Freebird Atlantic

Vessel Name: Freebird
Vessel Make/Model: X-Yachts - XC 50
Crew: William and Sarah Maltby, Henry Faire, James Axtell
09 March 2019 | Southern Grenada
05 March 2019 | Grenada
05 March 2019 | Antigua and Grenada
29 January 2019 | Barbuda
29 January 2019 | Barbuda
29 January 2019 | Nonsuch Bay, Antigua
29 January 2019 | Falmouth Harbour
29 January 2019 | English Harbour, Antigua
29 January 2019 | Antigua Yacht Club
29 January 2019 | Antigua
19 January 2019 | Catherine’s noisy bar, Pigeon Bay
18 January 2019
17 January 2019
16 January 2019
15 January 2019
14 January 2019
13 January 2019
12 January 2019
11 January 2019
10 January 2019
Recent Blog Posts
09 March 2019 | Southern Grenada

Gone native

Freebird is now safely out of the water and has been left in a yard where a steel frame will be built around her to protect from a hurricane (which we hope is unlikely).

05 March 2019 | Grenada

How to acquire a new burgee stick

Grenada is a stunning island, much of it a tropical rain forest with exotic flowers, lush foliage, colossal bamboos, and many of the spices growing in abundance (nutmeg, cinnamon, ...) hence it’s name The Spice Island.

05 March 2019 | Antigua and Grenada

Cricket mania

I will now confess to the real purpose of the Skipper plotting to cross the Atlantic, and imposing the high seas on his wife... test matches in the West Indies. Since last posting a blog, we have been following England cricket team on their tour of the West Indies, with mixed success but fun all the [...]

29 January 2019 | Barbuda

Barbuda

The contrast between the devastation from Hurricane Irma and the miles of pinky white deserted beaches is staggering

29 January 2019 | Barbuda

Barbuda

The wind continued but we decided to head north to Barbuda which is reputed to have the best beaches in the Caribbean. After quite a lumpy sail we arrived in paradise, having taken care to avoid all the reefs. The beaches are completely exquisite, just miles and miles of pinky white sand, with not [...]

29 January 2019 | Nonsuch Bay, Antigua

On our own in Nonsuch Bay

Gone native

09 March 2019 | Southern Grenada
Sarah
Freebird is now safely out of the water and has been left in a yard where a steel frame will be built around her to protect from a hurricane (which we hope is unlikely).

We spent the last 2 weeks in one of the deep sheltered bays in southern Grenada, surrounded by mangroves and palm trees. We joined the merry gang of nautical international drop outs, many living on their tired boats for decades, or even up to 25 years. Maybe they stay because it is down wind, so hard work to clamber back up wind to the white beaches of the Grenadines, or maybe just because the pace of life has ground to a halt.

Either way, were happy to join their activities which included a full moon party within 100 yards of Freebird, so she enjoyed the throbbing music all night. There were regular yoga classes on the shore for the hippies, some of which included families with young children. There was a weekly reggae band on the beach for the rastas, hippies and castaways which involved a lot of rum, noxious substances and tattoos. It is a miracle that we managed to tear ourselves away to come home...

The Grenadians are incredibly outgoing and friendly. We were lucky to attend an epic one day international cricket match in St Geore’s, their capital. The stadium was packed, mostly with locals all dressed in colourful national colours. They were completely passionate about the game, drinking copious quantities of rum which fuelled the lavish dancing to a steel band that did not stop all day. There were over 800 runs scored, with 48 sixes, many from their hero Gayle. The crowd went beserk until England just clinched the match at the end of the day. It was extraordinary how all the Grenadian supporters immediately congratulated us on a great win, and as we walked through the packed town afterwards, the locals continued to offer praise for such a good match. The same would certainly never happen in London.

Roll on 10 months when we hope to continue the next leg of our adventure.

Photo shows the reggae band on the beach. Sadly no photo to show The Skipper has gone native, mainly because he didn’t,

How to acquire a new burgee stick

05 March 2019 | Grenada
Sarah
Grenada is a stunning island, much of it a tropical rain forest with exotic flowers, lush foliage, colossal bamboos, and many of the spices growing in abundance (nutmeg, cinnamon, ...) hence it’s name The Spice Island.

We did much exploring and walking, sometimes with a guide who would explain all. He had never before been asked to cut down 2 large bamboos so his clients could make a new burgee stick.

Photo is of William and Stephen Foot in a contented state after Warren had used his machete to cut each of them a large bamboo to make a new burgee stick. Little things please little minds....

Cricket mania

05 March 2019 | Antigua and Grenada
Sarah
I will now confess to the real purpose of the Skipper plotting to cross the Atlantic, and imposing the high seas on his wife... test matches in the West Indies. Since last posting a blog, we have been following England cricket team on their tour of the West Indies, with mixed success but fun all the way.

England were thrashed by the West Indies in Antigua, but that did not dampen the complete carnival atmosphere of the match. Music booms throughout, after every over and/or boundary, dancing is compulsory (best not to appear on sky tv dancing with the barmy army which was my sin, whoops) the locals bring their tents and barbecues, ample room to sit anywhere, on the grass, in the stand or even on the beach in the party stand. The best fun ever.

We dropped our children, George, Alice and Poppy in St Lucia for the next test match. Sadly we missed it but the consolation was a week of cruising the Grenadines with 100 members of the Squadron, with some extremely glamorous parties and much frivolity.

Then 2 days of One Day Internationals beckoned in Grenada. Sadly the first was rained off, unheard of in Grenada, all rather galling when England was basking in record February temperatures. But all was forgiven when the second ODI offered an epic game which will go down in history. More than 800 runs scored in a day, centuries from Buttler, Morgan and Gayle and 48 sixes scored (many over the entire stand). The stand was packed with Grenadians, the steel band played all day, the noise, dancing and hysteria were wild. As soon as England won by just 29runs, the Grenadans were united in their congratulations to all English spectators. Walking though the town of St George’s immedialtely after the match, all locals were offering congratulations. It was a truly humbling experience. I don’t believe the Londoners would behave in the same way when faced with a close defeat.

The photo is of Freebird flying an MCC flag in Antigua for the MCC dignitaries, and in Grenada.

Barbuda

29 January 2019 | Barbuda
Sarah
The contrast between the devastation from Hurricane Irma and the miles of pinky white deserted beaches is staggering

Barbuda

29 January 2019 | Barbuda
Sarah
The wind continued but we decided to head north to Barbuda which is reputed to have the best beaches in the Caribbean. After quite a lumpy sail we arrived in paradise, having taken care to avoid all the reefs. The beaches are completely exquisite, just miles and miles of pinky white sand, with not a soul in sight. James Axtell, our Atlantic crew, knows Barbuda well, and had given us an introduction to Anne-Marie, a local who used to run the main hotel here. Barbuda was completely destroyed in Hurricane Irma in September 2017. It is the most shocking sight to see what devastation occurred and how much the Barbudans are still struggling. There was not a house left undamaged, and most are still living in wrecked houses, or tents. Almost every house is under construction, the hospital is a wreck, as are the schools, police station, government buildings and the rest. The locals keep, or had placed many of their possessions in containers, many of which were transposed at least 100 yards in the hurricane. There used to be 4-5 luxury hotels on the small island, but there are now none. There is only one very basic shop, stocked by a supply ferry from Antigua twice a week, and just one restaurant where we had lunch. It is so basic, and when we had lunch there, for which they offered the only ingredients available, we were the only customers. It more resembled a shack and lunch was certainly very basic indeed. It was moving to understand just how grateful they all are for the work Samaritans Purse and the UN have done to help them, and work is ongoing.

On our own in Nonsuch Bay

29 January 2019 | Nonsuch Bay, Antigua
Sarah


William and I finally felt we had to give our livers a rest and find a quiet anchorage to tidy and clean up Freebird. So we waved a fond farewell to everyone and went north to a stunning anchorage in Nonsuch Bay. The wind was blowing hard and we anchored behind a reef which offered protection from the swell, but not the wind. It was a dramatic scene, very beautiful, safe but windy.

Photo shows the reef in front of us protecting us from the big Atlantic swell.
Freebird's Photos - Main
6 Photos
Created 29 December 2018
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Created 23 November 2018
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Created 20 November 2018

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