BlueFoot Travel provides sailing holidays. We operate solely from a sailing yacht, so we have no land base. We are lucky to sail with our guest travellers around the Caribbean visiting stunning islands on the way.
Being in the Caribbean is a pleasure, but there are some natural phenomena that can really impact the region – mainly hurricanes. The hurricane season runs from July 1st to November 30th every year, and in September 2017 the region was significantly affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
When we sail to an island we visit secluded coves and cays where small local communities live, not the main ports with all the infrastructure. And as such, we and our guests really did see and feel the devastation caused by the hurricanes in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Saint Martin, Barbuda and Dominica.
We gave what we could to help, but we wanted to find a more sustainable and organized way of supporting the islands we sail to. Our guests also wanted to do the same. But we didn’t know how to, until we found Pack for a Purpose. As we have no land base, we partner with the following organisations and support their Pack for a Purpose projects: Sunsation Tours in Grenada, Blue Grenadines in Bequia, and the Charter Yacht Society in the BVI.
Our guests have to travel light as there is not much spare space on a yacht, so we are delighted when they are able to bring anything for the projects we support. And they have been incredibly generous.
In the last two years our guests have brought 83.3 KG (183.65 lbs) of items with them from all over the world. That’s 4 large suitcases full of supplies. Items range from medical essentials, dog flea collars to footballs and, of course, school and reading supplies. Guests can bring items based on what is also important to them.
That’s the great thing about Pack for a Purpose. Each project has a list of a specific items they need, so our guests don’t bring nice-to-have items, they bring what is actually needed on the islands.
Below are our amazingly generous guests.
As we are only at an anchorage for one night at a time, we drop our items of with our partners and they then distribute the supplies to the projects.
These wonderful guests pictured below, for example, brought over 10 KG of books with them to Grenada. That is a quarter of their luggage allowance! For them literacy is incredibly important. They even brought the cardboard box so the books were easy to transport!
The books were given to a really out-of-the-way school in Grenada, which Sunsation Tours has supported for a long time. Ian Blaikie one of Sunsation’s guides, who delivers Pack for a Purpose project supplies to Grenadian schools, shared one of his delivery experiences with us.
“The school was really damaged after Hurricane Ivan in 2004. The school was given a one-off large donation of school books by an international airline. Sometime later we took some more books to that school. And as I got near to the school, the youngsters were walking home. They all carried a book. Suddenly, I realised that these were the books I’d brought last time. They didn’t have (m)any others. The third time I went, I found that the principal, with his own hands, had cut a hole in the school ceiling, opened up the attic, and he had built a library there, with access by a ladder. Again, almost all the books were ones that I recognised. Teachers like this deserve support. Some are real heroes. Thank you to your guests for all their support.”
It is wonderful when we can deliver supplies directly to a project with our guests. It has been wonderful to see how useful the items will be. As Pack for a Purposes says, bringing a small amount of items has a Big Impact on the local communities.
Thanks again to all our wonderful guests for supporting our projects over the last two years. Fingers crossed for even more wonderful donations when we start sailing again in December 2020.
For more information on BlueFoot Travel’s Pack for a Purpose projects, visit our page on the Pack for a Purpose website.