Antigua – west and north coasts

We are fortunate that two sets of guests are flying into Antigua as it gives us a good excuse to spend a month or so of reconnaissance work on the two major islands in the country, Antigua and Barbuda.

On arrival in Antigua, we anchored in Falmouth Harbour to celebrate NY Eve with friends but, as soon as the celebrations were complete, we were out of there! We had been buffeted around for a few days by a swell coming around the corner and for us to feel it in a Cat gives you an idea of how bad it was. It was also quite crowded so when it came time to raise the hook, well, let me just say it was an experience and one referred to in a previous post, Anchoring – Highs and Lows. We did enjoy our time in Falmouth and if you want to read more, check out a recent post Nelson’s Dockyard.

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Fort Berkeley in English Harbour

As there wasn’t much wind and it was a short trip, we motored around to Jolly Harbour on the west coast and dropped anchor in Mosquito Cove. Antigua has beautiful beaches and make claim to 365! Sailing to Jolly we went past several and they did look beautiful.

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Approaching Jolly Harbour

Jolly was a lot calmer but it is a funny little place. It is a marina and condominium development with mostly holiday townhouses on canals and a boat tied up at their door! There is no local village but lots of resorts and the marina is host to many charter boats so it’s got quite a transient population of yachties and holiday-makers.

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Townhouses in Jolly Harbour – can you spot the pelican?

After a few days in Jolly Harbour we refuelled and headed around the point to Hermitage Bay in Five Islands Harbour. There is a very pretty resort which has the best internet we’ve encountered on Antigua so it was time to catch up with blogs and Facebook! Slow Waltz and Nahanni River also arrived and, after checking emails, we played a few rounds of our favourite card game, Wizard. Nahanni River had an early morning start the next day (2am) for their sail to St Maarten so it was an early night.

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Calm and serene Hermitage Bay with Slow Waltz on left

The next day we sailed to Deep Bay where the Andes Wreck is lying just below the surface and right in the middle of the bay entrance. We anchored, had lunch and then joined Gwen and Guillaume to snorkel on the wreck. It was fabulous. The variety of soft corals were terrific and there weren’t any fish we hadn’t seen before but to see the ship lying on the seabed was extraordinary. Part of its’ mast is still standing and you can see the framework and holes through the bow.

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The ship’s mast
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Coral growth
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The ribs of the ship
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Diving on the ship’s bow.
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A Blue Tang with lots of coral growth

Later we walked to the top of Fort Barrington with 360 views.

The next day we headed to the north of the island and navigated our way through the Boon Channel to Long island. We anchored in a very pretty little bay known as Jumby. Long Island is privately owned with resorts and private homes; the restaurants are only open for resort guests and yachties are not encouraged to go ashore. So with 20-30 kt winds forecast, good protection, fast wifi and gorgeous blue water, we hunkered down for a few days and made the best of it  😉

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Jumby Bay, Long Island, Antigua
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Can you spy me reading in the cockpit?
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I couldn’t stay out of that beautiful water!

We spent a few days here before heading north to Barbuda, but that’s another story, I mean post!

Until next time, fair winds and smooth sailing, Sue and Mal xx

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