Nonsuch Bay - Antigua
Susie and Adam (both think they are skipper)
Thu 24 Mar 2011 21:15
21:03.11, 17:04.40N 61:40.47W
I think we had to go to this place just because of the name! We were hoping to go across to St Martin but the winds are too North so instead we decided to see some more of Antigua so we sailed around the coast to the East. This is a very different place to anchor for us - usually we are hidden on the lee side of an island ... Nonsuch bay looks out to the east over the atlantic - the shelter that we are anchoring behind is a barrier reef that protects the bay from the atlantic swell. The bay is quite a few square miles with a couple of deserted islands - the biggest of which is Green island which we are a few hundred metres away from. However - the barrier reef is only a foot or so below the surface so stops all the swell entering the bay and you can see the waves breaking on its outer edge. You have to get into the bay by zigzagging between the island and some reefs which is a bit scary the first time.
This place is a world away from Falmouth - although Falmouth harbour is pretty it is also busy and there are bars and happy hours - we had a good time there but it's been nice to get away to here where there is nothing - no bars, no happy hour, no internet cafe - only a handful of yachts. Sorry to say goodbye to some people as you never know who you will or won't see again.
Green island is owned by a posh resort and they do ship some tourists over during the day to their 'desert island' - but that is to a beach on the other side so we haven't really seen or heard them from where we are - they all arrived on a big catamaran at a bay called Rickett Harbour as we had finished exploring it in our tender - I still feel lucky that we can go to these places in our tender when we like and when they are deserted and we can leave when we like - it's a world away from being shipped across en-masse as per the folk from the mill club resort - about 40 of them went splashing into the water to go snorkelling in a big line - we went out to snorkel on the barrier reefs - there was no one else other than a yacht anchored about quarter of a mile away.
Yesterday afternoon we went for a wander around green island - there is a little path but in places it disappears so we went as far as we could without getting too scratched by the cacti and things. Saw lots and lots of little lizards - they're everywhere. Today we went out on the tender to the barrier reef - the water on the inner side of the reef is only 5 foot or so deep and sandy so we anchored the tender in the sand and went for a swim - perfect place for stingrays in a few feet of water - they seem to have no fear and go rummaging through the sand even when you're floating right over them in about 3 feet of water and, also saw some squid. I would have loved to get onto the ocean side of the reef but even in light winds the waves pound on the reef so don't really think it is doable.
Today there has been a boat here putting down lots of mooring buoy - spoils the view a little to see white buoys dotted everywhere - when we arrived all that could be seen was bright blue water and reefs with the ocean breaking on the reefs beyond - but it's not a bad thing ultimately and the things that live in the sand will probably be happy about it
Green island is a beautiful little desert island - but you realise how much rubbish is in the sea, we walked down the beach on the atlantic facing side and it was sad to see nets, the odd flipflop, bottles etc washed up - some of it has probably travelled from europe to end up there. I was popular as I turned over a plastic disc with my foot to see what it was - only to disturb an army of chitra's ( also called no-see-ums - little tiny midges that pepper your feet in bites if you're not covered in repellent spray)
Have to sail back to Falmouth to clear out of Antigua tomorrow - the sail to Nonsuch bay was all upwind (despite the wind being from the North that day) - imagine the sail back will also be upwind - everywhere you go is always upwind in the caribbean - this is what we have discovered! But we liked NonSuch bay.
Exploring on Green Island, Adam - being a survival expert advised that you can sew things up with the points on the end of the big spikey plant on my right - you break the point off at the very tip and it is very sharp (scratches testify to this) - then when you break it a 'thread' comes out of the leaf which is strong - so you can sew up shorts, or heads.
The start of another hard day at the office! - Ten pound bay - Green Island
As per usual - the view from our boat at anchor - Green island on the right, Atlantic in front - you can see where the barrier reef is as the water goes from bright blue to dark blue in the distance just beyond the end of the island - where it is bright blue is where the stingrays live
Boat putting down mooring buoys - right next to our boat!! - Adam is supervising so has the essential cup of tea on hand
Just a picture of a strange sponge that I thought was quite pretty
Back in Falmouth Harbour - view from the top of the goat infested hill behind pigeon beach looking west toward rendezvous bay - this time of day is the only time it isn't too hot to go walking