Alan Franklin/Lynne Gane
Sun 25 Jan 2015 14:19
Well, the day has finally arrived when we are planning and more importantly able to leave this beautiful island. The new rigging is in place, the final work was completed yesterday morning and we went for a ‘rigging run in’ so to speak, with a sail to Jolly Harbour a little further north on the eastern coast of Antigua. The riggers were delightful, polite and hard working, working late into Friday evening and still up the mast at dusk.
We were relieved to finally get away from the high charges at the Catamarin marina, the amounts spent over this period have been eye watering, not least the marina surcharge of 15% on the bills of others where work was completed on their premises. So if you happen to be here in a yacht beware!
Sailing up the coast was such a tonic after the frustrations of the last three weeks. There are some lovely bays and long white coral beaches. The eastern coast has steeply rising mounts, clothed in mainly evergreen forest, much of it is a national park. The shoulders of some slopes, like a worn jumper, are more grass than trees, herds of goats rustle and rummage through the undergrowth, collared but apparently roaming freely. The low cliffs reach down to the sea, a youthful (formed about 35 million years ago), mix of volcanic and sedimentary rocks of rust and copper verdigris. Sailing over the coral reef some 10m below us, the water was the most amazing turquoise, with the light reflecting off the white coral below.
Our plan is to sail overnight to Dominica. This misses out Guadeloupe, Marie Galante and the Saints, perhaps that’s another visit. The last of the windward Isles, Dominica has come highly recommended by fellow travellers, with tropical rain forests, waterfall, green pools, abundant flora and fauna, we are already polishing off the hiking boots. We will sail into Portsmouth Harbour in the NW of the island before moving south to Roseau.
We are looking forward to another adventure and perhaps we will sight some whales along the way!
All our best,
Lynne and Alan