Thursday, 9 April 2015

Antigua and Barbudaful!

Yikes, I am WAY behind with my blog posts, so even though we are now in St.Martin ( April 7th as I write) lets go back to  Feb 26th when we were departing from St.Lucia.

We had a good sail, beam reach,over to Martinique, motor-sailed in the lee of the Island and then another good sail across to Dominica, where once again we had to motor-sail and then just motor as the wind died in the lee of the Island. It was night by now but there were several other boats around which was comforting. I like to know there are other people out on the waters too in the dark. Once past Dominica the winds picked up again and we had a “rollicking” sail with gusts over 30 knots up to Iles Des Saintes. We arrived there around 8am. dropped anchor and fell asleep for a few hours. Since it looked like the weather was not going to improve over the next week ( high winds) and we were wanting to get to Antigua, we decided to continue on later that afternoon and so stayed on the boat instead of going on shore. The Saintes look lovely and we look forward  to visiting and exploring on our return trip next season.

So, off again at dusk, once again motor-sailing the lee coast of Guadeloupe. Once we were out in the open the winds and seas really picked up. I would describe the passage across to Antigua as “hairy”, Ian calls it exhilarating!  When we sit at our helm seat we are ten feet above sea level, the waves were often coming over the coach roof above us ( fortunately we are well protected by our enclosure).  The good thing was that since it was nighttime I couldn’t see the waves coming, better that way I think.
I love coming into a sheltered anchorage where the winds and waves die down   and once the anchor is safely down we can relax. Needless to say, that was the case when we arrived in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua on Feb 28th. 

                            Serious boat inventory in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua.

English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour are separated by a small spit of land. Nelson's Dockyard was built on the English Harbour side around 1745 and was Britain's main naval base in the Leeward Islands. Today the dockyard has been beautifully restored and offers restaurants, a museum, a great little bakery and grocery store along with many yachting services and supplies to the many boats and cruisers that visit here. 

We did the hike, on very well maintained trails, up to Shirley Heights from which are fantastic views of English and Falmouth Harbours.

I believe  this is a Century Plant. It looks like a giant asparagus!

          Hiking the ocean side of Shirley Heights.

The view from Mt.Obama, the highest point on Antigua.

A five hour sail north of Antigua brings you to Barbuda. A fairly large and low Island. It is sparsely populated and undeveloped. The beaches have pink sand and stretch on for miles, mostly deserted.

We visited the Frigate bird colony, the largest one in the Eastern Caribbean. The male birds puff out there red chests to attract the females.The babies still have their white fluffy feathers.  

Next stop St. Barths.  

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