Monday, 16 February 2015

Antigua for Christmas and New YEar

13 th December next stop Antigua
A nice early start 6 o’clock in the morning we don’t want to go into anywhere in the dark.
With the main and headsail reefed, the swell and wind on the beam meant we were well heeled for the 45 nm trip.

We had been into Antigua before but not in English Harbour, you can't see the entrance until you are almost in and we negotiated behind a reef amongst other anchored yachts in Freemans Bay. By 12:30 the anchor was dropped in 1.4 metres and just off a beach on one side and the reef a little way away.

The resort on the beach
You can see the reef in this one, we snorkelled on it

The super yachts are in here
The resort
On the beach is part of a resort which doesn’t look very busy just a few folks enjoying paddle boards and there’s a bar but we only noticed it open a few times, theres a small dinghy dock too.

We decided to take a trip ashore to check in and have a bite to eat in Nelsons dockyard, its a nice place with some super yachts inside the marina they make us look very small. The taxi’s bring in folks from the cruise ships to have a quick look around it can be busy at times.
We then went to the other side of the bay where Don wanted to buy some hose pipe, yes more bits always something to fix, anyway we came out popped into the dinghy went a short way and the outboard engine decided to fail yet again, Don rowed us back to the boat. So Don looked inside the engine cover and yet again scratched his head and decided maybe we should replace the engine, more expense!
Anyway we had met up with a lovely American couple on a catamaran had also had problems with their engine and as we don’t have a telephone now Ty our friend spoke to the guy who had fixed his engine, the guy said he would be on the dinghy dock later.
Don rowed to the dinghy dock to meet the guy to fix the engine we hoped. Anyway this time the problem was a faulty spark plug, the insulator was making intermittent contact so a couple of hours he returned with a spark plug which seemed to solve our problem, not to expensive after all 25 $ for the call out great a working engine again so we thought.

2 different nights sunsets
We had Ty and Judith onboard A.T. for drinks and nibbles, Judith was flying back to the US for xmas and she offered to return after xmas with some new parts for our propeller, great. 

So many cruisers mentioned Shirley Heights where they have steels bands playing and a barbecue so we decided to go, no taxi for us we heard about a "trek" up the hill about a mile so they said. Well we did it but its much more than a mile the way we took, at one point the track went two ways we obviously took the wrong one.  What a climb, but it was rewarding when we reached a clearing where there were hundreds of butterflies.

 The view from the top is over the anchorage and way out beyond.

Hope you can read the description
So we departed English Harbour and made our way to Jolly Harbour which has a marina, great supermarket and busses that run frequently to St John the capital.
We picked up a mooring ball a way out of the marina its not so expensive and much more private there, it has WiFi all be it not very fast or reliable.
We had some pretty good walks along the beach from there.

The casino in Jolly which never came to fruition 
Found this guy hanging around

This is a glass bottomed boat also hovers, we watched it go out on its maiden voyage

Beach wares

More wares for sale

Seems weird seeing a christmas tree here
Don had been suffering with toothache for a couple of weeks, he has a crown which was fitted in South Africa a few years ago and on Christmas day he had been drinking frozen daiquiri’s so we think the ice made the pain much worse, the conclusion was he needed a dentist urgently. As we have antibiotics on board he started the course, he had been warned by the dentist that he may get an infection under the crown someday.
Where do we find a dentist on Christmas day? we don’t so on Boxing day we dinghies into the marina and went into the office and they let us use their telephone to ring the dentists in St John, one of them answered on an emergency number and said that the dentist would come out to the surgery in St John specially. We thought hmm boxing day not many busses so we took a taxi into St John and found the surgery, well eventually the dentist turned up and x-rayed his tooth and agreed he had an abscess below the tooth and said the crown would have to be removed, root canal work done then filled and re fitted, in the meantime advised to take antibiotics together with a much stronger dose of painkillers, come back on Monday she said I can do it in one day, hmm.
So on Monday a bus into St John we go and when we reached the stairs noticed a stream of water cascading down the stairs and people franticly doing their best to mop and sponge the floors, so they didn’t have any electric after the flood. So off we went to find another dentist. To cut this saga short we found another excellent dentist who did the work but not all at once as the other dentist had said she thought the crown would have broken so we had to visit almost every other day for almost 3 weeks until she was sure the infection was gone and all the root canals were clean. 
So Christmas was pretty quiet for us as was New Years Eve, we didn’t book anywhere ashore for a meal in case Don couldn’t eat and when we did try they were full. Out came the duck I had been saving for a special occasion with some fresh vegetables.
We hired a car for 3 days and drove around the whole island in a day its a small island, we had read about Devils bridge which is on the Atlantic side of Antigua and we heard it was very dramatic so we spent a little time there.

Didn't fancy going through this cut at all 

Had a smashing lunch at an Italian restaurant on the North coast the surroundings were nice it was in a resort which looked very nice.


In the New Year we met up with some old friends Jill and Tony from Nychea they had just arrived from home, their yacht had been on the hard tied down for the hurricane season. We all went for dinner in a local restaurant and the restaurant collected us all from the marina and took us back.  

We drove into Falmouth where we met up with Rhain and Rob from Beyzano they were sitting in the bar having coffee and told us about their xmas they had a great time with lots of other cruisers.
Ty and Judith were anchored in Falmouth we met up there and gave us the propeller parts. The car proved to be a good idea letting us take a good look all around the island. 

Sorry this blog is a bit mixed up, I'm trying to finish before the computer battery packs up.

We are currently in St Thomas in the US Virgin Isles.

Glenys and Don
Agua Therapy

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