It is now over three weeks since we arrived in the country of Antigua & Barbuda and we didn’t leave until yesterday. Some countries only get three days so Antigua must have something going for it. We sailed once round the island of Antigua with a short diversion to Barbuda.
The anchorages are definitely beautiful. In English Harbour you anchor off a restored georgian boat yard where you expect to see Nelson coming round the next corner. It is very scenic but at the same time a working yard with sail makers and chandlers. We were there for the start of Antigua week so also experienced it as an outdoor disco with unbelievably loud music. Even in bed on board we could “feel that bass” until four thirty in the morning.
We sailed anticlockwise visiting the bays reefs and islands on the way. There are an awful lot of reefs so we were very proud on the days when we sailed from or on to anchor navigating round them We visited Great Bird Island which is home to the rarest snake in the world. We didn’t see the snakes but snorkelled on the absolutely stunning coral reefs and swam in clear warm water with the turtles.
After returning from Barbuda we stopped off to visit Jolly Harbour and then completed the circumnavigation just in time for the new motor’s fifty hour service in Falmouth Harbour.
We saw a lot of places but it was the people who made Antigua fun. We met cruisers we already knew from elsewhere and met new fun people. We learned not to drink rum with Australians and barbequed with British and Dutch.
Cycling uphill past a market stall, we sang along with the reggae music and the stall keeper joined in – “… cos every little t’ings gonna be alright.” Customs and immigration were friendly and efficient and the customs ladies enjoyed Neill “strutting” to the same song.
Raglan and Roxann designed and printed us T-shirts, explained the islands culture and gave us beer. Pierre serviced the motor and Alison chased Yanmar for us. All the local SIM card sellers were super friendly and all fell for the “I’m old. Can you set it up?” trick.
Neill told the kids on the dock he wasn’t afraid of sharks because they don’t like the taste of white people. Pistol quick came the reply “you better be careful. You’re brown not white!”.