30 January 2009 | Antigua
Unfortunately we are still in English Harbour in Antigua waiting for HSBC to send me a new Switch card. I swear when I get it, I shall have it surgically attached to some part of me so that I can never lose it again!! I have spent many hours on the phone trying to talk to someone and, as you all know, get a different person in a different country every time that you have to tell the whole story to over again. My last one was to a delightful English chap called Steve in Malta!! Who knew HSBC had call centres in Malta?? I keep telling myself that there are worse places to be stuck but now we both really want to get on.
We've had a bit of a shock around here since I last wrote. An Australian Captain on one of the superyachts was shot and killed last week about 200 metres away from where we're anchored. The story was that his girlfriend was being mugged and he tried to stop it. They had their 10 month old daughter with them. The whole island is very upset about it, cruisers and locals alike. Most of the big yachts have said they will take their business away as it's no longer safe to be here. As most people work in the tourism industry, this would be obviously be a complete disaster. There's lots more police presence now and they have clamped down on the nightclubs' opening hours. It was usual to hear the music until 4 or 5 in the morning but they now have to close at midnight in the week and 1 am at weekends. Not sure how much that will help.
We spend the day doing jobs (there's always something to do even on a newish boat) and talking to other cruisers. We have already met some amazing people who have done so much. We'll be travelling the same way as a NZ couple who have been circumnavigating for the last 9 years and are now on their way back to live in Australia. When we get to Tonga, they will have been all the way round! They have some amazing stories to tell including being anchored off Gaza! This week we met a German couple who we thought were just doing something similar to us, but they turned out to own a restaurant in Puerto Rico (Creole Bavarian if you can imagine that!) and are having 3 months off to have a bit of a holiday.
Another couple, Becky and Dudley, are our new best friends. They are from Florida and have sailed down to here since February. We get on really well and were hoping that we might be able to travel a bit of the way with them, but they have boat troubles so aren't ready to go yet, so we probably won't get the chance. Still, I'm sure we'll meet up with them somewhere one day. It seems to be that sort of life!
Next blog will hopefully be from Guadeloupe although they have a strike at the moment so who knows? Then after that, Les Saintes and Dominica which I'm really looking forward to.
Hope you're all well and happy. Jx