We really enjoyed Nevis, but it was time to move on. We are running out of time before we are running out of islands.
The trip from Nevis to Antigua was a long one. It is only 40 miles as the crow flies, but we had to get around Nevis, and then faced an upwind sail, with an adverse current. With tacking, we sailed more than 65 miles, and against the current it took us nearly eleven hours. Luckily we had left near 6:00 am so there was still daylight when we arrived.
We had hoped to pick up a mooring ball at Jolly Harbour Marina, but the only one left was in water too shallow for our keel. We anchored outside the marina (no problem), and then moved inside the next day. At Jolly Harbour, for some reason, the customs officials insist that you bring your boat to their dock to check in. This is the only place we have ever had to do this. We gather that this is the only place on Antigua where you have to do this. Luckily, we had no drama coming to the dock. There were a couple of boats full of Swiss people already on the dock, and with many hands to help the docking went smoothly.
We picked up a mooring, and then went into the marina to explore. There is a very good grocery store here, which is a luxury. On our way back to Callisto, Gretchen noticed a green-hulled boat, and said "Isn't that another Outbound?" Sure enough, it was.
It was Farasha, an Outbound 44 owned by Tom and Irma Brinkley. We stopped and chatted for a few minutes, and they invited us to come over for snacks and cocktails in a couple of days. We did that, and had a very pleasant couple of hours talking about boats and Outbounds. Tom acts as an Outbound sales representative in Florida. He had actually been on Callisto, working at the Annapolis boat show. Farasha is Outbound 44 hull number 3. It was fun seeing how the boat had evolved in the 40+ additional boats that Outbound has built since then. Tom told us that a contract for hull number 46 has been signed, so the 10-year-old design is still going strong.
I had to spend some quality time in the coffee shop, using their wireless to send 2010 tax information to the accountants that my prior company has hired to complete our returns. This is a left-over from our expatriate status, and 2010 is the last year that we get this service. It is always a big hassle to collect and enter all of the required data, and it was made even more complicated this year, because the company has changed the accounting firm that provides this service. Oh well.
We were very tired of sitting in a marina after this, and took advantage of a sunny day to sail over to Carlisle Bay. This is a lovely spot on the south side of Antigua, though the water is not particularly calm. There is a big resort here, and lots of water sports. Fun to see beginning and expert wind surfers and Hobie catamaran sailors. There was quite a lot of wakeboarding toward evening, and the wakes from the big powerboats shook our cocktails for us.
We are expecting rain tomorrow, and are planning to move to Falmouth Harbour today. Then a day of boat chores, clear out of customs, and a long sail to Guadeloupe on Friday.