a security risk for cruisers unless you are in the area of Prince Rupert Bay patroled by the Indian Rivers Guides Association. Anchoring or mooring in outlying bays/coves is currently a highly risky endeavor in today's world in the eastern Caribbean.
- - There are no charts, chartlets or guide book references to Toucari Bay so reefs and underwater obstacles are unknown.
- - The area north of Prince Rupert Bay is open to the prevailing swells rolling down the west coast and it would be expected that Toucari Bay would have significant swells entering causing rolling of anchored/moored boats unless they are anchored/moored "stern to the beach" as is done in the area just south of Roseau.
- - All these conditions need to be addressed before anybody would seriously consider stopping there. Especially high on the list is Customs/immigration access and Security for any visiting cruisers whether anchored, moored or tied to the proposed jetty.

susan kennedy 10-05-2010 17:24

What is Dominica doing re the crime? I have also heard they have VERY aggressive boat boys.

osirissail 10-05-2010 21:25

As to boat boys in Dominica, they got the message a few years ago when few if any boats were stopping there. So now, at least in Portsmouth, the "boat boys" are organized into the Indian River Guides association and now "aggressively" make sure nobody hassles/messes with the visiting cruisers. Quite a pleasant turn-about from years ago. But this is only within their "area" which is the northern sector of the bay. The rest of the bay and other locations can still be very dangerous - the same as similar areas on all the other eastern Caribbean islands.

mrybas 11-05-2010 20:39


The rest of the bay and other locations can still be very dangerous - the same as similar areas on all the other eastern Caribbean islands.
I have only sailed in the stretch from PR to BVI's, is the Eastern Caribbean really that dangerous? Surely some of the islands have to be safe/safer than others?

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