Once again the weather has changed our plans and with northerly swells expected tomorrow, we won’t be going to Montserrat. The island has no sheltered harbours and we don’t want to spend a rolly night at anchor. Worse than that, if weather conditions worsen whilst we are ashore on the day tour, it is possible we couldn’t get back to the boat and that would be a poor scenario. We have never managed to get to Montserrat and would really like to, so it is on the list for 2017 when we should be coming back down the island chain.
So yesterday we spent an extra day in Deep Bay, watched ‘Jewel Of The Seas’ glide in before breakfast, beached the dinghy and walked along the soft, golden sand in the sunshine. A party catamaran had arrived just before us, dumping holidaymakers on the beach to the mercy of some newly arrived vendors but we avoided all that! A security guard was in evidence, solely there for the tourists and she disappeared when they did. Not sure who employs her, the cruise ship company, Antiguan tourism or the party cat but somebody obviously thinks it is necessary.
I decided to swim back to the boat, a lot further away than she looked but it was good exercise and lovely to be in the water again. We checked out the visibility at the wreck but it was too cloudy for good snorkelling this time. Howard and Wendy were leaving to head south and we had a last coffee with them to say goodbye. We first met in 2012 in Bequia and have been friends ever since, so it was with heavy hearts we waved them off at noon. Just have to meet up in the UK.
Our next spurt of activity saw us beach the dink again and climb up the path and rocks to the fort on the north side of the bay. The cruise ship was just leaving St John’s and we had a lovely view over the beach and lagoon behind it. The 3 of us then sat on the dinghy watching the sun go down, with a rum and coke to toast our good fortune at being in such a beautiful place.
This morning I was up early and realised the water clarity had improved as I could see the bottom under the boat. Quickly checked the wreck and before 0900 we were all snorkelling over it to see the fish and corals. It is well worth the effort but be very careful not to run the dinghy into the mast as it is very sharp metal. A line is attached to it just under the surface so that is what we tie our dinghy to.
Then we sailed the hour back to Jolly Harbour to pick up a mooring inside the harbour itself. They still cost 25 US$ a night but our remote control for the windlass isn’t working and a mooring was just easier. We can use the controls at the helm but you need 3 hands to steer, control the engine and push the anchor buttons. We have just stocked up at the Epicurean, which seems to have an even wider range of Waitrose goods than before and the water tanks are full. I cleared us all out and it was quite busy as they are insisting everyone uses the online system ‘eSeaclear’ without exception, so this added to the wait to use the sole PC terminal. Rowena and Richard from ‘Galene’ are here and the 5 of us are all meeting for a drink soon before going on to the Fish & Chip Bus.
Tomorrow we are sailing off at just after dawn for Nevis and if it is too rolly there, we can make St Kitts before dark instead. That’s Plan C anyway!