Author Archives | Jackie

About Jackie

Girl power on the Caribbean sea in Antigua; where else?!

November 20, 2012

Comments Off

We get quite a few requests for female charter skippers here in Antigua.  This falls broadly into two areas of reasoning: some of our female guests who are on a girl’s sailing trip would rather sail with a female Captain and many girls want to be taught by a female Instructor.  We are fortunate here in Antigua that we are able to recommend Heidi to our guests.  Heidi has the ability to put everyone at their ease; no matter male or female and no matter what language you happen to speak.

 

Heidi is a very talented sailor.  Firstly she is a commercially endorsed Ocean Yachtmaster and Cruising Instructor.  She is also an ASA (American Sailing Association) Instructor up to ASA 105 level (Heidi can get you to Bareboat certification).  Couple this with Heidi’s transatlantic deliveries and her ability to cook up a coconut battered jumbo shrimp in the galley for ten guests, and you have the perfect sea-going companion.

The evenings will always be entertaining with Captain Heidi; as well as knowing the best spots to enjoy the Antigua experience, she can share with you tales of her adventurous side (as if a transatlantic sailing trip isn’t adventurous enough!) when she hiked up to the base camp of Everest, or spent three weeks on cargo boats on the Amazon river (stowaway?).

Above it all though, Heidi will look after you, your friends (male and female) and your boat.  Are you ready for an Antigua Heidi experience?  Email us info@antiguahorizon.com and we’ll check availability for you.

 

Continue reading...

ASA ‘Learn to Sail’ this Summer in Antigua

May 21, 2012

Comments Off

 

Horizon Antigua - navigating your course

If you have been toying with the idea of getting your ASA Sailing Certification, here’s a last minute offer that might just convince you that now is the time to hone those sailing skills or do something that has always been on your bucket list – a learn to sail course in the Caribbean.

And what better place to learn to sail than with the Horizon Yacht Charters sailing school in Antigua. Year-round sunshine, steady trade winds (around 10 – 15% in the summer months) and some inspiring ASA Sailing Instructors who will entertain you with their tales of sailing adventures around the Caribbean.

Unspoilt anchorages on your doorstep in Antigua.

 

Antigua & Barbuda offers a non-tidal cruising area offering a myriad of coves and bays – just waiting for you to practice your anchoring skills without everyone watching! An active sailing vacation with plenty of time for R&R – how good does that sound?!

Learning to sail in Antigua is fun for all.

From our sailing school here in Antigua, we offer ASA 101, 103 and 104.  You can read more about the three ASA graduated courses right here. We offer these courses aboard our Bavaria 40 yachts or our Bavaria 42.  These yachts offer 2 double cabins for Learn to Sail students.  Take a look at what you might experience when you arrive at our base in Jolly Harbour; restaurants, bars, art shops, large supermarket and swimming pool.

 

Horizon Antigua is based in Jolly Harbour Marina

From this great location, you can island hop to our sister island of Barbuda (this is just a 4 – 5 hour sail from Antigua), or for those with more sailing experience already under their belt,  sail south to the French island of Guadeloupe (42 nautical miles from Antigua).  This will also give you exposure to the ‘clearing out’ process with Customs department – great learning if you want to cruise the Caribbean more extensively in the future.  Read more about our sample itineraries right here.

Island hop on your sailing course to Barbuda

We are offering an ASA Learn to Sail package for courses taking place during July 2012 and October 2012.

Complimentary ASA Course Materials and ASA Log Book delivered direct to your door for ASA 101 up to ASA 104.
Complimentary ASA Exams.
15% off the charter fee based on a minimum of 7 nights sailing course.
Celebration rum cocktails for your Group when you’ve achieved your ASA Certification!

Email us and we can check our yacht availability:  info@antiguahorizon.com

Alternatively, give us a call Contact us and we can talk through your options.

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading...

Last minute sailing holidays in Antigua & Barbuda just got better.

April 8, 2012

Comments Off

We often hear people say “I wish I could stay for longer” and “a week is just not long enough”. Well, here’s our answer to your wishes!

For the month of May 2012, we are offering 10 nights for the price of 7 on all new charters booked before the end of April 2012.

This last minute offer is for both bareboat sailing charters and crewed charters; so if you want to relax and let someone else take the helm while you enjoy the stunning scenery, that’s fine by us.

Remember that you can also Learn to Sail or improve your sailing skills with us here in Antigua. Read more about that here. Antigua & Barbuda boast some of best beaches in the Caribbean; soft, fine sand that feels like powder between your toes.  It’s also a perfect destination for our Learn to Sail courses as you can experience a range of sailing conditions.

 

Sailing off the west coast of Antigua

Sailing off the west coast of Antigua

We have the end of Antigua Sailing Week at the beginning of May, so if you want to combine your sailing trip with some Regatta parties, what better place to do it.  Antigua offers such a contrast in terms of sailing opportunities; choose to join in with the parties or find your own secluded anchorage; it’s really up to you.

 

Morris Bay, Antigua

We have a fleet of monohull and Catamarans to choose from, ranging in size from 40 – 50 feet – something to suit every sailor and crew.  You can click right here to view the entire fleet based in Antigua.

 

 

Enjoy your Easter everybody and maybe we’ll see you in Antigua very soon!

info@antiguahorizon.com

 

 

Continue reading...

June sailing in Antigua – yes, please!

March 26, 2012

Comments Off

Isn’t it odd that the minute the weather warms up in Europe and parts of the USA, our enquiry levels increase!  It’s as if people have woken up out of their winter blues and think “I know, I’ll go sailing in the Caribbean!”.

So, why June sailing in Antigua?

Well, for a start, the weather is normally great – consistent breeze of around 15 knots, slightly hotter than our traditional ’high season’ weather (ie the ocean has heated up nicely for those extra long swims to work off the jam doughnuts so vital on any sailing trip) and just a smattering of showers somewhere on the island to cool you down and remind you that you left your hatches open!

The larger yachts depart the Caribbean at the end of April.  They have trips to make either up to the States or across the Atlantic to the Mediterranean for their summer season.   It’s never that busy here in Antigua but in June, you could be the only yacht at an anchorage – how brilliant is that.  I took this picture some time ago when we sailed up to Barbuda – now that’s a private beach if ever you saw one!  Just you, your crew, your boat and miles and miles of stunning beach.  Truly heaven in paradise.

June sailing in Antigua also offers great value for money.  You are outside of high season so the pricing drops nicely.  For example, you could take our Bavaria 40 for 7 nights/8 days for just US$3,295.  Share that with your crew and you could be paying just US$78 per person, per day.  Combine this with catching your own fish for supper and you are one happy sailor!

You are also outside of school vacation time.  Not great for sailing teachers, mind you, but you can sail in July so all is not lost.

Here in Antigua, the island is still active in June in terms of tours and restaurants open (and typically you don’ t need to make reservations in June).

People often ask us if we go “home” when the Season is over.  We always tell them that is our home and no, the season never ends here in Antigua.  It’s always the perfect time to enjoy great sailing.

It’s certainly one of my favourite times here on Antigua.  Check out our fleet list here.

Hope to see you in June!

 

Continue reading...

Big ticket items; it pays to be fussy!

March 25, 2012

Comments Off

So many of our charter guests are talking about buying their own boat to keep here in the Caribbean; we’ve seen a great increase since the start of our latest sailing season.  And why not?  Antigua offers year round sailing, consistent trade winds, a tropical climate and you don’t have the expense and hassle of having to put your boat on the hard at the end of the season and then counting the days until launch.  It almost seems like the winter is just the waiting time until you can get sailing again – we know about this, we used to live in the UK!

But yacht ownership is a big investment, so it pays to think long and hard about what kind of boat would suit your sailing ambitions – not just this year, but also for the next few years.  Where do you want to sail, who do you want to sail with and what kind of return do you want to achieve?  It certainly pays to be fussy – it’s a big ticket item. Sometimes we are talking to people for a year or so before they are ready to commit to yacht purchase.

We hear that people in Europe and the UK are having to decide on the size of their boat based on the rising cost of the mooring fees.  We’ve met people who would love to go for a 45′ monohull but find themselves compromising with a smaller yacht as the mooring fees are so expensive.  It’s certainly not cost-free here in Antigua but when you have a yacht in a Yacht Ownership Programme, you are offsetting all of those costs so you have the freedom to choose the boat that is exactly right for you.

You also have to consider the sailors who will be chartering your yacht.  What is going to make them excited to book your yacht?  That’s where we are able to advise on most popular cabin configuration and cockpit layouts etc.  You also need to think about resale value down the line; many of our owners start off with a certain size of yacht and then upgrade to another size 5 years later.  You need to think carefully about what is going to sell and hold its value.  Just some of the many things to consider and where our experience can add so much value to your thought process.

What makes our yacht owners unique is that they get to work with us to determine what is going to make their boat a perfect yacht for them – with Bavaria yachts, for example, our yacht sales specialists are directly in contact with the factory in Germany.  From the color of the saloon cushions, to the size of the engine – the specification is personally tailored.

Our yacht owners also tend to want to sail their own boat when they come to the Caribbean; we understand that.  Our owners get to know their yacht’s sailing characteristics and feel comfortable and confident in the performance; in all kinds of sailing conditions.  From our charter base in Antigua, you can explore so many cruising areas that you could be in St Martin on one trip and Dominica the next; it’s the ideal start point to visit many Caribbean islands in the Leewards.

So the next time you have that dream of owning your own yacht, be fussy – it certainly pays.

 

 

Continue reading...

Yacht of the week – escape the cold and the snow and head to Antigua!

February 3, 2012

Comments Off

Here’s a last minute offer for March 2012 that will make you throw off those thermal socks and drag your flip flops out of the closet!

Charter out of our Antigua base in the Caribbean:
Cruise for 7 nights/8 days between March 11 – 18 2012 on board our Bavaria 40 for just US$2,500 (excludes insurance and cruising permit).

Click here to view more about this 3 cabin yacht:

Superb sailing in Antigua is only a few weeks away. Take advantage of this offer and email us info@antiguahorizon.com

Continue reading...

Lobster with a view, in Antigua

February 1, 2012

Comments Off

So many of our charter guests who sail with us here in Antigua ask me where to get lobster so I thought I’d write a quick blog about Hamilton’s Wine Bar and Bistro in the heart of Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour. Call ahead and speak to Kate (co-owner) and she will tell you if she has fresh lobster on that day for lunch and/or dinner. We were there last night and had a wonderful evening.

The location is superb. All of the tables are outside on a first floor balcony. This means stunning views of yachts in the moorings and on the dock, and probably your boat at anchor.

We were met by Devon the Bartender. We know Devon from other bars (and other times) and he’s excellent. He convinced us to try his homemade ginger beer (in a cocktail of course) so we tried a thimble of his ginger beer and were hooked. One Dark and Stormy later…. (hic) we moved on. Not being a fan of Sex and the City, I was not aware that the girls’ cocktail of choice is a “Flirtini” but Kate reassures me this is the case. I was suitably impressed with the mix of champagne (real) and pineapple juice. There are other signature cocktails to try but we had to be semi-sensible and there was, after all, a large selection of wine to try a bit later.

The ambience is great; the building is the old Officer’s Quarters from Nelson’s Day, and after a day of sailing and coming ashore, it has a chill-out lounge not to be missed. The old shutters were half closed against the breeze and that combined with relaxing music, great lighting and the Dark and Stormy’s and we were in lounge heaven. That’s what your sailing holiday is all about.

For dinner, we had the hummus with flatbread and spicy olives and the pate of the day which was mackerel. Both very tasty and very nicely presented. This was followed by lobster and home made, hand cut fries – they didn’t even mind bringing tomato ketchup to the table for the fries. We also had the fish pie which I can thoroughly recommend; fluffy potato topped with cheese and just the right amount of fish and seafood.

When next you follow in Nelson’s footsteps and sail into English Harbour, Antigua on your next charter with Horizon… check out Hamiltons for lobster and those Dark and Stormy’s.

Continue reading...

Home made bread and a sense of humour – gotta love that in Antigua!

January 18, 2012

Comments Off

For many different reasons, some of our sailing guests decide to either take a Captain, or captain and First Mate, or Captain and Chef. And why not?

Perhaps you are new to the cruising area of Antigua & Barbuda, or perhaps you want to go further afield than you’ve ever explored before and need an extra pair of hands and some local knowledge.

It’s always interesting when we talk to clients over the phone and they are looking for a certain type of Captain, or Chef. Invariably, they’ve been on a boat in the past with someone that perhaps they did not rub along with (might be one of their own crew!), so they are particularly sensitive to who they share their liveaboard space with.

It always sounds quite tame when I reply “the Captains that we recommend to you are brilliant and get along with everyone”. But that is the truth. I think we have been really fortunate to meet and experience Captains and Chefs who have worked on all size of yacht, tend to have their own boats, and are some of the most relaxed people because they are living their own dream. Sailing is what they love and the ability to share that with other people.

I wanted to introduce you to one such couple who fit into this category. They are Canadian (ish) and have their own yacht “Moondancer” here in Antigua. As a husband and wife team they are fairly unique in that both are certified Captains. Nancy is the bread maker… no, really… she bakes her own bread and even cooked roast turkey on Christmas Day as they were crossing the Atlantic!

If you want a great sailing team for your next Antigua cruise, or Captain or just First Mate or Chef… you’ll be delighted to share your liveaboard space with such great people.

Remember to buy the yeast!

Continue reading...

Above and below the water line in Antigua – it’s a gift.

November 5, 2011

Comments Off

How many times have you looked longingly at the dive boats heading out of your various cruising grounds around Antigua and said “I wish I could do that”? There’s something magical about the ocean and being part of ocean life. It’s peaceful, weightless and certainly thrilling when you come nose to nose with your first sea turtle.

If you haven’t considered scuba diving before, you might be interested to know that there is something called PADI Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) that takes complete novices from the pool, to the classroom and to the dive site in just 1 day.

It’s a great way to see if PADI scuba diving is something that you would like to do more of as part of your cruising vacation and get certified with PADI down the line. Typically, the Indigo team dive the sheltered west and south coast of Antigua – also perfect sailing conditions so it makes sense to combine it.

Here in Antigua, we work closely with our good friends at Indigo Divers right here in Jolly Harbour Marina. They are PADI certified and also speak around four to five languages. Although underwater language is something that you will also learn.

If you would like to experience the beautiful underwater world of Antigua during your sailing holiday, we are offering a special complimentary gift voucher of one Discover Scuba Diving Course to the first person who comes through to us on email and says “I want to Discover Scuba Diving in Antigua with Horizon”.

Note: to qualify, you must have a 7+ night charter booked with us for 2012, or be able to confirm your reservation, and be able to take the 1 day course on any day of your charter – date to be booked immediately to confirm your place. A cancellation fee of US$150 will be charged should you not be able to take your course on that day once the date is booked.

Enjoy above and below the water in Antigua & Barbuda – it certainly is a gift.

Continue reading...
" );