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A Quick Check in from Antigua Sailing Week 2014

We arrived late on Friday the 25th from St. Thomas via LIAT and the quick trip to a bed was in order.. up early Saturday for the Round Antigua race and off we went in a light SE breeze counter clockwise like the old days. Have to explain that to certain crew members from the digital age as “clockwise” does not register as a direction.
In the old days we always got parked off the West end where the lee of the island wobbles near Sandy Island and this was no different. We sailed high and caught plenty of boats with our effort.. and then started the long upwind back to Shirley Heights for the finish.
Going around a round island is so different for us from the VI as there is always a corner we turn and then see the destination.. with Antigua each corner reveals another and another and if you did not know better you would think you were making no progress.
Because of the light air we were finished at a gate at Cades Reef and ended up 6th in class on High Tension, the Mumm 36 from Antigua we have joined for the season. A long day as it was after 5:30 when we made it back to the original finish line.
Yesterday was the start of Sailing Week and our type of breeze as we rounded a number of buoy’s on the SE end of Antigua. We held our own and finished 2nd in class and were treated to nice views of ICAP Leopard screaming around the course faster than wind speed.. 100′ of big boat is powerful to watch. We also had a visitor on the drop off as a 12′ Tiger shark rose up to check us out as we sailed by. Clear skies and sweet breeze all day with more scheduled today (Monday).
A riotous ride home after all of that too.. I took Kai up to Shirley Heights to see the views and the Blockhouse overlook was breezy and cool. Amazing to look out over the course in the afternoon sun to gain perspective. We then headed home to Berni’s house and got caught up in a motorcade for one of the parties hoping to win elections.. felt like being in a parade and was total West Indian “melee” with laughing and yelling and opposing parties smacking each other playfully with their banners and signs.
We asked one roadside reveler who seemed to enjoy the atmosphere more than figuring out who to vote for- “when the elections were scheduled” as it seemed to be the next day based on the pitch of the campaigning- and were told- “we don’t know!”
And the band played on…

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