Dominica is always very
peaceful so we were surprised to see at least eighty yachts in the bay
when we arrived. Obviously something was going on, as 40 or 50 were
charteryachts from Guadeloupe with huge Landrover and
Trust advertisements on bow and stern. Ah those French, we thought,
always busy with regatta's and everyone dressed up in tight sportshirts
and cool sunglasses.
But these guys were not at all French! The boats were chartered by 208 Russians,
competing in their КАРИБСКАЯ РЕГАТА ’11,
as was displayed on
Big Papa's dinghy pontoon.
So global economy is not doing that bad.
But normally Dominica is quiet.
Everybody has time for a chat and as soon as “our” last year's boatboy
Fire got wind of our arrival, he sped towards us to enjoy a couple of
shots (rum) with us.
Through Guadeloupe (bad weather and bad anchoring grounds, last year and
this time again so we'll skip that in the future) to English Harbour in Antigua
where we were welcomed enthousiastically by Hans en Anja (Fiddlesticks).
It was great to see old friends again and it added a special touch to
our visit to Antigua.
Antigua. It sounds exotic
and attractive for tourists: it is a tax-free
paradise. Furthermore Antigua is historically famous as it was admiral
Nelson's base. English Harbour, the well-protected bay where we were at
anchor, is located strategically so a windjammer can sail easily in and
out. That is why Nelson chose this bay in the 18th century as
base of operations and English Harbour is now a sympathetic museum to
Next door is Falmouth Harbour, where the extremely rich keep their
megayachts. Dragons are hoisted in their berths and the grey boat in the
background of the photo is not a custom's boat but a yacht.
But never before we saw a gigantic cruiseshipdock as they have in the
capital St.John and the accompanying shopping area (Rolex, Breitling, Gucci,
souvenirs and… an Australian chocolate & ice cream parlour) is
tasteful decorated although we don't desire all this (except for the ice
Luckily there was no cruiseship when we were there and the veg and fish
a local matter with nice fresh produce and although the people are used
to loads of tourists, nobody tried to rip us off. The locals live their
and the tourists prefer to stay safely in their designated area.
Shirley’s Heights on top of
the cliff is a famous hang-out with Sunday night BBQ and live music, and all
the yachties and other tourists go there. So did we. Splendid view on the
bay with Witte Raaf conspicuous in the middle.
Antigua's best steelpan-band played very well so it was a nice party but
with almost no locals, so not exactly our
cup of tea.
Of course we knew Antigua is not the cheapest island to stay, but 70 euro's
for only four days seems a bit much. On Dominica we paid 3 euro's for two
weeks! So the difference between islands is also expressed in terms of
squeezing out tourists (or not).
All’s well that ends well and the trip from Antigua to St.Maarten is shorter
if you depart from the west coast, so finally we stayed overnight in a
beautiful quiet bay. Hermitage Bay in Five Islands Harbour
is a must for a stop-over, including free WiFi so probably Antigua will see