January 2013

New Year’s Day

English Harbour, Antigua

We are currently at anchor in English Harbour, Antigua.  After some rain yesterday it is once again sunny and warm (29°C) with a fresh north easterly.  Our daughter, Rachel, is still with us and we are intending to visit the French island of Guadeloupe with her before she has to fly back to the UK on 10th January.  After that there is some work to be done on the boat before we start heading north towards the US east coast.

Saturday 5th

Deshaies, Guadelopue

We left Antigua a couple of days ago and had a fine broad reach run south to the French island of Guadeloupe where we will stay until going back to Antigua on 8th January.  Deshaies is a lovely place at the head of a broad bay on the west coast of the island…DeshaiesYesterday we took a walk up the road to the south of Deshaies to visit the botanical gardens.  These are wonderful and have a huge collection of tropical plants from all over the world.  It is slightly odd seeing apparently giant size versions of plants that we think of as “house plants” in the UK.  I have no idea what this tree is but liked the shape so hence the photo…Botanic-gardensRachel and Sheryl enjoyed themselves…R-&-S-Botanic-gardensToday we are heading a little further south to Pigeon Island which is part of the Cousteau underwater National Park, founded and funded by Jacques Cousteau who believed it to be in the top ten dive sites of the world.  Its a pity we don’t dive!

Monday 21st

English Harbour, Antigua

How time flies when you are enjoying yourself!  After a delightful few days in Guadeloupe we had a fairly sporty crossing back to Antigua to allow Rachel to catch her flight back to London on 10th Jan.  I say sporty as we had 25-30 Kts of wind and a 2-3m swell.  As usual the boat did better than the crew who spent the day lying down!

It was sad to see Rachel go when we dropped her off in St John’s, she has been with us since the end of November and is missed (as are the other three, he hastens to add).  Still, Sheryl and I can now cut down on the alcohol intake and maybe lose a few pounds, children can be such a bad influence!

Since Rachel left we have been sorting out some of the things that broke as we crossed the Atlantic.  The jib that got ripped by the wind generator has been repaired for a very reasonable $150US.  I managed to buy a second hand wind generator and the mount that got broken by the jib has been welded back together.  We now have a serviceable wind generator making lots of lovely free, green energy.  The “to do” list is much less than 50 items and we are ready to start north.

Today we had to go to Antigua’s capital, St John’s to collect our mail.  It had been directed to Nelson’s Dockyard at English Harbour and I collected one packet there on Saturday afternoon.  However, the second package was being held at the post office in St John’s.  We caught a bus there and found that customs had decided they wanted to inspect our mail.  Fortunately Sheryl’s drug smuggling relations have dropped us from their Christmas card list so we were in the clear!

Tomorrow we are starting to head north via Nevis, St Kitts, St Martins, Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico (assuming no US visa is required), the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos by 28th February.  We have to be there then as we are picking up our next passengers, Sue and Aus Dancey.

Continued in February.