A return to Antigua



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We have finally reached our destination Antigua.  This despite the common conception that journeys like our own is supposed to not have a destination. Pick up any book about round the world voyages and the journey is described as the goal. For us, I feel,  that is only partially true. Antigua has always been one main goal for our trip. The Antigua of our past when Les and I used to crew on charter boats. The Antigua of boats, sun, and beaches. The Antigua of little colourful shacks, big mamas, friendly boat people and goats and donkeys. The dream of coming into Antigua on our own boat has kept us focussed in hard times. I believe we need goals.

Arriving here was not to be an easy cruise. Leaving Guadeloupe we where hit by 35 knots on the nose. 6 hours of hard motor sailing into the wind followed. Big waves over deck. Every leak in the boat opened up for the salty Caribbean sea. As you can imagine arriving in English Harbour was wonderful. We parked the boat stern to at the dock yard. Unloaded the laundry to Mrs Baltimore, laundry lady extraordinaire, and wiped off all the salt inside. Then we went for a walk.

It is ten years since we where here. A long time in some ways but also no time at all. English harbour has changed, but not that much. The boats are larger, the roads are tarred but the ambience seem the same. Walking into the local super market I was recognised by Cassandra. She used to work for Nicholson Yacht Service. It was great to see her and to learn that she has named her nephew after me. There is a little boy called Trond in Antigua..! (no relation...) Walking onto the Yacht Club docks we heard someone call us from on top the boom of a super yacht. It was Speed. He also recognised us from the old days! It was a great feeling.

Arriving in Antigua has made us decide to stay here for a while. It does feel like home. More importantly Lesley need time for her back to heal properly. She has survived the crossing but is has been exhausting for her. She has not had time to build up her strength and flexibility.  She needs to go for walks and to live on a more stable platform than a yacht at sea. We also feel that the family needs some time to just relax and enjoy. Our journey has been a bit more testing than planned and we are tired. There is also school to be organised, and for me work to be done. The kids would need to stop for a while to get into school and feel that they are keeping up with their classmates at home. I need to get started again with my projects. I will spend the whole of February in Norway working for Barloworld and need to work in January to prepare for this. In short what we need is time.

What all this means in practical terms is that we will stay here in the Caribbean for a whole year. Going through Panama can only be done in February/ March. This is dictated by the weather systems. Before x-mass the winds will not be in your favour and in the south Pacific hurricane season starts in November. That means you will have to be in New Zealand or Australia by then. Looking at the globe you'll see that it is a long way to sail from here to there, and too many exciting islands to explore in that time. The conclusion for us is that a Panama crossing in March will be way to early for us. So it will have to be as early as possible the year following. So what are we going to do until then? Not quite sure.  We will explore some more of the Caribbean. Then we will need to find a safe place for hurricane season. We would love to stay here in Antigua. The question is if the insurance company will allow us to keep the boat here. Maybe we could sail the boat to Trinidad and house sit for someone here? (House sit = look after someone's house while they are abroad. Water plants, look after pets and keep it all safe and running) I would also want to do some work. Have been thinking about a personal development program for leaders that I would love to develop. We will see. Right now it is just good to be here.


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This site was last updated 02-01-2006 01:40:03