TOUR: Caribbean Jaunt Wrap Up

Published on April 1st, 2013

Scuttlebutt correspondent Leighton O’Connor has been on the Caribbean race circuit, leaving home base in Massachusetts for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta (Feb 28-Mar 3), International Rolex Regatta – USVI (Mar 22-24), and last week he was at the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival (Mar 25-31). Here is his wrap from Nanny Cay…

I’m watching the rain pound down on as I upload my final batch of images from the media center at the BVI Spring Regatta. I’m reflecting on what a truly amazing winter it’s been for me in the Caribbean. From taking line honors off of Norman Island on a 83 year old classic yacht to photo bombs with the Heineken Girls at the St. Maarten Yacht Club. I’m a bit sad that it’s all now ending because I need to get back home to reality.

In the last few weeks I’ve been lucky enough to sail a GunBoat 62, ride on Melges 32, jump off the Willie T with my GoPro and eat a gourmet cheeseburger on the rail while rounding the West End of Tortola. And I won’t even get into the fun rides I had in Key West in January with colleague Sharon Green & crew.

To close the BVI Spring regatta, I spent a wet and rolling day shooting from the T2P.TV boat. Tucker was on the wheel bouncing six of us back and forth from side to side in some pretty choppy seas. Tucker would call the waves just in time for me to hunch over my camera and take the waves on my back. I was soaked, grinning from ear to ear, and loving every minute of it.

I love what I do no matter what weather is, how sleep deprived I am, and how nuts things get trying to make deadlines. I always have a little grin on my face. The other day I was making the trip back to Nanny Cay from Norman Island standing on the bow of center console while hanging on to the bowline like a bull rider. I had a grin on my face for the whole 20 minute ride thinking how lucky I am.

I have had a saying the last few weeks in the Caribbean: “Well this doesn’t suck.” It’s so true. If I would hear somebody bitching about something stupid like not having enough nutmeg sprinkled on their Painkiller…I’d turn to them and say “You are in the fricken Caribbean, on a beach drinking something cold and tasty…time for a reality check pal.”

Over the last few weeks I’ve been worried that my posts and articles from these warm places look like I’m bragging and being a pompous ass. I hope I didn’t come across that way. I truly love what I do and want to share a bit of what I’m experiencing. Just maybe my posts might warm up somebody’s cold day in an icy cubicle.

I feel truly blessed that I get to do what I enjoy so much as a job. (Even though it doesn’t appear to be a real job in the real world.) I truly appreciate my friends who support what I do. All the nice kudos I have been getting for my tropical images almost makes up for the hate mail I get from all my freezing sailing and skiing friends back in Massachusetts.

My traveling to the islands is not done though. The end of this week I will be watching my son graduate from the Marines on Paris Island in South Carolina. Not a very tropical place but I couldn’t think of a better place to be this week. As matter of fact, isn’t there some big race in South Carolina in a few weeks? Maybe I could be talked into staying in South Carolina for a bit longer.

Who thinks I should be there?

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