Antigua welcomes 2024.

We are now solidly into the new year and I have to say that I am more than a bit shocked to realize that I find myself yet one more year beyond “upper middle age”. The bad news is that while I enjoy being on Medicare, I am not all that crazy about being precariously perched on the road to “elderly”. Well, that’s if “just south of 70” falls short of elderly.

New Year’s Eve here in Nelson’s Dockyard, and it now seems like ancient history, was great fun with hoards of locals jamming the place. There was raucous music and plenty of partying. Quite a crowd.

At midnight the fireworks show began. It was not a NYC style event but really wonderful. Nothing like sitting on the bow of Pandora on a beautiful evening.

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The display clearly classified as “short and sweet” but the enthusiasm from the crowd saw it as much more.

Earlier in the evening Brenda and I had a wonderful dinner at a local French place, Colibri, with some friends. It was a 5 course dinner and seemingly endless glasses of prosecco. In spite of all the fun, I felt pretty good the next morning. Amazingly, I was able to stay awake until after 1:00. Not to shabby for a guy just south of old age.

The holidays are officially past us and the Salty Dawg events that began here in Antigua in mid November are winding down. Sadly there were only three events planned for this week including last evening’s Cocktail party at Colibri, tonight’s Tot Club event in the Dockyard where I have invited some fellow Dawgs and a New Year’s Day progressive cocktail party here in English Harbor.

Now that we have crossed the threshold to 2024, most of the Salty Dawg boats have moved along and are now scattered from Grenada to the south to the Virgin Islands to the north. It’s hard to keep those Dawgs from roaming.

Brenda and I are planning to stay here in Antigua for a few weeks and then will begin running south to Guadeloupe, Dominica and hope to land in Martinique in time for Carnival in early March. Since we arrived we have had a parade of workers on the boat, cleaning, tracking down an electrical issue (unsuccessfully) and sails being reinstalled. As of this afternoon, Friday, we are by ourselves, finally.

Oh yeah, yesterday I was on a zoom Salty Dawg Board meeting when the boat started to shudder. I jumped up on deck to see the boat that had been moored beside us pulling out. As he passed our bow he realized that he was tangled in our anchor chain. Instead of standing by for help, he continued to pull up his chain and my anchor, along with it. Without my anchor to hold us off the dock, and him pinned to our bow, we both turned sideways to the dock with no fenders to cushion the blow on Pandora. In spite of perhaps a dozen passers by trying to fend Pandora off of the dock, we still ground away.

The dockmaster in the Dockyard came to our rescue along with some divers to reset my anchor. The process took over 30 minutes and meanwhile the “offender” took off and is nowhere to be found.

It’s still a bit unclear if there is any real damage but I will have to explore more carefully. We have the offender’s contact info but I don’t know what I will do about it as the scratch doesn’t look that bad.

Hopefully the excitement is now behind us and we can relax.

Unlike up in CT and our home town, it’s warm and sunny here on Antigua.

So, for now… Just hanging out in Antigua and recovering from way too much holiday crazy and dock excitement…

Setting aside dings, scratches and endless workermen aboard, I am happy to say that Brenda and I are settling in and enjoyed welcoming in the New Year with Antigua.

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