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Insurance be Damned!

As many
readers know from articles in All at Sea
over the years, Antigua is very quiet in the
summer. What many of you may also know is that this silence is affected deeply
by the blanket ruling of the insurance underwriters. Our latitude is considered
“risky” and therefore damage caused by named storms during the
hurricane season would not be covered. Insurance companies fail to realize the
unique landscape of the Antiguan south coast and the natural hurricane shelter
that is provided by English
Harbour. The insurance
companies also fail to realize the technological abilities of today’s
vessels.

Well, welcome to Fleurtje! In an
unprecedented move, the 189’ Schooner, built in 1960 by the Dutch yard of
G. de Vries Lensch, arrived
at Falmouth Harbour Marina smack in the middle of hurricane season. There is a
long history between Fleurtje
and Antigua, which includes many awards at The
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. However, at this time of year, she is usually
based out of Nassau Grand Bahamas. Having just completed a re-fit in the
United States, Fleurtje’s team had the
choice of any port along the eastern seaboard and chose to return to
Antigua.

In doing
so, the team takes advantage of our unique situation.
Fleurtje
can make 200 to 250
miles per day and with today’s advanced weather tracking systems, she can
monitor the weather as it develops and make a decision to sail north or south
as the weather dictates.

It has
been a pleasure to have Fleurtje
in our normally empty harbour this summer. Her
presence has served as a reminder of what the year long possibilities once were
and what they could be once again. It is important to remember that Nelson
chose Antigua as the base for the British
Fleet long before the technologies of today.

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