You are probably wondering why we haven’t updated the blog for such a long time. We decided on the spur of the moment to go home to Australia for three weeks to catch up with family and friends and of course to be at Mitchell’s first birthday party.
We left the boat in St Marteen (Dutch W.I) and flew home via the States – the usual 30+ hours of hell only made good by flying for the first time on Qantas new A380.
Before our departure to Australia we continued to have fun in Antigua, including getting to see a full day of cricket – England against the West Indies. As our original tickets were still good for the party stand at the new alternative ground, we were able to have another day of partying with the locals. I don’t think many people actually watched the cricket; everyone was more intent on having a good time dancing and drinking.
Our departure from Antigua wasn’t without incident. Before heading for Barbuda, “Magic Bus”, “Nebular” and ourselves anchored the night at Green island. In the morning we decided to leave via a short cut through a channel in the reef. The passage was difficult to see, especially as it was overcast and no wind. Although Penny and I got through without any difficulties, Magic Bus ended up getting stuck on a coral head. We motored back to see if we could pull her off, but we couldn’t get close enough without risking damage to ourselves.
Mean time Steve on Magic Bus decided to give out a MAY DAY as he was getting concerned that if the wind got up the boat could be pushed further back onto the reef. After leaving Penny at the helm I launched the dinghy and motored back to see if I could help in some other way. We decided that I would take Magic Bus bow anchor in the dinghy and try to set it in the deeper channel, while Steve kept the engine on maximum revs to keep the boat head to wind and pointing to the right direction. Once the weight of the anchor had been removed the boat suddenly started to move but my dinghy was now attached to his anchor and chain. The weight of the chain started to pull the dinghy under so I had no alternative but to let the anchor go. Fortunately by now Magic Bus was in deeper water and managed to retrieve their anchor without too much hassle.
We decided to put off our departure to Barbuda until the next day to give everyone time to recover and to dive on the hull of magic Bus and check for damage, fortunately there was none. Everybody came on board Innforapenny for a slap up Barbie washed down with a few beers .
Barbuda is a small low lying island with a population of 1600 – it’s famous for its coral reef and bird life, in particular frigate birds. Unfortunately when we got to the island there was a strong northerly swell which made it impossible to land on the island and as we had flights to catch our time there was limited. So after spending a couple of nights at anchor we headed for St Barts, a very expensive French island catering for the rich Europeans’ and the super yachts fraternity. We experienced this first hand when we went for a 2 course meal with a couple of bottles of wine between 6 of us and the bill came to $150 a head.
On arrival in St Martin we said good bye to our cruising buddies as they started heading south again to meet there new crew of family and friends. We only had the weekend there before catching our flight home, but we still managed to get to see the local carnival. Very bright and colourful , great local music and very lively atmosphere.