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The Antigua Charter Yacht Meeting

It was a post-war family adventure that led the Nicholson
family to Antigua and they, in turn, led the Caribbean
to the Charter Yacht industry. In fact, they started it! What has now become a
multi-million dollar industry for the region was born out of
English Harbour,
Antigua.

In 1949,
the Nicholson family opened the first charter yacht company in the
Caribbean using their own yacht, the
Mollihawk
, the 70’ Schooner
on which the family had made the Atlantic Crossing

The Mollihawk had
come to the family a little worse for wear but with a refit and some gentle
family pushing, she left the United Kingdom
and after a seven week crossing, she arrived in
Barbados on New Years Day. Little
did anyone realize at the time, the New Year was going to bring a New Life! In
February, the Nicholsons had sailed north to
Antigua and in March they “came alongside the inner
wharf at the Naval Dockyard (now historic
Nelson’s Dockyard).” Vernon Edward Barling
Nicholson, his wife Emma and their two boys Rodney and Desmond had found their
home.

It was
there, in the deserted and decrepit Naval Dockyard, that
the charters began. One day, a passing gentleman admired
Mollihawk
and asked VEB for
passage to Dominica.
Mr. Nicholson took him up on the request and off they went. Where luck or fate
had it, this gentleman was a wealthy businessman from

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