When the RORC Caribbean 600 exploded on the scene some seven years ago, there were those who had their doubts about the race and were of the opinion that it would not prosper. How wrong they were. Not only has the race grown in stature, it brings to the Caribbean some of the world’s greatest sailors and the most spectacular boats on the planet. Having crossed the finish, one well-known French skipper said this year’s RORC Caribbean 600 had as much, if not more, going for it than the famous Fastnet Race. Crews love this race, and their comments about sailing around the beautiful Caribbean always make me smile as some of the faster boats are passing the islands at over 20 knots, the crew on the rail looking seaward in the dark. This can only mean they are referring to our wonderful sailing conditions, and that’s okay by me. That this race attracts the world’s best is a shot in the arm for other Caribbean Regattas as many of these boats go on to compete on the winter racing circuit. Their presence is a boost for the Caribbean and Caribbean sailing; it enriches our sport and takes it to another level.
Night watches, I love them. There’s something about the close of day at sea that touches me like nothing else. The slow burn as the sky turns crimson and gold and the sun slides beneath the waves. The knowledge that you are contained in your own world, that darkness is nigh and, even if you wanted to, there is no escaping a night at sea. At night, more than any other time, the boat offers comfort; it becomes a cave, a womb, a place of refuge and rest. I always feel safe when tucked into a warm bunk during a night at sea. What a feeling of contentment knowing your watch mate is guarding the entrance to the cave and for a few hours you are safe from the troubles of the outside world. Of course, you have to trust your watch mate or it’s a recipe for disaster. Cruiser Birgit Hackl trusts her watch mate and on page 34, she tells of how they manage night watches aboard their yacht Pitufa. Birgit’s article is full of practical tips and advice and describes how she and her husband prepare for the dark hours while at sea.
We like to bring you guides to events happening in our region, and this month we include a guide to Caribbean Regattas, taking place from April to the end of 2015. In May we will publish our guide to sports fishing. Our readers tell us that they appreciate these guides, but they have got us into trouble in the past. Although we do our best to include as much information as possible, inevitably some events are left out. If you are running an event and would like it mentioned in All At Sea then please send the information to us in good time and we will do our best to include it in our guides.
A few months ago I received an article from contributor Joe Zentner in which he describes hearing the sands of Bequia sing. My first thought was that Joe had partaken of too much Jack Iron rum, but on reading through the article he convinced me that what he said was true. After all, Joe supported the story with some pretty solid research. I find articles like this intriguing, and realize that often I walk around with ears and eyes closed. The Singing Sands of Bequia is a fun article and I would enjoy reading more. If you know of trees that whistle, shrubs that dance or rocks that swim, please get in touch.