Antigua Sailing Week, T minus 2 days and counting. (by Ocean Planet team member, Mark Wiltz).
After a Guadalupe to Antigua race, Ocean Planet sits at the dock getting ready for ASW. Crew that have shown up include Robert Flowerman, Steve Hodges, J.B. Currell, Jason Winkle, Greg Nelson, Jim Mirowski, Lydia Vargas, Dave & Beki Fullerton, Mark Wiltz, Tarek Hamid, Jeanie Sousa and of course Brewster Schwabster…. and more are coming! Hey, isn’t this supposed to be a singlehanded boat?!
It seemed to be a 14 or 15 hour trip to get to Antigua from the left coast, but well worth the drive. One clarification I was able to get from the locals was the correct pronunciation of the place. I was sticking with Antigua (Ann-Tea-Guh), mostly because that’s how I heard Jimmy Buffett pronounce it in a song. Others were correcting me with their pronounciation of Antigua (Ann-Tea-Gwah). Local knowledge is that the latter is a city in Guatamala, with the former a Caribbean island. Thus ends today’s geographic lesson…
It’s true that Ocean Planet looks dwarfed by the boats in the harbour. I’ve been told that all the red lights at the tops of all the masts (which is something I’ve never seen before) is a required indicator light for masts of 100′ in height or higher! There were many red lights in the evening sky above the harbor. What a colossal show of fine sailing ships. Words and pictures can’t adequately convey this accurately, although Bruce’s updates sure got me excited to join his supporting crew here! I’m glad I came.
Having just gotten off the ski/snowboard slopes of Mt. Hood, and then flown to St. John, Antigua, I’m easily the whitest boy on the island. And I forgot my sunscreen! It’ll be hard to get as tanned as Bruce! Upon arriving on the Island, we visited the boat, got an official ASW – Ocean Planet teeshirt, and then walked smack-dab into a caribbean/loud music/live band/free rum/volleyball/everyone welcome beach party. Some of our crew took advantage of the festivity and went skinnydipping while someone else took their clothes. (Ask fellow crewmembers Jason and Steve for further details…).
Today consists of doing some boat jobs then getting out on the water to get to know the boat. Bruce has his hands full trying to get the crew up to speed, but is an enthusiastic coach. For bouy racing the boat can really use the crew, both as rail protoplasm as well as running the sails. Check out the Pics: The burro teathered to the sailboat mast with the million dollar yachts in the background is true Antigua. More crew showing up in the next few days, so stay tuned.
Mark Wiltz for Bruce Schwab.