After wandering the docks for a few hours, Happy Hour at the AYC arrived, hosted by the Regatta’s Platinum sponsor, Panerai Classic Yacht Challenge. Every afternoon, from 5 to 7, Panerai hosted a happy hour open to all, not just the racers, not just other boaters – but anyone could participate – for free. Each day we sampled Champagne, wines, beers, and different hot appetizers each day. One day we enjoyed lobster bisque and fresh baked bread provided by Rockport Yacht Restorations, from Rockport, Maine, another of the regatta’s sponsors. What an incredible event and fantastic time.
We straggled into the Mad Mongoose , a restaurant and bar just down the street from the Antigua Yacht Club, for drinks and dinner on several days. This great spot is owned by two boaters whose home is Pasadena, Florida; they spend winters on Antigua running the restaurant, and summers in Florida – just like us. And hey, on my birthday, dinner was free for me; what more could you ask?
Friday April 18th was Good Friday, and the entire island shuts down. No alcohol is served or sold anywhere. So what did the cruisers do? Well, our good friends, Jack and Jo, from Bodacious, arranged a dinghy raft-up and live concert off the stern of their trawler. Jack and Jo are wonderful folks who have motored their trawler over the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. We stay in touch by email and facebook.
One of our best friends and cruising buddies, Pat (aka Ukulele Pat)from Island Dream, was the lead in singer. We had no idea he was so incredibly talented. Everyone loved him and his music.
There were close to 50 dinghies rafted together with perhaps as many as 150 cruisers sharing food and drinks. We had an incredible evening singing along and sharing good times with friends. That’s what the cruising life is all about, our friends from all over the world and from every walk of life.