Monday, January 23, 2017

What's Happening in the Barbados

This week was race week in the Barbados. There were three days of sailboat races around the buoys and then on the fourth race day they sailed around the island.  We had great fun watching them from our unique vantage point about a kilometre from the start line. One of the marks were within 400 meters of the boat so we got some great views of some pretty fancy boats. We tuned into the race starter's frequency on the VHF so we could figure when the classes were starting.  Some classes had very few boats in the race so we did not see the intricate starts that we have witnessed in the past.  From here, they race to Antigua, 
Close quarters around the buoys, from a distance when they are closing on the marks it looks like a collision is inevitable. 
Popping the spinnakers on the down wind leg. 
This very classic beauty came roaring across the finish line of the round the island race with every possible sail pulling. It was a beautiful site to behold. 
This trimaran would zoom down the course at amazing speeds. Here she is furling in her head sail as she prepares to tack back up to the start line.  She only participated in the round the island race and started at least an hour after all the other boats had left and finished well in advance of any other contender. 
The other fascinating thing for me is the training taking place in the water for a different sport.  It is for the sport of kings, horse racing. There is a track just south of town and they race once every two weeks.  To train the horses they bring them down tin the water and swim them around a few boats before returning to the stables. 
At first the horses are led into the water and splashed to cool them off.  Then they are encouraged to go into the deeper water and their trainers splash the salt water on their heads. Eventually with some encouragement they start swimming, on the way out the trainers stay ahead of them guiding them along and nice they are allowed to head back to shore the guys hang on to their withers and get towed along.  The horses snorts as the extend themselves as they are swimming back are quite audible throughout the anchorage. 
Our newest computer developed a horrible problem with the LED screen so we are waiting for the parts to be shipped here to fix it.  The computer should be ready for pick up at the end of the week. We have decided to head to Grenada after that to haul out and paint the bottom.  It is a spot we have been before and we really enjoyed it so we are looking forward to returning their.