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Antigua and Barbuda - Feb/March 2005

We stayed in Fisherman's Bay, near the mouth of Englishman's Harbour, for a couple of weeks, getting various jobs finished. Antigua is well supplied with chandlers and yacht services; and the setting of Nelson's Dockyard is superb, now that it has all been restored, and with Falmouth Harbour it has become a thriving charter base and favoured venue for mega yachts and racing yachts. From the anchorage we could dinghy to the Dockyard and then easily cycle to Falmouth Harbour and beyond.

We got our cockpit locker lid repaired at Woodstock Boat Builders and our sails checked over and restitched and A & F Sails. Signal Locker helped us resolve an electrical problem. Image Locker was our favourite place for internet access and a cup of tea (with a slice of Christmas Cake, thank you!) and Jane's Yacht Services were very helpful, handling faxes for us.

We had a fun evening at the jump up at Shirley Heights, with its superb view over the harbour.

from our mooring in Jolly Harbour, looking towards Peter's restaurant

The holding in this area is notoriously bad. One of our neighbouring boats dragged. Going forward to fend them off, I realised that the guy was in a panic, running around like a headless chicken. He had taken his wheel off to give more room in the cockpit! Graham dinghied over and went aboard to help him re-anchor safely.

Soon after, the boat alongside us started drifting backwards across the channel. They were moored by a single line, which had given way. There was no-one aboard, so Graham and a neighbouring boat chased after it and brought it back under control. Later the guy said that he knew he had a chafing problem....but he hadn't got round to replacing the line (and there was no safety line), even though he had a family with small children living aboard. So thank goodness it happened during the daytime, and not when they could have slipped away unnoticed and on to the rocks. It's amazing how careless people can be.

It was definitely time to move!

Having had a good look at all the marinas, we decided that Jolly Harbour, on the West coast was going to be the best place to leave me and the boat while Graham was away. It had all facilties on site or nearby, a great supermarket, a choice of restaurants, a friendly atmosphere, other live aboards, a swimming pool and the beach within cycling distance. Here I was able to finish off the varnishing of the brightwork.

Stephen & Hazel arrived on 17th February to view Oasis.

How could they NOT fall in love with her?

We took them for a sea trial, stopping for lunch in Five Islands Harbour where we anchored off Maiden Island and had our favourite blackened mahi-mahi caesar salad. Then we had a swim before sailing back to the Five Islands, where we hove to to demonstrate the watermaker. We got back just after sunset, having dodged some rainshowers and had a wonderful rainbow.

We were happy that Oasis had found wonderful new owners who we knew would love and care for her as much as we had done. They were happy to have found her!

We were delighted when Stephen & Hazel told us that whilst they were in Antigua, they had arranged to get married, and we were invited to share their day on 19th February.

They had a charming ceremony in the Copper and Lumber Hotel in Nelson's Dockyard, followed by a great meal and dancing at HQ restaurant.

We were able to spend several days with them going through the onboard systems and agreed they they would come and take her over at the end of March. Meanwhile, we would have a final holiday onboard.

On 6th March we set off for St Kitts & Nevis, and you can read about that trip here


After our trip to St Kitts & Nevis, we had a few days back in Jolly Harbour to finalise our packing.

We had 18 big cardboard boxes full of stuff to be shipped back to Portsmouth! We arranged this with a local agent, to be taken by Geest.

Once they had been collected, we had a very lightweight boat....

Where on earth did we find room for all this down below?

We arranged to meet Union Jock in Barbuda and had a lovely sail.

The island is so flat that you can't see it until you get really close, but the clouds above it reflected an extraordinary pale blue from the lagoon.

We anchored in Low Bay, which was absolutely stunning.

Because of the surrounding reefs, the fact that there are no facilities ashore, and the anchorage can be rolly, there were very few boats there.

It was actually quite hard to land a dinghy throught the surf onto the steeply shelving beach, but once ashore, it was like discovering a private paradise.

Graham with the stunning backdrop of Low Bay, Barbuda


After 3 nights there, we moved on to Cocoa Point, where there were some very large yachts anchored off.

Because the waters had been quite rough , the visibility was not very good for snorkelling; but we had a good time with Paul & Wyn.

On 22nd with 12 - 15 knots S of E we had a fantastic sail back to Antigua and went to Deep Bay. There is a wreck in the outer part of the bay, which makes for an interesting snorkel, and we saw several turtles. Ashore the beach was good for shell collecting.

Below: sunset at Jolly Harbour Marina

On 24th we had a cracking sail back to Jolly Harbour. There was lots we didn't get to see of Antigua, as the weather conditions weren't favourable for a journey through the reefs to the north of the island.

We had a week remaining for final cleaning and packing. With most of the galley equipment packed up, we enjoyed numerous meals ashore, particularly at Peter's where the rib eye steak and lamb chops were barbecued to perfection.

We said farewell to Oasis on 31st March 2005. She had looked after us so well, and given us so many adventures. We hope you have enjoyed reading about them and seeing Graham's photos.

We wish Stephen and Hazel bon voyage and fair winds, wherever they may travel. You can follow their adventures onboard Oasis at www.yachtoasis.com




Above: Five Islands, Antigua



All photographs copyright Graham Berry, 2000-2005. Images on this page have been size reduced and compressed.
High quality digital images available by arrangement - please contact us by email

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