Antigua

Approaching Antigua, we were met by the sight of huge racing yachts gliding effortlessly with crew sat on the sides. One cut across us way too close making us alter course even though we had the right of way. They actually waved as they passed so I gave them a universal salute in return! As it turned out we’d arrived during the build up to the RORC Caribbean 600 yacht race, this is a world class race attracting multi million pound yachts to race 600 miles around the Caribbean islands. We saw the Maserati trimaran too which we last saw in La Rochelle France.

We anchored in Falmouth harbour which is where we ended up staying for nearly 3 weeks. Check in was done at Nelsons Dockyard in English harbour, a 10 minute walk from the dinghy dock. The dock was part of the Antigua yacht club who were the organisers of the race, we even managed to gate crash their pre race party by sneaking in by dinghy avoiding security (who weren’t very good) and had a great evening pretending to be crew !!!

We had to change the name of the ships master in the customs office too as I needed to fly home and Silhouette must have a master onboard. Sadly I had a call from my brother Steve to say that our father had died on Sunday 17th February. That evening along with Jeremy from Right Turn we went to the jump up party at Shirley Heights where we watched the sun go down over the hills and toasted my dad. 2 days later I said goodbye to Caroline & Charlotte leaving them at anchor as I flew back for 7 days.

Silhouette was well behaved and stayed in the same place, why doesn’t everyone have a Rocna anchor? despite some very strong winds. During my absence the girls hired a jeep together with Jeremy and visited some other bays around the island including the huge supermarket for a full re stock. Dickinson bay was the favourite with this beautiful scene…

The day after I got back we went to the yacht club for a drink and unbeknown to me a surprise was in store as 2 friends Alan & Julie appeared. They were on holiday and searched for us on vesselfinder, realising we were on the same island, a reunion was in order including another visit to Shirley Heights and a sail round to English Harbour anchoring off a beautiful beach.

Our petrol generator has been very temperamental, so together with Jeremy from Right Turn we set about a permanent fix. We quickly realised there was a fuel blockage so stripped all the fuel line out. Perhaps you needed to be there, but we made it like a surgical procedure with clamps to stem the fuel/blood, 2 pairs of hands buried deep in the bowels of the generator/patient and way too many medical terms we didn’t understand plus beer …. but fix it we did! After saying our goodbyes to Jeremy, who we hope to see in a couple of months as we both head south, and checking out of Antigua, it was time to move on, with Nevis being our next anchorage, a 52 mile downwind sail just as it was when we crossed the Atlantic…… very rolly !

As we looked behind us watching Antigua slowly disappear we all agreed this was a special island and yet again realised just how lucky we are to be here.

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