Little Compass RoseCaribbean Compass
 

Dear Compass Readers,
We want to hear from YOU!
Please include your name, boat name or address, 
and a way we can contact you if clarification is required. 
We do not publish individual consumer complaints or individual regatta results complaints. 
(Kudos are okay!) We do not publish anonymous letters; 
however, your name may be withheld in print at your request. 

Letters may be edited for length, clarity and fair play.
Send your letters to:
sally@caribbeancompass.com
or fax (784) 457-3410
or 
Compass Publishing Ltd.
Readers' Forum
Box 175BQ, Bequia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines

 
Doyle Caribbean


READERS’ FORUM

FEBRUARY’S FAREWELL
Dear Compass Readers,
Regarding the obituary for Nick Philp in the February issue, it is sad to hear he is off on a voyage in sailors’ Valhalla, where winds are fair and seas smooth, but it is great that he will be remembered by a really good obit written by Lucy Tulloch and published in Caribbean Compass.
Don Street
Glandore, Ireland

THE NEED IS STILL GREAT
Dear Compass Readers,
Lena Augustine thought she had been forgotten. Pastor of the Mahaut Gospel Tabernacle and co-founder/president of the Feed My Sheep Mission Center in Mahaut, Dominica recalls the night of horror when over 400 men, women and children ran to her mission center for shelter after their roofs blew away and their homes collapsed around them. Together they huddled, certain they were all going to die, as Hurricane Maria picked up dump trucks, uprooted trees and tore off concrete roofs for 12 hours. In the midst of this, the local river changed course and came crashing into the center, causing everyone to scramble up to the second floor.   
In the immediate aftermath she faced having no water, no phone service, no electricity, no passable roads. Shut off from the rest of the island and the rest of the world, she was on her own as hundreds of souls were turning to her for help. Drawing upon her reserves of inner strength, she began to offer comfort and direction to those around her.

Two months later Pastor Lena Augustine learned that some of us in the United States who were looking for a way to help the people of Dominica had discovered her mission center. She learned that we had raised US$1,000 in cash and were about to personally deliver that, plus US$850 in provisions, to her mission. Pastor Lena no longer felt forgotten. 

February update: While water has been restored and provisions and supplies are trickling in, there are still shortages, and vast areas of her mission center are still not in service. The building is dilapidated. The community garden that feeds many is not yet fully operational. While the government has granted her a waiver allowing her to have a partial hook-up to electricity, it is temporary: the center must be rewired to code before electricity can be fully restored. The roof remains massively damaged and rewiring cannot be done until it is repaired. The cost of repairs to the roof is over US$50,000. There are not enough beds, not enough bedding and not enough rooms, which forces little children and young adults to be housed together with little or no privacy. Some old people sleep on cots in the main room where meals are served. In order to fix these problems, Pastor Lena needs a massive infusion of funds and/or skilled engineers, builders and materials. As is true for the whole island of Dominica, full recovery of the Feed My Sheep Center will take years of dedicated service along with the generosity of those who choose to become donors.
 
The Feed My Sheep Center was founded in 1984 by Sam and Lena Augustine. Pastor Lena continued to run the center after Sam’s death. The FMS Center is recognized by the government as the largest shelter on the island of Dominica. Nevertheless, the FMS Center is 100-percent dependent on private donations. They live from day to day, week to week and month to month on whatever donations they receive. The Dominican court system, which is independent from the government, often sends troubled youths, orphans, and homeless single parents to Pastor Lena’s Center. No one is ever turned away.
To learn more about this center; its president, Lena Augustine; the island of Dominica; and most importantly, to donate, visit www.youcaring.com/thepeopleofdominica-955956
Sheron Dixon Wahl

BRINGING A SMILE
Dear Compass Readers,
Meet “Flax” and “Max”, two professional circus clowns from Germany. My husband, Ian, and I met them when they arrived on Martinique, from across the Atlantic via Barbados. We invited them aboard and eventually the conversation turned to work. They have taken a year off from work and were looking to “bring a smile” to the islands. They had already performed in Cape Verde and Senegal and wondered where they might “help” in the islands. We suggested Dominica and were able to find them some contacts from Sue on S/V Clara in St. Lucia and Deborah Augustine from Feed My Sheep, Dominica. While anchored in Prince Rupert Bay, the crew of Macario was also doing humanitarian work.

Ian and I travelled to Dominica on S/V Reberth and Christian and Katrin (Max and Flax) arrived in S/V Charlie. Contacts were made and shows organized: two at schools in Roseau, one in Calibishi, two in Portsmouth and one in Mahout. The Mahout stage was in the hurricane shelter, which during Maria housed over 300 people, and still has 30 living there. Not only is this a hurricane shelter but a respite, place of worship, soup kitchen and food bank. Dominica is still in great need. If you wish to help please contact Macario Advantage or Feed My Sheep, Dominica via their websites or e-mail. Alternatively if you have excess in-date cans of fish or meat and visit Portsmouth, contact Macario Advantage and they will see it is delivered to Feed My Sheep.
Circus performances are not something children in Dominica are used to, so their reaction was interesting and so rewarding. To hear the children laugh again after Hurricane Maria definitely proves that “laughter is the best medicine”.
As you read this S/V Charlie is on its way to St. Martin to continue to bring a smile.
Joy Winterborn
S/V Reberth

GUNS ABOARD
Dear Compass Readers,
I am a citizen of the United States, an “American”. I grew up with guns. In my family we kids got our first gun when we turned seven, a BB gun. We already knew the rules. Guns are deadly dangerous. You always assume they are loaded even though you always checked — that’s the first thing you did when picking one up or when handed a gun — with it pointed at the ground. You never pointed a gun at anyone, not even in jest, not even as a kid. And when you pointed it at any living creature it was with intent to kill. We hunted our meat. When I was a teenager I had a small arsenal, two single-shot .22 rifles, a 30/30 carbine, and a 7mm Mauser with a long-range sight. That was back then, half a century ago.

When I moved from the land to my small yacht I brought a .38 special (a six-round pistol) aboard for possible defense. I got rid of it, gave it a burial at sea — for several reasons.
For one thing, regarding clearing in and clearing out of countries, guns (and ammunition) are an additional hassle to be dealt with officially (sometimes a considerable hassle — there have been a number of accounts in the Compass over the years). And failure to declare weapons is a serious crime.

Another reason, learned along the way, is that some of the people I met were interested in whether I had a gun — since I am an “American” some simply assumed that I did. A few offered to pay good money for the gun(s) that they supposed I had. I came to believe that having a gun on board made me more attractive to some would-be thieves than my money and my stuff.

And there is this. A gun doesn’t protect you unless you are on the alert, have it at hand, know how to use it, and out-gun your adversary — who will normally use the element of surprise. And whether you get the drop on them before they get the drop on you. And if you can live with the possibility that the fisherman you killed might not have been a pirate — though you will be bound to argue that he was.
Also, an armed pirate will shoot in self-defense when he might not otherwise.
In my country having personal guns is an “inalienable right”. In the Commonwealth it is not. Which people are safer? I’ll take my chances in the Caribbean — excluding Venezuela.
Jim Hutchinson
S/Y Ambia

KEEP YOUR SHIP’S DOG SAFE
Dear Compass Readers,
I just heard from a vet in St. Maarten-St. Martin that pet dogs there have distemper at epidemic levels, so warnings are going to be issued. It is contagious and other islands are concerned it will spread. Prevention means a new vaccination (even if your dog’s vaccination is current) prior to entering St. Maarten-St. Martin or leaving it. Boat dogs should be vaccinated weeks before they leave and carefully examined by the government vet before departing.

Of great concern is the number of visitors who do not report their pet’s entry or exit; disease issues like this can make Customs rules change significantly.

This epidemic is similar to that in Bahamas about two years ago, and now Nassau is permanently affected with distemper; the virus is now part of the environment there. So, cruisers need to be very aware.
We did not sail to St. Martin owing to this issue, although our dogs are never allowed off the boat in foreign islands in any case. We ourselves are staying away from dogs and other animals on land, and washing our hands and shoes when going back on board our vessel.
Joan Conover
S/Y Growltiger

Dear Compass Readers,
We want to hear from YOU!

Be sure to include your name, boat name or shoreside address,
and a way we can contact you (preferably by e-mail) if clarification is required.

We do not publish individual consumer complaints
or individual regatta results complaints. (Kudos are okay!)
We do not publish anonymous letters; however,
your name may be withheld from print at your request.
Please keep letters shorter than 600 words.
Letters may be edited for length, clarity and fair play.

Send your letters to:
sally@caribbeancompass.com
or fax (784) 457-3410
or 
Compass Publishing Ltd.
Readers' Forum
Box 175BQ, Bequia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines


Copyright© 2018 Compass Publishing