Antigua - 18 March

Sun 19 Mar 2006 01:14
Yesterday we left Guadeloupe, in convoy with Tamarisk and Blase, headed for Guadeloupe.  We had a fine reach with a flat sea.  There were a few squalls around, which hit the two other boats but we managed to avoid.  The sail took six hours exactly, from Deshaies in Guadeloupe to English Harbour in Antigua.
Keoma under sail (picture by Tim on Tamarisk)
The reason for the rush back to Antigua was that we had planned a treasure hunt in Nelson's Dockyard, for Alice's birthday.  We had initially thought that there would not be many people around, as everyone had been planning to be on different islands by now.  However, the combination of delivery failures on new parts and a huge effort by other boats meant that we were in the very lucky position of having 17 children at Alice's party, and 14 adults!
The Children (except Alice - where was she?)
It was wonderful - we had the children from Blase, Tamarisk, Wild Alliance, Coconut, Aromatic, Kosh Long and Regina there.  The last two boats arrived on the dock 15 minutes before the party started, having sailed down from Barbuda that morning.  Great timing!
Keoma in her party dress
Alice in her pirate dress
We organised a treasure hunt around Nelson's Dockyard, which kept the children occupied for ages.  Later we played stuck in the mud and the children ended the day with dinghy wars.  Here is Alice with her birthday cake:
During the party the official measurer for Antigua Week turned up.  He seemed unfazed by the chaos and got on with the job.  It is a requirement of the racing rules that we have this done.
The plan was to go to Nevis tomorrow.  However, we had to borrow cash from Tamarisk to pay the measurer and the banks are not open tomorrow, being Sunday.   Cash points on Antigua do not work for non-local bank cards, so we may be stuck here until the banks open on Monday!