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Saturday, December 2, 2017

Royalty and Rally on Antigua

Strong heel to starboard for ~10 days of the passage
Alright, I was wrong. It is true that “Antigua” is a Spanish word which means “antique” and so I of course assumed that the name of the country would be pronounced as a Spanish word, “ahn-TEE-gwah”.  But no, for some reason unbeknownst to me, it is pronounced “An-TEE-gah.” ……I know….I was stunned too!  I have had a longstanding drive to pronounce words correctly, and so this discovery set me back a piece..  You see, it all began in childhood, when I prodded my mother to teach me Norwegian words, English being her second language. I repeated those words over and over to get them to sound right. to her ear. (I would not be offended if you were to check in with my husband about whether it might not be just a teensy bit tiresome to live with someone who’s always trying to ferret out correct pronunciations.)  
Prince Charles

Well, I had just gotten past the shock of “Antigua” when Prince Charles showed up next to our boat at (Admiral) Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua (not to be confused with Willie Nelson).  Given that Admiral Nelson was the naval champion of the British Empire on the high seas (before meeting his waterloo at the Battle of Trafalgar) the naval dockyard is now a well-preserved national park.   
Nelson's Dock Yard, a Unesco World Heritage Siste

Antigua, however, is no longer a British colony. It should be clarified also that it in combination with the island of Barbuda (just 50 miles to the north) make up their own independent nation. 

Dignitaries and the press following Prince Charles to our boat.  See boat directly behind palm tree.
In spite of its’ severed strings from the motherland, Great Britain, the British royalty is still wont to give a nod of support to their previous colony by showing up for well-photographed visits following national disasters such as Hurricanes Irma and Maria that ravaged Barbuda.  So, we have the hurricanes to “thank?” for the royal visit on the very day following our landfall.

The Prince stopped for a chat with our fellow Rally mate on Exous.
The Salty Dawg Rally was proclaimed a rousing success on Antigua.  A total of 63 boats arrived there, nearly filling the large Falmouth Harbor on the southern coast of Antigua.  Another contingent of boats went to the Bahamas. Of course, the boats arrived at different times. Some are faster than others and not all boats left on the same day.  
Carl, Luke, Harry and me on Northern Star

We didn’t actually see another of our fellow Rally sailboats the entire 12 + days on the ocean.  We were most sincerely happy to be on land again and to meet up with our fellow Dawgs on Antigua. 

Mediterranean docking.  
Rally organizers had been working for months in advance with representatives of the Antigua Yacht Club and other islanders to plan some fantastic soc
ial events for us. 
Carl and I are unused to such frivolity on a continual basis and I must say that for the week following our arrival I was more than a just a little whipped.  

Antigua Yacht Club
Feeling exhausted was either the nonstop frivolity OR it might have been the walking pneumonia which was discovered about that time.  Conveniently, a pair of physicians happened to be on a Rally boat.  When one of the pair witnessed one of my coughing fits, she strongly suggested I pay a visit to their boat so that she could have a listen to my lungs.  Excellent idea, I thought.  She gave me antibiotics and I’m finally good as new, or at least as good as I usually am. 

The first of the festivities to welcome everyone was at a large h’or douerves buffet party on Tuesday night at the Antigua Yacht Club. 
Buffet table at Boom

This was followed by another evening event at “Boom”, a restaurant/patio and infinity pool.  (Boom was originally a storage building for munitions.  Aptly named, right?)  A Thanksgiving Day feast was also provided at Antigua Yacht Club.  Although the carvers seemed a bit unsure what to do with an entire turkey, they were amenable to suggestions. When I asked for dark meat, he looked puzzled.  I asked for the leg and got it.  
Admiral's Inn

Yet another event was at the Admiral’s Inn on the water (elegant outdoor setting within what was once an enormous sail-making site on Nelson’s Dockyard. 

Then came another luncheon at a different restaurant on the water, just for the ladies.  
The Women's Luncheon

On Sunday, many of us gathered for a potluck barbecue on the beach.  And a healthy share of us gathered in the warm water to sip on our cold beverages.
"Did someone say beach barbeque?  And do I smell turkey breast?"

But enough with the huge social events for a while!  There are several couples that we will enjoy spending some time with one on one over the winter.  A few of them have flown back home to the States or England for the holidays but we’ll see them again in a month or so.  
British influence is visible

There are in fact, lots of British boats in the Salty Dawg Rally, one Australian, a few Canadian boats and one Swedish.  I have been picking up some jolly good phrases from those proper British sailors. Brilliant opportunity, wouldn’t you say, old chap?  Why did we Americans ever let go of those snappy English expressions? They are pure gold.
west coast of Guadeloupe

Now we have sailed on to the island of Guadeloupe, about 45 miles south of Antigua.  Guadeloupe belongs, as you may know, to France.  I feel as if we are in Europe. I had to make a French flag to fly. Everyone speaks French, except for the other tourists that I’ve heard speaking German, Spanish and Dutch.  Love it!  

We are in a little fishing village on the northwest coast of Guadeloupe called Deshaies where we cleared into Customs.  I have had the chance to practice the following on several people — “Perdon, Parlez vous Anglais?” And the amazing thing is that they understand me every time!  And then usually they shake their heads, no, they do not speak English. 
Boulangeries are everywhere.

So, here we go again with the pronunciation challenges.  “Deshaies" is pronounced “Duh-yay” And what do you do with the “s’es” in the word? You just think about them a little bit.  Just “think” about there being an “s” after “Duh” but put the tip of your tongue near the front of your upper teeth so that you can’t really say “s”.  When you get to the second “s”, ignore it altogether. That’s all there is to it. 
Guadeloupe Mainland beyond.  The Iles de Saintes surround us here.

I just have to accept that there are an inordinate number of consonants in French that never get pronounced.  Why are they there?  Probably a very good reason, again unbeknownst to me. So, it’s Antigua and now, Deshaies.  Got it.

1 comment:

George said...

A piece, Apiece? I’m not sure about this

Its’ – already possessive, doesn’t need any help.

Wont – iffy but ok. {on second review, nice touch!}

Prince Charles – that’s way cool!

Ok, I had to look it up - hor d'oeuvres

(elegant outdoor setting… maybe there will be a closing parenthesis coming at some point in the future...)

Couples we will be spending time with over the winter.. Hey, maybe some of these will be the Hosts! Where will you be March 4-10?

Hehe - miss you guys!