Sunday, April 22, 2007

Our last day in Falmouth, and the third race in the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta is about to begin. We watched the first race from the beach, or at least the start and the finish, and it was beautiful. It's not wildly exciting, as spectator sports go, but it was beautiful to see these big old boats doing their thing so elegantly. Randy has been dock-walking and drooling over the acres of varnish. Here's a sampling of his photos from the beauty contest and the race...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Countdown to Halifax. Thirteen more sleeps.

We had a major treat last week -- an overnight visit from my friend Susan from Cape Breton. She'd been in Nevis for a week with some girlfriends (she has other friends, apparently), and courtesy of a screw-up with the airlines, got to spend a night in Antigua. We didn't do anything touristy, we just talked and talked and laughed and laughed, and then she had to go. It reminded me of how nice it will be to get home for a few months and spend some real time with my peeps and my relatives and my poor abandoned children. We've been away for a long time. Randy hasn't slept ashore since October, 2005. I predict he's going to be all weird for the first few weeks. Gawd help us if it snows on him.

It's also countdown to Antigua Classics Race Week, and after having spent a weekend at Green Island, on the south side of Antigua, we returned to Falmouth Harbour to find it nearly full up, or at least busier than usual. Maltese Falcon is back, looking all show-offy as usual. Classics week starts on Thursday, then the next week is all the other races. I'm finding it hard to pay attention to all that stuff, dammit, I have to fly home and sell my house.

Hence the trip to Green Island -- a change of venue, a break from bus trips to St. John's to try to sort out insurance, a break from cleaning the boat and packing. Green Island is beautiful, in that brilliant turquoise, deserted little sandy beach, surrounded by reefs kind of way. I did some snorkelling (slid into the water off the dinghy once to come face to face with a three foot barracuda. Reasoned that I couldn't say "BOO" with my snorkel in, so I just got back out and we move to a different spot. Discretion/valour, etc.), and we had a lovely expensive lunch at Harmony Hall (in Brown's Bay!). Sorry, no pictures of the lunch, I left the camera battery in the charger on the boat. During lunch we were treated to an endless selection of the Andrew's Sisters Greatest Hits! I couldn't have picked a more incongruous soundtrack for a tropical open-air restaurant than "Roll Out the Barrel," or perhaps "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree..."

It seems strange to be getting ready to leave the islands for a stretch. I won't make the generalization that all Antiguans are lovely and friendly, but a whole lot of them that we've met have been lovely and friendly and a great help. Phil and Cassandra at the Dockyard Grocery are my favourite people in Antigua. There's a guy with one leg that wanders around on crutches begging, he belched at me the other morning, he's not so good. But otherwise, we've enjoyed the excellent neighbourhood here.

See below for some underwater coral photos from Green Island -- not many fish, other than the big barracuda, and I didn't stop to pose him, but quite a lot of live coral (and lots of dead stuff).

I should have another guest blog to post soon, from Gord and Marj who visited us in St. Martin, way back in the beginning of March. Gord's a lawyer, and in my past life, I used to have no difficulty getting lawyers to submit articles in a timely fashion. Bother. I think I've lost my mojo.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Some photos from the last few weeks...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

A guest blog from Halifax friends Rich and Sheena. See their vacation photos at

Caribbean Doggerel

A week in the sun was all we desired
No phones, computers or cold
No surveys, no mail, no knocks on the door
A respite from growing old…

No snow, no bills, no TV
No furnace oil truck in the road
No boots to don or heavy coats to put on
A mere change from the daily load…

What to do? Where to go? Who to see?
Who do we know we can phone?
Randy and Sue, the poor buggers!
Down south, warm…. and alone!

Heh heh…

Thank God and Gates for the internet
(it’s hard to tell them apart)
The Nancy Dawson Hotel was soon booked
And we shivered three months ‘til the start

Anticipation often outshines reality
The mind being the strange thing it be
But this time the rules were all broken
We had a marvellous week on ND!

A bit of rain to cool and hot sun to dry
Rolling seas to lull us to sleep
Fresh fish on deck and steak on the grill
Water warm, clear blue, not deep

Turtles swimming and pretty little fish
Unabashed nudists running the beach
Croissants each morning with butter and jam
Marigot ashore, but within dinghy reach

Rum, sun and shade and flowers in bloom
Boats to admire and places to dash
Nice faces, soft voices and crib games to lose
The week sped by in a flash

So we’re back home now with smiles and a tan
Spike the cat is happy we’re here
Thanks, Randy and Sue, for such a fine time
For you, a very loud cheer!

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