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Date: 16 Mar 2008 17:33:00
Title: Zoë and Matt

Hello Friends                                    "15:52.2N 61:35.1W"
 
Zoë and Matt escaped the English gales arriving on schedule in Antigua last Monday. They spent the first day gently acclimatising with a tour around Nelson's Dockyard and a stroll along the coast path between English and Falmouth harbours. [see blogs 18 Jan 07 and 1 Feb 07 for pics of Antigua.]
 
Matt, who has never been on a boat without feeling seasick, was forewarned to get some Hyoscine patches before coming out. Duly prepared, we set off for a sail upwind to the Green Island anchorage on the E side of Antigua. The weather was fortunately the mildest for months with a very slight swell and light winds, though as we were tacking upwind we enjoyed a comfortable 17-18 knots apparent. Matt found the whole experience rather strange and didn't feel unwell at all and was able to see how enjoyable sailing is (in these conditions!).
 
We did the usual things of going to the beach for a stroll along the water's edge and snorkelling the reef. Since both Zoë and Matt felt fine on board, we decided to put in a few miles and on Friday enjoyed a fantastic sail to Guadeloupe. Again the sea conditions were very gentle and as the wind was a little light, we flew the spinnaker for the first time since arriving in the Caribbean and had a very comfortable sail to Deshaies as shown here...
 
 
The day's sailing was one of the most satisfactory for some time - as well as using the spinnaker, we saw whales about 100 metres away, probably Minkes and caught a tuna big enough for supper for us all. The following day we headed south and stopped at Pigeon Island - the Cousteau Reserve (for those old enough to remember Jacques Cousteau and the voyages of the Calypso). Amazingly, this was the first time we'd snorkelled in the reserve and we had a great break which justifies several photos...
 
From bottom left to top right - Fabio, Zoë and Matt:
 
 
assorted coral and fish...
 
 
 
note the very clear water... We then headed down to Les Saintes where the crew are at this minute enjoying the benefits of the swimming beach where we accidentally anchored last year, before we found out that it is forbidden. After all the sailing and snorkelling, I guess they needed the rest.
 
 
Having sailed so far south, we will be heading north again next week when the weather forecast is quite different... Watch this space for how Zoë and Matt survive the 5 metre northerly swell and 20 knots winds currently forecast !!
 
Best Wishes
 
Michael
with inspiration from George, Zoë, Matt and Fabio
 

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