On Jan. 23, Zada Clarke and Alex Goldhill were married in Carriacou, an island to the north of Grenada, where Alex grew up, in the exposed northeastern corner, on a tradewind blasted promontory. Friends from all over the world converged for the ceremony. Days of festivities began and ended with sailing races.

From Martha’s Vineyard where Zada and Alex came together, to this tiny island 12.5 degrees above the equator, there is a maze of journeys.

As an apprentice, escaped from a boatbuilding school in Denmark in 2014, Alex was working at a boat shop called Woodstock in Falmouth Harbor, Antigua. He ended up working alongside Ross Gannon, the boatbuilder from Vineyard Haven, who was passing through on his own boat with his family. Alex mentioned to Ross he had just bought a particularly rugged, small and fast sailboat named Brumby from the harbor in Tyrell Bay in Carriacou.

Ross told him that if he ever sailed into Vineyard Haven, he’d have a job for him. In two giant hops late that spring Alex sailed the 29-foot Brumby close to 2,000 miles by himself, from the Caribbean to Bermuda, then from Bermuda to Sheepshead Bay, N.Y.

Along the way his engine died and his autopilot broke. He arrived from the open Atlantic in the teeth of a ripping northeaster without enough money to buy himself dinner.

At Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway, where he started work the day after he showed up, Alex met Zoltan Clarke. When he met Zada Clarke, who visited later that summer from her own journeys in L.A., Fiji and Colorado, Alex already valued his friendship with Zoli so much, he was afraid to pursue his sister.

Zada Clarke and Alex Goldhill in Carriacou. — Izzy Cohan

His reticence eroded over the years. Or something was stronger than it. In the fall of 2016 Alex and Zada, in between boat jobs that took him from New England and dragged him up and down the Caribbean, and production jobs that sent her constantly to and from L.A., New York and Europe, the two found a way to get together.

Sailboats have been the settings for much of the couple’s life, forging and reforging bonds on regular and irregular adventures. At the wedding were a lot of the people they sail with. The wedding’s official commodore, Jeff Craig, organized a mini-regatta on the beach underneath the guest house where Alex grew up with his siblings Max and Ea, and his parents Dave Goldhill and Ulla Poulsen.

Throughout one day, nine teams competed in pairs of races in three boats. Two were fiberglass raceboats, one was a double-ended wooden centerboarder, built in Bequia on the beach 50 years before and restored by Alex in the last year. All were around 19 feet. In only one set of races did the smaller Bequia boat with the gaff main beat both the modern sloops, and that was when it was driven by Ross Gannon.

The boat with the fastest time after one race was driven by Ross’s daughter Greta Gannon. And the boat with the fastest time after two races, and the champion of the regatta, was driven by Ross’s son, Lyle Zell.

The day of the wedding, the wind howled. The first thing Zada and Alex did after saying their vows, after standing around giggling and kissing each other in front of a row of cameras, was to get in the little Bequia boat. With Zada’s satin dress flapping behind her, she got out on the foredeck, raised the jib and cast off the mooring pennant.

On a long tack toward Petit Martinique, the little boat heeled with two white-clad figures crouched side by side on the windward rail. The crowd of guests, from many of the world’s different islands, crowded together in one knot at the edge of the beach.

Finding love ashore and at sea. — Greta Gannon

The echo of what Zada said to Alex, “I feel safest when I’m on a boat with you,” was on my mind as they pressed shoulder to shoulder, bucking the chop against the color-drenched horizon.

Local friends were hired to cook the traditional party food, called saraca, over wood fires in three-foot, iron Trinidadian pots. One pig, 16 chickens, two goats and two sheep were stewed down and served with peas and balls of corn meal and rice, both called coocoo. More than half the crowd was made of people Alex had grown up around in Carriacou. A lot of people made a lot of new friends.

When Zoli spoke at the ceremony, surrounded by flowers arranged by Zada’s mom, he quoted his and Zada’s dad, Jack Reed, from a note he had written when his daughter Zada was a year old: “All we need to know is just under our feet; all we need to hold is just within our grasp, and all we need to live is just the love we have to give away.”

Two islands an ocean away produced two people with similar-enough feelings that they couldn’t stay way from each other. I told Alex I was going to write a story about the wedding. Ever diligent, I asked him what was special about it. He laughed at me and said, “I trust you to write whatever you’ve got to write.”

A ferry that goes between Grenada and Carriacou. The route is open to ocean waves and it takes a few hours. Once a year there is a sailboat race between the islands. To get 25 guests back to Grenada after the party, Alex and Zada saved them the ferry ride by loading everyone and their luggage onto the classic yawl Mah Jong, the boat he works on as captain, and joined in the race to Grenada with everybody on board.

Mah Jong took second place.

When people are willing to work to make everything special, everything is special. The wind kind of died the night of the party. It got sweaty where we were dancing under the galvanized metal roof in the boatshed. The crowd pulsed until the band packed up.