I just finished washing the dishes from our big Christmas feast and can't help but reflect on all of the wonderful Christmas's I've had and all the dishes we've washed! It is a good christmas but a different one for sure. We had a lazy morning and managed to sort out the internet, Hooray! Made a feast of a roast chicken on the BBQ, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry, carrots, broccoli, corn, and gravy, delicious, best part was the table is beside the saloon berths so after dinner we didn't have to even move before we had our nap! I swam into the beach, the sand is incredible, really dark and beautiful.
A huge thank-you to Alex for an amazing Christmas gift and to Peter and Sheila, Tim and Chris, you guys really made it special with your treats and made us feel not so far from home! And for everyone we managed to get a hold of it is so good to hear your voices!
Since we've beenWe have managed to get out for a few hikes, the Cabrits was a beautiful walk on a rainy day. That is the way it has been going it seems, rainy mornings, sunny afternoons, loud bass and music all night (9 pm - 6 am) then quiet in the day. The guys on small boats come and offer stuff,like tours/ fruits adn vegetables. We managed an amazing bus ride (which deserves a blog of its own) to Roseau the main town for a great day of exploring and amazing scenery on the way. We are anchored just off of portsmouth and yesterday we went into town for the market which was incredible, came home with beautiful christmas flowers, and more citrus than I should eat! and the passion fruit.... delicious! So, going to rest my head but Merry Christmas to all of you.
Well, if anyone had tried to tell me how hard it is to find an open post office, I honestly wouldn't have believed them, but here we are, 4 countries, 5 towns (would have been 6 except the North Easterly swell) and not an open post office to be found! Marigot - line ups down the road, not sure if everyone was so excited to send christmas cards, but am guessing the fact that the post office also doubled as a bank and western union had more of an effect on its popularity, English Harbour - was open when we made it into town but closed at 2 pm, sign on the door said open till 4.... oh well, Barbuda - no one, didn't actually get to talk to a Barbudian much less make it to town and the donkeys looked like they might have eaten my letters instead of mailing them, Jolly Harbour - a shop that sold postcards and stamps, not open, and now here we are in Portsmouth - found the post office and it was sketchy, doors chained shut, no signs of opening,I'm not going to give up hope but at this rate I might not be able to get my letters off until New Zealand!!!
Other government offices that cause a deep breath - customs, coming into and out of countries and for that matter, even harbours within countries is a bit of a bore/scary/tedious...
officer "Good morning"
Us "good morning, we'd like to clear in please"
Officer : please go to the second desk from the left, the the third desk from the right, fill in the form they give you then take it back to the second desk on the left, then go to the small window on the side, then back to me to pay, then back to the customs officer - oh wait he isn't there... and make sure you press hard enough to make 5 copies of the document...
Customs guy - looking at us grumpily as he gets up from watching his horse racing and checking facebook "harumphfff"
Checking out fo antigua:
4 ladies playing dominos, one at a time they got up and went to their separate offices as we went in and filled in our respective forms, at least they were friendly!
Dominica- the cruising guide says it is one of the easiest places to clear into, not quite, looks like we will have to clear out of Portsmouth adn then into Roseaux and then out of roseaux, what can you expect, the poor man that phil dealt with was a "SAD officer" not kidding (stood for sub-authorized something or other!)
Well christmas season is upon us, not going to eat the pig snouts we saw on offer, excited for a big fruit market, fruit salad for christmas morning?
Will let you know!
A wet and windy passage from Antigua to dominca, we didn't quite follow the sailing instructions of staying either 7 leagues off of Guadeloupe or 2 pistol shots from shore and as a result had patches of no wind where we drifted in circles and patches of lots of breeze! Here in Portsmouth now and getting settled. It is a beautiful island, often the tops of the mountains are behind the trees. Lots of guys on small boats coming around to see us and offer fruit/vegetables/ tours, you name it! Walked around town yesterday which was fun. Always interesting to go to different shops, and realize how lucky we are! Todays big plan is to head out for a hike! Rainy and windy so glad we are safet
Sorry we haven't been writing for a while, we headed across to barbuda and have been happily in the middle of no where, nearest neighbours have been goats (in antigua) and donkeys (in barbuda). We have been loving Antigua and Barbuda, lovely scenery, beautiful ocean, nice people, safe anchorages. It has been a lovely visit! Went for our first grocery shop in a week and a half, amazing considering our fridge is the size of a shoe box. UHT milk has helped, and the boxed juices. I still have possibly the best orange in the world to eat and Phil has discovered that in a pinch ryveta or a tortilla will substitute for bread!
So... Antigua, Indian creek, buggy, beautiful, empty... just goats and mosquitos. Heaven
Deep bay - beautiful, calm, our first walk on a beach together, funny that!
Barbuda - beyond amazing, reefs were mostly dead but LOTS of fish including eagle rays, sting rays and baracuda! The most exciting, the dophin that came to play in our bow wave! Tied for first with the family of wild donkeys we walked past!!!! We lauchned the beagle (our sea eagle kayak). It did great, except for in a cross wind, I also invented a new past time - being kayaked over reefs with my mask on and face in the water, very fun!
So here we are again in antigua, going to buy some bits and pieces, saw an AMAZING christmas concert by some young kids that were loving singing an dancing. Hopefully checking out in the next day or two and then on to Dominica, where we will probably be spending christmas! Well, missed filling you guys in and will try to write a bit more coherently soon.
This is our 6th day in Antigua and our first time finding internet. It has been FABULOUS! Amazing scenery, lovely water, nice safe harbours and beaches. We were hoping to head out to Barbuda today but there is NO wind which makes for lousy sailing, so here we are checking out a town, being overwhelmed by the masses of people and things and noise and finally found a lovely cool spot to stop and get internet, Hooray! We (Phil) has managed to get the extra cockpit sunshades up which is heaven after nearly sweating to death yesterday, I have successfully parked the boat and have driven lots. Lovely animals here and goats everywhere! We've managed to do some small hikes and snorkels and it has been great. Expecting Barbuda to be quiet and beautiful, apparently wild donkeys adn goats and horses, can't wait! Hopefully will internet from there again
What to say about it... Things I like: french cheese, tiny vans that you pretend are buses to get around, cheap wine, calm nights, birds and fish everywhere, Things I don't like: rubble pits that I fall in, swell, not wanting to swim in the water. It has been a really good week here, lots of resting, a few good finds (hooray Geminga internet once we got you working!). I've been surprised that the prices of things are really similar to Bermuda, makes me glad for all of the provisioning I did while I was there. I've had a chance to catch up with a few of you (and hugs to those I haven't) and we've both had a chance to rest and relax a bit. Today's adventure, a load of laundry (or two) which are now strung from end to end in the boat because I couldn't manage to get a token for the drier! Okay, off of the internet soon, going to try to get some more pictures up and HUGS to you all!!!!