March 14th - March 22nd
Deep Bay & Captain's 40th
We sailed the short distance along the coast to the anchorage at "Deep Bay" in lively conditions with winds of 20-25kts. Here we spent a couple of days anchored with just a handful of other boats around us in a broad sweeping bay with a very high-end holiday resort at one edge and the ancient "Barrington Fort" at the other edge affording views across to St John's. We spent these couple of days swimming, snorkelling, walking on the beach and hiking up to the fort. It was a nice spot although a little limited in how far we could explore as passing through the resort to access the road behind was strictly prohibited as the very friendly security guard told us when it looked like we might get within a few metres of their exclusive accommodation and wealthy clientele!!!
After recharging our batteries we sailed back to Jolly and reset in the anchorage for another week. During this week we celebrated Jamie's actual 40th birthday which we marked with a bus ride into St John's to explore the town and visit the original cricket ground based in the town next to the rather imposing looking prison.
This ground was succeeded by the "new" stadium in the north of the island some 15 years previous but as the ground that the West Indies played at for so many years it was a sight - or site! - Jamie was keen to see as he had watched cricket played there so often on TV as a kid. We walked through St John's from the bus station and wandered around the perimeter of the "old recreation ground" peering in through gaps in the fence and between the rusty gates chained shut. Fortunately we decided to walk all the way around the perimeter because once we passed the entrance to the prison we found that the rear entrance to the Old Rec via the original car park was open and we could just wander in and walk onto the pitch and into the stands. Furthermore the small kiosks in the car park of the grounds that would have sold food and drinks to spectators in the past were still operating and we were able to enjoy a delicious lunch which we ordered from two of the three vendors - a "cook up rice" from one and "pork stew" from another with cold Wadadli beers and the Barbados test match playing on a tiny old television in one of the kiosks.. so just like that Jamie's bucket list was complete; "Watch England play the West Indies at the Old Rec on your 40th birthday" check!!
We wandered a little more around St Johns before taking the bus back to Jolly where we enjoyed a lively night at West Point with Karaoke and, being St Patrick's Day a large yachtful of Irish sailors had come to join Jamie's birthday celebrations. We left at some point in the small hours of the following day and presumably rowed successfully back and stowed the dinghy safely back on-board as all was in order the next day but I can't say either of us particularly remember it!!
A couple of nights later we joined our friend Brian on his boat "Pyxis" for sun-downers. Pyxis is a 34ft Bristol Pilot Cutter designed by Lyle Hess and from the same stable as Lin & Larry Pardey's "Taleisin" which they have written a number of seminal books about from their time crusing around the world from the 1970s until quite recently. It was fascinating to go aboard this beautiful vessel and to appreciate the strength and endurance of a simple, well-crafted boat. Brian is a big fan of our rowing dinghy so there was a lot of mutual boat appreciation going on amongst some very sizeable rum measures which made for a very entertaining evening and a bit of a headache the next day!
A few days later we left Jolly once again this time headed south towards Falmouth Harbour by way of Carlisle Bay and then onwards to Green island on the windward coast of Antigua and back again.