Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hurricane Tomas now in the Caribbean Sea after battering Barbados, St. Vincent and St. Lucia

In fact, before it was even strong enough to be called a hurricane, Tropical Storm Tomas was forecast to pass right between Tobago and Barbados. My mother in law, runs the Kariwak Hotel in Tobago and said everywhere had shut early on Friday expecting the arrival of Tomas. As it happened the storm jumped a bit North and spanked Barbados with up to 70 mph some are saying. While the island hasn't reported any deaths, it did get quite a bit of damage. Here you can see a radar image showing the north side of the eye of the storm passing over Barbados:
After that it strengthened and moved towards St. Vincent and St. Lucia. The northern bands of this storm were big enough that over 300 miles to the north here in Antigua we experienced periods of heavy rain and winds. All week long I had been planning that on Saturday i would be bringing down one of my boats that was sitting on a mooring in Falmouth. When i woke very early yesterday and say the image above I knew I had to expect some bad weather. We moved a little more quickly and by the time we set the head sail, the waves were already breaking across Bishop's Reef. Outside there were some good swells probably up to 14 feet and one even broke into our little tender. Here you see Trevor on the tiller in some of those swells:

It wasn't long before we were surfing into the calm waters behind Cades Reef and then on to Jolly Harbour where we dropped a hook.
During the night the squalls came in heavy and I was worried about the boat. This am she looked good which was a relief. Of course there are many yachts, houses and people in the Windward Islands who were not nearly as lucky. There has been very little news coming out of St. Vincent and St. Lucia but some deaths have been reported in Vincy. Check for more local reports to come.
Lets hope that was the last storm of the season for us. Sadly, Tomas is not finished yet and the real damage my still be to come for Jamaica or Hispaniola.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Local children receive swimming scholarships.

I heard of a cool program offering some lucky kids swimming scholarships here in Antigua. For more info check this little blurb from the Swalings School of Swimming. I hope this will mean more young local Antiguans will be sending us applications for positions with Adventure Antigua in the future.
snorkel point
Swalings School of swimming are working in conjunction with the Ministry of Sports to make swimming a part of the national youth sports program. As part of this initiative, this November, Swalings along with their sponsors Intertops have set up a scholarship program for 150 pupils to learn to swim or improve their swimming for free.

In this the initial season for the swimming program, the scholarships will be available in 3 secondary schools, Jennings Secondary, Otto’s Comprehensive and The Grammar School. There will be 50 scholarships available per school.

The objective of the scholarship programme is to get as many children in Antigua learning to swim as possible. Its a well known fact that we have 365 beaches yet the majority of Antiguan’s cannot swim, Swalings wants to change this believing learning to swim has many benefits for people not only health reasons but also in the job industry and enjoyment. The water has so much to offer weather it be sailing, windsurfing, fishing, a lazy day at the beach, swimming competitively however before you can enjoy any of this you have to be able to swim and be safe in the water. Swalings emphasises water safety and will not only be teaching children how to swim but how to be safe in the water and what to look out for.

It is hoped in the next few years the scholarship programme will be available to some 2000 school children a year. Swalings are seeking sponsorship from doners who want to support the project.

Swalings is also working in conjunction with the new National Sailing Academy that is offering free sailing lessons to all school children. Swalings will be teaching any pupils wanting to sail that can’t swim to swim first so their parent s will have peace of mind the children will be safe in the water.

It is also hoped through this programme aspiring swimmers will be able to swim competitively in the swim teams and go on to represent Antigua at the OECS games, Carifta and eventually the Olympics.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

for those of you who like dolphins..... here is a video for you

We were out on our eco tour boat after finally getting her refurbished. She's working better than ever and the dolphins still like it!
They would have stayed swimming between the hulls for as long as we stayed with them. We see this type of dolphin usually in the deep. As you can see they enjoyed playing and we could hear their sonar as they came to the surface. It was a very cool experience once again on the water.

Friday, October 01, 2010 sailing to St. Martin

December 2008 we took the sloop down to St. Martin in some windy conditions. We had to get some work done and the trip there was an adventure but the kind that make us all happy to be part of this organisation. Enjoy the music of Massive Attack on this little home vid: