Antigua Update

We’re hiding from the north swell in Jolly Harbour. This spot is better than the anchorage next to the solid waste dump.

Old KN needs a proper cleaning and wax job. Those knobs at Spice Island Marine did a horrible job. That was the worst hull cleaning we’ve ever had. So glad I did my own bottom job.

Yes, we picked up a mooring. We’re spoiling ourselves just a little bit. It’s quiet in here. Too quiet actually. The moorings are a little tight but we’ve all spread out. It won’t be long before we get some close company. No doubt it will be someone who likes to play Kenny G all morning.

We had a few windows to move west but we backed off because of the north swell which limits your places to anchor unless you like rolling. Rolling sucks. We still want to see Barbuda and St Bart’s before getting back to territory we’ve been to.

If you’ve ever seen the show Below Deck, this is the boat they are currently on and they are filming in Antigua. My daughters are fans and I said I’d get a photo of the boat. They were filming and we were trying to get into the shot because we’re dorks. My daughter suggested I do something really dumb and goofy to get on camera. You mean like, selling everything you have and sailing away on a 30 yr old boat? 🤔

We did some grocery shopping and we spotted a bar. Just a few people were there. We are avoiding large gatherings of sneezing and coughing people so we thought we’d pop in for a few. Before we realized what was happening the yacht club held a post race party at the bar and it was jammed with people. Time to go! We were hand sanitizing as we walked the dock 😜

I always rinse fruit and veggies with fresh water but now I’m actually washing them. Crazy world right now. Most of the people we’ve met really aren’t giving the pandemic much thought though I don’t see that many people spending the whole day on shore. It’s eerily quiet in town. This virus is on everyone’s mind. We’re just following the WHO guidelines and hoping for the best.

The sunsets are pretty again but it’s a wee bit cooler up here versus the lower Windwards. Deb has been sleeping with a light blanket over her legs. I’m not at that stage yet. It has been nice not being a wet rag full of sweat when walking around town.

My sweat must be very acidic. If sweat gets in my eye I’m pretty much blind until I get rid of it. My eyes will start watering and my nose will run and then I’m using my t-shirt to wipe it all up and finally I’m able to focus and there’s a bartender staring at me. “What can I get you? Bottle of water for your face? Surgical mask? Please step back 3 feet.”

We’ve been to a few restaurants on the island and the food is good but not much for vegetarians. It’s not a problem as we cook on the boat for the most part. Food here is expensive and it’s reflected in the prices on most menus.

Hash browns. Cut, then boil for 5-7 mins adding a tablespoon of vinegar to the water. Drain and then fry. Perfect and a lot quicker than just dumping them into a pan. The vinegar changes the chemistry a bit and gives you a nice crisp on the outside tender on the inside spud.

Never buy the asparagus down here. It looks good in the store but when you get it to the boat it’s a stinky mushy mess. Blech. Yeah it’s amazing how fast it spoils. One of the worst smells.

Falmouth harbour has shitty holding. I could feel the anchor chain dragging across rocks as we pulled back. The anchor bounded off rocky outcroppings before it stuck. When the tradewinds died we found ourselves drifting too close to our neighbors so we moved. Then we moved again as the wind shifted south and then north. WTF. Above is a screen shot of our relocations. Falmouth harbour is considered a park and you are charged a fee for every day you spend there. I should have lied about our length of stay. Yowza! $$$

All in all it’s been fun ride so far. When we got to Antigua we figured we would hang for a bit and check it out but we’re ready to leave now. Just waiting on the weather to cooperate. When we launched this season we promised ourselves we would take it slow and have a comfortable ride back. So far so good. Well, except for the pandemic and continuous north swell. The sailing has been good!

We might be getting to the point where we just want to get this over with. I hate to have that happen but once we start repeating places it will be hard to not keep moving. Kind of a been there done that deal.

We have seen a few familiar faces from our time in the windwards but one more jump and it will be a whole new bunch of sailors. Most cruisers get this far and then head back down. Some have started that journey already.

We are seeing more US and Canadian flagged vessels now. We were flagless until recently. I finally bought a flag and mounted it on the backstay. That’s the only spot on this boat that makes sense to fly a flag. We bought a new one this season and it ripped in half before we got to Dominica.

We want to make sure we have a flag flying when we get to PR. Last time we sailed there our flag was missing and a helicopter above us must have been spying because the coast guard came flying out of nowhere in a boat and got behind us. Once they saw our home port of NY they waved and zoomed away. I guess from the chopper Debra must look sinister.

49 days rowing across the Atlantic. Crazy and impressive.

Almost time for a hot shower and then some guitar work. A little lunch and then a trip to shore. It’s a beautiful day in Antigua. A light breeze right now and 80 degrees in partly cloudy skies. Life is still good out here and we are enjoying it! I highly recommend it.

Cheers!

P

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