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
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
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.