Monday, December 16, 2013

Mingling With The Mega Yachts

Stad Amsterdam in Falmouth Harbour
We have arrived in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua, and our pit stop for Christmas and New Year. Now the sea miles are behind us we can breath a sign of relief that despite the Christmas winds (periods of stronger winds over the winter months) kicking in early this year, we made it up the island chain fairly quickly and without too many hairy moments.
A boisterous sail from Guadeloupe to Antigua
 We are anchored among the mega rich and affluent; it’s hard not to get distracted by all the super and mega yachts and nautical bling that are moving in and out of the harbour.  There is some serious money around this end of the island.  Silver haired hooray, ex - pats rub shoulders with the young and beautiful crews of the mega yachts and the floating elite.  Shaggy haired Rasta’s add to the eclectic mix.  Fine dining restaurants in old colonial buildings are just a stones throw from roti shacks with their plastic flower d├ęcor, plastic table cloths and Christmas decorations that have been up all year. I like it here.  The bars are fun and lively.  The historical English Harbour where Nelson reluctantly made his home is just a short walk away.  This time of year the temperature is cooler, our bodies not permanently oozing salty water.  There are plenty of walks within the Nelsons Dockyard National park.  The small beach we are anchored off is always busy with a bar at each end and people trying the new popular SUP's (stand up paddleboards) – always entertaining when tiny, bikini clad girls try to master the art while crossing the marked channel as a 200 ft+ mega motor yacht bares down on them.
The Yacht Club
What is strange is the serious lack of other boats.  Despite the bay being filled with floating Gin Palaces there is a substantial lack of cruising boats.  I guess the stronger winds have kept other cruisers from moving about quite so much.  So for now we sit here, admiring the view, the boat surges fore and aft  as a swell creeps in but its not uncomfortable.  Sim has the chipping hammer out and is making those oh so familiar sounds that only steel boat owners can achieve!
Nelsons Dockyard, English Harbour
Pretty Nelsons Dockyard
These are just the baby boats!
Customs & Immigration
Abramavich's old yacht Le Grand Bleu that he gave to a friend.  Note that the sail boat on deck is a 70ft Super yacht!
Nearly full moon and masts of the mega yachts.

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