Antigua Sailing Week (ASW) starts on Friday. My day began in earnest. I had breakfast at a dockside cafe, and then headed to The Ondeck Sailing classroom to begin an online VHF radio course.
My discipline should be applauded. Here is the scenery immediately outside the classroom.
I stopped my studies mid afternoon to meet the other members of team who will also be sailing on the SV Spirit of Juno.
There are 13 of us in total, hailing from the UK, Canada and Brittany, France, with a disproportionate number of lawyers amongst us, including a lawyer who left his job as a partner in a law firm to sail solo, and another lawyer who represents all things relating to Sponge Bob Squarepants.
I have the least sailing experience aboard, and the skipper, Tony, plans to pair up less experienced folks with those who have more sailing experience. One man in our group has skippered in Croatia and endured horrendous storms. He is keen to see our boat catch the wind and sail.
The vibe is enthusiastic and competitive but realistic. Tony says it can take three years for a sailing team to really shine. We are having a training and safety talk tomorrow.
Tony hopes that by the end of the week our team will have greater confidence, and be able to sail the boat well, in the sense that we will demonstrate a certain panache.
ASW seems to attract people of all skills and abilities. The gentlemen from Brest, Brittany who are on our team said they have wanted to be here for two years.
Curious to know why AWS is such a draw I asked around. One person said she had heard it was a great big drinking party.
So in true team spirit we went to a restaurant bar for dinner, and people enjoyed the local beer and music. Antigua seems to have a bustling nightlife.
But, you won’t get updates on the upcoming Neon Rave from me. This is the first time I can remember being able to sleep through the night in nine years – since having children.