From: Dave Peoples
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2012 7:48 AM
Subject: Antigua Revisited April 15-April 27th
Antigua Revisited April 15-28th
It’s the second time around for us with Antigua. As the date reflects we found we needed to file taxes and that required internet. So we dropped anchor in Falmouth and stayed aboard for two days as we downloaded numbers and roughed out our tax forms.
In the meantime we kept hearing about the Antigua Classic Yachts Week Races that were starting soon.
They have what are known as “Red Hat” parties. Mount Gay Rum sponsors them and for the price of 3 very heavy rum drinks you acquire a coupon for a classic red hat. We earned 2 coupons the first night, one the next night which we traded for a t-shirt, and tonight scored two more coupons, however it is only one hat per person. What they didn’t tell us up front about Classic Race Week is that every night there is FREE drinks, Free food, Free music and free parties…and so many of your cruiser friends to met and talk with that by the fourth or fifth night you are begging for a night of rest. The good news is our livers survived the abuse, and so did we. Every night we are up pass 11 PM or midnight, but then we do get to sleep in until 9 AM.
Jo and Jack, on Bodacious, gave us the thrill of a lifetime! One day they took a group of us out on their Krogen and we followed the race circuit with the racing yachts flying by us. Some of the boats were 30 feet working boats, while others were world renowned racers and over 200 feet in length. How majestic they all looked, and the seamanship to shift sails, change sails, and stay aboard a boat with no lifelines while slanted at 25 degrees or more is an accomplishment only some can claim. Dennis Conner was at the helm when our friend Tish was rounding a corner just ahead of him. Tish held his course and Conner had to yield the advantage—not everyone gets that opportunity. P.S. Tish was so focused on the course he never realized who was coming up on him. Dave could have crewed but chose to watch. Our friend Tish, from Miclo III , and Hakan, from Unicorn, did race and hearing their stories at the end of each day made it up close and personal. The Red Hats they earned look SO GOOD on them.
The best way to describe each night is it felt like we were at the best high school graduation party but it never ended. There was time to talk and hang with friends that we had just past in a port or met on another boat. Having 10 days together really helped you get to know each other on a deeper level, and having a land base supplying food and drink meant I haven’t done dishes in over a week! We celebrated Mark's birthday, had a ladies luncheon, had many dinners with friends on boats and on land, attended parties on the lawn with music going on through the night, and drank a soothing lemongrass, ginger lime rum drink called D'fever at Hamilton's.
Walking the docks, seeing up close the boats designed to race, meeting the crews, captains, and owners in a leveled playing field was also a source of another great story or two. Sunday was the Parade of boats and we dined at a waterfront restaurant which gave us front row seats of the festivities. Both camera died from the amount of pictures we took. Last night was another Red Hat party and we have more tickets to claim booty from Mount Gay Rum, the Red Hat distribution party is tonight. We will have to share that event with y’all later.
We had intended to stay here till April 17th but the romance of the race, the activities every day and night, the opportunity to be part of Classic Race Week just sucked us in and we are so glad we stayed. However, it means that we will more or less need to draw a bee line for Trinidad and prepare the boat for hurricane season storage. We have our son’s wedding in Texas on June 3rd, and what a happy event that will be for us all.
SORRY, no pictures till we get back to the states. But I promise they are worth looking at once were pare down from the 900+ we have taken in the past 2 months.
P.S. Good rum causes NO HANGOVERS and we can testify to that after 8 straight nights of it, however it does cloud your resolve to move on to the next destination!