Position 18 24 054N 64 38 046W Nanny
Monday 7th January
Friday evening, Tom ferried us to the station to
catch the 19.30 train to Clapham and Gatwick. Ferried was nearly the word, the
heavens opened and the A303 was awash. Still the train was spot on time, and by
10.45 we were installed in the Sofitel at Gatwick. Well rested, we walked the
bridge to the terminal around 8.00 to board Virgin 033 to Antigua and 2 hours
later the first refreshments were delivered at 37000 feet. It had been
a short trip home, so we were travelling light with cabin bags only;
also the connection time was short, and transferring hold baggage VC Bird
airport can be a nightmare.
Early on the pilot advised unusually strong
Atlantic headwinds, so the routing took us down over Spain, Portugal and the
Azores, thus ensuring a long flight time and late arrival. True to form, we just
missed the 15.05 connection which must have been the only Liat flight to leave
on time in living memory. The next flight was scheduled at 19.05. By 19.30 no
information, then a delay of half an hour, and finally the plane left at 9 in
the evening. There's a scheduled stop at St Martin - we landed there, sat on the
Tarmac for 40 minutes, boarded the rest of the passengers and were then advised
that Tortola had closed and we were on our way back to Antigua.
Pandemonium immediately ensued - there were
mostly locals on the plane who were shouting, complaining, and employing a
wonderful mix of patois and Anglo Saxon. After 10 minutes of this, the
pilot called the security guys and their main threat was that the
troublemakers would never be able to fly Liat again - promises, promises.
Eventually life calmed down, we flew back and wre
finally installed in a hotel by 1.00 am. Amusingly we were in the Royal
Antiguan, almost the same room that the family had used back in
We finally arrived at the boat around midday
Sunday, have sorted most of the bits out, watered and provisioned and plan to
launch Tuesday am. At the moment there looks to be a quiet weather window later
in the week, so unless the forecast changes, we plan to make the 100 mile upwind
bash to St Martin on Thursday.