Tuesday, February 28, 2012

More on Antigua

It was great spending a whole week on Antigua.  We were able to be in several different harbours and realized that there are lots of different cruising experiences available.  

Our first stop was Falmouth Harbour.  It was just a few days before the RORC 600, which is a sailing race of 600 miles around several of the Caribbean islands. Here is a link if you want to know more.   http://caribbean600.rorc.org/ It was very fun to see the raceboats and their crews while on shore and out practicing from our mooring.  Antigua also prides itself on its youth sailing program, so we were able to cheer the kids on in the late afternoons as they raced around the boats in the harbour.

On the RORC race day, we left for our next anchorage, right after the start of the race.  It was a bit rainy, but soon cleared up, and we were sailing right behind the classic yachts Adela and Windrose.  Absolutely gorgeous.  We suspect that Callisto was also in some of the pictures from the helicopter, but, of course, edited out...

We sailed most of the way to Nonsuch Bay on the eastern side of Antigua.  This reminded us of the Tobago Cays, there is nothing between you and Senegal but the Atlantic Ocean..and the large reef, of course.  No restaurants, no vendors, just a few other boats, enjoying the sand and water, plus lots of kitesurfing.  A very different perspective from the bustle and big money in Falmouth...

Our final destination on the island was Jolly Harbour, at the western side of Antigua, to allow for a shopping day in the capital St. Johns, and a quick taxi ride to the airport for our friend’s return to the US.   We had a quick sail, but quite a bumpy ride, with large rolly waves.  Our friends definitely won the iron stomach award!  We stopped at Carlisle Bay, a smallish bay just north of Falmouth Harbour, and Callisto was the only boat in the harbor well until evening when we were joined by only two other boats.  Since we had been “roughing it” for a few days, we decided to have both lunch and dinner at the resort.  A very good decision, the food was excellent, and the service included a wine sommelier, all very civilized.  The snorkeling was also very good, David reported seeing many new types of coral and some large starfish. 

After a leisurely breakfast next morning, we headed to Jolly Harbour.  The marina and condo development there is quite large, with several more homes in the planning stages.  We anchored outside the marina, and “enjoyed” the wet dinghy rides into the marina.  From there, we went by taxi to St. Johns, the capital of Antigua, visited the local museum, and walked around the restored quay near the cruise ship dock.  We also took advantage of the local market, replenishing our fresh vegetable and fruit supply.  

Antigua turned out to be a great place to entertain guests, get in some great sailing, and enjoy several different aspects of Caribbean living. 

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