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Henri-Lloyd 2022 December - SW LEADERBOARD

Ocean Outlook - Caribbean Sea

by Noonsite 9 Aug 15:22 UTC
Caribbean Sea © Noonsite

Significant levels of Saharan dust moved across the northern areas of the Lesser Antilles this month and air quality alerts were issued for some islands.

Yacht break ins and burglaries continue to be reported in the Caribbean, some from boats that hadn't locked their hatches when going ashore. Cruisers returned after dark to their unlocked catamaran that was anchored in Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten and disturbed an intruder who threatened them with what looked like a small handgun. Read report here.

The Panama Canal have introduced a new online portal this month for small craft that is now mandatory for pre-registration whether using an agent, or dealing with the logistics yourself. Known as ASEM (Small Craft Service Management), the portal is also to be used for virtual inspections - meaning physical inspections are no longer required. You (or your agent) will need to upload various photos of the boat to demonstrate main measurements and projecting deck equipment, and dimensions will also need to be included. The normal questionnaire asking for arrival date, characteristics, last ten ports, crew details, etc. is also on the portal and payment is now done online (with a 12.87 % charge by the canal authorities to users). Find out full details of the new procedures at Noonsite’s Procedures for a Panama CanalTransit.

Intense drought in the Panama Canal has now been reduced from every five to every three years, with another year expected as La Nina approaches. As a result the Panama Canal Authorities are now implementing water-saving measures. While these won't directly affect yacht transits, they will affect larger carrier vessels who tend to transit in tandem with yachts.

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