Since we arrived in Antigua in early December last year, we've had quite a busy time. Tim worked a charter over Christmas and I have my friend Susan from Ottawa out for a visit, so I wouldn't be lonely.
Susan keeping cool: Tim's charter catamaran leaving English Harbour; Susan keeping cool against the Ammunition Store for Nelson's Dockyard. We actually got up early and were off the boat by 0700 to do our walk when it was reasonably cool. It was particularly hot that week and we did all our walking and shopping very early when ever possible. Late afternoon is okay, but all the roads and buildings have been soaking up the sun all day so it can be hotter because of that. The days were spent swimming to the beach and catching up on The Crown. It was great!
On our own again, we headed around to Five Islands Bay for New Years Day. Five Island Bay which is the next bay north of Jolly Harbour. We come here often and were introduced to it by our friend Skipper Tim on Stormbird. Even as we are as I type we are here, because we can get very good wifi from the resort whose beach we are anchored off and there is very little boat traffic, which makes it quiet and good for swimming.. The downside of this anchorage is that if can be quite rolly in a northerly swell as it is now. There is a small superyacht that has re-anchored half a dozen times, probably at the guests request, trying to find a spot less rolly. We are however happy to suffer for our blog. ;)
The New Year's Day Super Moon and sunset in Five Islands Bay. These photos where taken within minutes of each other - the moon rising to the East and the sun setting to the West.
Before our a charter we worked in Barbuda, we hopped over to Guadalupe to investigate the purchase of new chain and the possibility of getting some work done on my knee. Neither of these things worked out, but I have at least had a recommendation from a Deshaies doctor that I need an arthroscopy to see what is causing the inner knee pain and swelling, though thanks to the thousands (only a slight exaggeration) of people who have suffered the same symptoms, I have a good idea of what the problem is. We weren't able to overcome the travel or language barriers to see the consultant in Pointe a Pitre. I hope to fare better in Trinidad when we are there later in the year.
For any of you who have watched Death In Paradise, you might be interested to know that it is film in Deshaies, lthought the location is the fictitious island of Saint Marie.
Saint Marie sounds very like the Guadeloupean island of Marie Gallant which lies to the south east of Guadeloupe.
The beach house where the British police officer is staying, is on a beautiful long white beach (with a large rock that we sail past every time we come to Guadeloupe from Antigua), the beach to the resort where we picked put our hire car to look for chain and visit doctors.
So if any of this has interested you, there is a 48 hour screening of all 48 episodes in July this year. Yoo hoo, anyone?
This little critter is one of many that stowed away on board Larus somewhere on the US Eastern Seaboard.
They have a grip like you wouldn't believe. For a long time I thought that the bug I kept seeing had just blown back on board or that it's little hooked toes had clung on to the tissue I had trapped it in and shaken it out of. But with so many reappearances, I became more careful and made sure I saw it hit the water.
I kept finding them randomly, walking walking, inside the cockpit lockers from North Carolina to Bermuda and finally Antigua. I found one while eating dinner, watching either the Crown or Victoria with the lights dimmed. We were having salad and after a bite I felt something on my knuckle. I very nearly stuck out my tongue to lick off what I assumed was a random piece of lettuce, but instead I flicked on the light. I'm glad I did. It was not a bit of lettuce; it was one of those bugs.
That was the first one we found inside so it must have been very hungry, which makes me rather sad. I wish we could have kept them, but I did not want to be responsible for bringing a foreign species into another island. It went over the side too, but as it was dark I'm not completely sure that the next one I found, in the aft head clinging to my hair clip container, wasn't it.
It's been a month since then so we might well be bug free. *fingers crossed*
We had a charter on Barbuda at the beginning of January. The Christmas winds had definitely arrives with lots of wind and squalls.
The kite surfers who sail over to Barbuda and stay for long periods of time seemed to enjoy that weather.
These photos give you an idea of some of the damage caused by Hurricane Irma. The beach in the first photograph used to separate a salt water lagoon (behind the beach) and open water on the west coast of the island (in front of the beach). In the photo with the kite surfer, will try to get a photo next time with the kite in it, the rough area behind him is where the spit of land separating the lagoon from the open water is breached. The breached beaches are silting up, but it will take time before the beach is as it was before the hurricane.
A long shot of the remains of a resort, which is now cut off from the rest of Barbuda by where the beach has been breached. This also shows one of the many squalls that passed over in the week we were there.
With no road access to it, it will be a long time before any of the damage is dealt with. On Barbuda itself, only about 200 of the 2000 inhabitants have returned. All water and fuel is brought in by ferry and what power there is supplied by generator. They are working at getting the services up and running but to talk to the locals, the post-hurricane situation is not all that different from the pre-hurricane situation.
Another thing that Barbuda is famous for is the Frigate Bird Colony in the mangroves on the north west corner of the lagoon. There was much concern about where the frigate birds would return. Tim took the dinghy and circled the island created by the breach and found the mangroves full of nesting frigate birds
We have another charter to Barbuda starting on Tuesday next week and we will be there for three weeks. Hopefully the winds and seas will be calmer and I can have a look around too. I'm not that fond of bouncing dinghy rides and being soaked with salt water.
Meanwhile, back in Antigua, we saw the Super Blue Moon on the second of February.
Tim has been trying out the different settings on our new camera and took this photo in Falmouth Harbour. The clouds you see are appearing from behind the hills around Falmouth and English Harbours. The photo with the superyacht has Monserrat in the distance and was taken from Carlisle Bay. It isn't very often when we have this clear a view of it and the peak is almost always shrouded in cloud. In the last photo you can see the smoke rising from the mouth of the volcano. When down wind of Monserrat, you can smell sulphur in the air.
An action shot of Tim; he is altering course to starboard one could say, 'to avoid the superyacht regatta that had just started out of Falmouth Harbour', or one could tell the truth and say, 'to head East to Carlisle Bay.' Actually the most exciting thing about the first photo is our brand new 8 hp Yamaha Enduros two stroke outboard engine. It is a great improvement to the 5 hp we had before and Tim is currently taking steps to run in the engine by taking the dinghy allllllll the way around to Jolly Harbour to get rid of the rubbish. He is very pleased with it.
So thus ends another blog. I do have more to write about the previous year's travels it will have to wait. We only have a few days before our next charter starts, I'd best finish off the menu planning and a provisioning list.