Galley Guys visit Amazona Nest in the St. Vincent Rain Forest

The October issue of Canadian Yachting magazine has long been our annual winter cruising guide and in the 2023 issue, we ran our destination story, Galley Guys (and Gals) Barefootin’ St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

The plan had been to do a bareboat charter with Barefoot Yacht Charters sailing through the glorious tropical islands of St. Vincent & the Grenadines. Our host and the owner of Barefoot Yacht Charters was Phillip Barnard whose family bought a large tract of land on the big island of St. Vincent back in the very early 1900s. The land is still unspoiled tropical rain forest and includes a natural fresh water spring well up the mountain, that supplies much of St. Vincent with water. We knew nothing of this when we planned our trip.

In planning our week of sailing the islands and walking the white sand beaches of the grenadines, we were asked to leave the last day open.

As a very special final day treat, Phillip Barnard scheduled an excursion to the rain forest, about an hour drive north of Barefoot Base, to visit Amazona Nest. We needed four-wheel drives to climb the mountain to the Barnard’s ancestoral home, fording several small rivers and almost losing sight of the road driving through the forest. But the reward was a unique and very special lunch of breadfruit, plaintains and all sorts of other spices and ingredients all from the property, including freshly caught “river lobsters” – very big (and tasty) crayfish that our hosts gathered with a small spear gun! 

You can book a trip to visit this yourself.

Part of the land has been set up as a tropical rainforest experience available to a select number of people at any one time. There are basically two cottages plus a camp ground and there are staff who are there tending the gardens and who can assist in learning about the wonders of the tropical rainforest, help with food and who can even make this a unique and memorable learning experience.

At Amazona Nest You will get the real sense of nature at its finest. Relax and unwind with the sound of the river to the amazing sounds of the native birds including wild Parrots, the national bird. The serenity and tranquility of the surroundings is very unique. Get away from the urban hustle, enjoy peace and quiet but keep your camera ready for our whistling feathered friends.

If you were to book with Barefoot Yacht Charters, sail for a week or so then spend a few nights at Amazona Nest. It’s an experience that you will never forget!

All the details are on their website plus a gallery of great photos. Go to

Neptunus 650F Review

Neptunus 650F 400

By Andy Adams

Over the years Canadian Yachting has had the pleasure of doing several boat review articles on new Neptunus models and we are familiar with the qualities that Neptunus is famous for. They have all been exceptional yachts, but this is the one I would most want to own myself. It’s a personal choice and a matter of taste as to whether you would prefer to have a sedan express model or a flybridge but in my opinion, the flybridge layout offers some wonderful attributes.

We met with Neptunus Managing Director Jan Willem De Jong this past fall to take the new Neptunus 650F out in Lake Ontario. 

Read More


The Other Virgin Islands

Sunset off St John

By Mark Stevens

I was first seduced by the United States Virgin Islands during a ferry ride from St. Thomas to Tortola to begin one of our earliest British Virgin Islands charters nearly twenty years ago.

A perfect sunset off St. John with St. Thomas views for backdrop.

Clearing Pillsbury Sound, surrounded by voluptuous emerald mountains as the ferry sliced through royal blue waters, I was struck by the unspoiled ambiance of St. John, the island gliding past our starboard beam and the irresistible charm of a village called Cruz Bay visible from our quarter stern.

Read More