The Voyages of s/v Lucky Bird

21 June 2019 | Wickford Cove Marina
20 May 2019 | Antlantic Yacht Basin
13 May 2019 | Homer Smith Marina, final Salty Dawg Destination
21 April 2019 | Frenchtown, St. Thomas V.I. Easter Celebration
20 April 2019 | Brewers Bay, St. Thomas VI
11 April 2019 | Nanny Cay Marine, Tortola, BVI
28 March 2019 | Green Cay Marina, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
25 March 2019
24 February 2019 | Jolly Harbor Marina, Antigua
21 December 2018 | Jolly Harbor Marina, Antigua, W.I.
20 December 2018
13 December 2018

St. Barths, the Bucket Regatta is About to Begin

19 March 2019
Robert & Alice Smith
St. Barths, a small island south of St. Martin, east of Saba and north west of Antigua. No space for much agriculture, not much on the way of manufacturing, but do they do a great job selling themselves. This is a mecca for the extremely wealthy from around the world. We sailed here from St. Kitts, about a 50 km trip with the wind 90 - 100 degrees mag and we were sailing about 355. So it was a beam reach and a little further aft of beam, just what our Lucky Bird loves. We unfurled the jib, left the main in the mast and off we went, we averaged just over seven knots for the trip with our new autopilot steering all the way. Just one of those off the wind gorgeous times on the Caribbean waters.

So let's talk a little about what happening here.

First let me explain about sail boat mast rigging in particular spreaders. At home on Lake Michigan most sail boats have two sets of spreaders, occasionally three for the larger boats like the GL70s. For the most part masts are 50 to 60 feet. Now here in Barths, with two sets of spreaders you are a tiny boat, like Lucky Bird, with three you are a small to medium sized boat, with four you are a medium to large and with five, you own a super yacht.

The Bucket Regatta is for cruising and racing yachts of a minimum of 30 meters, that's 98.5 feet. That's the minimum; there are a few in that range but most are way beyond that size with masts that stretch up and up with five sets of spreaders. These are the super yachts that flock to Barths for this Regatta. At night the harbor is lit buy these boats with lights on there spreaders, aiming up and down from each, and red lights at their mast heads. It is truly an unbelievable expression of wealth.

I've owned and raced a C&C 35, a Beneteau First 42, a J/105 and at the start of every race I had butterflies in my stomach. Now picture steering a 150 - 200 foot yacht under full sail heading for the line with your best buddies on their five spreader rigged super yachts trying to beat you to the sweet spot on the line. No touching here, RIGHT! I can just hear one crew calling "Go up, Go up!!" to a boat to windward as they luff up to the line, wow!! And then, with just a few seconds to the start and all boats start falling off for speed, talk about nerves,yikes!. These boats can accelerate to 10+ knots in a blink of the eye. If the winds up probably, 12 - 15 knts and when they round the corner and head off the wind, out with the chutes and they are off.

We've rented a car for Thursday and Friday to tour the island and then chase the boats as they sail around the island in the first race of the Regatta.

I'm a die-hard sailor blessed with a wife who loves the water, and is not afraid to go offshore. Yes I am one of the lucky ones. So for me being here in St. Barths with all that's going around us is simply phenomenal. I am in sailors dream heaven. In my lifetime, what's left, I'll probably never sail on one of these giants but I can watch and admire. We are here enjoying the show and my sense it that's better than not.

Here's a shot of an example of the wealth that's here for the Regatta.



This is the private yacht s/v A, built in 2015, 469 feet in length, 82 feet in beam, that's almost two Lucky Birds, with 40,330 sq ft of sail area




This is s/v Perseus 3, 194 feet in length, 36 feet in beam. The red dots are the crew!

Tonight I counted 20 boats with their spreader lights on and red mast head lights. It is a site more awesome to me than Falmouth and English Harbors of Antigua.
Comments
Vessel Name: Lucky Bird
Vessel Make/Model: 1990 Moody 425 cc
Hailing Port: Kenosha, WI
Crew: Robert & Alice Smith
About:
Alice and I have spent considerable time together on the water; cruising and racing on the waters of New England, the Caribbean and Lake Michigan.

Sailing is our passion and together we've been fortunate to experience the thrills, the camaraderie and the enjoyment boating provides. [...]

We seek the freedom, excitement and challenges of voyaging.

Lucky Bird's Photos - Main
This is our second journey south to the Caribbean. This time we've chosen to exit Lake Michigan and proceed south through the in-land waterway system to Mobile. We'll start around Labor Day and take our time exploring the history of middle America.
206 Photos
Created 28 July 2017
30 Photos
Created 12 July 2013
101 Photos
Created 17 July 2012
Bob and Alice return to Lucky Bird after spending the summer in Addison.
31 Photos
Created 4 December 2010
Heading into the Windward Islands and further south
108 Photos
Created 22 February 2010
121 Photos
Created 11 June 2009