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Date: 10 Apr 2011 02:39:00
Title: Wash Day in Antigua

Admirals Inn, Nelson's Dockyard, Antigua, Saturday night

I'm writing this sitting on my bed in the Admirals Inn. The building is part of the original Dockyard so it's beautiful with high ceilings and huge wooden beams everywhere. That said, I'd rather be back onboard Saxon Blue but we wanted to be able to concentrate on washing and tidying everything which is impossible if we're all still staying onboard.

It's been hard work today but successful in the end. Cind, Andrea and Alden went for breakfast to the cafe but I couldn't take the stress of wondering what I'd get so I just had muesli onboard and joined them for coffee. By that time, they hadn't had anything but, eventually, they got solid eggs that were supposed to be "over easy" and other random variations on what's written in the menu. Back on Saxon Blue, Andrea and Cind got stuck into sorting through our remaining provisions. They threw out all the open packets and out of date stuff, put the things that will go out of date during the summer into a couple of boxes to go to a local orphanage and put the stuff that will be OK into 2012 back into the cupboards. They also got the fridge and freezer defrosted and gave all the frozen stuff to Alden's friend Deano.

Alden and I got the last of the replacement Lopolights - the steaming light - fitted onto the mast and the old ones packed up ready to go back to the UK. I fixed a problem with the heater matrix in the forward cabin and sorted out a load of stuff that was under the forward bunk. We packed away the charts of Antigua and then I put preservative into the watermaker so it won't go mouldy over the summer. We generated many bin bags of rubbish and I managed to get my toe caught in a deck fitting while I was carrying one of them ashore so that my left little toe is now all black and sore. Still, that's a good excuse to have an easy time of it over the next few days and I can always use my old drama training to ham it up if required.

While we were doing all that, we washed all the bedding, towels and clothes. They dried quickly in the warm breeze so we only have a few things hanging on deck now and they should be dry tomorrow. Alden packed all his stuff up and moved into the hotel at lunchtime and then Andrea and I went to the airport with Cind so she could catch her flight back to London at 8pm tonight.

It was sad to see Cind go and we'll miss her optimism and energy - she did so much to help today that there isn't that much left to do. It was fantastic her and Christine coming out here for the last part of our trip. It made a special time out of what could have been a gradual running out of steam. It kept us exploring right up to the end and it's been so good for Andrea to share her new boating life with her friends. Parting was made easier by the knowledge that we'll see Cind again in a very short while back in England.

On the way back from the airport, we shared Moody's taxi with a couple who have chartered a 173 foot motoryacht for their holiday. It can have 12 guests so it must be pretty impressive. Still, they haven't sailed with icebergs so Andrea did a good job of casually letting them know that she has. Moody dropped us back at Saxon Blue and then we walked the few hundred yards to the hotel with an overnight bag. We've just had a lovely dinner outside by the water's edge. I had Snapper, Andrea had Linguine with Mussels and Alden went for Duck.

Andrea has just been back to Saxon Blue with Alden to get some cleaning solution into the black water holding tanks. That's just the sort of thing you need to do after a good dinner when you're living on a boat. It's not all glamour.

So, that's it. We live on land again. Saxon Blue has been our lovely home for almost a year and she's kept us comfortable and safe for that whole time. We'll both miss life onboard although I'm looking forward to getting back home to England in the Springtime and seeing my family and friends. At the moment, we're both feeling keen on sailing to some other new places so our experiences haven't put us off. We'll see how we feel after a few months at home.

Harvey

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