Antigua March 23-April 6, 2010 

Click on the above thumbnail for a map during this time period

After a very uncomfortable/rolly time in the harbor at Les Saintes on the night of March 22 and 23, we decided it was time to move on.  We went but a short distance up the western coast of Guadeloupe, stopping at a charming but small bay called Anse a la Barque, arriving in time for a mid-afternoon snorkel.  Along the way we passed on the western shore of Guadeloupe two interesting sights:  a sculpted quarry and a huge crowded cemetery (cf. photos below).  Early next morning we continued up the coast, stopping at Pigeon Island to snorkel at the Jacque Cousteau Underwater Park, but still arriving at Deshaies shortly after noon.  Anchored just ahead of us was a catamaran flying an American flag, but the two couples on board behaved in a decidedly French manner, since they spent the entire afternoon lounging around in the all-together, cooking on the grill and attempting to cut in half a calabash.  One of the couples was brown ALL over; the partners in the other couple were presumably short-term guests.

Crowded cemetery

Q: How many dead people in the crowded cemetery?

A: All of them!

Quarry on west coast of Guadeloupe

Hostess attempts to split a calabash while a guest looks on.

Next morning (3/25) we weighed anchor at 7 AM, and motored on up to Jolly Harbour, Antigua.   Passing along the way we could see Montserrat off to the west, and we noted that its sometime active volcano was doing some venting.

Red arrow points to the location of a vent

We had been travelling with Arctic Tern, but they chose to spend an extra night in Deshaies, for reasons that may or may not have been related to the fact that they were anchored alongside a certain catamaran.   In any case, they caught up with us at Jolly Harbour on 3/26 and so appear in my shot of the sunset taken that evening.

Keith and Susan (Island Roamer) noticed our boat in the outside anchorage as they made their way to their slip at Jolly Harbour Marina, and had us over for drinks and a lovely dinner featuring rack of lamb.  Much red wine was also consumed.  On 3/30, TT2 and the Terns went for a 3-hour walk along the land mass between Jolly Harbour and Five Islands Harbour.  And then on 3/31, daughter Nellie and granddaughter Jessie flew in from Cary, NC, to visit for all-too-few days.   One of the first things we did was to make a call to Bismarck, ND, in order to wish my mother a happy 91st birthday.   And then we went for a walk along the beach.   See below.

Island Roamer in her slip

Panorama looking NE into Five Islands Harbour

Panorama looking NW

Three generations

On 4/1 we did something foolish.  No, not really.  We engaged a taxi driver to take us up to the Antigua Rainforest Canopy Tour in the "rain forest" through which Fig Tree Drive runs.  But first, Nellie got her hair braided by a local hair dresser.   Along the way to the zip line, we passed by the highest peak on Antigua, labeled by guide writer Doyle as "Booby Peak" and what my navigation software calls "Boggy Peak."   But the name confusion should be a thing of the past, because, as the taxi driver explained, the peak has just been renamed "Obama Peak".

Nellie getting her hair braided

An initial orientation to zip lining ...

... and then a change of venue where gear is distributed and doned ...

... and proper form is demonstrated ...

... and helmets are given out

Don't they look swell?

On-the-ball Barb was of course the first ...

... and she shows perfect form: right arm well back and legs crossed

Jessie looks fetching but has gotten turned around a bit

But isn't she fetching?

Here comes Nellie also w/ perfect form ...

... and there she goes!

On 4/2 we moved around to Great Bird Island, where we went ashore.

Jessie soaring on the top of Great Bird Island

Peering down a blow hole

While we were in the vicinity, I visited the pelican rookery on nearby Rabbit Island.

An adult in breeding plummage

Junior gets fed while siblings ...

... impatiently wait their turn

Big brothers surround little sister?

"When I grow up I'm gonna be the best diver!"

"Please Mom come feed me while they are sleeping!"

On 4/4 we moved around to Falmouth Harbour, took the dinghy in, and then walked over to visit English Harbour.  On our last visit, a solo rower had just finished a transatlantic trip and we were able to see his vessel.   This time, we arrived as a similar adventure was concluding, but this time it had been a race, and English Harbour was "crowded" with vessels that had come across.   One of the vessels had gotten disoriented as they approached Antigua in the dark, and had mistaken city lights for the lights at English Harbour.   They ran into a reef and were capsized by the waves, doing damage to their vessel, but escaping serious injury.   (See pic below.)

Obama Peak as seen from Goat Head Channel

One of the welcoming signs at English Harbour for the racers

And another sign by one of the sponsors

With no more room at the dock, these transatlantic vessels were moored out just a bit.

One of the two-person vessels

Vessel damaged on the reef at arrival -- note the top ...

... and the side panel

We had lunch at the Copper and Lumber Store Hotel, and everyone but me ordered the Lobster dinner special which was listed on the blackboard in front for $US 18!  Turned out to be a fabulous meal that had been posted with the wrong price -- but they gave it to us for the advertised price.   As we left, we saw that the price had been corrected to $40.   We hung around the Sunday-dead Nelson's Dockyard until it was time to take a water taxi across English Harbour to the road that leads to the path up to Shirley Heights.   We walked up the steep  path and joined the crowd for barbeque and loud pan music, the latter of which I enjoyed a lot, but learned from Nellie and Jessie that it must be an acquired taste.

Lobster lunchers

Reason for their smiles

Working off the lunch by walking up to Fort Berkeley Point

Up at the Point

Later we are at Shirley Heights ...

... where we eat yet again!

Nellie and Jessie share an order of ribs

While Barb tries to catch a Jessie smile

Panorama at dusk of English and Falmouth Harbours

On Monday, the day of Nellie's and Jessie's departure, Nellie started her day by getting some help with the removal of her braids.   It was a fine visit -- we hope they enjoyed it as much as we did.  We were sorry that granddaughter Katie couldn't make the trip though.  Today was her 20th birthday but she had college classes to attend and a different spring break schedule.  We look forward to having you another day Katie!

Removing braids ...

... takes time and many hands ...

... and a certain amount of combing ...

... and results in a definitely-kinky look

On the way in to the dock where the taxi waits ...

... but first a snack!