Antigua sailing where slow is pro

The sailing mantra that I’ve heard so often while in Antigua is: slow is pro. Today’s post is about taking your time while sailing. This was one of the central messages I took away from two days’ sailing with Lead Instructor, Logan Knight, of Ondeck Sailing.

Logan is a Rasta from Antigua, and knows the local waters very well, but his sailing expertise has brought him to all parts of the globe. Logan is profiled in a recently published article called, “Many Faces of Yachting in Antigua” (Antigua Yachting News, April 14, 2015).

As a sailing instructor, Logan has a relaxed and gentle teaching style, but he takes his job and role as an RYA instructor very seriously. Nothing escapes his watch. He makes note of things that require attention on the boats. And, he is highly safety conscious – aware of every movement onboard – be it a student or another Ondeck employee.

Leaving a marina, Logan’s main message was to take your time. And, so I thought I’d pass along some of his suggestions to you. Be it a refresher or new information, taking your time applies to the following activities:

  • leaving the dock – plan, plan, plan. Running into another boat can be costly. Check all of your lines before you leave the dock. Consider the wind direction and how much engine is required.
  • motoring out of the marina – let the crew have time to pull in the fenders, and roll up the lines
  • putting up the sails – move out of the channel, head into the wind and stay out of other people’s way
  • manoeuvering around the marina – moving slow allows you time to fix mistakes, or change direction to avoid obstacles.

Culturally, I think Antiguan’s are better suited to the mantra of slow is pro than say, me from Canada.

Consider Ondeck employee, Rex, for example. Rex is a lovely and articulate person who I mentioned in a previous post. Rex says that he’s on island time, and doesn’t wear a watch. He tells me that there are only three times that matter to him: sunrise, mid-day and sunset.

Here is a picture of Rex that I took this morning.

Rex. One of many lovely people I have met in Antigua. Here he is relaxing as I ate my breakfast at Seabreeze restaurant, Falmouth Harbour
Rex relaxing on ‘island time’

Arriving very early for work, Rex relaxed on the dock while I ate breakfast at Seabreeze Restaurant in Falmouth Harbour. To an onlooker, it might have appeared that I was asking the universe if they’d like a coffee, but no, it was me talking to Rex beneath the table area.

With Rex being the stand-in for the epitome of rest and relaxation, I am a stark contrast. I tend to think that I deserve an award when I get four children dressed, fed and washed inside of an hour.

Indeed, there is much more to learning here in Antigua than just sailing.

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