Tuesday, March 06, 2007

st martin's heineken regatta

St. Martin has been trying to get their regatta bigger than our Antigua Sailing Week for ages and has done an amazing job of it over the past couple of years. The main difference i guess is how well their event is organized. It is extremely professional at all levels in my opinion and you can tell that it’s being done by professional managers and not just volunteers. The parties are exceptionally well run and we have gone down to the even the last 3 years mainly for the party action.
This year we couldn't miss because Stephen and Damian Marley were performing after the prize giving. I saw Stephen Marley sing here in Antigua years and years ago when he was performing his other brother Ziggy who was extremely popular at the time. At the moment, Damian Marley is one of the biggest reggae stars on the planet with a huge following world wide. My sister saw him in England and said it was awesome. We had to go! The gang on Xtreme comprised of my bro ali and his girlfriend julia, my guys jd and tony, glenny from creole cruises, big john who is our fishing main fishing crew, and an old friend guilliano. We were due to head out on Sat morning since I had to be on Friday's Xtreme tour. We knew it was going to be windy but had no idea it would be as rough at it was out there once we got off shore. It was probably blowing about 25 knots and the seas were nasty. We started getting wet shortly after we left Jolly Harbour and didn't stop getting wet until we arrived in St. Martin 95 miles and 3 hours and 40 minutes later. JD said even his name got wet!
Anyway the party action was worth it and just being in a different island for 2 days was a good little adventure to take part in. The Marley brothers didn't let us down and performed very well. Stephen sang like his dad, Bob Marley which made all the old timers happy and his bro Damian excited the crowd singing more modern reggae with some of his recent chart hits. It was a free concert on the beach and thousands of people turned out to take part.
The winds were forecast to calm down for our trip back and we were not so happy when we got into the Atlantic to find that the seas were as bad as they had been on the way down. It’s faster coming down and the pounding that we took on the way back upwind to Antigua wasn't fun. It was rough and the waves were short which is the worst kinda sea to be going into. I think the ride back was over 5 hours too.
Anyway, we got back and all agreed that the trip was well worth the rides there and back. Of course as is too often the case, today's weather is calm and nice. JD just called from Green Island to say that the sea was beautiful and calm. Oh well, we did have it too easy last year. This pic of captain J-Dog was actually taken last year on the ride back. This time i didn't dare take my cam out with all the spray that was showering the boat.