Antigua and Barbuda, Classic yachts and mile long beaches.
We arrived in Antigua with the idea to see the Antigua Classic Yacht regatta. This was
going on for about a week with different competitions and happenings. Already when
approaching the island we started too see some old classic yachts sailing around the in the waters close to the island. We decided to stop in English Harbor that is a Unesco world heritage site because it is a well kept old English boatyard. And it really was fancy with old buildings and walls around the area. Although a bit too fancy for us. We anchored outside in the bay, or at least we tried. we have never had to re anchor before but this time it was cramped with boats and we tried to put an aft anchor in because the boat next to us had done so and we did not want to swing in to him, but we kind of failed getting the anchors to set properly and had to start over again. We circled the
anchorage a couple of times, got yelled at from a nice guy when we were not even
anchoring close to him, but finally found a spot and ended up a bit to close to a
smaller boat so we had too move the day after again. Later on after a couple of days we
had another boat anchoring close to us and after a while I was standing and holding the
aft of their boat away from our bow so they had to move as well.
We found the Germans in the same bay with pretty much the same plans as we had. They had some info on the regatta and there was gonna be a parade the next morning just 10 meters from our boats. But that was not really correct. But we did go of the day after that to see the start of one of the races, but of course we went to the wrong bay because no one seemed to know where they started. But after a lot of pistol shots we found the starting boats and think we understood the starting line. But there was a lot of starts and people got tires of it and walked of. But it was a nice day and a nice walk. We also brought our snorkeling gear because there was a snorkeling trail in a nearby bay that was not to special and a bit of an exaggeration. But the beach was nice at least and the snorkeling at least okay.
We also had time to look at all the fancy classic yachts in the harbor and there was a
lot of really big fancy both new and old classics. A bit of another world than our
sailing trip in a rather shabby boat in comparison.
After a few days in English Harbor we decided to race the Germans around the island
against the wind to the eastern side where there was a really nice anchorage protected by a reef and a small island with nice beaches. This was a popular kite place and Anders
and me tried the new kite equipment and kind of failed a bit. We did some really nice
maneuvers around and in the middle of the reef and I might have flown out of the dinghy onto the reef a little bit. But no harm done and we tried again after a pause and did a little bit better but then we kind of lost the wind and the kite was messing around with us and deflated a bit.
We had a nice barbeque on the beach and spent s couple of days on the beach playing
volleyball and a lot of other stuff together with the Germans. I also spent some time in
their engine compartment trying to align their engine and changing 2 bolts in the engine
mounts that had sheared of due to a axle that is shit. At least we got it together
enough so that they could keep going to St martin and fix it there.
After a couple of days we sailed on to deep bay on the west coast were they had a nice
snorkeling wreck. We anchored in a pair with the Germans tying the boats together and
had a movie night projecting the movie in our mainsail and sitting on their boat to
watch. This worked perfectly for about half the movie. Then we accidentally put the
projector in the water and had to do a free diving rescue mission. A bit of a boring
ending of a great night. But we found it and we took it apart and dried it. We did try
it a week later and it worked more or less for half an hour but then strange lines
started to appear on the screen so it is now waiting for some more surgery.
We stayed in This bay only one night and then went on to check out in the morning and
headed to Barbuda. Barbuda is a very low island surrounded by beautiful white beaches
mile after mile. We anchored outside one very long beach with only a few other boats
nearby. We arrived in the afternoon and just ate, had a few beers and tried to visit a
beach bar close by, but that was apparently a private resort that were not very
welcoming so we headed back to the boats instead. We then moved a bit further north on the island to another ridiculously beautiful beach with only a abandoned resort as far as you could see. We were almost alone with only one other boat next to us except for the
Germans who we traveled together with.
We spent the day playing on the beach with the Germans. Some snorkeling and some
wake boarding after the dinghy. We also went to check out the abandoned and half destroyed resort. Me and Daniel the captain of Serenity, the German boat, Headed in to town to visit customs which we had to to do be allowed to stay an extra night. After a walk trough and a lot of questions about the way we found a house that said customs. But of course no one was home. But with some excellent luck we waited for maybe one minute and a car stops on the street which were the customs officer. So he chatted for a while took a picture of our papers and then gave us a ride to the bar were we needed some wifi. He was by far the nicest official we have talked to so far and everyone in Barbuda was really nice even tough the island got hit hard by the hurricane 2 years ago and it still shows a lot. They had to evacuate the whole population from Barbuda to Antigua and a bit more then half has come back now.
The evening was spent with a nice beach barbecue that the Germans fixed for us as a
thank you for having helped them with the engine and shaft on their boat. So they cooked up burgers and vegetables on the beach for us and it was awesome. Thanks Serenity. The day after we spent some more time in the water and the beach and headed of towards St Martin in the afternoon to arrive there in the morning the day after.