A New Year
15 January 2014
and new adventures
The trip from Guadeloupe to Antigua was uneventful. That in itself is wonderful! While the seas and wind were still high the direction was fairly comfortable. Yes, the conditions have improved since my last post.
After clearing we met our friend Joe in the Dockyard at the lovely Copper and Lumber. The yard in English Harbour was the headquarters of the British Leeward Islands fleet during the late eighteenth and early and mid nineteenth centuries. The copper and lumber used to repair the ships was stored in the building that now houses a quaint hotel, restaurant and bar. Friday night it is the site for the Royal Navy Tot Club. Every night the the Tot Club meets at 6 pm, guests may be introduced, announcements made relating to points of interest and a reading from Royal Navy history pertinent to that day. The reading is followed by a toast which is different for each day of the week, however, all toasts end with the words '...and the Queen, God Bless Her'. The club started in 1991 and my first Tot was in 1995, during my first visit to Antigua. I try to partake of the Tot tradition on each visit.
The next day while slaving away on our yards and yards of teak (which needs constant maintenance) none other that Out of Africa pulls in and drops the anchor. We were very excited as we hadn't seen them since Guyana and the first get together was immediately planned. Anchored off Galeon Beach, we spent new years eve with them along with Greta May for a fabulous dinner and then split up back to our own boats for our comfy front row fireworks seats at midnight.
We had many good hikes around the old fort and up to Shirley Heights, a few trips to town on the bus and then moved on to Jolly Harbor. We needed to score some rum! Bushy's Rum has been a tradition among sailors and locals alike for many years but sadly that tradition came to an end last November when Bushy passed away. There was some inventory left and through my Tot connections was able to purchase 10 gallons from the family. I have made rum cream liqueur, and have spiced rum aging now, also I just started some orange rum liqueur. One can never have to much rum!
For my 60th birthday I wanted a beach BBQ at Deep Bay so off we went. It was Kane's birthday on Spirit of Argo too, but not such an epic number. A group of 10 or 12 had an appropriate feast that started with champagne and ended with rum cream, perfect for such an event.
Next stop was Barbuda with miles of white sand beach. This is where princess Diana brought the young Harry and William when she wanted some beach time and it is easy to see why. This island feels remote, quiet, and unspoiled. Very few other boats were there except for our small flotilla. Ah, crystal clear water. Actually it is the depth and the sandy bottom that caused the jewel like colors, from aquamarine to sapphire and every shade in between.
A hike was organized to the sink hole and the caves on the east side of the island. The Derby sinkhole is a round crater about 100 yards across and 100 feet deep, and is lush with vegetation unlike the scrub above. Climbing through the largest cave delivered us 100 feet above onto the highlands with fantastic views of the beaches and the Atlantic ocean.
Time to move on........