Should have known better than to trust the weather forecast because, as usual, the wind was slightly more than expected. This time that was a good thing! With true wind of 10 knots and apparent wind of around 14, we had a glorious crossing for the 24 hours it took us to get back to Antigua. Beyzano sailed like an angel 🙂
We needed to put 1 last tack in to make Jolly Harbour due to the wind coming round more from the east but it was a comfortable and pleasant trip through the night. Only 1 other boat was visible so there wasn’t much to do but we remained alert on watch by admiring the amazing stars and getting up every 15 minutes to check around for any other shipping. It was cool enough to wear long trousers and a light fleece and we took 3 hour watches alone.
Coming into Jolly Harbour there was a quick squall of 24 knots and torrents of rain reducing visibility but it had stopped by the time we picked up a mooring buoy just inside the harbour. We had heard we should take the boat onto the Customs dock but that is a bit of a hassle so I just showered, dinghied in and pointed to Beyzano on the mooring instead. It cost under 10 pounds to clear in but the eSeaClear check in system was down and they couldn’t retrieve my prior clearance notification, so back to paper it was. You have to see Customs first, then Immigration next door, then the Port Authority next door to that. Then our yellow Q flat came down, Antigua’s flag went up and we were official. Rumour has it that a couple of cruisers went to the dock recently but it was shut. Instead of staying on their boat, they had a meal at the restaurant next door and because of that lost several thousand dollars as a fine. It is wise to do exactly as asked in each country. Really not worth breaking any of their rules, no matter how much you dislike them 🙁
Several lovely friends are here and last night we went to the Fish & Chip bus again with Geoff and Ann from ‘Nyda’, after drinks on ‘Ambler’ with Tom and Jan. ‘Galene’, ‘Seahawk’ and ‘Pelerin’ are here too, so plenty of socialising. Lorrie just came across as she recognised us from 2 years ago when she crewed on ‘Salila’ and it is lovely to see her again too. Part of this life is people coming in and out of it and I love all the hellos but the goodbyes can be sad.
We are now just about to do a food restock, the laundry is in and the 2 guest cabins are done. Looking forward to welcoming my son and niece tomorrow.