Antigua landfall

We have ‘signed off’ our cruise with another great sail. F5 on the beam making 7-8 knots all day – big seas – great stuff!

Well reefed in the big seas
Well reefed in the big seas

John has become the perfect crew member, Happy to steer all day, knows where everything is and how it works, needing very little prompting when decisions are required – brilliant !!!
Anyway, we are now moored in Jolly Harbour in Antigua and perversely, bumped into (small world) the crew from Mojica who we have been ‘alongside’ since Las Palmas in the Canaries. They welcomed us into Rodney Bay with generous ‘OIlie Ollie Ollies’s’ and they will always remain in our memories.

John reports:-
Well it’s my last entry in the blog after a fantastic week’s sailing and generally hanging out with Nick, who despite everything I’ve written about him is a thoroughly good egg, (half-boiled obviously, but the other half is fine).

Turquoise inshore
Turquoise inshore

Today was the best yet with a cracking 50 mile leg up from Guadeloupe to the final port of Jolly Harbour in Antigua. As Nick said, the wind was perfect at 22kts all the way straight on the beam. That and some pretty big wave action made it my best ever days sailing, nearly five hours of playing the wind and waves. I LOVE it!. (Busting for a wee, but that could wait…).
The approaches into Antigua were magnificent, the water so blue initially becoming the most intense turquoise as we sailed into the shallower reef-ridden waters closer in. Some seriously big gin-palaces at anchor here, with more radomes and windows than you could shake a stick at, and masts that seemed so high they probably scrape the International Space Station’s botty.
Thing is though, they are SO big they can’t actually get into any of the decent places that humbler, less oligarchically-minded boat owners could reach. I guess they could summon a small destroyer or a helicopter to get them ashore, but really, what’s the bloody point?

Wow! It’s Antigua Race Week, and we sailed straight into the middle of it! Great atmosphere, boats and bods all over the place, talking to complete strangers at the bar about sailing, the best rum, flip-flops and of all things, Kazakhstan and its people! (Google “The Mongol Rally” to see what I’m doing in July, August and some of September… all will become slightly clearer I hope). Bands playing, flashing coloured lights, people chatting and laughing about their escapades in the day’s races, the nearly-half-moon on its back, grinning down at us like the Cheshire Cat, and quietly in the background to it all, the night breeze humming endlessly through the rigging.


Party time
Party time

I could get used to this……….
But then again it’s not really real is it? Perhaps better now to go home, all tanned and relaxed, and remember this as a great, fun thing that may happen again if I’m very lucky, and in the meantime get on with all the other good things that make Life worth living, like playing with my new Grandson, like working on my own boat, like playing with the guys in the band, and mostly just being Home among the people I love…
…until the next time…
Cheers Nick, thanks for having me, it’s been, as they say, a blast!

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