The crew: Tom & Mary Ann Rockwell, Alan & Mary Dona.
The wayward soldiers forge their way to Antigua ... against all odds ... and Mary.
We arrived in Antigua around 4:30 PM, in time to see Nelson's shipyard still bustling for the day. The boat, a Centurion 36, was beautifully provisioned with crystal champagne glasses, chilled champagne and chocolate bars. Hammish and Judy, the Sun Yachts team, told us about twofers, pitzas and tockers. Tuesday evening was twofer night at the Copper & Lumber Store Pub. What ever you ordered, you got double for the same price. We decided to do dinner there. We sampled the twofers and everyone agreed, they were very good. Mary doesn't remember how many she drank, but that they were very good. We crashed at around midnight but the island kept cranking the tunes well into the night.
Alan was up bright and early to explore the island attractions finding a wonderful bakery and craftsmen busy restoring the stone columns at Nelson's Shipyard. After an interesting chart briefing to learn of all the changes since the three year old chart was published, we received the fresh fruits and vegetables and a 'christina' fruit/vegetable? We were off.
Our first destination was Nonsuch Harbor. We anchored at Green Island, in the west harbor. It rained a lot while we were there. To add to our hatch closing drills for the rain, we had a 'bumper adrift' drill.
We swam in to Green Island to explore and get our exercise. We took the big boat up in to Nonsuch Bay, to Harmony Hall, an art gallery. They had a quaint little bar in an old sugar cane mill. Filling up on lunch at Harmony Hall, we headed out. When we came back to Green Island for the night, we met up with big blue, a Swan 65. It proved to be an exciting night with the wind shifting 180 degrees and a night time anchor re-setting and it rained during it all. Tom realized he had all his money in his pockets and set about to hang it out to dry. We noticed our anchor was crawling to weather as big blue fell behind us to starboard. Luckily, day break came before big blue tried to become one with the island.
Dinked over to Rickets Harbor, met 2 couples from England/NJ and retired to sailing. There was a topless beaut on Big blue. She was small but petite.
Let loose the jib on the sail to Falmouth Harbor. At Bishop Shoal, on the entrance to Falmouth Harbor, Alan was pointing and yelling while Tom freaked out. The problem Alan was pointing out? Four playful dolphins swimming along welcoming us to Falmouth Harbor. We motored past miles & miles of beautiful boats in Antigua. Home of the filthy rich and probably very famous, who knew, we never watched the show. We made the trip up to the store to buy ice and chocolate. It was here and now that Tom discovered the real price of booze in Antigua.
We do some depth checking in Falmouth Harbor while heading for the catamaran club to take on water. Thanks to some friendlies on a huge private yacht seeing the damsels in distress, we got off. Good thing for great looking legs, Thanks Al. Alan did a 'sunglasses overboard drill' while taking on water. Water was about $.05 per gallon ... what a concept. Saw some really impressive boats here also. Walked up to the Seashore Studios Art Gallery. Bought a few tee shirts and pictures. Went on to Dickinson's Bay. Using some detailed navigation to get around the reefs that were awash while the charts read 6' depth. The bay was a flurry of activity with all imaginable water sports here.
We go ashore to explore the Antiguan phone system. It was hot, no wind and crowded. A very posh beach, no doubt. Checked in with Bruce, all was well. Back on the boat and on to Boon Channel. The trip took us between Prickly Pear Island and the mainland ... a very tight fit to say the least. We set our sights on Maiden Island and headed into the industrial side of Antigua. Cleared Maiden Island and then on to Great Bird Island. Just past Long Island, we found a reef coming across the bay that was not on the charts and not in the chart briefings. Anchored at Great Bird Island, near Hell's Gate. We saw a 'killer' starfish, a sea cucumber and a manta ray.
80 mile dink ride to Crabb's Marina (2nm in a reef protected harbor) to make a phone call to Mr. Weaver. Tom is still unemployed. Lunch in a 'hopping' marina. Crabb's marina was devastated by Hurricane Hugo, they're a little slow to rebuild, but why rush it? Dinked back. Mary was very sun burned by now ... how could she have forgotten to 'lather up'? Perhaps I didn't remind her enough! Explored great Bird Island. Barren on top from the wind. A hole straight down to the ocean through the middle of the island. With a big wave splashes were felt. Good hamburgers and chunk of "can o' cheese". Met some coral reefs with the dink, sure was shallow in some parts. Major salt burned lips on the way back (the 80 mile return trip). Adventures with the Antiguan phone system. Swam between the two islands with the 3 knot current. Birds ride the thermals. Wonderful shallow bay surrounded by reefs with large schools of fish.
Stopped at Deep Harbor next to St. John's harbor. Went into St John's. Stopped in at the Radcliffe Quay, found a wonderfully friendly chef who although closed, offered to make the pregnant lady something special if necessary. We later returned to eat at the regular dinner hour and found a chef more than friendly, glad that we did return. We receive a complimentary dill/cream chips hors d'oevre. A chef who really enjoyed his job.
The restaurant was filled with all the old equipment from the water pumping station. A redcliff (dog) managed to work his way into the open air restaurant to watch us eat, hopefully to enjoy a bite thrown his way. Went to the casino to play slot poker, much fun. Next day went to old fort, followed the red arrows, flew Tom's kite on the beach, Jolly Roger party boat came in and started partying heartily, a boat came in to anchor and drifted into the jolly Roger and company who were swinging off the yard arm and dropping in. Went to five sisters bay to lunch, see the bird island, Tom and Mary Ann run out of gas in the dink. Mary swims out to help pull the dink in. Spend the night in Falmouth Harbor, again we saw wonderfully posh boats. Their bimini budget is larger than our household budget.
We turned the boat in by noon. Toured the fort, what a beautiful fort. Went back to St. John's to do some shopping. Bought a few shirts and sweatshirts. Rufus Taxi was most accommodating.
F/N: Antigua.93.doc Updated: 11/14/93