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Monday 15th November 2010

We spent a lovely time with friends at the Hamilton’s Restaurant opening party last evening where we enjoyed delicious canapés and danced to Itchy Feet.  As a result of that outing, we were sitting quietly at anchor off Pigeon Beach this morning sipping Bloody Mary’s and wondering how we could justify doing little else for the remainder of the day.  We were looking around thinking how peaceful Falmouth Harbour still is when our peace and recovery were interrupted by the chatter and laughter of a large group of youngsters slowly spreading out around the Harbour.

The first hint of activity was a few Optimists and other dinghies with colourful sails drifting from Antigua Yacht Club towards the middle of the harbour.  Some were reaching back and forth, some sailing in circles, some trying to fly asymmetric spinnakers and one had a mooring buoy wrapped around its centerboard with its occupant looking around wondering who was going to come to his rescue.

Next we saw two little people virtually lost in their life jackets, paddling around the corner towards the beach in faded kayaks.  One was sitting uncomfortably without a seat back to lean on concentrating entirely on the next stroke of the paddle.  The other was kneeling boldly, striving for a little more comfort and power in order to overtake his mate.

As the Optimists and dinghies avoided crashing into the anchored boats and the kayaks made headway in their trek towards the beach, we heard screeches of laughter coming from far away.  There in the distance was the AYC Committee boat heading out from the dock trailing a number of old windsurf boards loaded with kids.  As they were being towed some of the passengers attempted to stand on the boards while others fell off and were left behind, causing the Committee boat to circle around and collect them before setting off again.  They were having so much fun we were tempted to jump in the water and join them!

Eventually the entire entourage made it to Pigeon Beach and congratulated each other on the success of their venture.  I can’t express what a delight it was to see the enthusiasm of the 25 to 30 youngsters out there enjoying a Sunday morning on the water with Karl James, head sailing instructor at Antigua Yacht Club, who seemed to be enjoying every minute just as much as they were.

I eventually forced myself to leave the comfort of the anchorage and head up to the Yacht Club where Karl had just arrived back on dry land.  We had a chat and I complimented him on the program and asked a little more about it.  Karl commented:  “This is what Antigua Yacht Club is all about – getting families together on the water on a Sunday morning where everyone can enjoy sailing and other water-based activities.  It is such a pleasure to be a part of these types of programs.”  Karl told me that he has a list of about 40 kids who participate on a frequent basis and the enthusiasm continues to build.

Eventually the entire crowd made it back the Yacht Club and I was left with memories of a large group of young people enjoying life to the fullest on a quiet Sunday morning.  It made me feel really good about my Sunday and proud to me a member of Antigua Yacht Club which is doing wonderful things to spread the love of a sport that many of us just take for granted.  What a delight!!

Article written by Kathy Lammers, Editor of Antigua’s Yachting Insider.
Photos by Hans Lammers.

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