To Falmouth Harbour, Antigua

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Wed 23 Mar 2011 18:00

Position           17:00.85N 61:46.55W

Date                1800 – 23 March 2011


An early start!  Well, 0700.  We had had a somewhat rolly night with the wind coming from all over the place and the swell being consistent and although the forecast indicated ENE 15kts we wondered what might actually be happening outside for the 44nm crossing to Antigua.  The wind in the Deshaies anchorage definitely has a mind and agenda all of its own.  As we cleared the wind shadow of the island the wind freed to give us great close reach on a starboard tack under full plain sail with the sea being positively benign compared with some of the other inter island passages that we have made.  We did at times come onto the wind but were able to sail the rhumb line course which makes a nice change.


We had one excitement when a 65ft USA registered yacht on a port tack bore down on us in some form of game of chicken.  We were at the time close hauled and making a consistent course.  At the last minute he bore away, but as he went down our port side shouted `what’s the matter with you guys’ at us!  The answer in a parade ground voice shouted “Port and Starboard”.  I remain bemused as to why he should assume that we had to give way, which we could only do by bearing away under his bow, or going through the wind.  So concerned was I about this that I even got the RYA book on ColRegs out to check that I was not suffering from senility and had got my port and starboard’s mixed up.  It is however a warning never to assume that because a yacht is big and shiny the driver will; obey the normal rules of the road and good seamanship.


The approach to Falmouth harbour was uneventful and we came to anchor at 1350 after a great morning’s sail.  As we go north the other yachts seem to be getting larger; or certainly the number of large yachts is increasing.


I went ashore and walked through to English Harbour and Nelson’s Dockyard to clear in.  In the Customs Office I was followed by the representative from Maltese Falcon, about to receive the owner and guests at 2000 for an 8 day cruise having sat there for two months waiting and from the J Class yacht Velsheda which had just arrived from Gibraltar



(I cannot claim credit for this shot unfortunately)


Maltese Falcon is certainly a magnificent sight, even at anchor.



At 2200 we watched her slip out of the harbour under engine, their rumble providing a very impressive sound track.