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Monday, May 9, 2011

FREEMAN'S BAY, ANTIGUA .............



The name kind of speaks for itself ....... For back in Lord Nelson's day the entire island of ANTIGUA was covered with plantations growing sugar cane, the new 'Sweet White Gold' .... And the island of Barbuda was used for growing vegetables to feed the plantation slave population ............. Freeman's Bay in English Harbour, therefore meant something else entirely, and probably referred to the soldiers and sailors ... "Count your blessings, shipmates ....... A hammock, a tot of rum or two or three, hohoho ....Could be worse you know! " ....... If only the stone walls, or the ones that remain could talk .......And on the edge of the bay lies one of Nelson's huge anchors with a fluke missing ........... It would be a fluke to find the other fluke ........ Kind of makes you wonder what else might be down there on the murky bottom, for Nelson's ships would have been on anchor during those fierce hurricanes each summer ....... The wreck below is much more recent ......



That beautiful traditional steel gaff ketch " MOYA " was still there a couple of days ago and I went to visit the owners, Doug and Carol ........ If you recall from the previous entry, this was the vessel that I watched take shape from the raw steel plate and stringers to the finished ketch in Capetown, fifteen years ago ...... Inspirational work done by a true perfectionist .......... A man absolutely dedicated to splendour and craftsmanship in every nook and cranny ...... A ship that will outlast all of us ........ I lift my cup to you, Div DeVilliers ..... She will shortly be 'For Sale' as Doug is reaching those tender years ...... Enough said ............So if you are in the market for a traditional gaff ketch in steel, she'll be right here in ANTIGUA on the hard for hurricane season and ready for next year's CLASSIC REGATTA ..............



And back in JOLLY HARBOUR, on the other side of ANTIGUA where the sun goes down, sits that beautiful schooner " AMOEBA " without an engine still, while John and Bev and their young crew are desperate to get back to NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA where she operates as a day charter vessel .......... Still the new Perkins motor is due this week ........... And what better way to get their mind off the subject, than to invite them out to FREEMAN'S BAY ........ Free them up some ............



Took them for the long walk along the cliff face, then along the zig-zag trail upwards to SHIRLEY HEIGHTS ...... Breath-taking views and breath-taking climbing ..... Every last breath till you got to the top ............ Breathlessly ......



There's something truly magical and magnificent about these 'century' plants ....... The brilliance of the yellow is spell-binding and the finches and humming birds that invade them makes you want to just sit and watch them ........



But once they have flowered and the seeds are dispersed, the flower stalk readily decomposes and the plant soon follows ............... Withered leaves from what was once a golden glory .....



And at the top of the hill is more former glory in the form skeletal remains of the "Officer's Quarters" and the barracks, that was the lookout point over the vast ocean .................... One building at least is preserved and provided refreshing drinks for the victorious climbers ........... Do a double-click on the photo below to read the details .............



And the descent along another nature trail was equally invigorating with cacti and bromiliads ......... And then that welcome swim in FREEMAN'S BAY at the bottom of the trail ................



Do a double-click on Freeman's Bay photo to enlarge it and you will see "ARITA" at anchor, with the green shade covers on ..............



Then a little lunch, and a little wine onboard " ARITA " ......... And a little nap, and back on the bus to JOLLY HBR ........ What a great day for all of us ....... Their new engine should arrive in two days time, more or less at the same time as the "QUEEN OF FLORIDA", who has been visiting her 'peeps' but mostly her daughter, who is now well and truly into her pregnancy and 'blooming' and as beautiful as those century flowers ........ It's to be a girl and due in mid-September and she will no doubt be as beautiful as her mother, and her mother's mother ......



Last week those 'young guns' on "AMOEBA" were out racing on the Puerto Rican yacht "TODA VIA" .......... Really their first race, but they had a whoopi time ......... Made all the right moves from port to starboard, like pros ........ Made them as fast as this guy paddling his wooden kayak and just as smoothly .............. Well, sometimes head first and other times feet first .......... And afterwards they partied like rockstars ......................... Photos only available through their agents ........

A truly wonderful bunch of people on "AMOEBA", who we will certainly miss a great deal when both yachts will shortly head off in opposite directions .............. For them it will be a straight shot to CANADA, while we will continue to 'meander' down the Caribbean Island chain in search of shady palm trees, sandy beaches, golden sunsets, aqua blue waters and those sorts of 'hardships' ...........

1 comment:

Cheap Luxury Holidays said...

Wonderful pictures! Antigua is a really beautiful island. It's Blue Waters amaze me.