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Date: 25 Mar 2011 01:08:00
Title: Another day, another desert island

17:08.189N 61:43.950W Rabbit Island, Antigua, Thursday night

We had an early start today as we wanted to get ashore on Great Bird Island and do some Janeway filming before the hordes arrived. In the event, we only just managed it in time. Andrea and I got Alden to take us in with the tender and drop us in the main sandy bay. As we arrived, a small boat full of snorkellers also pulled in but, luckily, they didn't wander over to the other bay where we wanted to film. Andrea got her stifling costume on and we got cracking with the video so that, by the time Cind and Christine arrived, we'd got most of the shots we wanted from the beach.

They went swimming while Andrea and I climbed the low hill on the island and did some more filming from up there. By now, Andrea was starting to feel faint with the heat so we climbed back down and went out snorkelling ourselves. It was good swimming in the bay and we found one rock that was just teeming with fish. I saw one tiny one that was disguised as a leaf of sea-grass with bits of sand stuck on. He was so well camouflaged that I kept changing my mind about whether it was a fish or not but eventually decided that it was. By this time, lots more people had turned up to swim so we called Alden on the VHF to come and get us.

By the time we got back onboard Saxon Blue, stopping to look at some turtles on the way, it was lunchtime so we had a salad and sandwiches in the cockpit. I wanted to have a look at some of the other islands in the lagoon so we pulled our anchor up and followed a roundabout route to get to Rabbit Island. It's much steeper-to so we're a lot closer to the island than we were before and it's more sheltered. That made it a bit hot this afternoon but it's lovely now. As soon as we got anchored, we all went swimming again to cool off. There are some good rocks with fish and coral but it's mostly sea-grass and it's full of sea-cucumbers. They're such odd things, somewhere between a caterpillar and a sponge.

The beach on the island is very strange. The sea has cut away underneath the rock all the way along so there's a shelf with about a foot of water beneath it and then the seabed. In the gap, there are loads of fish sheltering. Above the beach, the island is full of impressive cacti - I haven't seen any rabbits. We went ashore a bit later and found that the rocks are limestone but must have been formed relatively recently as they're full of fossil shells. It's like the shells and the sand have just been roughly squashed together. The rock seems pretty soft so that's why the sea has been able to erode beneath it.

While Andrea and I explored ashore, Cind drove the tender around to have a look at some other nearby islands before coming back to pick us up. After that, she cooked us all a lovely dinner of Red Snapper in coconut sauce - very Caribbean. We're all enjoying the calm and cool of the evening now and the girls are sitting in the cockpit. Cind and Christine are drinking lager out of Champagne flutes so I'm not quite sure what that says about them. I've been drinking my Ting straight out of the can so that means I'm really tough.

Harvey

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