Thank goodness we are out of Montserrat!! We had another horrid night on anchor so were up early and raring to go as soon as it got light! The plan today is to head north up to Nevis which is about 30 miles away. We had a great sail all the way and hardly motored at all. Between the islands of Montserrat and Nevis there is another island, a large rock actually, which is called Redonda and which has an interesting story. You can't land there at all as there is no shore line anywhere round the island to speak of. The island is approximately a mile long and 1000ft high. In 1872, the British decided they wanted it as it had substantial phosphate mining potential and they attached it to Antigua. Mining continued until 1914 using very primitive methods.
Prior to this, in 1865, an Irish-Monserratian merchant, (there is actually a long history of Irish people on Montserrat as you can tell from the names in the cemeteries, we walked past one with an O'Mara headstone and an O'Reilly headstone, hardly typical Caribbean names,) decided that as he had a son, after 8 daughters, he wanted a kingdom for him. In 1880, they set sail to Redonda to claim it, and the Bishop of Antigua crowned the son, now aged 15, King Felipe I of Redonda. The son eventually moved to England to become a not hugely popular author, and subsequently tried, and failed to get recognition from the British Government as the King of Redonda. The Brits clearly thought he was as mad as the proverbial box of frogs and gave him a small pension to get rid of him. The crown was passed down 3 times until King Robert (also known as Bob the Bald!!) took over in 1998. There was a bit of a debate as to whether he was a mere pretender to the throne when another Antiguan claimed it had been promised to him, but now it is largely just left as a rock in the ocean, home to many birds.
Arriving in Nevis, once we had anchored of a beautiful palm fringed beach, the first job was the lengthy process of checking in through customs, immigration and then the port authority - and then checking out the local beach bar. We had a great night with the locals, ate some lovely food, and drank far more beer and rum than could ever be considered good for us!! Tomorrow we will start exploring Nevis properly - when the rum wears off.
Saturday, was an easy day, we went to the local market, organised some diving and went for a late afternoon swim. I got a bit of a shock when we got back to the boat to find we had a barracuda sitting under the swim ladder waiting for us! Being brave - not - I sent John up first to chase it away, I have kept a very close eye out whenever I am swimming since then!
A couple of views os the Kingdom of Redonda - as you can see it's a bit inhospitable!!