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Date: 09 Apr 2011 03:23:00
Title: Sails off, ready for a rest

Nelson's Dockyard, Antigua, Friday night

We've just got back from Catherine's restaurant after a superb meal. Cind and Andrea had lobster so it was an extended affair now that Andrea likes to eat every last scrap of meat, helped by Alden.

We all got up at 0630 so that we could take the sails off in the relative calm of the morning. It all went smoothly so that was a relief. We started with the jib to see if it was going to work OK and we got that down and flaked on the foredeck with no trouble. The Genoa was next. It's a much bigger sail so was a bit harder to get under control and it's too big to flake effectively on the deck so we just dropped it quickly, Alden trussed it up and we picked it up between the four of us and carried it ashore. There, we spead it out on the grass before making a neat job of folding it and then into the bag it went. The main was next and we were on a roll by now so we got that straight down, carried ashore and flaked.

After all that effort, it was time to go to the cafe for a good breakfast. It was great to get the difficult job done so quickly and without incident - in the cool of the morning, too. After breakfast, Andrea and Cind headed off to St Johns to do some shopping. Alden and I got all the running rigging off and coiled up before putting it into the sail bags. I rang George at Antigua Rigging and arranged to get all the sails picked up from the dockside so they're all gone now. Saxon Blue looks a bit bare.

We had time before lunch to get the masthead anchor light down and work out why it had been wobbling around on its pole. After that, we headed over to Catherine's to book for tonight and then had our lunch next door while chatting to two guys from England who we met a few weeks back. Alden was visibly wilting as he'd been up late at a barbecue, drank rather too much and then had to get up and do the sails. We headed back to Saxon Blue and he went to bed for a couple of hours. It was too hot to do anything outside anyway and I just sat in our cabin with the aircon on full blast. The girls returned from the big city, stopped for a drink and then headed off to Pigeon Beach to go swimming.

I got the new anchor light tested and fitted to the bracket, then woke Alden and he went up the mast again to fit it all. It's a right pain of a job, made harder by Lopolight fitting a one meter long cable to a masthead anchor light. Perhaps they imagine that the 50 meter long vessels it's designed for have a 90 centimeter high mast. Anyway, after a bit of messing around, we got it fitted and working so we now only have one more light to fit tomorrow.

With all that work, there was only time for a quick shower and then over to the restaurant for dinner. It was excellent, as ever. It's lovely going out by tender and then sitting by the water watching the fish swim about beneath us. The staff at Catherine's are so friendly and our waitress was particularly entertaining, if a bit outrageous. We've just had a tender ride back across the harbour again -driven by Cind - and we're enjoying the cool and a cold glass of fizzy water.

It's strange to think that this is our last night onboard Saxon Blue. We're cleaning out the inside tomorrow so we're all moving into the Admirals Inn so that we can wash and store all the bedding, towels and stuff. It'll be odd having the boat here but not living aboard but I suppose it will prepare us for when we have to leave her completely and fly home. A few more days of work and then it'll all be over. That's going to take some getting used to.

Harvey

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