january 2011 antigua

Published: January 23rd 2011
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January 2011

Happy New Year to all our friends, family and anyone else. I can finally say that on the 15th January, as the start of the new year was a bit of a nightmare. When we got back to the boat we were expecting to find our decks recaulked, the boat tidy and everything good, but in reality we found shoddy work, the boat in a shambles and noone to be seen. We went to Falmouth harbour for new years eve and had a great time, as always the atmosphere was wonderful and we danced until about 2am.
The following days were spent fretting about sorting out the work on the boat and we were extremely lucky to find two really reliable carpenters, oliver and marshall who expertly repaired the work and produced perfect looking decks. At last the boat feels like home again. We have had two weeks of teak dust, grinding, sticky black stuff and having to move the boat to the sand fly infested dock every morning at 8 am, it has been like going to work! With the sanding etc it has been impossible to stay on the boat during the day, so we hired a car and actually have had a very interesting time.

Antigua has 365 beaches and I had previously been to about 4 of them. I n the car we have explored the whole island, and have found some lovely places. We went to nonesuch bay today, to the nonesuch bay resort, where there is a lovely restaurant, a huge balcony restaurant overlooking the sea, very calm and relaxing. The food was delicious, and then we swam in one of their huge pools, made a change from the sea,. There are lots of villas and apartments for sale in the complex, it is very quiet and relaxing. Another day we went to half moon bay with Lucyna, a perfect crescent., the day we went there was a surf rolling in, great fun trying to catch a wave. We went to the beach bar, casual barefoot kind of place, and generally just soaked up that blue sky and silver sand.
I went out with the girls to st johns to have lunch and do some shopping. Claire was staying from Weymouth and we had a good time, and spent hours in the new giant supermarket.
Alan wanted to spray a part of the boat, and we needed to be out of the wind, so we drove round the back of coco point hotel and found a rock out of the wind. I think the locals thought we were up to no good, it did seem an odd thing to be doing. The beach nearby was empty so we came back the next day, we were the only people on the beach, it was so tranquil, the sea a great temperature.
Each day we have come back, sometimes in the afternoon, it has been unbearably hot down below so I have gone off to the beach. Oliver and his team work in huge temperatures, methodical and careful with our precious decks.
So although we would rather have been sailing, going to the other side of the island, visiting new parts of Antigua has been rather nice. We very rarely lay on the beach, so this is unusual. And then there is the social life, it has been very sociable here, lots of friends, meals out, drinks etc etc. We went to the art gallery in fig tree drive, the little bit of rain forest Antigua has, and found some colourful pictures for sale. We have been going to the new coffee shop in Jolly harbour and drinking copious amounts of coffee and eating donuts. The people here in the yard, and in fact all the Antiguans we have met have been unfailingly polite and helpful. A lovely island.. . Our boat is looking beautiful again, and I can’t wait to start sailing and enjoying our usual cruising life.


As always approaching Barbuda, and Spanish point through the reefs is best done in bright sunlight. As we approached this time a squall came, just as I was balanced on the bow of the boat! Still we had no problems and soon we were anchored in bright blue water. We were the only yacht there overnight, and soon we were snorkelling and exploring the reef. Next day we saw Tivoli appearing over the horizon and rolling in through the surf. This is the boat that Trevor from Weymouth is the captain on, and it was lovely to see them. Now there are two boats in this remote anchorage, and it was good last night to see their lights, like the ‘mother ship’! The beach is as pristine and golden as ever, and there are a few fishermen living on the beach, probably conch fishing, or lobstering. The reef is roaring, and flocks of birds fly low down, wheeling in the surf, silver wings catching the light. All together very peaceful.

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31st January 2011

So pleased to learn that your boat is repaired and ship shape again. Also glad that you were able to explore Antigua, as you may know, we went there every year for about 7 years only missing out one yesr when it was hit by a hurricane and we had to go to the Cayman Islands. Happy sailing and look forward to your next blog. David.

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