The sun was slowly rising behind the hills as we hoisted our sails.
It was further round the island than I thought and we didn’t clear the
north coast of Guadeloupe until 9am. Off to port the light ashy centre
of Montserrat was evidence of its eruption in December and soon
Antigua was growing off the bow. The wind just allowed us to stay on
course but it was the first upwind sailing for some time. We were well
heeled with waves crashing over the bow and fishing lines that were
heavy to haul in and check. My clothes pegs were flying off the lines
continuously as waves broke on the lines but of course there was
nothing on the lures.
I was glad of our early start to arrive in English Harbour with the
sun still adding light to the delights that awaited us. The harbour
was very busy with boats anchored all around but everywhere was oh so
pretty. To port the wonderful stone ruins of a fort guarded the
headland and to starboard stretched a white sandy beach with shallow
clear water. Warnings were given in the pilot book about swirling
winds and bumping boats just here and after dropping the hook we
moved, unconvinced that Brindabella wouldn’t receive a bump or two in
the night. Further into the harbour a couple of bars extended off the
starboard shore onto a wooden dock, ample for numerous dinghies to
moor for refreshment. Ahead boats were anchored noses into the
mangroves with umpteen kedge anchors as protection from possible
hurricanes later in the season. We turned back and squeezed in between
the boats in front of the very beautiful Nelson’s Dockyard. No sooner
had we turned the engine off than Phillip and Lynda motored past in
the dinghy; once again they were anchored a couple of minutes away.
After our very early start, dinner was already on the make so we
declined the offer of rum punches tonight in favour of an early night
but plan to catch up tomorrow. Oh boy! Did I sleep well tonight?