Sunday, January 27, 2019

YOLO folks in Antigua Jan 2019

We stayed on Mira until the owners returned in mid-January.  The 'Christmas  Winds' (consistently high winds over 20 knots) arrived right on schedule and kept us in port for the first ten days or so after we were launched from the boatyard. We visited the dock often to get out and about and buy food.  This sport fisher arrived back in the marina one day with over 20 mahi mahi fish and a small wahoo in its cooler.  They all seem to be small, but that is still quite a haul in one day.  Most of the fish goes to the local restaurants, but you can request to buy one at a great price, too.
 A five-masted sailing ship visited this harbour a few times while we were here.  It always anchored out in the same area at the edge of the harbor.  Either it didn't want to have to manouver in the shallow harbor or didn't want to pay the huge dockage fees at the marinas here.  They only stayed a day and were off to another port.
Here is the same ship lit up at night in the distance.  It looks like a lump of light.
 Jason probably playing Word Cookies on his phone after a day of working on Mira.
 This big turtle stuck around while we were anchored in Carlisle Bay.  Lots of turtle grass on the bottom for it to eat.  It was injured, though, and seemed to have a hard time getting down to feed.  Its tail had been chewed up (probably by a propeller) and its right front flipper didn't work very well.  We felt sorry for the big guy but were glad to see him.
  Jason after a snorkel.  Looking cool behind the shades.
 The big turtle came up between the hulls near the escape hatch.  The color was muted by the dim light and I wasn't quick enough to capture the image before he submerged again, but you can tell it's a turtle.
Here he is at the transom, too.  He kept surfacing next to the boat, so it may have been his proximity to boats that got him mangled.
A pretty sunset looking over an island in the distance.
Sailing up to the north shore of Antigua.  We'd had a fourth set of tell tales added to the head sail for Mira, but they are all so close that they may not be visible when the genoa is reefed.
Jason checking out the surrounding areas from our anchor location.
A selfie at sunset.
Guadeloupe is on the left and the tiny mound of Montserrat is also visible in the clear air after a shower.
Goofy selfie of Jason and Karen on Mira in Antigua.
We went to St. John's, the capital, and wandered through the museum there. This old copper sugar pot was outside and is now home to some miniature lillies.
The entrance to the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda.  It had a lot more than we expected and we were inside for over an hour looking at all the exhibits.
At St. John's Cathedral that overlooks the capital city, we saw some really old headstones in the surrounding graveyard. The cathedral was originally built in 1683, rebuilt in 1746 and again in 1845, so the graves are really old. This one was from 1816.
Some old headstones are covered in black growth.  Many had unreadable engravings.  The oldest one I saw that I could read was from 1703.
The carvings in the marble are still pretty impressive.
This headstone has peeled so many layers of rock that there is no lettering left to read.
St. John's Cathedral.  It was under reconstruction but was still pretty to behold.
One of the protected crypts was falling apart.
Jason waiting in the shade in the cemetery.
We found this Carnival carving next to an open field on one of our walks.
Another night scene from the anchorage in Falmouth.
Pam in the galley on Mira, cooking up a farewell dinner and using up lots of leftovers.
A shadow of a palm tree caught my eye in the city of St. John's.
The bow on this megayacht sported a huge, shiny, stainless steel eagle.  The sculpture looked like the eagle on the US Post Office emblem.  My camera was set on low light and the entire series of photos came out blue and blurry (we were passing in the dinghy), but the eagle was very impressive.  I'd not seen a bow design like this ever before.
Mira just before we left her.  Again, the accidental low light setting tinges everything blue.

Friday, January 25, 2019

YOLO folks life in Antigua Dec 2018

The riggers tried to straighten the mast on Mira as part of their tuning effort.
One of the riggers mans the electric winch while his partner goes up the mast in a bosun's chair.
The one going up the mast to check out the tension of the wires holding the mast in place.
We visited Nelson's Dockyard on Christmas Day.  They were having a big party and it was a gorgeous day to wander around.
Karen in a cut-out at the Nelson's Dockyard Museum. I'm not a natural blonde.
An old leather bellows used by the dockyard in the 1800's to forge metals.
This poster explains a bit about the female figureheads used on old boats.
Some old ship's maiden figureheads.
One of the remaining original figureheads.
The stone buildings still look pretty strong to me.  They are all in use again at this World Heritage Site.
Jason in the Nelson's cut-out.  Looks quite dashing in his outfit, eh?
A local carver makes these sea creatures out of wood.  A different kind of 'whaling wall'.
He makes bell figurines where the bell is inside the women's skirts.  My Mom used to collect these, so they caught my eye.
Giant anchors dot the grounds here.
Karen and Jason drinking a Coors Light on Christmas Day at Nelson's Dockyard.
These two women went all out in their costumes for Christmas.  The tower on the girl's head at the right is really all her hair, with lights that are wound around that twinkle off and on.  Who has clothes like this?
 A local elf checks his costume while his family looks on.
One of the designs on a post at the dockyard entrance.
 A sunset from our anchorage spot in Falmouth Harbor
 Jason never stops working on the project list.  Here he is installing guards for the steering shaft in the cockpit lockers so all the stuff carried down there doesn't get pushed onto the shaft and cause steering problems.
The owner of the marina kept these South American red box turtles as pets.  She breeds them and gives them away as gifts to her friends. They love to munch on the red hibiscus blossoms.  A treat from their normal diet of dry cat food.

YOLO folks in Antigua, Nov 2018

We arranged to stay in Antigua after the rally and move back onto Mira after their family visits ended in a few weeks.  We'd get the boat hauled and antifouled, as well as complete some projects for Glenn and Pam.  We found a local apartment to spend the three weeks in for the interim.  Above is the view of the harbor from our balcony at sunset.

Jason enjoying a relaxing moment on the balcony of the apartment we rented in Marsh Village, a collection of cottages and apartments a few minutes walk up the hill from the Falmouth Harbor.
Karen gets to enjoy a relaxing moment too.  The walk up the steep hill to get to the apartment just about killed me.
A trip to St. John's, the capital, had us looking at several giant cruise ships in port.
The sign is meant for the cruise ships, but look at the grounded hulk below the sign.
Jason chatting with a security guard at the market in St. John's
A cheesy statue of the political leader of Antigua..
A view from the second story of the market place.  Unfortunately, it was nearly empty the day we were there.  Only a few locals had their stands set up for business.  Weekends are the time to be here.
The kitchen in our apt.
Jason in our dining room/living room.  We had two bedrooms with a bathroom shared between them, so we were quite comfy.  No air conditioning, but the fans worked ok and the screens kept the bugs out.
Looking from our balcony down over Marsh Village cottages.
The view towards town from our balcony.  You can see it's a hike to get here.
Beautiful magenta bouganvillia blooms just outside Jason's bedroom window.
A huge copper pot is now the home for these miniature water lillies as we walked into Nelson's Dockyard.
Karen selfie near a small cannon housed in an 'almost cave' along the path into the dockyard.
I like the old bricks that make up the walls here.  Different colors and textures.
This part of the wall has become home to some ferns growing out of it.
The pillars of the old sail loft building that was destroyed years ago.
Another big anchor.
You can see the layers of rust peeling off the huge iron/steel anchors.
The green rock is green basalt, aka green tuff, which makes up part of the cliffs and hills around here.  Local buildings were made of the stone hundreds of years ago.  It's a pretty unusual color for a rock.
One of the pillars at Nelson's Dockyard.
Looking down on a healthy cactus plant at Nelson's Dockyard.  It may be a form of a spiny agave or a Spanish Dagger cactus.
The tiny beach at the dockyard resort.
Some pretty flowers sprout out of the old brick walls.
A huge old windlass in the yard.  People or animals walk in circles to turn the spindles to pull the boats out of the water.
A huge anchor on the lawn.
Our calzone and pizza at a local pizza restaurant.
These white/yellow butterflies were around by the thousands.  It was apparently mating season for them.  Here, they congregate at a mud puddle for some moisture.
An old hat in a field by the road caught my eye.  I don't believe there is a person buried under there, though.
Antigua's only craft brewery has a pretty dull sign on the road.  But the beer was wonderful and full of flavor for a change.
Doc Marsh with his race car.  He and his brother Bryce are putting the hood back on to transport it to the drag strip.
The car is ready to go, but just had to get some air in the tires.  He had to start up the truck to power the compressor to put the air in.
This green vine with the pretty pink flowers is everywhere.  I learned that they put some of these vines on caskets in newly dug graves to deaden the sound of the dirt being shoveled back into the grave.  It stops it from clunking on the casket lid.  What a pretty dirt cushion.
A little tyke mimics his dad at the race track.
The drag strip hosts cars, off-road vehicles and motorcycles.
These colorful ladies have green and purple lipstick on.
Large tarpon hang out around the docks hoping for scraps.
 A chunk of the green basalt.  It's thrown into dirt roads as filler here.
 Pam and Glenn joined us for pizza one night.
 Karen and Jason at the pizza joint, Famous Mauro's.
 Wood fired pizzas are the norm here.  Pretty tasty, I must say.