Antigua is the sailing capital of the Eastern Caribbean and host to a full winter calendar of sailing events, culminating with Sailing Week at the end of April. But in the fall, the sailing scene has always been pretty quite. Until this year, that is, when the Salty Dawg Rally chose Falmouth Harbour (in the background) and English Harbour (foreground) as the rally’s destination. This shot was taken from Shirley Heights.
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This week we are in Antigua, West Indies, for the finish of the 2017 Salty Dawg Fall Rally. As a sponsor of the rally, Cruising Compass and Blue Water Sailing, are really happy to have the destination be Falmouth Harbor and English Harbour after six years of sailing to the BVI. It’s a pleasant change of pace and made necessary by the devastation cause in the BVI by Hurricane Irma. Luckily, Antigua was spared while their sister island Barbuda took a direct hit that wrecked every building. The recovery continues slowly throughout the Caribbean and gradually life will return to something like normal. But the 2017 hurricanes are on every locals tongue.
I have been sailing in and out of Antigua for a long time and had to take Rosie up to Shirley Heights (above) for the Sunday afternoon shindig and barbecue. Some things in the Caribbean never change and Sunday afternoon at Shirley Heights is one of them. The views are still magical, the music is still rockin’ and reggae, the ribs still hot and tender and the Carib beer still cold. There were plenty of sailors on hand, as always, and lots of locals, too. This is one of the longest running parties anywhere, so if you are in Antigua on a Sunday, make Shirely Heights your afternoon party plan.
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