Another day in Antigua. Iconic yachts everywhere.

Well, here I am and it’s yet another day in Antigua.   Brenda’s settled in at home in CT and my friend Craig arrives in a short while for a week of sailing.  I expect to be underway and bound for the BVIs by Sunday evening.  We hope to stop in St Martin and perhaps St Barths along the way, but it looks like that a coming north swell will make the St Barths anchorage unpleasant.  Alas, an extra day enjoying French food in St Martin.  I expect we will find a way to adjust.

A friend of mine sent me a note a few days ago asking “what great boats arrived in Antigua today?”.   That’s a good question as it does seem that, as the classic yacht regatta gets closer, more and more iconic yachts are making their way here every day.

Just for fun, and it was fun, I walked around Nelson’s Dockyard today and took some shots of a few new-comers.

Of course, it’s debatable if there is a more iconic yacht than Bolero, the Olin Stephens designed 72′ yacht launched in 1949.  She was first to finish in the Bermuda race three times and set a speed record for that race that stood or 17 years.  Her current owners have lavished attention on her and she’s a sight to behold. This article from Yachting is worth reading about the history of this very special yacht.

Here’s a modern classic from Gannon and Benjamin in Martha’s Vineyard.   This isn’t the first photo I have posted of Juno but what a beauty she is and to see these two magnificent yachts right next to each other.  What a sight.Want to see more about Juno.  This link has a number of additional photos.

Perhaps the most remarkable arrival today is the schooner Columbia, a replica of the famous fishing schooner of the same name launched in Essex MA in 1923. Years in the planning and construction, Columbia is true to her history.    At 141′ long, she is sleek and a sight to behold.   This is an excellent article and gives a good feel for how much thought and care went into bringing her to life.  I wish I could be here in Antigua to see her stretch her legs.  Alas, I have to leave before the racing begins.

You get a feel for the attention to detail down to how carefully her jib is stowed.This video of her launch and sea trials is worth viewing. Of course, there are still plenty of “big girls” that dwarf these classics here in the harbor.  How about this lineup?  “Excuse me, can you spare a bit of Grey Poupon?”Just about everything here seems bigger than the next.  The masts tower into the sky. To give you a feel for the scale of these monsters.  This closeup of the mast on the left above has someone working aloft.  As I type away, I a feathered visitor seems completely unconcerned that my hands were typing away so close by. Well, I could go on all day about the magnificent yachts here in Antigua.  Perhaps I’ll, close with shot of a rising nearly full moon last night.  What a view. Yes, just another day in Antigua and what a day it is.

It’s almost time to meet Craig at the dock and head out to Pandora, a welcome “tot” of rum and a swim.  Yes, that will surely set the tone for Craig’s visit.

Welcome to Antigua for yet another day in the winter home for the icons of yachting.


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