Welcome to the Leeward Islands

Dubbel Zout at Sea
Nik Ormseth
Wed 22 Feb 2023 13:17
Islands in the Eastern Caribbean are grouped into the Windward and Leeward Islands.  St Lucia, where we landed after the ARC, Martinique, Dominica are all part of the Windward Islands.  Antigua, where we arrived yesterday, is our first landfall in the Leewards.  You would think (or at least, I thought) that sailing from Windward to Leeward would mean mostly downwind sailing.  And yet, the truth is that our island hopping has been basically north — with a little easting, even, as we rounded Guadeloupe — against NE tradewinds, so our passages have tended to be upwind and with some challenging sea states.  From here on, however, our heading becomes more westerly, which should make for a more comfortable course.  This afternoon, we’re off to Anguilla, and the BVIs after that.

Antigua — English Harbour, in particular — is ridiculously picturesque.  The pics below are a “panoramic” of the harbour in three parts and don’t do it justice, at all.

English Harbour was a British naval base in the 1700-1800s, and many of the structures have been restored.  The museum is quite interesting, too, and manages to make Nelson — who has always been sort of a caricature in my mind — into more of a human figure.  The figureheads, on the other hand, are still rather stiff… 


We’re anchored in Falmouth, which is just across a narrow isthmus from English Harbour. The "super yacht” scene in both harbours is a bit over the top, but there are many beautiful, classic sailing yachts among them, so I won’t complain.