Light at the end of the tunnel???
Alan Franklin/Lynne Gane
Thu 22 Jan 2015 15:31
|Dear Family and Friends,|
Yes we are still here in Antigua, work on the rigging went well to start with but there were problems. The shroud fixings at the spreaders were corroded on, the forestay needed to be cold headed, the 3 phase electrical supply to do this was cut off in a neighbour dispute (and is still not restored), parts ordered from the nearby island of St Martins arrived and were the wrong size, these had to be made specially and caused a weeks delay, the reheading has been on and off for 6 days. It is supposed to happen today or tomorrow, but who knows…..
We are reinstalling the running rigging (halyards, sheets…. ropes!) and the mast electrics, the anchor fitting is strengthened and completed, we have done loads of routine maintenance, the saloon looks habitable if only briefly so we are nearly there for now. As we are learning and it is a steep learning curve, you are always fixing something.
We were very pleased to catch up with Ed and Sue on Angel Louise following their arrival from the Transatlantic crossing. They are planning to circumnavigate the US inland waterways which sounds fun and a blessed relief from heavy duty sailing. We were very grateful for their weather reports in the early part of our Atlantic crossing, (they made a later start than us), because although we were getting weather grib files for the area, they didn’t prove that accurate, or perhaps they were too generalised. Gavin and Georgie are threatening us with another Tot club evening this friday, its fun to be part of an English colonial tradition but it seems a little at odds with modern Antigua.
We are looking forward to being on the move again.
Thank you for all the Malaria advice, and sorry the thanks have been a long time coming, the crossing was a mite stressful at times. As a midge magnet I have to be extra careful, so my daily routine starts with an application of Avon so soft (also good for repelling mosquitos, if its good enough for the marines its good enough for me!) sunscreen and finally jungle formula mosquito repellant which is horrible to breathe in any quantity. You should keep this topped up during the day as any bathing or perspiration will reduce effectiveness, this is onerous!!! However I was reminded that to be lax is to be a feast and I am now thoroughly bitten.
We have cycled frequently for various chores and very slowly its getting a bit easier and we are a little fitter. Around the bay there are gentle slopes but move in any direction away from here and the climbs are long and steep. In exploring the locality we have realised why there are so many 4x4’s around, go anywhere off the few main roads and they are all unmade, and pot hole ridden. In asking directions from the locals, even they dont seem to know how to get places just a mile or two away, they had to phone a friend! But how kind to do so! Signposts forget it! We are still learning about Antigua, for all the lack of obvious agriculture, they seem keen on their grass! The sounds of mowing and strimming can be heard most days, unremarkable in itself but for the sight of flocks of white Egrit type birds that attend the activity in much the same way as Robins do back in the UK. These are the size of small ducks so its quite a sight.
I have a few sunset photos for you.
In the distance are these strange hybrid cruise ships with sails, truly odd in my opinion but most amazing of all was a 5 masted more traditional schooner type cruise ship which had both Bermudian (triangular) sails and the square rigger rectangular sails and fairy lights. Setting sail she deployed the Bermudian rig and when on the correct course for downwind sailing the square rigger sails all at such a speed that they must have been electronically controlled, quite a sight with all the spars and rigging lit up at night.
Dusk across Falmouth harbour
Church close to marina, this is one of the prettier ones, others are more akin to villages halls and surprisingly perhaps for us, churches are still being built here confirming that religion is alive and well here.
Local wild flower, I so want to have a tropical garden!
All our best,
Lynne and Alan