It’s Saturday and we are tied up in Nelson’s Dockyard and still in Antigua. We have some pretty impressive big boat neighbors. Interestingly, when we dropped our anchor to back up to the bulkhead, our anchor snagged the chain on one of the other boats. Great. We will now have the pleasure of hiring a diver to untangle things when we leave. What a racket with divers standing by “just in case”. I’ll bet it’s nearly always the case given the number of snags and anchors running every which way. Our son Christopher arrived a few days ago from San Francisco for a visit. We were concerned that he’d get tied up in all the winter weather related flight delays due to the snow in the NE but happily, that didn’t happen. Is it really winter? Funny, we haven’t noticed.
Between the scramble to get everything done at work and the long flight, a red-eye, he arrived pretty worn out but has rallied to spend time with his very excited parents.
Anyway, he’s here and we are really enjoying his time with us. Here he is catching up on his reading. Nice view. We’ve taken it easy and not tried to pack too much into his short visit of less than a week but yesterday Christopher and I walked up to Shirley Heights, a historic spot way up on the top of one of the local mountains overlooking English and Falmouth Harbors. What a sight. If you look really really closely, there’s Panodra…Now wait, I’ll zoom in. That’s better. She’s on the right with her stern too the bulkhead. Christopher tollerated his dad. “Chris, pose for a photo op”. It was a pretty long walk from the Dockyard and along the way we saw a number of goats keeping the grass, such as it is on this dry island, clipped short. Not a lot to eat. A mother and her kid, that’s what they are called, did their best to keep ahead of us. The “kid” complained a lot. Not sure if it was because of us or if his mother was walking too fast. “Maaam, I’m hot. You are walking too fast. Who are those people and why are they following us?” “Just keep quiet and eat your cud.”Along the way, a century plant. The flower stalk is impossibly large. I believe that the plant dies after it flowers but don’t think that it actually takes a century to get that big. If it does. Guess what Horatio? That seedling you saw when you ran your dockyard here. Well, it finally flowered. Nice place, by the way. Shirley Heights is named after some guy. Not my mother Shirley though. It’s named after Sir Shirley, or whatever his name was, that lived there back in Lord Nelson’s time. It’s now eautifully preserved and dinner is served a few nights a week. It’s very popular as a spot to watch the sunset. We are going to go there on Sunday with Christopher. Very charming spot. However, one walk up the hill is enough. On Sunday… taxi.On our way back, Christopher and I opted for the cross country route down to the water. It was a dramatic walk with some pretty steep scrambles. Antigua is a fairly dry island and this part, in the lee of the prevailing winds, is particularly dry. The vegetation works hard to stay alive.On our way to pick Christopher up at the airport Brenda and I took the scenic route through a part of the island that is more lush. It’s not exactly rainforest but much less dry. It’s on the eastern part of the island which is more mountainous and much steeper. As the trade winds blow off of the ocean they tend to drop their moisture in that area. Much more lush than where Pandora is tied up.We stopped at a farm stand for some banannas. We passed some beautiful beaches. This “pirate ship” was moored off of the beach. I couldn’t figure out how there could be so many on board a boat that looked, well, so “piratie”
and why it was so oddly moored by many lines off of the beach. I realized this morning when looking more closely at the photo that it was a photo shoot. Note the boom microphone in this closeup. “Ahoy matie, brace the yardarm or I’ll keelhaul ya!”Oh, and speaking of being “keel hauled” or “raked over the coals” as it were. I should also update you on the status of my SSB radio quandry. Well, we FINALLY got to the bottom of it yesterday when the electronics guy was on board yet AGAIN. I have been repeatedly saying that the tuner, the ONLY part of the unit that hasn’t been replaced, might not be working correctly and he, repeatedly insisted that it was. Well, both he and I contacted the manufacturer and, what do you know, it’s not working correctly. Surprise!
So a new tuner on the way finally but now without a LOT of hours wasted trying to figure things out and finally learning that a relatively simple solution is at hand. Well, we will have to see how it turns out when the tuner comes in. What a pain. This “mole” has been a real bear to kill.
Never mind on that for now. Christopher is here and we are happy. Really happy.
As Christopher is so busy at work he NEVER reads our blogs. Perhaps we will have a marathon reading to him today so we can catch him up. Perhaps not.
Snorkling is probably a better idea.
With that, I’ll sign off for now. Time to make coffee.