Thursday, October 09, 2008
Some of the hard core enthusiasts of Carriacou Sloops get annoyed when I call them yachts, and I must apologize to them first. I can't help using the incorrect words sometimes and growing up here as a little kid in Antigua I have always heard vessels with sails being called yachts and just can't help it. As many of the regular readers of this blog know, I started working on getting Ocean Nomad finished and ready for charter back in February. Ocean Nomad is the latest of a special breed of Caribbean boats called Carriacou Sloops. They are fantastic vessels build with incredible passion, dedication and pride in an effort to carry on the local tradition of wooden boat building. The rich history associated with these boats dates back to the colonial period of West Indian history with much of the early design and tradition being started by Scottish shipwrights who were brought to the island of Carriacou by British land owners. If you have a Xmas Wish list put Carriacou Sloops by Alexis Andrews on it. The two volume book is an amazing collection of photography and stories and descriptions coving ten years of work done by Alexis on these beautiful boats. I have been interested in them for years and as many of you know, I commissioned one back in November. Since then I took over another boat that had been rotting on the beach, abandoned by the original builder. That boat had sat there baking in the sun and many who knew of her considered her a total loss. Thankfully the original builder had used very good timbers as well as excellent fastenings and after a hell of a lot of work we managed to get her afloat some time in April. We managed to rig her with beautiful North sails from Antigua Sails and got her up to Antigua (see photo above) just in time to race at the Antigua Classic YACHT regatta (seen in the next photo). We placed 2nd in the Traditional Class behind Alexis' vessel "Genesis". The first layer of deck hadn't even dried, so we were extremely happy to have sailed in the event. Since then we have been working non stop on getting her properly finished to be able to offer her for day sailing charters and any sailing excursions that come up. It has been a monumental task, but we are about finished. I have to say that I was totally unaware about the level of work needed to finish one of these boats and especially one that had been sitting for so long. Anyway, six months after we launched her for the first time seen here in this photo:
we are about ready to get our survey from the marine department here in Antigua. This shot of Stevie jumping shows the joy i guess. He was on the maiden voyage from Carriacou to Antigua when down below was just bare beams and timber with sand bags for ballast. At night we would hear crickets chirping below. She's come a long way. We should be doing day charters by the middle of November. Some updates have been made to the Adventure Antigua website which shows some photos as well as a little description. For a slide show of some of this project you can look at this link.