Monday, April 25, 2011

Good-bye, Antigua

And good-bye, Chris. Last night we said farewell to our friend Chris of Avocette of Portsmouth. We've been traveling the same direction with occasional meet-ups since we first met in Gibraltar in October, and it seems strange to think we won't be looking forward to seeing him again at the next port. We've really enjoyed our time with him, and of course, we've exchanged invitations to our respective home ports. We hope to see him in San Francisco sooner than we'll be able to get to England.

We've been in Antigua for nearly three weeks now. Long enough to grow quite a crop of green, stringy stuff on the bottom of the dinghy, the removal of which delayed our departure by a day. We spent yesterday afternoon with the dinghy beached and us scrubbing hard. That gave us the evening free for another tot, and for the first time since his introduction, John wasn't required to drink a full measure. Our friend Moira also showed up to say hello to Chris (she was crewing for Chris when we first met her, also in Gibraltar), and then Chris took us to dinner. Thanks, Chris! Today we'll look for Chris aboard the yacht Sunshine since the Antigua Sailing Week races are going on and our route takes us along the course.

We've met so many people here! The Tot Club is responsible for most of that, of course, but people are really friendly here. We've also fixed or replaced lots of things, so we've met people that way too. The jib halyard and John's glasses needed to be replaced and the jib repaired. But while we were here, my glasses and a tooth broke, so we got those fixed too. I got a haircut, and we had to replace the kill switch on the dinghy.

Chris and John at a Tot Club meeting (one glass holds water)

John and Peter shared their Mismuster, the final step in becoming a member of the Royal Navy Tot Club of Antigua and Barbuda

We've seen a bit of the island since dentists, optometrists, pharmacies, and the like are all in St. John's, about 40 minutes away by bus. The big supermarket there, Epicurean, is amazing. We went with another American couple, and all four of us got pretty excited about the items and brands we found there. (If you haven't spent a length of time away from the U.S. and shopping for food, it must seem strange to be excited about a grocery store.) We also joined the Tot Club on the “rum run,” an expedition to resupply the club with cheap but quite drinkable rum. The source is the village post office at Bolans Corner, nearly an hour away on small roads.

Our next stop is Sint Maarten, where we hope to see our friends Liat and Assaf of Jinja. They're the Israeli couple whom we also met in Gibraltar. We won't linger because we've promised to get to St. John by the end of the month to see our land-based friends Blake and Terri before they fly back to Iowa for the christening of their first grandchild. We hope for another meet-up with Moira while we're there. From St. John to Puerto Rico for a week before a week-long passage to Isla Mujeres, Mexico. At Isla Mujeres we'll satisfy our cravings for Mexican food and look for a weather window to Galveston.

1 comment:

Judy and Bill aboard S/V BeBe said...

Had no idea you were planning to sail to Galveston. As a native of that area, we can say that sailing the coast of Texas really rather sucks. Gulf of Mexico is definitely not a sailing paradise. You have been to much better places.