Firstly, may I wish all of our readers, advertisers and contributors a very Happy New Year.
I am writing this final editorial of the year from the Antigua Charter Yacht Show in early December with a balmy 28 degrees and a wonderful 15 knot breeze, making me wonder how we can spend a wonderful three months cruising the islands and still produce The Islander. Then I woke up !
It’s always good to move out of your own comfort zone, and this visit to the Caribbean is no exception. The service levels we have received everywhere we have been have been exemplary, with a willing smile where nothing is too much trouble. It’s also interesting to note their efforts to protect the oceans, with paper straws in every bar we have visited ( quite a few !!) a ban on all plastic bags, wooden stirrers and no sign of plastic cutlery or Styrofoam packaging anywhere.
The show itself has a magnificent display of almost 90 Superyachts, including MY Go, Alfa Nero, Amaryllis, Naia, Phoenix 2 plus many more top notch yachts. Since our last visit, two years ago, there is a definite increase in the size and number of motor yachts, but a decline in the number of sailboats. It’s good to hear that the effects of last year’s hurricanes are beginning to be overcome, with all islands now open for business. The BVI’s are probably the worst off, but with lots of development in the offing.
The show is definitely one not to be missed in my view. Unlike Monaco where it’s virtually impossible to get onboard any of the yachts, Antigua is the opposite with crew, Captains and in some case owners welcoming you onboard with open arms. This friendly approach is refreshing and raises the questions of why some shows are so unapproachable. We shall certainly be visiting again next year, alongside the many others from Mallorca who were there this year.
This month sees the second part of the refit season get underway, and from all reports we have, the yards are all full steam ahead, with several yachts having to go to the mainland due to a shortage of space here in Mallorca. AS an industry on the island we should just be careful that we don’t lose these yachts for good as regards winter refits as it appears the pricing on the mainland is somewhat less than here.
Fair Winds !