Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Anchored in clean water with a clear view of the horizon.

Finally escaped from the clutches of customs immigration and port control after lots of ahuttling between the three different offices. At least they are in the same building. The dates do not match on the boat papers and my passport. I month for the boat and 3 months for me.

Any I left the murky waters and mud of Jolly Harbour and sailed North up the coast to Deep Bay.

As soon as I got the hook down I was in the water. It was glorious to paddle round the wreck in clear water.

The name of the ship was the barque "Andes", a three masted steel merchant sailing ship, that sailed from Trinidad on 5th June 1905 with a cargo of 1,330 barrels of pitch to be used for the paving of roads in Chile. As there had been no Panama canal yet built, the route around the tip of South America was to sail first north-east over the Atlantic, thence across the South Atlantic with the trade winds to Cape Horn. As the cargo had been stowed badly, it seems heat had developed through friction caused by rubbing, enough to cause smoldering. Capt. Rees Griffiths decided to put into Antigua, but the Harbour Master made the "Andes" anchor in Deep Bay, since she would have been a danger to shipping in St. John's Harbour. When the hatches were opened to unload and inspect the cargo, the added air caused a conflagration. Her decks fell in and her rigging was consumed. The "Andes" sank bow first on June 9th and there she still lies.

I did not stop to tidy up the boat. Poor Elephants Child was littered with fenders and docklines. But I needed that swim to wake me up and keep me going through the afternoon as I am really tired after the passage down. I was expecting to get a few naps but there was never a moment when I could not see the lights of another boat on a closing or crossing course so I needed to be on watch.

As I was leaving the bay in St Martin I got this pic of a salvage operation. Wonder what went wrong?

Well it is another technicolour sunset but no green flash ,however when I fired up the computer guess what, a solid wifi link.

It is fairly peaceful at the moment. the pan band at the nearby hotel must be on a smoke break and the full blooded French domestic disagreement on a nearby boat is on break as well

Got a comment on the blog from an old model flying, stock car racing, 3 litre BMC tank driving friend who is into real flying nowadays. I do not have his email address soooooo.

Hi John,
Long time no see. I've just found out which part of the world you are in from Liz.
I will be island hopping round the Bahamas by light aircraft from 16th - 26th April. Un- fortunately the furthest south we can go is Crooked Island but if you are in the area I'd love to meet.
Pete Malone.

Sorry Pete but at the moment I am about a thousand hard won miles east of Crooked Island. While with crew I could probably get there from Antigua in 6 to 7 days getting back to Antigua against wind and current takes months.

You should have CAVU some of the time and be able to see the shallow waters of the Bahamas perfectly.

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