11 February 2018 | Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands
27 November 2017 | Medellin, Colombia
23 November 2017 | Machu Picchu, Peru
13 November 2017 | Santa Marta, Colombia
25 October 2017 | Curacao
13 November 2015 | Terrel Bay, Carriacou
13 August 2015 | Grenada
16 July 2015 | Port Luis, Grenada
18 May 2015 | Chatham Bay, Union Island
01 May 2015 | St. Lucia
14 April 2015 | Dominica
19 February 2015 | 17 57.38'N:062 54.28'W, BVI & St. Martin
01 February 2015 | 19 29.92'N:064 23.28'W, BVI
07 January 2015 | PR and Culebra
16 December 2014 | Salinas, PR
12 December 2014 | Ocean World Marina, DR
05 December 2014 | Turks & Caicos
24 November 2014 | 23 51.077'N:075 07.209'W, Georgetown to Conception
14 November 2014 | 24 26.687'N:076 47.37'W, On our way to Black Point, Great Guana Cay

Spring break, zip-lines, donkeys, frigate birds, and the beautiful beaches

03 April 2015 | Antigua and Barbuda
We haven’t posted to the blog in a while so thought we would give an update of our travels. After spending one very rolly night in St. Barth’s anchorage, with little to no sleep (most rolly place we have experienced thus far), we set off to St. Kitts. Originally, we were going to do an overnighter to Antigua, but after having no sleep, we changed our plans to sail to St. Kitts. We had the best sail we can remember with a nice beam reach the whole way. After clearing in at St. Kitts, we headed to Whitehouse Bay anchorage where we met some new friends for drinks and dinner. Greg, Beth, and their dog Jackie on Catalina Sunshine had us over for drinks after we ferried Greg to customs and immigration so he wouldn’t have to hassle with getting his dinghy down. We really enjoyed getting to know them and would meet up with them again along our travels. We had a great dinner on shore at Salt Page, a new restaurant that just opened to meet the demands of a new marina opening nearby. We left early the next morning to head over to Antigua. It was not a nice sail. We beat into the wind and waves for 11 hours just to go 50 miles. Arriving in Jolly Harbour, Antigua was a nice end to a long day. The anchorage is picture postcard beautiful and relatively protected from swells. While in Jolly Harbour, we got lazy, lazy, lazy. We took a mooring ball to be closer in so we could pick up provisions, do massive laundry and such. We stayed on the mooring ball because it was too easy (kind of like in Marathon, FL). We took long walks up a hill and around the marina area to get some exercise and enjoyed “free” wifi at the nearby restaurants. It probably would have been cheaper to pay for more data on our SIM card than use the “free” restaurant wifi, but then we would have had to cook.
We rented a car to sightsee some of Antigua. They give you a Mickey-Mouse road map that only has the major highways on it. We got lost a few times and had to backtrack our way off paved roads that turned into dirt roads. One of the highlights for Cheryl was the “Devil’s Bridge”. It is a natural bridge that has been created over the centuries from the crashing waves. We didn’t see anyone stupid enough to stand on the bridge while we were there but wouldn’t be surprised if there haven’t been a few accidents there.
Our daughter Christine came to visit for her spring break. Cheryl and Christine went zip-lining thru the treetops and had a great time. We spent time enjoying the beach. On one of our drives around, we scouted out the place where we got engaged, Coconut Grove Restaurant in Dickenson Bay. That was pretty cool visiting there again after 11 years. Of course we did the sightseeing at Falmouth and English Harbours on the south side of Antigua. We have some pretty good pictures of the very large sailboats in Falmouth that we will post when we get back to “free” wifi. The wenches on these boats cost as much as twenty thousand.
We listen to some of the local net traffic on our SSB radio. There is the Coconut Telegraph that we listen to and have gotten to know some of the boats that report in. It is a way for us to get to know other cruisers who are in the same anchorages. There is also a retired meteorologist that gives a free, local weather forecast each morning. This is a nice addition to our expert meteorologist Chris Parker who gives a broader marine forecast for our area.
After Christine left, we were going to start heading south but changed our minds. We had heard many wonderful things about Barbuda that we decided we definitely did not want to miss this opportunity to go. Barbuda is about 30 miles north of Antigua but is part of the same country so there is no need to clear out of Antigua first. We are writing this blog in our beautiful anchorage at Cocoa Point. The sandy beaches are the prettiest we have seen since leaving the Bahamas. The sand is super fine and when you walk on it you sink in several inches. Even flat-footed Ed was able to walk a couple of miles barefoot!! We met up with the crew from Catalina Sunshine again the first few days we were here. We shared a taxi ride with them to take a tour of the frigate birds. While we are not avid bird watchers, this was a real treat. The frigate bird sanctuary on Barbuda is the largest in the Caribbean. During mating season, the male will puff out a sac from his neck showing a billowy red balloon. The female frigates pick their mate for the season and will lay one egg which the male will incubate while the female provides the food. Once the baby bird is hatched, both parents take care of the baby for a number of months before the male frigate migrates to the Galapagos where he will mate with a female frigate there. The frigates pick new mates each mating season. During our tour we spotted one poor male frigate who had not yet been picked by a female this late in the season and he was displaying his red balloon in hopes of getting lucky. Poor bastard.
The island of Barbuda has wild donkeys and horses that roam the island. While we were told the horses near the village are not mean, the donkeys certainly are. We spotted many of these donkeys during our taxi ride and also their droppings on the beach.
The anchorage is very clear but because the sand is so fine the waves stir up the sand in the water making is difficult to see the bottom. Sea turtles swim around us in abundance. Hopefully, we will get some good pictures of them but so far, nothing worth posting. After being in Jolly Harbour for almost a month, we noticed barnacles and other yucky stuff growing on our prop and boat bottom. We took advantage of our good anchorage here in Barbuda and scrubbed the bottom. What a chore. There is definitely a new bottom job in our future. We have also re-varnished the teak eyebrow that we have neglected for a few months with seven fresh coats. While not a laborious task, it is time consuming with all the taping, sanding, varnishing, coat after coat then re-taping and starting over the process to build up the varnish layers to protect it from the sun.
We are back in Antigua with plans to head south soon. Putting up pictures now.
Comments
Vessel Name: Slowdown
Vessel Make/Model: Caliber LRC40
Hailing Port: Houston, TX
Crew: Ed and Cheryl Carter
About: Ed has a USCG 100 ton masters license while Cheryl has ASA certifications thru 104
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Who: Ed and Cheryl Carter
Port: Houston, TX