Vanishing Sail at the Wooden Boat Show: A Boatbuilding Film

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The Journey of Summer Wind, the inspiration for Vanishing Sail
No.8 Antigua Slipway, 2008

After sailing Summer Wind up and down the islands for 8 summers, I had decided to build a larger sloop with Alwyn and his sons and sold the vessel to a gentleman who began his own love affair with her. And after several years getting to learn her particular ways and also running aground on most of the reefs surrounding Antigua, she required a considerable amount of repairs. Originally fastened with house nails, they had been slowly but surely rusting away in her deck beams allowing rainwater to seep in and cause plenty trouble & rot. This is the story of Alexis Andrews and Vanishing Sail. 

Stop by our booths in Tent A, Come meet shipwright Louis Sauzedde and see the TotalBoat Work Skiff, then catch a screening of Vanishing Sail. It’s an amazing story of Caribbean boatbuilding and preserving a trade and a family tradition that risks falling by the wayside.

Meet Alexis Andrews, see his Carriacou sloop SUMMER WIND on the dock, and view the film Vanishing Sail at the 26th Annual Woodenboat Show @ Mystic Seaport, June 30-July 2. Schedule of the show’s film series: https://thewoodenboatshow.com/film-series/

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Photo credit: Steffan Meyric-Hughes

There is a small group of islands in the Lesser Antilles where the traditions of boatbuilding were once crucial to the survival of local communities skimming a living from the sea. Hundreds of sailing vessels were once launched here, more than anywhere in the West Indies. But today there is no more trading by sail, and these skills have vanished elsewhere in the region.

“If this thing gone from here, everything gone you know…” – Alwyn Enoe, Master Boatbuilder

Alwyn Enoe is one of the last boatbuilders practicing a trade passed down the generations from Scottish settlers that arrived in Carriacou in the 18th century. Approaching his 70s and with no more orders coming in, he decides to build one last sailing sloop with the hope that his sons will continue the trade.

The film – Vanishing Sail – follows Alwyn’s progress and despair over three years – from hauling trees out of the forest to a final traditional launching ceremony on the bayside.

Stories of trading by sail and smuggling contraband told by some of the last old Caribbean sea characters weave through the film like the currents of the Grenadines.

“So the sea is our extension, that is our goldmine.” – Michael Caesar, Former United Nations Ambassador

With the family’s hope and resources now in the wooden vessel, Alwyn tries to complete her in time to race in the Antigua Classic Regatta – five weeks & three hundred miles away – here traditional West Indian and metropolitan elements fuse to create the final resolution of the film.

Here is the movie trailer:

Vanishing Sail – OFFICIAL TRAILER from Indian Creek Films on Vimeo.

See the film & visit #CarriacouSloop at The Wooden Boat Show https://thewoodenboatshow.com/film-series/ , June 30-July 2, Mystic CT, USA WoodenBoat26th Annual WoodenBoat Show

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