We arrived in Antigua at 0700 on January 30th after an easy close reaching night sail. Having been here before we were much more relaxed arriving at Jolly Harbor and clearing in. Dr Edwards remembered Charlie and was happy to welcome him back to the island. We spent only one night at Jolly Harbor before heading over to Pigeon Beach at Falmouth Harbour for a few days.
Anchored next to us at Pigeon Beach were fellow Salty Dawgs from last year, ‘Want To’(Peggy, John). We had them over to Blue Sky to watch the sunset one evening and heard all about their sailing back up island from Grenada where they left their boat during the last hurricane season. Nice couple who shared some travel information collected while in Guadaloupe after we mentioned this was our next stop.
Falmouth is a place where all the mega Sailing Yachts gather for various regattas including the Caribbean 600. We enjoy Pigeon Beach, but it can be crowded on weekends (P – and a bit rolly, especially for monohulls) and we tired of the noise quickly so we stayed only 2 nights and headed around Antigua to the east to Nonsuch Bay. There are free mooring balls at Nonsuch and lucky for us we got the one nearest the beach of Green Island. Charlie loves that beach and it made it easy to SUP or kayak him ashore a few times each day.
And a few more:
We spent a full 10 days in Nonsuch Bay simply enjoying the beauty of the place with its barrier reef (which we snorkeled – beautiful coral). You look east across the reef and realize there is only the Atlantic Ocean between you and Africa (P – Mauritania!), amazing. It’s a kite-surfers paradise as the bay is huge and well protected by the reef, but the wind with nothing to stop it, so it always seems to be perfect conditions for that sport. P – This year we tried a hike on Green Island. Ended up being very prickly and challenging so it was not a long hike.
Friends on Rum Runner, Kalunamoo, and Judith Arlene showed up a few days into our time here. We joined them and went to Harmony Hall and had drinks on a Sunday afternoon, while the duo Steel and Keys played steel drum music. Judy and Phil on Rum Runner had us all over for drinks and a game of Farkel, a dice game that is super simple yet highly competitive. Maureen won, but she was also the score keeper so we teased her that she cheated (she totally didn’t, her skill and experience won out).
The following evening we had a musical Jam session with Rum Runner (Judy, Phil), Kalunamoo (Maureen, Bill), Judith Arlene (Judy, Ed) on board Blue Sky. We managed to have 2 guitars, two harmonicas (P – Phil who did Dylan proud), and a roll up keyboard (P – which Bill made sound better than I’ve ever heard). The girls mainly sang or acted as groupies while the guys created the music. I must thank Judy on Judith Arlene for organizing everyone for such a fun and entertaining evening (P – and spouse Ed for bringing along excellent guitar accompaniment and tabs for some fun music. He has motivated P to get back to playing a bit).
Charlie had his first dog guest on board, Nigel of Judith Arlene braved it and came aboard a few times. Charlie was mostly calm about it and Nigel is so laid back he didn’t seem bothered at all by Charlie’s few snarls. We’re working on him when we can to be around other dogs to not be so afraid of them. He’s such a people dog. We broke them in by taking them ashore in the same dinghy (Nigel’s).
The only thing we hadn’t done was have a game of Mexican Train (dominoes), so we arranged to do so again on Blue Sky since we have the largest table. We had 10 on board that night as we were joined by Folie a Deux (Ann, John). Another fun evening.
We spent a few evenings with Ann and John after the other Dawgs left (P – and enjoyed a snorkel on Bird Island reef with them – good coral, okay fish). This is how 10 days can pass in one place and you feel like you’ve been so busy. I had to get creative with my appetizers as I was running low of fresh produce. It’s standard to take an appetizer and your own drinks along to these events. We really didn’t need dinner most nights with the variety of appetizers that were available each night.
So we are now in Jolly Harbor again after a lovely sail from Nonsuch Bay on February 14th. When we arrived our aft stanchion broke at the base where the bolt had rusted and snapped. After taking it apart we discovered we need to go to the welding shop to get the old bolt remains removed and a new bolt welded on (thanks to Dr. Carl in Jolly Harbor). Meanwhile, we are busy re-provisioning and planning for our next destination, Guadeloupe (P – not to mention trying to brush up on a little French).