Antigua 1 week later...
We have now been here in Antigua for a week and were planning to move on tomorrow to St Martin where we hope to have various jobs done on the boat. However strong winds are forecast until at least Friday so we may be wimpy and sit it out in this lovely spot for a while longer. This morning we had a mini drama as our inflatable dinghy, tied up in the water behind the boat with the outboard attached, flipped right over in a particularly strong gust! Skipper had to rush out, manually turn the whole thing back over and then jump in and row out to rescue some things from the bottom of the dinghy that had ended up in the sea.
We have thoroughly enjoyed unwinding here, swimming off the boat, eating ashore in various local spots, and catching up on some chores. I do the cleaning and hand washing while David mends things and snorkels down to scrape gunk off “Goldcrest’s” hull. Yesterday we took the local bus into the island’s capital of St John’s, a half hour ride which gave us a broader view of the country than you can get by staying in this exclusive yachtie enclave. The trip was a bit hairy as the driver careered along and stopped abruptly whenever he spotted a likely passenger on the roadside, but the atmosphere aboard was delightfully good natured and everybody who got on said “good morning” – a lovely custom. The route in was lined the whole way with the usual brightly coloured clapboard houses on breezeblock bases. One particular colour combination of lime green and orange stands out! St John’s itself was basic but bustling and we shopped for fruit and veg in the produce market before walking down the main street to the harbour front. We are still getting used to the change in fruit options from apples and pears etc to mangos, pineapples and papayas. The harbour was empty and “dead” in feel, presumably only coming to life briefly when the cruise ships dock. The quays have some attractive old buildings turned into cafes and upmarket duty free shops which we wandered past before returning to the bus station for the ride back to base.
Scenes of St John’s:
It’s pouring again as I write this and we have to keep jumping up to shut the hatches after opening them between showers as it heats up. Later today we were planning to walk up the hill to the headland above us where there is a famous Sunday night barbecue venue with live steel drum and reggae music, but it won’t be much fun if this weather continues!