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AT LAST; ANTIGUA

So, we finally ditched the cold weather in Bermuda.  After 10 days of rain and wind we set out for Antigua on a pleasant, sunny day.  

 

 

Randy checking our progress!

The first couple of days we endured variable winds and spent some time motoring.  But on the third day out things began to improve.  We had a fun 185 mile day, which we were pretty excited about.  But then, WOW 500 nautical miles in the last 60 hours.  That broke down to 205 miles one day, followed by 200 more the following day and 96 to finish our 1093nm trip and arrive in Antigua in 6 days even!  We were even reefed down at night for all of those fast miles.  

 

Things went better than expected.  Our crew stepped up to the plate; especially Mallory who had no prior sailing experience.  She earned her Salty Sailor credential , and was a trouper even when things got up her chuff!  We even had time to haul in several big Barracuda, which we released, and a nice King Mackerel which we served fresh for dinner that same evening.  Good Eats! We were even on starboard tack for one of those days.  We had expected to be on port tack the entire trip, so there was some variety to our sleeping comfort, to say the least.

 

Glad to have lee cloths keeping us secure in the rolls!

 

Anyway, we anchored in English Harbor on Tuesday and spent the day clearing customs and doing some laundry and boat cleaning.  

Zephyr sitting pretty in English Harbor, Antigua.

All hands did a great job and then we sat down for some Dark and Stormys.  Wednesday Shawn and Mallory went off on their own adventures so Nancy and I had some time to relax and explore the area.  

Typical Mallory!   Always on the go, and always a cup of coffee in hand.

 

Shawn sitting in his favorite spot on the boat.

English Harbor is the home of Nelson’s Dockyard, an 18-19th century naval shipyard that has been restored .  It has restaurants and museums and inns located in the old buildings.  Quite a sight to see.  Sunday came and Mallory, accompanied by her charming partner Meghan, drove us up to Shirley Heights for the weekly Bash.  Enough drinks and food and young people dancing around to wear out this old man.  But the views of English and Falmouth Harbors as well as Monserrat are spectacular.

English Harbor in the foreground; Falmouth Harbor across the causeway with all the big yachts.  Taken from Shirley Heights.

 

Antigua’s west coast is full of bays and anchorages; Christmas winds from the Northeast made us glad to be on the west side

Today we decided to leave the comfortable confines of English Harbor and sail over to Carlisle Bay.  

Nancy… happy on the helm!

The anchorage is a bit rolly and the holding is poor with a grassy bottom.  We tried three different spots before we didn’t drag, but we’re pretty happy now.  I dove the anchor and it is set well enough.  The water is warm and clear and when I turn off the generator in a few minutes, after making water, it will be blissfully quiet.  So, if you are reading this and want to get away from your winter blues, we’ll be here for another month or so, drop us a line and come on down.  The living is easy.

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