Saturday, 26 April 2014

Antigua part one

The trip from St Barths was an overnighter a 96 nm trip, as I mentioned in the previous blog not intentional we managed to find ourselves in "the pack" of the last days race, at it was pretty exciting and Don did more 90 degree turns than we have ever done to get out of the way.

Most of the way yet again we sailed pretty hard on the wind the direction of the wind again easterly with some south easterly and as we are pretty determined we did sail and not motor until we were outside the markers for Jolly Harbour.

The water colour is stunning around the coastline of Antigua reminding us of the Bahamas. On entering Jolly Harbour the colour changes somewhat to a murky green, its not allowed to anchor here so you have to pick up a mooring ball, luckily we found one quite close to the marina so it was a 5 minute dinghy ride to the marina dinghy dock.

17 04 N 61 53 W
Don took a ride in to checkin with customs and immigration. We had breakfast in the sports bar and used the pc's to check the mail, surprisingly the marina transmitted the WiFi enough to be picked up some of the time on the ball although the best time was in the early hours.

The beach just outside Jolly harbour
Fun boat moored outside thank goodness

I like hats
View from one of the the bars
Wow were the guys excited about the cricket
Well Jolly Harbour isn't so exciting, but does have a large supermarket, clean and lots of fresh produce. 
Jolly Harbour entrance has housing complexes mainly 2 bedroom water front properties with their own docks a very useful addition and being a hurricane hole is quite attractive. 

St John is the capital of Antigua so on the buss we hopped and found ourselves in a very busy place, as I needed a test for my eyes the little map helped us find the "eye doctor" so test done and about an hour later we walked back into town.

The museum is not bad but as in most of the Caribbean history is mostly based on slaves and how they regained freedom, one of the boasts is a statue of the cricketer Viv Richards and his bat and ball he used to get his world record, he was born in Antigua.

Old baby papoose

Viv with his bat and ball behind him

This is a Warri board is used in a game here apparently still a very popular game now its used with stones or seeds 
As it was quite late we missed most of the indoor market but didn't fancy taking things on a long bus ride back anyway. While walking through the town we passed by the cruise dock and the custom cruise shop area all very very expensive the food in the restaurants are way over priced its no wonder folks stay on board to eat I doubt any locals eat there.

7 00 N 61 50 W
We spent 2 days in Jolly then went to an anchorage a couple of hours away Carlisle bay where we stayed for 2 nights the last one being quite rolly, somehow even way out from land we found the "internet" amazing. The beach is private, palm fringed with a resort, they take guests around on wake-boards mainly kids screaming when they manage to throw them off and water-skiers some accomplished others not so. Yet again we were constantly surrounded by turtles, we did snorkel close to the shore which was ok mainly small fish but colourful. It was a pretty quiet place hardly any other yachts but we enjoy those.

17 01 N 61 46 W
So off we sailed around the coast not far to Falmouth, a squall provided us with a fresh water wash down.
When we entered Falmouth we weaved through the yachts at anchor and on mooring balls and noticed Desi on a ball, it was quite calm but very busy with yachts ready for the next big event the Antigua classic, some of the most impressive classics or should I say copy classics.

When we returned from a trip ashore there was another yacht anchoring not too far away, the lady was waving at us, it was only later when we heard someone knock on the hull and shout us that it was Tony and Gill from Nychea, we had met up in Trellis bay in the BVI's.

A few beer with Tony and Gill from Nychea
Ashore a half hour walk takes you to English Harbour which is also Nelsons Dockyard, we found an approved ICOM dealer and after several attempts managed to find the "right man" Unfortunately the "right man" at 100$ an hour we decided to return out "iffy ICOM SSB to the UK later this year. 
English Harbour also has a marina which was quite busy with the Oyster regatta, lots of Oyster yachts all busy with crew preparing for the race, hmm more on that in a while. 

Outside the museum in Falmouth

Officers quaters

Why they have a UK phone box I have no idea

Nelsons Dockyard houses lots of old stone buildings one of which is a museum, free entrance which is always good.  The marina is surrounded by a few cafĂ©'s bars and restaurants. One day when we went in the place was pretty full of tourists on excursions from the cruise ships which had arrived in St John, when you listen to the conversations you can always hear we don't have enough time to see this or that with just a few short hours it must be frustrating to spend all that money to have such a short visit.

Someone rowed this alone across the Atlantic 

Little guy cooling off
The night before we left I was below and heard some shouting, Don watched as a classic yacht came close by us under full sail drop the anchor then the sails, all with some very fit young men on board, I watched them doing push ups on the decks. They had anchored right in the middle of Nychea and us Tony and Gill saw the whole thing too and thought they were too close to us both,
when we lifted the anchor the captain of the classic yacht looked a little worried when we edged quite close, it was his problem not ours as we were there first, I wish I had taken a photo to get the look on his face.

So off again and into the blue another short sail to Carlisle bay anchorage, can you believe it the Oyster race was in progress and we listened to the countdown for the race to start and again for the handicapped start for the bigger yachts.
One poor skipper must have been fuming when the spinnaker managed to get tangled up, it looked like a figure of eight, it was quite sometime before they rectified to problem. A helicopter hovered all around the yachts and we followed quite slowly behind but wish we had used the parasailor, it would have been great fun to doing the same.

After spending a rolly night at anchor in Carlise bay we set off for Jolly Harbour again there was a blow coming through so we tucked ourselves up on a ball where it would be nice and calm.

Ok part 2 to follow eventually its difficult doing this when we have to be ashore so the next few blogs will be late sorry

Don and Glenys

Agua Therapy

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