That’s it, today Brenda and I head home to CT and some holiday time with friends and family. We can’t wait to see our grandchildren, in particular. I’ll bet that we won’t recognize them after a month away. Excited.
Pandora is on a mooring in English Harbor for the next month. It’s a beautiful spot. Very serene this morning with a view of the Dockyard. It was unusually still and calm, compliments of the late season hurricane in the north Atlantic that has suppressed the trade winds. They should kick in again in a few days. The Admiral’s Inn off our stern. And some beautiful boats off of our bow. Notice the Long Tail boat from Thailand, owned by Paul from the Inn. Hold that thought as I was able to get a ride on the his really unique boat a few days ago. Details to come on that outing. It’s been a crazy week with events every evening and sometimes during the day as well. In addition, I’ve been really busy with meetings including a lunch with the Minister of Tourism that has taken an interest in the rally given the number of boats and crew that we have brought to the island. He feels that cruisers are the highest value visitors to the island as they stay for a long time and spend money with a large variety of businesses, something that isn’t the case with cruise ship visitors or those who visit all-inclusive resorts.
Anyway, it’s an exciting time to be here and I am really looking forward to next steps when I return to the island at the end of December. In the mean time, I have some homework to do to prepare our thoughts on how to partner more fully with the Government of Antigua.
After so many events here since the first boats arrived more than a week ago, it’s hard to say which event was the “best”. I loved them all but the one event that is particularly special to me is the Tot Club. You know, the group that Toasts the Queen each evening, carrying on a long tradition in the British Navy?
So, it was fitting that our last “official” even was on Friday in the Dockyard, in spectacular venue, in one of the old historic buildings. It was a beautiful space and wonderfully photographed by Brenda who preferred being a spectator to gulping an alarming amount of rum. The group gathered under the stars. Mike and particularly Ann, my sponsor when I joined the group two years ago, were there preparing the Tot. Of course, there were readings from British Naval history.Introductions of our guests by me. Bottoms up. Of course, the “tot” must be swallowed in a “single go”. I’ll admit that it burns. One of our events was an evening BYOB on Shirley Heights, a historic lookout for the British Navy. We went up to watch the sunset, normally spectacular. However, a huge squall came through and brought very limited visibility an many wet Dawgs. I just love this photo of some of the kids from the rally enjoying the view. What a great group. Brenda and I have noticed, over the years, that “boat kids” are universally wonderful and seem to have social skills that are far above the norm. Perhaps I’ll leave it at that for now as I have to pack to head home to see our own grandchillen.
All and all, a wonderful week and with so many “atta boys” about the events from skippers and crew from the rally. With all that positive energy, I’m raring to go to plan for some spring events and next fall’s arrival of the 2020 rally to Antigua.
So, there you have it. The arrival of the 2019 Salty Dawg Rally to Antigua. It’s a wrap!