Saturday, May 5, 2012


The last day of Classics was devoted to gig racing and the participants were encouraged to dress up in period costume.
Some serious testosterone was on show but most took it as a giggle. After the decadence of Classics week we sailed round to Jolly Harbor for some clean water.

It clearly did not matter to this group that met to exercise every morning in Falmouth,
oblivious to the presence of 200+ boats and no pumpout station. It was Sandy's first sight of the reefs and shallow water sailing that characterize some areas of the Caribbean. Flying over sandy bottom with less than 5 feet under the keel in crystal clear conditions after making our way down Goat channel inside Cades reef all of which was eyeball navigation. Five Island Harbor was it's usual quiet and peaceful self with only one or two other boats spread over the 5 square mile expanse of the anchorage.
We explored the ancient lava flow of Stoney Point and were lucky to see a mongoose foraging on the beach as we came in. Sorry no pics of the mongoose as we were too slow. Deep Bay was next and I was looking forward to showing Sandy the wreck of the Andes which lies just below the surface. A three masted engine less barque, it was carrying pitch from Trinidad which caught fire.
Sandy said she wished she had her rash vest with her!
The steel hulled vessel sank upright and one of it's masts still breaks the surface at low tide.

We dropped over the side of the dink and swam to the wreck which, for some strange reason, was paying host to a swarm of small jellyfish, the densest swarm I have ever seen. Inplaces it was almost solid jelly fish. The good news was that they did not seem to sting. I looked in vain for lobsters and lionfish but both were absent. St Johns was a quiet with only a single small cruise ship at the docks which sometimes plays host to five monsters. So we had the sights to ourselves.
Sandy liked the old wooden houses

and the Anglican church and graveyard. The church had some serious structural issues and it was good to see repair work proceeding. We had a great sail back round to Jolly Harbor touching 8 knots with just the head sail past the rock that looks just like a hawksbill turtle's head. We walked up to the head overlooking Jolly Harbor and saw another mongoose the second in a week and only my fourth in two and a half years. Again we were too slow with the cameras.

Good sunset though.

Next on the agenda was the last day of Antigua race week and we got to watch the smaller boats beating upwind as we motored back to Falmouth.
We got there in time to see the downwind finish of the bigger classes with spinnakers flying.

The pics all show sunny days in Antigua but at this moment in time I am writing this with the computer running on battery and all it's outside stuff disconnected because we have a thunderstorm raging overhead and the threat of a strike is real. I am glad the we do not have a skyscraper mast tall enough to warrant a low flying aircraft warning red light. A couple of strikes were very close by and some boat might well have been hit.

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