|Being a local in Antigua|
|March 12 - (Lesley writing)
We are settling into life in Antigua, after 2 months of living here. In this time we have got to know many people, local and foreign, some living on land, some living on boats. One thing is for sure, and that is people are friendly and helpful and will go out of their way to make us feel at home. Trond was in Norway for 5 weeks and we were tied up to the dock in Nelsons Dockyard. The fisherman Frank was our immediate neighbour and everyday he would take guests out sports fishing. It was always a suprise to see what they had caught when they came in, and the best was when some young girls in their 20s went out and caught the hugest Dorado I had ever seen. Frank said it was "ladies luck!" Apple, the water taxi man lived just opposite us in a small hut by the storage lockers, and he would feed his cats and go about his daily business, checking on us to see if we needed anything. The harbour master would walk past and always say, "Coconut".., and the bakery ladies know us well since we buy cinnamon danish buns just about everyday. The time flew by and we had a lovely time.
While Trond was away, Desmond Nicholson, the founder of all this charter industry, passed away, and a memorial service was held in the dockyard in honour of him. The Antiguan National Guard were present and impressed us with their marching skills and brass band. The Prime Minister was also there and it was quite a grand event. Mrs.Baltimore took time off her laundry duties to watch the procession too.
Some more rowers came in after rowing across the Atlantic, and Camillas class from Island Academy came down to the harbour to welcome them. All the children stood at the point by Fort Berkeley and sang "Row, row,row your boat" as they entered English Harbour. Once the rowers had gained their land legs, they signed autographs for the school kids. We are still just as amazed everytime one of these rowers come in!
Our friend Nina from Norway came to visit for 2 weeks. She had her daughter Stella(3) with her and they spent most of their time enjoying the beach. Nina was fortunate to meet other families with small kids, which meant Stella had someone to play with while Camilla and Colin were at school. We went to the stables for a "Western Evening" and there was square dancing, horse show and B.B.Q. They were raising money for the Antiguan equestrian team, who compete with neighbouring islands.
Colin had his 7th birthday party on Galleon beach, and we celebrated it by inviting a whole lot of kids over for a B.B.Q and fun on the beach. We were thrilled to have Tom with us again, and he was fantastic playing with all the kids. ( Tom sailed across the Atlantic with us and then sailed over alone again....and got a job a week later on a 90 ft yacht going back across the atlantic to the Med!!!) Thats 3 Atlantic crossings in a space of 5 months! We miss him already but know he will be back soon. His boat is left up on land here for the time being.
Our Norwegian sailing friends passed through Antigua too. That was Noravind, Hurra, Christiania and Veto. It has been awhile since we saw them last and it was great to catch up on their news and travels. They were all sailing north, and would be making their way back to norway soon. While they were here, we took the kids to the stables and to visit a donkey we had been looking after. The donkey was expecting a foal and was not in a good way when we found her up at Clarence house. The owner has since fetched her, and she has had a foal. Other than that, we do not know how she is!
We are pleased to say that we DID leave port and go sailing on the weekend. We left Thursday night for Guadeloupe and arrived early friday morning. After checking in we caught the bus to the main town and stocked up on food and stuff at Carrefour, the huge supermarket with absolutely everything!! The next day we watched a local regatta near the beach and went for a walk up the river. It is very lush and green in Guadeloupe, and there is very thick vegetation covering the mountain sides. Camilla and I picked pebbles from the beach to make stone cats and Colin and Trond sat in the internet cafe, downloading e-mails.
Our trip back to Antigua was very bumpy and very wet, but we were glad to drop anchor in Falmouth Harbour and get our breaths back. The first people we met were the Wild Alliance gang and joined them on the beach along with the kids from Kushlong, Regina and Keoma.Yes, it was good to be back home!
This site was last updated 14-03-2006 14:42:06