IN SAFE HANS - WITH SAIL SUNNYSIDE
This year for our ‘Christmas Party’ the Antigua nice team decided not to go for a traditional night out. For too many days we are glued to our screens updating the website and generally lacking in daylight. So to ring in the changes along with some Christmas cheer we decided to go for an afternoon yacht charter with Sail Sunny Side.
Owners Hans and Kathy have literally years of yachting experience between them and we certainly realised we were in ‘Safe Hans’ from the outset.
Because we didn’t have a whole day, the folks at Long Bay Hotel
were kind enough to allow us to be met at their pier in Dian Bay where we were dinghied out to the ketch. (Long Bay Hotel
offers special economical daily rates. Click here
for more information. Everyone else arrived before me (as usual running late from a meeting), so I was treated to a solo arrival, and greeted by grinning faces with rum punches in hand. In fact as I made it off the ladder, a grinning Kathy shouted Happy Christmas and thrust a very large rum punch into my hand. Of course it would have been rude to refuse, so with a big swig and a smile in return I realized I had arrived, it was Friday afternoon and the phone was switched off….yipeeeeeeee…Happy Christmas.
A quick switch into bikini and linen shirt long enough to cover up my sun shy body, I then tucked into the tasty spinach dip while we listened to our safety briefing from Hans. Two of our team we established are weak swimmers, so it was agreed that in the event of an emergency situation, if we couldn’t get to the life jackets that they should hold onto me – I float incredibly well even after drinking as much rum as is humanly possible!!
With anchor raised we motored out of the bay passing the Verandah Spa Resort and Lover’s Beach and marvelled at the clarity of the turquoise water, even on relatively overcast day the colour is a tonic. We followed the limestone coast line and carefully navigated the reef out to open Atlantic Waters and took a quick sail out to Green Island. The novice sailors on board let rip with a few screams of fear and then settled down to enjoy the gentle rocking motion. This is a perfect first trip for anyone who hasn’t yet developed their sea legs as it’s a short sail, and all too soon you arrive at Green Island.
We anchored up in 14 feet of water (or 10 feet below the keel - a point which needed explaining to us), and after slathering up with sun cream we jumped out into the water and swam to shore. Well, two of us did. Daydre, Annabelle and her daughter Jenelle took the sedate option and were dinghied to shore by Hans. Alex and I arrived and we then set off to the North Beach to jump in the wonderful water. The spit of sand there makes for the most perfect looking bath of water; it’s shallow and beautifully clear. We also had the added attraction of the Kite surf School who teach from the beach, and were busy giving one lucky lady some seriously thorough training. Of course we could also have snorkelled as Kathy had offered but we were in the mood to float rather than exert ourselves too much.
And what of the one man in the group? Well he opted for indulging in a few cold ones and chatting to Hans and Kathy while we floated around in the water and generally made noise. About 45 minutes later the smell from the barbecue had us all paddling back.
On hauling our selves back on board, and having a quick shower down, we were treated to the site of jumbo shrimp, pork tenderloin teriyaki style and spicy chicken breast all cooked on the grill with sides of cous cous salad, gorgeous juicy beef tomatoes with basil, mozzarella and red onions, plus a pasta and olive salad. There was literally heaps of food and we were soon chomping away in silence as the monsters created by all our activity were fed.
With many eyes having been bigger then bellies, a team 'slouch' and an enjoyable post eating haze had us happily accepting more offers of ‘light beverages’. It being late afternoon by now, we decided to have dessert back at Dian Bay as Hans still needed to navigate back through the reef to shore. We bravely sat up front as we hit open water with much squealing and laughter ,then retreated back to the safety of the cockpit, and soon entered back into the harbour having passed Devils Bridge.
Even though the day was grey and the threatened rain hadn‘t developed, the last rays of sun found their way through the clouds to lead us back to the bay, and having moored up we then got to eat the most gorgeous light fluffy lemon pie made by Kathy.
Christmas lights were put up as the sun went down, and we sat back and chatted as darkness fell around us and our view became the lights from the surrounding villas.
By 7.00 pm we were all happy and exhausted and two dinghy rides later, we were rather forlornly back on the pier waving to Hans and Kathy as they went back on board.
It was the perfect day for us all. From the food and drink to the company of not just each other, but Hans and Kathy it was more than we asked for. I even got to spy into the Master Cabin, and it must be said, the boat looks VERY comfortable. Maybe next time we’ll make it to Barbuda! Daydre commented that it was a day of 'being like the rich and famous', and it certainly was that, with no request too much trouble we felt totally spoilt.
8.00 pm saw me tucked up in bed drifting off in a rum induced haze, what a glorious Christmas Party. I wonder what everyone is doing for New Year’s Eve?
Check out the Photo gallery
of the day.
Sail Sunny Side is operated by Hans and Kathy Lammers and is available for charter for days, sunset, and multiple day and term charters.
Alison Sly-Adams has absolutely no aspirations to be a writer but does enjoy a good day out :) and can occasionally motivate herself to actually report back on it - hope you enjoyed the read.