Watching sailing from a distance can be like watching an insect’s funeral procession: white specks slowly moving across a blue background. But if you get out on the water, a boat race comes to life. Deckhands sprint across the decks, sails powerfully unfurl, and hulls crash into towering waves.
During Antigua Sailing Week, Ondeck Ocean Racing can give you the sailing equivalent of courtside seats at a professional basketball game. The company’s Chase the Race experience puts six passengers aboard a Farr 65 racing boat with a pro crew that’s not out to win but works hard enough to keep you close to the action.
Antigua has been the last stop on the Caribbean winter regatta circuit for nearly 50 years. I’d always thought it was the after-party scene that made Sailing Week most appealing, but actually riding the waves made me want to give up my landlubber status. The Ondeck adventure also included a hands-on sailing lesson that covered the physics of wind and the mechanics of hoisting a sail without straining your back. I eagerly clambered around the decks to yank ropes and take the wheel as often as I could. Salt spray hitting my face, wind power palpable in my hands, I was hooked. Ondeck offers short recreational sailing trips and pro training—and I’m seriously thinking of enrolling.
This appeared in the November/December 2012 issue.
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Experience the Very Definition of Caribbean Luxury
Pop quiz, hot shot! Define Caribbean luxury in 2 words or less. My answer is easy: Carlisle Bay. The moment I walked across the dark wood bridge (flanked on both sides by billowing, flaming torches) that carries guests over a reflecting pool into the heart of the property's great house, I somehow suspected this truth. Then I was expertly shown to an ocean suite. Then I knew for sure. The rooms are a unique blend of modern, clean lines and classic, West Indian touches. From the charred coconut tree trunks serving as planters, to the unique prints gracing the closets, to the curved mahogany day bed on the oceanfront balcony, to a flawless orchid that's refreshed daily, the rooms are near perfection.