Antigua Classic Boat Regatta
so much beauty!
For years, the Queens Cup at SSYC in Milwaukee, was the highlight of my sailing season. Now, the highlight is the biggest event in the Caribbean!
Once again we are in Antigua for the 25th Classic Yacht Regatta http://www.antiguaclassics.com/ with beautiful boats from yesteryear competing in 5 days of racing. All types of boats, from Gaff Rigged Schooners to Carriacou Work boats will show off beautiful sail configurations. There are many classes including vintage boats, modern boats built in the style of the old classics, and tall ships. The 124' j-class boats are the America's Cup competitors of the 1930s and are a sight to behold, but, the magnificent 180' Gaff Schooner Elena will take your breath away with her 12,000 sq ft of sails. The 109 foot Staysail Schooner Kairos entered the Single-Handed race last year as well as the main event (and I think I saw him go out again for the single today). Can you imagine? He had 2 observers on board for safety but the boat has 5 sails and rounding a mark with all that boat in front of you must be an adrenaline rush!
In addition to the race, many boats compete in the Concours d'Elegance. Here the judging is based on perfect varnish, polished fittings, etched glass and much more. Lafita took overall honors last year, with 7 classes in all. As the owner of a 34 year old classic myself, walking the docks to admire these boats is a humbling experience.
For some great pics of previous years, go to http://www.photoaction.com/clas11/clas11.htm
Whale sightings near Barbuda
Beautiful water and miles of beach
4-1 Yes it is April Fools day but this is no joke! We saw whales everywhere yesterday on our trip to Barbuda. A 30 mile lovely beam reach was accentuated with whale activity like I have only dreamed of. Watching a whale 'breach' (shooting completely put of the water) with binoculars was great. Then seeing several come up for a breath much closer (and not needing binoculars) and seeing the big tail rise out of the water as they dive again was very exciting. But the final sighting was just a boat length or two away, as a whale was swimming along side us! Of course I was too excited to get a pic so I had to use one off the net.
Barbuda boast a 12 mile pink sand beach and the view is as lovely as the advertisements. We hauled our dingy across the sand beach to reach the inner harbor and motor the mile to the little town. Only 1600 people live here and it just might be the last unspoiled paradise.
4-3 After two nights off the beach, we motored into the reefs on the south coast of the island. A pod of Dolphins played on our bow before rushing off to find more fun somewhere else. Here you need someone on the bow watching the water as you dodge millions of years of coral growth rising to the surface, just waiting to cause your boat damage. Snorkeling we saw a variety of soft coral as well, along with all our favorite swimming buddies. Two more nights here and we will head back south to the reefs on Antigua's north coast. We are checking out all the snorkel spots for Amie (Steve's Daughter) and Danny's visit at the end of the month.