Friday, February 12, 2016

Feasting Our Eyes

We've been in Antigua about a week and a half now and what have we been up to?

Well, it's been a quiet time but mostly we've been puttering around on the boat and feasting our eyes on the amazing colour of the water around us.

We started off in Jolly Harbour where we checked in.  The anchorage lies just beyond a channel that leads in to the marina and various shops and services.

Jolly Harbour sailors off to the races.

Things got interesting when the race returned, right through the anchorage.  This boat had to luff up to avoid hitting the foresail on the boat behind us.

Neck and neck, entering the channel to the marina.

Dodging the channel marker and making a move to the finish line.

A squally morning in Jolly - not a bad view despite the rain.
Before leaving Jolly Harbour we were treated with a lovely surprise visit from friends Matthew & Kathleen - down here on a sailing vacation from Ottawa.

And Henry managed to fit in a little work on the nose cone of our wind generator - it has developed an annoying ticking sound.  Perhaps he has a future as a hydro linesman if he gets tired of this sailing life?
We moved on from Jolly around to Hermitage Bay to escape the wakes from passing boats, but the north swell crept in on us so after one night we continued north just another couple of miles to Deep Bay.

Deep Bay is still on the west side of Antigua, protected from the north swell by a long line of reefs that extends right over the north side of the island and on to the east.  This is what makes Antigua quite unique in that there are ample cruising grounds on the windward side of the island.  We'll be heading there next!

A bullfrog sentinel looking west, just north of Five Islands Bay.

The waters are still a bit stirred up from the swell, but we comfortably anchored in Deep Bay, below the remains of Fort Barrington which was built during Admiral Nelson's time on the island.

We were happily tucked about 5 miles away from the big rollers.  There is a line of reefs these waves were breaking on.  Pretty impressive that we can see them like this so far away.

Blue Moon joined us in the bay but they had guests who needed to catch a bus to the airport.  Henry joined Jason on a quick delivery to St. John's and they were picture perfect on the return.

Blue Moon making the most of a brief downwind sail.

A little later in the evening we watched this departure from St. John's.

 Rounding out our explorations of Deep Bay, we climbed up to Fort Barrington with Brita and Jason for a sunset 'roadie'.  The sunset didn't really produce but the view of St. John's in the other direction was quite stunning as we watched three big cruise ships do a 180 in the harbour and depart westward.

St. John's is nestled around the harbour at the end of a long inlet.

Deep Bay is aptly named, with a salt pond behind the beach.  We're anchored nicely in the middle of the bay.

The windswept remains of Fort Barrington.  One can see the strategic importance of this location overlooking both bays.

Ahhhh, a nice relaxing end to the day!

So now we are headed over to the east side of the island to see what the reef and islet protected anchorages have to offer.  We're hoping for clearer water and more of the same breathtaking palette of colours - turquoise, pink, white, green!