Antigua is known for its beautiful beaches and pristine water. Much pleasure activities take place around this natural beauty that surrounds the island. A couple of weeks ago I was exposed (again) to this aspect of Antiguan life both from a professional point of view as well as from a pleasurable point of view. I was asked at short notice to write an article on Yachting in Antigua for a regional magazine. Naturally I had to do some research and I have to thank Kathy Lammers of the Antigua Regatta Organizing Committee for coming to my rescue.
The Greaux Family on board ‘Good To Go’
Kathy gave me loads of information on the various activities that make up the Antigua Yachting Calendar with the season running from December to April every year covering a variety of events that cater to all classes of yachts. The season officially starts with the Antigua Charter Yacht Show in December (which is the largest trade show of its kind in the world and attracts over 100 yachts each year) and ends with the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta and the famous Antigua Sailing week in April. She also gave us permission to use fantastic footage of the Antigua Sailing Week, The RORC 600 and the operations of the National Sailing Academy whose main purpose is to expose and train young Antiguans to sail not only for pleasure purposes but also as a possible career option.
For more information please use any of the following links:
Beautiful water outside Jolly Harbour
The following weekend I was invited to attend my first ever Poker Run (who knew you could play poker with boats 🙂 )…I had no idea what to expect especially since I have no clue how to play poker but it sounded like a lot of fun so we went to see what it was all about and I am so glad that I did, not only did I have a fabulous time but I was able to assist in writing an article on it for a local yachting newsletter…
On Saturday March 24th, 2012 at approximately 10:30am we set out from the Jolly Harbour Marina amidst the gorgeous back drop of blue skies and crystal clear water. The run was organized by my friend Tom Hellier of Antigua Marine & North Sound Marina and his colleague J.D. Hall of Adventure Antigua.
Based on the rules of poker, anyone could buy a hand for $15o.oo XCD. At the briefing meeting they would be given a list of 5 points around the island where they would travel to by boat to collect a series of cards in sealed envelopes, the wild card being delivered at the last stop at Dickenson Bay bringing the total amount of cards to 6. The cards were then handed in at the desk by each participant for tallying. In total there were 70 hands played that day and a total of 24 boats.
We were on board the Knotty Buoy which at the time was owned and captained by Richard Fletcher (he has since sold it much to Gianna’s dismay). Richard was the perfect host pointing out landmarks and tourist attractions along the way while navigating and driving us from point to point at top speed. The water was not exactly calm that day and I was worried that Gianna would either get seasick or bounced out of the boat…silly me…every time we hit a wave I would be hanging on for dear life while she and her partner in crime Chris yelled ‘Uncle Richard is awesome let’s go faster!!!’ (please bear in mind that together they probably do not weigh 100 pounds so Erica and myself as diligent moms did our best to anchor them to us while holding on tightly lol) …
The kids – Gianna, Chris and Tina
The first stop on the list was Carlisle Bay where a team of 2 waited to hand us our first card, this was followed by Bird Island, North Sound Marina (located at Crabbs) and Maiden Island where players were able to dock up, have a bite to eat, have a drink or two, swim and generally enjoy the day.
Colleen collecting the cards
Lymin’ @ Maiden Island
The last stop was at Deep Bay after which the boats gathered at the Pepperz n Lime restaurant in Dickenson Bay for the prize giving. It was a very laid back, festive atmosphere with lots of food, drinks, laughter and entertainment. Marsha Hellier served as MC for the afternoon and organized a series of children’s activities including a sand sculpture competition, tug of war and hula hoop competition. The adults were not to be left out as the ladies proved that they were the stronger sex during their tug of war competition (no surprise there).
I was amazed at how organized and relaxed the day was considering that this was only the second time that Tom and JD had put on this event in Antigua. In true Antiguan style it was a day of fun for all, children and adults alike. Not only was it exciting to see who would win the prizes but it afforded participants an opportunity to experience the beauty of the Antiguan coast by sea.
Us on the ‘Knotty Buoy’