Michael and Susan left Florida in 2007 aboard their Westsail 43 INFINI to fullfill a dream of full time cruising.
4-15 Update and new video link
The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta has been hosted by the Antigua Yacht Club for 29 years. There's a full week of racing and activities, this year sponsored by Panerai and Mount Gay Rum Distilleries, amongst others. The latter is reflected in the shoreside activities of rum tasting, complementary drinks, a cocktail competition...you get the idea. For day one of racing, we tied our dinghy to a snorkeling buoy at the mouth of Falmouth Harbour and had a pretty good view of the single-handers. Today, we upped the ante and drove out to one of the large buoys placed for the race boats to round; a bird's eye view. The wind and current would push us north a bit, but we motored back to get the best views of the fleet. Sue was busy taking pictures and videos (a difficult proposition on a small dinghy moving around, even in a light chop), and I made sure we were well clear of everyone as they approached the buoy and tacked. All the boats were flying their full sail inventory, as apparent wind was about 8 knots. Crews lined the rails and we were about 30'-50' away from most of them. The larger boats had a bow person placed to signal the helmsman and advise timing. The attached video was one of the more exciting maneuvers we witnessed. The larger boat, named "Rebecca", is a 140' ketch designed by German Frers. Rebecca had tacked close to shore and was barreling towards the mark (and us!) when two other boats came on and had starboard rights (that is, they had the right-of-way on Rebecca). We hadn't seen the William Tripp yawl "Lazy Leg" (Hinckley B-40) and the other schooner to its starboard side until late, and I realized it was going to be a very close thing, indeed. As all three boats raced to the buoy, Rebecca had to finally give way to the smaller boats as it couldn't reach the mark before them, so finally bore off about 30 degrees, putting her a hell of a lot closer to us than I wanted to be. You'll see the action up close; check out the two other boats to the starboard side of Rebecca, and between her and the buoy; enjoy the racing! In the non-racing scheme of things, I re-insured Infini thru Anjo Insurances here in Antigua, as our yacht insurance was set to expire and our previous underwriter didn't want to cover us here in the Caribbean. We thought it odd that they were willing to insure us as we went around the world, but obviously weren't interested in the northern hemisphere, hurricane-prone Caribbean region. Oh well, no worries; there's lots of competition in the insurance world seeking our premium dollar. We've also eaten some great food; Le Cap Horn and Trappas restaurants get very high marks for delicious food and excellent service. You Tube video link: