An Inside Look At the Airline Industry’s Caribbean Adventure Trip
They arrive from the sky seeking the sea. Go from cockpit to cabin and use sails as wings.
Pilots and flight attendants come in for a landing in the Caribbean Sea each October for the annual The Moorings Interline Regatta, a 10-day sailing journey in the British Virgin Islands. The 2017 event is Oct. 10-19.
After a single time at this event, you’ll be saying over and over: “I GOTTA regatta!”
The setting is spectacular and as many as 100 boats form the flotilla, which is stocked with airline industry personnel and others lucky enough to be involved. There’s a regatta, all right, but the real reason for the journey is the nightly parties in the various ports of the BVIs – Peter Island, Marina Cay and Virgin Gorda among them.
Interline Regatta Theme Parties
Most nights have themes and there’s some good ones for 2017. The biggest party each year is the annual pirates and wenches party, which this year kicks off the six parties in seven nights.
Here’s the full schedule with the nightly themes and locations:
• Oct. 10 – Pirate theme party, Pirates Bight, Norman Island
• Oct. 11 – Dia de los Muertos, Foxy’s, Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke
• Oct. 12 – Official Welcome Party, Mariner Inn & Marina, Road Town (wristband required)
• Oct. 13 – Miami Vice theme, Bitter End Yacht Club, Virgin Gorda
• Oct. 14 – Baywatch theme party, Anegada Reef Hotel, Anegada
• Oct. 15 – Saints And Sinners theme party, Leverick Bay Resort, Leverick Bay
• Oct. 16 – Arabian Nights theme party, Coco Maya, Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda
• Oct. 17 – Awards Ceremony, Scrub Island
To participate in the regatta, go to the The Moorings Interline Regatta website.
With between six and 10 people per boat, which are rented catamarans ranging in size from 44 to 50 feet, the nightly attendance reaches approximately 800 revelers.
With no early-morning flights and a mix of single guys and gals, there is ever the possibility of what Jimmy Buffett might describe as a Blue Heaven Rendezvous.
It stars the second they grab a mooring at the designated spot for the night. Down go their inflatables and then it’s…Dingy Wars! People load into their mini boats and cruise the harbor bombarding the sailboats and all who remain on them with water balloons and super-soakers. Then the dingy crews go after each other.
The true highlight of the 10-day cruise are the nightly beach bashes.
The ensuing parties – some on a beach and all at the water’s edge – are rum-filled nights of live local music, dancing and drinking to each island’s Caribbean beat.
Afterward, there’s always after-hours parties on host boats in the harbor. To get there, some arrive by dingy and others simply swim from boat to boat. These last as long as the last person is left standing.
There is an actual regatta, and many indeed do compete in it when the sun rises over the glistening aqua blue waters of the Caribbean sea. It’s a point of pride for the leading competitors and the event concludes with an awards dinner.
But others – the “family and friends” of the participants – spent their days cruising to the daytime delights of the BVIs, which includes diving and snorkeling locations and rum-consuming spots like The Baths, jumping nude off the back of The William Thornton (or Willie T’s) and the Soggy Dollar Bar. Click on the link or a separate article on the bars of the BVIs.
It’s all just another day – or in this case, days – in paradise.