Antigua 17 April
Antigua – Nelsons dockyard
We are moored in Nelsons Dockyard in the south of the island, the sun is shining and it’s hot, exactly what you expect of the weather here in the West Indies.
We have been “chilling hard” a local _expression_ for laying about do nothing apart from exploring and some swimming.
The annual Antigua Classical Regatta is in full swing. A fantastic selection of vintage and vintage types yachts are lined up in the marina with their multi-billion dollar owners, complete with all the trimmings flown in from all over the world. We spent quite some time walking up and down the marina just looking and admiring these fantastic yachts or maybe they qualify as ships.
Eric Clapton is moored more or less next to us (50 m) in his huge motor cruiser, well actually more of a small hotel. The contrast between the wealth and the poor local community is striking.
Nelsons dockyard is actually a museum with quaint looking colonial houses and as you can tell by the name Nelson use to hang out here. The dockyard is probably the most popular tourist attraction on the island and busloads of tourists arrive here regularly.
Tonight is the “jump-up” in Shirley heights, a weekly event where locals and tourists meet for a traditional street party; street sellers, local food and drink loud music, steel bands, dancing and a most likely a strong aroma of cannabis.
Lutz is going back to the UK today and Giancarlo from Italy is arriving tomorrow.
All is well on the Siri Ros.
Liz – Skipper
Antigua – St Johns
From the Nelson’s Dockyard we are taking trips to other parts of the island. My yesterday’s trip was to St. Johns – the capital of the island. In a 30-minute bus ride I was the only foreigner on the bus. The locals were getting on and off, carrying their babies, bags with food and quite big and heavy objects like BBQ gas cylinders. Eventually, the bus arrived to St Johns, and moved through the town quite slowly, because the streets were flooded by Saturday shoppers and sellers. It seems that everybody is selling something: matches, candy, shoes, shirts. Surprisingly, the selection of fruit and vegetables in the market (guess I expected it to be a tropical paradise?) is not different form that in a tiny convenience store near the Nelson’ s Dockyard. Plenty of “mamas” sitting in small groups at every stand, cooking and selling local cornmeal... They are literally laid back, and not much draws their attention. Loud Calypso music on every corner contrasts with their slow moves and speech. I bought their cornmeal and a local “Carib” beer it was, actually, quite good.