04/20/2011, The Mad Mongoose
On one of my walks to English Harbor for a 'bad' fuel drop off, I touched base with Cassandra to invite her for a visit after two years! Lorry and Stephen are considered locals here in Antigua, with their knowledge of everyone and most of the island! Cassandra is a mutual friend of Droukit Cronie and Altair, so it was a blast that she could join us tonight!
We are blessed to have made such great friends and having a local Antigian who embrace us cruisers with such open arms and a huge heart is a humongous bonus! We've stayed in touch for the two years we were south and we are blessed to have not missed a beat upon our return to Antigua!
Again, the food was super, company delightful and we need to leave. To dry out if nothing else! Yeiks!
04/19/2011, English Harbor, Nelson's Dockyard!
We walked to English Harbor to peek at some of the boats, and it was time to get some things taken care of! Propane to pick up, laundry pic up, water for the tanks!
I've been hiking every day, doing my nature photography and getting some exercise, but today Dudley wanted to walk to English Harbor! We had some more bad fuel to discard there and while Dudley was sitting on the bench people watching I took off for a photo session. Lots of photo ops, but when I got to this wooden boat with the funky turquoise hull, I had to stop and talk! Turns out he is the well known, 'ever-ebullient' Sir Phil Kerin.
He started to tell me about how he rescued this gaff rigged schooner, and brought her back to life after 4 years of rebuilding! I stopped him and asked if I could go get Dudley so he could benefit from an obviously gifted story teller! And could he ever talk! Wow. His life story is truly jaw dropping and he had never sailed this boat prior to entering her in this Classic Regatta! There was so much of his life that he shared with us (by the way, he was leaving in 5 minutes) I wish I had written it down or recorded it! He's well known for being a talker and he has a heartwarming story of how he fell from a yard and was almost fatally injured. The folks around English Harbor admired and loved him so much they raised enough money to pay his $46,000. medical bill, restore his accounts that were closed during his coma of 15 months and even more than we could begin to remember! Would love to invite him to dinner and record all this!
It was because of his invitation that we entertained coming to the awards ceremony. His boat made it to the races, "probably came in last" but he finished putting her finishing touches just in time to be a contender.
I can see Humphrey Bogart portraying this man's life! So colorful! Such a man of the sea!
04/18/2011, Where else...Kuhala, the party boat!
We are still here in Falmouth, still partying! I cannot believe that after yesterday, all day partying on their boat for a day at the Classic Yacht Regatta, Lyn and Harry agreed to host another evening, this time "Meheco" night! It turns out that Rick and Deb on Miss Heidi are foodies and made all the fixins for fahitas!
Margaritas by Lorry, "Viva Meheco" banner by moi, flan by Willie on Liahona, and it was magical...only way to put it! These folks, Lin and Harry should be needing a break by now, and so do we, but we had a great time!
Check out Lynn and Willie tipping the syrup from the flan! Too funny!
04/17/2011, Atlantic Ocean WINDWARD MARK!
We were invited on our new friend's 'cat', Kuhala, along with 10 or so others to watch the race way out at the windward mark! This sure beats hiking up the mountain, in the heat, carrying tp, water, sunscreen, towels, lunch, chairs, bug spray...you get the idea and everybody who had already done this said it was HOT!
What a spectacular day! The photography that was going on today was over the top! I shot almost 500 photos, and Lauren said she shot 1,800 with her Nikon and zoom lens! I got a ton of amazing shots of these incredibly gorgeous machines with my Canon, too scared to bring my new Nikon out here on the water!
What a treat! Thank you so much Kuhala, that was awesome taking us all out to the windward mark for this magnificent display of incredibly beautiful boat designs. The classes were: Traditional: fishing or cargo vessels built or converted to sail; Vintage: yachts with a full keel in original condition designed and launched before WWII; Classic: yachts with a full keel designed and launched after WWII; Classic GRP: fibreglass boats with long keels and descendants of wood boat design; Spirit of Tradition: Yachts built recently using modern methods and design, but retaining the original grace and style of the old classics. Last but not least is the Tall Ship class: Sail training and passenger vessels.
Truly a gift to be able to see these majestic boats in action with so many crew that it had to take months to train for this event! Remarkable!
Thanks so very much Kuhala, Lin and Harry, you are a class act yourselves!
Now you try picking just one of these beauties or a bunch...hopefully I'll get a chance to set up a photo album on this site for you to see the Classic Regatta or a lot of it anyway!
04/16/2011, Mad Mongoose...Party Central!
I don't know who really organized this evening, but I'd wager it was Lorry! They are planning the strategy for obtaining Mount Gay Hats, and other momentos for the Classic Regatta!
What a great bunch of people! Only problem is we are all still kids! Immediately, the guys gathered at one end and the girls at the other! Are we back in high school! Or is this our second childhood?
Connie has a great chef, Basil and the food is consistently super! Thanks Lorry! Thanks Stephen...and most of all thanks honey for another night out!
We seriously are going to have to go somewhere and dry out! This is only day 5 and we are bushed! The Regatta just started too!
04/16/2011, Behind Kuhala...
I went to help organize the evening where a big gang was going to meet at Mad Mongoose tonight and I was tied up to my new best friend's CAT, Kuhala!
As I was leaving, unclipping the painter from the stern, my wonderful, waterproof camera, the Canon, took a dive! I tore off my hat, my camera bag (which should've been zipped), and dove right in! The weather was cloudy, overcast and the water was turbid! I free dove about three times, they were anchored in 20' of murky water, but I couldn't get to the bottom nor see anything long enough. I was determined not to get discouraged, but I needed help. Lin immediately gave me some fins and a mask...still not able to get to the bottom and see anything! I flew back to Altair, got my weight belt, my mask and fins and it helped, but now I had to figure the swinging path the boat was making on her anchor. When I got back to our boat, I asked Dudley if I could call the diver that cleaned our bottom yesterday! He had to come back for the $30 we accidentally shorted him, so I didn't feel bad asking him to him to come by Kuhala next to us.
Maurice has a good system, for just such a predicament...score the bottom slowly to mark where he'd been then move along accordingly! He sent his two young helpers to get another tank and now I'm wondering if I closed all the openings as if I was going on a dive, etc.
He was taking too long and I was now afraid that a current might have carried my wee whittle camera away and he was going to charge more than the camera was worth!
He came up trying to act like he was not successful, but in the end he had a great big smile and the good news! He didn't want to charge a thing, was glad we were honest about the $30, but we gave him $70EC, (only $26 US), but it was a glorious moment. I love that camera!
Thanks Maurice, thanks honey, thanks Lin (for all your support)!