The traditional Carib canoe Gli Gli sailed into Road Bay to the cheers of over a thousand excited Anguillians. Some of them noticed that sailing alongside the much anticipated canoe were two Optimist sailing dinghies with two members of Anguilla Youth Sailing Club (AYSC) at their helms. This made the AYSC youth the first Anguillians to greet the vessel as she arrived in our nation.
Four member of AYSC joined Gli Gli and her crew on their day of departure for Sombrero Island, 35 miles from Anguilla. After a last minute repair, the dugout canoe was loaded with supplies for the voyage. The sail was raised and Captain Aragorn Dick-Read blew the conk shell horn as Gli Gli slowly left Sandy Ground with the wind at her beam.
Gli Gli was joined with her mothership, the 90 foot square rigged schooner Fiddler’s Green, just outside Road Bay. The AYSC sailors (Pearson and Scout Bogar, Noah Gumbs, and Kendal Richardson) enjoyed the breeze in their faces as they constantly shifted their weight from one side of the canoe to the other to balance the helm as Captain Aragorn instructed. Fresh grapefruit and cold water were passed around and shared among the crew and kids.
As Gli Gli neared Prickly Pear Island, the youth were given the opportunity to board Fiddlers Green. A crew member from Fiddlers picked them up in a rubber dinghy and brought them over to board the classic schooner. They simultaneously bolted for the bow of the vessel to get the chance to climb up on the webbing beneath the bow sprit. It was a thrilling adventure to see the crystal, turquoise waters of the Caribbean pass below with the sight of Gli Gli’s square sail just off the stern to starboard. The weather cooperated to produce an idyllic morning adventure (and day of off school!) for the four AYSC sailors who, no doubt, gained an appreciation and respect for two novel vessels and their crewmembers. AYSC wishes to thank the crew of Gli Gli and Fiddlers Green for offering us the chance to sail with them.
Report and photo courtesy of Ryan Kuja and the Anguilla Youth Sailing Club