Our friends Denise and Jean Pierre on s/v Absaroque returned to the Caribbean after a long absence and were headed to Antigua - so we stuck around to see them and *let them beat us in many games of dice. (*OK, we suck at dice and they beat us all the time.)
|Skip, me, Jean Pierre and Denise on Absaroque|
|Denise makes her fabulous naan.|
Denise's brother and sister in law were visiting for a week and we spent an evening getting beaten at dice by the entire crew of Absaroque. (Note to self: Must sharpen up dice playing skills.)
|Andre, Roseline, Skip, me, JP and Denise|
|Fresh everything at the market in town|
|Hair raising bus rides and busy bus stations are the norm|
|Local ladies lunch under the menu board at the Roti King|
|Super cutie pie on the bus; topographical map of the ancient land connection between Antigua & Barbuda in the island museum|
Our friends Simon and Hilda from s/v Brisa, and their friend Pauline were hanging around Antigua too and we had our share of evenings with them. When they hauled out early, they graciously invited us, along with Iain and Fiona from s/v Ruffian to their rented villa for a day of laundry and wifi and an evening of using-up-all-their-leftover-provisions-in-one-last-dinner. Thanks Brisa! We loved the laundry.... and, um, spending time with you too!
|Visually from L to R: Iain, Fiona, Skip, me, Hilda,Pauline, Simon|
|A Saralane/Ruffian selfie in Antigua|
|On the rocks in Five Islands|
|Iain and Fiona on their go-anywhere-anytime Sadler 34, s/v Ruffian... up anchor to head for Barbuda.|
As is often the case, Barbuda is best described in photos...
|Blue and blue|
|Clockwise from top L: Limin' in the sea, sand details, Fiona has her way with a coconut, Jamar; master palm climber and coconut opener|
Work continues at the K Club, clearing the grounds in preparation for whatever comes next in the development and we came across a crew on our first morning there during our early morning pre-coffee Ruffian style forced march/hike. Shy young Jamar strapped on his palm climbing spikes, went up a tree in seconds flat and whacked a few nuts to the ground for us. Though he learned to climb palms barefoot, he sheepishly admitted that the spiked climbing boots help a lot. I'll bet they do!
|Clearing the grounds at the K Club yields many coconuts|
|There's a right way to open a coconut, and then there's Iain's way. Well done you!|
|Art at the water's edge|
We decided to ride ashore in Ruffian's dinghy Thug, instead of in John H; Thug is smaller and lighter and easier for the four of us to heft up the beach. But... being smaller and lighter, Thug also didn't quite have the get-up-and-go to get-up-and-go-go-go over the big crashing waves and instead turned into a swimming pool as a big perfect crystal clear Barbuda wave crested behind us and crashed into Thug, soaking us all and filling him with sea water. Thug was quickly bailed and hauled ashore and when we finally stopped laughing we got on with our heat-of-the-day hike. I've added this dinghy landing to my list of best photos I didn't get.
|Artnell Beazer; guard at the end of the Coco Point Lodge runway - starting point of the mid-day hike.|
|I couldn't resist two photos of him.... he has such a great face.|
|Clockwise from top L: Fi admires the lilies, HIbiscus, Iain stares down a dog on the hot dusty road, disinterested donkeys|
|Uncle Roddy at home in his restaurant...|
|Iain gets sucked in. Fiona watches.|
|Fiona takes her coconuts for a walk|
Many coconuts later, and several duck dinners later (See? Who doesn't love duck?!) the Ruffians left the perfect island of Barbuda for less perfect islands to the west, and we moved off to Spanish Point to see what we could see below the perfect waters of Barbuda.
|Our anchor is in there somewhere|
|A conch tries to stay camouflaged in the sand. It doesn't work.|
|It can't hide it's true colors. (Don't worry, we put it right back where we found it.)|
We've left Barbuda behind for now and will clear out of Antigua (finally) and head for Guadeloupe in the next few days. Really. Unless someone shows up and says "Hey, come for dinner!"