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Kinsale Yacht Club Sailors Make Good Speed on Shindig's Caribbean Voyage

6th March 2023
Tony Kingston With dinner caught aboard Shindig
Tony Kingston With dinner caught aboard Shindig

“Shindig is an old boat, very traditional, down-to-earth, you wouldn’t have the luxury of the super yachts around down here, some of which are massive cruising machines with every gadget known to man, but she suits us perfectly and makes good speed,” Alice Kingston says on the phone from Antigua in the Caribbean which herself and husband, Tony, a former Cork Harbour Pilot, have reached on their voyage from Kinsale.

“From here, we’re going to make our way to Fort Lauderdale. We’ll try and see as many of the islands as we can, probably stopping in St.Barts, St.Kitts and the British Virgin Islands, and we’ll take Shindig out of the water in Florida and then head for home in April sometime. Tony and Alice are members of Kinsale Yacht Club and left their home port a few months back, were crewed by family and friends to Barbados, from where they carried on by themselves.

Alice Kingston at the helm of Shindig in the CaribbeanAlice Kingston at the helm of Shindig in the Caribbean

They originally bought, Shindig, a Swan 40 that is fifty years old and sailed it from the USA back to Kinsale three years ago with their son and daughter. Tony and his brother, George, restored the boat in Kinsale Boatyard.

Apart from using the engine for an hour a day to charge batteries, it’s been all sailing for the couple, using the main and head sail. They have found some areas pretty crowded with boats.

Shindig anchored in AntiguaShindig anchored in Antigua

“At Martinique, there was an 800-berth marina which was full and wouldn’t have space for two weeks,” said Alice on my Maritime Ireland March Podcast, “but we prefer anchorages anyway, and we swim ashore from the boat because you’re advised if possible not to use the dinghy. We’ve used it only twice. We anchor close to shore and swim ashore with our dry bags when we need to, so we’re getting loads of swimming, but the water is warm, thirty degrees, so it’s no hardship. Many boats have water-makers. We are living very simply really on the boat, which is lovely to get back to that kind of living. It shows you can do with so much less,” Alice said.

Listen to Alice Kingston on the Podcast here

Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney writes a weekly column for He presents the monthly programme Maritime Ireland on Podcast services and Irish radio stations.

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