24 March was a crew changeover day for Chiscos. Joe Horner and Clair
Brame flew over from Gatwick to Antigua on Virgin and I followed half an hour
later on the same route with British Airways. With an American Airlines
jumbo jet also arriving in Antigua's airport at the same time, there was a
considerable crowd in immigration and Joe, Clair and I found each other easily
as they were only a short distance ahead of me in the very long queue. An
hour and a half later we had made it through customs, collected our luggage,
jumped into a taxi and were soon joining Chiscos at beer o'clock!
For our first day we went for a walk to Rendez-vous Bay, which was a very
hot experience but followed by a very welcome swim in clear blue waters.
The beach was absolutely deserted for most of the time we were there. Joe
displayed his hunter-gatherer skills shinning up a coconut palm to bring down a
coconut for Clair to try. She gave it a go but wasn't too keen!
That evening John took me for my birthday treat, a night in the Copper
& Lumber Store Hotel in Nelson's Dockyard and a romantic dinner in a
restaurant nearby. The hotel was one of the original Georgian buildings
adapted to provide about 15 rooms with a historic feel.
The furnishings were antique and the woodwork beautifully varnished dark
We walked around the historic dockyard before moving on to a lovely meal
eating outdoors on a perfect starry evening - a very memorable birthday
celebration. Meanwhile, Joe, Clair and Mikaela went to the local Sunday
night party on Shirley Heights. Next time they'll remember the warnings
about the strength of the rum punch!
Next day John and I returned to Chiscos to prepare for
departure. Mikaela had left that morning to transfer to another British
Yacht, Beyzano, currently in the British Virgin Islands. We were very
sorry to see her go! We quickly provisioned and tidied up the boat and
left for the short journey round to Green Island, just off Antigua. There
we found a secluded anchorage tucked behind a reef (the reef wasn't easy to
spot, except that this yacht had clearly found it by accident and was a marker
for us all!).
After a spot of bottom scrubbing by the crew,
we enjoyed a tasty dinner in the cockpit and had a peaceful night in
preparation for an early start to sail to Barbuda the next day.