Our position is 17:00.402N 61:45.84W
It has been a while since our last diary entry. The
reason is our chief blogger has gone home. Kay flew back to England on
11th Feb to catch up on work and family commitments, and is not due back until
Before she left we had time to re-anchor Moorglade
close in to the dockyard, where the holding and shelter is much better, and
spend some time with a hire car driving round the island.
The highlights were the views from Shirley Heights,
the windswept east coast, Betty's Hope sugar cane mill and the Museum in St
Johns. After a full day of sight seeing I dropped Kay at the airport, narrowly
avoiding a parking fine, and then got the car back to the hire company at
English harbour before they closed.
I resolved to spend the time while Kay was away
catching up on jobs on the boat (some of which went back to the transatlantic
crossing),exercising more, and eating and drinking less to get the weight back
to normal and improve fitness. Then I was invited to join the Royal Naval Tot
Club of Antigua and Barbuda. (see their website for details) I have
now achieved the status of associate member but the process has not helped my
original aims. However I now have a lot of new friends get invited to lots of
new places and have access to lots of local knowledge. I also now know a good
deal more about Nelson.
The other source of social contact are the crews of
boats met along the way who come into the harbour. I met up with The crew of
Starcross for home and away dinners on board and yesterday evening Ross
(Starcross) came up for the evening Tot, then we met up with his friends from
the ARC Richard and Alison (Vulcan Spirit) for an excellent dinner at a new
restaurant "Trappas". Even consuming no alcohol alone on board and
salad lunches, my waist line is still going the wrong way.
I hoped Sunday mornings might help a little,
joining in with the Tot club keep fit group. We spend two hours, from 10:00 till
midday, clearing the overgrown ruins of old naval buildings so they can be seen
by the tourists and maintaining the footpaths and tracks which were created by
the club in the past. It is hard, hot work, so it seems only fair that the
volunteers get a free, pre lunch beer, on the club, back at the dockyard.
This tends to lead to a sociable lunch and Sunday afternoon. Pleasant but no,
it's not getting me any thinner.
This week has been the Caribbean 600 Race
which is organised by the RORC and Antigua yacht and supported by the Tot club.
I volunteered for finishing line duty. For a 600 mile race with yachts of very
different size and speed the finish line has to be manned for 24hours a day for
over two days. Actually no yachts finished during either of my 4hour watches so
I was only up at the line for the start. Despite not having to actually do much
I did attend the briefings etc in the yacht club bar so did not miss
out on the free beer.
Moorglade has now joined the Yachts in the harbour
with weed growing on the anchor chain but there are daily comings and goings all
around. It's quite tight in our corner of the harbour but most boats make a good
job of getting their hook down. Not so a large Cat , crewed by totally
incompetent Italians that tried to anchor in a non existent space yesterday.
They tried to abort the plan but did not seem to have got the hang of having two
engines 6 meters apart. The result was that they shot across the harbour
dragging their anchor along the bottom until it hooked the chain of the yacht
behind me. Three of us spent the next couple of hours sorting out the mess for
them, by holding them off Moorglade's stern with two warps and the yacht behind
leaving her anchor and chain buoyed, motoring off to avoid damage.
Eventually we got their anchor up (their chain was the wrong size for the
windlass gipsy so slipped under load) and escorted them over to the Slipway dock
using our tenders to stop them running into other yachts, including Moorglade,
and pushing them into a berth for long enough to get tied up.
Some jobs have been done and I am up to date on
domestic chores, cleaning, laundry and shopping etc, but far from wondering how
to fill my time while Kay is back in England I am having to try hard to fit
Entrance to English Harbour and Freemans
looking East along the South Coast , Willoughby Bay
Evening view of English and Falmouth Harbours from
Heights Kay on
the windy East Coast
Betty's hope mills The rear one was bricked up for
The mill was restored but has fallen into disuse again
Primary school children at the mill museum
Yachts in the RORC 600. "Rustler" (grey
sails) took line honours