Time to move on! We had thoroughly enjoyed our time in St. Martin but we knew we had to keep moving south. We left the Grand Case anchorage in St. Martin at 0930 on Friday and headed to the island of St. Barts, just 20 nautical miles south. Our plan was to stay at St. Barts for the weekend and then make the 76 nautical mile journey south to Antigua.
We arrived in the busy anchorage outside of Gustavia, St. Barts on Friday afternoon. Immediately after our anchors were set, Mike piled into our dinghy with our vessel papers and passports and left to pick up Barry and Dave. Like many islands in the Eastern Caribbean, only the captain of the vessel is allowed to leave the boat for the clearance process.
Once all vessels were cleared in, the rest of us crew (and our pup Ocean) could head to shore. And what an eye opener that was! St. Barts is known for being an island playground for the rich and famous and, yeah, wow. Prada, Rolex, Gucci – one pricey store after the other and so many people walking around in designer clothes and jewellery. Definitely not our jam! Still, we couldn’t resist one meal ashore to get our feel of the vibe. We chose the cheapest waterside restaurant we could find and still walked away paying almost $100 CAD for a couple of appetizers and drinks. Yikes!
Although the anchorage was close to town, it was extremely rolly and uncomfortable. We were in a protected harbour but we were being thrown about like we were in the open ocean with 6 or 7 foot swells. Yeesh! The good news is that we had word that a beautifully calm anchorage was just around the corner (1/2 hour away). All three boats were anxious to get out of our current washing machine situation so weighed anchor early the next day and moved just a few nautical miles north to the quiet and remote Colombier anchorage. What a difference! It was calm, beautiful and absolutely full of sea turtles! We spent the weekend with lots of beach walks, hikes along the mountain range and snorkeling. Fabulous! But the weekend went quickly and we knew we had plans to head further south.
Unfortunately, leaving St. Barts also meant leaving Indigo Lady. Lisa and Dave are headed west to St. Kitts to have their boat hauled out of the water for the summer while they fly home to New Hampshire. It will be sad for Caretta and Wild Horses to continue on without Lisa and Dave. They have made us laugh, explore and snorkel more than we ever would have on our own. Cheers to our dear friends! Our only solace is that we have plans to meet up again in St. Martin next January. Yay!
Our 14 hour passage to Antigua was fairly uneventful, peppered only by a few threatening squalls that never actually crossed our path. We had weighed anchor at 0400 so were able to watch the sun slowly rise. That never gets boring 😊. With the wind just off our bow, we were able to motorsail the whole way, which helped our speed immensely. We arrived at Jolly Harbour, Antigua just as the sun was setting. Too late to clear in, we grabbed a mooring ball and settled in for the night. Since we were not cleared in, Ocean, Mike and I couldn’t leave the boat. No worries, Customs opens at 0800. In the interim, Barry dinghied over to our boat with the news that he had caught not one but two black fin tuna. Yum!
The next morning, we moved Wild Horses to a free dock in front of Customs. We were cleared in by 1000 hours. Well, Mike and I were cleared in but not Ocean. Antigua requires that a government veterinarian inspects any dogs or cats at the dock before they can go to shore. Dr. Edwards is a busy guy so he didn’t arrive until 1800. Thankfully, he had given his approval in the morning for us to quickly take Ocean off the boat to do her business. Rest assured that no dogs were made to cross their legs during this process!
Since we were finally at a dock (it has been 4 months!), we decided that this was the best time to finally go up the mast and fix our dim and blinking anchor light. Immediately, I was able to see the problem. There were no frayed wires or corrosion, just a bulb that was on its last legs. Mike ran out and purchased a new bulb from Budget Marine (only 5 minutes away) and voila! We have our bright and non-blinking anchor light again!
Of course, it wasn't all work in Jolly Harbour. We enjoyed lovely walks about town, great food and, of course, the beach.
Caretta and Wild Horses are now anchored in a quiet bay just north of Jolly Harbour. We are the only two boats so we have the beautiful sandy beach, calm and clear blue water, and a gentle breeze all to ourselves. My gosh, even a dolphin swam by while I enjoyed my morning coffee. We will take a few days to relax here and then move the boat over to English Harbour, a very busy anchorage on the south coast of Antigua. Early next week we will say good bye to Antigua and sail 42 nautical miles south to the French island of Guadeloupe.
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Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.