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Date: 23 Mar 2011 13:40:00
Title: A quite day onboard for me

Long Island, Antigua, Wednesday morning

We're anchored back in the same bay that we started out in although we did go over to Parham Harbour on the mainland during the day. I was fast asleep in the cockpit directly after dinner so that's why I didn't write a blog last night.

Yesterday morning, we all had a swim before breakfast as it was already hot. The water was clear around Saxon Blue and I looked down to see a six-pointed starfish beneath me. That's odd, I thought, I thought they had five arms. When I looked around, all the others did have five points so the one with six was a freak although it was just as big as the others so the different pattern didn't seem to be any disadvantage. I suppose it just goes to show how things which have evolved one way could so easily have evolved in a different direction just as successfully. It's just dependent on the starting point and that's often a matter of chance. If that's the case, it's strange how all the aliens in Star Trek look so similar to people, though.

The girls were anxious to explore St John's and Alden wanted to buy a new camera so I decided to take Saxon Blue over to Parham Harbour so we could all get ashore and catch a taxi. There are numerous coral heads and shoal areas between Long Island and Parham so I chose to follow a dredged channel towards some industrial works and then a marked route around the shore. As we got near to the industry, though, the area where I wanted to go was marked with buoys and a tug had churned up the water so we couldn't see what was under there. I didn't fancy it so we turned around and headed back until I could pick up another route around Rat Island and then into the harbour from there.

That worked fine and we came in slowly as the depth decreased until we had less than a meter under us. We dropped the hook and watched a great plume of mud blossom in the water where it had touched down. I had a think about the trip to town and decided that I really didn't fancy it so I decided to stay onboard and have a quiet afternoon. I rang Moody Taxi on the phone and he said he'd be there in half an hour so we launched the tender and I took everyone in to the town dock. Moody rang me back soon after to say he couldn't find our shore party but I told him to contact them on VHF so they soon sorted it out between them.

I made myself some noodles and left-over chilli for lunch than had a quiet afternoon reading some short books which I had downloaded from the internet. They're by Gene Sharp who is a theorist of non-violent political change. His ideas have informed much of the recent activity in the middle east, along with previous revolutions in the Baltic States and other bits of the old USSR. It's interesting stuff and seems to be having a big effect at the moment. I hope he's right in that societies which manage to escape from Dictators via non-violent means have a much better chance of avoiding falling straight into the hands of another one. I do think that what happened in Iran after the fall of the Shah rather indicates that this is wishful thinking but we'll see what happens in Egypt, I suppose.

I got a VHF call to collect the shore party at just after 5pm. They were loaded down with bags of shopping and had enjoyed exploring the city. Alden was anxious to get back onboard and play with his new toy - a tiny waterproof Olympus camera. We didn't want to stay in Parham Harbour as it was downwind of a power/de-salination plant so smelt a bit of diesel fumes. It was easier going back to Long Island as I could just follow my outbound track so we were soon back in almost exactly the same spot as we started. We sat and watched the sun go down and then had Pumpkin Ravioli for dinner. Just after we finished, Alden heard a dolphin alongside the boat so we all dashed around and could hear him breathing nearby but we couldn't see him in spite of the lights from the shore.

After that, I just couldn't keep my eyes open any longer so ended up dozing in the cockpit until I managed to wake up enough to actually go to bed. It's much cooler today and overcast so we've not been swimming yet. We're going off to find another anchorage further out near the reef so it should be an interesting day.

Harvey

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