Caribbean 2001 Photo's
Sailing in the Caribbean (9-23Apr01)- I head down to the Caribbean for some sailing - racing and cruising. It is past due for a sunny vacation! I'm joining up with the yacht Alliance based out of Portsmouth, England. It's a group of people that I used to race with when I lived in England. They have moved the boat over to the Caribbean for the spring racing series.
On the first day I land I spend the night in a B&B in Charlotte Amine. The landlord is helpful the place clean and close to the city. Looking for a place? www.crystalpalaceusvi.com The place has a great view of the harbor.
Next day I join up with the yacht. Mark Kenworth is skippering, an old friend of many racing days. The boat is at the St. Thomas yacht club.
If we can get some more people we will participate in the Rolex Regatta later in the week. Just around the corner from the yacht club I see what happens to a yacht on the rocks!
We return to St. Thomas Yacht Club where we have enough crew to race. Yea. The next couple of days are preparation for racing - taking off weight, scrubbing the bottom, putting on the racing sails, etc. I do get a nice sunset over the yacht club one night.
We begin the racing. It's 3 days of racing.
Quite of the few big boys are out racing, professional crew, lot's of money.
The focus on the mark for the rounding.
Donnybrook - one of the big ones. Crew is all on the rail to maximize the weight.
Racing is over,,, the crew are assembled for a full shot.
Some professional pictures of us racing!
We end up with a 3rd place trophy. A nice bit of glass for the effort!
Mark and I head out with the boat for some rest at hurricane hole on St. John. Below is a shot of Alliance, a Sigma 38.
There are mango trees around water's edge. Root's growing into the salt water. Amazing. I get some more snorkeling in here. I see barracuda, jelly fish, multi-color fish, squid, sting ray, coral, plants, etc. It's amazing fun for me. I've not done any blue water snorkeling before. I burned my back one day, snorkeling to long with my upper back cooking in the sun.
Another beautiful sunset in paradise.
Mark and I slog it down to St. Martin. 150 miles of sailing, wind on the nose, rough seas. We run single person watches, 2 hours on, 2 hours off. 30 hours of sailing. A tough sail. The high points were the amazing fluorescent algae - better than any I ever seen, and flying fish. They really do fly. They flap the fins and can fly along the surface for a way. Nothing wakes you up like getting hit by a wet, flying fish in the dark! At St. Martin we find the money yachts. This one has a helicopter on the back!
But the entrance to the harbor is narrow and provides for a good spectator sport!
Magnitude and Equation, class 1 yachts also come up from St. Thomas for some refitting and practice. It's a cheap place for yachts and they have great supply stores to do the required work.
We rent a car one day and go for a drive. How's that for a view! See the boats? The are former America's Cup boats that are raced as a fleet! Way cool.
Look at those lines!
The beer budget exceeded all other budgets! Here we are in the soggy dollar bar enjoy the evening!
Last morning I'm on board we get bumped by an out of control boat trying to go threw the moorings. He pulls our anchor out. After we pull away he hits several more yachts. It's an old fishing boat out of Honduras. What a scary lot on board her.
The guys on board headed to St. Bart's then on to Antigua for Antigua race week. They will have a good time.
At Antigua they make the photo gallery for the first day of racing. See below. Mark is on the leeward rail helming. John the owner is on the windward rail checking out the competition. Tim's web site is a great place to get some pic's for your boat racing! He has a searchable database of photo's.
A great break from work! I came home to start the summer brown! If fly from St. Martin to St Thomas. I spend the night in the B&B again, then spend the morning and early afternoon at Magen's Bay. It is a beached rated in the top ten best beaches in the world. I certainly enjoyed it!