Off the northeast coast of Jamaica is where the month’s actions begin. At sea, it’s anglers doing what they do best and festivities abound on Port Antonio’s shores, at the Port Antonio Marlin Tournament, October 1 – 8. www.visitjamaica.com/port-antonio-marlin-tournament
The New Year opens with the vibrant and colorful Junkanoo cultural tradition. The Bahamas has everyone dancing in the streets amongst the sea of revelers, in this case, fully clad from head toe. Draped in feathers, ruffles and an array of brilliant colors, marchers beat steel pan and drums, blowing whistles and horns. Sound the joyful noise, because the Abacos kicks off the Junkanoo parade on January 1 and Nassau and Paradise Island keep the theme going on January 2.
Antigua’s celebration for the New Year is also bound to be big on festivities and cultural enlightenment, so don’t let the name fool you. “Minival” is underway January 1.
There’s just enough time to rest-up, and be on the course at Sandals Emerald Bay, since eyes around the world will be watching. The vistas are magnificent while teeing off and making rounds, as Professional Golfers Association tour brings its skilled players to the Great Exuma Challenge, January 5 – 11 greatexumaclassic.com
Jamaica too offers a festival intertwined with a bit of history that spans over two hundred years. From their settlement, it’s a tale of the heroic Maroons as told through song, dance, storytelling, food, and much more at the Accompong Maroon Festival, January 6.
Antigua is back at their year round sport at sea. Needless to say, the view will be spectacular from any one of the island’s “365” beaches during the Antigua Yacht Club – Round the Island Race, January 16 www.antiguayachtclub.com
Runners close the month on a course that is no easy feat, nor easy on the feet, for that matter – all puns intended. It’s a race that literally has its highs and lows. Whether running uphill or downhill, racers’ resilience will be tested during the High Mountain 10 K, January 31 www.highmountaincoffee10k.com/home/home.html
St. Vincent & The Grenadines hosts its premier musical experience with the perfect pairing of white sands and tranquil sea that surrounds days of smooth and melodic tunes and songs during Bequia Mount Gay Music Fest 2017, January 19 – 22 and the Mustique Blues Festival in Bequia, January 20.
Then it’s just a hop up to Martinique, where the instruments are catamarans and the rhythmic sounds are of skilled sailors capturing wind and wave to take command and maneuver the seas. With grace, and what appears to be ease, all vie to reign seaman supreme at the Martinique Cata Raid, January 22 – 28 martiniquecataraid.com/fr/Accueil/
The shortest month of the year begins with probably the longest running celebration of reggae that can be experienced all over the island and all over the world, for that matter, as the legendary Bob Marley’s reggae music is celebrated. What better way to get the festivities started than by the Bob Marley Birthday Bash in Negril on February 1 firstname.lastname@example.org-
Antigua continues to command the month at sea with the Antigua Super Yacht Challenge, February 2 – 5 superyachtchallengeantigua.com/ , followed by the Wobbly Boat Club Race on February 5. Mid-month, it’s a race for sweethearts with the Jolly Harbour Valentine’s Regatta, February 12 – 16 www.jollyharbourregatta.com , only to wrap up the month with the Royal Ocean Racing Club Caribbean 600 Race, February 22 www.caribbean600.rorc.org
In the British Virgin Islands, two well-known Caribbean delights come together when Virgin Gorda gathers one and all by the water’s edge for conch and calypso. Guests dine on the succulent delicacy, serenaded by the soul-swaying, melodious calypso rhythms at Fischer’s Cove Beach Hotel & Restaurant during Conch and Calypso, February 18 www.fischerscove.com/
Without a doubt, the races and parties will live up to their “serious fun” motto. After all, it is dubbed the largest warm water regatta in the world. The action is underway at St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, March 3 – 5 heinekenregatta.com/
Turks and Caicos combines the reel and tee – well, not simultaneously, but the competition takes off for golfers on land and anglers at sea for the 7th Annual Wine Cellar Golf & Fishing Tournament, March 9 – 12 golfandfishingtci.com
It’s a cultural kaleidoscope in Montserrat, as the island celebrates its Irish and African heritage, while commemorating a failed uprising, ironically, planned for the same day almost 250 years ago. Don’t miss the African and Irish music performances, a freedom run, and a recreated slave village and feast all at Montserrat’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations, March 17.
Later in the month, swimmers test their stamina as the Caribbean beckons challengers to a long distance swim. Competitors take the plunge for the Nevis to St. Kitts Cross Channel Swim, March 26.
Then look to the air, as Jamaica closes the month with high flying, brilliant colors dancing across the sky Saint Ann Kite Festival, March 28. Also taking flight that same day is the Antigua and Barbuda International Kite Festival, Devil’s Bridge, March 28. Whistling kite tails fill the air.
In the Bahamas, musicians make the melodious syncopations, as Eleuthera hosts local and international artists ready to tantalize jazz enthusiasts at Eleuthera All That Jazz, March 29 – April 2 www.eleutheraallthatjazz.com