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Tobago Update

By Sue Richards last modified Nov 22, 2010 12:59 PM

Published: 2010-11-22 12:59:35
Countries: Trinidad & Tobago

As the new season is upon us I felt it was time to update Noonsite visitors of the latest news from Tobago.

There has been much comment on the internet and in other publications of late about the problems facing cruisers in Trinidad. I would like to take this opportunity to point out to readers that whilst "no man is an island entire of itself" - Tobago is. Part of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, we are separated from our sister island by far more than the 23 miles of Galleons Passage. In Tobago we lock our dinghy's out of habit not out of necessity, the island is welcoming to visiting yachts and islanders seek to enhance visitors experiences.

Whilst Tobago is a cruisers paradise, we have not had a problem free summer; I wanted to take this opportunity to let readers know what local marine businesses and interested members of the community in Tobago are doing to address them.

Noise Pollution in Store Bay

With regards to the noise pollution in Store Bay, I am happy to report that the situation has improved vastly. Bago's Beach Bar has now had a change of management. With this change, we have seen a dramatic decibel drop and the bar is a friendly and welcoming drinking hole where yachties can enjoy a quiet beer and food while overlooking the anchorage at Store Bay. There is a nice mix of locals, yachties and expats alike which makes for a very pleasant atmosphere.

Jet Ski Regulations

We, like many others in the Caribbean, are still trying to deal with the regulation and safety issues regarding Jet-ski's. Unfortunately over the summer one visiting yacht sustained damage after a jet-ski collided with it whilst at anchor.

However the recent ruling in the Seventh Civil Court of Trinidad in the case of Quesnel & Laso v. Tobago House of Assembly & Pigeon Point Heritage Park has clearly established that the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) has a duty of care to prevent injury to users of the water. With this in mind and the inherent dangers that these craft present to all water users the Association of Tobago Dive Operators (ATDO), SBMS and other marine interests have started to lobby the relevant THA ministries and Coastguard to ensure that the existing legislation is enforced and if necessary further legislation is enacted to prevent any more accidents or injuries.

Mooring in Store Bay

The mooring buoys which were laid in 2008 in Store Bay, remain free of charge, however they also remain free of maintainance. We have contacted the Ministry of Fisheries about this and are still in discussions with them; in the meantime I would advise all cruisers to anchor in Store Bay, rather than pick up a buoy. At present less than half of the original buoys remain, so there is plenty of space.

We are also in contact with the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Fisheries with regards to building of a dinghy dock at Cable Beach/Store Bay to give both beach users and cruisers a bit more space.

We look forward to seeing you in the coming season and if you require any information on Tobago please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected].

John Stickland
Operations Director
Store Bay Marine Services Limited