Antigua Airport, Thursday evening
We're in the lounge at the airport, waiting for our plane to start boarding. There are loads of annoying children here at the moment so I hope they don't end up too close to us on the plane - we've paid a lot of cash for a bit of sleep.
We woke up early today to get our stuff packed. This was harder than you'd think as we had some bags to come back to England, some to go onto Saxon Blue permanently and some to go there temporarily until our flight tonight. We got Moody to drop us over to the Cat Club and loaded everything up the ladder and into the boat. She's already looking dusty and dirty, a taste of worse to come, I'm sure. I did have a good meeting with George at Antigua Rigging, though. He received the spreadsheet of work that I emailed to him yesterday and had sorted it into warranty and other with some questions for me. It made me feel a lot less stressed to see that he was getting it all organised.
I signed some more warrant forms to avoid the 100% import duty they charge in Antigua, marked the bits of gelcoat which need repairing with blue tape and then helped Andrea sort a few things onboard before Moody came back to pick us up again. He dropped us back in Falmouth where we spent a very pleasant half hour wandering along the Yacht Club Marina pontoons looking at all the classic yachts which are here for the regatta. They were in all shapes and sizes from 20 odd footers up to massive 150 foot mega-yachts. We were particularly impressed by the two old guys on the smallest yacht who were busy removing their self-steering gear. Neither of them had a scrap of fat on them, nor many muscles, come to that. They looked like they could cross the Atlantic with cigarettes and a few packets of crisps. Seriously hardcore Classic sailors, alright.
We had a table reserved at Cloggies, the restaurant inside the yacht club, for lunch. We'd won the lunch in a raffle a month ago and the waitress looked a bit nonplussed when Andrea presented the voucher. The food was really good, though, and they didn't try to charge us for the coffee or anything so I was very impressed. We sat looking out at all the yachts with their flags flying in the breeze, a lovely sight.
After lunch, we staggered off to the Dockyard, had an extended sit down in Hamiltons and then a walk out to the fort where we sat in our usual spot, watching the comings and goings of the boats and discussing what we thought of people's choices of anchoring location. It was cloudy and drizzly again all day so we didn't get overheated. It's great for us but the people who've come out for a bit of sun for a week must be very disappointed From there, we walked back to the Dockyard and our hotel to pick up our big bags and load them into Moody's taxi.
He drove us around to the Cat Club for us to put our summer clothes away on Saxon Blue, pick up our laptops, long trousers and, I can't believe it, socks. It was an odd feeling to be leaving the boat sitting there all alone. I'm sure the guys in Antigua will look after her but it's not the same as a permanent crew. Still, they can always give her a good valet before we get back so we'll never know what a state she got into.
Back in the cab, we picked up a couple of other passengers and then set off for the airport. No problems like the last time with long queues so we got through in plenty of time and should be boarding in about 15 minutes. Hopefully, we'll get a sleep on the way home. I can't wait to see whether we've got bluebells in the woods at White Hill and to see everyone. It's going to take a long time to catch up with all our friends and family and even longer to assimilate all the stuff we've seen over the last year. Maybe, we'll find that we just have to go back and check out some of it for a second time.