Saturday, March 01, 2008

Adventure Antigua - Sailing Part 2

After paying my deposit to have a Carriacou Sloop built back in November I haven't been back until recently. If you hae not read any of my other blog entries i must tell you that a Carriacou Sloop is a single masted wooden yacht built on the island of Carriacou in the Grenadines. They are filled with history, tradition and passion. About 10 days ago I got on a flight to Grenada from Antigua late in the afternoon. We stopped in St. Vincent and again in St. Lucia before finally landing in Grenada. David "Choppa" Mendes who usually works for Adventure Antigua on school holidays picked me up from the airport and took me back to his place for some dinner. He's the one on the far right in this crew shot:
He is in medical school there and his mom, Judy, was visiting for her 50th birthday. Anyway, I had a great meal and early the next morning David put me on a bus to the Osprey Ferry which would be a straight shot to Carriacou. It was extremely rough and there were quite a few people on board the ferry who were very sick. I was going to meet with Alwyn, the boat builder, for two reasons. Recently I made a deal with someone who had been building a boat very slowly there to take over production of it and launch it myself. He had encountered quite a few problems while building it, was in a stalemate and needed some help. In an interesting deal, I am going to control the boat for five years doing day sailing and then return it to the original owner at the end. It’s a bit of a funny deal, but all three parties are happy with it and Adventure Antigua will end up doing sailing charters and tours earlier than expected. Here you see Alwyn reading the new contract inside the hull of the boat. We are shooting to have her ready by the end of April 2008. Meeting with the boat builder and paying him some money to finish "Ocean Nomad" as it was called by the original owner was first at hand mainly because we wanted to have it ready for the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta this April. The second reason for meeting with Alwyn was that I wanted to see how my yacht was coming along. I don't have a name for it yet, but have been wanting an indigenous name. We have a French to Carib dictionary from 1666 and with some interesting sounding words and I was happy to confirm that Carriacou is actually derived from a Carib word "Kayryouacou", meaning "the land of reefs." "Spirit of Carriacou" may be the name of my yacht or maybe just "Carriacou". We'll see.
Alwyn met me at the dock in Carriacou and took me to pick up some local food on our way to Windward which is where boats have been made for centuries. He was very excited about the prospect of finally finishing Ocean Nomad which hadn't been worked on in over a year. He was also very excited about progress on my boat which is where we were going to meet his sons, Chris and Terry. The three of them had been making "frames" which are the ribs or skeleton of the boat. As I said in my last blog, they had been into the jungle to get a few trees and had finally gotten them to the beach some time in January. They had been turning these big logs into beautiful carefully crafted ribs. I was about to see how it was all done.........