Part 2 – in Antigua
Chris left us here for what should have been a week in Barbados, but love intervened and he stayed there for longer (but that’s a whole different story)! We sailed from Jolly to Falmouth Harbour, to meet up with a number of other cruisers we knew, and also to meet our friends Gill and Ken who managed to get one of the last flights from the UK before the Icelandic volcano closed European airspace. It was lovely to see them!
While we were there the Antigua Classics were taking place, the lead up to Antigua Sailing Week. Most of the superb looking yachts were moored in Falmouth Harbour, including the J-class Ranger and Velsheda, and with racing taking place immediately outside, there was a special buzz about the place with receptions and partying every evening.
We took Gill & Ken for a day sail from Falmouth back to beautifully quiet Mamora Bay where they were staying at the St James Club, with a lunchtime stop in Indian Creek, overlooked by Eric Clapton’s mansion. Such was the ferocity of the rain that we deemed the approach past the reefs to be completed in better visibility! So we stood off for about 45 minutes and were rewarded by bright sunshine and being the only yacht in the idyllic anchorage.
We managed to walk up to Shirley Heights with Joe and Mary Ellen, the owners of Dally Cally, another Wauquiez 48 PS, with Hull No 1! The unexpected hike (for which we were ill-prepared wearing flip flops!) took us via Carpenter’s Rock Trail – only 2 km but a steep coastal climb in some places.
At the top we met up with Gill and Ken for a special Shirley Heights Sunday BBQ with a live steel band playing in the background. Looking out over both English and Falmouth Harbours at that time of day gave us amazing panoramic views with excellent visibility, and a fantastic sunset.
For our final day with them we toured the island by car, which included a stop at Honeymoon Beach – supposedly one of the best in Antigua – and a visit to Betty’s Hope, a ruined sugar plantation with a very interesting small museum describing its history.