May 1994 - Antigua to BVI

1 May 1994 Falmouth Harbour, Antigua
Glenys spent all day on “Dabulamanzi” making cockpit cushions. I stayed on the boat doing jobs. The boys went over to “Dabulamanzi” to get a three hour video fix. I cooked dinner again!

2 May 1994 Falmouth Harbour
Changed the engine oil and fuel filters - I hate that job. Glenys spent another four hours on “Dabulamanzi” and finally finished the cockpit cushions. Glenys rang Ceris who is going to try to book a flight to Grenada in July. She still hasn’t received the computer. We had a quiet night.

Gareth and Fi came over to say goodbye and gave the boys an old inflatable raft that they had acquired. We’ve left the raft in the sea as a precaution against cockroaches! I’ve started reading my PADI manuals in preparation to going on the Instructors course. Glenys earned $125 for sewing work done on “Dabulamanzi” – I’m a bit jealous that she’s the first to earn some money, but only a bit!

3 May 1994 Falmouth Harbour to Green Harbour, Antigua
Gareth didn’t go to St Marten last night because they had a problem with their alternator. He came over at quarter past seven to ask to borrow my Nigel Calder electrical manual. He swam over because he’d packed away his dinghy, so I ran him back in our dinghy. I went back to bed, but felt guilty so I went over to give him moral support. He found out that his alternator was burnt out, so we dropped him ashore to get a new one.

We motored up to Green Island – what a bash! “Lady of Avalon” was there so we went for a chat at five o’clock and stayed until half past nine! What a nice couple Mike and Susan are! Mike has come up with one of the most terrible things developed by man – the pump action rum punch dispenser!

4 May 1994 Green Harbour
I had a great day windsurfing, ideal conditions for a 5.5sq m sail. I’m starting to get my feet into the footstraps and I can water start OK now. Glenys did school work and indulged me; she can do what she wants tomorrow! We met Les and Viv on “Manatee” (UK). I’ve decided that I’m going tee-total “except for social drinking”.

5 May 1994 Green Harbour to English Harbour, Antigua
Glenys went for a walk up the hill on Green Island while I did school work with Brett. We motored around to English Harbour and then spent an hour trying to anchor. We got a hold on the fourth time, but it’s not very good. Everyone swings everywhere and the bloke next to us is on a mooring which is good because he doesn’t swing very far, but bad because he doesn’t swing the same as us. We saw “Sancho Panza” just about to start their journey to the Azores.

Brett and Craig are driving us mad with their constant bickering. They must be bored with us and themselves. We were anchored close to “Lady of Avalon” who kindly lent us two of their games for the night. They left for the UK in the evening after their delivery crew turned up.

6 May 1994 English Harbour
We had a bad night’s sleep, caused by a mosquito and the odd katabatic gust, which swung us all over the anchorage. Glenys did school work while I went for a dive and then we walked up to Daw’s Hill to see an audio visual presentation of Antigua’s history.

We’d decided to go around to Falmouth Harbour for the night when I spotted a terrifying sight entering the harbour – “Wise Cat”. We just HAD to go to their boat for a drink or 5! It’s a record – I lasted two nights without alcohol!

7 May 1994 English Harbour to Five Island Harbour, Antigua
Our anchor dragged about 25 metres during the night but we weren’t in any trouble. I tried to clear out at nine o’clock in the morning, but it was shut. I tried again at ten o’clock and succeeded.

We said goodbye to “Wise Cat” and had a beautiful sail around to Jolly Harbour apart from the last 20 minutes when it rained on us. We filled up with water and I bought a copy of the PADI Diving Knowledge Workbook (which are as rare as rocking horse droppings).

We motored around to Five Island Harbour and anchored in Stony Horn Bay for the afternoon. We put 82 galls of water in. We scrubbed the bottom of the dinghy which had barnacles, goose barnacles and 3” of seaweed! On the beach we got attacked by a swarm of vicious no-see-ums, so I beat a hasty retreat back to the boat while the others collected shells. We motored over to Maiden Island and anchored out of the strong wind.

8 May 1994 Five Island Harbour to Pinney’s Beach, Nevis
We had a very rolly run to Nevis. I was lazy and didn’t bother to put up the inner forestay and second jib. Consequently, we spent 8 hours having to trim the wheel as the main overpowered the hydrovane – what a berk! We had a very clear sighting of a large turtle just off the south coast of Nevis, but by the time the boys had got on deck it had disappeared.

We anchored off Pinney’s Beach which is beautiful. The pilot book says “Behind a strip of pale ochre sand are miles of palm trees whose slender trunks and waving lacy leaves catch the sunlight. Mount Nevis ascends into the clouds behind. Gliding pelicans fold their wings and crash boldly into the sea”. The sea bed is weed on hard packed sand and I had to snorkel down and put the anchor on a sand patch to start it off.

The log is driving me crazy - it showed a distance run of 36.6 miles when we did closer to 45 miles, that’s 20% low! I’ve replaced the impellor, cleaned it, adjusted it and it still reads low. We’ve now done over 10,000 miles - indicated!

The boys and I went to the beach and, on our return, a guy from a Swiss boat “Ha Vents” waved us over. We went for a drink or two with them - Evan, Christina, Tais (6) and Jeremie (3). They are cruising by working their way (he’s a sail maker) and it’s nice to be asked over. We must start going over to boats and “breaking the ice” ourselves.

9 May 1994 Pinney’s Beach
Another disturbed night. It kept raining, but it was too hot to leave the hatch closed. Brett got up in the middle of the night and had a wee up against the kitchen sink – sleep walking, I suppose.

I went into Charlestown to clear in. I found Customs OK, but I had a lot of trouble finding the Police Station. I eventually found out that the Police Station burnt out on Xmas Day and they have temporary accommodation in an old disused hotel just outside town. The old Police Station is right next door to the Fire Station!

It rained for most of the day, so we all had a quiet relaxing day on the boat. I’m still working my way through the PADI Open water Diver Manual (yawn!). We went for drinks on “Rubiayat” with Dave, Ami, Jessica (1) and Cody (6) from the USA.

10 May 1994 Pinney’s Beach
Another hot rainy night – I must design a hatch “tent” which will keep rain out but let air in. We did school work in the morning then the boys and I went to the beach while Glenys went into town to do some shopping and to clear out.

Dave and Ami and kids joined us on the beach and then came for sundowners. Evan and Christina passed by and came for a beer too. Nevis is famous for producing beautiful stamps and there is a Philatelic Bureau in town which has a display of quite a lot of them. Glenys bought two for the boys to put in their scrap book.