04/14/2011, Falmouth Harbor, Antigua
We took off with Lorry and Stephen to check out the mega yachts here from all over the world for this elite regatta! The rich and famous are here lined up on the dock with their crew and monster sail bags lined up as far as the eye can see! The frenzied activity is breathtaking...with each and every boat doing the last minute touch ups on varnish or brass or stainless! We think they take the lifelines off for cleaner lines and some clearly never had them to begin with and you can see the hand grips are the only thing to brace a foot to to grab!
Our dear friends, Pam and Brian on the classic gaff schooner, Rebecca, gave me back my flip flops, in the middle of their personal frenzied last minute touches, and even suggested we might have a chance to be on board for one day of the races, depending on how their crew works together! Wow! Just to be considered is an honor! She's gorgeous and she knows it...but seriously, she's a newbie by these standards, and tiny in comparison to some of the mega yachts, reaching lengths well beyond 40 meters!
Here are just a few that can wet your whistle! OMG...what a treat! So was the free Mt. Gay Rum!
04/13/2011, Nelson's Dockyard...
We walked over to English Harbor, and had to take a peak at the classic yachts over there. We were early and needed to check in with Customs and Immigration in an historical building just across from the Copper and Lumber, another historical building, serving breakfast 'til 10:30. As is true to form with the British clearing in officials, it was past serving time when we left their offices, duly allowed, formally paid for all the park fees, service fees and now we're searching for food!
We just stopped in to ask what food was available since breakfast is officially over! We bumped into Cassandra...a good friend we've kept in touch with since we met her 2 years ago when we were here! She got the chef to cook us a top notch English breakfast and hugs were the star of the morning!
Ok, so these Classic Yachts are too...later!
04/12/2011, Falmouth Harbor, Antigua!
We pulled the main down, that was up only for the reason to steady us from the seas that were rolling in and making for an uncomfortable passage!
The Classic Regatta, which starts in a few days, finds us in a delightful and strategic location for viewing some magnificent specimens of spectacular boat designs.
We also have had the good fortune to find our friends, Lorry and Stephen, on Droukit Cronie (Wet Friend) and tried to sneak up on them in the dusky light of the day! There were two dinks swinging off the back of their boat when we were just about to drop the hook, and the guest said "these must be your friends you were waiting for"! Lorry scampers to the stern of her boat and bellows "Go Away"...Yippee! Just like old home week!
04/12/2011, Atlantic Ocean...heading for Antigua!
We're really glad that each of us are good watch keepers! The temperature is going up and this is not a good time for exploring the cause! Actually, it is as good as any really, Dudley is going to check out the impeller 1st! We are very luck actually, the seas are very calm and it's just raining!
Yep, out here at sea...we have a chewed up impeller...he can't find the blades, so he has to remove the salt water cooling hose and search there too! Bugger...it's always a bigger job than it seems!
We just hate to arrive to a harbor after dark! Bec
04/12/2011, The River Salee, Guadeloupe!
The bridges, both of them, opened on time, we followed Morea, Alfonso, very closely. We took the dink part way up the river yesterday to be prepared, but Alfonso draws 3' so we will stick to him like glue!
It didn't take very long, but we moved very slowly, in the dark, with just enough like to see the flocks of white heron, the rings with evidence of large somethings moving around the still surface and the unbelievable beauty. Not enough light to share...but this shot is after we slowly picked our way out the channel. We had the dingy behind us because we were ready and willing to spend the night out here among the reefs and dive tomorrow if the weather permitted.
It's not looking good, so at 9a, we got the dingy on the deck, and all that's involved in a crossing and took off! We called Morea to tell Al and Jason that the marks were as noted on the charts and in working order. They proceeded to tell us of their stop! French bread, proscutto, mellon, brie and OJ. We had some snacks and drooled when we heard!
This place where we staged for Antigua is no more identifiable than a small ant in a giant forest...thanks Chris Doyle, thanks Ray Marine for this sweet chartplotter!
It's later than we planned...but we should still arrive in Antigua at 5p, before dark! Doesn't look like a lot of wind, this wet weather has stolen the forces to sail by!
04/11/2011, Foot of the River Salee!
There is so much to do here, as with every country we visit...no wonder most of our fellow cruisers leave there boats here during season, and go home during hurricane season. You cannot properly nor thoroughly check out and visit these wonderlands in a few days or weeks even.
We pulled up the anchor in the industrial zone of Pointe a' Pitre, can we say a mucky, globby, nasty mess! Thank goodness for the saltwater wash down on the foredeck!
Check out this place...no other boat except for Morea, a friend we met in the Saintes...and a lot of mosquitos! After the cruise ships, cargo ships, fishing fleets, local perogue traffic, calm is to active a word for this peaceful place!
We will be up at 3:45a to have Altair ready for bridge #1. If they don't see a boat with running lights circling the entrance to the River Salee, they go back home to bed. We were gonna be ready!