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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?

osirissail 11-05-2010 21:53

"Dangerous" is a relative term. The number of incidents per cruising boat is very small but where in the past you never heard about them unless you talk to the people directly, now there are websites for cruisers that keep track of confirmed incidents and more websites that pass on the second hand reports. For instance there were two attempted dinghy thefts in the last few days here in Grenada which were foiled by the boater owners themselves when they noticed the thief in something he shouldn't have been in - and other than a recounting the incidents on the morning net that was a far as the report went.
- - Whether numerically there are more or less is unknown and like all statistics is subject to assumptions.
- - There is a definite "perceived" increase in theft and attacks over the last 6 years I have been active in the eastern Caribbean just as they has been a real significant increase in population of young people on the various islands coupled with a significant decrease in fly-in tourism due to the world financial collapse a short while ago. The annual cruiser fleet is also significantly smaller this year.
- - So the eastern Caribbean is NOT dangerous unless you cruise naively and take no simple precautions. The simple "lock it or lose it" is more valid today as it was valid in the last few years.
- - Your home town when you were young was probably marked by doors left unlocked, cars with keys in them or still running for a dash into the convenience store - all without any problems. Would you do that today? Probably not, and the same while cruising. Simple precautions of locking up the boat, not leaving valuables laying on deck while you go ashore, using chain or cable to securely lock the dinghy and to lock the motor to the dinghy are all important.
- - The only "new" item for this year is to not wander away from the "herd" of cruising boats to find that "deserted" bay or cove. Now it is best to stay in the "herd" when anchored. Local boat boys, guides and shore businesses are acutely aware of the potential serious loss of customers if their little section of the bay gets a bad name due to thefts or attacks. Some are being pro-active in "protecting their revenue stream" from bad guys. And some islanders are taking serious steps to make sure that bad guys are not capable of repeating themselves and threatening the livelihood of local businesses. That is very encouraging.
Bottom line - just take more care and apply more thought to "securing" what you have while in "paradise." And then you will most likely have a continuous great time in the islands.
- - That "wandering away from the herd" is what is at question with the Toucarie Bay jetty. If you are the only boat there and obviously not a local - and - there is nobody to provide a modicum of security from ashore then you are really sticking you "butt" out there asking to get bitten.
- - Sadly to say, where in the past there were some islands with great records of perceived low crime, that is now past and each island has its share of reported incidents. So vigilence is warranted at all the places you chose to stop. If you take the time to review the confirmed reports on the database at the Caribbean Safety and Security Net website you will easily see specific bays and islands that have higher numbers of incidents. Of the windward/leeward island groups current St Vincent is at the top of the list to avoid. Some charter boat companies in the Grenadines do not allow their boats to travel north of the Grenadines.

tbodine88 08-08-2012 13:06

Re: Ideas for Our New Yacht Jetty in Dominica
I guess it didn't happen , currently Google shows no jetty.

I sure did like the jetty in Deshais, to tie up to the first time I went there.

But then you could check in at Deshais, if the immigration desk was manned.


Rhian 08-08-2012 14:58

Re: Ideas for Our New Yacht Jetty in Dominica
Guess things have changed in 2 years as we spent a very happy and safe few days in Roseau and Portsmouth and look forward to visiting again. The security patrols in both bays and the attitude of all the 'boat boys' were excellent. The Sunday night BBQ on the beach at Portsmouth to raise money for the patrols is not to be missed. Well done!

For us, security and the safety of our boat (against swell on the dock or unsafe mooring buoys for instance) are paramount.

osirissail 08-08-2012 16:29

Re: Ideas for Our New Yacht Jetty in Dominica

Originally Posted by tbodine88 (Post 1008200)
. . . But then you could check in at Deshais, if the immigration desk was manned.

Huh? Did something change? Deshaies, Guadeloupe has not had an "immigration desk" for a long time - the French Islands have been using the D-I-Y Check-in/out computer system for a few years now where you process yourself in and out. Last time I heard it was in one of the tourist shops along the waterfront.

Teknav 08-08-2012 21:32

Re: Ideas for Our New Yacht Jetty in Dominica
Dominica is still undeveloped and its crime rate is high. Susan's suggestions are right on the money. Dominica, for the time being, is worth visiting during the day ONLY. I'd rather anchor in the Grenadines; St. Vincent to Grenada.
Think of offering water, gas, clean bathrooms/showers, a store that sells fresh fruits and vegetables right by the dock, an ATM, laundry facilities and a Pizzeria (Chicago style - wink). All of these amenities will make your place very busy - but ONLY during the day. With time, and with improved security the word will get around then you will get noticed.
Good luck!

Tom Stormcrowe 14-08-2012 05:07

Re: Ideas for Our New Yacht Jetty in Dominica
Discount for forum members? :p

Hold sail ins? As to facilities, it's well covered through the thread already.

YACHT TARENTELA 17-08-2012 05:07

Re: Ideas for Our New Yacht Jetty in Dominica
When we visited Dominica and anchored in Prince Rupert Bay this past winter we heard nothing about a new yacht jetty or anchorage to the north. Our entire 2 week stay was enjoyed to the fullest. The new Fisheries dock makes a great dinghy dock! Prince Rupert Bay is well protected from the weather. The holding is good. The Boat Boys helpfull. Water is cheap. Portsmouth is small but has lots to offer cruisers. Teknav, you are wrong in your assertation Dominica is unsafe and only good for day anchorage. Go back and see for yourself. I plan to stop for a while again this winter.

Jerry Woodward 20-08-2012 13:01

"Dominica as safe as any other Caribbean Island"
From Noonsite:

Although there have been reports of boardings and theft from yachts here (predominantly in Roseau), Dominica is as safe as any other Caribbean island and, if basic precautions are taken, one's stay can be both satisfying and enjoyable.
Based on reports to noonsite from cruisers, petty theft from yachts is on the rise in the Caribbean in general. Cruisers should take basic safety precautions and use common sense when leaving the boat or going ashore at night. Dinghy thieves operate throughout the Caribbean and best advice is to place your dinghy on deck and chain it overnight.

osirissail 20-08-2012 23:10

Re: Ideas for Our New Yacht Jetty in Dominica
Good advice and I would add that a new "wrinkle" has developed and that is to be sure to anchor "in the pack" of other visiting cruisers and not off in a corner of the bay/cove by yourself. If there are no other cruisers anchored in a place, it is possible that the reason is that it is dangerous to be there alone.

svBeBe 20-08-2012 23:38

Re: Ideas for Our New Yacht Jetty in Dominica
We anchored in Prince Rupert Bay in 2006 and 2007, many days each time. Never had any problems whatsoever with boat boys. Never approached by anyone except Martin. Martin came out to greet us upon arrival, then left us alone. We asked him to return the following day and arrange a river tour. No other people approached our boat while anchored there. There were no more security issues in Dominica than in other Caribbean islands; far less than St. Vincent area. We look forward to returning to Dominica in a few years as it was one of our favorite places in the Caribbean.

If there were a dock/jetty I am not sure that we would use it. Docking stern-to with our anchor out is not an issue. Being docked right on shore without electricity is the issue for us. I do not want to be docked without electricity. I would prefer to pay for the electricity and would not use a free dock without electricity. Close to shore means more mosquitoes. If there is no shore power so we can operate the air conditioners, then I would prefer to be anchored as far out in the bay as safely feasible. Just my 2 cents, YMMV.


svBeBe 21-08-2012 00:01

Re: Ideas for Our New Yacht Jetty in Dominica

Originally Posted by tbodine88 (Post 1008200)
I guess it didn't happen , currently Google shows no jetty.

I guess not...Google Earth Sat photo is March 8, 2005.

Google Earth is not real time, yet.


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