English Harbour, Antigua

James Blackburn
Wed 15 Apr 2009 16:38

15 April 2009   17:00.37N           61:46.02W


We had already decided to carry on North through the Rivière Salée which runs between the two halves of the butterfly-shaped Guadeloupe. This involves going past two bridges which open at around 05:00 so we set off in plenty of time, arrived early and circled around in the pitch black night waiting for the first one to open. When finally it did open, in the limited space, I lined up a bit too late and Milano Blanco carried on sideways enough to bump the (luckily timber) base of the bridge. A small mark on the hull, but no damage, then through the second bridge with the operator shouting dépêchez vous (I was being quite cautious by this time) and on down the river. The river is well marked, with mangroves on each bank, and looked like mosquito paradise, but was OK. It was flat calm, with white egrets flying low over the black water, and then dawn and soon out into the Cul de Sac Marin (a large bay) which was shallow, the channels poorly marked, and of course we ran aground. Luckily with a bit of Yanmar heaving & puffing we came free, and found our way out to sea.


Once out at sea the wind picked up and we had an increasingly windy sail over to Antigua on a glorious day, a good Force 6 as we neared the coast. We entered English Harbour and anchored at 13:15 at the very end of Tank Bay. 50 miles