Wow! We were in Antigua almost a month! This island was as far north as we wanted to go this year. The main attraction (for Captain Mark) was The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta and 50th Annual Antigua Race Week. We ended up getting some boat work done there, as well…there’s always something.
We had what Kendra on SeaFrog called an epic sail to Falmouth Harbour. She saw a whale…we did not.
Although, we were anchored in Falmouth Harbour, we spent a lot of time at English Harbour, as well. Nelson’s Dockyard is there. It is a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site. Sites are selected by UNESCO on the basis of having cultural, historical, scientific or some other form of significance, and they are legally protected by international treaties. Nelson’s Dockyard certainly meets the requirements. In the early 1700s, English Harbour was the only one in the Eastern Caribbean large enough for safe naval ship repairs. The British hero, Captain Horatio Nelson was sent to Antigua to enforce British laws in the colonies. From 1784 to 1787, he lived in the naval dockyard, later named after him.
It has been beautifully restored.
Most of the historic buildings have been repurposed into museums, restaurants, bakeries, inns, and other businesses.
These restored and capped-off pillars serve as a beautiful surroundings for a swanky inn (restored building), but in the colonial times they held up a boat house and sail loft.
The docks are still used as a marina today!
Events are held at Nelson’s Dockyard such as the famous Antiqua Sailing Week where yachts from all over the world race and The Classic Yacht Regatta where…well, beautiful, old, traditional boats race.
Surrounding sites are also included in the national park. We explored some of them, including a little hike from Fort Berkeley, in English Harbour to Pigeon Beach in Falmouth harbour that I took with Kendra and Cindy,
Looks rather daunting
Photo opp. with Falmouth Harbour and our boats in the background
Shirley Heights where we attended the weekly Sunday night BBQ with Tony and Deb on s/v Exit Stage Left and Kendra. We enjoyed the awesome views of both Falmouth and English Harbour and the talented steel pan band.
We experienced Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta a few ways…
#1 We walked over to Nelson’s Dockyard and gawked at the beautiful yachts and watched some of them docking.
All hands were on deck as Mariella squeezed into her slip.
There was some good natured bantering between the crew and the dock hands.
Almost done! Just think that ships were docking at this very wharf hundreds of years ago!
Around the corner and at the other end of the dock, the wooden, handmade Carriacou boats were waiting to race! I’ve written about them in previous blog updates. I wondered if we would see Exodus race Genesis, but she was still back in Bequia resting at her mooring. Genesis was ready to race, only waiting to have her name reattached.
#2 Mark and I walked over to English Harbour one morning to see the boats go out to the race course, but we ended up hiking over Middle Ground to a high point where…
we had a great vantage point for watching that day’s race!
#3 Another day, Bob from s/v Discovery and Mark went out on Bob’s dinghy to get a closer look at the racing…
The committee boat
They got some in-the-middle-of-the-action pictures!
#4 The next day, Mark and I went out on a fellow cruiser’s big catamaran, Nirvana, with a group of other cruisers…
It was a fun time with great hosts!
Other noteworthy goings-on while we were in Antigua:
Mark re-bed our bedroom hatch.
We took the bus and celebrated Easter at Gracehill Moravian Church. It was a great service with such a vibrant congregation. I especially liked the kids reciting “The Joy Bells of Easter”!
Just some scenes from our wait at the bus stop after church
We found a wonderful mechanic, Greg, who solved our dinghy motor problems in a couple of hours! YIPPEE!
We solved a battery issue with the help of Marionics, an electronics repair place, and Catamaran Club Marina.
They let us use their dock for about an hour on 3 different days to off load and load our batteries for Marionics to equalize them.
We enjoyed a few different restaurants with cruiser friends and I especially enjoyed a girl’s beach-day with Kendra. We shared a picnic, good conversation, and an iced coffee at Catherine’s Café Plage at Pigeons Beach!
We had relaxing get-togethers on friends boats,
and when we finally reconnected with Bob and Anita on s/v Discovery we had them and Kendra over on Nancy Lu for a smoothie challenge!
OKAY, when I think of our time in Antigua, the first thing that pops into my mind is NOT Antigua Classic Yachts Regatta, English Harbour and Nelson’s Dockyard, or Pigeon Beach. It’s SOUND CITIZENS!!! I became a groupie for the month that we were there! We saw them play 5 times! My favorite venue was Skullduggery’s where “Tuesday is the new Friday” and you can dance like nobody’s watching (note the t-shirt in an earlier photo), but we also enjoyed hearing them on Saturdays at Catherine’s on Pigeon Beach. Their sound is SWUNK (definition: swing and funk and everything in between)! We both really liked them and still listen to them on spotify on the boat!
We introduced Bob and Anita to Sound Citizens on a Saturday, and they also joined us on the next Tuesday.
I feel like this little girl looks when I dance to their music!
TONS OF GOOD FUN!
We left Falmouth Harbour with Discovery…
and sailed right through the racers on their down wind leg during sailing week…’scuse me, pardon me…on our way to
Nonsuch Bay where we did a little snorkeling and spent the night before heading south.