Medocino Queen Attacked in the Caribbean

I spoke with Mr. Andy Turpin the Managing Editor at Latitude 38 where this story was published. He graciously consented to us re-publishing  it on the Downeaster Yachts website. Please take the time to jump over to Latitude 38’s website and check them out. They have a great free periodical that I think compares with any of the subscription periodicals. It actually is probably better in many respects.


Medocino Queen Attacked in the Caribbean

July 15, 2011 – Baradel Island, St. Vincent & The Grenadines

Allen and Kate Barry, liveaboards and worldwide cruisers for 20 years aboard the San Francisco-based DownEast 38 Mendocino Queen, report they were assaulted and robbed around 10:45 p.m. on the night of July 2 while at anchor just off Baradel Island in the Tobago Cays Marine Reserve of St. Vincent & The Grenadines. Having spent thousands of nights on the hook from Hong Kong to East Africa, and having travelled to and through 35 countries by boat and land, this was the first time they’d been assaulted. This is an edited version of a report by Kate.

Allen and Kate Berry suffered a violent attack on their boat Mendocino Queen on July 2 while anchored at the Tobago Cays. Photo Courtesy Mendocino Queen © 2011 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.


“We spent the day snorkeling the outside edge of Horseshoe Reef, where we found sharks, a good number of turtles and a lot of reef fish. Because of a tropical wave, only four boats remained in the anchorage that night. Night came on very dark with no moon. And thanks to the wind, the surf on the reef, the chop lapping against the hull, and the ground tackle groaning, it was not a quiet night.

“At about 10 p.m., Allen, who was […]

April Sailing s/v Seabird

The sun was up and the wind was down on Saturday April 30 2011, Sophi and I decided to sail. The only thing in our way was a North wind… let  me explain, a north wind will push our boat back into our slip and or not allow us to point the pointy end east to get out of the dock area.

We had a plan tho, after a little puff we would back up quickly and hope we could turn the bow east and head out to sea, no luck, the  wind prevented me from turning and pushed us back into our slip. we stopped and tried again, this time with a little better angle as we didn’t tie up to the dock. On try two, Seabird was pushed back into a slip but we did make progress as we fell into the next slip toward the open ocean. Thankfully a stranger who must have witnessed the goings-on came over and offered to help, I asked him to push the bow as hard as he could which he did and we  barely avoided Hi Voltage, Central Maine Power’s service boat, then had to avoid a large fishing boat on the very end of Dillimo’s dock and a lobster boat on the Portland Pier side…. to say it was stressful would be an understatement; once we escaped the docks we both wanted to have a mooring. We took a second to breath then raised the main sail but it wasn’t until the engine was off before we could breathe.

I had the first reef in the main just to be safe until we rounded Bud Light, after seeing the conditions while facing the open ocean we set the sails for a downwind leg. Wing and Wing I was able to […]

Careening Seabird a DE32

Last weekend we decided to inspect our under-the-water hull. We had prepared for weeks, and found a spot where the tide would leave us high and dry for a few hours. Even better, it was right around the corner from our “normal” slip. In the middle of the night, we snuck away and motored down the long, narrow piece of water between two wharves, finally meeting a seawall, which we tied up to. I put one piling near the mast and let the others fall where they might, hanging a fender on the two that touched our hull. We set our spring lines and secured our baby with care and waited for the tide to drop. I set my alarm for four hours later. When it rang, I hopped out of my pilot berth to see what the tide was doing. Once on deck, I tied a line from our mast to the piling and cinched it tight, helping us lean into the pier. Over the next ten minutes, I stood on our cap-rail, ultimately stepping onto the land to check for movement. When finally there wasn’t any, I knew our keel was on the ground and we were beginning to stop floating. Hopefully, now I could rest.

My next alarm was set for two hours later, a.k.a. 6am. I barely caught a wink of sleep the entire night in anticipation of what might happen and what I might see. I would think of all possibilities, one being the entire hull is one blister, and many other extremes including nothing being wrong. Every time I would turn over in bed, I would think of something else. what if someone tried to steal my boat? We were right in the middle of a sketchy part of town. “How are they going […]