Our obsession with all things Barbuda is still in full force and we sailed up from Antigua as soon as we could. We only had four days there before the weather chased us away, but we'll head back up when we can. The windward side was wild with breaking surf from high winds and big seas, but around at Coco Point all was calm.
We picked up our share of coconuts around the old K Club and got the scoop from some local guys about the big changes coming to the property. It's been purchased by Robert DeNiro and casino tycoon James Packer with plans to turn it into a super upscale resort, which I'm guessing means there will be no more wandering around the property picking up coconuts. Kind of good for the island, but kind of sad for us.
For now though, we're back in Antigua poking around the protected reefs in the north east and popping back around to Falmouth and Jolly Harbor to catch up with friends. Last year our friends Dan and Jackie on s/v Chill connected us with Denis and Arleen on Tiger Lily II; Denis does a daily weather forecast on the SSB that we've been listening to and the social group that's collected around him over the years is remarkable. Nice people.
|A Friends of Denis "meeting" on a local beach in Falmouth. That's Denis in the middle wearing the "D" burgee around his neck.|
|On the way from Jolly Harbor to Jumby Bay... tanker at the offshore dock in St John|
|Nothing but blue looking north from Jumby Bay|
|Hell's Gate in northeast Antigua|
|Grape Bay on Guiana Island... nobody there but us|
We dinghied over to Parham to check out the sleepy town and it was indeed, very sleepy. A few young school boys on their way home kept us company as we walked around, chattering nonstop and telling us about their dreams to go to Atlantis and ride the giant waterslides. Sounds like a worthwhile dream to me.
They asked if we were American (they were pretty sure we were) because we were white, but not to worry because they'd seen white people before so it was OK with them. These kids were ear to ear smiles and made our walk around town a lot more interesting than if we'd been just walking on our own.
|Life in sleepy Parham includes games of dominos under the trees|
|At the dock in Parham.... a shot for my little sister Ruth!|
|Ruth's backside (so to speak)|
Most of the sailing around we're doing lately is in shallow waters so we haven't been fishing much, but at one point we were in deeper water and threw a line out and the strangest thing happened. We caught a fish! I think we were more surprised than the tuna.
|Tuna + wasabi + ginger + soy sauce = Dinner|
Anyone suffering through the cold and snow in the northeast probably has zero sympathy for weather related issues down here in the sunny Caribbean, but the constant exposure to sun/heat/salt/water wears on everything here. Exposure to the elements is slowly ruining our skin, our hair (OK, my hair) and all of our clothing, and is degrading the stitching on the dodger, bimini and sail cover. We'd stitched a few things here and there, but when Skip was cleaning the "glass" (plastic) on the dodger recently the glass completely pulled apart from the canvas with a terrible ripping sound when all the stitching gave way. It's clearly time to get more serious about our canvas repair.
|Stitching on zippers is giving out too|
|This one gets restitched by hand|
|The machine takes care of the bigger problem areas|
|Bimini is off for repairs - a good time to check the connections under the solar panels|
|It's a good time to clean the 'glass' we can't other wise reach too|
|Bimini back in place, clean and restitched|
As for the wear and tear on skin, hair and clothing? Not much to be done about that, but now I understand the appeal of dreadlocks. Wikipedia says "matted coils of hair".... yep, I got that.
|Curly hair should come with a Do Not Comb warning|
The winds are forecast to blow like mad for at least another week or more so we're content staying local and seeing new things around Antigua. We've been so content in fact that we almost overstayed our month long cruising permit and had to hustle back to the port authority to renew it. Oops. We'll go south at some point, but not just yet. Not until we go north to Barbuda at least once more.
|Storm blows through Jolly Harbor...|
|... and is gone in minutes.|