Born of the Sea

Preparing for a phased retirement on the sea. Muirgen (Gaelic for 'born of the sea')

14 May 2024 | Union Island, SVG
10 May 2024 | Mayreau, Grenadines
09 May 2024 | Tobago Cays, Grenadines
07 May 2024 | Mayreau, Grenadines
05 May 2024 | Mustique, Grenadines
02 May 2024 | Baliceaux, Grenadines
01 May 2024 | Bequia, SVG
22 April 2024 | Saint Vincent
15 April 2024 | Marigot Bay, Saint Lucia
08 April 2024 | Saint Lucia National Parks
06 April 2024 | Rodney Bay / Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
31 March 2024 | Sainte Anne, Martinique
13 March 2024 | Iles des Saintes
10 March 2024 | Deshaies, Guadeloupe
03 March 2024 | Monserrat to Guadeloupe
02 March 2024 | Monserrat

Antigua Arrival (by air)

30 December 2023 | UK to Antigua
Donna Cariss
It had been a fraught couple of months, selling up and renting out the house and I was ready to leave and join Pete on the boat. With the bad weather in the UK, I was nervous about all the pieces of my journey coming together. Tim and Sarah took me to Manchester airport on Friday afternoon and we made good time, arriving well over 3 hours before my flight to Heathrow and I was soon checked in and through security with time to kill. To depart the UK for Antigua, you must have a return or onward flight ticket, which I obviously didn't have. However, I had found a website that rented you a ticket for 48 hours, cost $19 and had pre-booked this service, so time to find out whether it works. I found a quiet place to sit down and clicked on the link in my email and confirmed that I wanted to activate the ticket now. Success; I had a ticket with Virgin Atlantic to download and it had my name on it. A copy also arrived by email. Just to be certain, I opened my Virgin Atlantic app and found the ticket there too. I then tried to check in for my flight from Heathrow to Antigua, also with Virgin, that was departing the following day at noon. I entered by return date but it wouldn't let me check in online, so I would have to wait until Saturday and check in at the Virgin desk. The flight to Heathrow was delayed about 40 minutes but I landed safely at Heathrow T5 at 20:50. The next Hoppa bus to my hotel was at 9pm and then every 30 minutes. At 21:20 I had my bags, so it was a mad dash to the bus stop but I made it on time and checked into the hotel just before 10pm, where I had a reasonable night's sleep.
Back on the Hoppa at 07:54 to T3 where I quickly located the Virgin check in and bag drop and the priority queue. Nerves jangling, I handed over my passport to check in, where I was asked to prove I had a return flight ticket. I showed it in the app. 'Why do you only have a lite ticket for your return? That doesn't include any baggage.' I responded that I was staying with friends and would be visiting multiple times so would not be bringing baggage home. She accepted this and printed my boarding pass. I breathed a huge sigh of relief and went through security, sprayed a bit of perfume on as I passed through duty free and went to the No 1 lounge, where I was led to a comfortable lounge chair in a nice quiet area. The food selection wasn't extensive but I had breakfast and then claimed my inclusive glass of champagne. The flight was called on time and everyone boarded. Up until the previous day, the seat beside me had not been booked, so I was surprised to have company. Apparently a number of people had been bumped from a flight from Gatwick at the last minute. My neighbour was a lovely Portuguese lady who was excited to be going on a cruise for the first time but even more excited about what I was doing. The pilot announced that the flight would be 8 hours 35 minutes, so we anticipated being 45 minutes early into Antigua. However, the 45 minutes was soon eaten up as we queued beside the runway for take off. It was a lovely smooth flight and we made up time, arriving over Antigua 15 minutes early, flying over Shirley Heights, Falmouth and English Harbour. However, the airport was busy and we would have to circle for 20 to 25 minutes. Round and round we went, circling over Jolly Harbour, where I assumed Pete would see us and know that we were not going to arrive early. Eventually we landed but it took 15 minutes to disembark the plane. I hurried to immigration and was the last person to be allowed into the hall, which was so packed that I could barely step off the escalator. It took 90 minutes to clear immigration, there was no WiFi and I was panicking that my pre-booked taxi had left me. When I reached the front of the queue I was taken aside and sent to a separate small room, so I thought I was going to get extra grilling due to travelling alone. The lady was really friendly though and passed me through quite quickly. The bags had been delivered and removed from the escalator and I made it through customs very quickly. I couldn't see my taxi driver in the arrivals hall or outside the terminal. An airport official saw me looking lost and came over to assist, calling my taxi company who confirmed that the driver was still here and where he would be waiting. Panic over! The taxi driver raced me to the marina as fast as that's possible on Antigua's roads. He unloaded my luggage and was concerned that there was nobody to meet me. I said I was sure that Pete would be in the nearest bar, just as he walked out of the bar to meet me. We thanked the driver and had an emotional hug before carrying my luggage into the bar, where several people were waiting to meet me and welcome me to Antigua. Eventually I was given a beer to quench my thirst. I had arrived, emotionally shattered but in one piece.
Comments
Vessel Name: Muirgen
Vessel Make/Model: Westerly Typhoon
Hailing Port: Hull
Crew: Donna and Peter Cariss
Muirgen's Photos - Main
No Photos
Created 1 April 2024
26 Photos
Created 22 March 2024
49 Photos
Created 22 March 2024
19 Photos
Created 22 March 2024
30 Photos
Created 3 March 2024
5 Photos
Created 3 March 2024
84 Photos
Created 3 March 2024
7 Photos
Created 3 March 2024
29 Photos
Created 4 February 2024
22 Photos
Created 4 February 2024
32 Photos
Created 24 January 2024
31 Photos
Created 24 January 2024
14 Photos
Created 27 December 2023
9 Photos
Created 11 September 2023
15 Photos
Created 11 September 2023
44 Photos
Created 11 September 2023
13 Photos
Created 9 August 2023
9 Photos
Created 9 August 2023
10 Photos
Created 9 August 2023
12 Photos
Created 9 August 2023
9 Photos
Created 19 July 2023
10 Photos
Created 19 July 2023
66 Photos
Created 14 July 2023
10 Photos
Created 14 July 2023
3 Photos
Created 24 May 2023
65 Photos
Created 20 September 2022
56 Photos
Created 9 July 2022
13 Photos
Created 7 July 2022
7 Photos
Created 18 April 2022
19 Photos
Created 3 April 2022
22 Photos
Created 3 April 2022
3 Photos
Created 10 September 2021
3 Photos
Created 10 September 2021
4 Photos
Created 2 October 2020
16 Photos
Created 26 September 2020
13 Photos
Created 23 September 2020
11 Photos
Created 27 August 2020
27 Photos
Created 25 August 2020
9 Photos
Created 25 August 2020
11 Photos
Created 18 August 2020
16 Photos
Created 15 August 2020
22 Photos
Created 15 August 2020
18 Photos
Created 10 August 2020
10 Photos
Created 7 August 2020
20 Photos
Created 3 August 2020
14 Photos
Created 3 August 2020
20 Photos
Created 27 July 2020
10 Photos
Created 26 July 2020
29 Photos
Created 18 July 2020
5 Photos
Created 18 July 2020
12 Photos
Created 18 July 2020
Photos of Muirgen preparations
8 Photos
Created 12 July 2020
39 Photos
Created 11 August 2017
52 Photos
Created 6 August 2017
35 Photos
Created 6 August 2017
10 Photos
Created 6 August 2017
26 Photos
Created 6 August 2017
4 Photos
Created 21 July 2017
13 Photos
Created 21 July 2017
14 Photos
Created 21 July 2017
5 Photos
Created 21 July 2017
10 Photos
Created 21 July 2017
6 Photos
Created 21 July 2017
13 Photos
Created 21 July 2017
30 Photos
Created 1 July 2017
15 Photos
Created 23 June 2017
Photos are limited as the weather was dreadful and was mostly a white out. Photos are from the phone as too wet to take the cameras.
10 Photos
Created 19 June 2017
9 Photos
Created 17 June 2017
11 Photos
Created 15 June 2017
17 Photos
Created 15 June 2017
The Beautiful Kvitsoy
5 Photos
Created 5 June 2017
Weekend with Hommersak Divers at Kvitsoy
8 Photos
Created 5 June 2017
13 Photos
Created 30 May 2017
Mad creatures
16 Photos
Created 29 May 2017
Getting to Norway and waiting for Donna to fly out
6 Photos
Created 18 May 2017
12 Photos
Created 6 December 2016
Buying Muirgen
6 Photos
Created 26 November 2016