S/V Delilah

A Blog to track the wanderings of the S/V Delilah, a 37-foot Tayana sailboat.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Catching Up

Monday, February 26
Falmouth Harbor, Antigua

Okay, we've slipped twice, but we won't let it happen again. Our last two guests were wiley enough to avoid guest blog duties, but we are onto them, and onto you, if you think you are coming to visit and not writing a guest blog. Think again.

So...we spent a hectic day on the 17th preparing for Tina and Ian's visit, having torn the boat up to look for tools and parts we might need to make our wobbly boat. They arrived bearing the usual heavy bags, laden with my "just one more thing" requests for items from the States. The list has gotten smaller as our time out here grows short. So Greg, who visited us early on, wins the heaviest bag award, hands down.

This year I did not manage to have another birthday bonfire on the beach, but we all did climb up to Shirley Heights (if you hike up you don't have to pay the entrance fee; Tina and Ian were not impressed by our thrift) to watch the sun set, eat barbecue, and listen to some steel pan. Shirley Heights is a beautiful place, with fantastic views of the whole island, and it is very popular on Sunday nights. One might say it's too popular. I think next time I'd go on a night when there wasn't a steel band or barbecue, and avoid the wrestling match at the cliff's edge as people vie for a good view of the horizon.

After the Shirley Heights barbecue, we hit all the sights on the south coast of Antigua: Nelson's Dockyard, Pigeon Beach, Windward Beach, Sweet T's Ice Cream, and even a little underwater exploring via scuba. Then we sailed up the west coast for for a few days.

The wind and northerly swells picked up just as we were planning to head out, and though they churned up the water along Antigua's west coast, reducing visibility to mere inches, conditions did make for some great sailing between anchorages. We spent a night almost alone in enormous and undeveloped Five Islands, another night in lovely Deep Bay, where we climbed up to the fort to watch the sunset and marvel at the outrageous size and shape of the cruise ships departing St. John, and our final night in Jolly Harbor, which, from the water, looks just like the Fort Lauderdale section of the ICW.

After putting Tina and Ian into a cab, Dean and I decided to drown our sorrows by spending outrageous amounts of money on imported American processed food at the island's biggest grocery store. We haven't seen a grocery store bigger than a 7-11 all winter, accept for the French islands. Though it was fun to try new food and stock up on fabulous French cheeses and wines, sometimes you just find comfort in a box of Pop Tarts.

Larder filled, we raced back down to Falmouth Harbor yesterday on the rumor that the long-elusive Amanzi, whom we haven't seen since November, might arrive that afternoon. We dropped the anchor off Pigeon Beach and were tidying the boat when I heard an "Oi!" from the water. Stewart and Tara of Mange Tout had spotted us from the beach and swum out.

We brought them aboard, handed them each a beer, and got ourselves invited over to their boat that night for Stewart's incredibly fabulous curry dinner. Fortunately, Stewart knows how to stretch a recipe, because Amanzi DID appear yesterday, and we all stayed up VERY late on Mange Tout, telling and retelling stories as we caught each other up on the news and gossip along the eastern Caribbean.


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