Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A New Year & New Adventures

Approaching Jolly Harbour, Antigua
A new year arrives and hopefully new adventures too. We saw most of the night in with the crews from "Imagine of Falmouth", "Izzy R" who kindly hosted the early part of the evening, "Spirit of Argo", "Banyan" and "Baidarka" at Nelsons Dockyard in English Harbour. Somehow managing to stay up until the early hours watching the firework displays from Wandering Star safely back on board before the rain started.
The amazing colours going through the gap at Five Islands
I always love the new year and the prospects of what it will bring - the people we will meet and the places we will go.  2013 was a big year with the selling of our beloved Alianna and the moving aboard our new home Wandering Star. Along with all the highs and lows that accompany buying and selling a boat.
On the fuel dock at Jolly Harbour getting water...
should have got fuel!
Keen to kick start this year we moved on from Antigua, stopping briefly at Jolly Harbour, an old favourite with happy memories of when we first started out nearly 10 years ago. It was a crappy downwind sail from Antigua all the way to St Barts.  We choose a lighter 15-20kts forecas before the stronger winds picked up but the forecast was lighter then expected.  The sails flogged, shaking the whole rig violently with the beam to swells.  We were only making 3.5kts, not what we had passaged planed on at all. So we started the engine and motor sailed the whole way - a nail biting experience as we had been running the fuel tanks down for Sim to extract them when we haul out. Now we had barely enough fuel and a whole fleet of the most expensive mega yachts you will come across to get past anchored off Gustavia,the capital of St Barts.  But we made it in running on fumes and picked up one of the free mooring balls in the marine park at Anse de Colombier on the west end of St Bart's.  We both love this spot, the pretty beach, crystal clear water and great snorkelling make it a favourite despite the incredibly gusty winds kicking in again. The buoys are regularly checked and maintained so we always feel safe here.
It doesn't look it but these are pretty big boats in Gustavia, St Barts
We spent a painstaking morning extracting fuel from one tank where the pick up pipe does not reach and moving it to the other to give us more usable fuel.  We oiled the teak cockpit floor and seats and pottered on with a few projects enjoying a few quiet but blustery days before we arrived in St Maarten to start preparing for my sisters arrival at the end of the week and our impending haul out.
                                                            Cute guy at Jolly Harbour

Pretty Fuel dock at Jolly Harbour

Big boat full of naked people - St Barts!

Anse de Colombier, St Barts

Simpson Bay, St Maarten

Going through the bridge to Simpson Bay Lagoon

                                   Going through the new causeway bridge in the lagoon

Anchoring off what is referred to as the "Witches Tit"!

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