November 16, 2009


Well is was a difficult and dangerous run, but we were able to beat past the gun batteries and anchored caravels to make a successful landing a take, without a shot fired, Nelson's Dockyard. The dockyard and fort areas have been fabulously restored and maintained in the English Harbor area of Antigua. The buildings now house various businesses and services. The park service maintains great trails to allow hiking to all of the various fort, gun encampments and look outs. We are anchored in English Harbor about 50 yards off of the dockyard.

We left Dominica on a disappointing note. There was a tremendous southerly flow in the winds and seas ultimately leaving us rolling gunwale to gunwale in the anchorage there. So after another hiking expedition around the former English fort in the Cabrits we upped anchor and headed north. The sailing was tremendous with a nice beam reach all the way up Guadalupe. We were running for much too early arrival in Antigua, which has several reefs to navigate so we stopped for about 5 hours in Guadalupe, then carrying on at 1:30am arriving in Antigua at 8am, again with nice sailing though a bit more on the wind as we were making quite a bit of easting.

We are planning on staying in Antigua for 4-6 weeks enjoying the sites, sounds and many anchorages. So far we have felt that it will be too little time.

On a side note, I am amazed at the number of forts built by the British/French/Dutch in the islands. Two out of three of these never saw a SINGLE shot fired. I guess an early demonstration of deterrent force. The French forts are usually high on a hill, small and all enclosed. While the British had spread there defenses out, always with several gun encampments, look outs, commandants quarters etc. The islands, no doubt in an effort to improve the tourist trade, have made great efforts to maintain and restore these forts. They are a fun part of exploring each island, picking up a bit of history, a bit of exercise through hiking and expanding the imagination with respect to life styes of 200-300 years ago.

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