Guadeloupe - Pigeon Island

28 February 2010
One of the most memorable times in Guadeloupe was the day that we anchored just off Pigeon Island to snorkel the Jacques Cousteau dive site which is ranked amongst the world's top 10. It certainly deserves this accolade - the snorkelling was fantastic - such a colourful array of fish and shallow glorious coral so that we could admire the spectacle beneath at very close range!

Guadeloupe - The Bottanical Gardens

28 February 2010
On a rainy day we set off for the Bottanical Gardens in Deshaies. Just inside the entrance there was a huge pool full of Coi Carp and we bought some fish food for them. It was hilarious! We have never seen so many fish clamouring to get food - they were a writhing mass - incredible! We then walked up to the bird enclosure and bought little cups of food for the beautiful parakeets - there were about 50 of them climbing all over us to get to the food - the kids thought it was ace - us too!

The gardens themselves were such an inspiration - heavenly beautiful - oh to own a garden like this! Sadly such exotic plants don't grow so prolifically in Blighty!

Antigua - English Harbour

28 February 2010
After Guadeloupe we made the 6 hour passage to Antigua and holed up in the very lovely English Harbour for a few days. This is a historical Hurricane hole - it is so well protected from the elements - despite the weather at sea the water here is like a lake! Nelson spent several years there and the Nelsons Dockyard is still going strong - he referred to the place as an "infernal hole" due to the mosquitoes but thankfully we were not bothered by them!

The whole place is very 'English' with several English Country Garden type houses. We were delighted to find 'The Inn Hotel' which had fabulous facilities all for the taking as long as we bought lunch there at the great restaurant - we took full advantage!

We had such peaceful nights here and began a new tradition of snuggling with Rex and Ruby on the bow before bed, singing songs with them and stargazing - heaven!

Antigua - On the SUBCAT!

28 February 2010
We went on a real submarine whilst in Antigua - it was pretty amazing. The best bits were the descent and ascent - it was a very peculiar feeling to see the waves slowly covering the windows - something we have dreaded happening on BattCat but we were intrigued to experience on a submarine! One strange thing was that we descended we lost the ability to see the colour red - the water filters out the colour red the deeper you go - my toenails looked a very odd colour! We saw lots of fish and the kids were captivated throughout!

Wild Barbuda

28 February 2010
Barbuda is a pretty wild country where horses, deer and donkeys run free and where the beaches are notably longer and more beautiful than anywhere else in the Caribbean! We should in theory have had a blissful few days here alas the weather did not permit. On our first afternoon when the bad weather was still at bay we had a lovely time on the beach - the sand is the deepest we have ever trodden on and just glorious underfoot. That night high winds, huge swell and rain kicked in and Barbuda offered very little protection against this.

Our grand plan was to get away from the island and get to our next stop, St Barts, to take shelter. But we had to clear customs before this (many of the Caribbean islands are different countries and you have to check into and then out of customs - Antigua and Barbuda are the same country so we had checked in in Antigua and planned to check out in Barbuda). What a mission this turned out to be! The dinghy ride ashore was pretty scary and we had a job to keep us all in the boat, particularly when we landed it on the beach - we were soaked! We then had to walk across country to find the hotel from where we could call a taxi to take us into the capital Codrington - we waded through rock pools with jellyfish in and were attacked by prickles with barbed spikes on the ground - our feet were so sore! We finally got a taxi and headed straight for Customs - the 'office' was a run down house with a hand painted 'customs' sign outside - the door was answered by a young guy and Jason was nearly knocked out by the smell of hash coming from inside - the guy produced the necessary forms and then went back inside to continue his smoke while Jay filled them out! Completely mental! We were very happy to get back on BattCat and set sail for St Barts!

St Barts

28 February 2010
This is the super yacht city of the Caribbean and the best thing about that for us was that the provisioning was amazing! You can buy anything & everything here if you are willing to pay the price! We enjoyed the quality bars, restaurants and shops but found the town to be pretty crowded and overflowing with cruise ship passengers. Contrary to popular belief we did not see any celebrities hanging out here - maybe they were all aboard their superyachts!
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