THE SWELLS ARE BIG TODAY; the winds, bigger. But on May 30 – Anguilla Day – locals still take to the ocean for their annual around-the-island sailing race that celebrates their homeland’s independence from St. Kitts in 1967. In rustic, shallow-draft schooners with oversize sails (the tra­ditional, hand-built watercraft. Anguillans have used for centuries in trade and sometimes smuggling). crews of as many as 25 work in the tightest quarters to keep their boats upright and tacking. All around them bobs a wild barge-and-boat party of locals who’ve come out to watch the action and cheer on their fiends. On shore, hundreds more islanders cluster in spots to picnic and watch, many spending the whole day mirroring the route from land. It’s a really rough day on the water this year, and one boat – a favorite to win – capsizes. But after the crew swims quickly to safety, the post-race party at the funky outpost of Sandy Ground feels like the best night ever.   …Read More