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Paris Permenter & John Bigley's
Caribbean Family Tripper travel guide

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Watersports for Families in Antigua

Especially for families with teens, you'll find a wide selection of watersports in Antigua regardless of your level of expertise. Lessons are offered by many larger resorts.

Windsurfing

Constant northeast trade winds make this a good windsurfing destination. Beginners learn on the West Coast, with its more protected waters, while the East Coast challenges surfers of any level. The center of the windsurfing action is Dickenson Bay. Here the annual Windsurfing Antigua is scheduled.

Look for rentals from Wadadli Watersports Center at Buccaneer Cove and Unlimited Hydro Sports at Dickenson Bay and Jolly Beach. Windsurfing lessons are offered at several hotels including Jolly Beach's Windsurfing Sailing School (considered one of the top schools in the world), and Wadadli Windsurfing Classes at Lord Nelson Beach Hotel.

Scuba Diving

Snorkeling

Deep Sea Fishing

Grouper, snapper, and other game fish are sought on deep sea charters. These waters are the site of two tournaments every year: the Sports Fishing Tournament and the Winter Fishing Tournament.

The Sports Fishing Tournament offers over $50,000 in prizes. The angler who breaks the local blue marlin record (771.25 pounds, set in 1994) wins $10,000. Cash prizes also go to the record-breaking catches of white marlin, sailfish, kingfish, wahoo, dolphin, and tuna.

The tournament donates part of its proceeds to a local cause or charity. Last year's event assisted the island of Montserrat, a member of the Leeward Islands that has been troubled by constant volcanic threat.

About 70 boats participate in the event. Special fields include the largest fish caught by a female angler, the largest caught by a participant age 16 and younger, and the most fish tagged and released by any one boat.=

Check with your hotel activity desk or with one of the charter boat companies for a day of sportfishing. Some operators are:
• Legend (268-462-0256): a 35-foot Hatteras Sportfishing boat at Rex Halcyon Cove
•Lobster King (268-462-4364), a 38-foot Bertram available for full and half-day charter from Jolly Harbour
•Overdraft (268-462-0649), a 40-foot fiberglass fishing boat

Sailing

Sailing is serious business on this island: many call Antigua the sailing capital of the Caribbean. April's annual Sailing Week attracts boaters from around the globe to English Harbour Town and is considered one of the world's top regattas. It's certainly the largest in the Caribbean, and draws some of the globe's fastest yachts and top crews.

Sailing Week isn't all work and no play, however. The week is filled with parties, barbecues, road races, and ends with a grand finale, Lord Nelson's Ball.

Whenever you visit, you can enjoy a leisure cruise, one that might include lunch, sightseeing, snorkeling, and entertainment. Some fun cruises include:

•Jolly Roger Pirate Cruise (268-462-2064), Antigua's largest sailing ship. This two-masted schooner has daily cruises.
•Wadadli Cats (268-462-2980), catamaran
•Kokomo Cats (268-462-7245), catamaran

Return to Antigua with Kids


 


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