Sailing around the world. The trials and tributations,

A Lady
Stephen Hyde
Thu 12 May 2011 14:18
Early, We all got out of the scratchers and Aileen went to Mass, Ian, joan and Alan went ashore
and had coffee at the waterside Cafe, the blinking weather was not good,
Skipper did some catching up on the boat and joined the others ashore later for lunch,
We all walked over to " Nelsons Dockyard" and explored this wonderfull little Village , It looked like a small truely English
village in every respect, with its quaint little windows and white timber doors, steps and balconies, stone quay walls and
old disused dry docks,  but had a great collection of super Yachts and classic yachts backed onto the quay wall.
Yep, this place had a great feeling to it all,
The village was basically restored by Captain Nicholson in the 1950's, and he has relations still living
in our home town of Cork.
We took a water taxi over to " Antigua Slipway" and had lunch in Johnny Coconat's restaurant, It was nothing great
and Joan had cramps in her stomach for the next few days as a result of the folded pizza she ate.
However we did enjoy the location, magic.
English Harbour ( where all these places are located ) is much smaller than Falmouth harbour and we decided we will bring
A Lady around here tomorrow or the day after.
We eventually made our way back to the boat and skipper cooked dinner consisting of roast belly pork , rolled chicken
breast with bacon, cheese, and asperigas deep fried untill golden brown, packet potatoes, and peas,
Ohhhhh, the bloody pea's, Just as we were about to serve dinner, Joan decided to strain the peas into the sink ( which
was half full of soapy water )  MURPHY'S LAW,   yes, all the peas slipped out of the pot and into the sink.
We both stood there like two ejits,   ohh my gawd,
Joan suggested washing the peas, and skipper threw a wobbler, poor Joan got such a fright she took off into her cabin
and refused to have dinner,
Now this on top of Ian loosing his passport just made bad go worse, and to cap it all , it started raining again,
Then we decided to watch " Beethoven 2 " on TV and it was poor enough,
Were we happy to go to the scratchers, yes we were,
Tomorrow has to be better than today,
Would you believe this, It floggin well rained all night and the Rib was half full of water, this took 20 minutes to bail out
the rain eased off around 9am so we all go into the rib and took off to the marina Cafe,
Skipper made a few calls regarding the leaking windows, but no one was availabe to reseal these windows,
all the workshops were chock ablock with work ........... oh no, not another one of those days,
AND then it started to rain cats & dogs again.
this time it was so heavy , we could hardly see the rib just a few feet away, and after an hour or so, the water
was pouring down through the whole building and the dry areas just kept shrinking .
Skipper, Aileen took a taxi to St John's ( Capitol ) in an effort to sort out our Visa's for taking " A Lady" into the U.S.
This was done with Wings Courier services and took 4 hours to complete, but when finished we had our appointment with
the U.S embassy in Barbados next Wed, plus our flights and B & B all booked . progress at last.
Meanwhile, Ian travelled to the airport, only to discover that the documents he posted in St. Kitts last friday to the High
Commissioner at the British embassy in Barbados were still at the airport in Antigua, opppp's thats not good,
so there is no chance Ian will have his emergancy passport in time for tomorrows flight home, what a bummer,
and this was an express service,    Thats the Caribbean way !
The rain caused terrible flooding, schools were closed, and most shops and buisness premises closed their doors and
took off home, , When we returned to the Rib, it was full of water again, so more bailing,
and we are supposed to be having a good time, our poor guests , The McMillans, they like ourselves
did not expect this sort of weather in the Caribbean,,,   but its an indication of the weather patterns all around the globe,
uncertain and unpredictable,
We had dinner ashore in Trappas again , this time with John and Jenny from " Tzigane" ,we also bumped into Tom
& Dave in the restaurant and had a good laugh, at least the food was good here and the price represented good value.
At the end of the night we managed to get back to " A Lady" without getting soaked again.
Thats all for today ................
TUESDAY  10th   MAY,
At least the sun was shining, and very early the mooring man in his rib came and collected his daily fee. ( Ian refers to
him as the rent collector)  anyway, he was a facinating guy who came to the Caribbean on an expedition some 36 years ago
and just stayed here.
Aileen went ashore to do her emailing while Skipper , Ian and Joan took off in the rib to the Cat Club Marina to meet George
at Antigua rigging. We had hoped that he would be able to help with the leaking windows, but alas, not so !
We then did a tour of the bay in the Rib and viewed all the wrecks dotted around the shore line,
At midday, we moved " A Lady " around to English Harbour in glorious sunshine, it was a short trip of a few miles and we
dropped anchor in the outer part of the harbour, We spied another yacht with our Yacht Club's ensign so we said hello.
The boat was " Celtic spirit " owned by Micheal Holland and skippered by Anse, who we spoke to for a while,
Its such a small world.........................
We had a light lunch and all had a swim off the back of the boat before we said our goodbye's to Alan & Joan , who still had
tummy cramps, but had recovered from the PEA incident,
Off they went in a taxi with Dave to the airport to catch their flight back to Belfast, Ian , meanwhile is stuck here for another
couple of days, untill Friday night.....................
After the taxi departed, we went to the pub with Tom Hallway for a few beers and then toddled down the road to " Trappas"
restaurant for another good value meal. a good night, and a pleasent evening,
The McMillans are such nice people and friends for a long time, We were delighted to have them on board and that Alan
managed the trip, he is so pleasent to have around, and despite the handicap was great on board the boat.   
We hope they enjoyed the trip, despite the weather. 
06.30 Skipper had an early morning swim and cleaned the boottop before getting into the computer. 
We all went ashore to the dock , tied up the Rib and went about our buisness, Aileen did her Wifi while skipper and Ian
walked about a mile to M.P.S looking for a new Yanmar Hour counter clock, 
Ther heat by midday was immense and we struggled with the walking, however the company had to order the clock from the States
but it will be here before we leave Antigua,  By the time we returned to the marina cafe, we were soaking with pesperation. and 
exhausted to boot. 
skipper bought some cruising books and charts for the journey north to the States , we have yet to decide our route. but it will most likely
take in a trip to Bermuda on the way.
Later, Skipper and Ian returned to the boat and set about replacing the Loud Hailor on the mast which never worked, Oyster
sent out a new one to us with Charlie when she was returning to St. Lucia a few weeks ago, A big thanks to Charlie.   
Later, much later, skipper cooked dinner and we invited Tom Hallway to join us, he also brought his laptop and downloaded
the " Grib U.S. "  file onto the boats computer, so now we have another weather system on board supplied free from the
U.S government.
We had a great evening and it was a late night.
Thats it for now.