Tin Tin's Sailing Calendar

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Antigua

By the time I had finished with immigration and released the crew from the boat it was ten o'clock, and once ashore for a look at Nelson's Dockyard we were drawn to The Admirals Inn for brunch overlooking the sheltered anchorage, surrounded the great stone columns which had once supported a sail loft and boat house.

We then upped anchor and went round to Falmouth Harbour, where we got the only alongside berth available. This turned out to be in the super yacht and mega yacht area, where we were completely dwarfed by gigantic motor yachts and astonishing sailing yachts. The crew worked hard to pack up and clean the boat, and as sunset drew near we caught a taxi up to Shirley Heights, where the fort keeps a lookout on the French down Guadeloupe. With the aid of a few rum pinches we watched the sun go down. Sadly no green flash this time, as it slid down behind the triple-breasted outline of Montserrat, its main peak still belching steam and ash.

Supper was a fish BBQ at Nelson's dockyard, followed by a walk home through the dark, enlivened by a diversion into a pulsing reggae bar. Back on the dock all the mega yachts were lit up like Christmas trees, and had turned on their underwater lights so that the water was a luminous blue like avast swimming pool. Nearby a few off duty crew were sitting drinking rum on the dockside, and invited us to join them. It was three a.m. before the rum ran out, and we headed for our bunks, but not before we had learned a lot about life on board those amazing boats. It was particularly good to later meet the captain of Marie, who lives near us in South Harting. His ship has vintage brass cannon which can be rolled and fired!

At the end of the evening another group of crew came past and, learning that we were from TinTin, said  "Our captain watched you come in, and said it was the most impressively slick mooring manoeuvre he'd seen!"

 I feel ridiculously proud to get that unsolicited comment, but I have to say that it was a pretty good handbrake turn and reverse into a slot :-)

The following morning Kyle and Niall headed for the airport and we prepared for the arrival of Emily, Kate, Mark, Ruth, Lottie and Beth. It was a considerable challenge to stow all the stuff to release two bunks for the girls, but it was all neat and tidy when the arrived.

That evening we went round to the yacht club and dined on the balcony, and had all in bed by about 7pm!

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