Don’t be fooled by the dinghy. Most of the boats you’ll normally find Paul Deeth on are a hundred feet long or so. Paul’s a native Antguan who grew up on the water and traveled all over the world with his parents (sort of like these two guys we know).
Paul lives a life most of us only dream about. When he’s not at the helm of a boat, he’s skippering two of the biggest nautical gatherings in the Caribbean: the Antigua Charter Boat Show and the Superyacht Challenge. They’re the two must-see events that mark the beginning and end of the boating season here.
We arrived just in time for the start of the season, and got a chance to catch up with Paul one morning in English Harbor. He shared some amazing stories about life at sea and on the island, and it turns out Paul’s a pretty laidback guy (like everyone else we met). Due to his efforts and energy, Antigua’s become the go-to place for yachtsmen and boat-loving tourists alike.
Islands and boats? Those are two subjects where we definitely see eye to aye!
Fastened to a harness and zipping through the trees of Antigua, we finally caught up with Jake at the bottom of the Rainforest Canopy Zip-Line Tour. They say a job like this requires a big leap of faith, but we’re always up for an adventure, and it turns out Jake is too. In fact, Jake was the first ever to test out the zip-lines when he was younger, and now he helps out with the tour whenever he can. Try balancing school, fun and, oh yeah, yourself through a couple of trees every day. What a guy!
Jake’s parents happen to be a dynamic-duo themselves. Jake’s father, Rob, is the managing director of Curtain Bluff Resort and was our go-to guy on the island. Having landed here in 1978, Rob knows Antigua like the back of his hand. Jake’s mother, Bernadette, has been an islander since the age of 4, and is now one of the founding members of Island Academy (the best international school in the Caribbean) as well as shareholder and director of three restaurants in Antigua. With a pair of venturous parents like these, it’s proof that the coconut does not fall far from the palm tree.
The Shermans have their hands full no matter what the season, but they’re always willing to reach out to their community wherever they can. This seems to be a common thread around here, and they’ve shown us that when you’re willing to go the extra mile, well, you’re that much closer to living out your dreams.
There’s something to be said about Southern hospitality. But Caribbean hospitality? That’s a whole ’nother cricket game.
Chelle Hulford can often be found wearing a smile (alongside a pretty stylish outfit), greeting each and every guest at Curtain Bluff Resort. She’s not only the owner, but most would say Chelle’s more like an extended family member for everyone who comes to stay here.
Howard, Chelle’s late husband, built a villa on Curtain Bluff in 1962 after falling in love with the island. (With a view like that…who can blame him?) And with an addition of 50 rooms or so and a few houseguests later, Curtain Bluff Resort was born.
Howard and Chelle had this idea that if your employees and neighbors were happy, then the guests would be too. Call them crazy, but it worked. And as the village grew, so did the resort. They quickly realized nothing was possible without the help and support of the local community, and it turns out giving back to the place you call home is just a part of life down here.
Now, with a resort in full bloom filled with happy “customers” (most keep coming back year after year!), Chelle celebrates milestones, birthdays and even weekly cocktail parties with friends who have become more like family. Her balcony has served as the backdrop for hundreds of weddings and family photos, and friends of Curtain Bluff know Chelle has made this special place a perfect home away from home. She’s living out her dream and Howard’s legacy all in one, and after all, what’s the Good Life about if you can’t share it with others?