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legal east bay

The Bay Islands, Honduras – A Brief Overview

Posted on November 18, 2018 in Uncategorized

In 1502, The Bay Islands were discovered by Christopher Columbus, claimed by many nations over the years, they were finally controlled by Britain in 1643 as a crown colony, at the time dependent on Jamaica. In 1860 the British crown recognized Honduran sovereignty. The Bay Islands were included into the rest of the country in 1872.

The Bay Islands are located in the western Caribbean sea. The three main islands (Roatan, Utila, and Guanaja) are situated about 45 miles north of Mainland Honduras, 550 miles west of Jamaica. Roatan is the largest of the three main islands, Utila is roughly 20 miles to the west of Roatan, and Guanaja is 17 miles to the east. All three islands were formed along the meso-american reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world. Second of course to the Australian Great Barrier Reef.

Two other groups of islands are often included in the area of the bay islands, the Cayos Cochinos (or Hog Islands), and Swan Islands. Cayos Cochinos are relatively close to the bay islands (just 25 miles south). The Swan Islands however are a considerable distance away, roughly 170 miles to the north east of Roatan.

The latest population estimate of The Islands is 31,000 as per a census in 2001, however many on Roatan consider that number to be grossly underestimated. Roatan alone is expected to have roughly 40,000-60,000 people. Out of that number, about half are of Mainland Honduras origins. About 40% are of Caracol, or British or Afro Caribbean desent. Roughly 10% is expected to be expatriates, and seasonal foreigners. The islands are almost exclusively Christian, with large number of Seventh Day Adventists, and Baptists. The major towns of the islands are Coxen Hole (Roatan), Banaca (Guanaja) and Utila Town (Utila).

The language of the islands is commonly English, however Spanish is the official and legal language. English was spoken on the islands since the times of British control, because of this the islanders feature a unique english accent, similar too that of the Cayman Islands and Jamaica.

The Bay Islands have become the most attractive area to buy real estate in Honduras, especially Roatan island. This beautiful and unique area is quickly becoming a booming corner of the Caribbean Sea.

Disabled/Blue Badges in the UK – Who Is Entitled and What Rights Do They Confer

Posted on November 17, 2018 in Uncategorized

One of the more hotly contested aspects of the UK’s ever controversial parking enforcement sector centres around the Disabled parking badge or blue badge. The issue of who is entitled to one of these much sought after badges with their wide ranging exemptions to the UK’s stringent parking restrictions, together with the specific allowances the badge confers, generates a huge amount of heat, but offers precious little light on the subject.

Below I have explained, in detail, referring to the relevant laws and amendments, the rules and rights (including eligibility criteria) of Disabled badges and parking in the UK. This has been done under the following headings-

  • Disabled Parking – Legal authority
  • Who actually is entitled to a Disabled badge
  • Applying for a Blue badge and appealing its rejection
  • Rights of Blue badge holders
  • Limits of Blue badge parking

Disabled Parking – Legal authority

Motorists suffering physical impairment or caring for others who do are granted a range of relatively generous parking concessions in the United Kingdom. This is facilitated through the issuing of a blue disabled badge which has to be conspicuously displayed on their vehicles. Its allowances are an acknowledgement of the difficulty this category of citizens would have in using public transport and recognition of their greater dependence upon private mobility.

Disabled parking concessions were first codified into law in December 1971 under “The Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970”. This act has been regularly updated and amended ever since. All disabled Blue badges are issued under its auspices and in compliance to its regulations.

Who actually is entitled to a Disabled Badge?

This is an area heavily shaded in grey and open to much conjecture and controversy, with alleged ‘sightings’ of ‘disabled badge holders’ supposedly and suspiciously sporting physiques that wouldn’t be out of place in an Olympic weightlifting contest adding to the mistrust and confusion!

These urban tales feed into popular but largely misinformed perceptions of disability to which the law has no truck. Let’s have a look at the lawful position. The law in this case being the most important till date amendment to the original Disabled motorists 1970 Act mentioned above.

This act is called “The Disabled Persons (Badges for Motor Vehicles) (England) Regulations 2000” which came into force on the 1st of April 2000.

It sets out the requirements and criteria for being issued a disabled badge by local authorities who are prescribed as the lawful issuing authorities. The criteria are set out in Part 2 Section 4 of the above Act. They include –

  • Any person receiving the higher rate of the mobility component of the disability living allowance in accordance with section 73 of the Social Security and Benefits Act 1982(a)
  • Any person using a car issued by the DSS or receives a grant from the NHS given under section 5(2((a)of the NHS Act 1977(b) or Section 46 of the equivalent Scottish legislation.
  • Any person registered blind under section 29(4)(g) of the NHS Act 1948(d) or Section 64(1) of the Scottish equivalent Act
  • Any person receiving a mobility supplement under article 26A of the Naval, Military and Air forces (Disablement and Death) Service and Pensions Order 1983 (or the Personal injuries scheme (for Civilians)
  • A person who has to drive a motor vehicle regularly but has severe impairments in both upper limbs which makes the turning of the steering wheel impossible
  • A person who has a ‘permanent and substantial’ disability which causes significant difficulty in walking

Any person who meets any of the criteria above can apply for a blue badge provided the person whose benefit it is for, is 2 years old or above.

Applying for a badge and appealing any initial rejection

The local authority of the area where the applicant resides would be the issuing authority for a disabled badge and the body to whom the application for it should be made.

If the application is turned down an appeal can be lodged with the Secretary of State for Transport.

Probably the most important legislation on Disabled parking which outlines all the concessions disabled drivers are currently entitled to is “The Local Authorities Traffic Orders (Exemptions for Disabled Persons) (England) Regulations 2000”.

This legislation defines a disabled motorist as a person possessing a Disabled Blue Badge issued under the Disabled persons act mentioned above.

Rights of blue badge Holders

The Local Authorities Traffic Orders (Exemptions for Disabled Persons) (England) Regulations 2000 outlines the concessions a disabled motorist is entitled to in section 6 of the legislation.

These include –

  • A 3 hour exemption from the waiting ban on yellow lines, provided these yellow lines are not subject to live loading bans (yellow kerb marks alongside the yellow lines)

Free unlimited parking on the following bays (bays authorised by the Road Traffic Act 1984 Section 45 and 46) –

  • Any pay and display, pay and park, meter, shared use, resident or permit bay
  • Any maximum stay parking bay
  • Any bay with a no-return within a specified period restriction.
  • Free unlimited parking on Disabled bays signposted with disabled upright signs and marked with the legend DISABLED in accordance with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions TSRGD 2002 Diagrams 661A (sign) and 1028.3 (Parking bay)

Limits of the badge

Locations where the above concessions do not apply

Due to traffic conditions in parts of central London, the above allowances do not apply in the following areas as stipulated by section 5(2) of “The Local Authorities Traffic Orders (Exemptions for Disabled Persons) (England) Regulations 2000” –

  • The City of London
  • The City of Westminster
  • The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
  • A part of Camden south of the Euston Road. This includes that part of Camden within the boundary of Euston Road, Upper Woburn Place, Tavistock Square, Woburn Place, Russell Square, Southampton Road, Theobalds Road and Clerkenwell Road. This area (where disabled badges carry no concessions in Camden) will include all of Holborn, Covent Garden, Tottenham Court Road and all parts of Camden to the west (bordering Westminster) and immediate east of Tottenham Court Road.

Restrictions where the Blue Badge does NOT provide ANY concessions

  • Any suspended bay
  • Waiting bans with live loading bans (yellow lines with live kerb chevrons or marks adjoining them on the pavement)
  • Parking on the footway
  • Parking on any stopping ban (i.e Restricted Bus Stops/Stands, Pedestrian zig zags crossing, school keep clear zig zag crossings)
  • Red Route Stopping Bans
  • Parking in front of a Crossover
  • Taxi ranks accompanied by stopping bans


Sailing on the Costa del Sol

Posted on November 15, 2018 in Uncategorized

Spain is part of the European Union and all EU and American nationals can visit the country for a period of no longer than 90 days solely with a passport. EU national can apply for a residency permit if they wish to extend their stay. Non EU nationals can apply for a further 90 day extension. These regulations do not appear to be enforced as far as the yachtsman living aboard is concerned. It is advisable to clear customs if entering Spain for the first time. The vessel’s registration papers and the passports of crew members will be required. A certificate of competence, evidence of the boat’s VAT status, a crew list with passport details, the radio license and a certificate of insurance may also be required. A VAT (Value Added Tax) paid or exempt yacht can apply for a “permiso aduanero” . This allows for an indefinite stay in the country and can be helpful when importing yacht spares from other EU countries. Boats registered outside the EU on which VAT has not been paid may be imported into the EU for a period not exceeding six months in any twelve, after that VAT becomes due. This period can often be extended by prior arrangement with the local custom authorities. There is a legal requirement for foreign vessels to fly their own national maritime flag together with the courtesy flag of Spain.

It is worth considering the following equipment when cruising this area. An SSB radio is useful for obtaining weather forecasts. It is very hot in the summer and ventilation is important. It may be worth fitting extra hatches and a wind scoop over the fore hatch will help a lot. An awning or biminy, covering the cockpit, to provide shelter from the sun is a must. A cockpit table is useful as eating outside during the summer months is one of the pleasures of cruising. Mosquitoes can be a problem and many boats screen all openings while others rely on mosquito coils, insecticides and repellents. Sunburn is the other hazard cruisers should be aware of, the sun can be deceptively strong while the boat is underway, plenty of cream and a hat will go along way to avoid the misery of sunstroke.

There is a constant east going current of between 1 and 2 knots flowing through the straight of Gibraltar and between the Costa del Sol and the north African coast. There is some tide to be considered at the western end of the region, Gibraltar sees 1 metre at most. This diminishes the further east traveled. The weather is affected by several systems and is consequently difficult to predict. There is an old saying that in the summer months nine days of light winds will be followed by a full blown gale that is inaccurate. A wind from the northwest is known as the “tramotana”. It can be dangerous because it can arrive and reach gale force in as little as 15 minutes. It often lasts for 3 days and can blow in excess of a week. The wind from the east, the “levante” can also blow for several days at gale force. Annual rainfall at Gibraltar is 760mm. The Costa del Sol will experience about 4 days a month of fog. Summer temperatures can exceed 35 degrees C and the winter months see around 15 degrees.

The remainder of this article looks principally at the harbours of the Costa del Sol. There are also numerous anchorages bbut only a few of the notable ones are mentioned here.

Marina Bay is largest of Gibraltar’s three marinas with 350 berths. Most berthing is stern/bow to. Larger yachts can lie alongside. Water and electricity on the pontoons. Within the complex you will find a chandlers, launderette and a good selection of restaurants and bars. There is an indoor market less than 5 minutes walk from the marina. Queensway Marina is much quieter than Gibraltar’s other two marinas. Security is excellent with all the pontoons being gated. Within the complex you will find several restaurants and bars.
Gibraltar itself was ceded from the Spanish to the British in the early 18th century and for most of it’s history since that time Spain has been trying to get it back. There is evidence of this wherever you go on the rock. The rock itself is honeycombed with tunnels constructed at one time or another for the purposes of adding to the defences of Gibraltar. Many of the older tunnels are open to the public and feature exhibitions of how life was for the soldiers of the day. Many of the tunnels are most definitely not open to the public and there is considerable speculation as to what might be seen in these. You can see Rosia Bay where Admiral Lord Nelson’s body was bought ashore from HMS Victory following his famous victory over a combined French and Spanish fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar. Nelson’s body was returned to Britain for a hero’s funeral but many of the seamen who died alongside him in the battle are buried on the rock at the Trafalgar cemetery. Take a cable car ride to the top of the rock, stunning views of Spain and across the straights to Morocco. Up here you will also find the famous colony of Barbary apes. Rumor has it that only when the apes are no more will the British leave the Rock. A rumor taken seriously by Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of Britain during the Second World War, who on learning of their dwindling population ordered more to be bought to the Rock from Africa.

Puerto de Sotogrande is an attractive marina complex surrounded by apartments, shops, bars and restaurants. The overall design has been inspired by Portofino. There are
sandy beaches to either side of the marina and golf, riding, tennis and squash courts nearby. One of the most expensive marinas on this part of the coast.

One of my favorites is Puerto de la Duquessa. Not too big and not to noisy. The marina is surrounded by apartments, shops, restaurants and bars. The marina offers free medical care to it’s users. There are sandy beaches either side of the marina. The village of Sabinillas is 5 minutes walk to the north. Another bus will take you to the village of Casares which clings to the side of a mountain. Marbella, popular with the rich and famous is another bus journey away. Don’t expect to see the famous on the bus though, they are the ones in the Ferraris. Hire a car and drive up to the picturesque town of Ronda.

Puerto de Estapona is a medium sized marina with the usual development of restaurants and bars.

Puerto de Jose Banus, the marina of the rich and famous and the prices reflect this. Whitewashed, Andalucian style building surround the marina, hosting boutiques, bars, restaurants and night clubs. There are several Yacht Charter and Yacht Brokerage operations within the marina complex. Marbella is 15 minutes away by car or bus. Good beach to the west of the marina which belongs to the hotel and allows berth holders access. This can be arranged at the control tower. Many golf courses in the area.

The small marina at Puerto de Marbella is surrounded by tourist developments. The marina can be noisy at night during the summer months. Wind from the east, south and southwest can produce a heavy swell within the harbour. Be prepared to double up on lines. Beaches on either side of the marina but these get very crowded during the summer months. The town itself is well worth exploring. Don’t miss the famous Orange Square which can be found at the heart of the city centre.

Puerto de Cabopino is a pleasant, small harbour surrounded by Andalucian style houses which makes a nice change from the normal high rise developments. Good shelter within the harbour. Limited space for transient yachts and it is recommended that you call ahead to confirm there is a berth available. Marina charges are on the high side. Cabopino beach, with it’s fine sand is reckoned to be one of the best on the Costa del Sol

Good shelter can be found at Puerto de Fuengirola. The nearby town is both noisy and very busy during the summer months. All provisions can be obtained in the town. There are good beaches on either side of the marina but these get very crowded during the summer months.

Puerto de Benalmadena is a huge marina with over 150,000 square metres of water. There is good shelter with the only swell being experienced in a W gale. Whilst the surrounding area is the usual overpowering high rise blacks the marina itself is quite attractive. It was named best marina in the world in both 1995 and 1998. There are over 200 commercial premises including boutiques, night clubs and the usual numerous restaurants and bars. There is also a sea life centre. There are good beaches on either side of the marina. Malaga airport is just 8 km away.

Puerto de Malaga is the major commercial and fishing port of the Costa del Sol. The only facilities for yachts are at the Real Club Mediterraneo de Malaga and there is little room for visitors. Malaga, known as the “City of Flowers” is both interesting and charming. It can be reached on foot from the port.

The small harbour of Puerto del Candado is found 3.5 miles E of Malaga. Suitable for vessels drawing 2m or less. With strong winds from the W – SW considerable swell builds up and the harbour becomes uncomfortable. Harbour charges are low

Puerto de Puerto Caleta de Velez is a quiet fishing harbour 22 miles to east of Malaga. There are beaches on either side of the marina.

The anchorages of Fondeadero de Neja and Cala de Miel are both worth a visit. Cala de Miel has a fresh water spring.

Marina del Este is a purpose built marina set amongst a huge housing development in a beautiful area. Wind from NE – E produces a limited amount of swell within the marina. Harbour charges are high in the summer months. There is a small beach close to the harbour and a pool at the yacht club. There are prehistoric caves to be seen at Nerja. The city of Granada and the famous Alhambra can be seen in a days trip. As can the Alpahurras valley, with it’s charming villages, towered over by the magnificent Sierra Nevada.

Once a small fishing port, Puerto de Motril has developed into a commercial port serving the inland city of Granada. Beaches on either side of the harbour.

The harbour of Puerto de Adra was founded by the Phoenicians and has been in use ever since. Today it is both a commercial and fishing port. The continual movement of the fishing boats makes for much disturbance. Facilities are limited. Harbour charges are high. Beaches on either side of the harbour. Adra town is small and has little in the way of development for tourism.

Puerto de Almerimar, a very large marina with the capacity for over 1,000 boats. Excellent shelter from everything but strong SW winds when some swell can build up towards the entrance of the harbour. Prices are low. Astonishingly so compared to some other marinas on the Costa del Sol. Sandy beaches on either side of the marina. This part of the coast is covered with plastic greenhouses, it has to be seen to be appreciated both for the vast number of acres under cover and it’s ugliness.

Puerto de Roquetas del Mar is a small fishing harbour. Strong winds from the SE – NE make the harbour uncomfortable.

Good shelter can be found at Puerto de del Aguadulce except with wind from the ESE which can cause some swell making conditions uncomfortable. The marina can cater for some 150 boats. The complex includes a swimming pool and squash court. Sandy beaches to the S with waters clean enough to merit a blue CE flag. Two 18 hole golf courses.

The Puerto de Almeria is a commercial & fishing port. Yachts use the Club de Mar del Almeria. There are several large rusty industrial structures close by a dominating the view and giving the place a rather grim feel. Overall the shelter is good but strong winds from the E produce swell that makes it uncomfortable within the marina. The Alcazaba inAlmeria, a Moorish castle, is well worth a visit.