Happy New Year ☺
Well, the Christmas winds have arrived with a vengeance and it looks like we will be in harbour for another few days at least. The WindGuru forecast has been the worst we have seen; given the 30-knot gusts continue throughout the period. The swells are predicted to rise to almost 5 metres, so we definitely won’t be venturing out in those.
Fortunately our anchor is well dug in; we have several friends here and enough water and food. We do need to get outboard petrol soon but if we can’t leave the boat that isn’t urgent!
At least it was calm enough on New Year’s Eve to walk along to Nelson’s Dockyard with 9 friends to have a drink in ‘Hamilton’s’ and watch the fireworks at midnight. There was an entrance fee of around 6 GBP per person, going towards the restoration project and this included 3 items from a choice of hats, horns and coloured light bands.
There were fewer people there than we anticipated but the atmosphere was good and the loud bass music kept us all awake until midnight. We had also toasted the UK at 2000 and sent texts to our children. The fireworks were a bit disappointing, as they didn’t go on for long but the few they had were pretty. Just not good enough to make us want to go again another year if we are here. The restaurants were charging almost 100 GBP per head for their gala dinners, so we passed on that and cooked onboard before we went out, digging out the fillet steak we bought in Guadeloupe, so tender and lean it would be worth going back there just to buy some more.
Eric and Gail sent us a lovely photo of us with a rainbow appearing to end at the boat.
We let out some more anchor chain, despite having 5 times depth out already but we have plenty of room around us in this part of the harbour and the chain is better on the seabed than in our locker.
To pass the time 11 of us went to the Fish Friday again, we had 4 friends over to play dominoes, had a great evening on ‘Flyin Low’ with Adrian and Clare and might rent a car to see more of the island, fill our petrol tank and get some provisions. There is plenty to do on the boat too, such as checking the grab bag contents and dates on the medicines and flares. Other than that we will babysit the boat in the worst of the winds or just 1 of us will go ashore, taking the handheld VHF radio in case of an emergency. We had our laundry done at Sam and Dave’s, where 2 loads cost 14.50 GBP, far cheaper than at the launderette near the Yacht Club. Di from ‘Horizons’ needed us to store some things for them whilst their family are visiting and encouraged us to use their little washing machine. Great fun to watch and I could be sure of piping hot water!
We have a friend from ‘Feelin’ Good’ who did the 2011 ARC with us and he is unexpectedly in Antigua following an accident before the boat left to cross the Atlantic. The boat is due in this week so we will meet up with Art to hear what he called a ‘long story’ but glad he is safe. We also bumped into John and Susan at the dockyard. John did the ARC with us as well, on ‘Chiscos’ and is now running his own sailing rallies, one of which is the Caribbean Christmas Rally during which most of the boats spend both Christmas and New Year at sea. They make landfall in English Harbour.
As soon as the wind and seas die down we will head around to Jolly Harbour to fill up the water tanks and have a couple of nights in Deep Bay before clearing out and doing a day sail to Nevis followed by an overnight to St Croix, one of the United States Virgin Islands. All weather dependant as usual.