School in the tropics



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(Lesley writing)We have now been in Antigua for a month and have started to feel quite at home. This is partly due to the fact that  we have put the children into school here and we have a more "normal" life again. The home schooling onboard has been difficult and I have to admit that it is a lot harder than I expected. In the kids eyes I am first mum and then teacher, and they know that they cannot be expelled from the Coconut school. Having to follow up two different age groups with school work, means one usually sits on the side-line waiting patiently for help. We tried getting off the boat to see if that would help and sat in various cafes and park benches. But that also has its distractions. "Look at that bird", "Whats that boat doing", "Can I have another fruit punch!" , so with a bit of scouting around Antigua, we found out that most cruising kids were sent to either Kids Unlimited in St.Johns, or Island Academy at Piccadily, which is closer. Camilla and Colin went for an assesment test and managed to get into Island Academy, into 1st and 4th grade. They were shocked to have to wear school uniforms and Camilla said, "But now we are all going to look the same!".........thats the point. Having to wear socks and shoes again was also a surprise.


Our morning run to the bus stop

Portraits of two school children

We must look a sight in the mornings as we speed off in the dinghy in order to catch the school bus that leaves Nelsons dockyard at 7.30. Our dinghy is normally full of water so we have to have shoes and bags in our hands and don footwear at the dinghy dock. Not much fun if youre running late. I can see other excuses for being late in the future like, "Our outboard engine would not start" or " Our anchor dragged last night", " We got caught in a rain squall..! etc etc. We dont have traffic so we cannot use that one. Colins friend Jasper goes to the same school and they have been driving the kids in some days . After school they often go to the beach or visit on each others boats.

           Colin and friends in the dockyard

Camilla does riding a few times a week now and has made some nice friends at the stables. She either takes a bus there or gets a lift. Her friend Kristina owns half a horse(as she told me) and I was curious as to which half she had, the front half or the back half! The horse is called Pumpkin and Camilla is allowed to ride her sometimes. Kristina lives on land and has a whole lot of pets like dogs, cats and tortoises. She spent the night here and thought it was so fun to be on a boat. Camilla thinks its so fun to be on land.


Camilla and Krissy at the stables

A large front passed through the Caribbean this weekend and we had unusually strong winds and lots of rain. I pulled my rain jacket out yesterday and realised that the last time I used it was In England! We even had to put on jerseys last night! It was so roly in the anchorage that we came into the dockyard and went stern to the mangroves. A local guy drove by and said, "What you doin man, you think theres a hurricane coming?"  This is where most boats park themselves in hurricane season as its supposed to be one of the most protected harbours. I can tell you, we did not budge, but we sure got wet. The squalls go as fast as they come and are usually accompanied by big gusts of wind and buckets of rain. For the first time ever the Around Antigua Yacht Race was cancelled.

 Rainy weather in the dockyard

News letters

This site was last updated 06-02-2006 22:33:51