Out with the sub zero, in with the sub tropics.

It’s December 31st, the last day of 2017 and we are back in Antigua to begin our 6th winter afloat.  Tonight we will be celebrating the dawn of the new year with other boats from the Salty Dawg Rally and will have what will surely be a wonderful dinner at perhaps the best restaurant in these parts, the Admiral’s Inn in Nelson’s Dockyard.

We are tied up in the dockyard along with a good number of other Salty Dawg boats, all lined up Mediterranean moored, stern too on the same dock that was once the home to the English Navy.It’s hard to see Pandora in that lineup, all Salty Dawg Boats, but here she is.  Unlike in the days of Lord Nelson, the boats are mostly fiberglass and stainless verses the wood and canvas of so many years ago.

When we left home in the US the weather was just north of single digits and after a few, not so short, hours on a jet from Newark Airport we are once again in the heart of the tropics and enjoying a balmy overcast day here in Antigua.

After five weeks in the north I’ll admit that it was a jolt to be back in the tropical warmth.

The Salty Dawg boats, here on the dock, plans to head to Guadeloupe in a few days and we are currently on the fence about what we will do as our good friends Bill and Maureen on Kalunamoo will be arriving on the 2nd and it would be good to catch up with them too.   Besides, we were hoping to head the short distance to the west to to visit Montserrat and Nevis, some of the smaller island. It’s looking like later in the week the seas may be calm enough to take a mooring and do some exploring.

Montserrat has an active volcano which would be pretty interesting.  I understand that the capitol of the island had to be moved because it was buried under lava and ash following a particularly big eruption not that long ago.    The problem with visiting some of the smaller islands is that there are no harbors so you just anchor or take a mooring in the lee of the island.  If there is a big swell running, conditions in the mooring field can be quite uncomfortable.

As we haven’t been there yet, we will have to get advice from “someone in the know” and decide if it’s a good time to go.

One way or the other, we will enjoy our time here in Nelson’s Dockyard.  It’s hard not to when you wake up to a view like this. Oh yeah, with all the snow and frigid temperatures in the US, we have had our own “weather” here in the form of very heavy rain that filled the dink nearly half full overnight.  In all the years we have been sailing together, I don’t think that I’ve seen that much water in a dink yet.

I guess that’s about all I can say for now except that we will just have to work hard to adjust to the warmth and to ringing in the new year with palm trees and of course, fireworks.  Yes, there will be fireworks following our 5 course dinner tonight over the fort.

Stay tuned for what will surely be scintillating prose and fab photos of what it’s like to be in Antigua, along with 1,000 of our closes Antiguan “friends” as we enter the new year.  2018?  I still remember when George Orwell and his novel, 1984 seemed a very long way off.

As I think about all those huddled in Times Square tonight, I’ll choose the subtropics over sub zero every time.

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