Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The launch of our other sailing traditionally built boat.

Our second Carriacou Sloop "Zemi" was launched this past Sunday. Launches only ever happen down there on Sundays for a number of traditional reasons, and it all went well according to reports, photos and videos. I was unable to leave Antigua due to several important meetings (one with Sandals about the future of our relationship with them), so I was especially happy to see all of the photos and video of our boat's launch. For those of you reading this who don't know what this is all about, I will just tell you that each island in the Caribbean designed and built their own version of a smaller cargo boat during the early colonial days. Due to "progress" all of the wealthy islands started purchasing fiberglass and steel boats from North America and Europe and one by one the tradition of building wooden boats from scratch died from island to island. Carriacou in the Grenadines is the only place left that is still using the old designs and techniques to build these fantastic boats. Hundreds of years ago boats needed to be able to carry a huge cargo and to do it fast and this design spec remains. Of course these work boats are still used to carry cargo and to do other commercial activity, but they are for the first time being purchased as private yachts. There are several these days doing charter including our other Carriacou sloop Ocean Nomad. See

The word Zemi is an ancient Amerindian name describing usually pyramid shaped object which essentially was a concept, meaning both a deity, or ancestral spirit, and a sculptural object that houses the spirit. Our eco tour boat is called "Arawak Odyssey" and I am glad to have another boat recognizing the people who lived here before the Europeans arrived. Their culture was so rich and was so bonded with nature.

My dad has the largest collection of Arawak Zemis and I will copy one of them for the boat's logo. Here is a collection of photos that was put together by Samantha Enoe. She is the daughter of the designer and builder Alwyn. As you can see the boat was launched without the rig. We build that next and then sail her up to Antigua before The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. Enjoy the slideshow!