Up until now, Mike and I had been sailing and anchoring/mooring/docking Gaia just the two of us. For four months we’ve traveled on this 42 foot beauty together. We sleep in a ‘bed’ (in boat jargon, we say berth), called the V-berth (aptly named because it’s in the shape of a V), where our toes touch every night. The living room, dinning room, “back door” (mid hatch), bathroom, and kitchen are all in the same 12.5 by 8.5 feet of space. In case your wondering… yes… yes I did measure that. And in all of this time, in this confined area, and tried with uncomfortable and dangerous sailing conditions at times… we’re still really happy. Any differences of opinions we work out. And I think the worst argument we ever got into was over an anchoring location 2 months ago. That said, I was super excited to have our first visitors in the Caribbean and a bit hesitant… it’s been so long since I’ve seen my Boston friends… how does this friendship thing work again…. will they remember me? do they still like me? I hope Gaia doesn’t make them puke. All these crazy thoughts were lost the second I saw their beautiful (cough..pale…cough) New England faces come out of the airport security line in Antigua! We had a phenomenal dinner; Kristen had an exceptional bass dinner and then we had drinks at The Lime where the bar counter is 6 feet off the ground.
The next morning we moved to a more scenic part of English Harbor; and snorkeled, saw the museum, explored the old fort, and stumbled upon some spectacular rum. We were only in line to get a gallon of water… but one thing led to another and we had English Harbor rum. That night we hiked to Shirley Point and saw an amazing swimming hole. It was a simple hike and made even better by the steel drum band and local bbq on top.
The sun set, the air was cool the grass was soft the steel drums melodic… life with Kristen and Z was sublime. And then Kristen kicked a tarantula.
Yes. Kristen… kicked… a tarantula. And if this picture alone makes you unsettled just think, Kristen was wearing sandals…. So we started the hike back down in the dark with only one headlamp and an iPhone for light. We all moved fairly agile down the path packed with rocks, mud, and roots and then Mike comes to a sudden halt, (Kristen in front) and declares ‘no way’ as he shines his headlamp at the forrest floor. This big guy laid curled up. Mike explained that Kristen had just kicked something and it moved. We saw hermit crabs the size of “your face” and chased schools of fishes jumping out of the water in the dinghy. It was a great night… maybe the rum punch was spiked.
Our first sail was from English Harbor to Green Island and good ole Zirolli was behind the helm the entire time.
We took a break for a late lunch behind a reef where the water was really inviting. In very shallow water and a bit of a current, Zirolli expertly hitched a dock line onto the mooring. And once secured, of course we jumped in and swam in that perfect turquoise-light blue water. After our fill of swimming, we made anchor on the Northeast side of Green Island for the night, which was a real treat. You see, the trade winds always blow from a general Easterly direction…. and East of Antigua is the entire Atlantic Ocean. This allows for some pretty big waves to build up but a reef protects this anchorage from those nasty seas. So our view to the East was the endless Atlantic which falls off into the horizon.Read more