CHARTER YACHT FEATURE – JABBERWOCKYSaturday 8th January 2011
Jabberwocky is a 50 foot Beneteau, currently enjoying her tenth year offering day and short term charters in and around Antigua . She offers the chance to enjoy some sailing and see some of the coastline and hills from the sea. To those otherwise unlucky enough not to have access to a yacht. Everyone in the sailing world knows the sailing winds, the turquoise waters, the green hills, the azure skies offer a fantastic experience - and Jabberwocky gives that opportunity and experience to many.
Jabberwocky is owned and run by Kaye and Nick who originally came to Antigua in 1996 for a six week holiday chartering from Horizon Yacht Charters of Jolly Harbour to celebrate Nick’s retirement from a 30 year career in the law. In his pocket Nick carried a small advertisement he had printed off from the internet offering Jabberwocky for sale here in Antigua as an existing charter business. One look at Jabberwocky and they were convinced this could be the right “next move” for them and six months later they were indeed moving to the island to begin their new life.
Nick had sailed all his life and claims his very earliest memory is of being in the bow of a sailing dinghy sailed by his father and mother when he was about 3 years old. Nick learned to sail when about seven years old and has been hooked ever since. Nick might say it was his 1st love (if he thought he was out of Kaye’s hearing!!). As an impoverished law student he used to advertise in the back of glossy yachting magazines offering his services as crew. He always hoped he might get flown out to the Caribbean for a crew position on a superyacht but instead he gained much more valuable experience crewing for families needing extra manpower for cross-Channel trips, to nip to the Channel Islands or to cruise around the Scilly Isles. Meanwhile Kaye was learning to sail from her father too- in and out of the ports on the coast of Wales where the tidal fall meant they were committed to stay out whatever the weather until the next suitable tide would allow them back. Not overly impressed being permanently cold and wet it was not until she began to sail with Nick in more temperate waters that she really took to the sailing life.
Over the last 20 years they have sailed in the Mediterranean, around many of the islands of the Caribbean, in the Maldives in the Indian Ocean and on the coast of Australia.
And the last four years – well they have found running Jabberwocky is as much a people business as a sailing one. Their guests extend from those who have never been on a boat before, to Mediterranean sailors who cannot believe the consistency of the winds around Antigua and sailors from the UK who love the warmth of that wind and colours of the sea.
Nick and Kaye sometimes get asked whether they get bored doing “the same thing” everyday but to them no two days are the same because their guests are always different. Since Christmas they have welcomed on board Jabberwocky a French family, a group of Russians, an Australian couple on honeymoon, a gang of French Canadian friends, some Brits and one American couple who went out twice during their ten day stay.
And when will they stop? “Not as long as the trade winds continue to fill the sails and Jabberwocky heels gently and surges off across the beautiful Antiguan waters.”
Article and photos compliments of Nick and Kaye Middleton, Jabberwocky.
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