Last week we had the opportunity to listen to sailing legend Don Street
as he gave an informal talk at Prickly Bay Marina.
Don Street is the author of numerous books including
charts and cruising guides for the Caribbean.
At 84 years young, he has been sailing for more than 70 years!
It got me thinking of all the changes he has seen.
Looking out over Prickly Bay on this night, there were approximately
100 yachts at anchor. When he first visited there were probably less than 5.
The anchorages throughout the Caribbean that we all crowd into today
were most likely his alone. He was sailing without GPS, chartplotter,
radar, AIS, cell phones or solar panels.
His boat didn't even have an engine!
He would have used a sextant for celestial navigation.
Charts of the day were unreliable. He charted much of the region.
When he arrived in a new country he couldn't simply go to an ATM
and withdraw the local currency as we do today.
There were no computers for
paying your bills, emailing or for checking the weather forecast.
Sailing the Caribbean today seems simple in comparison.
"Yachts have changed and new equipment has come on the market
but one thing that has not changed is the sea and the size of waves."
Don Street Jr.