If you follow this blog you know that I am the Port Captain in Antigua for the Salty Dawg Fall Rally to the Caribbean this fall. The rally has a number of destinations and I will admit that I am biased about where you should make landfall.
In particular, I think that you should make your destination Antigua. And, it’s all about what happens once you arrive. In spite of what some say, it’s not all about the journey and after an ocean run of over 1,000 miles, you will be ready for some R&R and have we got some great R&R in store for you.
I have gotten a number of questions about what is planned for those who do the rally or join us in Antigua, so here goes. Some have also asked me if they could join in with the fun even if they don’t do the rally and the answer is YES!
We’d hope that you would decide to join the Salty Dawg Sailing Association but that’s up to you, so come to the party. N0, make that “parties” as there are plenty of events coming your way in Antigua.
Better yet, if you are one of the many Dawgs that have been down in Grenada or Trinidad for the summer, sail north to Antigua in November and join us. It’s not that far, really, and I promise we’ll make it worth the trip.
The arrival activities are slated to begin when the bulk of the boats in the rally arrive in Antigua so for planning purposes, they are slated to kick off on November 13th and run for nearly 10 days.
Let’s call it “A Week of Celebration, Antigua style”
The goal is to tap into the best of what Antigua has to offer and to do so in a way that won’t break the bank.
So, with that in mind, we will be hosting a series of fun events to celebrate your arrival in Antigua, wherever you come from.
It’s all centered on Nelson’s dockyard, arguably the most spectacular destination in the Caribbean. I am working with the National Parks commissioner to arrange for discounted dockage, probably somewhere in the $.50US/ft/day, a bargain in a spot as beautiful as this.Nelson’s Dockyard: The plan is for all “Dawgs” to tie up along the dock for a week of fun. This historic dockyard is one of the most beautiful and well-protected harbors in the Caribbean. Nelson’s Dockyard, the only operating Georgian Dockyard in the world, was once home to the British Royal Navy. You will be in the heart of the Salty Dawg Arrival activities when you join the fleet here.
You can also anchor in Falmouth or even in English Harbor but wherever you are, these events await…
Tuesday, November 13th it all begins…
Antigua Sailing Center Happy Hour: Overlooking beautiful Falmouth Harbor, the sailing center is active for local sailors. Join us for drinks and appetizers at special happy hour prices. $5 US payable at the door and cash bar.
Thursday, November 15th
Rhum, Reggae and Art: Join us for an evening of fun to celebrate the season opening of Rhythm of Blue Art Gallery, located between Falmouth and English Harbor. There will be a local Reggae band on hand to set the mood along with complimentary light snacks, rum drinks as well as beer and wine for sale at very reasonable “happy hour” prices. Who knows, you might win a prize.
Friday, November 16th
The Royal Navy Tot Club of Antigua and Barbuda: An evening with this group was one of our most popular events last fall. The “Tot Club” grows out of the discontinued tradition of issuing a “tot” of rum to all officers and seamen in the Royal Navy. Learn about local British navy history and raise a glass with fellow Dawgs and Tot Club members all for $3 US, such a deal, payable at the door. Includes a “tot” of fine rum in a fabulous historic location. Drinks at happy hour prices are also available.
Saturday, November 17th
Fleet Welcome Happy Hour at Admiral’s Inn: This venue, in the heart of Nelson’s dockyard, is arguably the most scenic venue in the area. Our fleet will be treated to drinks at happy hour drink prices as well as supplied light hors d’oeurves. $10 cover charge, per person, payable at the door.
It’s a spectacular venue. Our arriving skippers and crew last fall.
Sunday, November 18
Antigua Yacht Club Member/Guest Welcome Reception: Enjoy appetizers and even a welcome rum drink, compliments of the Yacht Club. This event is a must as we meet local members of this wonderful club overlooking beautiful Falmouth Harbor. Government dignitaries will be invited as well as members of the Marine Trades Association so you can meet businesses that can solve any problems you might have with your boat. Cash bar.
Monday, November 19th
North Sails Open House at the Loft: Complimentary beer, wine and snacks at the North Sails Loft, English Harbor along with fun door prizes. You can’t beat free!
Tuesday, November 20th
Safe Arrival Welcome Dinner, Admiral’s Inn: Held poolside at Boom restaurant, at the Admiral’s Inn with a breathtaking view of English Harbor, this enormously popular event celebrating our arrival, will feature a barbecue dinner overlooking beautiful historic Nelson’s Dockyard in English Harbor. (reasonable fee)
Thursday, November 22nd
Thanksgiving Dinner at the Antigua Yacht Club: To be held at the Antigua Yacht Club and managed by Angie in “the Clubhouse.” This event with a popular local band will carry a modest fee and will also be open to all Antigua Yacht Club members.And, if you and your crew need some shore-time, the Admiral’s Inn is offering rooms for arriving crew and skippers at very attractive “dawg rates” starting at around $150 per night. Contact The Admiral’s Inn for more information. Mention that you are with SDSA for these rates.And, of course, on the “off nights” there will be informal pot luck dinners and cocktails behind our boats in Nelson’s Dockyard.
Finally, can’t decide where you want to cruise this winter? Antigua is ideally situated for cruising farther south as well as making your way, on a civilized broad reach of course, toward the Virgins, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas later in the season.
Oh yeah, one more thing. If you hang out in Antigua for New Year’s Eve, you’ll see spectacular fireworks in the Dockyard. It’s not to be missed. But best of all, all season long, you’ll see sunsets like this. So, there you have it and there’s lots in store when you join us in Antigua.
Still not convinced? Need more information? Contact me, Antigua Port Captain, Bob Osborn, firstname.lastname@example.org