Another Carriacou Workboat Makes a Splash

"At Sea" from our August 29, 2007, CW Reckonings

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Launching Bernard Compton's Margeto-o II in Windward, Carriacou, was a community affair.Sumati Eberstadt

What do you do when a hurricane destroys your boat? Build another one, of course. That's what Bernard Compton did recently, and he had it finished in time to enter the 42nd annual Carriacou Regatta Festival, which was held July 29 to August 6.

Bernard, a resident of Windward, Carriacou, is a master craftsman, and he's built many of the traditional workboats, which are a focal point of the yearly regatta. His latest boat, Margeto-o II, is a 42-foot sloop he built for his brother, Cyril Compton. It replaces the 33-foot Margeto-o, which was lost in Hurricane Emily in 2005.

The launching of a new boat in Windward's a pretty big deal, and just about the whole town joins in the festivities. There was food, drinks, singing, dancing, and a blessing of the new vessel, its builder, and its owner by a local reverend. There were also plenty of people on hand to assist in the launching, and to hand out free advice on the process.

The regatta has more than 12 classes for boats ranging in size from 12 to 42 feet, with participants from Carriacou as well as many other Caribbean islands such as Grenada, Antigua, Tobago, and Petite Martinique.

The original Margeto-o was a racing boat, but even though Margeto-o II has been designed as a fishing boat, it was fast enough to have placed third in the Round-D-Island race-with captain Cyril at the helm.